PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — Fresh off of a week where we damn near had a riot in Chicago during an alleged Presidential rally, it’s time for Episode 2 for JSC Radio. This week’s subject: Is it possible for us as a society to start to treat each other better? Judging from some of the crap I see on such wonderful places such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, probably not. I’m an 80s baby. I’m not so old that I don’t get that times change (and please don’t think I’m gonna sit here and say that “My day was better than…” or any of that garbage. But what I will say is that we seem to be in a battle to take things back to a time when people were pretty trash to others and it was readily accepted. If I had the patience and the time, I’d scour Twitter to find some really reprehensible things that people say to each other — trust me, it wouldn’t take me very long — as an example of how sh*tty we are to people these days. This week’s show is my take on how social media, and social dialogue in general, has headed down the toilet and how we need to think about being better people. Let’s Go.
Continue reading JSC Radio – Episode 2: Social Outcasts
♣ Believe It or Not… ♣
DETROIT (JSC) — Greetings, people. It’s once again time for another edition of #TBTonJSC. This week, we’re talking heroes. In the couple of days that have passed since Charles Ramsey became the most hilarious hero this side of Darkwing Duck, I got to thinking about what this week’s #TBT would feature and it immediately hit me. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a child of the 1980s (Not to be confused with being an 80s Baby — I was born in 1979). One of the best things about having grown up in the 1980s were the TV shows. In many cases, the shows had some of the greatest theme songs ever. Often the theme would be better than the show. Whether it was Diff’rent Strokes, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Dallas, The Thundercats, or one of the numerous variations of The Cosby Show, TV came very strong. The TV of the 80s is why I think today’s television stinks. One 1980s show, however, had arguably the best theme ever: The Greatest American Hero. The actual name of the song is Believe It or Not. It got as high as #2 on the Billboard charts in 1981. It was legit. I was much too young to have seen much of the show’s original 1981 to 1983 run. I was just 4 years old when it was cancelled. In terms of the show itself, truthfully, it was straight basura on wheat toast. The premise of it was that this English teacher is visited by aliens and given a suit that gave him weird super powers. Unfortunately, he loses the instruction manual (!!!) and has to figure out how the damn thing worked for himself. The fact that show lasted two years, in my opinion, was that kick-ass theme song. Anyone who is over the age of 30 already knows how that song starts. Welp, in honor of Charles Ramsey, this week’s #TBTonJSC is the first of what will be many great TV theme songs from the 1980s. Let’s Go. Continue reading #TBT on #JSC (May 9, 2013): Hero Worship
♠ What Happens When A “Dark-Skinned Male” isn’t… ♠
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
— Will Rogers
DETROIT (JSC) — Greetings & salutations, people. After what has been honestly one of the more insane news weeks in memory, I almost wouldn’t know where to start if I had to do a mash-up of every horrible and amazing thing that’s happened in the last seven days. But let’s first and foremost throw thoughts and prayers out to the nearly 200 people who were injured in the heinous and senseless bombing of the Boston Marathon. Rest in Peace to the three people who were killed during the attack, and to the family of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was murdered by the two cowards on that insane Thursday night. Thoughts and prayers to the people of West, Texas as well, who are reeling from that horrific explosion at the plant that killed 14 people and obliterated most of that town. Big ups to the police departments of Boston and Watertown, Mass. as well as the FBI for their work in capturing one of the culprits while killing the other one. Incredible work. A lot of people did the damn thing in terms of their jobs. One entity that didn’t exactly have a very good week was the American news media — which, if you didn’t know, I am a member of. Never one afraid to smack my own when needed, I’m here to address the hottest of hot buttons and that’s the performance of CNN, specifically a man I had grown to respect the hell out of the last decade: John King. With one speculative statement amidst a chaotic afternoon, he may have single-handed ruined his reputation and exposed an multitude of greater problems in the news media and journalism as a whole. Let’s Go.
Continue reading “Dark”ness in Boston: When Getting It Right Goes Wrong…
♠ Justice isn’t just blind; It’s Confused. ♠
“Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom; Justice is what comes out of a courtroom”
— Clarence Darrow
DETROIT (JSC) — I can tell you exactly where I was on the morning of October 3, 1995. I was sitting in an economics class at Renaissance High School. The entire room was packed and the TV was locked on Channel 4 (WDIV, the Detroit NBC affiliate) as we had gotten word that the jury, after just four hours of deliberation, had returned with a verdict in the murder trial of NFL Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson. The entire room (composed almost entirely of black students and faculty) let out a very loud cheer as it was announced that Simpson, accused of murdering his ex-wife and her boyfriend a year earlier, was not guilty on all charges. The incredulous disbelief on the faces of white people around the country was priceless. I admit it. It was funny. But those incredulous looks had nothing on the O_o!!?? look I had on my face at 2:19 p.m. Eastern Time today when I heard the words “Not Guilty” uttered three times in regards to Casey Anthony. And unlike that cool October morning 16 years ago, there was no color line in the stunned shock. Let’s Go. Continue reading Case Study: What We Learned From Casey Anthony…
♣ 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…
♦ The Things We Do For Our Dreams…♦
“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.
Continue reading West Coast Pop: Observations from NABJ 2010
♣ Whatever Happened To Bowing Out Gracefully? ♣
“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…?