by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 09:27 AM | Permalink
Local Republican indicted, gay couple sues state, Ohio PAC buying Zimmerman a gun
The speaker of the Ohio House is asking a local state representative to resign after he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud.
State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican, already faces a maximum of 43 years in
prison if he’s convicted on all the counts, but Ohio Attorney General
Mike DeWine says the ongoing investigation might produce more charges. The
charges are a result of Beck’s alleged actions involving an Ohio
software company called Christopher Technologies, which investors claim
bilked them out of $200,000.
Claiming discrimination, a newlywed same-sex couple is suing the state of Ohio
for failing to recognize their marriage. Jim Obergefell and John Arthur
were married in Maryland, but the couple lives in Cincinnati, Ohio,
where same-sex marriage is banned by the state constitution. The
couple’s attorney claims the state should be forced to recognize the
marriage because of Fourteenth Amendment protections extended to gay
couples by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Arthur was diagnosed in 2011 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a
neurological disease that causes muscles to rapidly deteriorate, and
he’s currently bedridden as a result. Given Arthur’s health,
the couple will argue for an expedited ruling at a hearing at 1:30 p.m.
today in front of U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black.
The Buckeye Firearms Association is raising money to buy a gun for George Zimmerman,
who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the murder trial of black
17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s gun is currently being held by
the U.S. Department of Justice as it investigates further charges.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and 100 members of the
Children’s Defense Fund will meet at Washington Park at 1 p.m. today to rally
against gun violence in Cincinnati. The group plans to march to City
Hall, where they will listen to students’ suggestions for making the city a safer place to visit and reside.
A state representative introduced a bill
that would allow some public university students to forgo traditional
tuition and instead pay for their college education through a percent of
their income for 24 years after they graduate.
An Ohio health aide is being sent to prison for Medicaid fraud.
Ohio gas prices are down this week.
In a desperate bid to save the endangered Sumatran rhino, the Cincinnati Zoo is attempting to breed a brother and sister.
If you think the recent heat has been bad, Popular Science has a humbling list of the 10 worst places to live in the universe.
by Ben L. Kaufman
Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond
• As much
as I usually enjoy Krista Ramsey’s controlled, empathetic reporting and
writing, I don’t understand why Enquirer editors wasted her talent and
their limited space on their serial about a bank-robbing granny. Who
cares? If I learned anything, it was from the front page dedicated to
the start of the serial. It was pure, screaming tabloid and perfect
practice for the day the Enquirer shrinks its page size again.
Enquirer discovered a foreign policy “expert” living silently among us
for years. That’s their word: “expert.” He was outed on Monday’s page 1
in a lavishly illustrated story about his taxpayer-paid travels. It’s
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot. Face it, travel doesn’t make anyone an expert.
If it did, Rick Steves should be our next Secretary of State.
we go again. Our Enquirer carrier is supposed to deliver the Enquirer
seven days a week and the New York Times Monday-Saturday. Last
Wednesday, the Enquirer arrived but the Times didn’t. Times call center
people in Iowa promised a replacement paper by 2 p.m. We’re still
Thursday, there was no Times for the second day and, instead of a replacement
Wednesday paper, the Enquirer carrier tossed a copy of the Wall Street
I can’t invent this stuff. The WSJ is the only serious challenger facing the Times as a national daily.
people in Iowa promised a replacement Thursday paper. I’ve called so
many times I can recite their script with them, including faux sincerity
when apologizing for missed papers.
also sent another note to the circulation VP at the Times, using the
email address on the paper’s website. (I couldn’t find any such person
or email in the online list of Enquirer contacts. No surprise.)
Times circulation VP couldn’t happy about paying to deliver the WSJ. An
aide called, saying he’d do all he could by phone. Not much. Actually,
Friday, finally, the Enquirer carrier got it right: Enquirer and Times. That can’t last. The lapses are not new.
are being raised about foreign research involving UC and Henry
Heimlich. UC News Record reporter Benjamin Goldschmidt said, “The study
tested whether or not a modified version of the Heimlich Maneuver could
stop an acute asthma attack or treat asthma symptoms without
contemporary treatment. The subjects’ parents gave consent and the
results reported no adverse effects, according to the study. The 67
children who participated were between the ages of six and 16.”
said Heimlich’s son, Peter, is pressing the inquiry at UC and
elsewhere. The younger Heimlich said that “Since at least 1996, based on
dubious evidence, my father has claimed that the Heimlich Maneuver can
stop asthma attacks, but asthma experts have expressed strong doubts . .
. For example, in 2005, Loren Greenway, administrative director of
respiratory and pulmonary medicine for Intermountain Health Care in Salt
Lake City, told a reporter that using the Heimlich maneuver in an acute
asthmatic condition … could actually kill somebody.”
Heimlich said he targeted UC because Charles Pierce, adjunct professor
of psychiatry at UC, was involved with applying for loans for the study
in Barbados, an Atlantic nation between Haiti and Venezuela. He cited
email correspondence in the Winkler Center’s Heimlich Archives at UC.
News Record quoted UC spokesman Greg Hand, who said the majority of
Pierce’s work is done at Children’s Hospital, not with UC.
Peter Heimlich raised questions about his father’s foreign experiments
on malariotherapy, which seeks to prove that infecting people with
malaria creates HIV-killing fevers.
• If you missed it, find last week’s page 1 New York Post photo of a man about to be killed by a subway train.
photographer R. Umar Abbasi said it is one of dozens he shot using his
flash unsuccessfully to alert the driver about an emergency. A furor
followed the Post’s decision to print his photo.
Photographers frequently are faulted for not intervening in violent or deadly situations. So let me offer a couple comments.
Abbasi had no duty to try to lift Ki-Suck Han to safety. He says he
wasn’t close enough, the train was coming, he was unsure whether he
could lift the man. Others, closer, did not try to help.
photographers should set aside their cameras and get involved is a
recurrent question. My answer is this: The greater the risk, the smaller
the obligation to help. That’s how we get images of wounded and dying
soldiers, people trapped in or rescued from bombed buildings, prisoners
being shot, stabbed, torture, etc.
what photographers do. They show us what’s happening and in many
situations, photographers would have been casualties if they’d try to
older colleague at the Minneapolis Star said a woman who survived the
collapse of a downtown hotel complained that he photographed her instead
of helping. My colleague sent her an autographed copy of the photo,
inscribed, I recall, “Deadlines are deadlines, lady.”
the Post wasn’t wrong to publish the photo. I’m on the side of showing
what happens when things go very, very wrong. War is ugly. So are
traffic accidents, trench cave-ins and shootings here. Sanitizing does
no service to readers/viewers who need to know what happened in a
newsworthy event. Is the photo disturbing? Yes. But not so much as
Ki-Suck Han’s death at the hands of a stranger who pushed him on to the
often spend their lives known for one news photo: Marines raising the
flag on Mt. Suribachi, a young woman screaming over the body of a
student at Kent State, a starving Sudanese child watched by a nearby
vulture, a South Vietnamese officer executing a Viet Cong suspect with
one shot to the head. Some images win famous prizes. Some photographers
build careers on their moments. At least one, Kevin Carter, bedeviled
by what he’d seen among Sudanese famine victims, killed himself. Abbasi
will not easily shake the image of his image of that subway death.
Dec. 8 Economist online has a cautious update on the declining
newspaper industry, including Gannett, owner of the Enquirer. Included
is a look at the ways pay walls like that at the Enquirer are succeeding
where online content long was free. At some papers, online income
finally is seriously compensating for income from lost print ad
revenue. But the Economist warns “Most important, a paper’s content has
to be worth paying for, which is bad news for (unnamed) papers that
have cost-cut themselves into journalistic wraiths.”
love a journalistic hoax. A top Chinese daily, People’s Daily, reported
that “The Onion has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as
the sexiest man alive for the year 2012.”
unaware that the Onion is an American satirical website, Chinese
editors copied it verbatim: “With his devastatingly handsome, round
face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this
Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true. Blessed with
an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made
this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion
sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.”
pranks are nothing new. Years ago, when WNOP “Radio Free Newport”
broadcast from an Ohio River barge, it would play recordings of prank
telephone calls. One was to a railroad asking if the caller could use
its engine roundhouse to play a huge Bobby Breen U.S. Steel record.
Another asked a department store lingerie clerk about an Erin go Bragh,
and I think, a Freudian slip. A supermarket customer insisted he
properly assembled his “chicken parts kit” but it would only fly
backwards. What should he do? The “Green Hornet” called a garage,
supposedly servicing his Black Beauty car to ask when his Filipino
houseboy Kato could pick it up. Finally, there was the soldier who
called a McDonald’s with a detailed order for an entire Army reserve or
national guard unit. The laughs, of course, came as recipients of the
calls struggled to make sense of the queries until they realized they’d
however, a clever media hoax goes sadly wrong. That’s apparently what
happened last week when Australian radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael
Christian fooled nurses at London’s King Edward VII Hospital into thinking they were the Queen and Prince Charles. They wanted to know how Kate was handling her severe morning sickness.
an early morning telephone call, Greig, impersonating the Queen, said:
“Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my
she was speaking to the Queen, immigrant nurse Jacintha Saldanha, on
switchboard duty, replied; “Oh yes, just hold on ma’am.”
put the call through to the nurse in the Duchess’ room. That nurse, so
far unnamed, also thought she was speaking to the Queen and provided
details about Kate’s health.
Sydney station, 2Day, heavily promoted its prank and broadcast it
repeatedly. It became an international sensation; even the real Prince
Charles was reported to have thought it funny.
Saldanha was found dead Friday, three days later. London police said
they are not treating her death as suspicious. That means suicide or
natural causes. British news media assumed suicide, suggesting Saldanha
couldn’t deal with humiliation after 2Day’s recording of her
embarrassing error went viral. The London Telegraph said “the two
presenters who made the call will be questioned by Australian police
following a request by Scotland Yard, which will gather evidence for an
P. McIntosh was a Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter writing for women in
1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. Editors killed
her story, saying her graphic description of civilian victims would be
too upsetting. Last week, the Washington Post published the uncut story
with McIntosh’s recollections. It’s vivid, fine reporting, the kind of
writing we seldom see today.
inexplicable failure of journalism honesty landed NBC in court. George
Zimmerman, who admits he shot and killed unarmed Florida teenager
Trayvon Martin, sued the network. He says NBC editing of his original
911 call defamed him and caused intentional infliction of emotional
played the its reporter’s edited tape three times. On it, Zimmerman
says, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or
something. He looks black.”
on the unedited tape, Zimmerman says, “This guy looks like he’s up to no
good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking
around, looking about.”
Then the 911 dispatcher says, “OK and this guy — is he white, black or Hispanic.”
Only then, in response, Zimmerman said, “He looks black.”
the dispatcher’s question nor Zimmerman’s answer was racist. If a
police officer was to be dispatched, it was important what the potential
suspect, Trayvon Martin, looked like.
a story I haven’t seen as we edge up to the fiscal cliff: how many
billions are spent on fully employed people whose wages are so low that
employers transfer their costs to the rest of us? Medicaid, food stamps,
etc. aren’t limited to the unemployed or aged. And while they’re at it,
reporters can tell us how much a full-time worker must earn to equal all
of their taxpayer-supported benefits.
now, a birther alert. Ted Cruz, newly elected Hispanic and perfectly
conservative senator from Texas, says his Canadian birth doesn’t
disqualify him from a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
He told Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker, “The Constitution requires that
one be a natural-born citizen and my mother was a U.S. citizen when I
was born.” He could have added that
Americans captured Canada 200 years ago in the War of 1812, assuring
Donald Trump of Cruz’s eligibility. And hey! Americans then defeated
Santa Ana at the Alamo.
by Danny Cross
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls responded to Rep. Steve Chabot’s
Wednesday attempt to block federal funding for Cincinnati’s
streetcar construction by calling it “an outrageous interference in
local government decision-making.” The Enquirer today recapped the
situation, which involves Chabot adding the following amendment to a
massive federal transportation bill: “None of the funds
made available by this Act may be used to design, construct, or operate a
fixed guideway project located in Cincinnati, Ohio.” The amendment has
little chance at being included in the final passage of the bill, as the
Senate and President Obama would both have to approve and sign it.
A parody video of a Western &
Southern PR representative explaining why the insurance company should
build condos at the site of the century-old women’s shelter has earned a
response from W&S. The company’s VP of public relations told The Enquirer: “Whoever
created the video, we think it’s unfortunate that they’ve taken this
approach,” he said. “We think it’s a distraction from finding a win-win
for all involved.” The video is no longer available on YouTube, however,
due to “a copyright claim by Canipre inc.”
Speaking of funny videos, MSNBC posted this video of Rep.
Jean Shmidt apparently reacting to someone incorrectly telling her that
President Obama’s health care law had been struck down. Schmidt can be
seen twisting around and making strange screaming sounds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy