Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

23 September 2008

Weekend Reading Roundup

The third consecutive week of embarrassing football-pick results can be found here.

On the extended-weekend reading tip, some Inky stories:

Now, I've never heard of Inquirer Staff Writer Jenna Oskowitz before this weekend, but she certainly made an impression on first read. A very bad impression. A very, very bad impression, as a matter of fact. Because Ms. Oskowitz, in writing about the shameful injustice of The Insider firing American Hero Pat O'Brien, disrespected a man whose contributions to society surpass those of FDR, Einstein and Elvis squared. Ms. Oskowitz, you need to know one thing: Pat O'Brien ain't jealous of nobody in this world. He's got hookers, blow and Betsy. And you name it, Betsy's into it. You owe them both an apology. [Photo from Gawker]

From the "Shut the hell up and go the hell home" files, it seems local trannies have driven the Commission on Human Relations to take up a case challenging whether SEPTA is being discriminatory because the stickers on their travel passes only come in Male and Female and not "In Between." People, we live in a world with real problems. Gargantuan problems. Last time I checked, the stork doesn't drop off babies with signs celebrating, "It's neither a boy nor a girl!" Pathetic. A waste of time and energy. My tip: Go with whichever gender you more closely resemble, sirma'ams.

And, check this letter out. I need to know more. Were they illicitly inserted into copies? Were they sent out as an advertisement for, well, fearmongering?

DVD of fear
I just finished watching Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, an alarmist DVD that was inserted in The Inquirer and other newspapers last week. It purports to be nonpartisan, but is just now being distributed before the elections in swing states.
It's obvious the film's intent is to make us afraid, and it panders to that fear by presenting an image of a worldwide jihadist conspiracy. The Clarion Fund, which distributed the film, claims we are in denial if we don't buy into this hate propaganda. The film offers no concrete ideas as to what to do. It just wants to create a fear that happens to dovetail with John McCain's rhetoric.

Judy Rubin

The New York Times Magazine also deserves an Oskowitz shout-down for claiming that Baltimore is "the new Philadelphia." Because it isn't. And it never will be. Unless you're talking about the syphilis cluster in the Great Northeast. In which case, yes, Baltimore is similar to Philadelphia.
But it also deserves an atta-guy for this pull quote about how McCain fared in a straw poll of U.S. Naval Academy upperclassmen:
These students are just as inclined as good students everywhere to question established wisdom. One professor told me he had polled a group of upperclassmen on the presidential race this past May. He was shocked to read the final tally: Hillary Clinton, 0; the war hero and Navy legend John McCain, 7; Barack Obama, 13. Virtually all of them, he said, took a dim view of the chief architects of the Iraq war (though they continued to respect the commander in chief).

Over in the NY Times (victims of a pretty funny sketch on SNL this week), the tragedy of the Non-convicted-murder O.J. Simpson's life remains on full display out in Vegas. Even if nobody but Dominick Dunne is there to see it unfold.
Mr. Simpson’s initial court appearances last year provoked a minor frenzy, but his arrivals in recent days elicited little reaction. A street outside the courthouse was shut down for an expected deluge of reporters, but it has been largely empty. The Las Vegas Sun is offering updates via the microblog site Twitter, but as of Friday just 33 people had signed up.

A must-read editorial about how scumbag Swiftboaters are fighting for the right they really don't have to smear Obama indiscriminately -- without oversight from election rule. The piece dovetails nicely with Nick Kristof's calling-out of those who've attempted to unethically co-opt his work to say things he didn't say about Obama and religion. He said it before and he'll say it again: Obama. Is. Not. Muslim. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

And, finally, The Muppets are coming back with the vengeance!


Blogger leenie said...

OK. Pat O'Brien, a man whose contributions to society surpass those of FDR, Einstein and Elvis squared? You must have a wonderful sense of humor or you have way too much time on your hands.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Brian Hickey said...

A little bit of both, leenie. But in this case, as much as I consider the POB voice-mails a seminal moment in American history, it was in jest. FDR and Einstein squared, sure, but Late-Stage Elvis messes the whole equation up.

10:14 AM  

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