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New Orleans Cops Indicted in Katrina Killing

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reporter Asks Who Else Knew of Man's "Incineration"

BP Stops News Crew From Walking on Public Beach

Networks to Carry Obama's Oval Office Address

Author Urges Obama to Be Realistic About Media

Andrew Langston, 83, Founded Rochester's WDKX

Women Lawmakers Get 13.5% of Sunday Talk Spots

Wil Haygood Gets a Star in His Native Columbus

5 Things to Know Before Dating a Journalist

Short Takes

A New Orleans resident found Henry Glover incinerated in a car just a few hundred feet from a police station in September 2005. Five current and former police officers were indicted.

Reporter Asks Who Else Knew of Man's "Incineration"

"Former New Orleans police Officer David Warren had claimed not to know if he hit anybody when he fired a shot with an assault rifle four days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall," the New Orleans Times-Picayune editorialized on Monday.

Henry Glover "Given Mr. Warren's award-winning marksmanship, his claim was never believable," it continued. "Friday federal prosecutors accused the former officer of needlessly killing Henry Glover.

"In announcing the indictments against Mr. Warren Friday, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten also announced indictments against two officers accused of setting Mr. Glover's body on fire and two other officers accused of obstructing the investigation into Mr. Glover's death. One can't read the indictments without feeling outrage over what was done to Mr. Glover."

As the New York Times noted, "The circumstances surrounding Mr. Glover's death were first reported in late 2008 in an article that was a collaboration by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute and the nonprofit investigative news service Pro Publica."

But on Friday, the key member of that collaboration, A.C. Thompson, wrote that the whole story has still not been told.

"When I began investigating the mysterious death of Henry Glover, one of the most notable aspects of the case was the lack of documents," Thompson wrote.

"Here was a New Orleans resident found incinerated in a car just a few hundred feet from a police station in September 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Yet there was no sign that anyone in authority had ever conducted any sort of investigation. The New Orleans Police Department told me in 2008 that they knew absolutely nothing about Glover's demise.

"Today's indictment suggests that was not true. The 11-count indictment accuses police officers of shooting Glover and torching his corpse, physically attacking his brother and another man, and then attempting to conceal it all.

"What's most striking about the charging documents is what they do not address: The extraordinary number of officers in the department who were likely aware of these events as they unfolded. . . . Numerous - possibly dozens - of other officers were likely present at the site of the alleged beatings."

The indictments are not the only legal action. "Charlene Green, the mother of Glover's child, filed a wrongful death suit this week on behalf of her teenaged son, Henry Glover Jr.," columnist Jarvis deBerry wrote Friday in the Times-Picayune. "The suit follows reporting done by The Times-Picayune and ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom that worked with this newspaper in an investigation of police shootings after Katrina."

And as the New York Times said, "The case is one of at least eight investigations into actions of the New Orleans Police Department being conducted by the federal government.

"Most of the investigations concern events in the chaotic days after the storm. The best known, concerning the shootings of civilians on the Danziger Bridge that left two dead and four wounded, resulted in five guilty pleas from current or former police officers.

"Last month, the Department of Justice announced that it would conduct a full-scale investigation into the patterns and practices of the police force, a step that usually results in a legally binding blueprint for wholesale reform.

"In a sign of just how grim the view of the police force is in New Orleans, the mayor himself formally solicited such a review, citing a need for 'systemic and transformational change.''

President Obama is flanked by Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, left, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in Gulfport, Miss., on Monday. (Credit: Chuck Kennedy/White House)

BP Stops News Crew From Walking on Public Beach

"Private security guards patrolling an oil-stained portion of Grand Isle attempted repeatedly to prevent a WDSU news crew from walking on a public beach and speaking with cleanup workers — a confrontation that followed a BP corporate promise not to interfere in such a manner," New Orleans station WDSU reported Friday from Grand Isle, La.

"It was the second day in a row WDSU News anchor Scott Walker was approached by hired security in the area.

"On Friday, he told the guards he intended to ask contracted clean-up crews about their efforts while workers were on their breaks. The guards told Walker he could not question the workers and was not allowed on the public beach.

"Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies eventually intervened and Walker asked a group of workers if they wanted to talk. The guards followed Walker to a tent where the workers had gathered and told them they didn't have to speak if they didn't want to.

"The workers declined to discuss their efforts."

Networks to Carry Obama's Oval Office Address

The major television networks plan to carry President Obama's first address from the Oval Office since the start of his presidency Tuesday, in which he discusses the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and his latest trip to the region, Kevin Allocca reported Monday for TVNewser.

Lester Holt, who is subbing for Brian Williams on "NBC Nightly News" this week, is to anchor NBC's coverage.

The speech of about 15 minutes is set for 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, hours before Obama meets with BP executives for the first time since the oil crisis began, according to CNN, which has blocked out an hour for its coverage.

Author Urges Obama to Be Realistic About Media

"Sometimes on the campaign plane, I would watch Obama venture back to make small talk with the press, discussing food at an event or something light," Maureen Dowd wrote Sunday in her New York Times column. "Then I would see him literally back away a few moments later as a blast of questions and flipcams hit him.

"But that’s the world we live in. It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the 'old Washington game' for his own communication failures.

" 'On health care, Obama told single-payer liberals that they had to deal with the world as it is, not as they wanted it to be,' said Jonathan Alter, the author of 'The Promise,' about Obama’s first year in office.

"'But he doesn’t take his own advice when it comes to the media. Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is. He’s holding out for the media world that he wants. But that will never be. That disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture is slowing his political reflexes. We’re seeing that in the oil spill. I don’t think it’s personal with him. It’s not that he despises reporters as human beings, like Nixon. He does scores of interviews and he doesn’t rage behind closed doors. But if he doesn’t make more concessions to Washington as it is, he’s going to hurt his presidency.'

"Now that Obama has been hit with negative press, he’s even more contemptuous. 'He’s never needed to woo the press,' says the NBC White House reporter Chuck Todd. 'He’s never really needed us.'

"So, as The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz writes, the more press-friendly, emotionally accessible, if gaffe-prone Biden has become 'the administration’s top on-air spokesman.' " Dowd wrote, referring to Vice President Joe Biden.

Andrew Langston, 83, Founded Rochester's WDKX

Andrew Langston"Andrew A. Langston founded Rochester's only African-American-owned radio station in Rochester in 1974. And from small beginnings, WDKX-FM (103.9) has become a power in the community for discussion and entertainment from a growing audience. Mr. Langston, who was chief executive officer of the station, died Thursday, according to station officials. He was 83," Jeffrey Blackwell wrote Saturday in the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.

"Shiera Coleman, vice president of broadcast for the Rochester Association of Black Journalists, worked for Langston as an intern and later on-air with the station's morning show.

" 'I had a lot of respect for him — to be able to create this business from the ground up and have it succeed for all these years when a lot of people didn't think that it would succeed,' she said.

" 'He overcame all the obstacles, and you know he was just a great man.'

"WDKX-FM (103.9) went on the air on April 6, 1974, with the initials of Frederick Douglass, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X — African-American leaders revered by Mr. Langston. And in the tradition of his heroes, the station has become a voice for the community and for young people."

The National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters gave Langston its "Pioneer in Broadcasting" award in 1990. Just as his peers did, he complained that ratings services did not count his audience properly and that white advertisers figured they could reach his listeners by buying time on white-owned stations that also played some black music. He told this writer then that WDKX was losing $2 million a year on such audience misreadings.    

Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy said, "During times when radio stations were being bought by major corporations, Mr. Langston held on to WDKX, which is now one of the few independently owned radio stations in the country."

Women Lawmakers Get 13.5% of Sunday Talk Spots

"According to research by American University’s Women & Politics Institute, female lawmakers have composed 13.5 percent of the total Sunday show appearances by all representatives and senators this year," Erika Lovley reported Sunday for Politico.

"The suggestion that the Sunday shows are less hospitable to women has prompted a debate over who’s to blame among network producers, Capitol Hill political operatives and women’s advocates.

"The shows’ producers . . . say some congressional women — Nancy Pelosi chief among them — do not help the cause by making themselves so difficult to book. Most producers say they try to recruit female lawmakers nearly every weekend but receive a steady stream of rejection slips."

In April 2009, David Bauder of the Associated Press reported that a black American had been on one of the four Sunday broadcast-television talk shows 40 times that year though April 12. During the same period two years earlier, there had been 25 appearances.

The low proportion of black participation helped lead to the creation of "Washington Watch With Roland Martin" on TV One.

"Wil Haygood’s on Broadway today," the Washington Post reporter said.

Wil Haygood Gets a Star in His Native Columbus

Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood, a native of Columbus, Ohio, who wrote about his family in "The Haygoods of Columbus," has become the first honoree on the Walk of Fame of his hometown's renovated Lincoln Theater.

In the Memorial Day ceremony, "Haygood reminded the crowd in his self-deprecating way that he had left Columbus for New York in hopes of becoming an actor. Even though he didn’t make it as a thespian, the treatment he received this afternoon was on par with a Tony," Felix Hoover wrote for YourNewsColumbus.com

“ 'Wil Haygood’s on Broadway today,' he said in his thank-you remarks."

Haygood is the author of a trilogy of biographies about Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

5 Things to Know Before Dating a Journalist

Are they prepared? Superman and Lois Lane"So, you’ve been eyeing that smart, attractive journalist you’re lucky enough to know personally. You’re intrigued. Your journalist is smart, funny, confident. Visions of Clark Kent taking off the glasses and ripping off his clothes to reveal a perfectly toned body in blue spandex coming to save you run through your head.

"Who can blame you? Journalism is a sexy occupation."

So starts a list making its way around the Internet of "5 things you should know before dating a journalist." The author is identified on such sites as True/Slant and LA Observed as San Diego journalist Tom Chambers.

"But journalists aren’t like the bimbos you usually pick up at the bar. Nor are they the assholes you ladies continually fall for. No, journalists are different beings (which is why you’re attracted to them in the first place), and you should realize — before jumping in — that this isn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill, boring, lame relationship you’re used to," it continues.

"Here’s what you need to know:

"1. We can figure things out. Understand, we’re paid to dig deep, find the secrets and wade through bullshit. We can pick up on subtleties, so what you think you are hiding from us won’t be hidden for long. Sure, we’ll act surprised when you eventually tell us you starred in German porn as a freshman in college — but we already knew." (Continued . . . )

Last month, Kevin Roderick published a female response on his LA Observed:

"Ophelia Chong replies with 'an opinion from the side that sits down.'

"On the flip side, dating a female journalist puts you in the limelight as the guy who couldn't tell the difference between a Philips or slotted head screwdriver, or hangs his underwear on the doorknobs. You are the guy who makes banging noises when you want to go eat while I finish a post, you are the guy who starts playing basketball with the dogs in the living room when I am trying to come up with the sweet killer finish.

"You are the guy across from me at the speed dating marathon pushing his At-Home Masseuse call in card across the table at me, but after I explain what I do, you quickly snatch the card away and tell me that I am good at lying with my eyes. You're the guy at the BBQ and as I look into your eyes I see flecks of Bombeck floating behind your retinas when I am trying to exude Amanpour.

"While men journalists think they are smarter than their dates, us women journalists let men think they have the upper hand, but in reality we are just hanging with you for writing fodder and a sweet killer finish."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Comments

Wil Haygood hooray!

Hooray for Wil!! He deserves it. I have loved his writing for years. Met him some years ago at an NABJ/WPost dinner in DC, and was totally impressed.

Cops Indicted in Katrina Killing

I find this story very strange, and I even remember that I have seen a film about cops that investigated the mysterious death of a teenager (she was apparently shot) and in the end it was found to be a mistake - someone who used his pistol accidently used it at a 45 degree angle (or something close) and, unfortunately it hit someone... but it was just a movie. fox news

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