Journalist/developer. Interactive editor @frontlinepbs. Builder of @HomicideWatch. Sinophile for fun. Past: @WBUR, @NPR, @NewsHour.
1656 stories
·
43 followers

CNN Arrest of Omar Jimenez Is What Actual Censorship Looks Like

1 Share

For days, President Trump has been on a rampage against Twitter for its treatment of him, and it’s easy to see why. Early Friday morning, after a tweet from him about the violence in Minneapolis declared, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Twitter dispatched police officers to the White House, who handcuffed Mr. Trump and took him into custody on live television in view of the entire nation.

Oh, sorry, quick fact-check: That did not happen at all. The president remains free and tweeting. Twitter, a private company, remains free to set rules on the use of its service. The president’s flagged tweets — the “shooting” remark and a misleading attack on mail-in voting — remain available to read, the first behind a notice that it violates the service’s rules on glorifying violence, the second with a fact-checking link appended.

The arrest on live TV Friday was of Omar Jimenez, a CNN reporter, and his crew, who were handcuffed and walked off down a ravaged Minneapolis block, where they’d been covering protests and violence after the killing of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody.

The incident, which unfolded over several tense minutes, was brazen and appalling. But at least it served a clarifying purpose. After days of hot air expended insisting on a politician’s “right” to use a private platform without correction, America got to see what an actual offense against the First Amendment looks like.

It looked like world news footage from a police state. Mr. Jimenez, wearing a mask in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, calmly negotiates with officers, visored and bunched in around the camera. He tells them they are live on the air, and he offers to get out of their way: “Put us back where you want us.”

He’s told, “You’re under arrest.”

He asks why and gets no answer. And he’s walked off, to the stunned play-by-play of the anchors in the CNN studio. (Mr. Jimenez is black and Latino. Notably, given the racial dynamics of the Minneapolis protests, a white CNN reporter also covering the story said he was treated much more politely.)

Then the producer is arrested, then the cameraman, until finally an officer picks up the camera and walks it off, the screen jostling into motion as if we, the audience, were being taken into custody, for getting too close, for seeing too much, for looking at someone the wrong way.

The official explanation for the arrest was that the CNN crew refused to move on police orders, an absurdity given what the world saw and heard live. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” the network anchor John Berman said.

But we have seen things like this, not long ago, if not so flagrantly and shamelessly. Police in Ferguson, Mo., gave a similar rationalization in 2014 for arresting two journalists — ordering one to “Stop videotaping!” as he recorded his arrest — during the unrest after the police shooting of Michael Brown.

In the past, though, the arrest did not happen to journalists who work for a news organization that the president had designated the “enemy of the people.” It did not happen under a president who once retweeted a doctored video that showed him beating on a person with the CNN logo covering his face.

And it did not happen in a week when that president threatened punitive measures against a private social-media platform for suggesting that the misinformation he tweeted was misinformation. The president, it seems, considers his inconvenience to be a violation of freedom, and actual press freedom to be an inconvenience.

Which in the end is the only real connection between Mr. Trump’s claims of oppression and the violation we watched on morning cable TV. Actual censorship happens when a government acts to suppress protected speech, not when a private company sets rules for using its platform.

Just hours before the arrest, Mr. Trump posted his tweet with the “shooting” line, which the Miami police chief Walter Headley used in 1967 to justify crackdowns on civil rights protesters.

And for years, he has used his speech, copious and unfiltered, to argue that the police should have a free hand in dealing with threats, and that among the greatest threats are news outlets like CNN.

By noon on Friday, the president was still freely grousing about Twitter, on Twitter. His account made no mention of the CNN arrests.

That morning, Mr. Jimenez and his crew were released, with an apology from Minnesota’s governor. But the messages had already been sent. The arrest told all media that there are people within law enforcement who now feel empowered enough to shut down coverage of unrest — unrest resulting from police violence — flat out in the open.

And it told American viewers what kind of country they are living in. This country was captured in the final seconds of video by the CNN camera, laid on the concrete, still rolling, the booted feet of police lined up at a 90-degree angle. A country angry, frightened, smoldering and tilted sideways.

Read the whole story
chrisamico
2 days ago
reply
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete

Coronavirus Polling

2 Comments and 12 Shares
If you want to see the polling questions we agree on MOST, you can check out Chapter 24 of my book How To, where I got the Roper Center on Public Opinion Research to help me design the world's least electable political campaign platform.
Read the whole story
chrisamico
20 days ago
reply
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
SimonHova
20 days ago
reply
Who are the 24% who DON'T feel positively about kittens?
Greenlawn, NY
petrilli
20 days ago
Who are the 14% who don't feel positively towards Betty White?
DexX
20 days ago
Diehard Bea Arthur fans...?
jlvanderzwan
19 days ago
I don't *dislike* kittens, but I feel very annoyed by how kittens are shoved down my throat and that loving them is socially mandatory
HarlandCorbin
19 days ago
Who are these sadists shoving kittens down your throat? And, are you okay? How about the kittens???
jlvanderzwan
18 days ago
I cannot answer that and I am totally not a lizard person who can unhinge his jaw
jlvanderzwan
18 days ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RqVOn-pJsY&t=2m30s
TheCrappyCoder
12 days ago
We're asking the wrong questions here; I think we should be far more worried about the 14% of Americans who trust Kim Jong-Un to do the right thing.
alt_text_bot
20 days ago
reply
If you want to see the polling questions we agree on MOST, you can check out Chapter 24 of my book How To, where I got the Roper Center on Public Opinion Research to help me design the world's least electable political campaign platform.

The History of BJJ: A Starting Point

1 Share

All history is political history. Anybody who tells you different is selling something. That applies to martial arts history, too: There are facts that are objective, but — especially when you’re dealing with events that happened years ago — truth is a negotiated matter.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t always try to get at the whole truth — we absolutely should! — but to explain why we’re so excited for Robert Drysdale’s “Closed Guard” film. Currently, there simply aren’t any indispensable one-stop resources for a credible history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Watching Drysdale take his historian’s approach to the project gives us hope that this is what “Closed Guard” will be: A place you can send people for an entry point into BJJ history, the way you’d send a person interested in the American Revolution to a book like David McCullough’s “1776.”

Let’s extend that analogy: You won’t know all there is to know about Brazilian jiu-jitsu history after you see “Closed Guard,” just like you won’t know all there is about the American Revolution after reading “1776.” But like a good fundamentals curriculum, it’ll give you an accurate framework. You can branch out from there, beyond the origin myth.

When I say “myth” here, it’s not meant to be a pejorative: Whenever hugely significant things happen, they have to be simplified. When events are simplified, the people involved tend to tell those simple stories their way — in the way that best fits their own interests and perceptions.

Again, the founding of America is a great example. We’re taught in school that the American Revolution was a reaction to oppression, where scrappy colonists rose up in opposition to monarchy and taxes. As you grow up and learn more, you find that it was more complex than that. Whether that simple statement sounds mostly right or mostly wrong to you, these events that shaped our history were more complicated than the simple statement allows. Good historians sift through the complexity and come up with work that navigates the multiple accounts, most of which have some form of bias or another.

So it is with Brazilian jiu-jitsu history. There is a founding myth of BJJ, too: That the Japanese immigrant Mitsuyo Maeda traveled to Brazil and taught the art of jiu-jitsu to Carlos Gracie, who in turn taught his brother Helio, and Helio — a sickly young man — modified the techniques to maximize the advantages of leverage, so a smaller person might defeat a larger one in a self defense situation. The truth, as it always is, is more complex.

But “more complex” also means “more interesting,” because in investigating history, you learn more about the figures that are not central in the initial, simpler narrative. In American history we benefit from learning about Sybil Ludington, the Marquis de Lafayette and James Armistead. In jiu-jitsu history we benefit from learning about Geo Omori, Luiz Franca, Jacinto Ferro, Oswaldo Fadda and more.

No one does anything important alone. Jiu-jitsu is no different.

***

While we’re waiting for that one-stop definitive text on BJJ history, there are tons of resources out there — all worthwhile for their own reasons, and all with their own points of view (and biases).

These are some of the resources I recommend for newer people who are getting into Brazilian jiu-jitsu history, with my explanatory notes and perspective on these sources.

My position: Read everything, and read everything with a view to who the source is. This is not an exhaustive list of resources, but I’ll keep updating it.

BOOKS

The Way of Judo: A Portrait of Jigoro Kano and His Students,” by John Stevens. Of all the books I’m listing, this is the top-to-bottom best one. It’s a well-written text by a legitimate scholar, and its subject is a towering giant of a martial artist. Yes, it’s not about jiu-jitsu per se … although, remember, what we know as judo was often called “Kano Jiu-Jitsu” at first, and it’s not arguable that BJJ has its roots in Kodokan judo. Kano is a fascinating figure in his own right, even if you aren’t interested in martial arts, and Stevens does an outstanding job portraying him here.

“The Gracie Clan and the Making of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: National Identity, Culture and Performance, 1905 – 2003,” by Jose Tufy Cairus. If I had to pick one source for everyone to read about jiu-jitsu history, it’d be this one. Cairus is an academic historian, and his work is credible, rigorously sourced and comprehensive, with a broad perspective on how societies influence their martial arts (and vice versa). But this is a doctoral dissertation, so if you prefer not to read scholarly papers, this is probably not the best starting point.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: The Master Text,” by Helio Gracie. This book is mostly known for being the comprehensive catalog of Helio Gracie’s jiu-jitsu techniques, but it also includes first-person accounts of history at the beginning. It’s useful to hear it right from the source.

The Gracie Way: An Illustrated History of the World’s Greatest Martial Arts Family,” by Kid Peligro. This is a work that covers the orthodox version of jiu-jitsu history, the Gracie side of things. It’s an enjoyable, if not rigorous, story with amazing photos.

Choque,” volumes 1-3, by Roberto Pedreira. Roberto Pedreira is a pen name for one of the most prolific jiu-jitsu researchers. It’s important to note that Pedreira is openly hostile to the Gracies — sometimes in ways that are supported by research, but often in ways that do not pretend to be. I actually appreciate open bias (as opposed to disguised bias), because it allows you to take what is valuable in the work but also be open-eyed and skeptical about the work’s conclusions. And there is a lot of value here: contemporary news reports, for example, that show the reality of jiu-jitsu and vale tudo fighting in Brazil at the time.

Craze,” volumes 1-2, by Roberto Pedreira. In these successors to “Choque,” Pedreira covers the history of jiu-jitsu starting in Japan. They are not easy reads, but for scholars and researchers, the original research contained here is invaluable.

“Carlos Gracie: The Creator of a Fighting Dynasty,” by Reila Gracie. Translated into English starting in 2015, but not widely available, this biography from Carlos’ daughter is an interesting first person account. It’s sold out most places, so try this summary from Fightland.

ONLINE RESOURCES

100 Years of Arm Bars” on Grantland by ESPN. If you only have time to read one article, this is the one. Subtitled “A family epic spanning the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu dynasty’s generations of combat and betrayal, from the Amazon to Hollywood to the UFC,” David Samuels does a terrific job of summarizing the high points of Gracie history, and some of the other points as well. If you want a more direct and controversial text, there’s always Helio Gracie’s interview with Playboy.

Slideyfoot’s History of BJJ: Long and comprehensive, this is an in-depth treatment that should appeal to true nerds for this stuff. Like me.

BJJ Heroes. Useful for a variety of reasons, among them as an encyclopedia of figures you’ve heard of but want to know more about.

Global Training Report. This is Roberto Pedreira’s site. Lots of fascinating articles and original research: It gets very deep in the weeds and has, as I mentioned a particularly anti-Gracie bent. Start with “What is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?” and that will give you the tenor of the site.

PODCASTS

Robert Drysdale on the Grappling Central Podcast (ep. 268). A long, detailed interview on a variety of topics, from the film to the history to the problem of finding sources.

Robert Drysdale on Dirty White Belt Radio. We talked at the Walter Pyramid during the 2018 World Championship, as film production was ramping up in earnest.

Jose Tufy Cairus on Dirty White Belt Radio. If you don’t want to read a dissertation, listen to me and Tufy talk about fascinating topics in BJJ history, such as the first Japanese person to teach Kodokan Judo in Brazil; who the first woman to train was; the importance of Brazil’s Navy in promoting jiu-jitsu, and how Maeda taught to the Brazilian Navy in the Amazon, including Luis Soto; Geo Omori and Takeo Yano’s contributions to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; how Brazil’s history, including the transition from the monarchy to the Old Republic to the dictatorship to the authoritarian estado novo affected jiu-jitsu.

FILMS

Renzo Gracie: Legacy: Follows one of the lions of the family on his own fighting journey. Compelling and remarkable, with some first-person accounts of historical events — such as how Renzo’s father, Robson, was arrested and tortured by the Brazilian military government, and how hegot out with the help of Helio Gracie & Helio Vigio. With appearances by BJ Penn, Dave Camarillo, Ralph Gracie and more.

Choke: A Rickson Gracie Documentary. Follows Rickson, famously the best fighter of the Gracies, through an MMA tournament in Japan. Features an all-too-often-ignored legend of fighting history, Yuki Nakai, as well.

ROLL: Jiu-jitsu in Southern California. A period piece that covers a specific geographic area.

The post The History of BJJ: A Starting Point appeared first on Bellingham BJJ.

Read the whole story
chrisamico
21 days ago
reply
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete

The Coronavirus Outbreak

1 Share
Read the whole story
chrisamico
35 days ago
reply
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete

Could a Merger of Men’s and Women’s Tennis Come Out of This Hiatus?

1 Share
The idea of combined tours has been around since at least the 1970s. But with the sport shut down, Roger Federer made a suggestion that could lead to a complex and ego-bruising endeavor.

Read the whole story
chrisamico
36 days ago
reply
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete

Baker orders schools to stay closed through end of school year; day cares closed till June 29

1 Comment

“The data shows we’re still very much in the grips of a pandemic here in Massachusetts," he said. "Right now, the Commonwealth is still in the surge.”

He said remote learning would continue in all districts.

He emphasized that Tuesday’s announcement “does not mean it’s time to start summer vacation early.”

Baker also said state officials are making plans for expanding remote learning opportunities for students. And he said the state education department would also prepare for summer learning “to ensure a strong start for all students in the fall.”

Jeffrey C. Riley, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, echoed Baker’s comments on remote learning. “We want to minimize learning loss as much as possible,” Riley said. “I hope everyone will continue to work with their students to do the best they can on remote learning.”

Baker also said all non-emergency child care programs would remain closed until June 29, though programs for the children of health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers would continue.

“We know that the lack of child care for many families has created an unanticipated burden and it’s hard to look after young children and balance the demands of working at home ... but maintaining this structure is the best way to keep our kids and our providers safe from the spread of this insidious disease," he said.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who also spoke at Baker’s State House briefing on the coronavirus response, announced that the state is suspending repayment of loans for four months for about 12,000 student borrowers enrolled in the state’s non-interest student loan program.

“Our hope is that these deferments will help some students as they navigate the many challenges this pandemic has created,” she said.

Baker said he knew cooped-up residents are eager to know whether things will return to normal soon.

But he warned that "doing it wrong could create more hardship for everyone in the long run.”

In the meantime, he said, “People need to dig deep and stay put. ... We will come out the other side of it stronger than ever.”

Baker also noted that hospitals are seeing a decrease in visits from people for heart disease, cancer treatments, and kidney dialysis, and urged people to seek care if they need it.

He urged people to “please use the system,” saying that state officials had worked hard to make sure that there would be room for both coronavirus patients and patients who need help for other serious conditions.

Schools and day care centers in Massachusetts have been closed by state order since mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. On March 25, Baker extended the initial closures to last through May 4.

Riley said teachers and administrators wanted to reopen schools this year if it was possible.

“They miss the kids. They love what they do,” he said. “But the data didn’t support it.”

He stressed that “remote learning is not synonymous with online learning.” He added that options in lieu of wireless access include “project-based learning” and work packets.

Riley said officials have been examining how schools have gone about reopening in other countries, where steps have included checking students’ temperatures, keeping desks six feet apart, and staggering schedules.

A number of statewide organizations, such as the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, had been urging Baker to call off the rest of the school year.

Thomas Scott, executive director of the superintendent’s association, said in an interview Tuesday morning many school district leaders felt they needed more time to prepare for a reopening of school as the pandemic wanes.

“We need to take a breather and do some long-term planning,” he said. “We are not going to come back under normal conditions.”

Daily life around the world has been disrupted as governments have shut down schools and businesses, and asked or ordered people to stay at home, in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. The world economy has been grinding to a halt.

The global pandemic has sickened more than 2.5 million people and killed more than 171,000. In the United States, more than 788,000 people have been sickened and more than 42,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Massachusetts is in the midst of a surge of severely ill patients. The death toll stood at 1,809 as of Monday. A highly cited University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, which earlier had predicted higher numbers, now projects deaths will total over 3,200.

Officials increasingly are optimistic, however, that the surge, while deadly, will not overwhelm the state’s hospitals.

The virus can cause mild to severe illness. Older adults and people with serious underlying conditions are most at risk for severe illness and death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Bianca Vázquez Toness can be reached at bianca.toness@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @biancavtoness. Matt Stout can be reached at matt.stout@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattpstout James Vaznis can be reached at james.vaznis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.

Read the whole story
chrisamico
39 days ago
reply
Welp.
Boston, MA
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories