Monday, August 29, 2011

Steve Chabot Meets Norman Rockwell

The other day I posted a piece about Rep. Steve Chabot's (R-OH) recent town hall meeting. During this town hall meeting, Chabot banned the use of cameras (though not media cameras) and even had a Cincinnati Police Officer confiscate equipment of those who tried to record the public meeting. This was all done for, as Chabot claimed, "security purposes" of those in attendance but as ThinkProgress pointed out, the real reason was so that people "didn't make a show" of the event.

The backlash from First Amendment advocates was intense and led to Chabot announcing that cameras would be permitted at his next event.

It is curious why some Conservatives claim to champion "personal freedom" while campaigning, but then deploy Orwellian tactics that are anything but open and honest when at a public event. Remember Ohio State Treasury Candidate Josh Mandel, whose staffer tried to block my camera during a public event in 2010? Or how about Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) who recently distributed a "blacklist" of local activists who may criticize him at town hall meetings?

It appears that Rep. Chabot has fallen in with the crowd who are first to preach love for the Constitution and love for protesters (especially when speaking to them), but who take a much different stance when it is time to put those words into practice.

This leads me to a reader submitted graphic that might make an appropriate campaign sign for Chabot in the future. The artwork on this one is credited to Roger De Bris, "with apologies to Norman Rockwell":

This piece is cross posted here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve Chabot Bans Cameras at Public Town Hall Meeting "For Security Purposes"

Thinking about taking a camera to record Rep. Steve Chabot's (R-OH) next public town hall meeting? Think again! According to this report from ThinkProgress, Chabot banned constituents from filming the town hall meeting:

Fearing pushback on issues like ending Medicare and corporate tax dodging, Chabot took an extraordinary step in order to prevent a possible “Youtube moment”: he banned constituents from filming the town hall. Outside the town hall were multiple signs reading, “For Security Purposes, Cameras Are NOT Permitted.” In fact, on at least two separate occasions, middle-aged constituents who tried to record the public event had their cameras confiscated and were asked to leave.

Oddly, media were permitted to film the event which undercuts the claim that cameras were banned "for security purposes". What is the real reason for Chabot's ban on public filming of the event? ThinkProgress has the answer: one of Chabot’s staffers told ThinkProgress, they wanted to “prevent” people from “making a show” of the event. Indeed, Chabot and his staff were worried enough about citizens voicing their anger at his policies that they only accepted pre-screened questions chosen by the congressman’s staff.

Check out this video that was captured of Cincinnati Police confiscating cameras from citizens who were attempting to tape this public town hall meeting:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hey Fox News! ACORN Has Been Exonerated Again!

Greetings from the West Coast! Since moving out of Cincinnati to Los Angeles a few months ago, the whirlwind of activity has led to a great lull of posting activity on my part. I have no immediate timetable for a more regular posting schedule, but I did want to pass along this item that has been overlooked by the rest of the corporate media.

I'm sure many of you vividly remember when Fox News and other media outlets began running this video through much of their 24-hour news cycle. It is a video of Conservative activists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles going into ACORN offices and supposedly getting all sorts of free advice on how to legally get away with prostitution:

The news media, especially Fox, acted as judge, jury and executioner treating O'Keefe as a celebrity (until he was arrested for breaking into a Congressmember's office) and creating such a stir that Congress pulled all Federal funding for the organization.

Despite the actions of Congress being struck downin court, ACORN suffered enough damage to fold and close operations.

Interesting considering this news from a Government Accountability Office report that was released on Monday:

...a preliminary probe by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)of ACORN has found no evidence the association or related organizations mishandled the $40 million in federal money they received in recent years.

So this is yet ANOTHER instance of ACORN being exonerated of any wrong doing.

I am sure glad that Fox News has issued corrections and given these findings the coverage that they gave to the pimp and prostitute videos.

Wait...they HAVEN'T given this any coverage? Oh well, at least an organization devoted to helping the poor didn't have to fully shut down operations or anything.

This is cross posted here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lewis Black on Glenn Beck and his "Nazi Tourette's"

I know that my posting has been non-existent over the last few weeks. This has been due to my move to Los Angeles and all of the fun stresses that come with such a big change.

I am not sure what direction this blog will take in the future, but for now, I thought I would pass along this hilarious Lewis Black bit from the Daily Show last night:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fox News Tries to Hold Jon Stewart to Their Own Standards, Stewart Retorts

The other night, Jon Stewart slammed Fox News for their inconsistency and hypocrisy. Of course this is nothing new, but when Bernie Goldberg lashed out at Stewart on The O'Reilly Factor, Stewart decided to respond.

The result is hilarious:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Change is Gonna Come

I started my own blog (Chris's Commons) and began writing for The Cincinnati Beacon almost two years ago following the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform. I wasn't trying to do anything new or innovative, but merely add my voice to the conversation. I wanted to weigh in on issues that were being unreported, under-reported and provide a different perspective than is often put forth in the so-called "mainstream" I wrote.

I started writing on all kinds of topics, from ridiculous talking heads on cable news, to serious issues that were affecting the local population of Cincinnati. I showed up at budget hearings, I asked questions of Ralph Nader when he was in town and attended talks by various figures including a vet who had fought in Iraq and then found the courage to come back and speak out against the war effort.

When it became clear that more was needed, I invested in a video camera and video editing software so that I could contribute video content in this growing age of new media. I put that camera to use over the summer of 2009 in my coverage of the health care reform debate and most recently at a Conservative candidates forum, where my camera was blocked by the Josh Mandel campaign.

Recently, a new opportunity has presented itself, stemming from professional skills that I have obtained over the years as well as from my writing for the Beacon. This new opportunity is a position with Brave New Films in Culver City, California which I will begin at the end of this month. This is an exciting new opportunity and I will embrace the chance to work for an organization which I hold in high regard for the work that they are doing to better the world.

Naturally, this move out of Cincinnati will affect my contributions to the Beacon and will prevent me from providing the coverage on local events that I have been able to provide over the past few years. My new role will allow me to gather additional perspective on national and international issues and I hope that I am able to contribute to the Beacon from this perspective from time to time.

I appreciate those who have read my articles and participated in discussions on issues that I have covered. I especially want to thank Jason, Justin and Michael for allowing me to be a regular contributor over this time. My growth and advancement to this new position could not have been possible without the Beacon. I hope that all of you will follow the work of Brave New Films by signing up for emails, becoming a fan on Facebook and following them on Twitter. There is a lot of work to be done and I embrace this new opportunity as a challenging and exciting way to help move society forward.

This is cross posted here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Racism from Springboro Tea Party Founder Sparks National Attention

Southwest Ohio, and more specifically Springboro, is making national headlines once again (h/t anill).

It appears as if Sonny Thomas, the founder of the Springboro Tea Party, tweeted this lovely message to his followers recently:

Plunderbund points out that Thomas blamed his tweet on a Bee Gee's song:

“As I am a lifetime music lover of all genres, I always have some sort of song that can fit almost any occasion or situation. Coincidently the song “Spicks and Specks” by the Bee Gees had been on my player. I made the reference to the song not stopping to think of the era that it was produced and taken out of context could be offensive to some people."

Nevermind that the lyrics to this tune refer to the "spicks and specks" of all "the girls on my mind" and is in no way a reference to Latinos. Besides the slur, how about the part where he advocates shooting immigrants? ThinkProgress reports that while the tweet has been taken down, an apology has yet to be issued.

To top it off, the Dayton Daily News is reporting that Thomas has a 6-year-old son who is part Hispanic:

Racist comments, including a slur about Hispanics, posted on the Twitter page of the Springboro Tea Party were particularly hurtful to Alana Turner.

“Illegals everywhere today! So many spics makes me feel like a speck. Grrr. Wheres my gun!?” said the March 21 posting on the site managed by the group’s founder, Sonny Thomas.

Turner said the comments upset her because she and Thomas have a 6-year-old son who is part Hispanic.

“Basically, it’s like he’s saying he hates his son,” Turner said.