Posts Tagged 'NPR'

Double Standard Much? James O’Keefe Kicks Out Videographer

Conservative activist/wiretapper James O’Keefe has made his name in surreptitious recordings of high-level executives making supposed impolitic and embarrassing statements, including most recently, the top fundraiser at NPR who was caught on camera deriding the Tea Party and saying that public radio would be better off without federal funding. That dustup cost the fundraiser, Ron Schiller, and NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, their jobs — and lead to a House vote to defund NPR.

But this past Thursday night, O’Keefe had an Asbury Park Press videographer kicked out of a Tea Party event in Keyport, New Jersey because he didn’t want it filmed. (See the video here.) Isn’t it strange, if you brand yourself as a morally charged force for openness and good, that you wouldn’t allow recording of your own activities? Crusaders for any cause should believe in transparency, or else they just look foolish.

Source: Asbury Park Press

Photography Link Roundup

Photo: Larry Luckham

•  Larry Luckham catalogs photos from all the periods in his life on his personal web site, and he’s got a great set from his time at Bell Labs in the late 60s. Two words: mutton chops. [ via Lost at E Minor]

•  NPR and Pictory magazine are collaborating to find “local legends” across the country. Submit a photo of your own on Pictory’s site here. [NPR]

•  Someone stole Jason Lee’s Polaroid of Dennis Hopper at the This Los Angeles show last weekend and they desperately want it back. C’mon scumbag, do the right thing. [Pix Feed LA]

•  Longtime photojournalist Jim Pickerell writes an open letter to a student on pursuing photography as a career, and it’s kind of bleak but also kind of helpful. [Black Star Rising]

•  Joao Silva, the New York Times photographer who lost his legs in a mine blast in Afghanistan last October, walks. [Lens]

Filming Chicago Police OK, Audio Not

NPR did a piece this morning on Chicago artist Chris Drew, who’s made it his mission to make sure the First Amendment works. What started as an act of civil disobedience — Drew is a crusader for free speech and wanted to test laws regarding where artists can sell their work — turned into a felony charge for illegal eavesdropping. It turns out he had recorded his arrest and in Illinois it’s illegal to record conversations without consent of all parties.

The Chicago police union claims, if you can believe this, that recordings like these could inhibit officers from doing their jobs. Or…if they do their jobs professionally and competently, if they happen to be recorded, an audio recording would make absolutely. No. Difference.

“The general theme that drifts through these cases is very clear,” [Illinois ACLU lawyer Harvey] Grossman says. “Law enforcement, in these instances, is rebelling and is refusing to allow public scrutiny of their behavior. And they are using the eavesdropping statute as a weapon against civilians.”

On August 18, the Illinois ACLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging this law.

Story from NPR

Helen Levitt — Eye on the Streets

Photo by Helen Levitt, New York, 1980

Helen Levitt, the acclaimed New York street photographer, died last weekend at the age of 95. NPR did a nice retrospective piece on her this week where the reporter recalls two interviews she had previously done with her. At one point, the reporter asks Levitt what she thinks about a particular photo. Levitt says, “Just what you see.” When asked why it’s so difficult for her to talk about, Levitt says, “If it were easy to talk about, I’d be a writer. Since I’m inarticulate, I express myself with images.”

Listen to the whole piece here.

This is also a great book of her work.

Highways, Byways and Much, Much More

Photo by let ‘er rip

Today we set out on a cross-country road trip to see some of the great sights the USA has to offer. From Los Angeles to Boston and back again, we’ll get to see this real America everyone talks about, and we’ll be posting some updates from the road. 

In light of that, this piece from NPR seemed especially fitting: Photographer Stephen Shore took a similar journey in 1973, documenting everything from meals to hotel rooms and keeping detailed records in the form of receipts and postcards. His journal was so impressive that it is now being published in book form, called A Road Trip Journal.

Among many notable things about Shore, he sold his first photo to the Museum of Modern Art at 14, published a universally acclaimed book called Uncommon Places, and is widely credited as one of the pioneers of color photography.

Check out a sampling of his very cool photos here.

Listen to NPR’s “Weekend Edition” interview with Shore here.

“Blind Ambition: The Ultimate Braille Challenge”

Photo by discarted

Talented writer Heather Murphy wrote this story for the NPR site about the Braille Challenge, an annual contest here in Los Angeles for supersmart blind and visually impaired students who come from all over the country to test their skills in areas like spelling, reading and proofreading.

With an accompanying video by Amir Noori and photos by Shawn Nee (discarted), it’s a multifacted multimedia story — and worth checking out, if I do say so.

Shawn says he was impressed and humbled by the kids he met at that day, noting their self-awareness and complete confidence and “how they were constantly reminding themselves and the people around them that, yes, they’re blind so quit walking on egg shells and just publicly acknowledge it and get comfortable with it because they sure are.”

Read and watch the story here.

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