On NPR: "Jay-Z and Beyonce were kind of used as pawns to help the developers…"

July 21, 2013

I can’t tell you how trashy and disgusting hip hop and contemporary R&B culture appears to me. I never liked it and it never spoke to my soul

Thousands gathered in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Saturday to protest Stand Your Ground laws and to show support forTrayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager shot and killed last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who wasfound not guilty by a jury in his murder case July 13. And Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among them.

actually most people I talk to say few people showed up…

….from what I’ve heard of the gathering in NYC this is not true. People are starting to become embarrassed by this story and narrative. Most admit behind closed doors that Trayvon was not the dead icon they had hoped for….


(Atlantic Yards Report) OK, Jay-Z may be “bulletproof” in the music market, as some experts say, but some remember lingering taint from the role the hip-hip entrepreneur and cultural force played in the building of a certain Brooklyn arena.

From NPR, 7/19/13, Getting Real On Race After Zimmerman VerdictMARTIN: …But before we go, we do want to talk about Jay-Z’s album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” There’s new criticism – now people might remember that the singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte once said that Jay-Z and Beyonce need to take more social responsibility. Well, Jay-Z’s talking back on this album. I just want to play a short clip.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: I’m Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it’s time for our weekly visit to the barbershop, where the guys talk about what’s in the news and what’s on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week – our writer and culture critic Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Fernando Vila is the director of programming for Fusion. That’s a joint venture between ABC and Univision. He’s with us from Miami. Sportswriter and professor of journalism Kevin Blackistone is here in D.C. And also here in Washington this week – Mario Loyola. He’s normally with us from Austin, where he is with the National Review magazine and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

[I’m just trying to find common ground
‘fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down
Mr. Day O, major fail
Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now
Hublot homie, two door homie
You don’t know all the shit I do for the homies]

MARTIN: Oh, I had missed that lyric until you all pointed it out to me. Ouch, Kevin what are you saying? Is he overstepping? Is he giving his props to the elders? What’s up?

BLACKISTONE: Yeah, he’s overstepping. I mean, come on you can’t go after Harry Belafonte even though he went after you. Look, you are doing your thing, but we also know you don’t have the history and the narrative of Harry Belafonte. You know, you didn’t learn at the knee of Paul Robeson. You know, you didn’t write the check to get MLK out of the Birmingham jail. I mean, you didn’t do all of those sorts of things. You didn’t march on South Africa.

You know, you did “Big Pimpin,” which a lot of people would say is a misogynistic album, OK. I mean, it may be funky, but at the end – you know, you can look at the lyrics for yourself. And, you know – and most recently, with the whole Barclays Center up in Brooklyn, there’s a whole documentary out called “Battle of Brooklyn,” which shows how Jay-Z and Beyonce were kind of used as pawns to help the developers just steam roll over people in the Atlantic Yards neighborhood so that they could build that sparkling new arena there. So, you know, lay off of

Harry Belafonte.

It’s actually Battle for Brooklyn, but Blackistone gets the picture in a way many don’t.


#GayMarriage and the Dysfunctions of Modernity (Answering the Stupid Question: How will gays marrying affect your marriage?)

April 1, 2013
(Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan thought she scored some points when she demanded that the lawyer defending California’s Proposition 8 tell her the exact “harm” gay marriage would cause.) Of course, the point is that we don’t know how such a social experiment will turn out, or what specific “harm” will follow, no more than we know the benefits.Why would same-sex marriage, virtually unknown among human societies, be a “human right,” but polygamy, extensively documented in history and prevalent today all over the world, wouldn’t? Even the ancient Greek celebrator of homoerotic attraction, Plato, called sex between males “against nature.” No more scientifically based are the alleged “studies” that purport to show that children reared by gay couples suffer no adverse effects. As Nelson Lund writes in the Wall Street Journal, professional organizations like the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics claim that scientific research shows no differences between children growing up with gay couples and those raised by heterosexual parents, a claim parroted recently on NPR. But these studies are riddled with compromising flaws such as tiny nonrandom samples, a lack of control groups, and reliance on self-report from gay parents, no more an objective source of information than straight parents’ estimations of their parenting skills. Moreover, the most comprehensive study that did use a large randomized sample found several disadvantages for children raised in a household where parents were involved in a gay relationship. But as Lund reports, this study “has been vociferously attacked on methodological grounds by the same organizations that tout the value of politically congenial research that suffers from more severe methodological shortcomings.”(MORE)
Mothers Abuse Children 3 Times more than Dads – Federal HHS Statistics
(Answering the Stupid Question: how will gays marrying affect your marriage?)Nearly 40% of all births are to unmarried women. The rate in the Hispanic and Black communities is twice that. According to the CDC In 2007, 93% of births to 15–17 year-olds and 82% of births to 18–19 year-olds were nonmarital. Re-defining marriage by polygamy could absorb large numbers of unmarried single mothers. As men marry multiple times, providing male role models to millions of boys lacking that today.

Apple Factory Abuses Were an NPR job – MediaBias

March 17, 2012

NPR just admitted that the whole story was basically faked.

(This American Life) The response to the original episode, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” was significant. It quickly became the single most popular podcast in This American Life’s history, with 888,000 downloads (typically the number is 750,000) and 206,000 streams to date. After hearing the broadcast, listener Mark Shields started a petition calling for better working conditions for Apple’s Chinese workers, and soon delivered almost a quarter-million signatures to Apple.
The same month the episode aired, The New York Times ran a front-page investigative series about Apple’s overseas manufacturing, and there were news reports about Foxconn workers threatening group suicide in a protest over their treatment.
Faced with all this scrutiny of its manufacturing practices, Apple announced that for the first time it will allow an outside third party to audit working conditions at those factories and – for the first time ever – it released a list of its suppliers.

(pjmedia.com)This really ought to be more of a bombshell story than it has been so far. NPR’s nails-on-a-chalkboard radio magazine “This American Life” in January broadcast a devastating hit piece which exposed Apple as a brutal taskmaster overseeing near-slavery conditions in its Chinese factories. The piece led to innumerable follow-up stories in major media outlets bashing Apple as the new Snidely Whiplash of Capitalism. Liberal Web sites and groups collected signatures for anti-Apple petitions, started Apple boycotts, picketed Apple outlets…

How did Mike Daisey explain his mendacity? With one of the best non-apologies in the history of lying:

(This American Life)“I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard,” Daisey tells Schmitz and Glass. “My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism, and it’s not journalism. It’s theater.”

(pjmedia.com) Mr. Daisey’s explanation of his serial lying — “a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard” — and NPR’s eager willingness to embrace his story, could actually be applied to almost all liberal journalism these days. In fact, that’s what they teach in Journalism School now — “Advocacy Journalism,” in which the narrative (generally a sob story with capitalism as the villain) is more important than hewing to the facts. If the narrative and the facts aren’t aligned — go with the narrative.

The fact that Mr. Daisey tried, and almost succeeded, in taking down a major corporation with a pack of lies, which were then parroted by nearly every leftist in the nation, should be the journalistic scandal of the year.

But who controls the media? The same people who ran with Daisey’s narrative. Expect the story to sink like a stone.

…makes you think about what kind of credible journalism goes into a story about Israel… but the truth about that is out there as well when NPR got caught soliciting money for International News from Jihadist sources

NPR’s Jaffa Story Alleges Israeli Plot to Eradicate Arabs

November 21, 2011
(camera.org) Sheera Frenkel‘s Nov. 18 NPR news report charges Israel with a purported agenda “to have a purely Jewish state and to get rid of all Palestinians, the ones in the West Bank and in Israel,” as one of her main interviewees puts it. Frenkel bases her alarmist story on three cases of vandalism and the distortion of terminology, among other misrepresentations (“Attacks Target Palestinians in Israeli Towns”).

Host Renee Montagne introduces the broadcast:

In Israel, tensions are rising between the country’s Jews and the Palestinian Arab citizens, who make up about 20 percent of the population. Over the past few months, several Arab sites in Israel have been vandalized by militant Jews who’ve left graffiti such as Death to Arabs. Sheera Frankel reports.

Frenkel reports:

Over the last few months, there have been a series of attacks targeting Palestinians within Israel. In October, a mosque in the northern Arab village of Tuba Zangaria was torched and a Muslim cemetery [sic] was vandalized and tombstones smashed. At both sites, graffiti was found linking the attacks to Israeli settlers from the occupied West Bank.Avia says she came to the protest because she was shocked by what was happening. She speaks in English as she points out that many right-wing Israelis use different terms for Palestinians that live within Israel.

Avia: They don’t call them Palestinians. They call them Israeli Arabs. That’s their way to erase their Palestinian identity, okay, and kind of contain them within Israel. But the agenda is to have a purely Jewish state and to get rid of all Palestinians, the ones in the West Bank and in Israel. 

Misrepresentation of Terminology
Avia’s assertion, which Frenkel wholeheartedly accepts, that the term “Israeli Arab” is a derogatory term used by “right-wing Israelis” is patently absurd. In fact, a broad swath of Israel, as well as non-Israelis, use this accepted terminology. While in recent years some Israeli Arabs have in fact prefered the term “Palestinian,” and some members of the Israeli far-left (as well as, apparently, NPR as of late) have adopted this terminology, “Israeli Arabs” is most commonly in use. Even groups on the left, such as the New Israel Fund , refer to Arabs in Israel as Israeli Arabs. Moreover, Avia herself even signed a NIF petition which refers to Israel’s Arab population as Israeli Arabs. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which can hardly be considered right-wing, regularly uses the term Israeli Arab, and the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, mentioned in Frenkel’s broadcast as fighting against alleged racist practices in Jaffa, also uses that language. Outside of Israel, Al Jazeera apparently has no problem with the term, nor does NPR itself. (For example, Terry Gross and John Powers used the term on “Fresh Air,” Feb. 25, 2010, and Robert Siegel likewise referred to “Israeli Arabs” on Jan. 19, 2010, and on July 23, 2009). Are Ha’aretz, the New Israel Fund, Al Jazeera and NPR also guilty of being right-wing outfits bent on erasing Palestinian identity because they refer to “Israeli Arabs”?
Settlements Bogeyman Following the false “Israeli Arabs” bogeyman, Frenkel then raises the West Bank settlements bogeyman by misrepresenting the B’Emuna construction firm. She reports:

Avia says these kids of attacks are new in Jaffa, a coastal community hugging the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city. For years, Jews and Arabs coexisted here in relative peace. That was interrupted in early 2010, said Fatima Helewa, a local Palestinian activist.That’s when B’Emuna, a construction company that specializes in building subsidized homes for religious Jewish families in West Bank settlements, started building in Jaffa. Their first project was in the largely Palestinian neighborhood of Ajami.The Israeli Association for Civil Rights petitioned Israel’s high court against the building, claiming that B’Emuna’s openly stated policy of only providing apartments to Jews is racist. Israel’s high court ruled against them, and B’Emuna continues to build in Jaffa. (Emphasis added.)

But B’Emuna does not specialize “in building subsidized homes for religious Jewish families in West Bank settlements.” According to its Web site, the construction firm specializes “in the establishment of housing neighborhoods for the national religious public (Dati), all over the country.” (Emphasis added.) Of the five building sites featured as of press time on the firm’s Hebrew home page, three are within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries – Even Shmuel, Yokneam, Pardes Chana, and Tirosh. But Frenkel’s alarmist report, charging Israel with erasing the Palestinian identity and seeking to establish a purely Jewish state eradicated of Palestinians, piles on the hot button settlement issue as well, no matter its relevance or lack thereof. Heaping on to the tangled charges of racism, settlements, and the ultimate sin — Zionism itself, Frenkel quotes Fatima Helewa, “a local [ie Jaffa] Palestinian activist”: “Arab people, they ready to live with the Jews. We are living with them for years by years. It’s just Zionism (ph) made the Jewish people, the settlers, more and more racist.”
Exclusive Housing
A balanced report, as mandated by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, would have noted that it’s not just religious Zionist Jews who can look forward to ethnic-based housing in Jaffa. As reported by Ha’aretz on Feb. 28, 2011 :

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality is planning to build affordable housing exclusively for Jaffa’s Arab residents, in order to send the community a clear message that city hall supports it.Municipal officials have met with representatives of the Israel Lands Administration, the Housing and Construction Ministry and the attorney general several times in recent months.The city intends to build about 100 housing units on two Jaffa lots owned by the municipality and the ILA. It wants to condition their sale on the buyer being an Arab resident of Jaffa.

But government building exclusively for Arabs in Jaffa undercuts the narrative of racist Zionism seeking a purely Jewish state, so why mention it? (Of course, if you wanted to find a distinction between the two projects, you could. In the case of the B’Emuna project for religious Zionists, the construction is private, and that firm weighed in with the highest tender. In the case of the Arab-only building project, it is the Zionist municipal government which is footing the bill and the Zionist Israel Lands Administration which is providing the land. So, the two cases are not exactly equivalent. While the government funds Arab-only housing in Jaffa, it does not fund Jews-only housing.)
Three Acts of Vandalism
Beyond the distortion of the “Israeli Arab” terminology and the apparent racist crime of a Jews-only residential building in Jaffa, the remaining substance of Frenkel’s heated report on anti-Arab activity involve three cases of vandalism – the attack on the mosque in Tuba Zangaria, the graffiti in the Muslim and Christian cemetery, and the graffiti and apparent arson attempt of an Arab-owned Jaffa restaurant. Such acts, directed at a certain population, are deplorable hate crimes which warrant condemnation. Yet, in the case of the cemetery, it is not at all clear that the motive was nationalist. As reported by the Jerusalem Post:

The words “death to Russians – G.A. 02” were also spray-painted in the cemetery.Police said the incident was “linked to a soccer group,” and that they were not convinced it was carried out by right-wing elements.

Yet, Frenkel does not report that the circumstances behind the cemetery vandalism are unclear. Instead, she presents the questionable anti-Arab motive as fact. (The Muqata blogger points out that soccer-related graffiti, namely the word “Barcelona,” also appears at the vandalized restaurant.)
Moreover, it is inexcusable that a report specifically dealing with Arab-Jewish tensions in Jaffa ignored the molotov cocktail attack on the Rabbi Meir Ba’al Hanes synagogue which took place just one day after the cemetery vandalism. If vandalism of one sacred place in Jaffa is worthy of news coverage, then surely a violent attack of another sacred site in the very same city is also newsworthy. And, finally, it is worth noting, the attack on the Jaffa synagogue was not the only religious Jewish site targeted in Israel in recent months. On Nov. 6, several tombstones were smashed at the ancient Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Apparently, though, attacks, violent or otherwise, on Jewish sacred sites do not warrant mention at NPR
Official Reaction to the Vandalism
As mentioned above, NPR’s Frenkel quotes Israeli activist Avia as stating the Israel right-wing agenda, as evidenced by using the term “Israeli Arab,” and as demonstrated by the vandalism is “to have a purely Jewish state and to get rid of all Palestinians, the ones in the West Bank and in Israel.” And yet, Israel’s government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party, strongly denounced the attacks on the Arab sites. As Ha’aretz reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday decried the desecration of graves in Christian and Muslim cemeteries in Jaffa during Yom Kippur, saying that Israel is “not willing to tolerate vandalism, especially not the kind that would offend religious sensibilities.”“Israel shows tolerance for religious sentiments and a desire for peaceful coexistence without violence, but will show no tolerance for those who oppose it”, said Netanyahu during a cabinet meeting.

Ha’aretz added that others to condemn the attacks on the Arab sites included Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau, and President Shimon Peres. But, once again, the high-level condemnations of deplorable attacks such as the one on the Tuba Zangaria mosque does not fit with Frenkel’s narrative about a Zionist plot to drive out Palestinians, wherever they be. And so she ignores them.
Population Error
Finally, in a straightforward factual error, Frenkel refers to Tel Aviv as “Israel’s largest city.” With a population of 773,000 (as of 2009), Jerusalem is nearly double the size of Tel Aviv (population 403,700).

Another Public Radio Employee Canned for ‘Occupy’ Activism | #OWS

October 29, 2011
(News Busters) Another NPR freelancer has been fired for activism at an Occupy rally. On Gawker, Caitlin Curran laments she was canned from 20 hours a week producing for the public radio talk show The Takeway (co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in New York, and supported in part by the taxpayers through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Unlike Lisa Simeone, who served in a very official capacity as a public-relations flack for “Occupy DC,” Curran held up a sign in the Occupy Wall Street march in Times Square on October 15. The plan was for her husband to hold the sign, but she was also photographed with it and posted it to her personal Twitter account. It drew blog kudos – which was her undoing.
Her sign simply quoted Conor Friedersdorf: “It’s wrong to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn’t aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon.” Curran reveled in the little media storm it caused:
The next day, Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin posted the photo as the site’s Occupy Wall Street sign of the day, the post circulated around Tumblr, Friedersdorf himself saw it and wrote about it, as did Felix Salmon at Reuters, who called me “one of those protestors that photographers dream of” and the sign “true, and accurate, and touching, and grammatical, and far too long to be a slogan, and gloriously bereft of punctuation, and ending even more gloriously in a mildly archaic preposition.” I thought all of this could be fodder for an interesting segment on The Takeaway—a morning news program co-produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International—for which I had been working as a freelance web producer roughly 20 hours per week for the past seven months. I pitched the idea to producers on the show, in an e-mail.
The next day, The Takeaway’s general manager fired me over the phone, effective immediately. He was inconsolably angry, and said that I had violated every ethic of journalism, and that this should be a “teaching moment” for me in my career as a journalist. The segment I had pitched, of course, would not happen.
Ironically, the following day Marketplace did pretty much the exact segment  I thought would have been great on The Takeaway, with Kai Ryssdal discussing the sign and the Goldman Sachs deal it alluded to in terms that were far from neutral. Curran seems to have no idea that wanting to cause a wave of media reaction to her temporary sign-holding activism could look bad for NPR at congressional funding time. When asked on Twitter if she was an “occupier,” Curran replied, “I’m not sleeping in the park or anything, but yes, I support the movement.” She doesn’t understand how the public would object it’s unprofessionalfor her to be on one side of the protest microphone/camera lens, and then turn up on the other.
My thinking ran along the same lines as [Lisa] Simeone’s. It’s unclear to me how our participation, on our personal time, in a non-partisan movement warrants termination from our jobs. If the protest is so lacking, in terms of message and focus, then how can my involvement with it go against The Takeaway’s ethical policies? In other words, if I’m associated with a party-less movement (and barely associated, since that was only the second time I’ve attended an Occupy Wall Street event), and have never exercised bias in editing The Takeaway’s website, what’s the harm? On one hand, isn’t it great that, as Friedersdorf wrote, our “decentralized networked-era culture” makes a movement like this possible, and as Salmon wrote, “the sentiment behind Occupy Wall Street has resonated worldwide,” as a result. But on the other hand, we live in an age where I can carry a sign expressing a non-partisan, seemingly inarguable message at a peaceful protest, unknowingly have my photo taken and disseminated around the world, and subsequently be fired as a result, all within a matter of days. What are the implications of this for a democracy founded on free speech ideals? Are these “teaching moments” like mine going to dissuade people who have jobs they want to keep from expressing their opinions, however benign?
It’s disingenuous to argue the Occupy Wall Street protests are “nonpartisan,” as if they’re non-ideological. You can protest with a “party-less movement” and be incredibly political. Many causes — gun rights, abortion, even wars — can be asserted have “bipartisan” support, so opposition could be pitched as “party-less.” She knows she was being an advocate and making an argument. Having it be “seemingly inarguable” is beside the point. Does she know how many journalists refuse to wear flag pins or say the Pledge of Allegiance, which to many Americans is “seemingly inarguable”?
But it’s beyond disingenuous for Curran to say she “unknowingly” had her photo taken. Her own Gawker post explains she posted the picture on her own Twitter page, and hoped for it to be picked up everywhere.
Clearly, Curran wasn’t canned for having liberal opinions. Check out this liberal mind-meld with her then-employer on her Twitter page on October 9: “I think this is a great question. RT @The Takeaway: Columbus Day is a controversial federal holiday. Does he deserve a holiday, in your opin?”
She was canned for promoting herself as an activist instead of a journalist. Her only understandable confusion is that line gets awfully blurry in the liberal land of public radio.

I know I’ve been critical of #OWS, but I think NPR is actually wrong here and it shows you how petty and untrustable they are as an organization. Yes that means I disagree with Newsbusters as well. Look closer and read her sign and you see that she is stating an apolitical fact. I don’t endorse her personal views, but she is correct.  The behavior of many bankers were in fact unethical. My argument against her is that the system that was set up by liberals to encourage loans to the poor was the cause because you really can not legislate morality, however by stating the facts on her sign she really isn’t giving a political view. It is amusing that she has to lie about the context of the picture, because if she were brighter and better informed she might of known she isn’t actually breaking any journalism rule. This shows you two things. How incredibly unethical and paranoid NPR is as an entity, but it also shows how stupid their reporters are that they can’t even save their own skins by pointing out their obvious innocence.

NPR omits mentioning Koran in its report

June 4, 2011

House Votes to Defund NPR

March 18, 2011

The House just voted 236-181 to remove federal funding for National Public Radio via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.