Monday, June 30, 2003

Fame, What Is It Good For?
Jerry Springer appears to think his fame, or infamy, derived from this television sideshow could help the Democratic Party if he is elected to the U.S. Senate from here in Ohio. If Jerry wins, I am moving to Kentucky. I will not be any better off, Jerry will not control on the State or local government, but the embarrassment of being from Ohio would then eclipse that of being from Kentucky. Wouldn’t Jerry fit in better in Kentucky anyway? Why doesn’t he run there instead?
Slippery Slope
The Cincinnati Post's editorial today covered last Thursday's Sodomy ruling. The Post wants us to listen to the screed of Justice Salia's dissent as some kind of warning that allowing the Supreme Court to trump a legislature will bring about lawlessness. The hidden problem here is a more stodgy reading of history. The Post wants to focus on the fact that sodomy was considered "wrong" historically in this country, which was true. So was slavery. So was refusing women the right to vote. So was the right of the state to control a woman's body.

The constitution is not rigid. It is ebbs and flows. It is a living and breathing document. It also is there to protect the minority from the tyranny of the mob. The right of privacy is a fundamental right of American Society. "A man's home is his Castle" is an old and true maxim. What you do in your bedroom is a not for the government to concern it self as long as no one is harmed. It is the duty of the government to prevent an oppressive majority religion from using its set of behavior rules as the basis to force the entire populace to comply with its teachings. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is not codified law in this country, but the sentiment surely applies and so does the 14th Amendment.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Nick Spencer on Racial Diversity
Charter Committee City Council candidate Nick Spencer wrote a guest column in Sunday's Enquirer. Nick comes out in strong support of diversity and in big support of the repeal of Article 12, the anti-homosexual city charter clause. Nick calls for whites to spend sometime in predominantly Black neighborhoods. I agree with this idea, it can open people up to new experiences. I suggest Blacks do the same thing though too. Many say White people do not know enough about Blacks, beyond stereotypes. I think the same is true about Blacks. They are just as guilty of only seeing stereotypes, and can use some diversity too. Everyone needs to a know more about the way other people live their lives. Once they do, I think they will discover we all generally live similar lives, with only subtle differences.
Nate Livingston and Amanda Mayes Arrested
Both co-chairs of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati were arrested while protesting a concert taking place at the Cincinnati Zoo Sunday. WLWT reported that an altercation with a concert goer allegedly took place, which resulted in a police officer suffering minor injuries. Livingston has been charged with Misdemeanor Assault, Resisting Arrest, and Disorderly conduct. Mayes was charged with Resisting Arrest.

According to Michael McDonald and The Neville Brothers were scheduled to perform at the Wild Nights at the Zoo Concert Series.

Katharine Hepburn 1907-2003
There has been no better motion picture actress than Katharine Hepburn. Her best movies include:
The Philadelphia Story
The African Queen
The Lion in Winter

One of the last giants of Hollywood's Golden Age has past. My favorite of hers will always be "The Philadelphia Story".
XRay Magazine Has New Web Site Editor
In the movie "The Right Stuff" Dennis Quaid played Gordo Cooper. Cooper's famous line in the movie was "Who was the best pilot I ever saw? Well, uh, you're lookin' at 'im. " Well, if you ask who is XRay Magazine’s new web site editor, then I would say: you're lookin' at 'im.

No, I am not the best web site editor anyone ever saw. I am just starting out, so don't over react to my movie quote. I hope to be the best that I can be, but I will need the help of the XRay Print editors and staff to help me out. What does this mean for my blog? I hope it means little. I hope to continue blogging right along side my work at XRay. I will be honest that I expect to be blogging a little less, but I will try to stay as current as I can.
The Katie Couric of Cincinnati
John Kiesewetter provides us with a fluffy profile of Sheila Gray, morning co-anchor of WXIX-TV's morning news program. John provides a nice profile of Mrs. Gray, which for a TV reporter is not out of the ordinary. He does mention her husband, Ric Robinson, and summarized his career, but John left out Mr. Robinson's horrible run as early afternoon talk radio host on WLW-AM. Ric was a horrible host. Now, I have a low opinion of most talk radio hosts, but Ric was the worst WLW has put on as a regular host that I ever heard. He lasted several months, but Bill Cunningham was moved to the afternoons, which, I hate to admit, was an improvement.

All in all Sheila is a light, bubbly person, who like Katie Couric can be very very annoying. She does what she does well. Morning shows are just infotainment now a days, but it is good that her show is local. It provides local people more opportunity to reach the local audience directly. Katie Couric can't do that. As long as people understand what they are watching is mostly entertainment, mixed with some news, then I hope 19 in the Morning continues providing live locally based content as long as Raycom finds it profitable.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Dennis Miller: Latest Horse's Ass
When did Dennis Miller loose all credibility? Is he a born again Christian now too? He once was a good comic who was on the rational side of the society, but now he has drunk the kool-aide.

I have no problem with people being conservatives, but Dennis Miller used to see all politicians as bullshit artists. Somehow Bush is not a bullshiter? I know that hardcore conservatives worship Bush, so they buy into his propaganda, but Miller had some credibility with a pox on both your houses attitude, trusting no one. How can Miller, a smart man, trust Bush? I do not get it.

His career is now toast. It is one thing to give money to the GOP, or even openly support socially moderate Republicans, but to shill for the right wing's messiah is the kiss of death in Hollywood. I don't see Miller as winning over the hard-core GOP crowd either. He was hated by the Budweiser crowd on Monday Night Football, so I don't see the hardcore Freeper crowd coming out in droves now that Dennis is Bush's toast master. I guess he will have to scrap the Ambrose Bierce and Immanuel Kant jokes, and stick with the "death to Democrats" crowd pleasers. That's the news, and I am outta here!

UPDATE: Andrew Cline at comments on Miller's addition to the campaign.
Bush Needs $incinnati
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
"Of the top 20 most lucrative ZIP codes for Bush's 2000 campaign, three were in Cincinnati. The one that provided the most money was 45243 - Indian Hill, the verdant home of the Tristate's elite. "
One would think this kind of support would bring more federal dollars back to this area, but it doesn't. Because this area is so one party dominated, none of the local congressman, Chabot and Portman, need to bring home the bacon. The GOP does not have to do anything to get their man elected in this reigon, beyond putting a name on the ballot, airing a few commericals, and making the Democrat look like a baby killing communist. I think GOP City Councilman Chris Monzel might be taking a page from that playbook. I expect his West Sider ploy to come up after Council's summer recess.
New Gen X Enquirer Columnist
I am guessing at Maggie Downs' age based on references in her first Enquirer column yesterday. I applaud a younger voice in the Enquirer. A vast majority of Enquirer columnists are well over 40 years old, leaving their perspective on society rooted before the rise of MTV or the personal computer. My only other comments on Maggie dealt with a story she wrote back in January for the Enquirer. My comments were not well received by at least one friend or co-worker of hers. I enjoyed her light take on Cincinnati. I look forward to reading her takes on Cincinnati culture. I hope she checks out XRAY Magazine to locate some of that culture.
Bronson's Sex Obsession
It seems like every other column from Peter Bronson lately has been about sex in one way or another. He is on a porn crusade one day, and today he is worried about "sex-offenders" living in OTR.
Enquirer Responds to FOP Charges
Well, not directly, but via a small article in their Tristate A.M. Report.
Police group says it wants reporter fired

The Fraternal Order of Police demanded the firing of a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Friday over allegations regarding local restaurateur Jeff Ruby.

The reporter, acting on a tip, had asked Ruby if he offered free meals to police investigating his son.

But Ruby never made the offer, he and the FOP said in a joint news conference Friday. FOP Vice President Keith Fangman alleged that the reporter fabricated the tip to get Ruby to comment on charges against his son.

Brandon Ruby, 19, was indicted June 10 on charges of aggravated rioting and attempted arson in connection with a Cinco de Mayo party near the University of Cincinnati that got out of control.

Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan said: "A reporter asked some questions about some rumors we had heard. But there didn't appear to be anything to the story, so we dropped it."
So the Enquirer stands by their reporter, and presumably will not fire Robert Anglen. He was doing his job and asking about a rumor. The Enquirer did not report the rumor, the FOP reported the rumor. Ruby's image has been damaged, not by the press, but by the police. I am torn by the placement of this story in the newspaper. I would have made it a bigger story; one standing alone, but keeping it low key is an interesting PR choice. I think this will put an end to the story. Fangman got his TV coverage. Ruby got is reputation as a less than honest person reinforced, and the Enquirer is slightly embarrassed. A good news day for Cincinnati.

War in Iraq
Oliver Willis provides a link to AlterNet's 10 Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq. Sex, lies, and WMD, what a combo. Billmon has found the king of all revisionist Historians.

Friday, June 27, 2003

A Steak for a Break II
WCPO has an updated story with an interview with Jeff Ruby. Also, the video of the press conference is here. This whole story makes no sense. Why they hell did the FOP get involved? Why did they call the press conference? The Enquirer did not even print a story on the topic. It appears Fangman has the need to stick it to the reporter alleged to be involved, Robert Anglen. According to Fangman the reporter was interviewed by the Internal investigation. Fangman is full of shit here. There is no reason to hold a press conference, except to tar the local press. Fangman has some kind of personal grudge against this reporter, his "unnamed" sources, and the entire Enquirer. Fangman must not like it when he reads stories with like these:
Police review themselves when citizens complain
Profiling settlement approved Don't shoot the messenger on that one, Fangman.
Angry crowd demands answers
Police, fire chief selection questioned
Initial findings may not support officer's actions
Feds study police practices
I guess anyone reporting anything negative about the Cincinnati Police gets attacked by the FOP. Fangman disgusts me. He lays it on thick with is weepy odes to his "fallen" detectives, that NO ONE WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IF HE HAD NOT HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE.

It will be interesting to the Enquirer's reaction to this. Their comment as relayed in the WCPO story reads:
The Enquirer never published anything about what the FOP and Ruby claim happened and they released this statement saying the "reporter asked some questions and we determined there was no story...that was the end of it."
I have to laugh at one big point. What I guess happened here was that the report had a guess what might have happened and tried to fish out a response. He may have been on to something, but it was surely covered up by now. This tactic is what police and prosecutors do all the time. The lie and manipulate suspects into reacting and making a mistake. The reporter did the same thing. Anglen does not deserve to be fired for doing what police do every day. He may need to question his instincts or in case he was right, he better learn how to get his sources to be firmer, before going in to get the reaction quote from subject of his reporting.
Enquirer Weekend Memos
Let it be known for ever that Linda Cagnetti, Enquirer Editorial Board Member, does not support the right to choose:
"As long as abortion on demand is legal, the more informed everybody is about it, the better. Women making this 'choice' especially need to know everything that's known. "
Ms. Cagnetti supports the recent efforts of Norma McCorvey to try and restart the Roe v. Wade case. McCorvey was the "Roe" of that case, seeking an abortion. She has since become the poster woman of the fanatical anti-abortion movement. There is nothing to debate, at least rationally, about abortion. The positions are well known. What Ms. Cagnetti seeks to do is to put the issue in the media and then have the propagandists do their job. That is not debate, that is verbal mud wrestling.
Sticks Nix Blix Fix
Most people in middle America of the conservative persuasion have a low opinion of U.N. inspector Hans Blix. The Cincinnati Post, on the other hand, thinks Blix was not the fool the Bush Administration and its supporters supposed he was.
A Steak for a Break?
Did Jeff Ruby try to bribe police officers into dropping charges or overlooking actions by his son Brandon? WCPO reports that a reporter from the Enquirer has a source or sources inside the police department stating that Ruby offered police officer(s) with gift certificates to his restaurants in exchange for dropping the charges against his son. Lincoln Ware of 1230 the Buzz stated on his radio program that the Enquirer reporter indicated that Ruby offered 2 detectives the gift certificates. No information on the names of reporter's or the detectives/officers in question.

The big oddity that caught my eye was that Ruby and the FOP held what appeared to have given a joint press conference to deny these allegations. Why would the FOP get involved? Is Jeff Ruby a big FOP booster? My only speculation is that the officers in question did accept the gift certificates for reduced charges, but not a full walk. Why would Ruby hold a press conference when WCPO indicates, "Ruby has filed a complaint against the officers." If Ruby has filed a complaint against any officer, why is the FOP helping him?

Kudos goes out to WCPO's web reporters for adding this caveat to the story:
Disclosure: The Enquirer is the television and Internet partner of WCPO.
In the world of media consolidation and partnerships, it is good to see some honesty prevails to help uphold the ethical standards journalism.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Brownshirts Love Art Too
Not only do local police have a thing for porn, but Steve Ramos reports in CityBeat about the police raid on the Semantics Gallery. Police were out looking for a Rave, to bust, and found a group of artists and art lovers drinking beer. What a crime. What kind of artist drinks beer? If they had been drinking wine, we would never have read about this. If the police don't waste man power on keeping the arts community in line with their stereotypical drink of choice, who will?
Corporate Blackmail Works
The Cincinnati Post reports that City Council has approved a deal to build a $15 million dollar parking garage for use by Kroger's downtown HQ. Kroger had, in so many words, threatened to leave downtown if their parking problems were not solved. I guess their ploy worked.
Playing Chicken with Concealed-Carry
It looks like the all or nothing gun rights lobby wants to keep the issue alive to raise money and go for a special rights bill for concealed gun carriers. Punt now, and hope to elect more right wing crazies to the Ohio Senate or Governor's Mansion.