Thursday, July 30, 2009

CNN Headline Writers Apparently Confused

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 6:35 PM

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In the ongoing and heated debate about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home, many people have weighed in on the issues of racial prejudice, racial profiling, police procedure and civil liberties. Gates, arresting officer James Crowley and President Obama are discussing the incident over beer this evening at the White House.


One of the people who weighed in on the matter is a Boston police officer, who in a mass email used the term “jungle monkey” four times – three times referring to Gates and one time referring to a Boston Globe columnist’s opinions about the issue. The officer, Justin Barrett, says he is not racist. (He also said in the email that he would have used pepper spray on Gates if her were in Crowley’s situation. He also attacks Gates, saying the academic has done nothing for Barrett's family or for military veterans.)


It’s disappointing that a police officer could repeatedly use the term “jungle monkey” and not see it as racially biased. But one has to wonder how the journalists at CNN can - in the theoretical interest of what? Fairness? Balance? Accuracy? – find any use of the term in reference to a black man that is not racist. 

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Thursday afternoon news dump

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 6:21 PM


• The Smoking Gun has now obtained the police report of Stormy Daniels' arrest, complete with mugshot:

In a setback to her nascent U.S. Senate campaign, porn star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) was arrested Saturday afternoon for domestic violence after she allegedly battered her husband because she was "upset because the way the laundry had been done."


• As Gov. Bobby Jindal hits the fundraising trail again (hello, Destin, Fla.!), The Old River Road updates its "Where's Bobby?" map ...

That ginormous beehive in the French Quarter? Score bees 1, beekeepers and reporters 0 ...

• 2009 Krewe of Orpheus rider Joan Rivers has a new cable show, How'd You Get So Rich?, and some of the first episodes will feature Blaine Kern, Ronnie Lamarque, and the guy who invented Boudreaux's Butt Paste. She was plugging the show at the annual Television Critics' summer press tour when she dropped this nugget:

Meanwhile, Joan Rivers hopes Leno bombs at 10.

Rivers showed up at the tour to pitch her new TV Land show, "How'd You Get So Rich?" But naturally some critic asked her what she thought of the whole Leno/O'Brien switcheroo.

In case you've been living under a flat rock, Rivers had been the permanent "Tonight Show" guest host for years in the '80s, but left to go to Fox when she learned she was not on the short list to replace Johnny Carson as permanent "Tonight" host. Leno got that gig.

"I think it's brilliant that Leno is at 10 p.m., because America can get bored more easily and go to sleep earlier," Rivers snarked.

• ... and, after three hours of judges' instructions, the federal jury in Alexandria, Va. is finally settling in to decide the fate of former Rep. William Jefferson. We asked Clancy DuBos for the over-under on Jefferson's prospects, and he said this in an email:

Not less than 4 hours, in my opinion, because I think it will be a compromise verdict...I think he will be convicted on at least 4 to 6 counts, and hung or acquitted on the rest. A conviction on even one is devastating.

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NOFD: Stormy Daniels' aide's car did not explode

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 4:40 AM

EDIT, 07/30/09, 11 AM - Walsh has emailed Gambit to point out that Talking Points Memo has amended its original story, at his request, to omit the sentence "Brian Welsh's story isn't quite adding up." The revised version of the story can be found here, and Welsh has agreed to a phone interview later today to discuss the matter.

Talking Points Memo tonight reports that the car belonging to Brian Welsh, aide to putative/possible Senate candidate Stormy Daniels, did not "explode," as had been reported earlier, but was simply a car fire:

Brian Welsh's story isn't quite adding up. He keeps describing the incident as an "explosion" that lifted the car's roof five stories in the air -- which differs from what the New Orleans Fire Department has told us.

"It was a fire. The car didn't explode," said Public Information Officer Jonathan Pajeaud. An arson investigation is underway and foul play hasn't been ruled out. But, Pajeaud said, Welsh told firefighters he'd recently gotten electrical work done on his 1996 Audi, and investigators are also looking into that as a possible cause.

Welsh told a local TV news station that police told him they'd never seen anything like it.

But, Pajeaud said, "Car fires here are very common."

He added that investigators, on average, have a preliminary report in about two weeks. Pajeaud said that, for now, the investigation is being handled solely by the fire department and not by police. The police department has not responded to our questions.

(Gambit also tried to get a copy of the police report earlier, without success. We have a request in with the NOPD.)

Welsh responded to TPM:

Welsh just called us back and said that, while the electrical work -- a replaced fuse -- was his first thought as to the cause, the surveillance tapes convinced him otherwise.

We also asked him why, if he didn't want to say that it was a political opponent who caused the fire, he posted the videos on YouTube in the first place?

"If somebody is (trying to send a message) then I believe the most important thing I can do is to make sure people saw that," Welsh said. "If anybody was trying to do that, they would think twice about doing something in the future. You can't be quiet about something and wait for it to happen in the future."

This hasn't kept Welsh and "Team Stormy" from trying to capitalize on the incident, with links to the surveillance footage of the fire posted on YouTube and this statement on Twitter stating the car had been "tampered with" and "blown up":


Unmentioned on the Twitter page is Daniels' arrest on Saturday night in Tampa, Fla., on misdemeanor domestic abuse charges stemming from a fight with her husband, adult-film publicist Mike Moz.

None of this seems to have put a crimp in Ms. Daniels' busy schedule; since the arrest, she's completed principal photography on her latest opus, Sex, Lies and Spies, and is scheduled to begin a new film tomorrow.

As for her plans to challenge Sen. David Vitter in the 2010 Senate election, Daniels is still officially undecided. Too bad the grainy surveillance footage of the car-go-boom isn't of high enough quality to appear in Sex, Lies and Spies.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:53 PM

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    The Make It Right Foundation's third volunteer event is this Saturday, Aug. 1. Anyone can come to volunteer (just wear proper shoes and sunscreen) and meet on the 1700 block of Tennessee Street in the Lower 9th Ward at 9 a.m. Volunteers will be sodding and landscaping three sites and planting trees on Forstall Street. The volunteering ends at 1 p.m. And hey, maybe Brad Pitt will show up. Babytrain in tow.
  • In this week's Green Matters, Noah Bonaparte Pais ponders "green" iPhone apps, that is, iPhone applications that provide a virtual, pocket-sized guide to sustainabile living (apart from securing an iPhone in the first place). Here's Grist's comprehensive list of "green" apps.
  • Also in Green Matters this week, we name-dropped a few companies experimenting with hydrokinetic turbines in river systems in "AC/Dixie." Learn more about what Free Flow Power (and here, too) and Hydro Green are up to in the Mississippi River.

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Crescent City Brewhouse Beer Dinner

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Crescent City Brewhouse is holding its 15th annual brewmaster's dinner Thursday evening (7 p.m.-10 p.m.). The meal pairs each course with the brewpub's German-style beers. Full menu after the jump. Call 522-3901 for reservations.

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Makeup Mixer: All About Eyes

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

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On Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., The Makeup Lab Artistry (843 Carondelet, Studio 4, 666–3795, 982-0289) will host their All About Eyes Makeup Mixer. The mixer will feature step-by-step tutorials on applying eye makeup. You will learn how to create a smokey eye, how to conceal dark circles, how to apply false lashes and more. So whether you’re an old pro or a newbie, this is the perfect opportunity to polish up your makeup skills and meet other makeup-loving locals. The sessions are $75 per person, per session. You must reserve your seat in advance and hurry because space is limited.  

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Wednesday morning news dump

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Stormy Daniels was arrested over the weekend on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

• The former head of the Louisiana Film Commission is headed to the pokey after pleading guilty to accepting bribes.

• Democrats are outraising Republicans in Congressional swing districts. Notes Real Clear Politics:

Perhaps the most obvious Republican district on Democrats' wish list is in New Orleans, where Joseph Cao gave the GOP one of its few bright spots of 2008 by defeating the ethically-challenged Bill Jefferson in a heavily Democratic district. Cao has raised more than $500,000 this year, however, and has proven his independence on the House floor.

• A new production of A Streetcar Named Desire has opened in London, featuring Rachel Weisz as Blanche DuBois. Mixed reviews, but mostly positive.

• Thirsty? Poppy Z. Brite offers up a recipe for "The Sadist's Sazerac."

• Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden makes another high-profile hire for the Huffington Post. Notes Gawker:

The Huffington Post just hired another VIP's child, this one the son of White House senior adviser David Axelrod. Funny how a website famous for not paying bloggers finds room on the payroll for an undistinguished corps of rich kids.

• The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau has been cited for its innovative use of Twitter.

• And speaking of Twitter: we got into a vigorous discussion last night about the merits (or lack thereof) of the White House press corps with ABC News' Jake Tapper.

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Do Not Buy a Bridge From Drew Brees' Mom

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Deadspin caught this odd item in the Houston Chronicle about Drew Brees' mother, who he is apparently estranged from, trying to sell restaurants the rights to their own business names. The Saints quarterback has also had to confront her about using his name in her political campaigns. Apparently, Mina Brees is one of the people trying to keep Austin weird.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Barnyard Propaganda

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Food, Inc. is a one-sided, biased film that the creators claim will “lift the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer." Unfortunately, Food, Inc. is counter-productive to the serious dialogue surrounding the critical topic of our nation’s food supply.

Or so says food-production giant and Food, Inc. target Monsanto on its Web site devoted specifically to debating the documentary. Its talking points include:

Throughout this film, Food, Inc.:

  • Demonizes American farmers and the agriculture system responsible for feeding over 300 million people in the United States.
  • Presents an unrealistic view of how to feed a growing nation while ignoring the practical demands of the American consumer and the fundamental needs of consumers around the world.
  • Disregards the fact that multiple agriculture systems should – and do – coexist.

Any factual errors in Food, Inc. regarding other companies are best addressed by those organizations themselves. It is our responsibility to set the record straight on the film’s portrayal of Monsanto.

But perhaps the Monsanto author here saw a much different film.

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A Benevolent Sunday Brunch

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 7:22 PM

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Each year, chefs and restaurateurs around the country take part in a benefit called Taste of the Nation, organized by Share Our Strength and billed as America's largest fund-raiser for efforts to end childhood hunger.

Once again, New Orleans will host its own version, in the form of a jazz brunch on Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Red Fish Grill.

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