Radio Show Begins 7th Season

In our opening round-up of

 Right wing activists (and according to BuzzFeed, a bunch of people on social media) have long claimed -- without proof -- that Obama is racist. But this unsupported accusation against his mother, Ann Dunham, is new. A conservative super PAC called Fight Bigotry claimed in August that Obama exhibited a "disturbing, yet crystal-clear pattern of tacitly defending black racism against white folks before and since being elected president."

More recently, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the topic of Obama's alleged racism. Limbaugh said on Sunday that the president "inspires racism" and is "not interested in unifying people."

lobbied and spoken and written in support of legislation to prevent gun violence. dddd

Pew Forum, Grief, Closure, and Forgiveness, Jeanne Bishop, http://features.pewforum.org/death-penalty/reader/27.html (Updated January 2, 2002)

A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty
January 25, 2002
The University of Chicago Divinity School
Swift Hall       1025 East 58th Street       Chicago, IL 60637

My sister Nancy Bishop Langert was murdered when she was 25 years old. She and her husband Richard were returning home from a restaurant the night before Palm Sunday, 1990. The killer, a local teenager with a criminal history, was waiting for them, gun pointed. He handcuffed Richard. Nancy, who was three months pregnant with what would have been her first child, begged for the life of her baby.

The killer forced Nancy and Richard into the basement. He shot Richard once through the back of the head, execution style. He turned the gun on Nancy. She protectively folded her arms across her pregnant belly, but he fired there anyway, twice. Then he left her to bleed to death. Blood and marks on her body revealed what Nancy did in her last moments: she tried unsuccessfully to crawl upstairs to the telephone. She banged on a metal shelf in a futile attempt to summon help. Finally, when she must have known she was dying, she dragged herself over to her husband's body and wrote in her own blood a heart symbol and the letter "u." Love you.

The killer was arrested six months later. Police found in his room the gun (which ballistics tests showed was the murder weapon), the burglary tools he used to break in, handcuffs, a trophy book of press clippings about the murders, his own poems about killing. Police learned he had even gone to Nancy and Richard's funeral.

A jury convicted him of the first degree murders of Nancy and Richard and of the intentional homicide of an unborn child. The court sentenced him to life without parole on all three charges. Because he was 16 at the time of the murders, he was ineligible for the death penalty in Illinois. After the judge sentenced him and the sheriffs took him away, my mother turned to me and said, "We'll never see him again." When we left the courtroom that day, a reporter asked us if we were disappointed that the killer didn't get the death penalty. That was the first time I had an opportunity to say what I've been saying ever since: No.

I thought a lot about this answer when I watched interviews with family members of the Oklahoma City victims after Timothy McVeigh was executed. Family members said they were dissatisfied. McVeigh hadn't suffered enough. He hadn't said he was sorry. And they hadn't gotten what they were promised by federal officials who had sought and carried out the execution: closure. Those family members were looking in the wrong place. First, there's no such thing as closure. Second, the death penalty is the most anti-victim response to murder imaginable.

"Closure", a neatly wrapped-up end to the horror and grief of murder, simply doesn't exist—nor perhaps should it. The most blatant perpetrators of this lie are death penalty proponents who promise executions that bring psychological resolution, even peace, to family members on a specific date. It doesn't happen this way. Grief, the culmination of sweet memories and the bitter loss of possibilities, lives on—and it should. The grief I felt after my sister's murder is not closed. It lives in me today, but differently. At first it was a grief that numbed, that paralyzed. Now it is a grief that energizes me to love more passionately, to share more generously, to live more fearlessly, to work to prevent the violence which could inflict on another family the suffering mine has endured.

You don't hold back love when you understand that people can be snatched from you at any moment. You don't waste time being afraid when you realize how short life is. Every day I've lived since Nancy's murder is one day she never got to have; now I try to live in a way that honors her and the God who gave the gift of life in the first place. Grief taught me this.

In the play "Shadowlands," C. S. Lewis, whose wife, Joy Gresham, is dying of terminal cancer, exclaims that the prospect of life without her is too painful to discuss. She answers, "The pain then is part of the happiness now. That's the deal." So it is with Nancy and me. The pain now is part of the happiness then, when she lived. The memories of Nancy's life and death, painful as they are, also bring tremendous joy. Why would I "close" that, even if I could? The notion that killing another human being, no matter how despicable his act, could somehow honor this grief, even heal it, is a lie.

It's a lie because the death penalty is, frankly, anti-victim. First, death inadequately punishes the killer. The most common proposition—a life for a life—is obscene. If all my sister's killer could give me in return for my loved ones was his own life, I would wholly reject it. His life is not enough for theirs; his death could not begin to pay for theirs. To suggest that the killer's death is equivalent to those of the victims insults their memory.

The death penalty is also anti-victim because it squanders the money and attention that should go to victims and wastes those resources on the killer. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent to execute Timothy McVeigh; countless more millions were spent publicizing the execution—and McVeigh. We are no safer now that he is dead rather than incarcerated for the rest of his life. But we are poorer. Money which could have paid for police officers, crime prevention, hospitals, damage restitution, counseling for victims and their families, and scholarships for victims' dependents went instead to death row personnel and security, lethal injection drugs and apparatus, court costs, media platforms, cameras, reporters, news trucks, ad nauseum.

The death penalty is anti-victim because it promises what it cannot deliver. It does not deter crime; it does not make us safer; it does not even punish (how does one punish a person who no longer exists?). Finally, the death penalty is anti-victim because it perpetuates the evil idea behind my sister's death: that one human being has the right to snuff out the life of another. Executing Nancy's killer would erase him from the earth. But the reality is that the death penalty does not limit blood shed but always fosters even more killing.

That grief can somehow be good and that killing to even the score is wrong are radical notions, particularly in light of September 11 and its aftermath. But Hannah Arendt , writing after the Holocaust , pointed out that forgiveness—not forgetting but refusing to be diminished to the level of murder-- is one of two human capacities which make it possible to alter the political future. The poet W. H. Auden wrote in the wake of the blitzkrieg of Poland that "We must love one another or die."

Forgiveness, love: these abilities are not fuzzy-headed idealism; they are pragmatic practices of extraordinary courage. Vengeance didn't work in South Africa or Northern Ireland. Forgiveness has. Vengeance has not worked in our criminal justice system. Beside the bloodshed of execution and leniency for murderers, there is a third way: punishment without violence. Life without the possibility of parole.

"We'll never see him again," my mother said that day. And it's proven to be true. We've been allowed to process our grief, day by day, year by year. We've been blessed to do this without another death on our hearts. My sister's killer will spend the rest of his life in prison. His life will be his punishment. And because he lives I can work to extend to him the forgiveness he has neither asked for nor deserves. Not for him, but for God, for Nancy and for myself.

Chicago Tribune, $41 Million Judgment By Jury In Biro Case, Convicted Murderer Barred From Profiting, Pamela Cytrynbaum, December 19, 1996|By , Tribune Staff Writer. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-12-19/news/9612190073_1_lee-bishop-million-judgment-ordeal
Though Nancy Langert's family won a $41 million judgment Wednesday against the man who killed her, the victory was a moral triumph, not a monetary one.

Convicted murderer David Biro is penniless and in prison. But suing him was the only way the Winnetka family could keep him from ever profiting from his crime.

"We'll never see a penny of it, but that was never the point," said Langert's sister, Jeanne Bishop, 37. "It helps, though. Before today, we always had to worry about him selling the rights or making some big movie deal. That was a horrible, raw wound that can now heal."

Biro was convicted of killing Langert and her husband, Richard, in their Winnetka townhouse in April 1990. At the time, Biro was a 16-year-old student at New Trier High School.

After more than two hours of deliberations and a three-day trial, the Cook County jury awarded Langert's two sisters and parents $2.5 million each and another $1 million to Lee Bishop, who found his slain daughter and son-in-law, and $30 million total to the family for the pain and suffering of Nancy Langert.

 

Former Congressman Bob Ney will discuss his new book, Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill. Ney, a Republican, served six terms in the House before the corruption scandal involving former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney spent 11 months in prison after pleading guilty to accepting gifts from Abramoff.

Ney, a native of the mountainous and heavily Democratic region on Ohio's border of West Virginia, represented Ohio's 18th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from 1995 until Nov. 3, 2006, when he resigned. Ney pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements. From 2001 to 2006, Ney was chairman of the House Administration Committee. As chair of that committee, he oversaw operations in the Capitol complex and was sometimes known as the "Mayor of Capitol Hill." In April 2009, Ney began "Bob Ney Radio Show," a talk show on West Virginia radio station WVLY (AM).

Ney describes a culture of greed, backstabbing, and corruption that eventually destroyed his career. Ney describes his rise through politics, his vulnerabilities, and lessons from his downfall for others.

Washington Update is a weekly radio series of live radio programs heard nationally on Fridays. Co-hosts are My Technology Lawyer (MTL) Radio network founder Scott Draughon, left, and Justice Integrity Project Executive Director Andrew Kreig. The shows seventh season is scheduled to begin in March 15 and continue each Friday at noon (ET). Featured guests are listed below. Visit the archive to hear guest interviews, and contact past and future guests with questions.

eanne Bishop kicks off the show's seventh season on March 22 by describing her work as a Chicago public defender and also as an opponent of gun proliferation, the death penalty, and excessive sentences. An adjunct law professor, she brings several unusual experiences to her work. Her sister and brother-in-law were murdered two decades ago by an unknown person in what became one of Chicago's leading murder mysteries in many years. Authorities leaked erroneous information and theories to the media for months on false trails. Meanwhile, Bishop resigned her job at one the nation's leading law firms to pursue a career in county's public defender office. She sought to weather the tragedy through her religious faith and by an enhanced commitment to human rights. Ultimately, her sister's killer was identified as a teenage thrill-killer from their suburb of Winnetka, and not the kind of street killer or assassin that authorities had suggested to the media as most likely. She and law professor Mark Osler, author of the 2009 book Jesus on Death Rowchallenge the death penalty based on religious principles. They have lectured in nine states on the topic. Their next appearances are March 26 and 28 in Boulder, CO and Austin, TX at churches, where they will undertake mock death penalty trials. Osler, a former federal prosecutor, teaches at University of St. Thomas Law School and leads the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools.

In February 2013, Bishop published a front-page Huffington Post column calling for more gun control following the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago child who had helped celebrate President Obama's inauguration just two weeks previous to her death. Her other efforts include drafting Illinois and national legislation to prevent gun violence. Her other two major projects are advocacy against the imposition of life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders, and against “over-sentencing” in drug cases.



Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights
89 South St, Suite 601, Boston MA 02111
 617-443-1102
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Treasurer of the Board of Directors, is the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who was shot to death along with her husband and their unborn child in 1990. Bishop has testified before Illinois the Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, and several state legislative committees. She appears in the death penalty documentaries The Innocent and Too Flawed To Fix. Along with her sister Jennifer, she received the Brigid Award from Concern Worldwide, honoring women who exemplify justice, generosity, and compassion in their work and daily lives. Bishop serves as assistant public defender in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender and is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law in the trial advocacy program. She is the author of several law review articles and op-ed pieces, serves on the Advisory Board of the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions, and volunteers for the gun violence prevention organizations Million Mom March and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

http://www.mvfhr.org/mvfhr-board-directors
 

Washington Update is a weekly radio series of live radio programs heard nationally on Fridays. Featured guests are listed below. Visit the archive to hear guest interviews, and contact past and future guests with questions.

 

 

Former Congressman Bob Ney will discuss his new book, Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill. Ney, a Republican, served six terms in the House before the corruption scandal involving former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney spent 11 months in prison after pleading guilty to accepting gifts from Abramoff. Ney, a native of the mountainous and heavily Democratic region on Ohio's border of West Virginia, represented Ohio's 18th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from 1995 until Nov. 3, 2006, when he resigned. Ney pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements. From 2001 to 2006, Ney was chairman of the House Administration Committee. As chair of that committee, he oversaw operations in the Capitol complex and was sometimes known as the "Mayor of Capitol Hill." In April 2009, Ney began "Bob Ney Radio Show," a talk show on West Virginia radio station WVLY (AM). Ney describes a culture of greed, backstabbing, and corruption that eventually destroyed his career. Ney describes his rise through politics, his vulnerabilities, and lessons from his downfall for others.

 

 

Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment
 
 

 

Editor's Recommendations

Institute for Political Economy, When Truth Is Suppressed Countries Die, Paul Craig Roberts, March 14, 2013. Over a decade during which the US economy was decimated by jobs offshoring, economists and other PR shills for offshoring corporations said that the US did not need the millions of lost manufacturing jobs and should be glad that the “dirty fingernail” jobs were gone. America, we were told, was moving upscale. As I consistently warned, the “high-wage service economy based on imagination and ingenuity” that Harvard professor and offshoring advocate Michael Porter promised us as our reward for giving up dirty fingernail jobs was a figment of Porter’s imagination. Now comes a study conducted by 20 MIT professors and their graduate students that concludes on the basis of the facts that “the loss of companies that can make things will end up in the loss of research than can invent them.”

Related News Coverage

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Upcloming radio show guest: Mark Osler, a law professor in Minnesota, will discuss on March 29 his book, essays and lectures citing a Christian basis for opposing on the the death penalty. He currently serves as the head of the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools. His book, Jesus on Death Row (Abingdon, 2009) challenges the death penalty based on the experience of Christ as a criminal defendant. Osler and Chicago public defender Jeanne Bishop have presented the sentencing trial of Jesus in nine states. Osler is a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minnesota, and a former federal prosecutor in Detroit from 1995 to 2000. He served as lead counsel in Spears v. United States, where the U.S. Supreme Court accepted his position that sentencing judges could categorically reject a 100:1 ratio between crack and powder cocaine in the federal sentencing guidelines. His work fighting overly harsh crack sentences was also portrayed in the film American Violet, where he was the basis for the character of Professor Joe Fisher. He has testified as a sentencing expert in Congress and before the U.S. Sentencing Commission. He has authored over 30 academic articles, and writes regularly for CNN, the Huffington Post, Sojourners, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He earned his law degree from Yale, where he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. Among his recent artcles are forthcoming chapters in a new book, "Victims: Transforming the Death Penalty Debate" and "Talking to Each Other in the Dark: The American Abolition Movement and The Christian Opportunity" (with Jeanne Bishop). These chapters will appear in Ashgate Press’s forthcoming volume, New Voices about Capital Punishment (2013).

http://www.opencongress.org/

http://opengovernment.org/Newseum, Open Government.org, Americans for Less Secrecy Conference: National Freedom of Information Day, March 15, 2013. Live webcast of this event begins at 8:30 a.m. http://www.newseum.org/programs/2013/0315-conference/national-freedom-of-information-day.html# The 15th annual National Freedom of Information Day conference held at the Newseum brought together groups concerned with freedom of information and open records, including FOI advocates, government officials, lawyers, librarians, journalists and educators. Held each year in part to commemorate the March 16th birth date of James Madison, the conference is conducted in partnership with the American Library Association, OpenTheGovernment.org, the Project on Government Oversight, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The event is also part of the annual Sunshine Week initiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The 2013 conference featured a keynote discussion with noted First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, subject of a new book by author and law professor Ronald L.K.Collins. In morning sessions, OpenTheGovernment.org presented its annual Sunshine Week examination of the state of openness in the federal government, focusing this year on outlook for President Barack Obama's second term.
 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

Above the Law, Attorney Jumps To Her Death Cradling Her Baby; The Baby Is Fine, Elie Mystal, March 15, 2013. A lawyer, Cynthia Wachenheim, on leave from the Manhattan Supreme Court, jumped to her death from a Harlem apartment with her 10-month-old son strapped to her body in an Ergo baby carrier. The baby survived. I know that society requires and expects me to use restraint or even show sympathy for suicide “victims.” But I just can’t muster the will to conform to social conventions in this case. This woman left behind a 13-page suicide note (of course a lawyer leaves a 13-page suicide note) explaining that she thought her baby had cerebral palsy based on internet research (doctors found nothing wrong with the child). When nobody believed her crazy rantings, her solution was to try to kill her own child — as if even an actual diagnosis of CP was worse than death.

Newseum, Open Government.org, Americans for Less Secrecy Conference: National Freedom of Information Day, March 15, 2013. Live webcast of this event begins at 8:30 a.m. http://www.newseum.org/programs/2013/0315-conference/national-freedom-of-information-day.html# The 15th annual National Freedom of Information Day conference held at the Newseum brought together groups concerned with freedom of information and open records, including FOI advocates, government officials, lawyers, librarians, journalists and educators. Held each year in part to commemorate the March 16th birth date of James Madison, the conference is conducted in partnership with the American Library Association, OpenTheGovernment.org, the Project on Government Oversight, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The event is also part of the annual Sunshine Week initiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The 2013 conference featured a keynote discussion with noted First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, subject of a new book by author and law professor Ronald L.K.Collins. In morning sessions, OpenTheGovernment.org presented its annual Sunshine Week examination of the state of openness in the federal government, focusing this year on outlook for President Barack Obama's second term.
 
Haaretz.com, Obama's Israeli Columbia classmates don't recall the young president, Judy Martz, March 15, 2013. President Obama, due in Israel for his first official visit next week, graduated college in 1983; yet, none of the 25 or so alumni of his class who are now living in Israel remember laying eyes on him.

New York Times, After the Flimflam, Paul Krugman, March 14, 2013. It has been a big week for budget documents. In fact, members of Congress have presented not one but two full-fledged, serious proposals for spending and taxes over the next decade. Before I get to that, however, let me talk briefly about the third proposal presented this week — the one that isn’t serious, that’s essentially a cruel joke. Way back in 2010, when everybody in Washington seemed determined to anoint Representative Paul Ryan, right, as the ultimate Serious, Honest Conservative, I pronounced him a flimflam man. Even then, his proposals were obviously fraudulent: huge cuts in aid to the poor, but even bigger tax cuts for the rich, with all the assertions of fiscal responsibility resting on claims that he would raise trillions of dollars by closing tax loopholes (which he refused to specify) and cutting discretionary spending (in ways he refused to specify). The good news is that Mr. Ryan’s thoroughly unconvincing policy-wonk act seems, finally, to have worn out its welcome. This time around, quite a few pundits and reporters have greeted his release with the derision it deserves.

FireDogLake, Targeted Killings & the Right to Know When Your Government Can Kill You, Kevin Gosztola, March 14, 2013. The notion that any presidential administration or Executive Branch agency can keep secret official interpretations of the law is indefensible. A few members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives understand this and are pushing to find out information about President Barack Obama’s targeted killing program that the public has a right to know. Senator Ron Wyden during CIA director John Brennan’s confirmation hearing. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, at a Sunshine Week event at George Washington University, declared, “Every American has a right to know when their government believes it has a right to kill them.”

Hartford Courant Alumni Association and Refugee Camp, Boobs Behind The Camera, Too, March 14, 2013. Fox CT’s coverage of Connecticut’s Women’s Day has gotten lots of notice for all the wrong reasons. Somehow two anchors managed not to gasp while reading a script that accompanied about 10 seconds of B-roll focused exclusively on women’s breasts. Twice. This TV station might be for sale, by the way; but who would want to buy it?

Huffington Post, Scott Prouty, Mitt Romney 47 Percent Filmmaker, Tells All (VIDEO), March 13, 2013. Scott Prouty, the Florida bartender who filmed Mitt Romney's infamous "47%" remarks at a Boca Raton fundraiser, joined HuffPost Live Thursday to open up on why and how he filmed the video that may have swayed the 2012 election. Prouty told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin and HuffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim that he was turned off by Romney from the moment he entered the fundraiser and demanded food, and added that he was disturbed by the way Romney accepted a Diet Coke from him at a previous gathering at the same Boca Raton home. He said he started filming immediately when Romney began speaking. "[The 47% comment] was so diametrically opposed to what he was saying in public that I just said, I can't let him get away with this," Prouty said, adding that he believes $50,000/plate fundraisers are "a shame." Prouty also discussed whether he would speak to Romney if they were to meet again (he wouldn't), why Romney's comments about a Chinese factory make him think the former candidate is "delusional" and why he believes Romney "will never, ever know what regular people go through on a regular basis."

Vice, Hugo Chavez and the Global Poverty Conspiracy, Greg Palast, March 14, 2013. Greg Palast is a New York Times bestselling author and fearless investigative journalist whose reports appear on BBC Television Newsnight and in The Guardian. Palast eats the rich and spits them out. Catch his reports and films at www.GregPalast.com, where you can also securely send him your documents marked, "confidential." London, February 2002. A tiny, dark and intense woman waited at the end of a lecture until I was alone, brought her face strangely close to mine and whispered, “President Chavez needs you. Right now. To Caracas. Right now. You must come to see him.” President Who? All I knew about this Hugo Chavez guy was that he was an Latin-American jefe, led a bungled coup and was filled with a lot of populist bullshit and a lot of oil. And I also knew that no one at BBC Newsnight was going to blow the budget for me to fly to South America to talk about a nation that 92 percent of our viewers couldn’t find on a map and wouldn’t want to.“

Huffington Post, '47 Percent' Filmmaker Once Saved Drowning Woman, Ryan Grim and Jason Cherkis, March 14, 2013. The bartender who put himself at risk to do his civic duty by exposing Mitt Romney's damning "47 percent" speech had found himself compelled by a similar heroic impulse seven years earlier. In 2005, the man was at work when he heard that a car had plunged into a nearby canal along Interstate 75. Realizing that he may need to cut the person out of the car, he quickly phoned a co-worker and asked him to bring a knife. The man dove into the canal and worked to free the woman, but was unable to. The co-worker and a bystander dove into the canal and handed the knife off to the videographer, who quickly cut the woman out and pulled her from the car. In an interview with The Huffington Post, the filmmaker recalled that everyone on the shore thought the woman in the car was dead when he arrived, but he jumped in anyway. "It had to be done," he said. "It was kind of fun for me. I remember being underwater smiling and saying, 'This is going to work out. This is going to be fine.'" The story would be difficult to believe if it weren't for the public recognition he received at the time. The towns of Davie and Weston, Fla., both publicly congratulated all three for their effort to save the woman -- an effort that, stunningly, succeeded. The future videographer said the incident taught him something. "I did it because I could," he explained. "It did teach me a lesson: to jump in when you can."
    
Think Progress, Cable News Obsessively Covers Cuts To White House Tours, Virtually Ignores Cuts To Programs For The Poor, Aviva Shen and Adam Peck, March 14, 2013. Thanks to Congressional gridlock, automatic budget cuts took effect 14 days ago, threatening 700,000 jobs and gutting funds for vital programs in housing assistance, early childhood education, disaster relief, and national security. Secret Service staffing was also impacted, prompting the cancellation of White House tours last week. Republicans immediately attacked the decision as a political move designed to turn the public against the sequester and 14 Republican senators signed a letter demanding information. The media has also latched on to preserve the White House tours, while largely ignoring other much more devastating sequester cuts. As Ari Melber of The Nation pointed out on Wednesday, there are 12,000 news stories concerning White House tours and less than 1,000 about the sequester’s impact on housing assistance programs, which disproportionately affect low-income Americans. ThinkProgress examined this trend on three major cable news networks — Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC — since March 6. White House tours were mentioned 33 times as often (Fox News had 163 segments, CNN had 59, and MSNBC had 42) as mentions of other sequester impacts hitting the poor. Any discussion of sequestration’s steep cuts to housing assistance, food stamps, and Head Start early education was virtually nonexistent on all 3 networks in the same time frame. Fox News mentioned Head Start three times, ignoring housing and food stamps entirely; MSNBC mentioned Head Start 4 times, food stamps once, and did not cover housing assistance cuts at all.

Atlantic, How Americans Lost the Right to Counsel, 50 Years After 'Gideon,' Andrew Cohen, March 13, 2013. You have a right to an attorney in a criminal case, even if you cannot afford one. The Supreme Court said so half a century ago. But today that precious right is systematically ignored or undermined. Next Monday, America will quietly mark one of the most profound anniversaries in its legal history. Exactly 50 years ago, on March 18, 1963, the United States Supreme Court unanimously announced in Gideon v. Wainwright that the Sixth Amendment guarantees to every criminal defendant in a felony trial the right to a lawyer. "Reason and reflection," Justice Hugo Black wrote, "require us to recognize that, in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided to him."

New York Post, DC probes NYU loan arranges, funnelled millions to execs, Geoff Earle and James Covert, March 16, 2013. Senate investigators may be done with Jack Lew, who’s already settling in to his job as treasury secretary — but now they’re training their sights on NYU, demanding the school cough up details on controversial loans and other fat compensation it gave to dozens of other top execs and faculty as well as Lew, left, The Post has learned. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wants NYU to hand over documents for loans and other perks going back more than a decade, including terms of the cushy packages and how they were calculated. In confirmation hearings last month, Grassley grilled Lew on the $1.4 million loan he got from NYU on top of his more than $800,000 salary in a five-year stint as a top executive that ended in 2006.  In an e-mail last week, NYU exec Martin Dorph told school officials that NYU and its law school currently have outstanding loans to 168 people, for
a total of $72 million in loans floated by the university.Now Grassley wants to look into these financial arrangements at the tax-exempt university that receives millions of dollars in federal funds.

Haaretz.com, Obama's Israeli Columbia classmates don't recall the young president, Judy Martz, March 15, 2013. President Obama, due in Israel for his first official visit next week, graduated college in 1983; yet, none of the 25 or so alumni of his class who are now living in Israel remember laying eyes on him.

New York Times, After the Flimflam, Paul Krugman, March 14, 2013. It has been a big week for budget documents. In fact, members of Congress have presented not one but two full-fledged, serious proposals for spending and taxes over the next decade. Before I get to that, however, let me talk briefly about the third proposal presented this week — the one that isn’t serious, that’s essentially a cruel joke. Way back in 2010, when everybody in Washington seemed determined to anoint Representative Paul Ryan, right, as the ultimate Serious, Honest Conservative, I pronounced him a flimflam man. Even then, his proposals were obviously fraudulent: huge cuts in aid to the poor, but even bigger tax cuts for the rich, with all the assertions of fiscal responsibility resting on claims that he would raise trillions of dollars by closing tax loopholes (which he refused to specify) and cutting discretionary spending (in ways he refused to specify). The good news is that Mr. Ryan’s thoroughly unconvincing policy-wonk act seems, finally, to have worn out its welcome. This time around, quite a few pundits and reporters have greeted his release with the derision it deserves.

Hartford Courant Alumni Association and Refugee Camp, Boobs Behind The Camera, Too, March 14, 2013. Fox CT’s coverage of Connecticut’s Women’s Day has gotten lots of notice for all the wrong reasons. Somehow two anchors managed not to gasp while reading a script that accompanied about 10 seconds of B-roll focused exclusively on women’s breasts. Twice. This TV station might be for sale, by the way; but who would want to buy it?

Huffington Post, Scott Prouty, Mitt Romney 47 Percent Filmmaker, Tells All (VIDEO), March 13, 2013. Scott Prouty, the Florida bartender who filmed Mitt Romney's infamous "47%" remarks at a Boca Raton fundraiser, joined HuffPost Live Thursday to open up on why and how he filmed the video that may have swayed the 2012 election. Prouty told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin and HuffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim that he was turned off by Romney from the moment he entered the fundraiser and demanded food, and added that he was disturbed by the way Romney accepted a Diet Coke from him at a previous gathering at the same Boca Raton home. He said he started filming immediately when Romney began speaking. "[The 47% comment] was so diametrically opposed to what he was saying in public that I just said, I can't let him get away with this," Prouty said, adding that he believes $50,000/plate fundraisers are "a shame." Prouty also discussed whether he would speak to Romney if they were to meet again (he wouldn't), why Romney's comments about a Chinese factory make him think the former candidate is "delusional" and why he believes Romney "will never, ever know what regular people go through on a regular basis."

Huffington Post, '47 Percent' Filmmaker Once Saved Drowning Woman, Ryan Grim and Jason Cherkis, March 14, 2013. The bartender who put himself at risk to do his civic duty by exposing Mitt Romney's damning "47 percent" speech had found himself compelled by a similar heroic impulse seven years earlier. In 2005, the man was at work when he heard that a car had plunged into a nearby canal along Interstate 75. Realizing that he may need to cut the person out of the car, he quickly phoned a co-worker and asked him to bring a knife. The man dove into the canal and worked to free the woman, but was unable to. The co-worker and a bystander dove into the canal and handed the knife off to the videographer, who quickly cut the woman out and pulled her from the car. In an interview with The Huffington Post, the filmmaker recalled that everyone on the shore thought the woman in the car was dead when he arrived, but he jumped in anyway. "It had to be done," he said. "It was kind of fun for me. I remember being underwater smiling and saying, 'This is going to work out. This is going to be fine.'" The story would be difficult to believe if it weren't for the public recognition he received at the time. The towns of Davie and Weston, Fla., both publicly congratulated all three for their effort to save the woman -- an effort that, stunningly, succeeded. The future videographer said the incident taught him something. "I did it because I could," he explained. "It did teach me a lesson: to jump in when you can."
    
Think Progress, Cable News Obsessively Covers Cuts To White House Tours, Virtually Ignores Cuts To Programs For The Poor, Aviva Shen and Adam Peck, March 14, 2013. Thanks to Congressional gridlock, automatic budget cuts took effect 14 days ago, threatening 700,000 jobs and gutting funds for vital programs in housing assistance, early childhood education, disaster relief, and national security. Secret Service staffing was also impacted, prompting the cancellation of White House tours last week. Republicans immediately attacked the decision as a political move designed to turn the public against the sequester and 14 Republican senators signed a letter demanding information. The media has also latched on to preserve the White House tours, while largely ignoring other much more devastating sequester cuts. As Ari Melber of The Nation pointed out on Wednesday, there are 12,000 news stories concerning White House tours and less than 1,000 about the sequester’s impact on housing assistance programs, which disproportionately affect low-income Americans. ThinkProgress examined this trend on three major cable news networks — Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC — since March 6. White House tours were mentioned 33 times as often (Fox News had 163 segments, CNN had 59, and MSNBC had 42) as mentions of other sequester impacts hitting the poor. Any discussion of sequestration’s steep cuts to housing assistance, food stamps, and Head Start early education was virtually nonexistent on all 3 networks in the same time frame. Fox News mentioned Head Start three times, ignoring housing and food stamps entirely; MSNBC mentioned Head Start 4 times, food stamps once, and did not cover housing assistance cuts at all.

 

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