The People’s Right To Record

One topic that Paul Bass touched upon in his Skype discussion with the class was the right for people to record Police officers on their cell phones. This is a relatively new phenomenon which is due to the increase of quality in cell phone cameras as well as the accessibility that people have to them. Today in class, Bass said that the change is not complete, and the New Haven Police Department embraces the rights of its citizen’s but Bass does acknowledge that these rights are not always carried out. This has been a story for far too long.

In a piece covering  two settlements from 2014 where lawsuits were brought by citizens who were arrested for taking cellphone videos of police in public, written in April of 2015 for the New Haven Independent Bass writes,

Meanwhile, Police Chief Dean Esserman declared in 2012 that he couldn’t punish a cop for blatantly violating that order because the order’s wording is too “vague.” He vowed to rewrite the order.

Almost two years later, the city has not yet rewritten the order, according to Assistant Chief Al Vazquez (pictured), who oversees internal affairs and department values and ethics.

The attorney that lead the case for these citizens, Diane Polan, says that this is simply the Police Department dragging their feet. The right for citizens to record police officers is simply a way for the people to keep police in check, much like the police are there to keep society in check. With more eyes on the police, the work they do is expected to improve. It is peculiar why there is such push back.

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Utter Fulfillment

Late one night while ignoring my need for sleep and mindlessly scrolling through Twitter one particular tweet from Chad Finn about the hunt for utter fulfillment caught my eye.

 

With Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians trading blows in the World Series this year the unbiased baseball fan, especially those who don’t buy into the whole “going to sleep at a reasonable hour” fad is being treated to a great series. Sure, there are things that the MLB could work on to make the games end at a reasonable hour, but you won’t see me complaining about run-times in the World Series. It’s the freakin’ World Series. Every pitch matters.

Now, back to utter fulfillment.  When I said that this series is a treat to the unbiased baseball fan I can guarantee you it hasn’t been so enjoyable for Indians fans or the Cubs fans. Make no mistake, for these clubs there will be no solace in heading into the Winter Meetings without a ring. And for the diehard fans, a good nights sleep will be few and far between after the final out of their season is made if they are on the losing end.

Think about it. You don’t know a Cubs fan who has seen a World Series win, that’s a fact. The same can be said about Indians fans, with only a little less certainty. The “careful-what-you-wish-for b.s.” that Finn refers too is purely a safety net, it’s the first step to reminding yourself that there is always next year. But when the final out is made and one of these championship-starved clubs is holding up The Commissioner’s Trophy, next year won’t matter. Next year will never feel as good as this year. That is the utter fulfillment that Finn was talking about.

 

p.s. What a lame name for the MLB’s championship trophy. Why isn’t it the David Ortiz Trophy yet?

 

 

Class Presentation: The Ringer

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For my source, I have chosen to focus on Bill Simmons’sThe Ringer. First I will talk about the now defunct Grantland, Bill Simmons’s old ESPN offshoot. Then I will go a little bit into his breakup with ESPN which lead to the creation of The Ringer.

Grantland was Simmons’s brainchild. While he was at ESPN he had developed into their biggest star, and the network gave him complete creative control over his own ESPN affiliated site. As “The Sports Guy”, Simmons created a persona for himself that ushered in a new era of web journalism.

With Grantland he created a pop culture site that dabbled in all aspects including sports, politics, music, movies, and television. It was created in the mold of Simmons and the stable of contributors that he was able to collect provided readers like me a consistent source of entertainment. They had Wesley Morris, Katie Baker, Zach Lowe, Bill Barnwell, Bryan Curtis, Chuck Klosterman and Charles P. Pierce just to name a few. Basically, Simmons had no shortage of talented writers waiting to work with him. That’s when everything went sour.

Simmons had a messy breakup with ESPN and when it became official it appeared that Grantland would live on without him. However, months after the breakup ESPN CEO John Skipper announced that Grantland would be discontinued.  When Simmons’s contract officially expired, along with his gag order, he came out and announced that he was starting a new venture. Thus, The Ringer was born. It quickly became Grantland 2.0.

The Ringer does a lot of things right. Simmons might be the best there is at identifying talent. Just like Grantland there is a deep cast of characters, a mix of old and new faces. When Skipper stopped Grantland he made a point to mention that it was operating at a loss, explaining that the quality of content wasn’t converting to profits. It is interesting to note that all of The Ringer’s content is sponsored, with Miller Lite being tagged right at the header. The images that accompany each article are created in-house. Each visit to the site is a new experience and there is a constant rotation of stories. Overall, the site is very lighthearted and easy to consume. Each article is accompanied by a projected reading time along with notes in the margins on the “highlights” of the article. The one downfall of the site to me is it seems that they have taken a focus on shorter “blog” style posts that are easy to consume.