Enhanced by Zemanta



 In what would have been a jaw-dropping display of sheer chutzpah were it not for a surprise gift of immunity from a prominent non-profit two years ago, GateHouse Media chief counsel Polly Sack supplied a sophisticated, global audience with the clearest evidence of simple textbook libel that most reporters will  ever see.
English: Ford County Courthouse in Dodge City,...

English: Ford County Courthouse in Dodge City, Kansas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The third of three documents that, together, constitute nothing short of proof,  Sack’s 2010 letter to the New Yorker Magazine also adds the surreal quality of what appear to be  unescessary lies:  GateHouse, which owns about 400 small-to-midsize newspapers and shoppers had essentially been handed immunity by former Reporter’s Committee for a Free Press director Lucy Dalglish, now dean of the U. of Maryland’s J-School.

The GateHouse Get-Out-of Bar-Sanctions-Free Card is Dalglish’s  Feb. 10 statement to the AP, a very deliberate fabrication that denies my truthful description of the corporation’s attempts to force me to name a confidential source under oath. Dalglish’s status and influence easily trumped my word, getting GateHouse off the hook with the mainstream media and all but a few blogs, only one of which was national.

Dalglish Named New Dean of UMD's Philip Merril...

                                                LUCY DALGLISH
One wonders why Sack would risk another easily proven lie, given such carte blanc insurance by Dalglish. Either she was concerned about the remaining trail of evidence carelessly littered by GateHouse executives, attorneys, publishers, and editors – or the confidence engendered by an unexpected and formidable ally like the RCFP went to her head.
English: Longhorn Statute on Front Street, Dod...

English: Longhorn Statute on Front Street, Dodge City, Kansas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first of the three documents listed above is a sharply worded GateHouse rebuttal of my Feb. 10 statement to the Associated Press,  in which I alleged that Gatehouse had attempted to force me to reveal a confidential source by refusing to provide  me with legal counsel if I didn’t comply with Ford County (Kansas) District Attorney Terry Malone. The corporation insisted that it had provided me with free, independent, confidential counsel from the beginning of the case through its conclusion.

This complete fabrication is a testament to the growing strength of a chillingly cozy relationship between national First Amendment/Free Press advocates and corporate media, controlling multiple platforms.
Dodge City Train Station, Kansas

Dodge City Train Station, Kansas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second is the weak-kneed but nevertheless clear acknowledgement of the truthfulness of my claims, written by Dalglish almost two and a half months after she’d publically disputed them, following a conference call with myself and Legal Times reporter Tony Mauro.  The latter was then the president of the steering committee of the non-profit that employed Dalglish for over a decade, the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Astonishingly, the New Yorker story ran 20 days AFTER Dalglish had already clarified  the facts as I’d presented them . True, her ambivalent tone and  extraordinary choice of “public” placement  re. her statement raise many questions – she hid it in the RCFP archives, rather than send it out as a press release, and about seven months later all references to my case that could prove damaging to Lucy had disappeared. (Fortunately, I have sufficient documentation without them).  Nevertheless, powerhouse corporate attorney Sack’s disregard of a public, signed statement  is very significant. It indicates either a status quo, which means that one night a couple of years ago, our free press disappeared out the back gate. Or if such flagrant contempt is not the norm, what factors engendered this extraordinary abuse of power, and allowed it to be employed with such lethal and unremitting force against a lone reporter for a small daily with a geographically remote readership?  Is the failure of my peers to speak out as significant as it appears to me to be?
Dodge City maintains part of its downtown as a...

Dodge City maintains part of its downtown as a tourist attraction, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally, how the hell did one person – regardless of ability and character attain a level of power over a press like America‘s?  Sure, it has to watched like a hawk,  and sometimes (okay, too often) the press needs a good kick.  Still, I’ve always thought we  averaged out to do a pretty good, even decent job for the people we’re supposed to serve.

Evidently not.
Evidently, the biggest censor of the press is the press itself.
The New Yorker

The New Yorker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Sack writes to the New Yorker:

The New Yorker


A letter in response to Calvin Trillin’s article (May 10, 2010)

JUNE 7, 2010

Calvin Trillin offers a probing examination of the complex network of social forces surrounding a shooting death in Dodge City (“Incident in Dodge City,” May 10th). Our former reporter Claire O’Brien played an important role in his story, and the subpoena issued to her allowed GateHouse Media to vigorously defend its belief in the principle that journalists should not be conscripted into the criminal-justice system as witnesses based on legitimate news gathering. After the Kansas Supreme Court declined to determine the reporter’s privilege issue and refused to grant a stay of O’Brien’s compulsory testimony, O’Brien was repeatedly advised that it was her decision alone whether to testify. However, we did cover the costs of her lawyer—whom you identify as “volunteer”—throughout the process. And although O’Brien’s employment with GateHouse Media was terminated, the termination was for reasons wholly unrelated to the fight over the subpoena or related issues.

Polly Grunfeld Sack

GateHouse Media

Fairport, N.Y.

Does Sack truly believe that the RCFP paid attorney Mark Johnson under the table with small, unmarked bills? The Daily Globe ran an A1 photo of Johnson on the Ford County courthouse steps identifying him as independently retained –   and the RCFP took full credit for retaining him!  

This map of Ford County, Kansas, USA, is copie...

This map of Ford County, Kansas, USA, is copied at a resolution of 300 pixels/inch from the original PDF file. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Poverty kills people: Harvard stumped, Academy of Sciences “baffled”

Just when we thought we were all middle class, the Academy of Sciences caved in and said the P word, about six weeks before the big election.


Life Spans Shrink for Least-Educated Whites in the U.S.

By Sabrina Travernis,  New York Times.


English: Harvard Yard winter 2009.

English: Harvard Yard winter 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(EXCERPTS)  The latest estimate shows life expectancy for (American) white women without a high school diploma is 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree or more. For white men, the gap was even bigger: 67.5 years for the least educated compared with 80.4 for those with a college degree or better.

Researchers said they were baffled by the magnitude of the drop.

“There’s this enormous issue of why,” said David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard. “It’s very puzzling and we don’t have a great explanation.”

The slump is so vexing that it became the subject of an inquiry by the National Academy of Sciences, which published a report on it last year.

“Something is going on in the lives of disadvantaged white women that is leading to some really alarming trends in life expectancy,” said Ms. Montez of Harvard.

The songs our Daddy sang / Zoominto

Poor whites across the nation are breaking out extra cartons of Bud  to celebrate the news that America’s top researchers and academics are already working on issues first identified in the 1970s.  Meanwhile, all black woman finally surpassed poor white women in 2006 have already identified  “evidence of a troubling pattern that has emerged for those at the bottom of the education ladder.”

In fact, a Professor Berkman has recently received a grant from the National Institute on Aging to fund a new cutting-edge study.

Berkman’s theory?

Low wage jobs could take a toll on health.


1) Poor people work harder than you do so that your life can be much easier and much longer than theirs. Their knowledge of this is perfect, keen, and burning.

2) Poor people do not give up their lives freely. They don’t donate them. They grieve them. That combined quarter-of-a-century lost by, say, a poor white married couple? (see stats above).

They want that 24 years back.  They also want – and much more than you can possibly imagine – their teeth. Poor people want their teeth back.

3) You’ll never know what poor people are thinking. But they’ll know what you’re thinking.

As for Electrica, we just want to be there when the American Dental Society pleads its case before the Almighty.

We’re praying for a press pass.

Funny, how neither Richard Prince nor the Maynard Institute has anything else to say.

Richard Prince’s Journal-isms™

Reporter Who Exposed Racism Finds Herself Jobless

“It’s been a little over a month since Sam Bonilla, a Mexican immigrant opted not to go to trial in Dodge City, Kansas for killing a local man during a situation he claims was self-defense,” Marisa Trevino wrote Friday on her Latina Lista blog.

“Bonilla’s reason for not facing a jury was [reportedly] that he didn’t feel he could get a fair trial in Dodge City because he was Latino.

“Time will tell if Dodge City officials were as clueless to the racial tensions that exist in their town, as they claim, or they just didn’t like anyone pulling off the blanket and exposing how they always did things.

“No matter which way it’s looked at, the situation in Dodge City needed to be exposed. If it had not been for Claire O’Brien, the reporter for the Dodge City Daily Globe at the time, no one would have found out about Bonilla or Dodge City.

“. . . But not everybody was happy that O’Brien exposed Dodge’s racial undercurrents. In a bizarre show of unprofessionalism, the presiding judge in Sam Bonilla’s sentencing hearing, Judge Daniel Love, took over 10 minutes to publicly berate O’Brien, who was present in the courtroom, for stirring things up in town. He blamed her choice of words in her reporting to describe Bonilla’s situation. By the time the judge was done, it was clear he viewed O’Brien as a troublemaker ‚Äî yet, everyone else should have seen her as doing her job, and doing it well.

“However, in the hours after Bonilla’s sentencing, O’Brien found herself in a situation that no reporter should be in for doing their job. Within a span of hours, O’Brien lost her job at the Daily Globe, was uninvited to speak at a journalism conference, was ignored by the Kansas Press Association in her role for finally getting the Shield Law passed in Kansas and began a quest to redeem her journalistic reputation. . . . ”

Ruthless, lethal destruction: freedom’s advocates censor reporters for life

No non-profit replied to my documented pleas for advocacy, no lawyer responded to my
May 10, 2010 Issue
  • ABSTRACT: ANNALS OF CRIME about the State of Kansas v. Samuel Bonilla. Last Labor Day afternoon, Tanner Brunson—accompanied by his friend Steven Holt, Holt’s daughter, his stepson, and a former boyfriend of his stepdaughter’s—drove his truck down a riverbed in Dodge City, Kansas. Holt and Brunson had consumed a lot of beer and in the riverbed they came upon Sam Bonilla, a Cox Communications cable guy, walking with his older son and his nephew. As Brunson’s truck approached, Bonilla gave him the finger. Holt and Brunson got out of the truck and as they approached Bonilla he fired on them with a .22-calibre gun. At the hospital, doctors stabilized Brunson, but Steven Holt died. Both Holt and Brunson were “good ole country boys.” Bonilla was Hispanic. Describes the history of the Hispanic community in Dodge City; almost half of the city’s current residents are Hispanic. After some hesitation, Bonilla turned himself in to the police on the evening of the shooting. He told them that he repeatedly shouted “Get back!” to Brunson and Holt before shooting, a claim confirmed by Holt’s daughter and stepson. Bonilla was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Holt and second-degree attempted murder in the wounding of Brunson. Rebecca Escalante, who runs Becky’s Bail Bonds and Tax Service, has found the Hispanics in Dodge City to be considerably less assertive than what she’d been accustomed to in Texas. Bonilla worked part-time for Escalante, and on one visit to see him in jail she took along Claire O’Brien, a reporter with the Dodge City Daily Globe. O’Brien’s article about Bonilla—in which he said he didn’t think a Hispanic could get a fair trial in Ford County— caused a sensation in Dodge City. County Attorney Terry Malone subpoenaed both O’Brien and Escalante—demanding that they reveal any anonymous sources, that O’Brien hand over her notes on the jailhouse interview, and that they both testify in a closed-door proceeding. Doug Anstaett, the executive director of the Kansas Press Association, thought the case made a good argument for the Kansas legislature to pass a shield law to protect reporters. Attorney Lucille Douglass, who began representing Bonilla, claimed that information about weapons and anti-Hispanic sentiment could have been easily obtained by subpoenaing Brunson’s MySpace page. A blog in Texas, Latina Lista, described Dodge City as “a place where some of the ‘white’ locals like to play a game they call ‘Border Patrol’ where they use their trucks to intimidate Latino pedestrians.” The implication was that Bonilla was nearly run over because he is Hispanic. Mentions gun rights. In early March, it was announced that Bonilla accepted a plea bargain on the reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, resulting in a sentence of seventy-four months. As a noncitizen who had committed a felony, he would presumably be deported after completing his sentence.
read the full text...
read the full text...
Enhanced by Zemanta