Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Oscar Grant, Phil Bronstein, BART Police, & My Source

This week I posted a vlog on Oscar Grant and what my source claims is an autopsy where crack cocaine was found in his body. Here is an update and what happened when SF Chronicle's Phil Bronstein picked up the story.

First my source said the following:

1) The shooting was an accident, and not a racist hit. There are officers who have taken such actions but not like that. They would make it look like a random murder.

2) My source thinks that what happened to Grant was shameful, contrary to what some commenters have written.

The vlog was picked up by San Francisco Chronicle Executive Vice President and Editor-At-Large Phil Bronstein on his "Bronstein At Large" blog, and who focused on the idea that drugs may have been planted on Grant. My source insists that was not the case; they were there in Grant already.

For some reason, Bronstein's post was removed and when I emailed to learn why got a response from Zoe Stagg , the star of Citizen Sugar, who told me that the SF Chronicle Newsroom expressed "issues" with the source -- my source's -- information, but I don't know what the problem was.

Still, this is the Internet. Here's a link to the cached version of what Phil wrote: PHIL's BLOG.

Then I also contacted CNN about the video, since Phil linked to my iReport version. I contacted Rick Sanchez, who emailed that he would check into it. I've not heard back from him.

The overall lesson here is that Old Media tries to control the spread of information. Look at how KTVU used the BART Shooting videos it had to gain ratings and keep the story going, making sure it had legs, or look at how the Chronicle and CNN are treating the story. This is in direct contrast to New Media, which is designed to quickly communicate a story to many people, regardless of origin.

Who will win? Well, I think New Media's ahead so far.

CNN's John King and Dana Bash...On Love

A very cool video of two seemingly very nice people who's work I enjoy.

Obama's visit to Mesa brings hope to fearful AZ home owners

U.S. President Barack H. ObamaPresident Obama has people paying attention and engaged -- and Dawn Teo's covering both sides of the story for Huffington Post:

Dueling groups of anti- and countering pro-Obama protesters were setup in several "free speech zones" near the high school, smaller groups were scattered across sidewalks and street corners for several blocks, where former Governor Janet Napolitano's departure to take over as the new United States Secretary of Homeland Security gave Republicans full control of Arizona's state government.

Ms. Teo wrote:
"According to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who spoke to the press before the event, about 6 percent of Arizona mortgages either are in foreclosure or are more than 90 days behind today. Across the country, nearly 10 percent of mortgages are behind, and in December, close to half of home sales across the country were "distressed" sales. Donovan says he expects about 6 million more foreclosures over the next 3 years."
The Obama administration is supporting legislation that, if passed, would allow judges to write down the principle and/or interest of mortgages when mortgage holders file for bankruptcy, and will be releasing new mortgage guidelines, which go into effect in 2 weeks that will standardize the mortgage loan process, including the appraisal process.

"Eyes brimmed with tears, attendees described the bleak outlook of being uprooted from their homes, a common fate in the Valley of the Sun. Besides the obvious transition from pre-election rallies to stately policy talks, today's topic -- the foreclosure crisis -- was sobering for the Mesa crowd."

read more | digg story

YT Network - Blackout to Black List

Renetto's one of my favorite -- ok, number one -- vloggers. He's the reason YouTube has it star-status. Well, ok, not really, but hey. This is what he wrote for this video:

I would truly call my time on YouTube more of a love affair then a hobby. What they've done, and are continuing to do, to this site and to the community that believed so much in this company, is more than just "Do No Harm"... or WTF... to me it's painful. Weather it's salvation or suicide for the stock holders... is yet to be seen. But for many us, the community of dreamers, that believed we were taking part in something special, something with the potential to change the world by giving us all equal access to express or selves and share our ideas and opinions in a democratic, hands off kind of way without the filters of corporate pressure or network interference, the dream is turning into a nightmare. VloggerHeads is not the answer... it's going to take a lot more then a Ning Platform can offer to really take over where YouTube left off... but it's not a bad place to start.

Obama Unveils $75 Billion Mortgage Relief Plan

From the AP on YouTube:

President Barack Obama unveiled his $75 billion mortgage relief plan, a series of measures the president says will keep 9 million people from losing their homes. (Feb. 18)

I will have a copy of the full video up as Obama gave a great epeech on this. It was frank and to the point and informative at a time the USA needs to solve this problem. More on the program specifics later.

United Airlines San Francisco Airport Terminal at 1 AM

OK, I got stuck overnight in United Airlines San Francisco terminal so I could make a morning flight. Here's how it looked (like right out of the movie Terminal) and what happened to me.

Michael Phelps Will Not Be Arrested For Photo

The latest good news in a country that needs it, is that Olympic star Michael Phelps will not be arrested for a photo taken of him smoking a "bong" in South Carolina. The episode led to some rather hypocritical behavior by sponsors who dropped Phelps, yet have employees who engage in the same activities at parties.

The bottom line is Michael's out of the woods and has learned an unfortunate lesson in how to watch out for all of the hypocritical asshole haters who just want to engineer a way to get him into trouble to make their lousy lives feel better.