Friday, January 14, 2011

The Last of the Mohicans: NY Investigative Journalist

The Future of Investigative Journalism

NY1 Online: Wayne Barrett, Tom Robbins On "Inside City Hall" 1/13/11

With the departure of Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins from the Village Voice an era of investigative reporting in NYC is coming to a close and will not be replaced any time soon. Jack Newfield, Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, Murray Kempton are just a few of the journalist that New Yorkers turned to to find the truth.  They are all gone or out of journalism now and our democracy is greatly damaged as a result.

The economic gloom continues to loom over the media industry. With major U.S. media companies dealing with decline in revenue and diving into bankruptcy, news publications have been forced to cut costs to maintain profit margins. Among the hardest hit are those staff in the newsroom, particularly those involved in public investigative and accountability reporting.  During this dismal economic climate, the expense to fund a potentially lengthy, time-consuming investigative story, the reluctance to engage potential legal consequences, and their possibility to be fruitless endeavors are often the reasons why media companies are still reluctant to keep funding investigative issues, media critics say. 

Our founding fathers put in place freedom of the press to get out the truth.  Investigative journalism long articles put together over weeks and months is the only way at getting at the truth in our complex society.  The reduction or end of investigative journalism means that elected officials and the special interest will step into the void and become the provides of the news, news designed to benefit their interests.  Many say it has already happen way beyond what George Orwell described in 1984.  Is Bloomberg's new op-ed section going to be a conflict of interest for the mayor?

A public blocked from obtaining the truth is doomed

Zuckerman's ax set to swing at the Daily News Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman is apparently unhappy with advertisers' response to the new four-color paper, and the word inside is that more...  

 It is Good to Be the King
 Blacks' Snow Job
 Another snow job? Parents enraged as Chancellor Cathie Black snubs school, but makes kids go(DN) * Internal Document Offers Peek at Plan to Replace New York City Schools(NYT) * Charters schools' windfall is public kids' loss as state has city on hook for $32 million *  The NYP attacks Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Kenneth LaValle and his Assembly counterpart, Deborah Glick for opposing tuition hikes at the state and city universities The cry of the cowardly pol(NYP ED) * $coring big with kid tests School bureaucrats raking in exam bonuses (NYP) * Parents at one Staten Island school were upset that they were open during the snowstorm this week but that Cathie Black cancelled a scheduled appearance. * Nearly One in Four Teachers Stymied By Snow (NYT)

Black's Birth Control Joke Backfires
After a good job a post snow press conference Black, the new schools chancellor, takes a snow day instead of showing up at SI school, not a good example; then at a meeting talks about school overcrowding and jokes, 'Could we just have some birth control?' Not to bright after all. (Facebook) Joseph Mercurio * Parents Not Laughing At Chancellor Cathie Black's Birth Control Quip About School Overcrowding * Schools Chancellor Cathie Black says 'solution' for overcrowded classrooms is 'birth control' 

Was General Haig in Charged?

Hey Bloomy, just who exactly is in charge here? A City Councilman invoked the threat of a terrorist attack to demand answers from Mayor Bloomberg.(DN)

 Where is Bloomberg?

NYC Councilman Peter Vallone invoked the threat of a terrorist attack in demanding answers from the Bloomberg administration on who was in charge during the Christmas weekend blizzard.*
Bloomberg’s Whereabouts: Vallone is “working on legislation that would force the mayor to file a public notice when he leaves town and designate a chain of command in his absence.” (

Blomberg's Conflict of Interests?
The Bloomberg View editorial writers will work in the Upper East Side offices of the Bloomberg Family Foundation and not in the newsroom.* Is Bloomberg's new op-ed section going to be a conflict of interest for the mayor?

City council blizzard hearing questions MTA (WABC)

Transit boss said 'lulled' agency didn't think storm would be a problemMayor Bloomberg Doubts Sanitation Slowdown In Christmas Weekend Blizzard Cleanup * M.T.A. Tells Skeptical Council Snow Response Will Improve

Double Dipping Accident Fees?

AAA says FDNY crash-tax plan really is double-dip for NYers(DN) * Quinn Raises Stop Sign on Accident Fee City Council Speaker Christine Quinn plans to submit testimony opposing Mayor Bloomberg'splan to charge motorists involved in accidents that require emergency-response services, a move that could doom the initiative.(WSJ)

Cuomo is an Expert Government Dancing Through and Around Albany BS

Gov. Cuomo takes his message upstate - way upstate(DN) * Gov's bipartisan pitch(NYP) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo will tailor his State of the State speech to fit Watertown’s needs today.* Cuomo told the crowd that Albany hasn’t changed because they haven’t demanded it to do so.* The governor met briefly with the head of the Seneca Nation while in Jamestown. More here.* The post-partisan governor was introduced at the speech by Republican Sen. Cathy Young of Olean to highlight his effort to “de-emphasize” political divisions. * Cuomo may be fiscally conservative, but he’s in step with fellow Democrats on social issues like gay marriage.* Andrew Cuomo played both sides of the aisle in Jamestown State of the State yesterday:  "If the political rifts continue, we're going to fail once again," Cuomo said. "I happen to be a Democrat. I also ran as an independent. I want to work with both sides of the aisle. I'm a New Yorker first." * What will come first in New York—property tax cap or mandate relief? * Cuomo’s Timetable: “it’s unrealistic also to think you’re going to correct 20 years of neglect in 20 days.”* Gov. Cuomo Fundraises For Budget Battle * Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reportedly rescinded the State Police raises put in place by his predecessor, former Gov. David Paterson.* Cuomo Seeks Arms In Budget Battle

The DSCC spent some $233,000 on legal fees during the 2010 election cycle, and its debt now stands at $3 million.* Dan Janison’s “modest” proposal: Return to a 61-seat Senate. * "If can get around the paywall, or cough up a $1 for The Chief-Leader, State Senator Diane Savino’s comments about defecting from the Democratic Caucus are worth checking out," blogs Azi, who pulled this Savino quote: “We’re never going to regain the trust of the voters unless we confront the demons inside our party."

New Web TV Series Spoofs...Political Consultants [VIDEO]

DiNapoli’s budget countdown to a growing deficit (TU)

Next year’s budget deficit could grow to $11 billion, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.


Fake Fight For Locals 

There was a local South Bronx Assemblyman years ago who used to put in a bill for Cock Fighting.  So he can tell people in his district who like that type of stuff he is trying.  Today the NYT said that there was not much hope of passing any gun control laws this year in congress.  Yet the NYP and PA de Blasio called for the NYPD boycotting the Glock gun.  Nothing was said by the NYP and PA what to do with the people suffering with mental health problems and go untreated. A Clamor for Gun Limits, but Few Expect Real Changes (NYT) *Public Advocate de Blasio calls for NYPD boycott of gun used in Arizona shootings *Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch says The Post's call for police departments to stop buying Glock sidearms until the company stops general sales of 30-round magazines -- like the one used in the Tucson massacre -- is "an excellent idea." So why in the world can't Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly? One mayor gets it(NYP Ed) * Former Student Sues College Over Stay in a Mental Ward(NYT)


MSG goes to the mat for ultimate fighting

Terrorism 15-Year Sentence for Conspirator in Airport Plot

Law and Order  LT plea in teenager sex case
No-Prison Deal Revoked, Trial Starts for Ex-City Worker Accused in Sexual Assault of Girls(NYT) * Judge Defies Prosecutors on Pornography Sentence (NYT) * Rapper Pleads Not Guilty to '93 Murder(WSJ) * NY man accused of stealing from churches (WSJ) * NY judge to sentence geriatric gangster, 93(WSJ) * Mobster would rather be in jail than with his wife, kin says (DN) * With just 8 fatal shootings last year, NYPD's use of deadly force has plunged - just like crime rate (DN Ed) * Police Make Arrest In Williamsburg Sex Attacks (WCBS) * Surv. photo in Queens robbery spree(WABC) * D.A. says Canadian doctor loaned his license to Dongan Hills botox mill (SI Advance) * FBI Helps Identify "Holiday Bandit"(WNBC) * Person Of Interest In Williamsburg Attacks Speaking With Police, Sources Say (WNBC) *NYPD aids Calif. in '68 slay case(NYP) * 'Robber' slipped on disc(NYP) * Maid'-man cleared(NYP)

New Hit to Strapped StatesWith the market for municipal bonds tumbling, cities, hospitals, schools and other public borrowers are scrambling to refinance tens of billions of dollars of debt this year. (WSJ) New Hit to Strapped States 




 India Gets Disabled Taxis Not NYC

Disabled people in India's financial capital, Mumbai(Bombay), are at last going to find it easier to move around as the city is to have a special taxi service just for them.  Mumbai to get disabled taxi service* Disabled riders filed a class action lawsuit against the city over cabs that aren’t wheelchair accessible.  'Hail' storm by disabled vs. TLC

 Where is NY Economic Plan to Attract Business? 

Christie of New Jersey has joined the list of governors trying to exploit Illinois’ decision this week to raise its income taxes.  llinois Raises Taxes; N.J. Hopes to Lure Its Businesses * Panasonic Eyes N.J., Brooklyn (WSJ)


Jon Stewart Ridicules ‘Too Soon’ Partisan Media Criticism Of Tucson Memorial

 Media and New Tech Pittman Says Clear Channel Needs Multi-Platform Reach: Video


NY Subway Rat Video Gone Viral

Rat in subway car jumps on sleeping man (WABC) * Subway Rider's "Rat" Awakening Caught On Tape (NY1)


Raids Uncover More Faked MTA Subway Inspections A pair of raids at MTA locker rooms in the past week have turned up evidence that subway workers are continuing the widespread practice of faking signal inspections.



Troubled Spiderman musical official premiere to be delayed one month (NYP) * ‘Spider-Man’ Won’t Open Until March 15(NYT) * 'Spider-Man' Opening Night Delayed Again(WSJ) * Opening night for 'Spider-Man' musical delayed yet again * 'Spidey' now dangling 'til March(NYP)