Tag Archives: Al Sharpton

LIONEL PODCAST: Al Sharpton Is Television Waterboarding

At long last our national nightmare is over. This may very well have been the worst television show in the history of the medium. Horrid, terrible. Video terror. An insult to creativity and rational thought. Why? Pray tell, why was the country subjected to such dreck? Why? Because of what has been alleged as a payoff. Oh, it gets juicy.

One of the best spins ever. Total scheiße, mind you, but a great spin. How many factual errors can you find with this unbelievable take? I’ve stopped at 78. Here the good rev comes up with a beaut as to how overjoyed he is to be relegated to the venerated of television.

“I never wanted to be a weeknight pundit. I wanted to be a Sunday morning newsmaker. I wanted to be Dr. Martin Luther King, not Larry King.”

“I’m very happy,” he said Wednesday. “First, I can reach a wider audience of people who don’t get home by 6 at night. Second, I can now get the A-list guests and newsmakers I want. And third, a Sunday morning host is what I always wanted to be.”

My review and analysis.

Can you say intrigue? And . . . this just in. You’re going to love this story that’s been around forever.

A federal judge has reopened a $20 billion racial bias case filed against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, giving plaintiff Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks until Sept. 21 to file an amended complaint.

The lawsuit, first filed in February, also named as defendants the NAACP, the National Urban League, Al Sharpton, the National Action Network, as well as Meredith Attwell Baker, a former Comcast executive and FCC commissioner.

The lawsuit claimed that Comcast was shutting out African-American owned channels from their lineups. In securing approval for its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal, they reached memorandums of understanding with a number of civil rights groups that were a “sham” to “whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”  [Variety]

LIONEL PODCAST: Hollywood Has Absolutely No Duty to Be “Diverse.” So What?

di·ver·si·ty

  • the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
  • the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization
  • perhaps the most overused term to inartfully and irrationally suggest that the world is considerate, sapient, fair and/or rational. [I added that.]

I got your diversity right here! According to the data collectors at Lee & Low Books who crafted the disturbing but hardly surprising infographic supra, it’s abundantly clear that the Oscars may just be the hoariest, whitest old boys club there is in these parts. But so what? It’s not the government or the military or a public school. We’re not talking juries or electors or School Boards. It’s Hollywood and diversity appears not to be its number one priority. Neither does the NBA, Junior League, Skull and Bones, the Medal of Honor Society, or Who’s Who in Paducah. Private organizations and ensembles and industries have no allegiance to anyone save its own members or shareholders. And while that may royally suck and make absolutely no sense, while you and I might find it reprehensible causing us to boycott and rant and rave, so what? Herein I describe the pitfalls of diversity as a goal in certain cases, and the rudiments of reality.

LIONEL PODCAST: Lionel and Veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins Unabashedly and Unapologetically Break Down the Truth of the Current Mess

Behold our leader. Bill de Blasio. One-termer. Clueless. See supra. Over his head but trying. I think. I hope. Look, I want him to win. He’s the captain of the ship. And we’re on the ship. If he loses, we lose. So Schadenfreude makes no sense in this instance.He’s the chairman of the board, the CEO and COO and administrator of a $74B corporation. A behemoth. Five boroughs, 8.4M+ residents, 40% of the state’s population. Ginormous. Brobdingnagian. A colossus. And there’s no time to worry about horse carriages or progressive ideology, whatever the hell that means. He’s grown up a lot, this mayor, and he’s just coming up on his first year. But he has this accomplishment under his belt: He beats David Dinkins hands down for polarizing the NYPD this fast, this deeply and this dangerously.

Enter Lionel and Wally.

Lionel and former 30 year veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins

The cop’s cop. He’s a former NYPD Detective Sergeant for 30 years and a retired commanding officer of the Manhattan Detectives Nightwatch. He was a supervisor of the Hostage Negotiation Team and is a renowned national law-enforcement media reporter. And he’s a great friend. A fabulous storyteller and raconteur. But of truth and actuality, amazing anecdotes and history. Not a fabulist he. He’s a professional cop of the first order, the constable, the centurion. And he’s critical in negotiating through the mess that is the news today. Enter Lionel and Wally.

Just the facts, ma’am. That’s all we want. The facts. the truth. That simple. The issue has dematerialized and disinterested into lunatic name calling and pithy memes and inapposite hashtags. For the facts have nothing to do apparently with the truth. After all, they get in the way of a good story. Enter Lionel and Wally.

The sextet. Now to really get into the nuts and bolts of the story, keep an eye on the following. Their interplay is critical to note and watch. Part symbiotic, part parasitism. One potentiating the other. Fueling and feeding.

  • Hizzoner BDB. See supra.
  • The Commish Bill Bratton. Clearly he knows what must be done. This is his moment.
  • Rudy Giuliani. The Mayor Emeritus.
  • PBA Prez Pat Lynch. Ready for prime time. Watch his media trajectory and vector.
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo. He’s plenipotent. Potential for great vacuum filling.
  • Reverend Al Sharpton. Wow. Can you say “kryptonite”?

Enter Lionel and Wally.

LIONEL PODCAST: Two NYPD Officers Were Executed by a Lowlife Subhuman Waste of Flesh

That about sums that up. That should be the headline. And the end of any further attempts at analysis or explication, extrapolation or causation. A dirtbag slaughtered two innocent cops merely because they were wearing a uniform. That’s it. Full stop. Not only that, this vermin plasters social media with his tough guy scowl and a sneer and a gun. I shan’t ever utter or write his name. He’s a nullity. And that’s the end of the discussion.

Causation versus correlation. Only he’s responsible. The human waste. He’s responsible. Not de Blasio the Pathetic, not Al Sharpton, not the media or Islam or guns or liberalism or _____ (your inapposite reference here). This slime acted on his own and with a country of over 316.1M people, his behavior was a statistical aberration, attributable to nothing and no one save himself.

Auf Wiedersehen, baby. But the political winds have changed drastically. So long de Blasio, darling of the neo-progressive left who touted him as a contender in 2016. And adios, Guillermo, for the 2017 mayoralty you’re now officially a one-termer. Remember, two things New York voters hate is a member who’s lousy on snow plowing (Can you say John Lindsay?) and weak on crime and — Gawd fornidm riots (Can you say David Dinkins?). And sayonara, Al Sharpton, whose political liability and kryptonite visage heretofore have been nonpareil, may have finally worn out the tenuous welcome he enjoyed. You’ve finally hit critical mass. This is your Cosby moment. So long, farewell. And keep your eye on Pat Lynch, whose firebrand style needs some polishing but it’s pure media gold. Watch what happens.

LIONEL PODCAST: Police Protests – It’s About Time

Protesters march in New York, carrying signs depicting the haunting eyes of Eric Garner.

The eyes have it. As symbols go this one’s hard to beat. The message and power are breathtaking.Too bad Eric Garner’s not the best case to be made, but it’ll have to do.

But don’t listen to this podcast if you want to be mollified. Either way. There’s no specific right or wrong here. Nothing Manichean or apodictic. This is a nuance minefield. It’s years of perceived and actual police excess but this time it’s been accompanied by a deliberate and powerful activism, the likes of which New York City, in particular, hasn’t seen for decades.

  • Eric Garner and Michael Brown are not good cases to clearly exemplify raw and unbridled police excess as both resisted arrest, confronted the cops and contributed in large part to the tragic and deadly escalation of their cases. You simply can’t get past these facts. Brown charged Officer Wilson; Garner resisted arrest. That is not to say that the police acted appropriately or professionally in any wise. In fact they may have. The point is that’s not the point. There are better cases. Fact. Kelly Thomas, Dillon Taylor, Gil Collar, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice — these are better examples of clear excesses. Easier to digest and grasp by all parties and factions. Woefully bereft of pithy memes and hashtag messaging.
  • My Nine-Point Plan I commend to you for your perusal and review. It lists and adumbrates my suggestions and recommendations as a necessary start.
  • There are white folks who want nothing to do with the suggestion that police act inappropriately and excessively. They believe that it’s racial bellyaching, promoted and exacerbated by poverty pimps and racial arsonists. And they’re wrong.
  • There are people of color who, perhaps habituated to yet another example of police shooting, want nothing to do with the suggestion that Eric Garner and Michael Brown had anything to do with precipitating their own tragic ends. They see Messrs. Brown and Garner as police victims, simple. And they’re wrong as well.
  • This issue requires careful consideration and rational analysis and, moreover, critical thinking skills. Keep the sloganeering and the catchy meme rhetoric. I want solutions. Not an Instagram moment or a retweet.

Breaking the Set. Abby Martin of RT’s Breaking the Set and I enjoy a spirited and targeted discussion on all that is the latest in Eric Garner and the problems associated therewith. Abby’s without peer in getting down to the the tacks of brass and — get this — allotting adequate time to discuss, dissect and digest an issue.

I invite you to refer to my YouTube Channel and subscribe.

THE LIONEL PLAN: Preventing and Dealing With the Next Eric Garner

As the country moves past its initial and collection reaction and shock to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions, the issue is now what to do after. Specifically, what needs to be done to move forward and how to both prevent and deal with the next (inevitable) tragedy. Herein is my nine-point plan.

  • Mandatory special prosecutor assigned in police shootings. DA’s will be prohibited from handling prosecutions of police officer shootings and/or deaths within their jurisdiction regarding officers whom they must necessarily deal with on a daily basis.
  • Police union messaging. Police unions must not be viewed as adversarial to the public and must tailor their message and directives avoiding at all costs ostensible tone-deaf insensitivity.
  • Civilian ride-along programs. The public simply has no idea of what police do. Increased participation in ride-along programs and similar liaison programs will help dramatically especially when combined with media and social media outlets highlighting the efforts.
  • Media instruction and tutelage as to what police do. The public and media think that arrests are invitations to cooperate. They must understand the rather brusque process of surrender and the danger to police of “pretty please” seizure.
  • Education of public as to grand jury process. The ham sandwich myth must be forever corrected and eliminated altogether.
  • Reevaluation and ultimate reversal of 1033 programs. Programs providing for militarization of police agencies fuel subliminal antagonism and exacerbate the inherent problems.The historic firewall between civilian law enforcement and military operations as in Posse Comitatus must be enforced.
  • Mandatory camera programs. Cameras proved invaluable in establishing a level of transparency in the Eric Garner case. Without them, no facts would have been readily available. The ACLU has instituted programs allowing for citizens to download apps for smartphone use to document and record questionable and suspect police behavior.
  • Expansion of Citizen Complain Review Boards and CCRB-like programs. Civilian jurisdiction in reviewing police abuse claims creates the perception of cooperative involvement and community investment.
  • Police-civilian liaisons. Emphasis on community policing and symbiotic cooperation is encouraged versus antagonistic coexistence.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Indict This!

One more time. Just listen to me. This is all you’ll need to know.

 

What Ferguson Doesn’t and Didn’t Mean

WHAT FERGUSON DOESN’T MEAN

by

LIONEL

Let’s be very clear about something regarding the tragedy that was Ferguson. And clarity is something desperately needed. It’s critical to note what the case does not mean.

The grand jury’s refusal or reluctance or inability to indict Officer Darren Wilson, i.e. by returning a “no true bill” on a host of charges from murder to involuntary manslaughter, doesn’t mean that another grand jury cannot be reassembled to indict because double jeopardy does not apply. (Double jeopardy attaches when a petit jury is sworn.)

It doesn’t mean that Officer Wilson wasn’t a bad cop or negligent or racist or incompetent. It doesn’t mean that Ferguson is not a hotbed of intolerance. It merely means that a grand jury did not find probable cause (PC) to indict. And as burdens of proof go, PC is notoriously simple to overcome. I contend a more contemporary definition of PC is “He probably did it.” And, yes, it’s significant to note that not a single charge was found to satisfy PC. Nothing. Especially in view of the esteemed New York jurist Sol Wachtler’s now famous quip that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.

It doesn’t mean that Bob McCulloch was an inept prosecutor or held back evidence or that the evidence was in and of itself insufficient. It doesn’t mean that Wilson will not be found civilly liable in a host of potential lawsuits and it doesn’t mean that the failure to find criminal liability in any way precludes civil liability exposure. It doesn’t mean that witnesses were necessarily lying or perjurious. They can and often change their minds, forget and experience different perceptions of the same events.

It doesn’t mean that McCulloch should have necessarily appointed or requested a special prosecutor, though in retrospect it might have been wise. It doesn’t mean that his familial relationships with police somehow disqualify him as a prosecutor. Try finding one who doesn’t have strong ties to cops. It doesn’t mean that Michael Brown asked to be killed or is a thug or a criminal. No, the lack of criminal charges, the deliver of no true bill doesn’t mean anything other than no criminal liability was found. A radiologist who scans an X-ray and announces no evidence of bone fracture doesn’t mean that a patient isn’t hurt or in pain or limping. A negative pregnancy test doesn’t mean that no one had sex or that a rape didn’t occur.

Many civilian observers have quickly realized that criminal law and real life prosecutions aren’t Law & Order. And I daresay they’re shocked. Shocked at what many of us who’ve served in the M*A*S*H units of the DA’s office and trial warrior trenches have known for years: the system exhibits many iterations from surgically precise to reckless and inept. The grand jury was theoretically designed to act as a buffer, a detached and separate tribunal to protect us from a marauding crown. And it’s fraught with problems.

Historically the grand jury is the prosecutor’s tool. And interestingly enough, now making the rounds is SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia’s 1992 opinion in Williams. It’s been quoted (interestingly enough) by the same folks who until recently most probably reviled him. He noted that historically “neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.” Touché, Nino. The Williams court refused to dismiss an indictment where exculpatory evidence was not introduced. Here, in a most novel approach, it seems the juridical vigilantes want an indictment delivered because too much exculpatory evidence was presented. Go figure.

The grand jury’s decision anent the tragedy that is the death of Michael Brown doesn’t mean anything other than PC as to criminal liability was not found, seen, presented or allowed to be established. That’s it in a nutshell. It’s time to take a breath and continue to demand accountability from all police departments everywhere and always. And if you’re up to the challenge, Google “Kelly Thomas,” the case of a schizophrenic homeless man who was beaten to death by two Fullerton, California, cops who were ultimately acquitted. There were no riots in protest.

Now imagine the reaction to an acquittal in Wilson’s trial had it been permitted to go forward.

 

The Militarization of the Police Is the Problem

Prolegomenon. There is an old joke about a man looking for a watch on Broadway when it was lost in the Bowery; when asked why he was looking on Broadway instead of where the watch was lost he replied “the light is so much better here.” Similarly, activists don’t use the incident that best exemplifies their cause, they use the most highly publicized event that can be linked to their cause, even if that link is tenuous. Because the light is so much better.

A meme that’s long gone. Take a look, a gander at this image. Norman Rockwell painted this (“The Runaway”, shown here) for a Saturday Evening Post cover that was published September 20, 1958. The imagery is perfect. Understanding cop — with a lot of time on his hands — reasoning with a lad who ran away. What would today’s version be? A kid sedated by a psychotropic cocktail, under lock and key or recovering after having been Tasered or beaten (or worse) for mouthing off to a cop. This is the crux of the problem: the militarization of the police. The destruction of the idea and notion that they’re to help and assist and not necessarily kick ass and take down names.

Compare this theme with today’s.

Seeming disparity of coverage and concern. Kelly Thomas, Dillon Taylor, Gil Collar. White guys beaten and shot to death by cops: white, non-white and black. (I still don’t know what the hell non-white means.) It’s relevant, it’s pertinent and it needs to be explored. Not because that excuses any alleged police overreaction but because it adds perspective. It adds light. The problem is endemic, inherent and knows not race as a primary factor. Correlation versus cause are two distinctly different considerations. Critial thinking and precise issue analysis are needed desperately.

Let me be brutally frank. I hate, no! I loathe discussions that victim categorize by race. What is this? Are we keeping a tally? No, that’s not the basis of my indictment. If a behavior is wrong, if a reaction is unwarranted, it’s wrong simply because it’s wrong. Likewise you can’t excuse wrongdoing simply because it’s rare and infrequent. A black suspect mistreated by cops is as wrong as a white suspect mistreated by cops. Cops who are trained professionals, I might add.

But what I cannot understand is the selective categorization of victim demographics. Yes, without a doubt, there are discrepancies between white and black treatment. True. The history of police treatment is marred and horrible to be sure. But issue analysis and critical thinking a required here. Let’s stick to the particular issue and framework that this disquisition attempts to address. Work with me in this one.

What the problem is and has been is an attitudinal militarization of police that has been exacerbated by the recent injection of 1033-like programs into police departments already burdened by historically entrenched and intrinsic racism. Without a doubt. let’s be clear: Racism has existed, the disparate treatment of criminal detainees and suspects still exists. Fine, let’s all stipulate to that and move on.

Here is the gravamen of my indictment.

  • Police training and institutional mindsets need immediate and drastic revision.
  • The celerity in the use of deadly force must be addressed. Alternatives to force and dispute resolution must be included in officers’ arsenal.
  • Racial arson, especially when fueled by those who seek to enjoy pecuniary gain, must be decried and attacked for what it is.
  • The mainstream media must seriously readdress the way in which it covers incendiary matters, especially in view of the 24/7 cable news wheel that feeds data and coverage without surcease with no recognizable sense of proportion, sobriety or responsibility.
  • The notion of the peace officer has gone the way of RoboCop. So long, Sheriff Andy. The message of the role of officer must be retooled and readdressed.
  • The principles of Posse Comitatus must be revisited to readdress the division between civilian law enforcement and military.

Good luck explicating this perspective. Ted Baxter and Ron Burgundy would be proud.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Why Al Sharpton’s Not in Prison, CNN Resident Cretin Don Lemon’s Let Anywhere Near a Mic and Manson Can Marry in Prison But Gay Marriage Is Illegal in 17 States

“So, tell me again how Al Sharpton’s not in prison, why that cretin Don Lemon’s on CNN blaming rape victims not to mention that insane black hole comment and why Charles Manson can marry in prison but gay marriage is illegal in 17 states.”

Al Sharpton on television. Sure, but as a host?! First, he can’t read a prompter. Seriously, he can’t read a prompter. Why is that important, you ask? You’re kidding, right? Television is all prompter-fed and scripted. Mechanized transmission. But you knew that. No, the righteous Reverend is on for reasons most mortals can only speculate on. My guess: pictures of network heads with barn owls, miscellaneous blackmail, who knows. But it sure as hell ain’t talent. He redefines the depths of bad, real bad. Amateurish at a new level. Horrid. Dreck. I’ve seen hostage videos with more persuasive soul than Al at his relative best. Wow.

So, why’s he not in jail? Great question. The New York Times piece on his Eminence, the tax prevaricator and BFF of POTUS’s and AG’s, the Geppetto to de Blasio’s Pinocchio, NYPD Commish Bill Bratton’s boss, provides a bill of particulars that would land you or me in the hoosegow without a doubt, yet he remains unscathed. “The recent Treasury report that called that sort of practice abusive also said only 1,200 organizations in the nation owed more than $100,000 in unpaid payroll taxes, which would put Mr. Sharpton’s group among the most delinquent nonprofit organizations in the nation.”

Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, let MSNBC have it with both barrels.

MSNBC has all but invited this embarrassment. As the Erik Wemple Blog has reported, Sharpton negotiated his contract with MSNBC under the stipulation that his work as an activist would continue. In remarks in D.C. last year, Sharpton recalled what he told MSNBC President Phil Griffin about his status: “I said, well, I’m still going to run NAN, I’m still going to be an activist.” Griffin responded positively. “He said, ‘Put it in the contract. We’d never interfere with what you’re doing, your civil rights work,’” Sharpton quoted Griffin as saying.

On one level, Sharpton’s various hats carry implications for the ethics of his work at MSNBC. Being an anchor on a news network while also serving as a big shot at the White House and the head of a civil rights group creates a jumble of undiagrammable — and almost unknowable — conflicts of interest.

Yet the other level of concern is precisely what the Times has exposed: Sharpton Inc. is a sprawling concern, clearly more than one overbooked man can handle. By employing Sharpton as a prominent figure in its news rotation, MSNBC must own the failings of his empire. A spokeswoman for MSNBC says the network has no comment on the situation.

And then there’s Lemon. A lemon historically was “a person who is a loser, a simpleton,” which is perhaps from the notion of someone a sharper can “suck the juice out of.” Don Lemon is a cretin. A Boeotian. A dullard of Olympic proportion. This is the same feller who posited a black hole as a source of missing MH370. Well, Ol’ Don may have out “Don” himself in this latest snafu.

Speaking with putative rape victim Joan Tarshis, a woman who recently accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her 45 years ago, the doltish Don cleverly asked her why she didn’t use her teeth as “a weapon” while being forced to perform oral sex on the comedian. You can’t make this up.

Lemon: Can I ask you this, because — and please, I don’t mean to be crude, ok?

Tarshis: Yeah.

Lemon: Because I know some of you — and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do — if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: And you said he made you perform oral sex.

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

Tarshis: Oh. Um, I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.

Lemon: Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?

Tarshis: Yes, that’s what I’m thinking you’re —

Lemon: As a weapon.

Tarshis: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.

Lemon: Biting.

Tarshis: Ouch.

Lemon: Yes. I had to ask. I mean, it is, yeah.

Tarshis: Yes. No, it didn’t cross my mind.

And finally, Charles Manson’s tying the knot.  In a country where 17 states have prohibited same-sex intragender marriage, an 80-year-old notorious convicted killer can marry a 25 year-old named “Star.” Think about it. The Menendez Brothers and Charlie can traipse down the proverbial aisle in matrimonium ducere, but a respectable gay couple can’t. Are you mind-boggled? You should be. This is our society. Our demented society.