Category Archives: Philly Post

Ann Coulter vs. Me

Big career highlight for me tonight: I’ve had my words twisted in a column by the original conservative Internet troll, Ann Coulter!

Writing in her syndicated column in response to various media reports that that whole Knockout Game thing may have been a tad overblown, the fading diva of the right has this to say about my Phillymag piece on the subject- you know,  the one from three weeks ago:

Similarly, in Philadelphia magazine, Stephen Silver said of two recent knockout attacks in Philadelphia that he wasn’t counting either one as “confirmed cases of the Knockout Game” on the grounds that the puncher said he “was not participating in the Game.”

Let’s go back  to the real column:

Philadelphia police sources told the Daily News in an article published Monday that there has been one — that’s right, one — confirmed case of the Knockout Game in the city among recent assaults, a Fox Chase man. (The suspect in the high-profile Broad Street Puncher case, according to a SEPTA spokeswoman quoted by this website last week, was not participating in the “Game.”)

The first part of the quote is attributed, by me, to Philadelphia police sources, speaking to the Daily News. The second part is attributed to a SEPTA spokeswoman. I didn’t count them as cases of the Knockout Game because the police didn’t either.

If Coulter doesn’t think the police are doing a good enough job of making sure everyone is scared of young black men, her argument should be with them, and not with the “liberal media” or the author (me) who quoted them.

I mean, it’s almost as if the woman who accused 9/11 widows of enjoying their husband’s deaths isn’t interested in fealty to the facts .

Writings of Late

I apologize for the lack of posts recently; it’s been a crazy fall with lots of work and lots of travel. Here’s some new writings from this month:

At EntertainmentTell, I’ve got movie reviews of “12 Years a Slave,” “All is Lost,” “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “The Fifth Estate,” and more, which you can find at my Rotten Tomatoes page. I’m also newly a member of the Online Film Critics Society,

Also recently from the site: A shot at CNN’s plans to rip off The Daily Show; an essay about this year’s How I Met Your Mother season; some making fun of Maureen Dowd;  and some investigation into which baseball team Bryan Cranston roots for.

For Philadelphia magazine, I wrote about Ruben Amaro’s stathead hiring plans, that awesome new commercial for the Eagles and that weird trucker protest in DC. Last month marked the end of my time as a weekly columnist there, but I may pop up occasionally in the future.

And last and best, here’s the latest blog post from Noah and Jonah covering, among other events, the wedding of their Aunt Amy and Uncle Jason.

Highlights of this Week’s Writings

I had quite a prolific week of new writings.

For the Philly Post, I wrote about the FCC’s correct decision to not pursue fines after David Ortiz cursed on the air before the first post-bombing Red Sox game.

At EntertainmentTell, a ton of stuff: My essay on the Coexist sticker flap- with an Adam Carolla angle to fit the Entertainment part of the site, is here.

I also reviewed Michael Bay’s odious new movie “Pain & Gain,” as well as the documentary “Koch,” and I interviewed the director of the latter film (not, thankfully, the former.)

In addition, I wrote about the renewal of Parenthood, a particularly funny old Facts of Life clip, and the arrival of the complete Saturday Night Live archive on Yahoo.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Jerry Sandusky, John Ziegler and the Shame of “Today”

This week’s Philly Post column is about the Today Show interview with Jerry Sandusky, brought to the show by the noted bottom feeder/con man John Ziegler. There was quite a bit I had to say that didn’t fit in the column, here’s some of that below:

- Sandusky probably has the least credibility of any man on planet Earth. His word is worth dirt, probably less than dirt. It doesn’t matter what he said. And if that one minute was the best they could come up with from three hours of interviews, I don’t feel too hopeful about the rest of the footage.

- Perhaps NBC’s biggest misstep of all was getting into bed with a hack like Ziegler, who showed, like Andrew Breitbart and his various imitators, that the quickest way to get prominent media coverage is to constantly denounce the media. The media hates John Ziegler so much that they can’t stop inviting him onto their shows.

- The interview uses the words of a man who is definitely lying- Sandusky maintains his innocence, when he is not innocent- in order to impeach the credibility of the witness against him who we have no reason to believe is lying. It’s hard to imagine a single person on the planet watching that interview and coming out of it more sympathetic to Joe Paterno- or Jerry Sandusky, or John Ziegler- than they were at the start.

- The Sandusky interviews are supposedly from an upcoming, feature-length version of “Framing Paterno,” Ziegler’s scummy little YouTube mini-movie, which heavily borrowed both its structure and musical cues from the 9/11 Truth conspiracy genre. I reviewed it here last November; among numerous faults in its argumentation, the biggest was that not a single person interviewed on camera could spare a single word of sympathy for any of the children abused by Sandusky, or acknowledge that maybe this saga has victims who aren’t named Joe Paterno.

- I may not agree with much of what the Paterno family has done in the past year or two, but to their credit, they’ve been out front on the issue of sexual abuse prevention. And, also to their credit, they’ve loudly distanced themselves from Ziegler’s dubious injection of Sandusky into the debate.

- Ziegler, more recently, has taken to defending and advising the football coach in the horrific Steubenville rape case, an old buddy and book subject of his. I can only assume that, in 1988, Ziegler went to see the movie “The Accused” and rooted out loud for the acquittal of Jodie Foster’s assailants.

- More news since I filed: Ziegler named Victim 2 on his site, kept it up for eight hours, claimed he was hacked, and then published perhaps the least sincere non-apology apology in recent history.

And finally, here’s a great piece by Tim Baffoe, that really gets to the heart of Ziegler’s loathsome M.O.:

“He’s a hell of a lot smarter than the people who slobber all over him because he’s their last glimmer of hope twinkling off of Coke-bottle glasses that JoePa Claus is real. In taking an argument concerning a dead guy, he’s found an angle in which he can’t exactly lose, and that’s how many arguments, nefarious as they may be, are “won.” See, logically Paterno deserves blame, but Ziegler’s is an emotional appeal to the slackjaws, and reason always loses to makin’ the willfully ignorant feel good. He knows this, just as any televangelist knows this. Now go on and hand over your money for the Lord… I mean, help fund his documentary, Framing Paterno. The film is in perpetual infancy due to people not forking over money (can’t imagine why), but certainly it will crack open the truth that the bad people are keeping from those who really believe Paterno pooped jellybeans and sunshine.”

Steubenville, Schachter and Looking the Other Way

This week’s Philly Post column is on a couple of instances of adults looking at the facts of rape and abuse cases and pretty egregiously taking the wrong side. There’s CNN’s coverage of the Steubenville verdict, and the comments by Yeshiva University scholar Rabbi Hershel Schachter about child sexual abuse.

I don’t know what it is about cases like this that drive me crazy- maybe it’s being a father. But I just don’t understand the moral depravity that leads one to side with an abuser over a victim.