Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fox News sued for racial harassment: “This is what happens when you mess with white people’s health care”

An African-American former Fox News employee is suing the company for racial harassment and discrimination, according to court documents filed in New York on Monday. Harmeen Jones, 32, is suing three of his coworkers for making constant racist comments to and about him over the course of Jones' four years at Fox. Jones is also suing four of his supervisors for refusing to stop the conduct, and firing Jones when he complained about the harassment.

According to the lawsuit, Jones was hired in 2005 to monitor television feeds from all over the world, record relevant video and pass the clips on for broadcast. "The room was set up like a theatre, with a wall of screens in the front showing the feeds and several rows of control stations facing it," the lawsuit states.

Jones sat a few feet away from transmission operators Mike Greco, Sean McCool and Damien Rodriguez, and had no choice but to listen to the trio's conversations. "Greco, McCool and Rodriguez continually made racist, sexist and extremely offensive comments throughout the course of every working day," Jones says in the lawsuit. "These comments concerned African-Americans, Arabs, Muslims, Hispanics, women and Jews."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Attention, Christine O'Donnell: They're not laughing with you

Delaware tea party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell seemed to be the only person in attendance at Tuesday's debate who didn't know that the audience was laughing at her, not with her, as she went after Democratic opponent Chris Coons on evolution and separation of church and state.

O'Donnell, trying to close a double-digit gap in polls over the next two weeks before the election, was intent on trapping Coons in a "gotcha" moment to show off his supposed lack of constitutional understanding. So intent, it seems, that she ended up displaying her own far greater misunderstanding instead:
Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools." "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked him. When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party: Reincarnation of Theodore Roosevelt?

New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan burst onto the national political scene this week after clips of his debate appearance Monday night went viral. McMillan is founder and apparent CEO of the "Rent Is 2 Damn High Party," and most of his talking points during the debate seemed focused around the general idea that rent in New York City is, well, too damn high.

The first thing I noticed about McMillan was how ready-made he seems for a Saturday Night Live skit starring Kenan Thompson. The folks at 30 Rock wouldn't even have to write much; Thompson could simply recite a bunch of actual quotes, like Tina Fey did in her brilliant Sarah Palin sketch. The second thing I noticed was McMillan's distinct similarity to former President Theodore Roosevelt. Stay with me here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joe Miller's private security team handcuffs journalist

The bizarre Alaska Senate race has gotten even stranger. Tea party candidate Joe Miller is facing mounting criticism after members of his private security team handcuffed a reporter Sunday night at a public town hall event at an Anchorage middle school.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Tony Hopfinger of Alaska Dispatch was trying to ask Miller about his departure from Fairbanks North Star Borough when he was surrounded by private security personnel who told Hopfinger to leave. As Miller escaped out the side door and a mob enveloped the reporter, Hopfinger said he felt threatened by the men in dark suits and crew cuts and pushed one away. Hopfinger says he was immediately shoved against a wall with his hands behind his back as steel handcuffs were put on his wrists by guards who dragged him into the hallway.
While Hopfinger was still in handcuffs, the guards attempted to prevent other reporters from talking to him and threatened them too with arrest for trespass. A Daily News reporter interviewed Hopfinger anyway. No other reporters were arrested, though a few shoving matches and chest bumps ensued as the guards attempted to cordon off Hopfinger and block photographs and videos from being taken of the bizarre school scene.