• Conflicting Reports

Roy Blunt – Racist Joke? You Make The Call

blunt-lewisWe are constantly being accused of seeing race in everything. So we’ll let you make the call on this one. Influential Republican Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri:


You really don’t need to hear much more — but to make sure we are not accused of taking the “monkey in Washington” punchline out of context — here’s the full clip:

Double-amputee Tasered By Cops

taserGregory Williams has no arms and no legs.

He is wheelchair-bound and also has a bad heart.

But police in Merced, California were not able to subdue Williams without tasering him twice to the ribcage. Williams was not armed. Then they left the 40 year-old man on the ground in broad daylight, with his pants down and his privates showing. Then he got thrown in jail where remained for six days even though no charges were ever filed.

According to Williams:

They did what they did because they can get away with it. They’ve been doing it so long, it doesn’t matter who they do it to. They just think they can get away with it.

An internal affairs investigation is being conducted into the incident.

Watch the video…

FOX NEWS PRODUCER — Not As IN-Experienced As You May Think

heidi noonanFox News says it’s merely the actions of an inexperienced associate producer.  But Heidi Noonan may not be as lacking in experience as the news network would like you to believe.  At least, you have to wonder why someone so wet behind the ears would fetch the assignments she has.  Experience aside, Heidi Noonan became the most talked-about TV news producer this weekend as a videotape surfaced of her whipping-up anti-Obama protesters in Washington as she was setting-up a live report for correspondent Griff Jenkins. First of all, one has to wonder why Fox News would assign someone as light-on-news-credentials as Heidi Noonan to a story that the network itself believed to be so important. 

And Conflicting Reports has learned that Heidi Noonan has had the privilege of covering more than just a one-time weekend event on the Mall in Washington. 

I was under the impression that only experienced producers were assigned to the iconic venues of American government — the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court.  Let’s take Congress.    If you were to assign someone who lacks experience, I would think that the assignment would be on the lighter side, maybe a new member of the House or a tutorial on how a bill makes its way through Congress 

So we find it interesting that Heidi Noonan has been assigned to cover none other than the stalwart of the Senate — the late Edward Kennedy.

 This memo from Heidi Noonan to folks back at Fox News headquarters:

From: Noonan, Heidi
To:
Sent: Mon Nov 17 12:18:13 2008
Subject: Urgent Sen. Kennedy’s remarks

Came into Russell Rotunda around 1158 with his 2 dogs and wife vicki here are his remarks:

I feel fine and looking forwars to the session with Pres elect Barack Obama on heathcare and all things on our agenda.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers overtime. It’s delightful to be back.

Heathcare:
Hopefully prime item on the agenda.

Also the environment of Pres elect Obama has indicated it is prime. Good team working over the period of late summer and fall has given us a good start. He’s (obama) stated that.

Color:
Say hello to [Splash] And sunny. They’ve been behaving very well and are trying to decide which will be top dog.

He then entered the main hall in Russell to a room full of cheers and clapping.

This was shot to tape and feeding back shortly.

Below is the formal statement released.

Heidi Noonan
Fox News Channel • Washington, DC

And since Fox News is well aware that Heidi Noonan is so inexperienced, they would never allow her to contribute to a report, or put her name on a story.  Right?

WASHINGTON–

Sen. Edward Kennedy arrived on Capitol Hill Monday with his wife and two dogs — the first time the Massachusetts Democrat has been at work since July after he was diagnosed a month earlier with a brain tumor.

Kennedy said he’s feeling great and wants to work on an economic stimulus proposal before trying to expand health care for all Americans through legislation next year. He was in town for the start of the lame duck session of Congress, expected to last about a week before finishing up for the year.

In a statement, Kennedy said he will “continue to lay the ground work for early action by Congress on health reform when President Obama takes office in January. We’ve been making real progress in our discussions about a consensus approach and I’m optimistic we’ll succeed.”

He added that he is “grateful for the prayers and good wishes I’ve received over the past several months. They have certainly lifted my spirits, as has the election of Barack Obama as our 44th president.”

Kennedy was greeted by cheers as he entered the main hallway of his Senate office building. He joked that his two dogs, Splash and Sunny, were behaving well and vying to be top dog.

Kennedy, 76, was last on Capitol Hill for a July 9 vote on a Medicare bill that passed despite Bush administration opposition. That was his sole return to Congress following surgery on June 2 for a malignant brain tumor that usually gives patients only a few years survival.

Kennedy delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August. He was an early supporter of Obama.

FOX News’ Heidi Noonan contributed to this report.

 Link to article

 

Well at least she didn’t whip the dogs into a frenzy to make for a better story.

Murder of Student Brings Skeletons Out Of Yale Closet

schless 2Joseph Schlessinger, Chair of the Pharmacology Department at Yale University School of Medicine is one of the few people at Yale to have gone  on record when student Annie Le was reported missing. 

The Pharmacology Department “knows nothing” about the disappearance, Schlessinger told the Yale Daily News last Friday.

Schlessinger said he first learned that Le was missing when he received an email from her faculty advisor Anton Bennett, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department.  Schlessinger says he received that email at about noon on September 8, the day Le disappeared.  The Yale Daily News reports that, according to Schlessinger, Bennett advised him that Le had not shown up for work and nobody knew where she was.  Professor Bennett has not commented publicly on the email, but he did describe to the Yale Daily News the growing apprehension as the day wore on, “There was certainly immediate concern about her whereabouts,” Bennett said. “And they grew over the course of the day,” especially after she missed a pathology class for which she is a teaching assistant.

annie

Now we know that Annie Le was killed in a lab on the Yale campus sometime after 10am.  She is seen entering the building at about that time, recorded by a security camera.

Schlessinger pointed out to the Yale Daily News that his student was concerned about crime in and around Yale “She did not feel safe in New Haven,” Schlessinger said, adding that her 4’ 11” stature would have made her an easy target.

She was always talking about the wedding,” said Schlessinger, “We are just concerned; we are like her parents.”

But the real parents of pharmacology students at Yale may not want Schlessinger taking on the role of surrogate parent, especially if they know about a sexual harassment suit filed against Schlessinger and Yale University which was quietly settled out of court.  Those parents may also want to know that a U.S. District Court Judge ruled Schlessinger improperly obtained a patent for a well-known cancer drug. Or perhaps they would want to know why someone registered the domain name josephschlessinger.com for the sole purpose of promulgating misdeeds attributed to Schlessinger, and how Schlessinger was able wrest control of that domain from its owner in what Internet industry experts say was an unprecedented arbitration case in his favor.

Mary Beth Garceau  began working as a secretary at the Yale School of Medicine back in 2001.  Her supervisor was Joseph Schlessinger.  Garceau claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that Schlessinger made repeated lewd observations and suggestions to her, from telling jokes about penis size to showing her hard-core pornography.  She says the harassment started on day one and didn’t end until she quit nearly three years later.  The complaint goes on to say that Yale University was culpable in that university officials did not address her concerns when they were brought to their attention.

From the complaint:

[He] commented on the size of her breasts and style of her underwear…On her first day of work, she says, Schlessinger told a joke to a colleague involving penis size and watched for her response…[H]e once showed her pornography on his office computer and, another time, pulled a picture from his desk showing a naked woman without a head and told her it was his wife.

In April to May 2002, plaintiff had the responsibility to schedule a meeting between Dr. Schlessinger and the Director of the Cancer Center. Dr. Schlessinger became angry because of a decision a committee made to reject his preferred candidate for that position. When plaintiff discussed with the scheduling of a meeting, he answered, “F*** them, I am not meeting with them”. Surprised, the plaintiff responded in question form, “F*** them?”.  Dr. Schlessinger responded, “I bet it would be fun to f**** you.”  At this point, plaintiff became fearful and left the room.

Garceau also alleged that Schlessinger bragged about the number of women he had slept with, claiming the number came to 46, and commented on the size of her breasts and style of her underwear   In another incident, Garceau claims Schlessinger asked her to pick him up at home and take him to work so he wouldn’t have to leave his car in New Haven during a business trip. She says he greeted her at the door in an open shirt with “no clothes underneath” and asked her to come to his bedroom upstairs and help him pack. She said she felt nervous and afraid but went upstairs because he was her supervisor.

Garceau alleges that university officials seemed more interested in protecting Schlessinger’s reputation than investigating her complaints.

The terms of the settlement in the case were never disclosed, but Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said the university believes there was no violation of law. Yale University defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on campus or off. Violations are punishable by “serious disciplinary action.”

Another case involving Schlessinger did go to trial.

Imclone is the biotech company best known for a stock collapse that helped land founder Sam Waksal and his Martha Stewart in prison.  The company was also the center of a court case that pitted three distinguished scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute against their ex-colleague Joseph Schlessinger in a patent dispute involving the cancer drug Erbitux.  The three scientists essentially accused Schlessinger of stealing the patent.  

In September 2006 U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled against Schlessinger and in favor of the three scientists who were declared the true inventors of Erbitux.  While Schlessinger testified at trial that he developed the “only unique material” during experimentation, the judge disagreed, saying “Schlessinger in no way directed the research of the Weizmann scientists and had absolutely no interaction with them during the course of their experimentation.  The judge went on to say that the Weizmann scientists were not included as inventors on the patent even though they conducted all of the experiments relating to mixing the antibody and chemotherapy drugs.

Professor Michael Sela, one of the plaintiffs and an ex-colleague of Schlessinger said after the verdict,  “I don’t mind if I don’t take a patent, unless it’s stolen from me. Then I have to react. At the beginning, when I first saw it, I was in a state of shock. I mean, money is not important, but my name and my science, my honor demanded I should be replaced.”

Joseph Schlessinger is no stranger to legal battles and seems to be a person always ready to argue his case.  That was what happened when a man by the name of Harold O’Connor, believed to be pseudonym, decided to register the domain name josephschlessinger.com.  His sole purpose for the website was to post information about the sexual harassment suit and the Imclone case. This time Schlessinger won, much to the dismay of experts who follow domain name dispute cases.  

Schlessinger brought his case before the World Intellectual Property Organization, the body that arbitrates disputes involving the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy.  Schlessinger argued through his lawyers that the domain name should be transferred to him claiming common law rights to his name as a trademark.  Schlessinger has never registered his name as a trademark and critics of the decision say that his name is not recognizable to the general public, the standard used to claim common law trademark rights. Andrew Alleman, who writes about the domain name industry, was befuddled by the decision, “I’m perplexed at how panelists decide that a person has achieved significant enough popularity to have trademark rights to their name. The random selection of a panelist seems to be more important than how well known the person actually is.”

The decision by WIPO was also criticized as a violation of free speech and industry insiders say they are surprised that Schlessinger prevailed.

Much has been said about Yale’s handling of the Le disappearance and the subsequent investigation.  Yale has come under criticism in the past for protecting its good name over the rights and needs of its students.  The murder of Annie Le, a story that has gripped the nation, in all its tragic reality, will undoubtedly shine a spotlight on Yale, its practices and its culture. 

This case will not be settled quietly.

Key Figure in Blogojojevich Probe Found Dead

Christopher Kelly, a key figure in the federal corruption probe into former Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich has been found dead.

image

The Cook County medical examiner’s office today confirmed that Kelly’s body was brought to the morgue and that the cause of death was  salicylate intoxication.

Salicylates are used in pain medications.

Blogojevich released the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened to hear that Chris has died. My heart goes out to his wife, Carmen, his three daughters, Grace, Jacqueline, and Claire and his entire family. They are in our prayers.”

Kelly was a top fundraiser for Blagojevich.  He was indicted at the same time as Bologojevich. 

Report of Yale Student’s Body Found Erroneous:

Professor Reportedly Eyed by Police

Yale Says Professor is Not a Suspect — Will Release Statement Today

Update 5:05pm et: REPORT: BODY FOUND

Update 5:01pm et: NEW HAVEN POLICE TO HOLD 5:30PM NEWS CONFERENCE.

lePolice have found items of bloody clothing in ceiling tiles of the building where Yale research student Annie Le was last seen alive. The report comes from New Haven television station WTNH — which says police are now considering the area a crime scene. New Haven police will only say that no body has been found — but they did not deny the television report. In the meantime police are focusing on a Yale professor who abruptly canceled a class the day Le went missing. Le attended that class according the New York Post. The University has come forward to say that the professor is not a suspect. In a sign that there may be movement in the investigation — New Haven States Attorney Michael Dearington was on the scene today, and Yale University says it will put out a statement sometime later in the day.

CNN Goes With FALSE Security Breach STORY

Omits FALSE Reporting Angle From Own Story

CNN Statement:

CNN STATEMENT:

 

CNN staff were monitoring law enforcement activity this morning given the 9/11 anniversary.

After hearing a U.S. Coast Guard radio transmission that a boat had breached a security zone on the Potomac River a short distance from the Pentagon where the President had just attended a 9/11 anniversary ceremony, CNN contacted the Coast Guard public affairs office at the agency’s headquarters. The Coast Guard spokeswoman said she was unaware of any activity taking place on the Potomac River.  

After hearing a further radio transmission about 10 rounds being expended, and after reviewing video of rapid movement by Coast Guard vessels as the President’s motorcade crossed the Memorial Bridge, CNN reported the story. Simultaneously, during a second phone call, the Coast Guard spokeswoman informed us that its National Command Center and other command posts knew nothing about any activity in the area.

Given the circumstances, it would have been irresponsible not to report on what we were hearing and seeing. As with any breaking news story, information is often fluid and CNN updated the story with the official explanation from the Coast Guard as soon as it was provided.

CNN in a story on its website, seems to be leading with a vindication of itself, highlighting the fact that the Coast Guard did not alert other agencies about the exercise (apparently they didn’t notify news organizations either). There is NO mention in the story that the exercise caused CNN to go on the air with breaking news, which made this a story in the first place.   The headline reads:  Coast Guard to review exercise after Potomac security scare. IT WAS CNN REPORTING THAT CAUSED THE SCARE IN THE FIRST PLACE — BUT THAT FACT IS LEFT OUT OF THE STORY!

Minutes after American Airlines 1549 had ditched into the Hudson River last January and news organizations started learning about the near-impossible event — a much-respected, senior assignment editor at ABC sent an email around to all news personnel stating that the incident had to be a “movie shoot”.

He was wrong. 

But in a way he was very right.  Right for the way he was thinking.

Today the US Coast Guard was conducting an exercise on the Potomac River when news organizations started hearing about shots fired in some sort of security breach.  CNN went wild of course, the Breaking News Banner went up and the coverage was wall-to-wall immediately.  A lot is already being said about the bright idea to hold a security exercise on 9/11 — but that has no bearing on what the news network did.  They went with a story without checking. 

If only someone had thought like that ABC assignment editor during the Miracle on the Hudson.  It is something we always need to keep in mind as news people — if it looks too “real”, check, and then check again.  When I was a producer on the desk, I always would think “drill” if something seemed “too big”.  Even on 9/11/01, for a second or two, I wondered if this was some sort of mass exercise. 

In my days on the desk, I remember getting familiar with the way the NYPD conducted their drills, the codes they would use, and the language that would come across the radios.  CNN was working off radio communications — which is one of best and worst ways to get information.  Yes you’ll get to hear what’s going on on the ground, but they’re talking to each other.  Nobody is giving you, the reporter, the information.  Overhearing conversations are never the same as taking part in them.   So this is raw information.  As raw as it gets.  You use the information at your own peril.  It’s not wrong to use the information heard in radio communications, it just should not be used as the sole source of your reporting.

And then there’s always the ability to pick up the phone.  But today there seems to be no time for verification.  You snooze you lose.

What I would like to know is how the media will will cover this story, if at all.  Will they simply continue questioning the government about the ridiculous idea of having an exercise on the Potomac on 9/11?  Is it possible for once, that news organizations will not see themselves as “protected” against the same type of scrutiny they cast on others? 

The government messes up it gets coverage, as it should.  Wall Street messes up it gets coverage.  The school system messes up it gets coverage.  Let’s face it — any individual citizen messes up, anybody on the planet, the media has no compunction reporting the infraction to the world, and in many cases hurting that individual or even destroying that person’s life.

I’d like to see the media cover this in the same aggressive manner, camped out outside CNN HQ, demanding answers.  But I’m not going to hold my breath that that segment is STILL TO COME on CNN.

Watching the CNN video of the bogus story, and knowing what an embarrassment it is, this one line kept repeating in my head, “In a story you’ll only see here on CNN”.

Fri Sep 11, 10:11 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard fired on a suspicious boat in the Potomac River in central Washington, D.C., amid high security while September 11 memorial ceremonies were being held nearby at the Pentagon, CNN reported on Friday.

CNN is NOT playing this on their website.  They’re only playing clips from the point they got the story right:

cnn screen shot