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    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State­ Mandated Pro­Life Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that may be inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

How to kill journalism

Reporters should crowdsource, tweet, shoot, SMS, live chat and — oh, yeah — report the news

The other day, I was sent a copy of a memo written by the bright, talented and hard-working managing editor of a group of weekly newspapers just outside the Detroit metro area.

The memo, "A Reporter with Today's Tools Should Use Them," was supposed to be a helpful guide to her reporters as to how to do their jobs better. But it actually is the single most stunning example I've ever seen of what is wrong with print journalism today.

First, it needs to be said is that the author, a young widow in her early 40s, is extremely earnest, well-intentioned and one of the hardest-working administrators I know; I was a writing coach for her newspapers when they had different ownership years ago.

Unfortunately, she now works for a division of the Journal-Register Company, which is to journalism what a Soviet slave labor camp was to the union movement. In the process, she seems to have lost sight completely of what journalism is supposed to be.

That's not surprising, given that part of her memo notes:

"Most of my 60-hour work week is spent editing copy, posting articles and photos online, assigning stories to staff and freelancers, engaging the audience on behalf of our publications via social media, keeping abreast of issues going on across the county, checking out new technology, processing press releases and reader-generated content, and administrative tasks such as tracking website traffic, managing my e-mail account, which brings in about 300 messages a day, reviewing and submitting payroll, employee reviews and processing stringer invoices."

Plus occasionally "filling in when we've been short-staffed to cover a government meeting or write some police briefs."

Her company is aggressively promoting the "digital future" of journalism, whatever that means. She has completely bought into the idea, and has trouble understanding why her staff hasn't.

"While I try to promote and model the approach that I would like my reporting staff to take in today's world, with social media and new technology at their disposal, part of me is torn in understanding why it's not being completely done the way I ask," she says plaintively.

Next, she spells out exactly what she wants.

Any time a reporter covers a story, she would ask:

• Did you crowdsource this topic so you could ask more relevant questions of local officials?

• Did you upload the City Council's agenda to our website using Scribd.com before the meeting and share it on social media so that readers would know that city leaders were considering raising their own salaries despite a general fund deficit?

• Did you "check in" to the meeting on social media and then Tweet and post on Facebook some of the discussion points during the meeting?

• Did you shoot video of local residents during the meeting protesting the decision, process it during the meeting, and post it on our website before the meeting ended?

• Did you post a paragraph on our website under Breaking News about the vote during the meeting and then write the full story after, post it online, and then push it out using social media, SMS text, or our breaking news alert via our e-newsletter subscriber list?

• Did you follow up on the issue by hosting a live chat the next day with local leaders and residents?

Now stop for a moment, and try to imagine Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reporting Watergate and being asked to do any of this. You can't even imagine anyone doing these things, except as a bad Saturday Night Live parody of the life of a multimedia reporter.

One woman named Martha who read this on the editor's blog asked two questions that were far more perceptive than anything in this pathetically ridiculous memo. Her first was, "Is a reporter going to spend literally days covering one event?"

The answer is, no way in hell. The weekly sweatshops that are Journal-Register newspapers expect reporters to cover dozens of events a week. Another reader named Beverly also gets it:

"If you are going to devote this much time and expertise to one story how are you going to cover the dozens of other stories that have the audacity to occur on the same day? Your method seems perfect for ... an encyclopedia. But in a metropolis ... it would be unwise to spend that much time bowing to electronic gadgetry."

Bingo.

What our poor, overworked, underpaid, technology-crazed editor has completely forgotten is the purpose of journalism. Which is, to make sense of a bewildering array of events for people.

We're supposed to give them a manageable digest of events — national, state and local, plus some good reading and useful information. Nobody wants to read a whole goddamn city council agenda. Nobody human wants to look at video of residents at a city council meeting, except those who care enough to go.

The multimedia approach this editor suggests for her local village council meeting would be entirely appropriate if Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln and Vladimir Lenin showed up and began raising the dead, while simultaneously walking a tightrope backwards.

Otherwise, no.

What is most ironic is that by driving their reporters to do this nonsense, editors like this woman are helping put their own papers out of business. Let's give the last word to blog reader Martha:

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