Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You've been served! Phil Mushnick calls the bluff of a rich celeb who profits off of crude imagery & bombast and ups-the-ante on sports going over to the crass side, and Jay-Z fans and sports media apologists can't handle the criticism of hypocrisy

New York Post
Don’t rely on media to evaluate bad behavior
By Phil Mushnick
Last Updated: 6:02 AM, May 4, 2012, 
Posted: 12:52 AM, May 4, 2012

Could there possibly be a better and more delicious headline for an American newspaper column in the year 2012 than the one in this now controversial Phil Mushnick column? No!
It's pitch perfect.

Were that it was one plastered on the New York Times editorial page, esp. if it was the title above a remorseful column about why their own reporters can't seem to harness their own bias in reporting on news stories, despite constant complaints from readers and editors about it, yet constantly want to write about the horse race aspects of elections large and small, instead of exploring issues, as readers have overwhelmingly stated in poll after poll when they're actually asked what THEY want to see more of.
Meanwhile, Beltway reporters continue to ignore that fact and treat it like all the other inconvenient facts they choose to ignore. 

I saw ESPN's usually-innocuous "Around the Horn" program late Friday afternoon while waiting for some returned phone calls from some folks in the area who'd promised me some details about the ins-and-outs of some upcoming political races around the region, local and otherwise.
You may know watching "Around the Horn" better in your own part of the world as 'killing time.'

To say that it was entirely predictable that all four assembled "writers" -and that's being VERY generous in describing what they actually do- had a problem with what Phil Mushnick wrote in his NY Post column is an understatement.
To say that they seemed strangely ignorant of the larger point he was making in exposing the rapper's rank hypocrisy in pretending he and his team don't know anything at all about what black & white logos have come to be associated with, goes without saying.

Yes, it's almost as if they had never seen or read any of the dozens and dozens of news accounts of the crime angle re gangs and sports logos, ones that even non-sportwriter you have already heard about many times, and that I recount thru the upcoming links for those who somehow haven't, perhaps because they live overseas. 
(Sort of like their collective ignorance of having nearly six-month old video, from November 16th, queued up as the most recent video of their show on their ESPN website.)

The assembled writers showed much the same sort of dumbfounded look that many visitors have shown me in this town the past few years when they'd drive-up at night to Hallandale Beach City Hall, just off of U.S.-1, because they just naturally assumed the low-slung building with the very dark parking lot was actually a hotel, because there was no sign identifying it otherwise. (Until a month ago.)

I know this because I have twice been the person stopped in the parking lot on my way to my car after a HB City Commission meeting, and asked where the "hotel office" was.
(And the second time it happened, the very attractive thirty-something woman behind the wheel asking for directions was a dead ringer for Erin Andrews, which is why it stays so fresh in my mind.)

Yes, it was as if they had somehow never read what had come from the mouth of the Mother Ship itself, which you can still find on its website.

ESPN The Magazine
Raising the lid on the darker side of fan fashion 
Andrew O'Reilly
Updated: March 10, 2011, 1:25 PM ET

So what's the part you don't get?

Read this from the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association and take an aspirin:
You're welcome.

Starving for self-esteem?
Buy a black & white cap! 
Yes, that's the ticket!

In 2008, in Season 4, Episode 7 of TNT's The Closer, in an episode titled "Sudden Death," the younger brother of Det. Julio Sanchez is killed on the sidewalk near his home while his older brother is off-duty, busy working on his car in the driveway. 
We quickly learn that the younger brother had been killed while talking to a girl for the simple crime of wearing a ball cap with colors of a rival gang. 
A ball cap given to him by his older brother for his birthday, to Det. Sanchez's everlasting sorrow.
Video of Brenda's interrogation at: http://youtu.be/rK_lVXoh84k

This is by far one of the best episodes of this great TNT series I never miss, whose final six episodes air this summer, starting July 6th.

But this sort of fictional treatment of countless real episodes apparently doesn't compute in the minds of the apologists for the rapper-turned-sports owner.
They don't want to acknowledge what we already know.
I guess it just hurts their feelings that they're on the wrong side of the slippery slope, but then given how much sycophantic coverage this rapper gets from the mainstream media, it's not so surprising.

Yes, it's not your imagination, you really haven't seen anything on Entertainment Tonight about the conscious decision by him and his team to use that color scheme because ET wants to remain a "talent-friendly" venue for celebs, the publicist's friend, not one where actual public criticism of entertainers is ever given, unless it's of one celeb against another, in which case it's golden.

After all, if they did ever entertain the thought of actually asking him to explain why they made that choice, then the more-mainstream Beyonce wouldn't be available to them, so they just keep their blinders on so they don't have that become a possibility.

Which, of course, is why Phil was correct in saying, "I plan to continue to argue against the negative racial and ethnic stereotyping and the promotion of mindless violence, especially to the young and most vulnerable.

I remember over twenty years ago when I first had to explain the reality of this phenomena of criminal gangs and sports logos to my mother while I was down here one year from D.C. for the Christmas holidays, before the Marlins ever existed.

She was driving me in her car thru the Coconut Grove area -where my family had spent so many sunny summer weekends when I was younger in the '70's, usually over at Peacock Park-  and we were talking about things that used to be there when she suddenly turned to me and said she couldn't figure out why so many African-American kids in Miami would be wearing black & white LA Raiders and Chicago White Sox caps.

Me having been such a huge sports fan while growing-up, it was not at all surprising that she recognized the caps when she saw them, but I was actually laughing after she asked because I thought it was common knowledge what the reason was, and everything else being equal, my mother was usually much better-informed than the average person, so this struck me as very 

When I began explaining it to her, she actually thought I was exaggerating, despite how many examples I could give her, esp. via the gang use of the Georgetown Hoyas' "G" in places very far from D.C., like Chicago.
Something I knew from actually living there in the mid-1980's, as it happens, for a year, next to the offices of Inside Sports magazine near downtown Evanston.

The sort of writing device that Mushnick employs here is regularly employed by many non-sports columnists around the country, particularly among liberal columnists, but they seem to think it's okay when they do it, not so much when the shoe is on the other foot.

In South Florida, upping-the-ante or deliberately using over-exaggeration or gross generalization to zing someone or some group they oppose -usually because unlike them, it's solidly supported by a majority of local, state or national citizenry, or clearly in the ascendency while their own P.O.V. is on the slippry slope of an argument- is regularly employed by the Herald's Fred Grimm and their editorial board, to say nothing of its use by the Herald columnist who doesn't actually live in Florida, but which is, of course, never publicly acknowledged by the Herald
They call him Mr. Pitts.

It's not unlike the way that State Rep. Joe Gibbons NOT actually permanently living here in his district in Broward County, while his wife and kids live up in the Jacksonville area, is never publicly acknowledged by other Broward public officials who know it's true, like Elaine Schwartz or Perry Thurston or... well, all of them, and instead it's treated like a perpetual case of instant amnesia.
Despite the fact that Gibbons illegal charade has never worked, but as I'm always saying here, curiously, he never ever gets charged for violating state eligibility rules.  

(Now that Florida House District 100 extends well into Miami-Dade County, I wonder if Gibbons has filed docs with the M-D Election Supervisor listing that fake home address of his? When is a house a 'beard'? Hmm-m...)

In the case of Grimm and Pitts, this device of over-exaggerating to make a point, or its cousin, connecting one unrelated thing to another to stand for what hundreds or thousands of people you disagree with might actually say or do or think, is something they do seemingly every other week, if not every other column.

For those of you living far from where I am, this particular parlor trick was regularly employed by the two of them in the Herald in their absurd and untruthful depictions of Tea Party supporters calling for greater government funding scrutiny and transparency issues in the weeks and months prior to the 2010 Congressional elections that kicked Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party out of the driver's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and meant Obama didn't have both parts of Congress on his side.
That election was very much a great surprise to them I hardly need mention, given their continuing myopia and rose-colored glasses about the reality around them.

You continue to see it today in their biased columns about the state's Stand Your Ground Law, which was not adopted against the wishes of the populace, but rather far longer after it'd have done some real good, esp. in South Florida.
But then that's the lot of columnists like Grimm and Pitts, always having to miss both the trees and the forest if they are to peddle their wares.
Always forgetting to mention all the hundreds of senseless killings in this state of genuinely innocent people by criminals who knew they had the means to end any conversation.
Unarmed innocent people -the way that the Sunshine State's army of criminals prefer them.

Funny how Grimm and Pitts and their like-minded friends at other Florida media organizations never think to take a visit to one of our many fine prisons and jails in this state full of captured criminals -as opposed to the ones who got away because they killed the witnesesses, huh?- to ask the convicts the most obvious question there could be.
The question they and the rest of the Sunshine State's MSM never actually deigns to ask.
If they had to do it all over again, if they knew there was a good chance that someone they were menacing would fire first and ask questions later, what would they do?
Well, Grimm and Pitts don't visit and don't ask that question for obvious reasons.
Criminals don't want anything close to a fair fight in an encounter that decreases their odds of succeeding.

Oh, and in case you're either too young or too distant from the sports equipment and gang affiliation connection to simply take my word for it, I've got a piece that was written 22 years ago by professionals who studied it, perhaps to death, who tell the truth.
So what's changed? 

In the Dept. of Common Sense and civic society labeled "Symbols of Gangs and Gang Membership," this still connects-the-dots pretty well

Chicago Crime Commission's 2012 Gang Book:

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