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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jindal's New York Times op-ed on same-sex marriage garners plenty of attention — and rumblings of a boycott

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 11:17 AM

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Gov. Bobby Jindal is fond of putting his name to op-ed pieces in many national publications, but his guest editorial in this morning's New York Times ("Bobby Jindal: I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage") has already garnered more attention than most.

As the state legislature battles with a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall and LSU announces it's preparing a preliminary bankruptcy plan, Jindal chose to double down, triple down, quadruple quintuple down on same-sex marriage, conflating "big business and the radical left," accusing corporations of "bullying our state," and slamming Hollywood (and, by extension, Hollywood South).

"Hollywood and the media elite are hostile to our values and they tip the scales to our liberal opponents at every opportunity," Jindal wrote, not explaining why the state continues to give away millions of dollars in film tax credits to "people hostile to our values." 

(Meanwhile, just yesterday the governor was wishing Hollywood and the media elite a happy birthday.)

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The timing was odd, considering a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning showed support for same-sex marriage among Americans at an all-time high (61 percent) — while a Quinnipiac poll of likely GOP voters found Jindal's support for the 2016 presidential nomination sitting at a firm 1 percent.

Below the cut: a sampling of social media reaction to Jindal's op-ed  ...


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Monday, March 16, 2015

New Orleans native Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, talks about his 40-year career in newspapers

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 10:04 PM

Dean Baquet (left), executive editor of The New York Times, was interviewed by WVUE-TV's Lee Zurik tonight at Loyola University. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • Dean Baquet (left), executive editor of The New York Times, was interviewed by WVUE-TV's Lee Zurik tonight at Loyola University.

Dean Baquet, the New Orleans native who rose from The New Orleans States-Item to become executive editor of The New York Times, was the speaker tonight at the 6th annual Ed Renwick Lecture Series at Loyola University, which packed the university's Nunemaker Hall with a crowd of students, faculty and a good number of local journalists, many of whom worked with Baquet at The Times-Picayune.

"My life is a story about what's wrong with New Orleans and what's so great about it," Baquet said, mentioning that he came up as the son of a Treme bar owner duriing a time when New Orleans largely was segregated. "I don't remember being outside Treme except when my father would go to the French Quarter to buy cigarettes for his bar. I don't recall going Uptown or any place beyond Canal Street when I was a teenager." (The current generation of the Baquet family owns Li'l Dizzy's Cafe in Treme, and Dean Baquet's brother, Terry Baquet, is a top editor at The Times-Picayune.)

Baquet, who has covered politicians from former Gov. Edwin Edwards to President Bill Clinton, said his first exposure to the world of politics came when he was a student at St. Augustine High School. Then-Gov. John McKeithen spoke to his class, which left a negative impression, but it was a speech by then-Mayor Moon Landrieu in the St. Aug schoolyard that stuck with him. 

He enrolled in New York's Columbia University and came home to New Orleans during his sophomore year, homesick. "I walked into the newsroom of the States-Item almost 40 years ago. I was lost, unsure, I was a sophomore at Columbia University with intense but scattered reading habits, making B's and C's."

He stayed, because "somewhere in there I picked up a relentless ambition that has pushed me to this day."

His biggest lesson? "Everyone has a story if you just listen and shut up."

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal meets the press — and it doesn't go well

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Gov. Bobby Jindal's appearance on Morning Joe  was the capper on a week of disastrous profiles, skeptical reporters and bad economic news. - SCREENCAP FROM MSNBC
  • SCREENCAP FROM MSNBC
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal's appearance on Morning Joe was the capper on a week of disastrous profiles, skeptical reporters and bad economic news.


When you’re running for president, you have to do a lot of things you’d rather not do. Tops on that list if you’re Bobby Jindal is talking to the press, something he’s been loath to do during his seven-plus years as Louisiana’s governor. Because Jindal is officially contemplating a run for president next year (in truth, he can’t wait to run), he met a room of skeptical reporters at a Washington, D.C., breakfast earlier this week to start rolling out his policy bona fides.

By all accounts, it did not go well.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New York Times: "The French Quarter has become something of a Jurassic Park for Creole cuisine"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 4:20 PM

Galatoire's, through a slightly blurry lens — which is the way you see Galatoire's after a couple of hours there. - CREATIVE COMMONS/BRADY FREQUENT TRAVELER AND EATER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/brady frequent traveler and eater
  • Galatoire's, through a slightly blurry lens — which is the way you see Galatoire's after a couple of hours there.

Pete Wells, food critic for The New York Times, has a good story today about the reinvention of Brennan's (with gorgeous photos by Gambit's own Cheryl Gerber). It's a really nice tracing of the history of the restaurant and the Brennan family itself, aimed at an out-of-town audience (imagine how tough that would be to do concisely) but then came this paragraph, which is sure to be discussed around the city:
The French Quarter has become something of a Jurassic Park for Creole cuisine, a contained area in which to see shrimp rémoulade, oysters Rockefeller and other giants of a former age in all their lumbering glory. At Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, Galatoire’s and Tujague’s, evolution stops at the kitchen door.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top stories and blog posts of 2014: What you really were interested in reading

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

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We know, we know — you want hard-hitting investigative stories, breaking news, City Hall probes, political scandals and all that.

And you got some of that this year, including Jeanie Riess' look at Uber in New Orleans, an omnibus issue about pot ("Louweedziana"), Clancy DuBos' reasons "Why Bobby Jindal Will Never, Ever Be President," our second installment of The New New Orleans (actually, you clicked on that a lot), Jules Bentley's polarizing first-person essay "Sober in New Orleans," Henrick Karoliszyn's look at the danger of black-market silicone implants, Kari Dequine Harden's followup on Honduran refugee children in New Orleans and Matt Brennan's two-part series on Louisiana film tax credits.

But what were the most clicked-on stories on Blog of New Orleans and Best of New Orleans?

Here's what you really were searching for and reading ...

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meet the man who is digitizing thousands of old New Orleans newspapers

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

One of many pages scanned and posted at  NOLADNA.com by Joseph Makkos, this depicts what the paper imagined fashion would look like in the 21st century. - NOLADNA.COM
  • NOLADNA.com
  • One of many pages scanned and posted at NOLADNA.com by Joseph Makkos, this depicts what the paper imagined fashion would look like in the 21st century.

Anyone who's ever tried going through The Times-Picayune's newspaper archive knows that it can be frustrating and often tedious. The archived papers look like they were scanned with technology from the 1970s, and the archive's search feature is often inconsistent and can lead you down a rabbit hole of inaccurate results. For those who are doing research or are just fans of history, it can be an ordeal.

Thankfully, there is Joseph Makkos.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Advocate publisher John Georges speaks at Loyola University on "Media Wars"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM

John Georges, publisher of The New Orleans Advocate, with Sonya Duhe, director of the Loyola University School of Mass Communication. Georges spoke on "Media Wars" in a talk at the university last night. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • John Georges, publisher of The New Orleans Advocate, with Sonya Duhe, director of the Loyola University School of Mass Communication. Georges spoke on "Media Wars" in a talk at the university last night.


Eighteen months after buying The Advocate and expanding the paper’s reach in New Orleans, publisher John Georges addressed a crowd of about 200 people at Loyola University’s School of Mass Communication last night. The talk was titled “Media Wars,” and Georges took more than a few swipes at his daily news competitor, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, but much of his speech was about how having a newspaper owner with no newspaper experience was a net asset rather than a debit.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Washington Post's list of scandalous Louisiana politicians forgets about David Duke

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

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So The Washington Post's political blog, The Fix, did a compendium this morning of disgraced Louisiana politicians ("Vance McAllister is part of a long line of scandalized Louisiana politicians. A VERY long line"), which stretched back to the 19th century.

It's a big list, encompassing everyone from Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno to Hippo Katz — but one obvious name was missing: that of former state Rep. David Duke. Writer Jaime Fuller did manage to squeeze in Duke's name, under an entry dedicated to former Gov. Mike Foster:

Republican Gov. Mike Foster spent $150,000 for a list of supporters of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and gubernatorial candidate David Duke. That sum of money is considerably above what such a list would normally go for, so many assumed Foster paid Duke — who ended up endorsing Foster — to stay out of the 1996 election. Foster also failed to report the payment on his tax forms. Foster quickly said he regretted buying the list, which he didn't even end up using. 
Fuller lists McAllister as "another data point in the argument that there must be something in the water there that makes politicians a magnet for bad behavior," but it's curious that Duke didn't qualify as one of those data points, given that the list stretched back far enough to include 19th-century Sen. John Slidell. 

A briefer take on McAllister was offered by the New York Post, which headlined its story in typical fashion: CONGRESSMAN BASHED BY KISS GAL'S HUBBY. It's no HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR, but it's good.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jeff Parish president John Young to headline annual Gridiron show

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM

John Young
  • John Young

John Young, president of Jefferson Parish, will headline this year's Gridiron, the annual satirical show put on by the Press Club of New Orleans.

The traditional format includes several Weekend Update-style news briefs read by local TV anchors (Travers Mackel, Rachel Wulff, Randi Rousseau, Katie Moore, Meg Gatto), some stand-up comedy and a roast of the headliner, who gets the last word and a chance to lambaste the press. In previous years, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas and City Councilwoman Stacy Head were among the headliners who got the chance to tell off journalists (often by name) in a public forum.

This year's Gridiron will be held Tuesday, April 1, at the Roux House (above Walk-On's at 1009 Poydras St.). Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40, which includes one drink and appetizers.

Proceeds benefit the Press Club's scholarship fund, which awards two $2,500 scholarships each year to Louisiana journalism students. 

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

The New York Times: New Orleans doesn't have kale

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Kale, a leafy green that does not exist in New Orleans. - CREATIVE COMMONS/LAUREL FAN
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/LAUREL FAN
  • Kale, a leafy green that does not exist in New Orleans.


(UPDATE: The @NOLAKale Twitter account has been suspended. The account didn't tweet anything offensive as far as I could tell and there didn't appear to be any sort of copyright infringement, so this is an odd development to say the least.)

So anyone who's been on Twitter recently may have noticed that #kalegate has been trending in New Orleans. Seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to be trending in New Orleans, right? I mean, who eats kale down here? NOBODY. At least, according to this cringe-inducing piece in The New York Times.

The article quotes Tara Elders, wife of Tremé actor Michiel Huisman, as saying "New Orleans is not cosmopolitan. There's no kale here." Shockingly enough, this isn't even the most ridiculous quote in this article (more on that later) but it has been the subject of much ridicule in the Twittersphere (EDIT: thanks to The Times-Picayune's Jarvis DeBerry), spawning the hashtag #kalegate and the Twitter handle @NOLAKale.

Here are some choice tweets spawned by #kalegate:




Written by "rock and roll and fashion" writer Lizzy Goodman, the entire premise of the article hinges on her fascination with transplants that moved to the city and what "seduced" them. What follows is an incredibly condescending and ridiculous series of anecdotes from transplants which frames New Orleans as some sort of mystical (but also dirty and poor and dangerous) playground for artists and bohemians and...well not much else.

Let's go through each patronizing quote one by one.

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