Two Gunshots On a Summer Night
Walt Bogdanich and his colleagues at The New York Times and Frontline break down the blue wall of silence that too often covers for abusive officers and achieves a level of justice for Michelle O’Connell that the sheriff’s deputies who worked with her boyfriend failed to deliver.
Her death and the botched investigation are disgusting, but the reporting that aims to uncover the truth is inspiring. There are good reporters left in this shrinking world of hard-hitting journalism. Walt and the teams at The New York Times (including the incomparable Sarah Cohen) and at Frontline are a few of them.
Put down the pom poms and investigate
Law enforcement and media in college towns can not let the glow of campus and the glory of football impede their pursuit of the truth.
According to this statement from the victim of a sexual assault in Tallahassee, the detective investigating the case became protective of Florida State and its quarterback Jameis Winston, telling her to “think long and hard” before proceeding and possibly being “raked over the coals.”
According to the statement, the detective refused to collect DNA from Winston or interview his roommate, a witness to the alleged assault.
The executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, Bob Gabrodi, chastised the media who broke the story of the Winston investigation as not caring “a whit about our community, our university, our team or the young man many of us – me included – have learned to care about, Famous Jameis Winston.”
Famous. Jameis. And, maybe with a thorough, unadulterated investigation, Infamous.
This isn’t new.
Remember the Clinton County school officials who doubted Aaron Fisher when he said Jerry Sandusky had abused him. Sandusky “has a heart of gold,” Fisher’s guidance counselor said. “He would never do anything like that.”
He did. And to cloud a case with garnet and gold or blue and white, instead of the facts, is shameful.
Boston Strong. Bostonians Stronger.
No better example of the inflation of the importance of sports than tonight. The Boston Red Sox won a World Series, their third in the 10 seasons. A proud and profound accomplishment for a team that struggled for years in the shadow of 1918. Sure, this win lifted the spirits of a fan base and maybe a city, but don’t confuse that for healing the literal wounds of a horrific day. Baseball is not a magic sport that can bring back a dead child or repair torn limbs. Boston is strong, and proudly so, but the source of that strength is the resilience of its people not the transient millionaires who would just as proudly represent Baltimore or Houston if the price were right.
CLICK TO MAKE SOME MUSIC
"The Shadow Campaign" and the Dixie Cup
I was reminded today about a scene from a draft of a political campaign rom-com I dabbled with a while back. Something about a country twang. Here it is, the meeting of Dylan and Heather, in “The Shadow Campaign,” which, all these years later, is still a work in progress.
Unbeknownst to Dylan:
HEATHER CORNELL, a bright and attractive 20-year-old Ivy Leaguer with brown-to-blonde shoulder-length hair, black-rimmed glasses and a penchant for politics, stands at the copier 10 feet from Dylan. She looks in his direction and studies him as he reads.
Heather walks toward the desk and calls out to Dylan with cheer.
Hey, you’re new.
Dylan, fearing admonition, folds the paper back up and places it as he found it, with the statement and agenda. Heather nears the desk and hooks around it to come face-to-face with Dylan.
He looks up, smiles nervously and speaks with hesitation.
He remembers an old trick that didn’t work well with the high school girls, either: a slow and deliberate “Gump meets Gore” southern twang.
I mean — yes, yes I am new.
Intrigue. Heather smiles and extends her right hand for a shake.
Dylan. Dylan. Well… Dillard for real, but it’s Dylan for me.
My mama named me after a department store. When I grew and she started to call after me, she realized that Dillard sounded too… reptilian… like a lizard or something. So she called me Dylan and it’s kinda been that way ever since.
My dadda will still call me Dillard if he’s mad, though, or just to pee on my leg.
Heather smiles at the twangy reference and subtly gestures Dylan to follow her around the office.
I take it you’re not from New Hampshire, Dill…
Heather catches herself and switches his name to the more common.
Where ya from?
Dylan’s accent starts to fade as he thinks about where he is from.
I’m from… Well, uhmmmm…
Dylan slides into his normal northern sound. His words before more nervous as the façade vanishes.
Heather looks on with concern and a postage-stamp of incredulity.
DYLAN (cont’d)I’m sorry. I can’t talk to girls.
Is there a restraining order?
DYLANOh. No. I mean, there’s — it’s — it’s like a mental block I have. I meet a good-looking girl around my age and suddenly I turn into a Dixie cup, rather than face myself.
Heather smiles at the compliment.
HEATHERSo your name’s not Dillard?
DYLANOh no, it is. After the store.
CRISIS AT CANAAN: A must-watch video on the plight of federal correctional officers and the sorry of a father who fears officials saw his slain as the cost of doing business. Donald Williams, of Nanticoke, Pa., speaks about the murder of his son Eric Williams, a correctional officer at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan in Wayne County, Pa.
1/435: A Pennsylvania Freshman in the Halls of Congress: I’ve been doing more video of late. It’s a great medium to take readers / viewers inside the places they can’t always go and to quickly digest the news of the day. In this recent piece, on Day 1 of the government shutdown, we followed Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, as he prepared to speak on the floor of the House in favor of a bill to end the impasse. Afterward, he explained why his remarks ended so abruptly and how he thinks the standoff will end.
Beaver Stadium Sunset: The rare 5 p.m. kickoff to the Penn State-Michigan white out game gave a cool opportunity to capture sunset at Beaver Stadium. Here’s how it looked from my GoPro. (Video by Michael R. Sisak / The Citizens’ Voice)
The Catch: Allen Robinson Edition
Finally had a chance to go through the full take from Penn State’s epic, four overtime 43-40 win over Michigan. Here’s the sequence of wide receiver Allen Robinson leaping over Michigan defensive back Channing Stribling to catch a 36-yard pass at the 1-yard line near the end of regulation. It was a heck of a catch (a SportsCenter No. 1 Top Play!) to set up a Christian Hackenberg sneak for a touchdown that tied the game at 34-34 with 27 seconds left in regulation. Enjoy! (Michael R. Sisak / The Citizens’ Voice)