Why we removed 2 Arresting Tales posts

We have removed two posts by Joe the Cop about a recent shooting on the Red Line because we felt they didn't meet our blogger guidelines.

Joe's blog, Arresting Tales, has been with us from the start and has provided insight into the life of a law enforcement officer.

As we say in our community guidelines, we don't edit blog posts before they are published, but we do reserve the right to remove posts.

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  • The title of the post leads one to believe that the body of the post would explain why they were removed. Specifically, what it was about the guidelines that it didn't comply with. I read both posts and some of the comments and as someone who actually lives in a ghetto, I don't really understand what the kerfuffle was about.

    Over the summer I read a couple of posts on the homepage by another blogger that I found offensive. So much so that I stayed off the homepage all summer for fear of reading another such post and going off in the comments of the blog.

    Where exactly is the line that can't be crossed? Is it evaluated based on the number of comments that disagree? Emailed complaints?

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I, too, am curious as to how exactly things were violated as I was following Joe's posts closely this week.

    The beauty behind blogs and the subsequent comments that follow, is that you get opinions and perspectives across all spectrums. People agree. And people disagree. It's inevitable that sometimes folks will get pissed off. I do think discussing opinions on controversial subjects, such as racism, politics, religion and finances....when done properly, is healthy and necessarily for a higher understanding of ourselves and society.

    Above all, though, it saddens me to see a fellow blogger censored. Especially since it is unclear as to how exactly the blogger guidelines were violated, and like Mr. Brown Thumb, I've seen more offensive content elsewhere on this site. It's just odd to see CN supporting the post in the feed and on Facebook, only to have it pulled because someone didn't like the reactions it generated. If anything, I would have expected CN to defend and support the blogger in this situation.

    I do hope, however, we get a follow up with some clarity (either from Joe or from a community manager) to avoid situations like this in the future.

  • In reply to RunningJayhawk:

    Joe's post was removed because the Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Chicago decided it was racist and raised a bing stink about it on TOC and his Twitter account.

    http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=361220605171&share_id=136821869697347&comments=1#s136821869697347

    I won't link to him but you can follow the link from Joe's FB page if you'd like. Reading over this Twitter account Frank Sennett seems to really hate the Tribune and used the death of this guy to advance his own agenda.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    He (Sennett) may not speak ill of the dead, but boy he doesn't hesitate libeling a a living blogger by deeming him an outright racist. He either really hates the Trib, as you say, or he's out to make a buck.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    I don't think he actually cares about racism. He seems to just be using this as an excuse to generate publicity for himself and his paper. He's trying his best to make his paper relevant and attract attention to himself. Unfortunately, I'm so put off by his tactics that I'll never read it.

    The guy, like many media folks in Chicago seem to have an irrational hatred of all things Tribune.

    http://twitter.com/SennettReport/status/25316979363

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    Agreed. I only read it in the dentist/ortho's office.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    I don't read it at all. I like my publications to be a little more diverse. I may read an online piece once in a blue moon because I saw it on Twitter.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I agree with the comments here (and elsewhere) lamenting CN's decision to remove Joe's posts.

    I'm bothered because this smacks of censorship, of course. But it bothers me more that the posts were featured on CN's Facebook page and weren't removed until after complaints from people like Frank Sennett over at Time Out Chicago, who (I think wrongly) accused Joe of posting a "racist rant"

    Jimmy's protestations above to the contrary notwithstanding, this sequence of events makes it appear that CN initially thought the subject was worthy of debate but subsequently caved to public pressure.

    I hope this decision is an aberration, and that Joe doesn't decide to stop blogging here.

  • In reply to EdNickow:

    As I said on the Muckrakers blog, that also posted coverage of this topic, I think CN was bullied.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    Joe's post was removed because it was too close to the politically incorrect truth. Period.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I've got my article here at my ChicagoNow blog: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-tough/2010/09/when-editors-of-large-publications-attack-small-blogsnext-on-discovery-editorial.html
    I make it pretty clear where I stand.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I made my opinions on my blog clear: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-tough/2010/09/when-editors-of-large-publications-attack-small-blogsnext-on-discovery-editorial.html

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    My comments were some of those deleted when the Chicago Trib deleted JoeTheCops blog entries. I did not agree with Joe, and wrote as much in my 3 comments to him (two of which were replies to his replies). I still don't agree with JoeTheCop.

    I did not see racism, but I saw some off-the-cuff generalizations based on JoeTheCop's experience.

    I read every single comment in the replies. I saw:
    Anger on the part of commenters (Not Joe). Attacks on JoeTheCop for being a racist. Attacks on JoeTheCop for making specific judgements about the person shot, based on factual information about that person's behaviour as recorded previously in his criminal record. I saw the charge "Racist" leveled by his commenters.

    To repeat: I didn't agree with JoeTheCop. I don't agree with JoeTheCop......but I don't think for one second that he was being racist.

    The postings should NOT have been removed.

    The Trib has a long history of exercising its Constitutional rights to Freedom Of the Press.............but has just jumped all over a citizen's right to Freedom of Speech.

    The Trib has done what Comcast currently does: Restrict speech which it doesn't like. I want to point out that when Comcast did this, it created allies of the Pro-Choice and the Pro-Life movements for the only time I am aware: The battle for the right to Free Speech:
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/03/network-neutrality-foes-square-off-at-house-hearing.ars

    Joe didn't call anyone names. He didn't insult anyone's race. He listed the crimes of public record against the person shot, and he described the ghetto playbook.

    I'm guessing he was censored because he used the word "ghetto", just like this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWg2vLEyRZc

    Trib: This was the wrong decision. If you don't want to become a joke, you need to restore those entries, with explanation.

    Joe: I disagree with you, but I respect the way in which you disagreed with me.

    Cheers.

  • In reply to SomethingToSay:

    Ding, ding, ding, on the term "ghetto." After reading your comments, I remembered reading a column by Mary Mitchell on ghetto parenting. I have tried repeatedly to locate the Sun-Times piece online through links on other articles to no avail. It appears her article has also been censored, or removed. Hmmmm.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    The Mary Mitchell piece to which you refer was titled "Ghetto parenting dooms kids:Deck stacked against those who were raised by the streets"

    I can't find a link to the original article on the Sun-Times web site, but there's a copy of the complete column here

  • In reply to SomethingToSay:

    Something, thank you. I respect and appreciate the way that you disagreed with me, as well. You brought up some points about the militarization of of policing, and I'd like to talk to you some more about that. Please check my blog and email me if you can.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    To all our bloggers, and to everyone:

    We don't take the removal of posts lightly. Since we launched last year we've removed less than 10 posts on ChicagoNow, and that

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    I would venture to guess you vote rather liberally and it's amazing that those who vote liberally try to control anyone tha is not in lock step while screaming about persnal freedoms for all.

  • In reply to tompolston:

    If Jimmy's figures about the number of posts that have been removed are correct - and I see know reason to dispute them - then your comment is just silly.

    Take a look at the things posted on Publius Forum or on Dennis Byrne's blog before you accuse Jimmy - or anyone else at CN - of "try[ing] to control anyone tha is not in lock step".

    That really is one of the most misinformed statements I've read here today.

  • In reply to EdNickow:

    .... Huh. You know, I'm often offended by Publius Forum but I usually chalk it up to insurmountable political differences and don't give him much thought. For some reason, though, I am getting myself rather passionately involved in this. I guess I really don't like the assumptions Joe made, and the language he used. It's good to say that there are lines out there that need to be drawn.... but do you think a justifiable point about what can or what cannot be said on CN has been made here? When I compare it to what I read on PF, I am no longer sure.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Good observations. I stayed on PF so long he once agreed with me. :) He's like listening to Rush. Sometimes you just can't tear yourself away...plus it's good to listen to the other side once in a while.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I didn't intend to make any connection between Joe's posts and the stuff that is posted by PF. My comment was in response to "tompolston" who suggested that Jimmy's politics had something to do with this decision.

    That's just silly.

    There might be a line about what can or cannot be posted (nothing illegal, for example) but Joe did not cross it in my view.

    If someone from CN or the Tribune believed the post was so offensive that they wanted to make clear they disagreed with it, a comment in Joe's blog would perhaps have been the appropriate way to make that known.

    As Julie has mentioned here a couple of times, we are not employees of the Tribune. It's been made clear that our blogs belong to us and we are responsible for what we post.

    Unless a post would put the Tribune Company in legal jeopardy, I'm not quite sure what basis they would have for removing a post. And I'm fairly certain Joe's posts did not reach that level.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    As I've said before, I don't particularly think Joe's post was written with "good judgement" or taste, and according to those guidelines, CN reserves the write to remove the post. However, according to Joe, CN never spoke to him before removing his two posts. I'm wondering whether they could've told him why, specifically, the posts were being considered for removal, and given him a chance to maybe rethink some of his more offensive/controversial statements (Not saying here that no one agrees with him or that he wasn't just trying to "tell it like it is," but I read the comments on his blog, many people besides Frank Sennett were offended by his language).

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Actually, that is a perspective, His post was fine. Were any actual black people offended by the posts? I wasn't. But I am kinda pissed I did not get to respond.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Glad to see you agreed with what he said, whether it was PC or not. I too wish that I could have made a comment or 3 to what some of the other comments that were posted. :-(

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I agree, some things could have been said in a better way then he did, but at the same time I am betting after 21 years of working with CPD then becoming a detective and having to investigate crimes like this that he had enough and was just speaking his mind. We all get like this whether it is right or wrong. I agree that CN could have notified him and asked him to kindly reword parts of his article to make it seem more PC and it seems like they didn't. i remember in one of my posts I was asked to keep the cussing out so I went and changed all the words to a more friendly version of those particular words. the fact they removed the blog post is censorship at it's finest. It is telling those of us bloggers that we are not allowed to speak our opinion no matter how right or wrong they are to us as the individual reading it. I agree with others on this comment thread that if you do not like it you do not have to continue reading it. I don't agree with many of the suntimes writers so I refuse to read that paper. I do not always agree with Cass at the Tribune, but most of the time I can see why he speaks like he does and can see his opinion and accept it as such. His comment about being worth more dead then alive is true in far too many cases where people were killed with cause and the families sued CPD for wrongful death and were paid off just to make the media go away. he was simply pointing out the "here we go again" with the CPD being sued even if they had just cause for what took place.

    In closing, Joe has the right to speak his mind, he just has to use "better judgment" in presenting his opinion to the public and tone a few things down a bit.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    Having read the Blogger Guidelines, I'm still at a loss as to which item Joe allegedly violated.

    Let me run through them so you can see where I'm coming from, then maybe you'll let me know where I'm off.

    Be transparent: How much more transparent could he have been? We know that he's a 21-year police dept. veteran, a detective, and not CPD.

    Be trustworthy. Be right.: If anything, I think the problem here might be that he *was* right. He predicted, almost down to the wording, how the media coverage of the George Lash shooting would play out.

    Use good judgment.: This might be where people disagree, but given that the guidance specifically refers to "when dealing with fellow readers and bloggers online and in public." Joe was nothing but polite and respectful in his interactions throughout the comments, which is certainly more than many of the commenters could say about themselves.

    Blog frequently and intelligently. -- frequency was not the issue here. Whether or not people believe his post was intelligent will inevitably be a function of whether or not the reader agrees with it. In case of dispute on this point, see "Be Right" for the tie-breaker, which Joe most certainly was on the facts.

    Build community. -- This is the housekeeping of running a blog, not making people like you. Joe definitely kept up with his housekeeping.

    Keep us in the loop. -- I don't know. I'm not a party to his discussions or lack thereof with the editors.

    Disclose any connections with current or potential advertisers and marketers. -- I think this one is an n/a since no products were being discussed.

    So, ChicagoNow Editors, which of these guidelines did Joe the Cop violate? I'm obviously at a bit of a loss, myself, which makes the whole thing stink of hiding being the Guidelines rather than admitting to censorship.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    Does the truth hurt that much, that you have to take his article off line. That is why mintories act the way they do is because everybody is afraid of offend them by telling the truth. If they are so rightous why is there so much crime and how can you justify that he had a gun and was pointed out by the CTA worker. Remember the police were called to the scence and the train stopped for a reason not because he was black, tell me he was an altar boy, get real

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I have to say, I am very proud of Joe The Cop for having the courage to post about such a sensitive issue. When he made the statement about the deceased being able to provide for his family, he was referring to the dollar amount the family would get in either case (if he had lived on, or his family received a settlement after his death.) Joe was painfully, starkly, honestly right as hard as that may be to hear.

    A less sensitive example might be people who carry maximum life insurance policies, yet do not have big assets and or high income. When these people die, their families are better provided for than they ever would have been if the person continued to live.

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    I did read Joe's latest post and found it to be very honest. I think it's disappointing that blogs..which are ultimately a source of opinion have to be censored. We are so protective of hurting people's feelings. Sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes we need to have a platform for discussion, even if it something that may be a bit harsh or not so sensitive. I think Joe eloquently stated his opinion along with the FACTS. Perhaps it would be a wise choice to pull a blog that rants and raves without any facts supporting it...but even then, isn't that what a blog is? how you FEEL about something, your OPINION. Where will we be able to openly say what we feel without fear of being censored?

  • In reply to MrBrownThumb:

    Joe said George Lash is worth more to his family dead than alive. Can anyone here justify that comment? It doesn't matter whether he's right or wrong or whether you agree with him or not. Joe never met George Lash. He crossed the line.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Ummm, I think (as a stay-at-home mom with a life insurance policy) I'm also worth more to my family dead than alive, monetarily at least. Isn't it OK if people say that?

  • In reply to jtithof:

    If someone said it about you after you died?

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Or how about if someone said your child was worth more to you dead than alive?

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I really do think I would be upset, but I've learned to ignore the things and people I can't change. It's definitely insensitive.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    The comment wasn't "worth more" it was "better able to provide" for his family. One has to do with emotions and the value of human life, the latter is a dollar amount.

    When Tom Wolfe wrote about the concept of media and urban crime in Bonfire Of The vanities, it was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. When Joe The Cop writes essentially the same thing, it's censored.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Yeah, what she said!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but isn't it a little telling that the majority of the comments here and on other posts are siding with Joe? Even Sennett's blog doesn't seem to be generating a ton of support. Were Joe's posts pulled because of Sennett's incessant whining???

  • In reply to BigBabyJesus:

    He says "several folks at the Trib have reached out to tell [him] how disturbed they are by ChicagoNow

  • In reply to cta34573458:

    JUST what they were hoping.

  • In reply to cta34573458:

    Just got in a small Twitter "discussion" with him. @SennetReport. Now it's all about "journalism" and the Tribune's "ethical duty". Ha, to the ha. Subscription cancelled.

  • In reply to BearsTransplant:

    Call me crazy, but I think blogging is a bit different from standard journalism.

  • In reply to BearsTransplant:

    I think it was an error to remove the post. It was a really good dialogue where Joe was getting as good as he gave. I wanted to comment on the post myself, but it was gone before I got home. It was a really good and worthy discussion from people seeing almost opposite sides of the event. I hardly think Joe is racist, jut a cop, there's a difference.

    As for the ghetto shooting template, he had to admit there was a corresponding response from the police that was just as much a template as the points he made in his post.

    The shame of it is there is a giant disconnect between the black community and the police in that community and as bad as it may have looked to someone who is in neither group, it was a bridge if ever there were one. I can only hope no one has to die before we get to speak like that again.

  • In reply to BearsTransplant:

    I find it interesting being relative new to the US, one of the things you always hear in the US is the right to free speech so how can a blog which is a way to express ones opinion have posts removed by someone other than the person that posted them? If you have the right to free speech and do so in a environment you have built where you are to share your own opinion? I understand that the blog is part of CN but no offense there are things much worse in the newspapers than these posts which are not being "pulled".

  • In reply to dino0477:

    Katy,

    The legal exercise of freedom of speech is not really relevant in this case. That law protects "individuals" (in the US Corporations are legal individuals) from government attempts to keep them from expressing themselves. The Tribune Co., Chicago Tribune and ChicagoNow are all private corporations. They cannot infringe upon your right to express yourself, that can only be done by the government.

    Basically, if I tell you to shut up, it doesn't infringe on your freedom of speech unless I back that with government power. And, there are limitations to my freedom. For example, it is generally accepted that child pornography is an area of expression that is forbidden to individuals.

    That said, if you are in the area of Tribune Tower, 435 N Michigan Ave., step inside the lobby. The walls are adorned with words praising freedom of speech, defending speech, and, on the fourth floor, where the Chicago Tribune editorial department is housed, the full text of the amendment to the constitution that you reference with the words "freedom of speech."

    These words were so important to the newspaper that they have literally carved them in stone.

    The broader question being raised by most of the posts is whether ChicagoNow is living up to the mission that is implicit in those words by taking down the post.

    I haven't made up my mind on this subject nor did I use any opportunity to talk to the ChicagoNow editors and Bill Adee about this subject. However, ChicagoNow also has a responsibility to protect its brand. A question I would submit to Adee or the other community managers who made this decision is whether in retrospect the brand was hurt or protected by the decision to remove the post.

    Many of the people commenting here have "blogs" on ChicagoNow. I have a sports site here, at CN, and also write as a stringer for another newspaper and own a hyper-local site.

    This is the latest in a series of decisions by CN that is of concern to the community on the site. (I use that term not to describe a crisis, but a matter of intense discussion).

    Some of the writers on CN get paid, some don't. In our case, the payment was less than $20 a month for traffic of more than 10K a month. The consideration in relation to the traffic was not a factor in our decisions about how to treat our current sports blog here. But in the interests of transparency, that is our angle.

  • In reply to PatrickBoylan:

    Pat, I disagree, Katy has a very valid point. Freedom of speech is exactly that, not having someone else dictate what you can and can't say. Your example of child pornography is completely illogical. Comparing Joe's blog post to porn is a very poor comparison. Apples and oranges. Joe wrote an articulate, accurate accounting of a situation that plays itself out in depressed, poor areas of this city. His remarks were not racist nor degrading, merely his professional observations, based on his years of experience as a police officer. Again, while CN is a private business and is entitled to protect its brand, the censoring of a blog is just down right un-American. Bully for Joe, boo to CN.

  • In reply to Phantom946:

    Phantom,
    I did not compare Joe the Cop's comments to child porn. Read the post again. I was describing an exception to the general rule of "freedom of speech."

    Also, I never said Joe's remarks were racist, degrading or otherwise characterize them.

    You really need to reread my post.

  • In reply to Phantom946:

    Here are my thoughts....
    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/so-not-an-expert/2010/09/why-we-removed-2-arresting-tales-posts.html

  • In reply to dino0477:

    The action of taking Joe's posts down was wrong and obviously politically influenced. Sad day for CN. Joe, don't quit on us, keep posting!

  • In reply to BearsTransplant:

    Chicago Now and it's Trib parent succumbed to pressure from Time Out Chicago and applied the censorship to Joe the Cop's blog..amazing..You're the Tribune for God's sake..and you let a guy who runs an entertainment weekly scare you into trampling on the freedom of expression...sad day in Chicago

  • In reply to BearsTransplant:

    It's sad that what has transpired is that a bunch of people were "offended" JTC's phrasing, and not the fact that what he said is horribly true. Instead of looking at this real issue, people are now concentrating on how "offensive" his post was.
    Meanwhile, on the south side of Chicago at this very moment, there are thousands of George Lashes walking the streets with guns.
    Congrats on pulling these posts, though. You're all heroes.

  • In reply to cta34573458:

    Two quick thoughts of mine as it feels like we have two separate issues brewing here (at least it does to me)...

    1. As bloggers we feel like this is the home that we created, and as creators of said home, we tend to get a little protective of one another. Blogs provide opinions. Sometimes opinions that other's don't agree with. That's what makes the CN set up pretty darn great. We have platforms to voice our opinions and discuss with others. Because of this, we get protective of the content our community produces, for better or worse. Whether or not we agree with Joe's perspective and/or the comments that followed, the fact of the matter is this could happen to any one of us in the future. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bothered by the fact that this has happened. Out of curiosity, was Joe notified before the posts were removed or was there an option for him to amend the post to revise the "unfit comments" in question?

    2. Whether or not the case, it feels as if CN was strong armed into removing the posts because of the dissension that arose, thanks in large part to the TOC chucklehead (am I allowed to say that?). The guidelines we share are a shade of gray and open to interpretation. As I think they should be for self regulation. While I understand the reasons why that were cited by Jimmy, I don't necessarily agree with them. We had an opportunity to rally behind ourselves and champion the notion of first amendment rights and chalk this up to a valuable lesson, but it feels like pulling down the posts was the easy way out to calm things down. I'm glad to see the individual bloggers supporting Joe's initial posts and expressing disappointment in its removal. But I digress...

    I sincerely hope that the community managers will reconsider posting the two pulled entries and simply disabling comments moving forward. I think it's important for everyone on staff to see and understand the discussion that took place. And CN's interpretation of what crossed the line so we all have a better understanding of the rules moving forward. Though I'm not sure if this is an option without it being made available to the general public.

  • In reply to BigBabyJesus:

    Obviously CN is a business and retains the right to control their webpage as they see fit, but this country is founded on the right to freedom of speech. Joe exercised his right to freedom of speech and was censored. This is wrong and, in my belief, illegal. Censorship in and of itself is in contradiction to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution itself. Funny how many of the posts to Joe's column were not regarded as in "bad judgement." Especially the responses from one Mr. "Juice" who wrote that all cops should be killed. Seems a bit over the top, and very scary, especially since I work in the Englewood neighborhood that he allegedly resides in, and a fine officer was murdered in the parking lot of my station by a neighborhood resident. He also went on to say that all white people are racist and that cops kill more people than criminals. Outrageous statements at best, yet his "judgement" is not being called into question. I just recently became a registered user of CN specifically because of Joe's blog. I will no longer be a user of CN because of the owners anti-American slant and repression of the Freedom of Speech.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Even though "Joe The PoPo" and I disagree for the most part (except on legalizing marijuana;) I have to say that removing his posts because they maybe offensive or even racist is an infringement on his freedom of speech. As a black man, trust me I will be quick to refute any claims of his that may be considered racist but I strongly believe in freedom of speech, EVEN WHEN I DO NOT AGREE WITH THAT SPEECH. Is that not what the CONSTITUTION is all about?

  • In reply to lw62005:

    exactly iw62005.

  • In reply to lw62005:

    I can disagree with someone, but I respect their opinion. And we do have that "freedom of speech." And I'd like you to refute his claims because I think that would make for an interesting discussion instead of whining like the EIC at TimeOut Chicago did.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Honest to Gertrude, that's something my mother would say. I guess it would be poor taste, but should it be censored? I don't know. I got the feeling this is more an amateur forum and we are not bound by the same ethics as say professional, salaried journalists. But maybe I'm wrong.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I agree with you here.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    The direct quote Greenfield mentioned above was this:

    "The harsh reality is, George Lash will be a better provider for his family as the subject of a civil lawsuit than he was ever going to be in his adult life."

    I don't think that amounts to how you've summarized it. And if it does and is considered not worth discussing, how can you justify bringing it up for discussion again? I'll answer that for you: because there is no such line that says that topic isn't worth discussing. The fact is, civil cases and insurance companies assign dollar amounts to the value of people's lives every day. It's not a warm and fuzzy fact, but it's a fact.

  • In reply to AndCounting:

    Indeed.

    Well said.

  • In reply to AndCounting:

    Which is why we have actuaries.

  • In reply to AndCounting:

    There's another problem with the "worth more dead than alive" shorthand being used to summarize Joe's point.

    I believe that Joe was talking about money ... just money.

    A person - even a criminal - is worth more to his family than the value of the money he might earn during his life.

    That could be why, as Joe suggested, any money awarded in a lawsuit would exceed the victim's potential lifetime earnings.

  • In reply to EdNickow:

    I agree.

  • In reply to EdNickow:

    Do you think there was a way Joe could have articulated this point using better wording/judgment or no?

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I do if you're asking me. It may not have been as strong of a statement, but it would have sat better with readers.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I wish I could say this surprises me. Sadly, it does not.

    This is the single biggest reason I don't participate on CN anymore.

    Good for you Joe, for speaking up and speaking out.

    Shame on you CN for shutting his mouth.

  • In reply to Scot:

    You're dead on. CN pulled the blog mainly because of the harassment from TimeOut Chicago. Offensive? A bit, but no more inflammatory than other CN blogs/Tribune pieces.

  • So much for freedom of speech. Nice how you can pick and choose blog topics according to agendas.

  • I am also confused, mostly because the posts were promoted by CN via Facebook. Yes, he took an opinionated position, but don't a lot of us?

  • Agreed. Pretty hilariously ironic and hypocritical to cite the "good judgment" guideline as the reason for taking down his posts when the decision to do so is such a textbook example of piss poor judgment. If you were to place all 70,000+ ChicagoNow posts on a scale from good judgment to bad judgment, there's no way those posts would have cracked the top 10,000.

  • I definitely don't see how "urban kabuki theater" and "ghetto shooting template" can be construed as trigger phrases that would result in the removal of Joe's blog posts, especially since they were backed up with conscientious, well thought out facts. I will agree that the comment about Lash's worth as a human post-passing was insensitive and would have been better kept to himself. Overall, however, I don't think Joe's blogs warranted pulling. More than likely, CN community managers felt pressures from outside sources to take down his posts (hi Frank Sennett, tap into your chi and take a breath, man). I hope that Joe is able to continue blogging on ChicagoNow. It would be unfortunate otherwise.

  • Because Joe saying that some kid he never even met is worth more to his family dead than alive. That's a real mature statement to make. I MORE than welcome uncomfortable debates and conversations. I think Joe should repost his main points, but avoid saying things that are downright offensive. Not because I believe in censoring offensive things, but it certainly colors his whole argument in a bad light.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    No you really do not "welcome uncomfortable debates and conversations" or you wouldn't be asking for him to change his writing to suit your notion of what was offensive. If the truth is offensive to you, that's your baggage, not Joe's.

  • In reply to Scot:

    It's not the truth. The entire post is his assumption of what happened. He was not privy to it.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Fine, it's not, or it is that's not the point.

    I hate this arguing tactic. You're avoiding the point. You would rather he change the way he wrote it to suit your morality. That's censorship.

    If you don't like what he said, debate it with him. Unfortunately, you won't get that chance thanks to CN.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    His entire post is his OPINION of what the ghetto template is. He has a blog to express his OPINION.

  • In reply to almost2euro:

    Move back to Columbus/Ann Arbor/Fort Wayne if you can't accept the realities of life in a large urban area.

  • In reply to almost2euro:

    Whether his opinion was written in good judgment or not, as a paid blogger for the Trib's community, is a question. If you think it was, that's fine. I personally don't.

  • In reply to Scot:

    Doesn't someone read these posts before they promote them on Facebook? If so, no one found it offensive when the story came in, some even "liked" it. SOMETHING changed along the way.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    That something was Time Out's editor in chief. That's almost what piques me the most about this whole "shitstorm."

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Yes, and this Frank Sennett and his 100+ tweets. Shitstorm it is, no matter who you side with. :)

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Sennett IS the President and Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Chicago. I think that's a huge reason as to why to post is no longer up. Called out by us social media flies is one thing, called out by another top member of the Chicago publications/media community may be another.

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    I see. Funny, I don't think that man conducts himself like a professional, judging by his tweets anyway. NEVER would have thought him president and editor-in chief. He's using the story for numbers.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    I know. Presenting yourself as the EIC of one publication and calling out another publication on a place like Twitter is...uhh... "ballsy"? To say the least? I can't say I agree with his tactics of calling out individual editors in public online, but I got where he was coming from initially yesterday, anyway. again.....faaaaascinating....

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Love hearing your opinions!

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    This man is not openly calling Joe a racist in his latest article. Yet that's OK with people I guess. Argh. Can't have it both ways. Here's the link.
    http://www3.timeoutny.com/chicago/blog/out-and-about/2010/09/chicagonow-chicago-reporter-raise-intriguing-possibility-of-tolerable-racism/?CMPID=twTimeOutChicago

  • In reply to jtithof:

    I mean NOW calling Joe a racist...oops.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Interesting how he's trying to make himself out to be the victim now. And he still has provided no concrete reason for why he considers Joe a racist... apart from being offended at the "worth more dead" comment (which is legitimate) he is basing his argument on opinion and his personal perceptions. Which is a bit ironic, if you think about it.

    I really would've expected a bit more professionalism from the president of a semi-major publication, but as Jackie and Bex pointed out maybe he just has an axe to grind when it comes to the Tribune. Oh well... at least this gives me a reason not to renew my Time Out subscription, it's generally just a coffee table decoration anyhow. :)

  • In reply to cta34573458:

    I feel this guy did it because he must have applied for a job with the Tribune and instead got the loser job at a piece of crap magazine. I mean really, there are no good articles in that mag. The only good things are reviews on restaurants and even that is sub par. :-( Sad little man if you ask me!

  • In reply to brandiw60:

    I think you may be right!

  • In reply to brandiw60:

    As a police officer myself, I constantly hear monorities claiming that they get treated unfair and they are the targets due to their skin color.

    That's not even the case. Hey people, let's "Man up" and start taking responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming other people for your failures.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Time Out Chicago will never get another dollar from me...

  • I think people in general prefer the rug. Funny you should mention Glenn Beck, that's exactly why I don't pay him any attention. I don't want his show off the air. People can opt not to read Joe the Cop if they so choose.

  • I don't know you personally. Do you think I have the right to say you are financially worth more to your family dead than alive? I truly think that post in general could start a valuable conversation, but that fact is the the person starting the debate is choosing language that is offensive and insensitive.

  • Hehehe okay. I personally wouldn't think I have the right to go and say something like that, but there ya go. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to bexlizard:

    Whether you personally think it or not, you do have that right. Just like I can call cubbiejulie a scarlet headed witch if I so choose.

  • Are you comparing Joe to Glenn Beck? Whether his opinion was written in good judgment or not, as a paid blogger for the Trib's community, is a question. If you think it was, that's fine. I personally don't.

  • Ooooh okay. I was wondering exactly how much accountability the Trib has over CN... and it doesn't seem like much. I doubt Sennett knows this.

  • Me three. Cancelled my subscription earlier today.

  • The site didn't pull something because they didn't agree with it. They pulled the posts because Frank Sennett, Editor of TimeOut Chicago, bullied them into doing so by twisting the heart of the posts and embarrassing CN & the Trib. This would be one thing if staff themselves deemed the posts to be offensive and removed them, but this is not what happened.

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