Wednesday, March 09, 2011

David Broder, Dean Of "Meet The Press," Dies At 81

The day's news was topped by the passing of long-time Washington Post Columnist David Broder. Disagree with his positions, one may, but the way he presented his points and observations, with a dry, professional delivery that compelled attention, earned him the trust and respect of not just his peers, but the American Public.

He was particularly effective on NBC's Meet The Press, where Broder has appeared over 400 times; the 400th time came in August of 2008 and during one of his many memorable appearances during the 2008 presidential race:

At times, Broder made statements on Meet The Press that gave pause but were undoubtedly influential, like in March of 2008, when he suggested that then-Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would "hope" that "something happens" to then-Senator now President Barack Obama for her to win the Democratic Nomination as president:

Interestingly, two months later in 2008, Mrs. Clinton actually suggested that could happen to Senator Obama:

Broder, by sticking to an "overview" of an issue in the context of its time, could effectively escape making any inflammatory comment about, say, Hillary Clinton attacking Barack Obama on the issue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. That's not to suggest, in any way, that Broder's take was intentional. Not at all. Broder's long history at the eye of the hurricane of social change crafted, for him, a unique perspective that many can learn from.

Again, here's Broder on Meet The Press talking about Obama's unique place in history as part of a "post-Boomer" demographic:

David Broder had many more great episodes on Meet The Press, 400-plus in all.  Hopefully, someone at NBC News puts together a tape of "The Best Of David Broder On Meet The Press."

Stay tuned.

Tericka Dye's Quits Once Students Find Out Her Past As Porn Star, Rikki Andersin

CBS News reports that a Missouri high school science teacher named Tericka Dye quit her job after her students found out about her past as a porn star named Rikki Andersin.

Dye is a mom to four children and when her students in Missouri found out her past as an adult film star she asked the Parkway School District in St. Louis to place her on an administrative leave for the remainder of the school year.

This occurred in 2006 while she also worked as a volleyball coach. The teachers stood beside her but she was suspended from pay and the superintendent believed that her presence would be a distraction within the classroom since students new of her past.

The schools do background checks, but being an adult film star is not illegal so it had never come up.

CBS reports:

Before leaving the high school, Dye said her decision more than a decade prior was the worst choice she'd ever made.

"I'm a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who's made a lot of bad decisions in life," Dye said in May of 2006. "Anybody who's been in my classroom could tell you how much I love teaching and how much I love these students, and that should be what matters more than anything in my past."

Dye's attorney announced in early 2007 that Dye had withdrawn an appeal of a ruling on a lawsuit she filed against the McCracken County School System and was leaving Kentucky. Her attorney declined to comment where she was headed.

The 38-year-old is also known as "Tara Myers," she had changed her name so that she could be a teacher in Missouri, but it came back to bite her in the butt.

Just Go With It Review

The movie Just Go With It starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler was brilliant, but instead of just writing about it - here's a vlog from right after seeing the movie:

The movie was really better than originally expected, but the original expectation was still very high since the two stars in this movie are incredible. It is a family appropriate film as well as a date night movie that will bring laughs. There's one main storyline followed by a completely unexpected situation which leads to a man lifting up a coconut using only his butt.

Vivian Schiller's Resignation reports that Vivian Schiller of NPR has resigned, and NPR media reporter David Folkenflik posted on Twitter that Schiller was forced out.

This controversy began in October when Juan Williams was fired from NPR. The Wall Street Journal online now poses the question of should the federal funding of NPR, National Public Radio, be discontinued? There are already fights for Public Television's federal and state funding as well.

The Christian Science Monitor writes:

Critics have long complained that NPR is a bunch of effete liberal snobs. On the hidden camera video, Mr. Schiller looks like a caricature of just such a person. He says the Republican Party is “anti-intellectual” and the tea party is “xenophobic,” and implies that conservatives are uneducated. Plus, he himself makes the argument as to why NPR should lose federal funds.

The NPR blogs only give quick links about why their CEO and President has stepped down.

The Associated Press' official report states:

NPR's president and CEO resigned Wednesday in an effort to limit the damage from hidden camera footage of a fellow executive deriding the tea party movement as "seriously racist." Conservatives called the video proof that the network is biased and undeserving of federal funds.

NPR's board had pushed for the resignation of Vivian Schiller, whom conservatives also criticized in October for firing analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She was not in the video, which was posted Tuesday by a conservative activist, but she told The Associated Press that staying on would only hurt NPR's fight for federal money.

SF Public Defender Drops 40 Cases After SF Video Surveillance Scandal

As of the writing of this blog post, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi is in the process of announcing that 40 criminal cases involving officers implicated for conducting illegal searches on suspects in the SFPD surveillance video scandal will be dropped, bringing the total number of cases dropped to 57.

What happened was that recently released video from separate drug busts at two residential hotels shows that the SFPD officers involved allegedly violated search and seizure laws and committed perjury with falsified police reports. This started with claims that San Francisco police broke into homes, then lied about it under oath.

According to KTVU Channel 2 News in Oakland, the FBI is involved in the investigation as well. KTVU got a copy of another video and reports:

On Thursday, KTVU obtained a copy of the new surveillance video from a different narcotics bust in which some of the same officers, who are under investigation on similar charges, raided a similar residential hotel room.

The tape showed San Francisco plainclothes police officers serving a bench warrant after they kicked in the door of a room at the Hotel Royan and arrested a 28-year-old man for possession of crack cocaine.

"It appears that they altered the facts in their report in order to appear they lawfully seized the item," said Qiana Washington of the San Francisco’s Public Defender's office.
The San Francisco’s Public Defender’s office alleged that the officers didn't properly identify themselves and illegally searched the room.

Investigative Conflict Of Interest?

It's reported that the investigation into the SF Video Surveillance Scandal will be led by former SF PD police chief District Attorney George Gascon, who was in charge at the time of the incidents. However, while Mr. Adachi does think it's a conflict of interest to have him involved, he told KTVU "I have spoken to the district attorney and he's assured me that he will conduct an independent investigation."

Stay tuned.

Borders Books Bankruptcy Closes San Francisco Westfield Store And Cafe

Video link:

The Borders Books Bankruptcy has a claimed a major casuality. It caused the closure of the San Francisco Westfield Store And Cafe in Union Square, San Francisco. Well, more accurately, it's in the process of closing, with major discounts on books, magazines, and everything else, just to clear the inventory.

Sadly, that means no more Boarders Cafe, (called SBC Cafe) where people would meet, or work, or meet and work or study over a cup of coffee or tea. It's really too bad that the cafe had to go as part of the closure. It was the only Internet Cafe in Union Square - at least the only one that was nice, clean, and comfortable. The best part: the overstuffed chairs. Just like the one's in your living room. (Well, at least mine.)

The cafe also gave life to the otherwise sterile place that Westfield Mall can be. It's certainly nice and modern, but it's also a people-mill. Folks go in to get something, then leave. A modern shopping center can and should have places of rest. If you look at it from a business standpoint, it makes the place a destination. Sales of goods and services will certainly improve as a result.

But I digress.

I contend that Boarders could and should have seen the coming of the Internet as a distribution system and altered their business model to use it.

Still, with one empty space comes the opportunity for a new business to fill it. Hopefully Westfield ads a new Internet cafe.

Biggie Smalls Day: Find The Killer Of The Notorious BIG

On this day, 14 years ago, America lost a true cultural icon: Biggie Smalls, known as The Notorious BIG, and by his real name of Christopher George Latore Wallace. He was killed in a crime that remains, to this day, sadly and wildly unresolved. If we can put a man on the Moon, why can't we learn who killed Christopher Wallace and put that person in jail?

That's the question.

Think about it. That person who killed Christopher George Latore Wallace is running around alive, while one of the greatest rappers in history is in Heaven. Looking down on us, and wondering what the hell is going on, and he would be correct to think hell had something to do with it.

On this day, I say, find the person or persons who killed Biggie Smalls and bring them to justice.

That is all.

Chevron Ecuador: Judge Lewis Kaplan Blocks Ecuador; Ecuador Judge Worked In Fear

From one perspective, this action could be seen as the result of pissing off a judge. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, of The Southern District Of New York, granted Chevron's motion for a preliminary injunction, barring the country (not the claimed Ecuador residents but the country itself is a party to the lawsuit) from collecting on a $8 billion Ecuadorian court judgement.

 While Ecuador may choose to ignore the American judge's ruling and go after whatever money it thinks it's owed, it does not mean other jurisdictions will agree with them. Moreover, Judge Kaplan's second opinion, issued just five month after his first one, where he hammered the plaintiffs for a fraudulent presentation, is enough to give any legal system pause.

Why?  The accusations of fraud, as well as the fact that the plaintiff's lawyers have not denied any of Kaplan's claims.  Indeed, the spokesperson points to Ecuadorean Judge Nicolas Zambrano's ruling and opinion. But how can anyone take his work seriously when there's evidence the first judge Nunez was "on the take" and ready to issue a judgement against Chevron in exchange for a taste of the award? And the person who replaced Nunez, Judge Ordonez, was also accused of a lack of impartiality; he was booted, too.

And who replaced him? Nicolas Zambrano.

That's right.

And a man under pressure to get Chevron, and who admitted "I never answer the telephone or my cellphone without seeing a registered incoming number, because it could be anyone calling to insult or threaten me." In other words, this man was working in fear.


Can you imagine what would have happened to Zambrano if he ruled for Chevron?

Stay tuned.

Jon Cryer Upsets Charlie Sheen, Who Reaches 2.3 Million Twitter Followers

Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen's Two And A Half Men co-star, better watch out. He's just pissed-off a media mogul in the making: Charlie Sheen.

In an exclusive to E!, Sheen called Cryer a "turncoat," and said "Like I said: You're with me, or you're with the trolls Obviously he's with the trolls."

Sheen was responding to Jon Cryer's comments on Conan, where Cryer said:

It's always a little weird, because the stuff you hear is just unbelievable," he said when asked about his infamously troublemaking costar. "I'm checking TMZ, just like I do every day, to know if I have to go to work at all...There was a story, they found Charlie's car…at the bottom of a cliff," Jon said. "So, you're thinking, 'Wow, sure hope Charlie's OK.' He comes into work...You're checking for scratches. My mind had come up with this whole thing where he'd crashed the car and climbed his way back up the cliff...I said, 'How ya doing, man?' He said, 'I'm doing OK, except that somebody stole my car and ran it off a cliff last night...And normally you would not believe that from somebody. But from Charlie Sheen, you believe that. Because that happened to him. Twice. That actually happened...Apparently he had been hanging out with a porn star of some renown who had won the 2008 Best Anal...No, if you recall, 2008, that category was very tough. A lot of the ladies were stepping it up that year, and a few of the fellas.
Now, how does Cryer know about the "2008 Best Anal," and why does he care?  Conan should have asked him about that line.   But I digress.  It's obvious Cryer's not a friend, and more of a co-worker, or former co-worker.  But in fairness to Jon, his paycheck was interrupted by Charlie's behavior, so why should the man care not to say anything?

While Conan got a nice bit of pub from Jon Cryer's comments, ironically enough, so did Charlie Sheen. What people don't get is is the more society talks about Sheen, the more powerful a media presence he becomes. Now, Sheen's reached 2.3 million Twitter Followers @Charliesheen, and up from 1.3 million just last Thursday.  And even though Sheen's overall ranking of 82,848 has not improved - it's down from the 80,000 of last week - he shows signs of improving that as well.

The simple reason for the poor ranking is Sheen's not issuing a lot of retweetable updates. He's too in the habit of tweeting without links to other sites or videos. But with that, Sheen is starting to do just that, and he's learning to retweet more often, too.

But the real deal is he's got a massive following that's growing to ever larger proportions. It looks like my projection of 6 million Twitter followers over the next month or so is on schedule.

(And help me catch Charlie Sheen and reach 1 million Twitter Followers! Follow me on Twitter at @zennie62.)

Stay tuned.