Tuesday, September 25, 2007

O'Reilly Meets Blacks, Eats Their Food

Thanks to Media Matters--and my mother--for tipping us off to this juicy little tid-bit: apparently Bill O'Reilly thinks Black people curse a lot. And are generally crass. And use profanity to request service. All the time.

I'm not even going to attempt to go further than that in describing what he said; I'll just let you read it here. Keep in mind that this was his response after dining at the famous Sylvia's Restaurant up in Harlem, with Al Sharpton.
O'REILLY: I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks... There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more ice tea."
Maybe it was just that folks were on their best behavior because they saw him coming. Or maybe not. But I seriously don't know how any media figure can be so continuously stupid and still be revered by millions. It's moments like this that remind me just how hard it will be for Barack, and maybe even Hillary, to win the election...I guess it's really true what they say: there is no finish line when it comes to achieving equality. Days like today make it feel like we've barely even gotten out of the blocks.

Monday, September 24, 2007

NYTimes Confesses Its Sins

Turns out that the NY Times does have a conscience--or at least it turns out to have one under mounting scrutiny of its potential wrongdoing. The paper of record has now admitted that the discount it gave MoveOn.org to run the infamous General Betray Us ad was "a mistake"; apparently someone inside decided it was time to come clean about the fact that journalists just like liberals better.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Young? Got a Good Heart? Well, MTV Wants YOU!

Getting involved is even easier than it used to be. Today, MTV Networks launched Think.MTV.com in beta, with an eye to giving them young folks an even better way to do good and--crucially for this generation-- "be recognized" for it.

The idea behind Think is that young people are great force to mobilize for action (duh), and that they would be well served by having a place where they can learn more about volunteer opportunities and connect with other like-minded folks. It's definitely a great idea, but it's not a new one: the folks at GoLeft.org have been working on a similar product since March.

Still, it's good to see anyone, everyone, trying to convince kids that there's more to life than making a whole load of dough. Especially when folks like Bob Herbert are apparently losing the battle.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Not Just Jena

If you watched last night's primetime Emmy Awards, you will have noticed that this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the airing of Roots--the epic mini-series that finally brought the history of black America into millions of homes, black and non-black alike.

Now, wouldn't it be nice to think that 30 years later, the bigger racial battles were behind us? It would be, but we can't--as episodes like those in Jena, LA and now, Tuscaloosa, AL prove.

No one's hanging nooses from trees in Tuscaloosa (not this week, anyway), but as the NYT is pointing out, there's a racialized battle going on down there that Thurgood Marshall would weep to see: the rezoning of the Tuscaloosa public school district has effectively put segregation back on the map in Alabama (assuming you believe it ever left). To quote from the article:
After white parents in this racially mixed city complained about school overcrowding, school authorities set out to draw up a sweeping rezoning plan. The results: all but a handful of the hundreds of students required to move this fall were black — and many were sent to virtually all-black, low-performing schools.
Umm... did it occur to no one on the planning board that this might be a problem? Is this a case of, we don't know our American history? Or was it more a decision based on the arrogance of the (shrinking) majority--something along the lines of, "We are accountable to no one"???

Either way, it should be interesting to see what this Times articles does to help the case of the children who have been impacted by the decision. It's been great to see how the media spotlight has moved things forward microscopically for the boys of Jena...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lies, Lies and More Lies

Want to be a journalist? Apparently all you have to do is make shit up.

Alexis Debat, a consultant to ABC News and, until yesterday, a senior fellow at the Nixon Center (counterterrorism is his specialty), has been found to have fabricated a whole host of interviews he claimed to have done with esteemed public figures like Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Alan Greenspan. Though his veracity was challenged before, none of the publications printing his work seemed to take it too seriously until Barack Obama came out swinging over a faked interview that ran in the esteemed French mag, Politique Internationale.

Looks like Jason Blair's bench is getting deeper by the minute.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bill Maher, Mos Def and Cornel West Talk Jena 6

I've mentioned the Jena 6 to you before; nice to see it getting some national coverage here and there. This is a travesty, and a miscarriage of justice we all speak out about. As Mos Def put it, "That shit is whack"--and it's time to get off our rears and do something about it.

Visit ColorofChange.org to learn more about how you can help.

Green Colleges ROCK!

This one is a little old (I somehow missed it in all the madness leading up to the Katrina anniversary), but well worth glancing over: Grist's list of 15 Green Colleges and Universities. I'm proud to say that not just one, but two of the universities I attended made this list. Plus, there was that summer I spent at Middlebury, so that's gotta count a little bit, too. Interesting to see how these centers for learning are trying to tackle the problem--and, in the case of Yale, committing to helping a major global empire do the same.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Let the Agony Begin

I've been on vacation for a week (bliss!), so apologies for the extended radio silence. But I am back now, and must begin by reporting what all Giants fans by now already know: this is going to be another loooong season. The 45-35 loss to the Cowboys may have done wonders for Jessica's Fantasy Football team, but darn it if it didn't make me wonder if there's some kind of hellish curse hanging over the men in blue.

For the record, by the end of the game no less than 3 starters and 1 primary back-up had been benched due to injury. Among those starters was Eli Manning himself, who apparently has a bruised right shoulder. If you'd asked me at some point last season if I cared weather he was in the game or not, I might have said no--but last night, believe it or not, Eli looked confident; everything, for a moment, was coming together. And then, like *that* (snap), it felt like last year again.

I guess there's still plenty of time left in the season, and maybe Eli and Brandon Jacobs and Osi Umenyiora will be back and better than ever. Miracles happen in other cities, don't they?