Blogs > Frye on the News

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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Milford High School makes the

They made it.

YouTube was not enough for the Milford High School students who wanted their own 'Harlem Shake' video to go viral. It's kinda viral, up to 99,000 views as of 11:27 a.m. today, Tuesday, pre-snowstorm, 2013.

But today, they are also nationwide, hitting the front page of the, where the head proclaims:

"Simulated oral sex, an Obama mask and a live bird! See the R-rated 'Harlem Shake' routine that got 30 high school students suspended"

They did not mention the bulge!

The story goes on to detail, however, a second video, which had "racially insensitive portions." Wonder how that will play in the Big Apple.

They quote the maker of the video in our paper, The Oakland Press, as well.

The comments were not so kind, including:

"Leave animals out of your low-class entertainment, troll."

And, "The parents must be proud of their work."

Of course, most film work means ignoring the critics.


Killing may not be murder

On Friday, I caught a few moments of ESPN's "SportsCenter" and was struck by a comment by the announcer, whom I did not recognize. He said that the South African sprinter known as the Blade Runner was guilty of murder.

Well, he didn't use the word guilty. But he called the slaying, killing, shooting death of model Reeva Steenkamp a "murder."


Murder is a legal term, and it is often misused by journalists, especially when talking on radio, audio or video reports. Typically, or really, most of the time, the impact is minimal or non-existent.

For instance, today in Farmington, there's the story of the court employee who was killed over the weekend, her dismembered body found and her boyfriend awaiting charges. It's pretty clear a crime was committed, considering the act to hide the body. But, it may still be an accidental death (a manslaughter or even a non-criminal accident) and the only crime is the destruction of the body.

Ultimately, it is a jury or possibly a judge who will rule that a slaying is a murder, or a judge accepting a plea from a defendant.

But with the Oscar Pistorius case, she was shot. He admitted it, it seems, claiming it was an accident. And he has been charged with murder.

To call her death a murder is to take the next step and convict him.

Even with all the sources in the world, it is not a news outlet who gets to convict the sprinter. It is the judge or jury. Otherwise, it's not murder. It's a slaying, a killing, a shooting, a homicide, a tragedy. Lots of other ways exist to describe the taking of a life, but murder is not an option. 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another teacher busted

These stories get read, just as when police officers are arrested. This time it is for pot. Common sense is easily surrendered.

According to reports, officers from the Antioch Police Department arrested a 50-year-old man who works as a special education teacher after they said an off-duty police officer nabbed him as he took a quick toke of a marijuana-filled pipe while under the bleachers at a wrestling match, according to the

The officer smelled the smoke from the marijuana, police reported.
Peter Mulloy, 50, works at Warren Township High School, where his status is uncertain as the school district's leaders follow their procedures in handling his situation.

The district declined to say what his current status is, though he does face misdemeanor charges. He was at the matches as a spectator with family, not working the event, the Daily Herald reports.


Celebrity deaths, big money

Yes, we do love our celebrities, especially when they are dead.

Two pieces of history were put on the auction block in hopes of selling for big dollars, and it seems that the money will come, according to reports in the

One is a presidential jacket; the other, a note from a killer.

First, for the sale that has occurred, the is reporting that John F. Kennedy's bomber jacket sold for more than $500,000. That's a very nice house. The sale included many personal items owned by Kennedy's longtime aide, and the same comes near the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The highlight was the bomber jacket, which officials had expected would bring in $20,000 to $40,000, stunning observers as it went for $570,000.

Also in the news today, awaiting bidding, a former police oiffcer from the NYPD is selling letters received from the man who gunned down John Lennon, the Beatle and passionated peace advocate. Mark David Chapman's letters, typed, offer perhaps some insight into the mind of the killer, noting that others could have been targeted for being phonies, as he saw the Beatle. He asks the officer to read "Catcher in the Rye," the book that inspired him to kill.

Chapman remains imprisoned, denied parole for the seventh time last August

Not nearly as inspiring as the president's bomber jacket, but the officer said he would donate some money to shelters for abused women and also pay for his cancer treatment. Any bit of history will draw attention and money, so this 66-year-old retiree will likely get the $75,000 he is asking for.


Gas prices rise

Let the drum beat begin.

It's almost right on schedule, though earlier, but the news cycle seems perfect for the latest round of gas price stories. We've had the election, then the fiscal cliff, then gun debate, and now gas prices.

In between, sure, there have been sensational gasps that dominated for a day or two or even a week: the crazed ex-LAPD officer, the South African double-amputee Olympian, the poop cruise, and the power outage at the Super Bowl.

I'm sure something will happen at the Oscars to take a day or two of our relentless coverage of the world.

But gas prices, rising toward $4-a-gallon very quickly, are something we all pay, more than just when we race to work or school, but also we pay when we shop, whether at bulky grocery stories, downtown merchants or online. Those products need to be moved and transported.

One dedicated follower of the gas prices is The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, where a single company sells the gas to the stations. This was as big deal when gas prices jumped quickly from $1-a-gallon to $2-a-gallon. It's a story everyone has an opinion on and it's never a kind opinion. But unlike cigarettes, we can't quit buying gas.

I must confess, fuel economy has never been a high-ranking political, personal or financial concern. But with my new car, a Dodge Journey, I have an option of having the display set to gas mileage, and since I switched to that setting last week, I have seen my fuel economy increase from 15. 4 miles per gallon to 16.6 miles per gallon just by trying to stay as much as possible in the green zone, more coasting, less speeding. I've only gone a few miles on the interstate, so it is almost exclusively the same city driving, mostly to and from work with trips to children's dance or school or else to store in between.

I still try to get where I'm going as efficiently as possible, but it's like a game, trying to get the number to go higher. No need zipping to that red light. Seems like a little technology can go a long way.

Meanwhile, more interviews of people pumping the fuel into their cars with headlines like 'Pain at the Pump' leading the newscasts.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Celebrity death

Big week for celebrity death news, first with the double amputee accused of killing his girlfriend, a budding reality TV star (how are you a budding star, isn't stardom later?) and then the suicide of falling country singer Mindy McCready.

Reeva Steenkamp starred in her debut on a reality show in her home country of South Africa just days after being killed in the home of the Olympian Oscar Pistorius. Do you air such a thing? Seems like you can't not air it, especially with all the positive things she discussed, based on the highlights show in American news. But you can't ignore those ratings either.

And now we have the suicide of the troubled country music singer, McCready, who was questioned at least by NBC about a possible role in her boyfriend's recent shooting death, another suicide possibly.

She, too, has a tie in to sports, claiming to have had an affair with also troubled former pitcher, well no longer troubled now that he's been acquitted of federal charges related to banned substance use alleged by others, Roger Clemens, who did issue a statement about her death and the few times they had met. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Feeding America

Kudos to the Savannah Guthrie on "The Today Show" and her effort to raise awareness on America's hunger problem. Yes, we have a weight or obesity problem, but this country's inability to feed all of its citizens is shameful, and it's nice to see someone step up to try to fight it, or fix it.

Locally, in Oakland County, we have several groups, including Gleaners, and I am happy to help spread the word and the money to make sure people have enough to eat.

And for all the small business owners, and supporters fighting minimum wage increases, I love shopping at small businesses, but I also like Target and Meijer because I know that they try to be good for employees. People I've known who work for them appreciate the jobs and wages and benefits they provide.

Families should not have a parent or parents who work full time and cannot afford food. We are not a third world country. Now, the state needs to watch where its money goes, but cutting food stamps or bridge cards is a tricky business, and unemployment benefits being such a political football is disheartening.

So thanks for one outlet asking for the public to help. And just as locally grown food is best, you can always help local agencies that provide food for families who need help. You never know when it could be you. We learned that in the summer of 2008.

Still miss Ann Curry, though.

World news explodes, cruise story goes overboard

Kudos for the for its calling out the CNN network on trying to exploit the cruise ship story.

A reporter compared it to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, when interviewing one passenger as he left, and he was quick to put it in proper perspective. We were on a freaking cruise, he said, calling it a disastrous vacation but not a disaster.

Well done, sir.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, contrasting the slow return of the cruise ship, a meteorite exploded over Russia a few hours later. Hopefully, no one dies, but so far, about a thousand suffered some kind of injury as countless windows exploded when the sonic boom occurred.

If it's not deadly, it's certainly a reminder that we can be vulnerable to catastrophe, especially as we are awaiting a near miss with a large asteroid later this afternoon.

Now, those are some big stories, especially if you include the Olympic hero now charged with a domestic violence murder in South Africa.

How large is the CNN international bureau nowadays?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toledo Blade, waving their canes

The Toledo Blade is a very respected newspaper, where they've been publishing the news for more than a century, almost two in fact.

They showed their age on Wednesday when they began waving their canes at the new generation of journalists, many of whom no longer work at the newspapers that laid them off, cut their positions or just stopped paying them.

Their specific targets were at, famous now for not just its humor, insight and occasional profanity but for breaking and fully reporting the Manti Te'o lies. The Toledo Blade was beaten to a story in its own backyard by Deadspin, which did not name a woman who was the subject of a coach's improper affections. The Blade later named her, and in their comments defending the naming, they said you can trust the Blade and its named sources more than some web site.


They're sounding very old-timey here, dismissing the new media.

Now the folks at Deadspin weren't necessarily laid off from newspapers, though several come from very respected newspapers. They are top-notch journalists who are professionals working on an online platform. The web is not just the future of publishing, it is currently the primary format, where the format does not dictate the quality of journalism. The format is just how the consumer sees, views, hears, reads, watches the story, and the format merely involves the method (and speed) with which they receive the news and the price they or others pay for it.

Less money is going to newspapers' printed products and more money is spent online. That's all there is to it.

But to 'diss' the new media as less reliable is an outright lie and deception on its readers. It's spin, it's a PR stunt and it's being properly called out.

Note, the editor who made the comment said he did not mean to diss the Deadspin guys; rather, he was just praising his guy. He referenced them being sensitive. He appears to be lying.

From the is that comment that sparked the controversy:
The difference between the coverage of this story by The Blade and Deadspin is that (Blade writer Ryan) Autullo is a professional journalist who has named sources and you can believe what he reports.

Again, if he later says he didn't mean to say anything about the winning competitor's story, he appears to be lying. And, I suspect, he was initially covering his own blunder, holding the story out of fear his writer had something wrong.

Deadspin does fabulous work. They are quick, funny and sharp. And they get the world, sports is not just sports, news is not just official statements and reaction. They are profane. They do not hold back. And they call people out. Some of their best work is the constant analysis of the 'journalism' that goes on at ESPN, which is more brand promotion and event sponsorship than journalism.

Put down the cane and just cover your community and write your stories.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dramatic end to Dorner case?

The case of Christopher Dorner, former LAPD officer who posted a manifesto and went on a killing spree, police say, appears to be ending, live on cable television.

He has the fame he sought. He appears to be nuts and ending like many nutty people who lash out at the authorities, usually the police.

But what a spectacle for the cabin owner to watch the family cabin burn on live TV.

Still, it's much more devastating for the family of the deputy killed today to know that such lunacy crossed their path and took a loved one.

Officers across California have been on edge, and rightfully so, as they knew Dorner wanted to take this path.

Again, this story seems more fiction than real, and it continues to stand out as the story of the year, appropriately overshadowing the president on the night he expected to dominate the headlines.

So the big question remains, is Dorner in that cabin? Will he perish? How painful for news executives to turn away and switch to the State of the Union address. Do they break in with an update of Dorner's death? Does someone muzzle nutty gun freak Ted Nugent with the nutty gunman Dorner story dominating the airwaves and headlines and search engines?

And just a week ago people thought a power outage was a big deal.

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High school librarian sent topless photos, arrested at sting, police say

Police in New York said they were waiting for a 33-year-old librarian who wanted sex from a 16-year-old male student when she showed up at his house, according to a report in the

And apparently she knew the trouble she was in because she burst out crying when she saw the awaiting officers, who had been alerted to the meeting by the boy, the report from the Daily News says.

It was May of 2012 when the evidence fell into investigators hands, including numerous topless photos of the librarian, Marisa Anton, as well as text messages detailing sexual situations she desired and later texts urging the boy to delete the messages and even the penal codes which she feared she had violated. She had been pressuring the boy into a sexual relationship, even though he reportedly had not wanted to, prompting him to go to police. They had him request a visit and he asked her to bring condoms.

Officers were waiting and arrested her. She should have known something was up... a 16 year old asking for condoms in a sudden change of heart? If she was really worried, she would have been suspicious.

The woman, of Yonkers and who worked at New Rochelle High School, has pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges and is to be sentenced to three years of probation later this month. She had faced up to seven years in prison on the initial charges. Because they never had sex, is this an adequate sentence?

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Paterno revision

I'm not buying the family of disgraced college football coach Joe Paterno, the late leader of the Penn State Nittany Lions who died after he was fired from his sacred position when the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal exploded last year, and their revisionist view of their father's role in the case.

The family released its own report that counters the Freeh report, which detailed the failures in the system that allowed Sandusky to continue using his position and stature to abuse boys for years after he left the football program officially.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Paterno led the team and was really the top guy in the university. He knew something was up, removing Sandusky from his team yet not forcing an investigation and full removal from the university and program.

The family's commissioned report points out many little discrepancies in the Freeh report that they say shows Paterno did all he could and what was right. But he didn't as Sandusky remained with the school and access to children and facilities.

Paterno is dead and his reputation off the field cannot be salvaged. Of course, his failure was not as bad as some of the others. And he was a great coach and great father figure and was very good to education and sportsmanship. But when it comes to the need to report potential sexual or child abuse, he failed. Perhaps it was a mix of his generation not seeing this problem as we do nowadays (as widespread and open in the public eye) and the lack of this mandated reporting in his earlier years. Plus, he dealt with college-aged people, not children like school teachers.

His failures do not eliminate all the good he did. In fact, the statue did not need to come down, as it should serve as a reminder about how easy it is to undo all the good you do not just by something you do but by what you don't do or what you ignore.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Bad teacher? Not really

And this isn't about teachers having sex, but a teacher in Texas is in hot water after dropping pencil shavings into a student's mouth.

According to the report in the, the student was leaning his head back with his mouth open when the teacher, walking by, dropped some of the shavings into his mouth.

The boy is 13.

Does that matter? Not in this case, but when 13, you do stupid stuff though perhaps 13 is young enough to make him more of a victim. In school, I think 13 is old enough to know better.

I'm glad the teacher has apologized and that the school board has rejected the parent's call to fire her. It's OK for a parent to be mad about this, except, I would ask the kid, how did this happen? How do you learn when you are sitting back with your head back and mouth open? How do become a victim of this crime?

Sorry, but I imagine someone wanted to point out to the kid that there are more appropriate ways to sit in class. Of course, also, there are more appropriate ways to get a 13 year old's attention.

Again, the world world web provides a good headline without any real controversy.

Open the window before you toss the weed

The Tennessee man appears to know he's in trouble, as a traffic stop for a plate violation drifted towards a more criminal ending.

The man did not pull over when the Fairview police officer initiated the traffic stop on Interstate 40, the reported. A pursuit, which reached speeds of only 60 mph, started, and the officer told WKRN-TV that he noticed the man was trying to do something.

It turns out the 30-year-old driver was trying to throw marijuana out of the passenger side window. The officers dash camera provided video of the movement. However, the man's passenger side window was rolled up and all the marijuana bounced around and landed on the seats and on the suspect as well.
The officer told the suspect later that he should make sure the window is down next time he wants to eliminate evidence.

"It was almost comical to actually see this," the officer, Shane Dunning, told the television station in a video report.

Sorry, but this is funny:
WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

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Lesson learned

Penelope Soto, the 18-year-old girl charged with a prescription drug crime, became an Internet video and cable news sensation last week when she famously flipped off and swore at a judge during a video conference. She picked up a 30-day jail sentence after the judge called her back when she flipped him off.

Her tune changed. She apologized for the behavior, both to the judge and to her family, and the judge, noting too many people such as police officers and teachers receive too much abuse, lifted the jail term.

She avoided the full jail sentence for contempt of court after a hearing saw her appear in person in court. The girl's attitude, which earlier included playfully rubbing her fingers through her hair, laughing at the judge's questions and not answering questions about how much she owned, was much different and much more respectful at the follow up hearing.

Lessons, i suppose, can be learned.

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Marijuana business booms in Michigan, report says

Last week was a big one in marijuana news in Michigan, which is a story of major national interest. Let's recap: Grand Rapids and Detroit voters approved legalized marijuana use and possession, not just for medicinal purposes but for just plain old good times.

This occurred on same same that voters in Washington and Colorado also approved such measures.

Michigan voters approved a few years ago the use and possession of medical marijuana, which spawned a thriving dispensary business. Last week, a report showed the just with the licensing of users and caregivers, the state has earned about $10 million for a program costing about $3.5 million to run, almost a $3 for $1 ratio. That's just the $100 to get the card. Just think of the taxing possibilities.

Also last week, the state's top court sided with law enforcement about the status of dispensaries. They are not allowed under the law, as it's written. Seems like the law could be tweaked to improve service for users, providers, not just to appease law enforcement.

Today, there is a great story on about the growth of the businesses supporting Michigan marijuana growers. There's a large industry here waiting for government support and protection.

Considering all that Michigan's government has done for casinos in particular and gambling in general as well as the health and strength of the state's liquor selling and serving, beer-brewing and serving, and wine-making and serving industries, it seems like there should be nothing holding this back.

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Weekend's top news, what's in a name

What is in a name? Not much, it used to be, when it came to storms but with Twitter, a name is everything.

Lots of people didn't like the Weather Channel dubbing the snowstorm and blizzards that hit the East Coast as a superstorm named Nemo. We accept the naming of hurricanes and tropical storms, as the list is prepared at the start of the season and we know what storms will be called. But it seems as if this name was given just to name it and, hey, who gets to let you name it.

So don't use the name. Except, on Twitter, hashtags #matter and there's no point in using different hashtags. So, guess what. If you name it, and the name catches on right away, that's the name people will use.

In my mind, though, the storm, which affected more people directly, was not the biggest story of the weekend, and newscasts that led with it were reflecting a strong East Coast bias. The weekend's top story was out west, where the made-for-Hollywood rogue cop turned cop-killer, who upped the font of his headlines by publishing his manifest online, remained on the loose.

And the tie in to the other top weekend story, the Grammy awards, which some feared he would target, upped the ante. led for a while about the Grammy's under extra protection.

Wild stuff, this story. On Friday, I wondered if it would end like Humphrey Bogart's "High Sierra," in the mountains without the dog but looking more like a combined episode of "Criminal Minds" and "Numbers," but he got away. Now, the headlines for this story bring in the other big story of the month, drones, as drones are part of the search operation.

The story continues to grow, especially as the alleged killer, Christopher Dorner, has some supporters. Anonymous, the hacker group, has gotten involved. And the LA command is reviewing the case that got him fired, though I doubt it will go anywhere once he is caught or found dead of a self-inflicted wound.

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Friday, February 8, 2013


Lots in here to evaluate, but mental illness seems to be part of it, the police officer in LA who is wanted for killings.

The manifesto is a strange look inside of his mind.

Michigan recruit vows to remain lifelong Buckeye fan

According to reports at and the Dayton Daily News, a high school football player who just signed to play at the University of Michigan has maintained that he will remain an Ohio State Buckeye fan.

Deadspin, of course, has fun with this, noting in its report that "This ought to go over well."

According to the report, Reon Dawson, a defensive back, promises to bring his "A game" when the Wolverines play their hated rivals, the Buckeyes, but he will remain a fan of the team that rejected him. He had hoped to attend Ohio State but selected their rivals after being heavily recruited by Illinois and Brady Hoke's Michigan. According to the report in Dayton, he had verbally committed to Illinois but changed his mind before signing.

What do you make of this? Will this allegiance hurt him with the diehard fans, or will his being rejected help him lead the Wolverines past Ohio State?

I say it's better to play on the hated enemies team than star on a lesser them in the conference, as you'll garner 10 times the attention with the annual Michigan-OSU game. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Surrounded by snow

Of course, the news is all about the snow.

But right now, we're looking ok. Oakland County is surrounded by snow or other precipitation.

Here's a look at the WDIV live radar at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday.

So, will we get the 4 to 7 inches, with more in northeastern Oakland Co.? Will there be school?

LA cop on killing rampage

It's rare for a news story to reach a level of fiction, the sort of story that I hear and say, if this were a book, I'd still think it was unbelievable plot.

Well, the story of the LA police officer, fired for prior lying, involves him shooting a basketball coach who was daughter of the former cop who represented him and then shooting another police officer.

Now he's on the run and the media is abuzz with the story. Press conferences are held, cable news is interrupted and then the story leads most broadcasts. He has participated, they say, with his Facebook manifesto.

Wild stuff. Seems more like a Michael Connelly story and a Harry Bosch case.


Paid to quit Facebook to focus on school

A 14-year-old girl who loved the fast-paced up-to-the-minute social media world has decided to step back and focus on school, and her father has helped with a contract that promises some cash if she is successful, the reports.

The Massachusetts teenager signed the Facebook Deactivation Contract that promises her $50 in April and another $150 in June if she stays off the popular social media site, which her father said has dominated her life for two years.

Rachel Baier's father, Scott, a Harvard business school graduate, posted about the deal in his blog, Practical Sustainability, saying the idea was her daughter's and he is proud of her. She wanted to focus upon school and knew that social media interaction with her many friends took too much time, and she gave her password information to him so he could ensure she was off the site.

What do you think of the idea? Is this something you would try in your family? Would it work if it was imposed on a child or does the child need to be the one who wants to do so?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finger lands teenager in jail for month

Is this fair? An 18-year-old girl jailed on minor drug possession charges turned a fine into a 30-day jail sentence after giving a quick flip of her middle finger to the judge.

The exchanged followed and extensive question-and-answer session via video between the pair as the defendant, dressed in jail oranges, laughed, giggled, avoided specific answers and played with her long hair. Maimi-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat couldn't get a straight answer out of the teenager, Penelope Soto, even asking if she had ingested drugs inside the jail.

Many of the comments on the video, viewed more than 1.5 million times, express anger at the judge. But he has the right to find someone in contempt of court, and you can certainly see from her face when he announces the doubling of the bond, he got her attention. I wonder what she thinks of all this national attention she is getting with this video.

Her disrespect is evident, but taking up a jail bed because she offended the judge? Watch the video and decide for yourself, though I would say she is offending more than the judge but the system. She is telling him and the world that she'll be back and that no lesson was learned with this minor transgression. And because the courts are such a revolving door, check out next one waiting in the line for her few minutes before the judge, it makes sense to delay the inevitable return by just keeping her there.


US Post Office, what took so long?

Reports of bleeding money out of the US Postal Service have been regularly shared for years. So one solution proposed was to eliminate Saturday home delivery.

Today, they announced it would happen in August. It's about time. I like the Post Office.

As one friend shared with me years ago, it's the only government agency that won't screw you. They do great work and it's still an essential service.

But what took so long to trim this day of service? Costs need to be cut and we still have five days of home delivery, more than most newspapers.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I do sympathize with TV reporters

Here are a couple of examples of why doing live television reports is never easy, one of them involving a reporter striking back with some tough questions.

First, here is a video of a female reporter offering a live update on the trade deadline for the English Premiere League soccer team Norwich City, wondering if a big move would be made. In the background, two men simulate sex, which apparently the reporter did not realize was going on. It's all good fun, I guess.

And here is the reporter from San Francisco trying to do a live report on New Orleans' Super Bowl fun and with the time difference, perhaps it's pretty late in The Big Easy. The drunken lady interrupts the report but that's OK, as the reporter switches gear and asks what everyone wants to talk about, not football but sexually transmitted diseases:

"How long have you had an STD?" asked the annoyed reporter, stopping the videobomber in her tracks.

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Power outage outrage

Sometimes you just talk to hear yourself, just as sometimes news folks find a story to share just to have something to write/talk/blog about.

See what I mean, even I will discuss the power outage at the Super Bowl.

Except, I don't see what the big deal is. It's not very interesting. It was timely for sure, turning a blow out game - a 28-6 Ravens lead over the struggling 49ers - into a good game by shifting momentum. The Ravens held on, barely, winning 34-31.

The power outage even affected me, as my momentum was drained and I went to bed to watch the remainder of the game. Problem was, I kept falling asleep as we went into one of the great fourth-quarters of Super Bowl history. That 34-minute delay helped make sure I slept through that final drive, a strong defensive stop by the Ravens. I realized that the Ravens were winning, dozed, and then turned it off when over. The highlights the next morning confirmed that I had missed something good.

Now, the outcry over the Janet Jackson boob was overwhelming and that grew tiresome because of the outrage, much of it feigned. However, there's no outrage over the power outage, just questions demanding immediate answers.

But it's not a front page story. It's a part of the game's story, yes, like a weather delay or snow affecting the passing and footing. But all these stories about what happened are just noise. I accept that that an abnormality caused a system to shut down. I didn't then need to know the exact details and I still don't. If it was done on purpose, then that story will interesting, when it comes. I doubt that will happen, though.

But we need something to discuss and the commercials alone don't cut it.

I, though, choose to think of and read about something else... baseball.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl blast

It's the second national holiday of the year, after New Year's Day.

Super Bowl Sunday, with the Baltimore Ravens seeming poised to have its defense steal a victory from the top notch San Francisco 49ers, perhaps by a 21-19 margin.

Perhaps a defensive touchdown turns the game. Perhaps Joe Flacco gets invited to Disney World.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Georgia teacher accused of sex with six students; look back at some of Oakland's teacher cases

A teacher of freshmen students at a Georgia high school has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, accused of having sex with as many as seven students, several media outlets have reported.

Such stories have become fairly common as laws have changed to criminalize sex with younger people who have reached the age of consent yet but have a teacher-student, coach-player or boss-employee relationship. For instance, in Michigan, as with Georgia, the age of consent is 16, but it is now illegalf for people to have sex with those younger than 18 if they are a teacher, boss, coach or someone with an authority position over that teenager.

In Georgia this week, a 32-year-old math teacher and 10-year veteran of Charlton County High School, DaNita Wilson, was charged with seven counts of sexual assault, reports the

The math teacher has been suspended with pay and is free on bond. School leaders will seek to terminate her employment, reports

The Huffington Post reports she could face up to 25 years in prison for the charges, but the maximum could be pushed up to 50 years because one of the seven students was underage, 15 years old, exacerbating the charges.

As with Michigan, the teacher-student relationship criminalizes the sex with students who are 16 or older. The relationships reportedly, in at least some cases, lasted more than a year. Wilson's arrest came after the school board received a tip about the alleged relationships, prompting an investigation. A school official escorted the teacher to state investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, giving her a letter informing her of the paid suspension.

In a CNN story, colleagues expressed surprise at the accuations, noting she'd never been disciplined before.

In Oakland County in recent years, several teachers and coaches have been accused and convicted of sexual misconduct charges related to relationships with students.

In Rochester Hills, an Adams High School softball coach, volunteer Thomas Powell, 59, was sentenced in January of 2012 to one year in jail on such charges involving two young women. When sentenced the then-18-year-old girl told the judge she still loved him and said she would wait for his release.

In Waterford Township, in 2009, the district saw two employees charged with criminal sexual conduct related to relationships with students. Both adults worked at Waterford Mott High School.

Amy Rita Ellsworth, then 38, was arrested, charged, and later pleaded to a slew of charges related to relationships with three male students, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious such charge. She was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison. The 5-to-30 year sentence of Ellsworth, a teacher assistant, was much more severe than the sentence of Brian Drake, then 41, a theatre coordinator at Waterford Mott who pleaded to reduced charges for a relationship involving touching with a young woman. He received probation, and his son later married the victim.

In Birmingham, a Seaholm High School swim coach was sentenced in 2007 to one-to-15 years in prison for a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old female swimmer. Dennis Michael Carter, then 53, was sentenced to prison after the girl reported the two-year relationship.

These are just some of the cases we have had, but it is interesting that these ended with the women still jailed and the men getting smaller sentences. I don't, however, believe there's that strong of a gender bias, much of it involves whether and how the victim testifies and which judge the case is assigned to.

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