Missanelli: The Real Story Behind the Victor Cruz Tweet

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We all have things we want to do when the job is over and after this week, I have decided that I’m going to create a chain of rehabilitation centers for Twitter addicts.

In 2014, you can get hooked on Twitter more easily than crack. Crack at least requires money that you have to get from somewhere. Twitter is free and can be used by anyone — from the boardroom executive to the 14-year-old boy postulating from his mother’s basement. Twitter can be informational and enlightening. And it can also be very dangerous — a phenomenon that gives everyone the power to publish any thought, without endorsement or accountability.  It’s where Average Joe can be judge, jury and hangman on any particular subject.  And it’s a power we plunge deeply into our veins like the worst addict in a dark and seedy alley.

When it’s all said and done, I’m going to do my part with these rehab centers. I know a lot about this topic because I have been both a Twitter player and a victim.

In the third quarter of Sunday night’s Eagles-Giants game, right after the Giants’ Victor Cruz dropped a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, I tweeted: “Hey Giants fans, Victor Cruz is over. Dance to that.” It was s spur-of-the moment tweet, which all of us in sports talk radio do from time to time. It was intended both to pander to the Eagle fan base for which I do my daily show, and to take a shot at the Giants, who occasionally infiltrate our area with their own brand of braggadocio. And on the surface, it seemed like a heartless thing to write, especially when Cruz subsequently collapsed with a ripped-up leg.

What got lost in the shuffle is that I never saw the player get hurt.

Many people, especially angry Giants fans, have asked how that is possible. Well, here is the story, letter by letter:

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School Boards, Elections, and Philadelphia’s Utterly Failed Democracy

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Maybe democracy in Philadelphia isn’t working so well.

That’s not a novel observation, I realize, but it takes on new urgency with the growing campaign to dissolve the School Reform Commission. What would replace it? Maybe a mayoral-appointed panel — not too different from the SRC, but with more local accountability — but maybe, maybe an elected school board.

You know: One accountable directly to the voters and taxpayers of Philadelphia.

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Crowdfunding Has Consequences

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Over two weeks this past summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge poured millions of gallons of frigid water over people’s heads and millions of dollars into the ALS Association’s coffers. (“Coffers”: one of those words used only in writing, never in conversation.) The combination gag phenomenon/act of charity caused a social media tsunami and quadrupled the foundation’s usual fund-raising take, drawing 70,000 new donors to the cause.

I thought about the Ice Bucket Challenge when I read in the New York Times about the “Table of Peace,” a nifty little jewel-bedecked item of 18th-century French furniture (see close-ups here) that made a guest appearance in Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. (Fancy!) The table was in the Times because it’s the latest item the august Louvre is attempting to buy through crowdfunding. Turns out the French government has had to downsize financial support for cultural institutions for two years straight, so the museum launched a campaign to raise a million euros of the $12.5 million euro price tag set by the current owners, the family of the Baron de Breteuil, from the people. (Let them eat cake off of that, amirite?)

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5 New York Subway Pick-Up Tips That Will Never Work on SEPTA

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I can’t imagine what drove Brian Robinson to look for dates on the subway. In the age of Tinder and Match.com — when anything from a hook-up to a minivan is a click away — he prefers to meet women on New York’s subway.

In an aggressively weird profile in the New York Post, Robinson claims to have gone out with “about 500” women thanks to his “smooth” pick-up lines (which, in reality, seem to be plucked from Saved by the Bell drafts). He’s writing an advice book, How to Meet Women on the Subway, despite the fact that most reactions The Post witnessed during a ride-along were somewhere between almost pleasant and politely annoyed — although he did walk away with at least one business card.

Salon is not amused, and neither is Hollaback!, a nonprofit that works to end street harassment. I can see why, as Robinson — who mostly seems like a harmless nerd — comes off a little predatory when he says things like, “There’s always beautiful women down there — tons.”

But I live in Philadelphia, where I don’t have the luxury of being outraged by the Brian Robinsons of the world.

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This Is the Monster We Celebrate on Columbus Day

Sebastiano del Piombo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sebastiano del Piombo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A version of this story ran in 2012.

Imagine, if you will, that the man who murdered your entire family, raped your daughter, sister, and mother before killing them, tortured your son, brother, and father before killing them, and then robbed you of your home before moving in is celebrated with a party each year by his friends whom he had later brought in to take over your neighborhood. Well, that’s exactly the outlandishly evil shit that Columbus did and the outlandishly racist shit that his friends in Philly and America are doing. Read more »

NBC Butchered Philadelphia’s Geography for Sunday Night Football

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The Eagles’ 27-0 demolition of the New York Giants Sunday night wasn’t just the Eagles’ first blowout victory of the season. It was a blowout victory on national television. Football fans across the country were forced to see the Eagles’ impressive win, even if they hate the Birds! (Right, as if NFL fans would have turned off a game of football. Eh, maybe when it got later into the game.)

NBC’s studio set for the game was appropriately Philadelphia-themed. The only problem: NBC completely butchered Philadelphia’s geography. Yes, the backdrop is supposed to be a stylized version of Philadelphia. It’s still hilarious. Let’s count the ways:

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Can Tom Wolf Govern Pennsylvania?

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Polls suggest that Tom Wolf will almost certainly be the next governor of Pennsylvania. But will a Governor Wolf actually be able to govern?

It’s not a silly question. If he takes office, Wolf will likely contend with a Republican-led legislature in both houses. (There’s some hope among Democrats that they can flip the Senate, but that still seems a long shot.) One need look no further than Washington D.C. to know that the combination of a Democratic executive and a GOP legislature can produce an excess of gridlock. Voters will presumably want Wolf to enact an agenda, but how far can he get with it?

“Wolf,” said Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, “is going to have his hands full.”

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Mumia Makes Us Crazy

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Let’s concede a few things about Mumia Abu-Jamal right off the top: He’s a bad man. A convicted, apparently unrepentant cop killer. A poseur surrounded by a cult of feeble-minded radical chic. He’s not a man who reasonably deserves to be, say, the commencement speaker at your local college.

But so often, the people who hate him most make everything much worse.

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Wrong-Sperm Suit Is Really About the Burden of Being Black

Jennifer Cramblett is interviewed at her attorney's home in Waite Hill, Ohio, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Cramblett has sued a Chicago-area sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she'd intended.

Jennifer Cramblett is interviewed at her attorney’s home in Waite Hill, Ohio, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Cramblett has sued a Chicago-area sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she’d intended.

A same-sex couple in Ohio is suing a Chicago-area sperm bank for wrongful birth and breach of warranty after receiving the wrong sperm, resulting in the birth of a mixed-race baby girl, Payton.

Payton’s mother, Jennifer Cramblett, has said that she and her partner will now have to relocate from their Uniontown, Ohio, farm town to a more diverse area in order to ensure that Payton is comfortable. Cramblett cites that their current community is mostly white and conservative, and notes racial intolerance in her own family.

Baby Payton is two years old. While it is admirable that her parents have noted their own shortcomings in their ability to care for a child of color (cultural understandings, or even more basic needs like hair care) the lawsuit is about a little more than negligence. And let us be clear, Midwest Sperm Bank certainly seems grossly negligent.

Payton’s parents want compensation for the inconvenience of living a black life. Read more »

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