2014 – It ain’t over till it’s over

The great American philosopher Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Don’t believe it? Ask Jared.

Jared, you should know, was a one-man band at FoxNews.com on Christmas Night, 2004. He was flying solo on the news desk for two good reasons:

No. 1, he was very, very bright and very, very good at his job.

No. 2, he was Jewish. And like I said, it was Christmas night. Continue reading

Emotional distress

Fox News Being Sued For Accidentally Airing Suicide On TV (Mediaite)

You may recall that last September, Fox News aired a car chase that culminated in JoDon Romero getting out of his car and shooting himself in the head. His suicide was aired on Fox before they could cut to commercial, and Shepard Smith apologized on the air for showing it. Now, Romero’s three young children (one of them only nine years old) have filed suit against Fox News, claiming the cable channel’s airing of their father’s suicide has caused them serious emotional distress.

I feel bad for the victim’s kids — how could you not? — but what a ridiculously frivolous lawsuit. It may have turned out to be in bad taste, but there’s no law against bad taste. Fox News had a First Amendment right to show the video, accidentally or not.

We’ve seen video of all sorts of monstrous tragedies — the World Trade Center collapse, the tsunamis in Japan and Thailand, two space shuttle explosions, assorted plane crashes . . . Can you imagine if events like these were followed by lawsuits against the TV channels that showed them, complaining about emotional distress?

That’s what the news IS. Every “good” story is emotionally distressing to someone.

This lawsuit is just plain silly.

Worth reading, 06/19/13

A couple of fine columns today by two of the best.

Read Maureen Dowd in the New York Times for her insights on the Whitey Bulger trial:

Johnny “The Executioner” Martorano, who turned government witness and copped to killing 20 men and women as part of Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang, explained to Whitey’s lawyer Tuesday in federal court here that he was motivated by love of family and friends.

“I didn’t enjoy killing anybody,” he said. “I enjoyed helping a friend if I could.”

If anybody insulted, implicated or roughed up his brother or a friend’s brother, if anybody looked at him funny while he was with a date, if anybody ratted on his fellow gang members, if anybody could eyewitness a crime committed by an “associate,” he grabbed a .38 or a knife, a fake beard, a walkie-talkie or a towel to keep the blood off his car, and sprang into action. And somebody usually ended up in a trunk somewhere, sometimes still groaning.

And read Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post because, hey, you gotta love a column that features the word fecundity:

Distilled to a slogan, politics of late goes something like this: “I’m more fertile than you are.”

It seems fecundity is emerging as the best argument for public office, policy or even citizenship. What was once an unconscious appraisal — Is this person strong, healthy and vital? — has morphed into the sort of explicit review one usually associates with an X rating….

This brings us unavoidably to Sarah Palin, who reminded us recently that fertility is the ultimate trump card.


Study Finds Sharp Drop in HPV Infections in Girls (New York Times)

Imagine that. You vaccinate girls against HPV, and the world doesn’t come to an end. And fewer women will get cervical cancer. This is awful news, right family-values types?

Waiting to hear from Michele Bachmann on this.


The Privilege of the Unpaid Intern (New York Times)

I’ve worked at places where the internships were unpaid. The kids got a great experience, and the companies took full advantage of their hard work. And mommy and daddy picked up the tab. And that’s just plain wrong.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if internships are unpaid, the only kids who will be able to fill the “jobs” will be those who can afford not to make any money. Try to work your way out of poverty with that restriction. Hey kid, your mom gets food stamps? This internship — your pathway to a good career — just isn’t for you.


Columbia’s Cons: Ivy League social work program run by team of former prisoners (FOXNews.com)

EXCLUSIVE: In the hallowed halls of Columbia University, a nest of ex-cons — who have served time for murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault — hold court on their unique brand of social justice for admiring students enrolled in the school’s social work program, a FoxNews.com investigation has found.

The ex-cons work for or with the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), co-founded in 2009 by former Weather Underground operative and Columbia adjunct professor Kathy Boudin, who pleaded guilty to felony murder for her role in an infamous 1981 armed robbery that left two police officers and a security guard dead. And while that case was well-publicized, the group is hardly upfront about the “practical experience” of Boudin and others associated with the CJI.

I lived in Nyack for 25 years, and the 1981 murder of Officers Waverly Brown and Sean O’Grady will never be forgotten. I still can’t figure out how Kathy Boudin went from a life of privilege to a murderer. But I also can’t figure out why she’s an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Say what you will about Fox News’ motives in this story. I’ll say this . . . They’re right.


Corrections and amplifications (Wall Street Journal)

A Bloody Mary recipe, which accompanied an Off Duty article in some editions on June 8 about the herb lovage, called for 12 ounces of vodka and 36 ounces of tomato juice. The recipe as printed incorrectly reversed the amounts, calling for 36 ounces of vodka and 12 ounces of tomato juice.

Air Force (finally) gets one right


Per Todd Starnes at Fox News:

“An inspirational painting that referenced a Bible verse has been removed from a dining hall at Mountain Home Air Force Base after an anti-religion group filed a complaint.”

The painting featured a medieval crusader and referenced Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.”

Well, yeah, that pretty much sums it up. But I don’t think it’s right to call the group “anti-religion.” I’d say it’s pretty much pro-Constitution. You know, that whole First Amendment thing.

Read it here. You decide.