An under-discussed chilling effect on freedom of journalistic expression is the petty tyranny of media credentialing. It took me approximately five hours yesterday to retrieve my duly-assigned credential for the Democratic National Convention. Partly this was my own fault; journalists were instructed to arrive between 10am and 1pm to get their pass, and I showed… Continue reading I Had To Wait Five Hours To Get My Media Credential At The DNC
A few extraneous items that didn’t make it into my Salon piece on Gingrich’s campaign appearance in Staten Island this past weekend.
Yesterday I stopped by @OccupyNewark for the start of its encampment in Military Park. Police had informed demonstrators that the park’s 9pm curfew was going to be enforced, and that they’d “do whatever they had to do.” It should be noted that curfews are just about never enforced at this park, where homeless and mentally… Continue reading What Happened at Occupy Newark Last Night?
Longtime observers of NYPD tactics at events associated with Occupy Wall Street may recognize TARU officer Ray Rivera. Short for Technical Assistance Response Unit, TARU officers have been present at nearly every major Occupy event, wielding handheld camcorders to document all the action, and Rivera has always been at the fore.
If you had asked me to conjure up the most damning possible catastrophe for Penn State, and potentially for American sports culture writ large, I would have given you something much more tame than the monstrous child rape scandal that has already destroyed Coach Joe Paterno’s legacy. And this is only based on the Grand… Continue reading Joe Paterno and the Depravity of American Football Culture
If you’ve followed any “mainstream” media coverage of the Occupy movement, especially related to incidents involving police, it should be overwhelmingly obvious to you that just about every story follows the same basic formula: First, some event involving police takes place. Second, and seemingly within moments, reporters rush to the nearest police employee handling “Communications”… Continue reading Why is Media Coverage of Police Actions So Bad?
Over the course of reporting my story for The Nation on the NYPD’s Mounted Unit, I repeatedly attempted to contact the ASPCA — the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The APSCA has a “Humane Law Enforcement” division, which includes several members who were formerly part of the NYPD’s Mounted Unit. As… Continue reading Why Won’t the ASPCA Comment on the NYPD’s Cruel Treatment of Horses?
UPDATE: This individual has been identified as Lt. Dan Albano, a top lawyer in the NYPD Legal Affairs Bureau. I first encountered this NYPD official on October 8, near the perimeter of Washington Square Park. He was conferencing with a number of other plain-clothes officials, presumably in preparation for that day’s Occupy Wall Street march,… Continue reading Can you help identify this NYPD official? Update: Identified!
Wow — for so many reasons. Occupy Wall Street might be the most grassroots-oriented thing I’ve ever seen. Here’s a great, concise explanation from a commenter on my dispatch for Reason: Also: no, this is not the Tea Party. Some ways you can tell: no central core, no phone banks, no professional PR, no wall-to-wall… Continue reading Why is #OWS different than the Tea Party movement?
Another interesting nugget… When I asked Ron Paul if the planned internal NYPD probe would be sufficient to address widespread complaints about officers’ conduct during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, he said, “It should be controlled by the mayor of the city, who appoints the police commissioner.” As far as I can tell, Bloomberg has… Continue reading Something Else from Ron Paul re: Occupy Wall Street