A lot of broadcasting, I think, is doing a tremendous amount of preparation and trying to act like, ‘Oh, this thought is just occurring to me right now’ – and speaking sincerely. — Ira Glass
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (JSC) — I first became interested in broadcasting when I was 5 years old. Yep, 30 friggin years ago. My parents bought me this Fisher Price radio as a Christmas gift the previous year — using my superior math skills, that means I got it for Christmas in 1983:
Yes. That’s where it all started. I used to sit in my room in the middle of a pile of coloring books and babble random words and stuff into the microphone and then be amazed that it was playing back. No, I don’t still have the tapes. It was 10 years later that I was a skinny, somewhat awkward 15-year-old who spent many a Saturday night at home listening to my favorite radio show: WJLB’s Rap Blast. The show had the simplest of premises: The hosts — Billy T & T.J. (then known as the “Troublesome Juvenile”) — played hip-hop (Remember, this is 1994, 1995, and 1996 we’re talking about, so they were playing the good shit) and had a lot of fun doing so. They had me hooked from the first time I heard the show all the way until WJLB foolishly disbanded the duo in 1996. The Rap Blast held such a place with me that it became the the inspiration for the hip-hop show I did on WQHH in Lansing 10 years later called Saturday Night Live on Power 96.5. SNL was essentially the Rap Blast updated for 2005-2006. We played a lot of music that rarely saw regular rotation, plus we gave rappers from around Lansing and the state a chance to shine and then the final hour we let rip with SNL Mixology. It was, by far, the most fun I’ve had at any point in professional career. It’s a high that I’ve been chasing for the last nine years. I’ve fashioned a pretty damn good career as a print journalist in the last six years — regardless of what anyone says or thinks — but while writing has been pretty good to me, my heart is as a broadcaster. That’s why after years on the shelf, I’m jumping in headfirst on this podcast game with the launch of the Jay Scott Confidential Podcast, aka #JSCRadio. Continue reading iPodcast: JSC Radio is Coming
♣ Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them. ♣
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
DETROIT (JSC) — In the 5½ months I was largely AWOL from this blog, a whole lot of stuff happened. I can’t even go through an entire rewind of it all. I could go into the tomfoolery that was Donald Trump demanding to see the President’s birth certificate (never mind that anyone with half a brain and a 10th grade education, had seen it three years ago). I could go into the subsequent killing of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden after he was on the run, and I use that term loosely, for 10 years. I could go the sports route and talk about the NFL lockout, which threatens to torpedo part or all of the 2011 NFL season. Hell, I could always go to an oldie but goodie and talk about Detroit. But one story that really jumped out at me that I didn’t get a chance to touch on back in March is the shit storm that jumped off when Jalen Rose, and later Jimmy King (of University of Michigan “Fab Five” fame), singled out all black players recruited by and playing at Duke, particularly Grant Hill, as being “Uncle Toms”. Rose and King got very chesty about this, until the backlash punched them in the face. The full quote asserted that apparently there was something inherently unfair about a school choosing to recruit black players who can not only play, but are model citizens and strong students. The Nerve of Duke! Far be it from me to ever defend Duke basketball, but if I ran a program, I’d do the same thing. Well, the “Uncle Tom” alarm has been sounded again with the barbs being thrown at a familiar target. I’m here to say: Enough is Enough! Let’s Go.
♠ Redemption comes to those who wait, forgiveness is the key. ♠
— Tom Petty
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (JSC) — I often bristle when I hear people, most of them under the age of 30, say with their chest puffed out and head held arrogantly high: “I live life with no regrets!” Immediately, I think two things to myself. First: You must not have a lot of friends and your family must secretly hate the ground you walk on. Secondarily: You’re either a ruthless motherfucker, or you are just a posturing asshole. For most of the last decade, I have lived with the festering, angering, mind-blowing regret and guilt over having wasted six of my life at Michigan State University being an abject knucklehead and waste of space. My screwing around during my first 2½ years in East Lansing basically set me back nearly a full 10 years. I have always regretted pissing away those early years at MSU. It gnaws at my soul that because I thought that my shit smelled like the finest spring water with a twist of lemon, I missed out on numerous opportunities while my peers cashed in. I thought that I blew my chance to do what I always wanted to do with my life: Be a working journalist. When I graduated from Michigan State on May 2, 2003, I had no idea where I was headed and what the next eight years would bring. Those next eight years are what will make tomorrow afternoon all the better. The word of the day is: Redemption. Let’s Go.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
— Albert Einstein
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — So here we are. It’s December 31. The FINAL day of the year. Where the f— did 2010 go? I know what you are thinking: “Great! This asshole is going to give us a rundown of everything that he thought happened in 2010 and will give us his take. Ugh, I’m tired of that shit!” Well, much to your delight, I too hate those GAWD-awful “Year In Review” piles of feces that start cropping up shortly after you’ve just finished eating Thanksgiving dinner. So no, this is not some ridiculous 2010 Year in Review blog. Nor is it a blathering piece on New Year’s Resolutions. I despise those too. No one ever sticks to the damn things. You vow to quit smoking. You vow to lose weight. You vow to quit swearing. By Jan. 15, you’re sitting in your car outside of Mickey D’s eating a McRib, smoking a square, and saying “Fuck it”. This blog, the final one of 2010, will not speak of any of that nonsense. It will lay out what I plan to do in 2011. I am not making resolutions, I am setting goals. Resolutions are for dreamers. Goals are for those who are trying to get things done. Let’s Go. Continue reading Goal Tending: The 2011 Game Plan of Success…
♣ Apparently Getting It Right isn’t what sells these days…♣
“In Journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.”
— Ellen Goodman, 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — In the Fall of 1980, an incredible piece of writing hit the front page of the Washington Post. The story was so incredible that it held the city and country on the edge of its seat. It was a piece called Jimmy’s World. It was written by Janet Cooke, an extremely talented Black writer who spoke multiple languages and went to some of the best schools in the world. The story was about an eight-year-old boy in Washington, D.C. who was a heroin addict, often shot full of smack by his mother’s live-in boyfriend. The boy was a product of a rape. In the aftermath of the story being published, people in DC were aghast and outraged. Dr. Alyce Gullattee, who was the director of the Institute of Substance Abuse at Howard, claimed to know the boy and his family. DC Mayor Marion Barry claimed that the city knew Jimmy’s identity (irony abounds on that one). The story was so riveting that it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. On April 13, 1981, Cooke won the Pulitzer. On April 15, 1981, she admitted she made the entire damn thing up. From start to finish, it was all a lie, from the boy, to the family, to the name. Hell, she even lied about speaking multiple foreign languages, and attending Vassar and the Sorbonne. She gave back her Pulitzer and was forced to resign from the Post (Then-Executive Editor Ben Bradlee wrote in his book “I can’t explain now why I let her resign rather than fire her on the spot for the grossest of negligence”). She became a pariah in the industry, never to be heard from again. No paper would ever think of hiring her. That was 1981. In 2010, she’d have been given her own blog and one hour special on Fox News. Let’s Go. Continue reading Fair & Imbalanced: Why Journalism is Being Held Hostage…
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”
SAN DIEGO (JSC) — I have spent the better part of the last seven years of my life trying to figure out who I am, what I want to do, and where I’m headed. I turn 31 in less than six weeks, and I have held all of two jobs that paid me more than $8.50 an hour and only one of them offered me any kind of benefits. I have lived most of the last 11 years with a hideous sense of regret that I may have, for lack of a gentler term, fucked up my one legit shot at building a great career when I bailed out of Journalism because I thought my shit smelled like spring daises and cinnamon and refused to take the criticism of my journalism instructor at Michigan State in 1999. I have felt like I basically have been playing catch up ever since that day I angrily stormed out of that classroom. Those who know me, know my struggle and how this has eaten away at me. Well, over the last two years I have been doing a ton of catching up and this week has seen the most forward movement I have made as a journalist since 1996. As you see from the Dateline, I am checking in from the left coast. San Diego. The home of beaches, the Chargers, Rey Mysterio Jr., and Jayo Felony. Let’s Go.
“You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people”
— Will Rogers
DETROIT — Imagine, if you will, that you were the head coach of a basketball team. You had this unknown point guard suddenly show up on the scene. You signed the kid the day before a big game and you toss him into the lineup when you find your team in a 23-point hole in the 3rd quarter. You figure you have nothing to lose. This PG, gets on the floor with a basic grasp of the offense and runs the plays you feed him to perfection. He’s hitting teammates at the right spots. He’s running the pick-and-roll to perfection. He even made a killer 18-foot jumper off of an iso. Next thing you know, you’ve trimmed the lead to six points with that guard on the floor. Just as it seems like you are ready to make that push in the 4th to try to win the game, that damn point guard decides he’s gonna start running his own plays and goes into business for himself. He’s no longer running the offense through the post. He’s jacking up 28-foot jumpers with 14 seconds left on the shot clock. He’s leaving his man on defense. He’s trying to drive on three guys and gets his shot tossed. Next thing you know, that lead has ballooned to 28. Game over. You Lose the game…and your job. Ladies and gentlemen, this particular point guard’s jersey number was 2. The name on the back: Palin. Let’s get down to business. Continue reading Forgetting Sarah Palin: Why Do People Still Care About This Woman…?