It's harder to define what a journalist (or journalism, for that matter) is than to say that you know one when you see one. And this guy is clearly a journalist. No, not the guy pictured at top, we'll get to him in a minute. I'm talking about THIS GUY -- Jorge Ramos of Univision. The cronied-up, inside-the-Beltway 1 Percenter-type don't even want to talk about Ramos because he shows them up with his tough questions for the people in power. Here's what Ramos says:
“You turn on the TV, and you see very bland interviews. Journalists in the United States are very cozy with power, very close to those in power. They laugh with them. They go to the [White House] correspondents’ dinner with them. They have lunch together. They marry each other. They’re way too close to each other. I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power.”
“I’m not seeing tough questions asked on American television,” he added later. “I’m not seeing those correspondents that would question those in power. It’s like a club. We are not asking the tough questions.”
"I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing. And I think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that in the case of members of the Bush administration. It’s clear that things that the Bush administration did -- in my mind, at least, it’s clear that some of the things they did were war crimes."
Answer to come. Hint: It's not Noam Chomsky.
Philadelphia's supreme leader -- David L. Cohen of Comcast -- and also Mayor Nutter interrupted the post-Memorial Day sunny spring bliss today for a special announcement: Our city apparently has no future, to speak of.
OK, OK, more specifically, Cohen and Nutter announced that the plan to lure the 2024 Summer Olympics to Philly -- a plan that you probably weren't paying any attention to because frankly it seemed pretty unlikely, and that's being polite -- is now canceled before it really ever gained steam. What worried me, though, was the language they used in dropping the would-be Olympic bid, which was cryptic at best, or apocalyptic at worst:
Well, I think that we see how we can fall and rise. You see, we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn't run away - I rose right where I'd been knocked down. And then that's how you get to know yourself. You say, hmm, I can get up! I have enough of life in me to make somebody jealous enough to want to knock me down. I have so much courage in me that I have the effrontery, the incredible gall to stand up. That's it. That's how you get to know who you are.
One of the most positive and uplifting characteristics of humans is our ability to take an unspeakable tragedy and not wallow in the despair that it creates, but channel that anger and sadness into something positive that benefits all of us, going forward.
For example, it happened in America in 1963. For years, the moral arc of the struggle for civil rights across the Deep South was bending toward justice...in slow motion. Anger over the Emmett Till case, the resilience of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Montgomery bus boycott, the courage of the Freedom Riders and marchers who faced fire hoses in Birmingham did put government-sanctioned racism on the front burner, and there were some impressive wins. But America -- especially on the federal level -- was still falling woefully short in ending segregation and other forms of sanctioned discrimination.
On September 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Ala., four monsters associated with the racist Ku Klux Klan placed a dynamite bomb against the 16th Street Baptist Church -- a staging area for civil rights protests. Four adolescent girls -- Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley -- were murdered in the bomb blast. The shock of losing four innocent young girls to adult hatred caused many Americans to see the civil rights struggle in a new light, to truly focus on the broader injustice perpetrated against citizens because of the color of their skin. Within two years, Congress moved swiftly to pass both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, ending an ugly chapter in our history.
Do ants have blood? Ask me in about three or four months.
The very prescient Daily News editorial page with more today on how America treats our fighting men and women:
YESTERDAY'S Memorial Day honored those who have died in service.The latest scandal to plague the Veterans Health Administration suggests that we may need to add another holiday - to honor those military personnel who died while waiting for health care.
The American Prospect had an excellent story this week on "The Revolt of the Cities." It chronicled how many of the nation's largest municipalities are taking the lead in mandating a livable wage for workers,requiring sick -leave, expanding pre-K programs, or upgrading mass transit options. It's a long article -- but there's one word that does not appear at all in the text.
Can you guess what it is?