Can Hillary Clinton Sustain Another “Deep Dive?”

It’s the season of ‘deep dive’ investigations in the 2016 presidential campaign cycle. From ‘Clinton cash’ to Jeb Bush’s finances, it’s all grist for an investigative mill that has found itself a new cliché.
By Chuck McCutcheon, Voices contributor David Mark, Voices contributor APRIL 27, 2015
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy wrote an opinion piece defending the Clinton Foundation from recent allegations in the book “Clinton Cash” that Hillary Clinton’s work in the State Department were influenced by donations to the foundation.
Deep dive. A cliché for “in-depth examination” that has migrated from the business world into politics. It’s becoming especially common these days as media outlets ramp up comprehensive probes into the presidential candidates’ pasts.

Within corporate circles, “deep dive” has been a source of increasing irritation. Last year, a survey of human resource managers by the accounting staffing service Accountemps named it one of the most 20 annoying workplace buzzwords and phrases, joining such teeth-grinding expressions as “out of pocket,” “forward-thinking” and “pick your brain.”

As The Economist’s language column once noted: “There’s something athletic, soulful even, about the thought of physically diving into a spread sheet, kicking around in its dusky deep columns, paddling lazily through the surf of numbers, digging for hidden gems among its pivot tables, and coming up for air gasping but ecstatic, with the decimal points cascading down your forehead. It could be a subtle signal to colleagues of the effort you are about to make as you hold your breath and plunge into the numbers. Or maybe it’s nothing more than an attempt to romanticize to yourself what is otherwise a soul-deadening activity.”

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Journalist Peter Schweizer’s new book “Clinton Cash” has been described again and again as a “deep dive” into whether foreign entities sought to influence Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was secretary of State through extremely generous speaking fees to her husband. Schweizer said that while he found no evidence of a quid pro quo between those entities and the Democratic frontrunner, his findings merit further diving. Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey wondered if Jeb Bush might be affected: “There may be almost as many Republicans looking forward to a deep dive on Jeb’s finances as there were for the one on the Clintons, thanks to the realities of competitive primaries and dynasty fatigue.”

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When Clinton announced her candidacy, political blogger Chris Weigant observed that everything about her would be “microscopically analyzed within an inch of its life.” He added dismissively: “Most of these deep-dive analyses won’t make a tiny bit of difference in the long run…. But it’ll certainly give all the pundits something to do in the meantime.”

But the use of the phrase goes well beyond Clinton, of course. Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center released its thorough analysis into Democratic and Republican Party public-identification trends, “A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation.” Members of a new watchdog group charged with ensuring that US counterterrorism efforts don’t infringe on civil liberties promised “deep dives” into surveillance programs. California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, discussing the need to delve into the accidental killing of an America hostage in recently revealed drone strikes against al Qaeda, said: “I have asked the agency to come in to give me a deep dive on the operation and suspect that other members will want the same.”

And in ensuring that President Obama isn’t seen as too much of a lame duck, his aides have rolled out a new media strategy that involves him hobnobbing with federal workers and others in small settings. “It’s thinking about a way to create an environment where you can have a deep-dive discussion with people who care about these issues,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki told Politico.

Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark write their “Speaking Politics” blog exclusively for Politics Voices.

Baltimore Calls in National Guard Orders Curfew to Stop Rioting

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, New York Times APRIL 27, 2015

BALTIMORE — Gov. Larry Hogan activated the National Guard on Monday and the city of Baltimore announced a curfew for all residents as a turbulent day that began with the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the nation’s latest symbol of police brutality, ended with rioting by rock-throwing youths, widespread looting and at least 15 police officers injured.

The violence that shook the city broke out in the late afternoon in the Mondawmin neighborhood of northwest Baltimore, home to the New Shiloh Baptist Church, where more than 2,000 people — politicians, activists, White House officials and civil rights activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dick Gregory — had gathered for a morning of soaring Gospel music and passionate eulogies for Mr. Gray.

Hours after the service ended, angry groups of people threw bottles, rocks and chunks of concrete at officers who lined up in riot gear with shields deployed. Young men surrounded a police cruiser and smashed in its windows in what police described as an organized attack by criminals. Cars were set on fire, and store windows were shattered. A CVS drugstore was looted and set on fire. A check-cashing business was also looted. The cafe portion of the Trinacria Italian Deli, in Baltimore since 1908, was destroyed.

By evening, the unrest was spreading, and the police said at least 27 people had been arrested. At a news conference on Monday night, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would be imposed for a week beginning on Tuesday.

The governor, at the request of the city of Baltimore, declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. Officers were also on the way from surrounding counties to back up more than 1,000 Baltimore police officers already on the streets and 82 state troopers dispatched earlier in the day.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard when riots broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray.

The police said early in the day that they had received a “credible threat” that members of various gangs, including the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips had “entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.” But officers kept a low profile in the neighborhood during the Gray funeral. The police also said that a flier circulated on social media called for a period of violence on Monday afternoon to begin at the Mondawmin Mall and move toward City Hall downtown.

Warned by the police of possible violence, the University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore closed early, as did the mall. The Orioles postponed their home game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.

Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered Mr. Gray’s eulogy, came back to the neighborhood after the burial on Monday afternoon to appeal for calm. He said he would send teams of men from his church, the Empowerment Temple, to help keep the peace.

“This is not what the family asked for, today of all days,” Mr. Bryant said. “For us to come out of the burial and walk into this is absolutely inexcusable.” He said he was “asking every young person to go back home,” adding, “it’s frustration, anger and it’s disrespect for the family.”

Ms. Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts — both of whom are black — have struggled to reform a police department that has a history of aggressive, sometimes brutal, treatment of black men.

The death spawned a week of protests that had been largely peaceful until Saturday night, when demonstrators — who had spent the afternoon marching through the city — scuffled with officers in riot gear outside Camden Yards, the downtown baseball park. Authorities attributed the scattered violence that night to outsiders who, Ms. Rawlings-Blake said, “were inciting,” with “ ‘go out there and shut this city down’ kind of messaging.”

But the violence on Monday was much more devastating and profound, a blow for a city whose leaders had been hoping Mr. Gray’s funeral would show the nation its more peaceful side. At the New Shiloh Baptist Church, Mr. Gray lay in an open white coffin, in a white shirt and tie, with a pillow bearing a picture of him in a red T-shirt, against a backdrop of a blue sky and doves, with the message “Peace y’all.”

The service was much more than a celebration of Mr. Gray’s short life; it was a call for peace and justice — and for residents of Baltimore to help lead the nationwide movement for better police treatment of black men that emerged last August after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, spoke at Mr. Gray’s funeral, saying “Get your black self up and change this city!” and added, “I don’t know how you can be black in America and be silent. With everything we’ve been through, ain’t no way in the world you can sit here and be silent in the face of injustice.”

Outside and the church a big line of police officers and hundreds of young people who started throwing rocks and bricks. But police did not respond immediately.

At the corner of North Fulton and West North Avenues, looters could be seen breaking into stores and walking out with cases of food and water while hundreds of police officers in riot gear gathered about four blocks away.

When a pair of police cruisers tried to enter the area, young men threw bottles at them. Several of the men wore surgical masks. Some carried baseball bats, others carried pipes. While several people held signs that said “Stop the war,” protesting peacefully, the rising chaos surrounded them: a broken-down BMW sat empty in the middle of the street, shards of glass from convenience store windows lay on the pavement and a young man carrying bolt cutters walked by.

Residents looked on aghast. Along North Avenue, not far from the Gilmor Homes, the public housing development where Mr. Gray was first arrested, Chris Malloy, who lives in the area and participated in Saturday’s protest march, shook his head. He said he was angry at the police and the looters — all at once.

“All they had to do was march, but they did this,” he said, sounding disgusted, as the CVS store burned nearby. “You can take stuff out of the store, but why do you have to burn it down?”

Body Cameras for Police? We’ll all know

Downside of Police Body Cameras: Your Arrest Hits YouTube

Police departments around the country have been moving with unusual speed to equip officers with body cameras to film their often edgy encounters with the public. But the adoption of these cameras has created a new conflict over who has the right to view the recordings.

In Seattle, where a dozen officers started wearing body cameras in a pilot program in December, the department has set up its own YouTube channel, broadcasting a stream of blurred images to protect the privacy of people filmed. Much of this footage is uncontroversial; one scene shows a woman jogging past a group of people and an officer watching her, then having a muted conversation with people whose faces have been obscured.

“We were talking about the video and what to do with it, and someone said, ‘What do people do with police videos?’ ” said Mike Wagers, chief operating officer of the Seattle police. His answer: “They put it on YouTube.”

Officers with body cameras in East Oakland, Calif., during protests after a grand jury issued no indictment in the Eric Garner chokehold case.Body Cameras Worn by Police Officers Are No ‘Safeguard of Truth,’ Experts SayDEC. 6, 2014
President Obama met Monday at the White House with civil rights and religious leaders, mayors and law enforcement officials.Obama Offers New Standards on Police Gear in Wake of Ferguson Protests DEC. 1, 2014
Vievu LE3, a body camera.New York Police Officers to Start Using Body Cameras in a Pilot Program SEPT. 4, 2014

But YouTube video from other police body cameras can be violent and disturbing.

Mr. Enriquez is one of a dozen of the city’s police officers who wear a body camera, mounted to the left side of his uniform.
Scenes unfold slowly, in cinéma vérité style, as officers go about their work until a moment arrives when someone is suddenly shot and killed. Sometimes words are exchanged before the shootings, but often they occur in silence. The footage has little in common with the stylized deaths in Hollywood movies: There is often no sign of bleeding, and bodies lay twisted as if they have been broken.

In Bremerton, Wash., the police chief, Steven Strachan, is wary about making such footage public. After testing body cameras last year, he decided not to buy them for his 71 officers because he feared that the state’s public records laws would require him to turn over the film.
Requests for footage, he said, would create an unwieldy administrative burden for his small department and could potentially violate privacy.

“We hit the pause button,” Chief Strachan said. “Our view is we don’t want to be part of violating people’s privacy for commercial or voyeuristic reasons. Everyone’s worst day is now going to be put on YouTube for eternity.”

Since the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was fatally shot during an encounter with a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August, departments around the country have begun requiring officers to record their interactions with the public to hold them accountable for their behavior, as well as to protect them against false charges.

Most big city police departments — including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia — are still testing body cameras, and it could be at least a year before a significant number of officers in those cities are wearing them. But the battle over who has the right to see the film is well underway.

At recent public forums, including in Los Angeles, advocates for the cameras have pressed the police to make the footage public. They pointed to police killings of unarmed black men and boys that did not lead to criminal charges, saying recordings could provide a fuller view of events than police accounts or even witness testimony.
Several of the killings have been captured by surveillance cameras or by bystanders with mobile phones. They include the death of Walter L. Scott, who was shot several times in the back by a police officer in North Charleston, S.C., this month.

Edited body camera footage was posted on YouTube by the Seattle Police Department, on Publish Date April 27, 2015.
“If the public doesn’t have the opportunity to view the video on their own, they are left with the police version of what happened, and as seen recently, their version isn’t always what happened,” said Laniece Williams, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Coalition for Racial, Economic and Legal Justice.

“Even in cases where there isn’t a fatal shooting,” she continued, “there are instances where police brutalize people and the public should be able to see the video.”

Some state legislatures, though, are coming out against broad disclosure policies. Among a flurry of 87 bills related to body cameras that have been introduced in 29 legislatures, 15 states are moving to limit what the public is allowed to see from the recordings. In some cases, lawmakers have sought to remove the videos from public records laws, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“The issue challenges the assumption that everything that happens in public should be public,” said James McMahan, policy director for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. “But I don’t know that we want a woman standing there with bruises and scratches and other signs of domestic violence to be posted on YouTube. The instance of her being posted online forever might be a greater crisis than the original incident.”

In Philadelphia, where officers have fired at suspects at a rate of nearly once each week during the past eight years and where the city has paid out millions of dollars to victims of police brutality, residents have strongly called for officers to be equipped with body cameras.

Activists like Ms. Williams say they fear that much of the video will never be seen publicly. They point to the department’s refusal to publicly release surveillance camera footage of the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, 26, who was shot by the police in December after being stopped for driving with his headlights off.

The Philadelphia police said that they had shown the video to Mr. Tate-Brown’s family, and that the department had not yet devised a policy on the release of video from body cameras.

Pogo Was Right 1 minute ago
Police body cameras tell only one side of the story. How about we require perpetrators to wear them also. That way, we get both sides.
Dan Stackhouse 1 minute ago
There are going to be a few unintended consequences of having the police wear body cameras. First, hopefully, it will get police to be a…
Larry 3 minutes ago
Privacy should trumps the public’s right to know, except in the following circumstances:1. An officer has been injured.2. The person being…

In Florida, the Sarasota Police Department has temporarily halted its body camera program after an American Civil Liberties Union of Florida lawyer sued over the cost of obtaining footage. The city said it would charge $18,000 for 84 hours of video to be placed on DVDs — about $214 an hour of video.

The department broadcasts the footage on its own YouTube channel, with faces obscured and conversations muted to protect the privacy of people being filmed.
Some of the most intense public discussion of the issue is taking place in Washington State, where state law allows anyone to file a public records request to obtain body camera recordings.

In Bremerton, Chief Strachan tested body cameras last fall before deciding not to purchase them. He said the demands the department had received for video during the testing period had been too burdensome.

A View of Katmandu After the Earthquake

A View of Katmandu After the Earthquake

KATMANDU, Nepal — It had been an unseasonably cold and rainy Saturday morning. Twelve of us from the staff of The Nepali Times were on a hiking retreat on a hill overlooking the city. The sky was overcast, and we were disappointed not to have a view of the Himalayas to the north. Some of us looked down at the capital spreading out in the bowl-shaped valley below and talked about its rapid, haphazard growth.

As we were descending along the ridge, about a two hours’ walk away, suddenly there was a big jolt. The whole mountain started bobbing, as if set on the ocean. We could barely stay standing. “This is the Big One,” I thought.

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Katmandu is first on the list of cities deemed most vulnerable to seismic risk in the world. Every year in mid-January, Nepal marks National Earthquake Safety Day to commemorate the massive earthquake that flattened Katmandu in 1934. Our newspaper’s coverage of that occasion this year had highlighted the need for Nepal to better prepare for a disaster; it was only a matter of time before the next one hit.

Puffs, then billows, of dust rose from various parts of the city, within minutes shrouding the whole valley in a brown blanket. The historic town of Bhaktapur, at the eastern edge, looked like it was being swallowed by a sand storm. Katmandu disappeared.

Our sense of shock turned to fear as we thought of our families down below. Worst-case predictions had forecast that an 8-magnitude quake in Katmandu could kill 100,000 people, injure 300,000 and level the city. We hugged each other, some of us crying. We reached for our phones. The lines were down.

An hour later, as we were still walking downhill, there was another tremor. I felt like I was being yanked forward a couple of meters. The whole mountain seemed to lurch. There were more dust clouds. After those cleared, we noticed through our binoculars that most of the residential areas of the city seemed intact. That brought us some measure of relief.

A few members of our group had managed to contact their relatives. But four of us had not, and we hurried back. We retrieved my car parked at the foot of the hill, and headed into town. On the road we had to skirt fallen masonry and tilted buildings. People were sitting clustered in open spaces or in the middle of the streets, as far as possible from anything that might collapse. In front of a hospital, we saw patients lying on mattresses set out on the sidewalk.

By late Saturday afternoon, it started becoming clear that though in Katmandu the casualties were high and the damage was serious, notably at various World Heritage sites, the quake’s effects might not be quite as devastating as feared. My own family was safe, though my bed-ridden mother had to be carried out into the garden; we live in the residential part of Patan, where buildings are sturdier.

Prof.Jai Prakash Sharma, 4 hours ago
Self-help reinforced by voluntary community effort is the building block to revive the broken social life in the face of Nature’s fury
Christine McMorrow 13 hours ago
My thoughts and prayers are with your nation and its people. I assure you that readers of this paper are following events very closely ever…
ALB 13 hours ago
When our family visited Nepal in 2011, we found the people of Katmandu already living on a razor’s edge, with extremely limited access to…
But the devastation was expected to be far more severe in the mountains near the epicenter, about 50 miles northwest of the capital, and in the surrounding districts. Reports — including from one resident of Barpak village, to the north, who had walked eight hours to get a phone signal — were just trickling in that entire villages have been wiped out. Landslides were blocking rivers. The highways were unusable.

Any government in the world would have been overwhelmed by the scale of this disaster, but the logistical difficulties in Nepal, a poor, near-roadless, mountainous land, are extraordinary. The country’s only international airport is still operational, and China and India quickly started flying in relief help. But the Nepali Army itself has only one big helicopter.

Nepal’s unstable political scene is another major obstacle. After a decade of conflict between the government and Maoist insurgents, Nepal’s politicians have been too busy battling one another, most recently over constitutional reform, to treat disaster preparedness as a priority. There have been no elections at the district, village or municipal level for almost two decades, and the committees that run local councils aren’t organized to coordinate emergency assistance.

And so much of the relief work has fallen on community groups; some, like the one headed by Gopal Awale in Patan, had devised some basic emergency plans in case of a disaster. On Saturday, such groups were helping take people away from the old buildings of Katmandu’s inner city, which were hit especially hard, and putting them up in tents in schools, parks and other designated safe areas.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Katmandu and surrounding areas spent Saturday night on the streets. My family and I slept in a tent in our backyard. It has now been more than 24 hours since the first quake, and by my count we have since been rocked by more than 50 tremors, some major. Yet there is no sign of overt panic. On Sunday, people in my neighborhood were gathering water bottles and sleeping bags, calmly hunkering down for another night out in the open.

Kunda Dixit is the editor of The Nepali Times.


Freddie Gray Protests Getting Ugly in Baltimore

Scenes of Chaos in Baltimore as Thousands Protest Freddie Gray’s Death

BALTIMORE — A largely peaceful protest over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury in police custody, gave way to scattered scenes of chaos here on Saturday night, as demonstrators smashed a downtown storefront window, threw rocks and bottles and damaged police cruisers, while officers in riot gear broke up skirmishes and made 12 arrests near Camden Yards.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake convened a news conference at City Hall, where she appeared with several others — including Mr. Gray’s twin sister, Fredericka; a prominent pastor, Jamal Bryant; and City Councilman Brandon Scott — to appeal for calm. By that time the disturbances had largely settled.

Mr. Gray’s sister, appearing composed less than 48 hours before her brother’s scheduled funeral, spoke only briefly, saying, “Freddie Gray would not want this. Freddie’s father and mother does not want the violence.”

Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Police Department: How It Unfolded
A timeline of events leading up to Mr. Gray’s hospitalization.

There, Malik Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based group that called for the demonstration and advertised it on social media, told the crowd that he would release them in an hour, adding: “Shut it down if you want to! Shut it down!”

Mr. Shabazz said in a later interview that his rhetoric was intended only to encourage civil disobedience — not violence — but added that he was “not surprised” by the scattered angry outbursts because people here “haven’t received justice.”

Saturday’s trouble began in the early evening, when a group of protesters, as many as 100 by some accounts, split from the main group as the City Hall rally was breaking up and went on a rampage, throwing cans, bottles and trash bins at police officers, and breaking windows in some businesses. As the breakaway group reached Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles were playing the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night, it was met by police officers in riot gear.

Protesters smashed windows of some cars and blocked the corner of Pratt and Light Streets, a major intersection that is a main route to Interstate 95 and out of the city. The department used its Twitter feed to urge demonstrators to remain peaceful, and blamed the problems on “isolated pockets of people from out of town causing disturbances downtown.” Late in the ballgame, police briefly instructed fans to remain in the stadium “until further notice,” but the crowd was eventually released.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference that 1,200 officers had been deployed. The department spokesman, Capt. J. Eric Kowalczyk, told a local television station that the police were determined to protect the protesters’ rights to “peaceful expression.”

Continue reading the main story
Ahead of Saturday’s protest, state and city officials warned against outsiders coming into Baltimore to cause the type of unrest that roiled Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in August. Gov. Larry Hogan sent dozens of state troopers to Baltimore at the request of Mayor Rawlings-Blake, who urged those taking to the city’s streets to remain peaceful. “If you’re going to come here, come here to help us, not to hurt us,” she said.

But at Saturday night’s news conference, Rev. Bryant — who has led other protests here this week but was noticeably absent from the demonstration on Saturday — said the disruption was “not the byproduct of outside agitators,” but rather of “internal frustration,” noting that “99 percent of those who participated over the last couple of days” had been peaceful.
He urged Baltimore residents to go to “houses of faith,” on Sunday. “We are not asking you not to protest; we are not asking you not to lift your voice,” he said, adding, “The Bible is clear: Be angry but sin not. Rioting and looting will not give us justice, nor will it turn the tide.”

Local leaders of Saturday’s march — including Carron Morgan, 18, Mr. Gray’s first cousin, and an in-law of Mr. Gray’s who gave his name only as Juan — seemed determined to keep the demonstration from getting out of hand. During the afternoon, as the marchers made their way downtown, some young people started kicking dents into cars while other demonstrators told them to stop.

“I want outside people to come in,” Mr. Morgan said as he watched people gather early Saturday afternoon at the Gilmor Homes. “But I want them to understand that we don’t want to harm any police officers. We just want justice.”

During the rally at City Hall, before the evening skirmishes erupted, Juan marveled at how smoothly the afternoon had gone. “I just want to say how proud I am,” he told the crowd. “They said a young black man couldn’t lead his people. Did we prove them wrong?”

The death of Mr. Gray, who is to be buried here on Monday, has unleashed intense frustration and anger in Baltimore, a majority black city whose mayor and police commissioner are also African-American. Baltimore has a long history of tense relations between police and black residents, and while Ms. Rawlings-Blake and Mr. Batts have said they are trying to make improvements, the death has clearly opened a wound.

Mr. Gray was chased and restrained by police on bicycles at the Gilmor Homes on the morning of April 12; a cellphone video of his arrest shows him being dragged into a police transport van, seemingly limp and screaming in pain. The police have acknowledged that he should have received medical treatment immediately at the scene of the arrest, and have also said that he rode in the van unbuckled, prompting speculation here that he may have been given a so-called “rough ride,” in which he was intentionally jostled. After officers got him to the police station, medics rushed him to the hospital, where he slipped into a coma and died last Sunday.

Six Baltimore officers have been suspended with pay while the Baltimore Police Department carries out a criminal investigation. (Some demonstrators carried signs on Saturday reading, “No paid vacations.”) The Justice Department also is reviewing the case for possible civil rights violations. Mr. Gray’s family has hired a third party to conduct an independent investigation. Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at the new Shiloh Baptist Church in West Baltimore.

Baltimore residents have been protesting Mr. Gray’s death for a week, but Saturday’s turnout was among the largest. The throng assembled at the corner of Mount and Presbury Streets, just blocks from where Mr. Gray was apprehended by police, in the early afternoon for speeches and a short march to the Western District Police station, which was barricaded and guarded by officers.

There, Tessa Hill-Aston, the president of the Baltimore N.A.A.C.P., remembered a West Baltimore death similar to Mr. Gray’s, in 1994. She worked for the city housing authority at the time, and said she spent all night in the Gilmor Homes to keep the community calm. Asked what has changed since then, she frowned and said, “Nothing.” Surveying the crowd, she said she was glad so many people of different races had turned out, adding, “It shows enough is enough.”

While the march proceeded in an orderly and peaceful fashion, one participant, Omar Newberns, who works as a security officer here and rode his bicycle alongside the other demonstrators, said he was concerned about the spate of police killings involving black men — and what might happen if the police involved in Mr. Gray’s death are not prosecuted and convicted.

“This is a powder keg right now,” Mr. Newberns said. “New York and Ferguson and all those other places are just preliminary to introduce it to the nation,” he said. “It could become another Watts. If things don’t get taken care of here, the whole nation could be set afire. I don’t want that to happen.”

Until Friday, efforts to pinpoint how and when Mr. Gray was injured had focused on what happened inside the van, with a lawyer for the officers involved playing down the suggestion, based on the cellphone video, that Mr. Gray had been hurt before he was placed inside. The police have acknowledged gaps in the timeline involving three stops made by the van. According to Police Department accounts, at the first stop, officers placed leg bars on Mr. Gray, who they said had become irate; the second stop was made to pick up another arrestee. At the third, Mr. Gray had to be picked up off the floor.

Mr. Gray’s family said that his spinal cord had been 80 percent severed, and that his voice box had been crushed. Mr. Gray’s death was the latest in a string of fatal police encounters with unarmed and mostly black civilians that have forced a national debate about how law enforcement officers use lethal force on the job, especially in high-crime and minority communities. Many of the protesters Saturday dismissed statements by Baltimore officials that the protests should remain local.

“They need a little history,” Larry Holmes, a Manhattan-based activist with the Peoples Power Assemblies, told the crowd on Saturday. “Martin Luther King was an outside agitator. Malcolm X was an agitator. Jesus Christ was an agitator.”

“You can’t keep a problem like police brutality a local thing,” Mr. Holmes said. “The world is watching Baltimore.”

When Coziness with Sources Is a Conflict

The Correspondents White House Dinner is over, but the effect of journalists being too close to their sources will be felt in countless ways. Remember how timid the national press was before President George W. Bush ordered the Iraq invasion? (Bill Deane)

Hear it from PUBLIC EDITOR’s Margaret Sullivan:

When Coziness With Sources Is a Conflict
APRIL 5, 2014

IN theory, most serious journalists can agree on this principle: It’s a bad idea to get too close to your sources. Cordiality, yes; coziness, no.

In practice, the path can be strewn with land mines. Let’s look at three situations involving Times journalists and those they cover.

The first is the friendship between the former fashion critic Cathy Horyn (she left The Times early this year) and L’Wren Scott, the fashion designer who committed suicide last month.

The friendship — which included the critic’s giving the designer business advice and attending dinner parties at her home — was detailed in a recent piece that Ms. Horyn wrote for the Thursday Styles section. For example: “Two years ago, our friendship was tested when, after hearing her troubles, I told her she should give herself a time limit to resolve matters or get out. Putting her health in jeopardy because of stress was not worth it, I told her.”

Several Times readers wrote to me afterward. One, Michael G. Brautigam, called it “an obvious and blatant conflict of interest” and asked how the relationship could be “remotely appropriate.”

The Styles editor, Stuart Emmrich, offered this explanation: “As a critic, Cathy occupied a somewhat different position than that of a reporter — her opinions, freely shared with readers and industry figures alike, were what distinguished her — and she was often a sounding board for designers, particularly young ones, as they sought advice from knowledgeable figures in the fashion industry.”

The proof, he added, was in her tough-minded work: “No one who had read her reviews over the 15 years she was the fashion critic for The New York Times would have ever accused her of going too easy on someone whose work disappointed her.”

In some ways, this is the eternal problem of the beat reporter (or specialized writer or critic): When you cover a subject for many years, familiarity can turn into friendship. Cultivating a source over drinks may be one thing; accepting an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner quite another.

Is the latter a good idea? I don’t think so. After all, “outsider” status has helped foster some of the most memorable journalism. (Consider The Washington Post’s Watergate reporting by the young metro-desk reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, or the late Michael Hastings’s takedown of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.) And, at the opposite end of the spectrum, The Los Angeles Times recently fired a well-regarded investigative reporter after he disclosed an affair with a source.

The word “adversarial” often comes up in this context. Must journalists and their sources always be adversaries? Not necessarily. But maintaining distance makes good sense. So does understanding a source’s motivation.

Jesse Eisinger, the Pulitzer-winning financial reporter for ProPublica, told me that he “constantly, relentlessly” reminds himself of why sources are sharing information with him: “It’s not because I’m good looking or a nice person. They’re all talking to push an agenda.” That doesn’t mean their facts are wrong, he noted, only that they have to be scrutinized.

Several years ago, The Times decided to stop attending the annual White House correspondents’ dinner — a star-studded Washington schmooze fest. At the time, the Washington bureau chief, Dean Baquet, explained: “It had evolved into a very odd, celebrity-driven event that made it look like the press and government all shuck their adversarial roles for one night of the year, sing together (literally, by the way) and have a grand old time cracking jokes. It just feels like it sends the wrong signal to our readers and viewers, like we are all in it together and it is all a game.”

Although some have mocked The Times for trying to seem holier than thou, it was a good call. The current Washington bureau chief, Carolyn Ryan, told me she has no plans to reverse the decision.

Mark Leibovich, the Times political reporter who wrote “This Town,” a book about the inbred culture of Washington, thinks The Times was right to stop participating. After all, it’s not just one dinner but pre-parties and post-parties for days on end.

Meanwhile, “the media has never been in lower esteem,” he said. “We’re celebrating what, exactly?”

Each power center offers its own challenges: Washington’s “company town” environment, New York’s driven world of finance and media, Hollywood’s celebrity hierarchy and, more recently, Silicon Valley’s tech culture — where who owns the stakes in media start-up companies can dictate who warrants hands-off treatment by reporters.

Public reaction wan 17 April 2014
How anyone can watch the Whitehouse correspondent’s dinner without feeling both nausea and experiencing a great incite as to why our country…
Henry 9 April 2014
How about the coziness between the Times editorial board, some of its columnists, and its owner? It seems that contributions from…
Jane Gross 8 April 2014
Re Cathy Horyn, why single out her friendship fashion designer L’Wren Scott when her life partner, Art Ortenberg, whose illness was the…

The author Dean Starkman draws a distinction between two kinds of journalism: access and accountability. In his new book about the failure of the financial press before the 2008 meltdown, “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark,” he analyzes The Times’s DealBook as a prime example of the former. That financial news section was founded by Andrew Ross Sorkin, one of The Times’s biggest stars, who is often criticized as representing Wall Street interests too unquestioningly, including in his regular appearances on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Mr. Starkman writes that “access reporting tells readers what powerful actors say, while accountability reporting tells readers what they do.” The business press failed the public miserably before the meltdown by accepting corporate spin at face value.

Mr. Sorkin rejects such complaints, pointing to tough stories that DealBook has published, including those by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess. (Mr. Eisinger, of ProPublica, is also a regular DealBook contributor.)

The criticism of him as an insider is, Mr. Sorkin says, “an old meme,” and simply untrue.

Is there room for a variety of approaches to dealing with sources? To some extent, yes. The Times — a large, establishment institution itself — provides a big tent for beat reporters, investigative reporters, critics and columnists. Each has a role, each a reporting technique.

But each also has a first responsibility: to the reader. That requires a certain amount of distance from sources — a distance that will make it far less tempting to pull punches when the time comes.

Follow the public editor on Twitter at and read her blog at

“It’s Just who I am,” says Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner, Embracing Transgender Identity, Says ‘It’s Just Who I Am’

Bruce Jenner sat down with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer for a two-hour interview that aired on Friday.

Bruce Jenner is a Republican.

That revelation on Friday night actually was a little surprising, given that the G.O.P. is not known for embracing transgender equality. But otherwise, there wasn’t much suspense to what Mr. Jenner told Diane Sawyer in his long-awaited television interview with ABC News – it has been pretty clear for some time that he identifies as a woman and has begun the transitioning process.

The doubts were not about that, but about his credibility as a champion of the transgender cause. Mr. Jenner has been such a standout in the transactional exhibitionism that is reality television that there was a risk that the coming out would seem as crass and contrived as an episode of “Keeping Up with The Kardashians.”

Bruce Jenner did not just win the 1976 Olympics decathlon in Montreal, he annihilated the field.Bruce Jenner’s Early Career Took a Worn Path: Decathlons, Then the Movies
Bruce Jenner in 2013. Changes in his appearance have fueled speculation that he is making a gender transition.The Transition of Bruce Jenner: A Shock to Some, Visible to All FEB. 6, 2015
Covers of several magazines, including In Touch, which took liberties with its image.The Bruce Jenner Story Goes From Gossip to News FEB. 4, 2015
That didn’t happen. Mr. Jenner explained himself well, with passion and dignity. His emotion (he was teary at times) seemed genuine and quite touching. He told Ms. Sawyer to call him Bruce and refer to him as he, saying this was his last interview as a man. He didn’t say what his name would be in future encounters, and referred to his inner self as “her.”

Mr. Jenner didn’t explain everything. This wasn’t a confrontational interview or even a probing one: it was a careful, collaborative effort between Ms. Sawyer and her guest to turn a celebrity get into a public service announcement.

With the aid of experts and clips, ABC threaded Mr. Jenner’s story with information about the transgender world, marking signs of acceptance (a Time Magazine cover and the award-winning Amazon series “Transparent”) and also the vestigial stigmas that lead some people to depression, isolation, and even suicide. ABC provided profiles of Christine Jorgensen and the tennis player Renee Richards.

“I’m not stuck in anybody’s body, it’s just who I am as a human being,” Mr. Jenner said. “My brain is much more female than it is male.” And while he showed Ms. Sawyer a black cocktail dress he would wear to a private dinner the two had planned, he didn’t allow himself to be filmed in women’s clothes — and that was the right call. Mr. Jenner explained that his femininity isn’t located in his sexuality or appearance, but in his soul. There was no need to give paparazzi a tabloid shot of his new physique.

He rather sweetly said that for now, his aspirations for his newfound freedom are modest. He said he wanted to “be able to have my nail polish on long enough that it actually chips off.”

This was a coming-out about gender identity and also of television genre. Mr. Jenner tried to disentangle himself from his reality show skin, shedding the slightly goofy, Father Knows Least persona he plays on E! to reveal a more forceful and assertive version of himself. He became exercised – and even sarcastic — when Ms. Sawyer told him that his Kardashian years (she only referred to the series as “that reality show”) made people wonder whether this too was a publicity stunt. “Yeah, right,” he drawled.

Instead, he reframed his reality show career as the price he paid to create a platform for his new calling. “Yeah, I know,” he said, referring to what Ms. Sawyer described as “a shameless selling of everything.” He said this was different. “But what I am doing is going to do some good and we’re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that,” he said shaking his finger at Ms. Sawyer. He added, “And if the whole Kardashian show and reality television gave me that foothold into that world, to be able to go out there and really do something good, I’m all for it. I got no problem with that. Understand?”

His reality show days aren’t over, however. Mr. Jenner said he was doing an eight-episode documentary with E! that will air this summer but said he drew the line at giving the camera the kind of access he allowed on “Keeping Up with The Kardashians.” Whatever further medical procedures he will undergo, he will do privately, without a film crew. “I’m not shooting any of this, I’m not filming anything,” he said. “To me it’s very degrading.”

Mr. Jenner wasn’t always likable in the interview, but he seemed sincere. And much of what he said about having lived a lie made sense. Mr. Jenner, who was the star of the 1976 Olympics, explained that his obsessive determination to succeed as an athlete allowed him to block out everything else. As he put it, “I didn’t have to deal with me.”

C.B. 11 minutes ago
While we applaud Bruce Jenner’s courage, let’s take care not to deify him. He was a far from exemplary father to his four older children,…
Jonathan 12 minutes ago
I watched the highly anticipated event last night never having seen a Karashian show and only know of Jenner from occasional bits and pieces…
California Iggy 13 minutes ago
Anybody who willingly puts their life on display on any reality show, especially one as bombastic as “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, has…

Mr. Jenner described himself as conservative and Ms. Sawyer seemed taken aback. When she asked him if he would ask Republican leaders to champion the transgender cause, Mr. Jenner was full of aplomb. “I would do that, yeah, in a heartbeat, why not? And I think they’d be very receptive to it.”

His four children from his first two marriages participated in the interview to show their support – Brandon was especially kind, saying, “I feel like I’m getting an upgraded version of my Dad.”

Neither of his two daughters with Kris Kardashian nor his four famous stepchildren appeared on the show, but he said they had all come around after the initial shock, especially Kim. (It wasn’t entirely a surprise to her: he said she had once caught him wearing a dress.)

He said his main concern about telling the truth was for his children, and that pain was evident. But he seemed surprisingly detached from how his ex-wives may have felt, including Ms. Kardashian. He said he had no complaints about her. Almost cavalierly, he added, “Honestly, if she would have been really good with it and understanding we’d probably still be together.”

In Hollywood, the line between bravery and brazen self-promotion can blur pretty easily. Mr. Jenner took a difficult step and made the best possible case for himself while serving the cause he says he will from now on make his life’s work.

“I am saying goodbye to people’s perception of me and who I am,” he said. “I’m not saying goodbye to me because this has always been me.”

The American Public Saved from a Bad Comcast Merger Plan

O.K. Since nobody is saying it, we will here in For those who feel it was UnAmerican to stop the Comcast plan to gobble up Time Warner for 45 Billion dollars, should have checked in CNBC’s morning team this Friday. The money network goes on automatic all day long, getting both and sometimes many other sides on what stocks to buy and sell. But NOT this morning. There was loud mouthpiece Jim Cramer leading the usual team of David Faber, Joe Kernen, Carl Quintanilla and Andrew Sorkin on what a horrible, unfair government move to have stopped. Why not the other side? Well you see, they all work for the leviathan of Comcast Cable-NBC Universal and present in the studio was the boss of the kingdom, the Chairman and CEO of the ever-growing company, Brian Roberts who said only he was on CNBC to cheer up the 126-thousand company employees after the death of the merger attempt. Nothing of any value was said by Roberts and without surprise not a tough question was asked by the team, including Joe Kernen who usually dares ask the tough questions. Now if CNBC was not a part of the Comcast conglomerate of 30 cable networks, phones, Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Amusement Parks, resorts, the public would have heard the other side of the story and why after years of deliberation convinced the FCC and even Congress that another company grab the size of Time Warner was plain dangerous for the public. Comcast’s history is far from sterling with customers losing their right to a cable when subscribers used their line “too much,” in Comcast’s opinion. Thanks to the bravery of President Obama on down who fought and prevented a monopoly the merger would have been. Free Press, which works out of a tiny office on Main Street in Florence. Massachusetts has been campaigning for years against what it says would have been a merger of the 2 largest giant cable companies with tremendous gatekeeper power to what we would have been allowed for us to see and hear. Together, Comcast with gobbled-up Time-Warner would have controlled 30 percent of the cable and satellite TV market plus more than half the broadband. No question, the public would be hit with ever-higher monthly bills with an ever-eroding choice of programs. Internet services such as Netflix would have been threaten as Comcast would be the gatekeeper. Now since Comcast’s surrender hours ago, another highly profitable merger proposal is being offered with #3 Charter, saying it wants to buy #2 Time Warner. It’s just another example of companies created to be sold to companies who buy to sell to third companies. So now we know why there are daily mergers and rumors of mergers each morning on CNBC. The buyers and sellers walk away with Millions and quite often Billions and oh so quickly. It’s so obvious why our products made in America and some other parts of the world, have become so inferior. Managers in many parts of the world have learned to copy the new American way of doing business. Remember when companies were satisfied with a 6 or 8% annual profit and honest expansion caused by product improvement and resultant customer satisfaction? No more! Why care when you plan to sell a business even before you bought the place?

This blog is dedicated to bringing back the commitment of professional journalism. As a former network news editor, major market news director and anchor, BILL DEANE gives you the inside story often missed by media more interested in Hollywood gossip. OUR MISSING NEWS gets into the WHY of the day's significant events.