As you’ve probably figured out by now, I can be somewhat opinionated. Working at Skunkpost gave me plenty of opportunity to write stories with an opinion. And an attitude. Here are some of them. Some of my on-camera commentaries are on my Vimeo page
If the suit fits
(posted when OJ Simpson's suit was up for grabs)
This may be the perfect solution regarding what to do with the suit O.J. Simpson was wearing when he was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. There’s word out of Washington that the Newseum, the museum of news history, is not only interested in exhibiting the suit but may already be in discussions about the possibility.
In case you missed the Simpson suit saga in the past week, it’s been fairly eventful. First, a judge ruled the suit could be donated to the Smithsonian Institution as a way of settling a long dispute between Simpson and Fred Goldman. But the Smithsonian said thanks but no thanks. Then the National Museum of Crime and Punishment said they’d kill for it. Finally, the Newseum entered the picture.
Personally, I think the Smithsonian made the right decision in turning the suit down. That never felt right. Imagine a Smithsonian guide: “On your left, a letter written by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. And on your right, the suit O.J. Simpson wore when he got away with murder”.
As for the Museum of Crime and Punishment, they probably blew it when they put in their request to Fred Goldman, and pointed out that they have Nicole’s case highlighted in their Cold Case Section. Just a guess….but I think Fred considers it a “he got away with murder” case, not a cold case.
But the Newseum makes sense in so many ways. It’s all about news. Their goal is to help the public understand the significance of news stories and how they were covered.
The Simpson trial, while it might not have been the “trial of the century”, was one of the most significant news stories of the 20th Century. It changed the way many Americans thought about race.
It also had a huge impact on journalism and television. It was a real-life reality show. People were compelled to watch. We all remember where we were when we saw the verdict.
Do you ever see news footage of a police chase without thinking of O.J.’s white Bronco? What about watching a trial on TV? Whenever cameras are allowed in court for a trial, everyone involved thinks of the Simpson case.
The Simpson trial created a new breed of television news celebrity…the legal commentator. Would Greta Van Susteren have a show on Fox if it weren’t for O.J.? Would Nancy Grace have a career in television? (Okay, maybe that’s another reason O.J. should be in jail)
But there’s no disputing the impact the Simpson case had, and continues to have, on news. So if there’s one place the suit fits….it’s a museum devoted to news.
This is CNN. This is Eliot Spitzer. This is stupid.
(posted when Spitzer got his show on CNN)
Coming soon to the formerly most trusted name in news, the formerly trusted former Governor of New York.
That’s right, Eliot Spitzer. The Love Guv will be looking for love (and ratings) from television viewers.
CNN announced today that it’s hired Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker to host a new point-counterpoint show at 8:00 pm. You’ll recall, a few weeks back we speculated that Spitzer might be an option for that time period, when we found out that Campbell Brown was “stepping down” from her show because her ratings sucked.
Can Spitzer do the trick…so to speak? We think he can boost CNN’s hooker demographic….although a lot of them are working at that hour.
It will be a challenge….Bill O’Reilly on Fox has all the right-wing rednecks and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC has the liberal tree-huggers…..but CNN thinks that will actually work in Spitzer’s favor. In a statement, CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein said "Other cable news channels force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view; in contrast, CNN will be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas -- presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country”.
CNN describes the show as a “spirited, nightly roundtable” that will focus on the biggest stories of the day.
So it looks like Spitzer’s comeback is complete. It’s the same old story….boy grows up to be powerful politician, boy has a thing for high-priced call girls, boy gets booted out of office, boy becomes butt of more sex jokes than Michael Jackson, boy brazenly resumes public life, boy gets network TV show.
Talk about the American dream.
Imagine there’s no freedom
(posted when Mark Chapman was up for parole)
Hey, guess what’s happening this week at Attica?
Mark Chapman is up for parole. Again. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the result will be the same as it was the previous five times. HELL NO!
You know who Mark Chapman is, don’t you? He’s the guy who killed John Lennon. For a lot of people, that day in December 1980 was really the day the music died.
Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life. So far, he’s served 29 years at Attica.
By all accounts, he’s a model prisoner. He doesn’t cause any trouble….in fact, according to the Department of Corrections, his last infraction was in 1994. For 20 years, he’s been allowed conjugal visits with his wife. And he’s being held in a building with other inmates who aren’t considered a threat to him, according to prison officials.
Maybe he’s reformed. Maybe he could lead a productive life outside of prison. Chances are, killing Lennon was his one and only crime.
I don’t care. He needs to stay in prison….not just until his next parole hearing, but until he dies. This is one of those times where a life sentence needs to be a life sentence.
I know what you’re going to say….I’m valuing one life over another, and I’m saying killing John Lennon was worse than some run-of-the-mill murder because he was a celebrity.
No, I’m saying it was worse because he was John Lennon. He was a Beatle. He wasn’t just one of the most influential rock stars of the sixties, he was one of the most influential people of the 20th century. His murder affected people all over the world. It changed the world.
According to the state Division of Parole, they received four letters opposing Chapman’s release, and two letters supporting it. I’m guessing one of them is from his wife. In previous years, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono submitted letters requesting that Chapman’s parole be denied. I’m guessing she did the same thing this year.
When Chapman was denied parole in 2008, the Division of Parole said it was “due to concern for the public safety and welfare”. Right. Maybe public outrage….maybe a concern for Chapman’s safety because someone as wacko as he was might want to pull a Jack Ruby. But whatever excuse they used, they made the right decision then….just like they did in 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000….and like I’m sure they’ll do this year. We’ll let you know.
Oh Canada, you’re idiots
(posted when Canada was considering changing the lyrics of the national anthem)
I’ve always thought the only offensive thing about “O Canada” was watching that damn Lyndon Slewidge in his ridiculous uniform singing it before Ottawa Senators games…but apparently there are a number of Canadians who aren’t happy with their national anthem.
And if you guessed that they are women who think the anthem needs to be more “gender neutral”….you win a six-pack of Molson’s.
It seems the phrase “in all thy sons command” has womens’ panties in a bunch.
I know what you’re thinking….some people just need to get a life, and stop raising a stink about something that will result in some news stories but nothing will ever come of it.
The Canadian government is actually looking into changing the anthem’s lyrics!
After a request from the Conservative government, a parliamentary committee will study whether the “sons command” phrase should be changed to “Thou dost in us command”. That was the original phrase when the anthem was written in 1908….but ended up changing by the 1920’s. “O Canada” didn’t officially become the national anthem until 1980.
The issue is coming up now because the Canadian anthem was sung so many times at the Olympics….a woman whose email to her representative led to this brouhaha said while she was proud to see Canadians win gold medals, for 50 years she’s felt “excluded” by the anthem.
I can’t help but find it ironic that a country that has to sing the anthem in both French and English because they don’t all speak the same language is actually taking the time to worry about the wording of the song.
Porn to run
(posted when a fatal accident was caused by a truck driver watching porn)
So let me get this straight. State Police say the truck driver whose rig hit a disabled car on the Thruway, killing a woman….WAS WATCHING PORN. While driving a huge truck that can’t stop or swerve quickly.
Thomas Wallace of Ohio is charged with second-degree manslaughter. The crash, which happened last month on the Thruway in Pembroke, killed Julie Stratton of Snyder. She was 33, and the mother of two young children.
State Police say Wallace was watching pornographic movies on his laptop computer. Stratton’s car had hit a deer. Her car was still in one of the westbound lanes of the Thruway, and she was still in it, several minutes after she called 9-1-1 to report her accident, when the big rig slammed into the vehicle.
And get this…in addition to watching porn while driving….State Police say Wallace hadn’t had enough sleep. They say he was in violation of federal trucking rules by sleeping no more than four hours in the 27 hours before the crash.
I know the vast majority of the truckers on the road follow all the rules, and have spotless driving records. But then you hear about a guy like this….and the next time a big rig comes up behind you, you wonder what’s going on in the cab.
On the other hand…if this guy likes porn so much he watches it while driving….there’s a certain irony in the starring role he’ll probably play in prison.