Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Nightly frightly news
Ok, the news wasn't scary but watching it certainly was. We tuned in at dinner to The Nightly News with Brian Williams when a fire alarm went off, and not one in the house but in the offices of NBC News. Hats off to Mr. Williams for the professionalism to mostly deliver the news straight-faced without any irritation while a booming alarm sounded in the background. It stopped a couple of times, enough to keep us watching. It was irritating, but I kept watching to see how he handled it. And he handled it gracefully. And he reminded viewers it was them, not us, who was beeping. Initially, my family wondered what was going on.
His reputation is just about cemented, helped by this video, but Ndamukong Suh was lucky to get just a two-game suspension. It could have been four or five easily, and it should have been based on his initial denial and then lame first apology.
I've said before, usually to my daughters, that it's not crime but the (not coverup in this case) denial and refusal to apologize that most impacts people. If you get heated, angry and flip out for a minute, then immediately apologize, criticizing yourself more harshly than others, then people will immediately forgive.
Ultimately, though, this incident most reveals the patience of Coach Jim Schwartz, except I don't value this patience. He should have taken the bull by the horns and suspended him for three games and said that the team is first and with the team on the verge of winning, we don't need one player losing his head. If the coach wouldn't, then I think management should have.
Unless, they know how volatile he is and they know they have to appear to back him no matter what. Then the Lions are in trouble.
So, will the NBA actually start on the date that casual fans - or at least the national media - starts to pay attention annually? Yes, I'm thinking of the annual Christmas Day double- or triple-header.
According to reports, the players and owners have agreed to a deal that will allow for a 66-game season this year, starting on 12.25.11.
Good for them, though I haven't missed the NBA at all. Don't have time for it. I may have missed it, say, come June. Some of the playoff matchups are fun to watch.
But the league was smart enough to avoid labor trouble at the end of the year, forcing fans to miss a playoff, as both baseball and hockey did. The damage to both leagues was incredible, though baseball rebounded strongly with steroid-driven home run derbies.
Many fans turned their backs, though, and it seems impossible for a league's history to include DNP (labor) just like some leagues took time off for something truly monumental, such as World War II.
I think the true NBA fans will be quick to forgive and casual fans will not have noticed, so the negative feedback from fans will be minimal. There's going to be a champion and there's going to be a playoff, meaning all is just about as it should be.
The suspension should have been two games, after the stomping. However, with the lying and arrogance after the fact, it'll be easy to hand down a four- or five-game suspension.
Only in Detroit would anyone cry foul.
He should have apologized to his team and fans after the game. Doing so later on Facebook, after his denials, he should have apologized to the Packers and the player he stomped. He could have gotten away from the complete apology on Thursday afternoon, if he acknowledged what he did and admitted he cost his team. Now, the heat of the battle is gone and a day later calls for complete apology. But can he apologize for lying? I don't think we'll see that.
Ha. Only he and the 'man upstairs' knows what was in his head and whatever we think is wrong.
Sounds like crap an agent would come up with .... especially as he repeated the BS word for word.
Ndamukong Suh lied about the stomp, I presume. He's now apologized, kinda, it seems, on Facebook, something the earlier agent likely realized needed to be added to the mix. Reading the apology was difficult, with his presumed commitment to winning and being a professional, as he still couldn't admit to what he was apologizing for. Run for office, if you want to play games like that.
I like, as Lions fan, having a player who shakes things up, who takes a penalty when playing all out and tough. Hey, lots of championships have gone to jerks, cheaters and do-anything-to-winners. You want those guys on your team.
But having to listen to his garbage after the fact.... no, I'd rather listen to presidential candidates recalling paychecks, justifying sexual harassment payoffs and explaining away prior hiring of illegals. Getting thick in here!
But if Suh is going to keep losing his cool and costing his team, they have to decide if he's worth having around and if he's worth having to keep explaining away his actions and his troublesome recollections. And speaking for what the 'man upstairs' knows or doesn't know? Leave that to the Sunday morning preachers and focus on tackling quarterbacks.
Watching video from the University of California Davis demonstration that was highlighted by the seemingly thug officer dousing peaceful protesters with pepper spray shows that the students were exceedingly peaceful.
As soon as the pepper spraying ends, as the remaining video shows, the officers gathered in a circle as the students had become truly enraged, yelling, SHAME ON YOU. It's almost comical, these overdressed goons not incurring any violence, just a chant that rang so true. One officer smiled at a news cameraman, not relying on a helmet and face shield. He seemed to know his audience, his community.
However, the sprayer, Lt. John Pike, has now been targeted by the hacking group Anonymous, looks like a thug by spraying the pepper spray onto the sitting students, who made no move to escape or fight. They simply had arms linked. They had gathered, assembled peacefully, much as our Bill of Rights promises us the freedom, the right to do. Now Pike looks like the posterboy for police who do not represent the community they are supposed to protect. He looks like a hired goon.
In fact, if the police wanted the protest to continue, only expanded, then the police actions accomplished their goal. What kind of training tells an officer to shoot a chemical weapon at a sitting person when there is no violence occurring?
Other police agencies have refused to remove protesters, fearing accurately that they would cause more problems than they would solve, such as happened in Albany, NY. That seems like reasonable thinking: Why start a riot if I have a crowd out here not yet rioting?
At U-C Davis, first the officers, if you continue watching the video, realize they are outnumbered and they gather into a circle and walk backwards away. Still, no violence, even though they could accused of inciting it if it had occurred. Later, another protest occurred, this one bigger, louder and clearly calling for university heads. Heads should roll.
And if the police want these protests to expand, then they know what to do.
He deserved it, but I must say that if he was to lose to anyone, Curtis Granderson would be that man.
But what a season both men had - Justin Verlander dominating from the mound and Curtis Granderson, a favorite former Tiger, dominating from the batter's box for the New York Yankees.
Both were Tiger favorites, and Verlander's popularity has only grown with his successes and domination.
I thought the trading of Granderson was questionable, but seeing how he has blossomed, it was a good idea to trade him. Meanwhile, we wonder what will Verlander do next, two no-hitters in a season, consecutive no hitters, a perfect game. Playoff success? That's what we really want, but for now, we're happy he gets another trophy (considering we made the playoffs and won a series.)
I'm looking forward to the big story announcing the end of the NBA season.
Why? Not because I hate the NBA.
I like the occasional Pistons game. I like rooting either for or against Boston and always against the Lakers and now the Heat.
I enjoy the Pistons in playoff contention.
I don't like watching the slow-to-end games, the hype, the trash talk, the endlessness of the season. I swing back and forth when it comes to the entertainly annoying Mark Cuban.
But mostly, I'm hoping 2011-2012 is flushed so that we are further removed from both the NHL lockout and the MLB strike that cost the Indians a real shot at a World Series. People hated those two for so, as some fans can be so unforgiving.
The damage the NBA will do to itself will last for years, especially for fairweather fans who resent the fame and fortunes of so many of the jackasses who are talented hoopsters.
Plus, with no NBA season, no underclassmen from college will be in a hurry to leave. Now, if we could only legally pay the NCAA hoopsters....
So who benefited from the Sandusky, Penn State child sexual abuse scandal story?
I know that that judge in Texas who beat his daughter silly disappeared pretty quickly.
But my, that Sandusky story has legs, wheels in fact. That audio interview with Bob Costas was fascinating, especially the pauses and language used by the one-time defensive coordinator, trying to mix the truth with the omissions that will land him in prison for the rest of his life.
He touched their legs....but without sexual intent. He is passionate about young people, especially boys.
These are very carefully worded confessions, I feel.
I think he actually believes that he is normal and that his actions are only misunderstood.
I also must say I am in no way offended by Sandusky-inspired humor. I've heard of someone raising eyebrows by naming their bar trivia team "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky story." Funny.
SNL's bit on even the devil being offended was funny.
And somewhere, I think on Facebook, I saw a reference to Joe Paterno death watch. That's funny. You know how occasionally long time married grandparents will die one after the other, sometimes just days apart. Wonder how Paterno will live without football.
At least he won't be like Jon Gruden, annoying television viewers as another ex-coach thinking a second profession is easy.
I would like to see Oprah get Paterno in the hot seat, though. Not just to listen to but to watch him squirm.
It's the funniest five minutes of TV often, the one media-rich moment that gets the ultimate mock up treatment by the fine folks at "Saturday Night Live," perhaps the only reason the show is still on the air.
This week's moment was predicted, Gov. Rick Perry's meltdown.
Here's the video from Hulu as the SNL crew revisists the OU debate and Perry's memory.
Oh, and it's a good thing they had Perry's gaffe, as Joe Paterno and Penn State would have been a huge gamble to lead the show on Saturday night. The news segment was the best place to poke fun of this terrible story, and having the devil himself even offended is pretty darn funny(This is college football; not the Catholic Church). Also, nice, the devil getting his news from Ashton Kutcher's Twitter account.
Hey Matt, child sexual abuse has been going on for a long time. While you were in Detroit, hundreds or maybe thousands of children were molested in Michigan, often by a boyfriend or male figure brought into the home by the mother. Many times, the mother didn't want to acknowledge the problem for fear of losing a male figure and potential support. Nothing new here, except for laws changing on how to punish such offenders and how to present evidence to juries about these crimes.
Crying like he's just learned about this makes him seem more unlikeable, someone immune to life's problems because of a sheltered existence. Crying because it's finally arisen at his beloved Penn State makes him seem like a hypocrite, like now the rest of society's problems are staining my shirt.
I still dislike Millen for what he did to the Lions, mostly for his refusal to admit that he was the worst at his job. Hey, the losing is the owner's fault, but this clown couldn't own up to what he couldn't do. Still hate hearing his voice talk about football. And I'm sickened watching this guy cry like a baby. Grow up.
Perhaps Joe Paterno would still be planning next year's practices if he had come out earlier and said something. But the wagons were circled over the Penn State administration's inability to report a suspected pedophile to police.
The wagon circling didn't help the situation, especially due to the speculation that more boys had been assaulted due to the failure to notify, which is not just a policy problem but an actual crime. Others above Paterno are being charged, but he's the face of the department, and people aren't buying that he did enough just to pass a bit of information along about his own defensive coach.
Will this be how JoePa is remembered? Probably not, but it'll be a long lesson for anyone who thinks that institutional protection is stronger than a public demand for justice.
Now, I am reminded of another recent circling of the wagons over an allegation of hazing, which is nothing compared to the Penn State situation, except that a longtime popular coach is hoping a problem with go away without ramifications. Coming clean is always the best option, even if means stepping aside.
It's not a popular activity, I hope, but it is a popular story. On Saturday, the story about the reader reaction was the most-read on our website.
Reaction to that story included many in favor of reinstating the coach.
However, what is most interesting to me is the negative reaction to the coach comes not so much from our story but from hearing himself describe the situation as he begged for his job back. Listening to him, many people were turned off by what he said he knew and didn't know.
In the first days, most of the comments about the hazing in Walled Lake were negative, against the victim. Things said included criticism of today's man, how they are more wuss than man because of the elimination of bullying and hazing.
Well, now that readers have gotten a taste of the circled wagons in Walled Lake, the tone is changing. This is from Facebook today, and I must note that the part at the end about being man enough to accept responsibility brings me back to the team's head coach, who has been very silent about the issue. (I personally think a true leader in the head coach position would offer to resign but keep assistant coaches and players on the team. Kim is right about true accountability having a longer lasting impact.)
This hazing controversy at Walled Lake Western High School is very simple.
The entire thing started, according to the story as I've read and heard it, when someone reacted to an online posting of a video of the event.
The video was taken down.
A report was made to the police. The boy hazed hired a lawyer (very smart move; no one else is looking out for this guy's interest....absolutely no one in the district, that's for sure). Two assistant coaches were suspended or fired. Five players were suspended for just two games, allowing them back in time for the valued playoff run.
Now, we zip all over in the press and at a public meeting. Fake letters are sent out. Perhaps the boy is coerced into signing a letter. Perhaps some class warfare reveals itself. Wagons are circled. Denials are made. Mouths are zipped.
But here's what we know: A video exists.
Many people have said that nothing much happened and that this wasn't assaultive, hazing, bullying or even hurtful. It was just fun. It was consensual, some have said or hinted.
So, show the tape.
If it's not that bad, and if no crimes were committed, no rules broken, no policies violated: SHOW THE VIDEO.
But there's no video being shown. What's that tell me? That the video is of something assaultive, against the policy, violating of rules, and perhaps even criminal.
That's the only reason any evidence is hidden.
The players who supposedly did nothing wrong have the evidence to clear themselves.... unless they actually did something very wrong. Click here to read on this continuing story. Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear from the 'man' in charge of the program, the head coach. The silence is deafening.
The judge who savagely beat his daughter with a belt several years ago, when she was 16, says she has released the tape now on YouTube because he was to cut her off and take her car away.
He still beat her savagely. I say savagely because I have daughters and I can't imagine beating them, or anyone, like that. I've gotten mad at dog and have whacked its bottom, but even with him, a 100-lb lab, I couldn't beat it with a belt. I feel bad if I have to yell at him after he barks at people.
The beating is lengthy and filled hateful-sounding anger. There is no control to teach a lesson. It's a bully session, with the wife stepping in to back up the crazed papa, who fitting with Texas' reputation holds an elected position of respect.
And again, he says the tape is out because he cut her off. She kinda regrets releasing it. I don't care about any of that. The proof is in the pudding. And this tastes like crap. It's good to see how it really happens, and how some people - probably more than you or I would ever guess - have this sort of capability within their souls.
One other thing, this kind of violence.... sorta thing you hear about when it comes to hazing. Seeing a tape will show whether it's violent or overblown.
Today's top story is a simple one, a home invasion and robbery of an Oxford woman. The story is efficiently told by Carol Hopkins, who took a call from a reader who wanted share her experience as a crime victim. She and a friend were robbed by three men, one of whom pointed a gun at her and the friend. They took off with $2,000, plus a phone and computer. Gone was the feeling of safety and security. Gone was the rent money. Most often, these stories come straight from the police without the specifics and details from the victim. Today's story has been read nearly three times more than the second-ranked story, showing that readers are attracted to such reports. I look forward to the follow up on an arrest and later convictions.
I don't care about Kim Kardasian and I won't cover the marriage, divorce or anything not involving jail. However, someone notes that her marriage is barely half as long as the lock out of the NBA, speaking of another story that we don't need to hear about.
Stephen Frye is online editor at The Oakland Press, overseeing the OP Book Stop blog and Frye on the News.
He has covered the police and court beats for The Oakland Press before becoming the online editor. Look for his commentary on news coverage in general here with an eye towards judicial news, criminal cases and politics.