♠ 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…
♣ 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…
♣ How Far Have I Really Come In Five Years? ♣
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
— Lao Tzu
DETROIT — Five years. January 5, 2005. A grand total of 1,828 days (counting the extra day we got in 2008) have passed since I drove that long and winding stretch of back roads on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan heading into my first day at work at WQHH-FM. It was five months after I had graduated from the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts. It had been a year and a half since I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Communication after six listless years at Michigan State University. The day I walked into that small building, that more resembled a strip mall than a radio station, I was unbelieveably nervous and scared, and amped, and excited…and scared as hell! Those of you who have known me for years know how my odyssey in Lansing ended, and it’s not something I feel the need to completely rehash here. This blog is about the entirety of the road I have travelled since that cold day in January of 2005.
Continue reading Five Years Later: My Journey Through The World of Radio…