Thursday, September 27, 2007


When Bill O'Reilly peeled away a corner of his public mask and allowed us a peek at what's inside -- that's when the end game began. The outcome in our post-Imus world is clear; he can kick and scream (or whine with decreasing volume), but O'Reilly is, professionally speaking, a dead man talking.

As you probably know, O'Reilly talked last week about his dinner with Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, a famous soul-food restaurant in Harlem. During his rambling, O'Reilly repeatedly expressed surprise at the lack of profanity and violence -- and at how well-behaved black people were during dinner and an Anita Baker concert.

Media Matters has the transcript of what O'Reilly said. The transcript also includes Juan Williams in his role as O'Reilly's lapdog.

Some of what O'Reilly said is truth:
I don't think there's a black American who hasn't had a personal insult that they've had to deal with because of the color of their skin. I don't think there's one in the country.
But much of what he said was steeped in an I'll-be-damned amazement -- black folks being respectful! all dressed up! not a grill in sight!
And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship.
O'Reilly is trying hard to dismiss the predictable outcry from his remarks as a sign the "liberal media" is out to get him. Like his notions about black people, O'Reilly dates himself when he peddles the "liberal media" cliche. He sounds so establishment '60s, the parent who's surprised to find his son's hippie friend isn't a grunting Commie.

In saying such things, O'Reilly proves he's a dinosaur waiting for an asteroid. His time is short.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Indiana requires voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting their ballots. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear arguments on whether the law goes too far.

Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has the money graf:
As in many constitutional disputes, the choice of standard will drive the case. If strict scrutiny applies, the state will have to show not just that voter fraud is a valid reason for requiring identification, but that impersonating a registered voter is such a serious problem in Indiana that it justifies a remedy that will predictably deter members of identifiable groups from voting at all.
Missouri's Supreme Court struck down a Voter ID law last year. The SCOTUS decision should come down next summer -- too late for the regular legislative session, but if the big dogs uphold Indiana's law, look for Missouri lawmakers to try to force a special session so they can pass a similar law and get it activated by the November election.

Supporters of Voter ID laws say we live in a society that requires identification; the "you have to show ID to write a check" argument is shopworn (and fast becoming outdated as people use debit cards to swipe away their money without every flashing a license). Writing a check isn't a right. Neither is driving. Both privileges require showing identification when asked. Voting is a right. Should government force you to show ID to exercise a right?


Click this link to the UK Times and tell us -- is this beauty?

The poster girl is Isabelle Caro, a French actress. She is 27. She weighs 68 pounds after 15 years with anorexia.

New billboards in Italy show her naked. They are supposed to highlight the hell of anorexia. But they're also promoting a fashion label.

As the UK Times reports:
Her emaciated body, framed by the controversial photographer Oliviero Toscani in a campaign to coincide with Milan Fashion Week, appears alongside the slogan “No Anorexia” and the brand name Nolita, a label intended for young women.

Fashionistas hailed the poster campaign as a turning point but health experts were outraged and voiced fears that teenage girls might be encouraged to “compete for extreme thinness” after seeing the images.

“I’ve hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance,” Caro told the Italian edition of Vanity Fair. She said that her own troubled childhood had provoked her illness, even if some in the fashion world conceded that stereotypes promoted by the industry itself were to blame.
Nolita, an Italian clothing company, said the billboards are supposed “to use the naked body to show everyone the reality of this illness, caused in most cases by the stereotypes imposed by the world of fashion." That, and to push the brand.


In Merlin, Ore., the Udink family has been stripped of its identity, thanks to bureaucrats with no sense of reality.

The Udinks have been ordered to turn in their vanity license plates because their last name could be viewed as offensive.

The Associated Press reports:
The plates, UDINK1 UDINK2 and UDINK3 are on the vehicles of Mike and Shelly Udink and their son Kalei. Two of the plates are five and seven years old. One was issued last year.

Last summer, Kawika Udink's application for UDINK4 was rejected and the state ordered that the other three plates be returned.

"DINK has several derogatory meanings," Yvonne Bell, who sits on the Department of Motorvehicles panel that approves vanity plates, told the Daily Courier newspaper.

DMV spokesman David House and Bell said the word can be treated as a verb, which gives it a sexual reference, and also can be a racial slur targeted at the Vietnamese.
Udink is a Dutch name. Hope the Hardik family doesn't have vanity plates.

Monday, September 24, 2007


No surprise that we think O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson, after all, never met Ron Goldman -- but somehow Goldman's blood wound up in Simpson's Bronco. Strip away the theatrics (and the sheer genius of rhyming "fit" and "acquit") and there's still only one reasonable way to explain Goldman's blood in Simpson's SUV: The Juice did it.

And Phil Spector killed a woman. Sucks. Makes us sad because we grew up admiring Spector's amazing ear, his talent for creating some of the best songs in modern pop history. Never thought he'd kill someone. Just like O.J.

The physical evidence against Spector isn't nearly as strong as it was against Simpson. What damns Spector is his peculiar history of pulling guns on people -- especially women. Several women testified at trial about Spector holding them at gunpoint. It's not a leap -- or even a half-step -- to believe that Spector did the same to Lana Clarkson, only this time the trigger was pulled.

So news of a deadlocked jury in the Spector case is puzzling, and maybe that explains why Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler is making it even easier to convict Spector. As USA Today reports:
After the jury reported the impasse last week, the judge withdrew a so-called pinpoint instruction that several jurors indicated was giving them trouble.

That instruction said that in order to convict Spector the jury had to find that "the defendant must have committed an act that caused the death of Lana Clarkson," and it specified the act was pointing a gun at her, which resulted in the gun entering her mouth while in Spector's hand.

The judge decided that the instruction misstated the law by unduly limiting possibilities that the jury could consider. He gave a new instruction that included examples of inferences the jury could draw from the evidence, including the possibility that Spector forced Clarkson to place the gun in her own mouth and it went off.
If this doesn't work, maybe he'll tell jurors that if they didn't like Spector's hair, they could convict him. Anything to end this hell.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Nobody serves up a deeper dish of pander than Rudy Giuliani. He spoke Friday before the National Rifle Association and did plenty of puckering. Newsday reports:
Facing a group that he once likened to "extremists," Giuliani sought to temper his past strong support for national gun control laws by saying he could no longer support a lawsuit he filed as New York mayor in 2000, which was designed to hold gun-makers liable for gun violence.

Giuliani said "there have been subsequent intervening events -- Sept. 11 -- which casts somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment and Second Amendment rights. It doesn't change the fundamental rights, but maybe it highlights the necessity for them more."

Giuliani has built his presidential campaign on convincing Republicans that his performance after the Sept. 11 attacks shows he is the strong leader America needs -- but it was the first time he had linked his personal views on gun control to the terror attacks.
Don't you know he served in 9/11?

Friday, September 21, 2007


Maureen McCormick has typed her memoir, and it's delicious. has the reveal:
As well as talking candidly about her well-documented eating disorder and drug problems in the book, TV's Marcia Brady will come clean about a romance she had with costar Eve Plumb, who played her sister Jan on the hit show.

A source tells The National Enquirer, "The most explosive comments will be how the then blonde, blue-eyed cutie developed a crush on Eve Plumb, which led to some sexual play.

"This book will certainly come as a shocker. While Maureen is not a lesbian, she reveals there were some sexual hijinks going on behind the scenes."
Man, those Bradys rocked.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


J. Miles Sweeney, longtime judge in Greene County, had his retirement announced today. He didn't get the chance to announce it himself; the governor's office issued a news release and buried the lede, saying Matt Blunt had appointed Bob Lawson, Jr., as a new circuit court judge -- and oh, by the way, Lawson replaces Sweeney, who resigned.

Resigned. Such a misleading word to describe the end of a jurist's career, especially one belonging to a guy like Sweeney. We had the pleasure of reporting on courts when Sweeney was on the bench, and the guy rocked. Nearly 15 years ago he was extolling the virtues of the future -- paperless court filings, wireless transmission of data, the use of bar codes and scanners to keep track of jury pools.

Now he's 62 and ready, he says, to retire. News of his departure was greeted with more than a little dismay, and the way Blunt's office handled the announcement was clumsy, at best. The hype-happy Blunt Administration didn't even have the savvy to give Sweeney a proper send-off -- and he belongs to the same Republican Party as the governor.

While chatting with Sweeney this afternoon, he said he keeps up with CHATTER. Your eyeballs have magnificent company.

Luck to you, judge. Be safe.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Child molesters are not beloved behind prison walls. Neither are prisoners who once worked for The Man.

By those standards, John David R. Atchison is in for a bleak future.

Atchison, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida's northern district, is under arrest, charged with flying from Pensacola, Fla., to Detroit to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.

According to the Detroit News:
A sheriff's deputy posed as a mother who was interested in finding someone to have sex with her children, in a sting that has already netted a California paramedic and numerous other alleged pedophiles from around the country.

According to the complaint, Atchison reassured the sheriff's deputy who was posing as the child's mother that he would not hurt the 5-year-old because he goes "slow and easy," and "I've done it plenty."
Atchison is 53.


O.J. Simpson's definition of "sports memorabilia" is a trifle twisted. He said he was pulling a sting operation to get back some of his sports-related stuff from nefarious collectors.

Best detail in The New York Times piece about Simpson's arrest:
Mr. Simpson said he had pretended to be interested in buying the suit that he wore in court in 1995 when he was acquitted of the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
A man needs his lucky suit, dammit.


The owner of perhaps the best-known woman's voice in Springfield radio circles, Rippe was co-hosting the morning show with Woody P. Snow on KGBX. But while you'll still find a "Woody & Cindy" banner on the station's home page, the pairing is kaput, sources say.

Rippe has been moved to another shift. Snow remains what he's always been.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well, three-fourths of the great band will play; John Bonham's a little busy being dead. But Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are in for a Nov. 26 London show.

According to The New York Times:
The show, at the O2 arena, will be a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records founder who died in December. The promoter, Harvey Goldsmith, said that the bill also includes Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman, Foreigner and Paolo Nutini, a 20-year-old Scottish heartthrob who was the last act Mr. Ertegun took under his wing.

“During the Zeppelin years, Ahmet Ertegun was a major foundation of solidarity and accord,” Mr. Plant said in a statement. “For us he was Atlantic Records and remained a close friend and conspirator.”
Jason Bonham will play drums.


We know, science is supposed to clash with the Big G, but how else to explain this miracle, reported by Reuters:
Scientists have developed a non-stick chewing gum that can be easily removed from pavements, shoes and clothes.
Made of synthetic latex, which sounds kinda kinky, Clean Gum could be on store shelves by next year. Being a kid will lose some of its painful charm.


Art Morris' Missouri Radio Message Board has become a must-read for natterers and their (our) ilk. A recent thread about a potential breach of ethics at a talk-radio station drew so many hits and comments that Art has started up a companion thread.

If you've an opinion about talk radio and the Ozarks, you must click over and join in. Or leave your thoughts here, and we'll cross-post with Art.


She founded a little company called the Body Shop. She died this week of a brain hemorrhage. The Associated Press reports:
Roddick was lauded for trailblazing business practices that sought to be environmentally friendly. Queen Elizabeth II made her a dame, the female equivalent of a knight, in 2003.

"Businesses have the power to do good," she wrote on the Web site of the company, which was bought last year by the French company L'Oreal Group. She and her husband stepped down as cochairs of the company in 2002.

She opened her first Body Shop outlet in 1976, before fair-trade and eco-friendly businesses had widely taken hold.
Of course she wasn't as eco-friendly as she let on to be, and of course she sold out to L'Oreal, a decidedly non-friendly company to animals. But image was everything to Roddick.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It's supposed to be a big deal. Stage Two of the first-ever statewide bicycle race blows through Springfield on Wednesday afternoon. Live coverage everywhere, bleachers and hay bales in center city -- and the delicious Taylor's hamburg joint right there. Sweet.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Captivity is a movie starring Elisha Cuthbert. It caught flack earlier this year for ads that featured a woman being kidnapped, tortured and killed.

We didn't think it included bears, but go figure. The movie's web site warns that the R-rated flick contains
"strong violence, torture, pervasive terror, grizzly images, language and some sexual material."
Very hairy, and not in a good way.


Britney Spears' Sunday night performance at the MTV Video Music Awards has been universally panned, and for obvious reasons: she was sluggish and the song sucked.

But pah! feh! to hell with reality! Let the world of PR guide you. Creating its own reality, MTV issued its own "news" release via PR Newswire of the VMA opening fisaco:
"Trouble" hit the main stage as Britney Spears channeled "The King's" legendary '68 Comeback in the most important performance of her career at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Celebrating her long-awaited comeback, Spears commanded the stage with a sultry performance of her new song "Gimme More" featuring a show-stopping extravaganza highlighted by sexy choreography and high-flying aerialists in an appearance that viewers will remember forever.
The last four words are true.


And a center-city intersection will be closed, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, to prepare for the Tour of Missouri.

From the city:
The intersection of East Trafficway and Kimbrough/Benton Avenue will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 11, beginning at 6 p.m., due to preparations for the Tour of Missouri professional cycling race.

The intersection, site of the Tour of Missouri Stage Two Finish Line, will remain closed until the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 12, after the race and related activities.

Depending on the pace from the start of the race in Clinton, the cyclists are expected to reach Greene County after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The racers should reach the final circuit of nearly three full laps in downtown Springfield about 3:30 p.m.
Just in time for the PM news cycle. The news goddess, she is kind.


Oscar-winning actress, former wife of Ronald Reagan. That's all the wire has at the moment.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


The new look for KSPR starts at 10 p.m. Sunday, when Joe and Christine Daues anchor their first newscast for the ABC affiliate.

We hope you'll watch. And be sure to click over to, the all-new (and much improved) website for the station.

Kyle Bosch and Natalie Nunn take over the two-hour morning news show on Monday. Michelle Sherwood starts her weekend anchor gig in the next few days.

Hope you watch, hope you enjoy, hope you approve. Let us know what you think.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Apple on Thursday offered $100 rebates to people who bought iPhones for $600 in those heady first days of hype and sales -- only to see Apple slash the price by $200 this week.

But some bleeding-edge buyers don't mind paying full price for being first in line, and that's where we find the source of the day, courtesy of The Associated Press:
"If they told me at the outset the iPhone would be $200 cheaper the next day, I would have thought about it for a second - and still bought it," said Andrew Brin, a 47-year-old addiction therapist in Los Angeles. "It was $600 and that was the price I was willing to pay for it."
Having that guy as your therapist would make you take up smack again.


A 47-year-old woman in Bloomington, Minn., reportedly gave her granddaughter a couple slugs of gin.

Who's doing the reporting? The 9-year-old girl.

According to The Associated Press:
Bloomington Police Commander Jim Ryan said the girl remembers vomiting, hitting her head and blacking out about 1 p.m. Aug. 31. Ryan said the girl's mother was working a 12-hour shift at the time and was out of the house.

He said police suspect the grandmother gave the child the alcohol in hopes that she would pass out so the adult could go out for the night instead of babysitting.

"A lot could have happened with a kid left alone," Ryan said. "A lot could have gone wrong. She could have choked on her vomit. ... This is a horrendous case of child endangerment."

Police arrived at the apartment around 10 p.m. after getting an anonymous call that a child was given alcohol. Ryan said a portable breath test showed the girl had an alcohol level of .042 percent, about half the legal limit for driving, more than eight hours after drinking the gin.
Grandma is in jail on $6,000 bail. The kid's back with her mother.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The blog View from "I" Level turned us on to this test from Similar Minds, where you can learn which of nine famous leaders you're most like.

Take the test, tell us which leader shares your personality. We aligned with John F. Kennedy. Go figure:


That'll teach him. Reuters says the shoplifter -- a man in his 50s or 60s -- stole two beers from a supermarket. The manager caught him in the act, dragged him to the back of the store, east of Tokeyo, and beat him before leaving him in the road:
A passer-by called an ambulance, but the man later died in hospital, the agency said.

"I never thought he would die," Kyodo quoted the supermarket manager as telling police.
Imagine the penalty for pilfering a six-pack.


The new iPods are here, and while the new Nanos are nice, it's the iPod Touch that has us tingling all under.

It's basically an iPhone without the phone -- a flash-memory machine with Wi-Fi, so you can access the 'net and download music without a cord.

Price point starts at 300 clams for 8 gigs, with a 16-gig model selling for $400. Purists may prefer the iPod Classic, with its 80- and 160-gig hard drive capacities. We'll take any of 'em, including the squint-sized Shuffle. Anything to listen to (thanks, Keith) Stephen Lynch.


Dateline: Oelwein, Iowa, where two men are under arrest for stealing a man's clothes, forcing him to wander the hinterlands in his skin suit. The Associated Press reports:
The victim, a 19-year-old Hazleton man, was taken by two men to a rural area west of Oelwein where the men took his clothes at gunpoint, officials with the Fayette County sheriff's office said.

The investigation began after the sheriff's office received a report of a naked man walking down a county road early Sunday morning.

Deputies searched an Oelwein home later in the day and found the victim's clothes and several guns.
Two dudes in their 30s are charged with first-degree robbery.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Man goes to Home Depot to buy a pry bar and a hacksaw. Man goes through self-service checkout. Man fails to follow directions, accidentally hits the button for Spanish. Man goes gonzo.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligence:
He became "frustrated that the machine was speaking Spanish," the police report says.

So, instead of asking for customer service help, he let loose a blow with the pry bar and shattered the computer. He ran from the store and made a beeline to some nearby railroad tracks, the report said.

A Seattle police officer searched for the customer. But he had vanished.

The manager believes he caused about $10,000 in damages. He left the pry bar in his shopping cart.
Ungh! Man angry!


What else to call a man who steals funeral flowers? The Associated Press reports from Arizona:
Christopher Billie, 37, was booked into the Yavapai County jail on one count of auto burglary, said Sgt. Tom Boughner, a Flagstaff police spokesman.

Police were called to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church just after 8 p.m. Thursday by a funeral director who watched as Billie opened the hearse door, climbed inside and began grabbing flower vases, Boughner said. Billie, who reportedly was intoxicated, was detained by the mortician until officers arrived.


The official announcement comes on Wednesday. WiFi and digital radio are reportedly coming. Digitimes has the early scoop:
The new iPod video will also come with a wide-screen panel, high storage capacity and Wi-Fi connectivity, the sources indicated. In addition, the new iPod video is expected to be powered by NAND flash, instead of a hard disk drive (HDD).

Apple is outsourcing the production of the new iPod video to Taiwan-based Inventec Appliances, which is expected to start volume shipments by the end of this month or in early October, the sources noted.

Apple's new products will also include a new iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, to cash in on the upcoming Christmas season, stated the sources, who also noted that sales of the new iPod series is expected to total 22-23 million units in the fourth quarter of this year.
Vnunet reports a source saying the new iPods "will be able to receive digital radio, and will include a 'buy-now' function to allow the user to download and buy tracks as they are being played."

Here's the new case for the new Nano; it looks a lot like the purported spy shot of the new machine.


A lock of the man's hair goes up for auction soon. The Associated Press reports:
Gustavo Villoldo, 71, was involved in Guevara's capture in the jungles of Bolivia, according to unclassified U.S. records and other documents. He plans to auction the hair and other items kept in a scrapbook since the joint CIA-Bolivian army mission 40 years ago.

"It's time for me to put the past behind and pass these on to someone else," said Villoldo, also a veteran of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

The scrapbook also holds a map used to track down Guevara in Bolivia, photos of Guevara's body, intercepted messages between Guevara and his rebels and a set of Guevara's fingerprints taken before his burial.

It's hard to predict how much the collection will net at auction because there is nothing comparable on the market, said Tom Slater, director of the Americana department at Heritage Auctions of Dallas, which will put the collection on the block Oct. 25-26.
What's it worth? More than a Che shirt?