Saturday, March 30, 2013

Worked Over Something Awful

America, where pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is a bit difficult due to all the sharp bootstrap-cutting objects lying in your path.

A Tupelo woman hired earlier this month by a KFC was fired Monday after the franchise owner discovered she’s homeless.
Eunice Jasica has been staying at the Salvation Army lodge since early December after losing her job, her car and her home.
The nonprofit organization requires its residents to seek employment daily and, upon finding it, to pay for lodging and start saving for a place of their own. Jasica said she had been job hunting for months and was relieved to find work on March 11 at the KFC on North Gloster Street.
A document signed by that location’s general manager on March 12 confirms Jasica had been hired to perform “prep work” and would receive a paycheck every two weeks.
But when Jasica reported for duty Monday, franchise owner Chesley Ruff withdrew the job offer upon learning she lived at the Salvation Army.
“He told me to come back when I had an address and transportation,” Jasica recalled. “But how am I supposed to get all that without a job?

Firing someone you hired because they don’t have a place to live when the entire reason they took the job was to be able to afford a place to live, and you don’t pay enough to afford a place to live?  I’m betting Chesley Ruff is a lifelong Republican.

Luckily, this story now has a better ending.

A woman fired from a KFC in Tupelo for being homeless has found a new job and an outpouring of support.
Eunice Jasica was tentatively hired Tuesday by On Time Transportation to shuttle Medicaid and Medicare patients to and from doctors’ appointments. She still must complete the final stages of her application process but should be on the job by early April, said the company’s office manager, Yolanda Baskin.

The much larger problem is America is largely designed to keep poor people poor, and ridiculously rich people ridiculously rich.

Respect Given, Respect Earned

I've had my problems with Chris Hayes in the past, but I am reminded by Ann Friedman at the Columbia Journalism Review (as Hayes moves forward to MSNBC's prime time 8 PM weekday slot next month) that the objective data from his year plus on his weekend morning show demonstrates his commitment to diversity when so many weekend show pundits and panelists are white men.

But earlier this month, after MSNBC announced it was giving Chris Hayes his own daily primetime news show, Media Matters published a chart that showed how his weekend show, Up with Chris Hayes, differed from its cable-news competitors: It wasn’t all white dudes. Specifically, 57 percent of the show’s guests were not white men. (Full disclosure: I have, in the past, been one of the non-dudes featured on said program.) To hear lots of journalists tell it, this is an impossible feat. So I called up Hayes to ask how he and his team created a shining oasis of diversity in a cable-news desert of sameness.

“We just would look at the board and say, ‘We already have too many white men. We can’t have more.’ Really, that was it,” Hayes says. “Always, constantly just counting. Monitoring the diversity of the guests along gender lines, and along race and ethnicity lines.” Out of four panelists on every show, he and his booking producers ensured that at least two were women. “A general rule is if there are four people sitting at table, only two of them can be white men,” he says. “Often it would be less than that.”

If they did end up booking a show that featured a majority of white men, they’d call it “taking a gender hit.” Hayes explains, “and then we’d be like, well, we have to make up for that either in the second half of the show or on the Sunday show.”

In other words: quotas. Hard quotas.

“The editorial decisions, the content we decided to pursue, also dovetailed with that,” he continues. “We had three Iraqis join us when we talked about the 10-year anniversary of the war. We did a full show about feminism. And so, part of it is that we weren’t talking about the Ryan budget every week. Often we were discussing topics on which there was a natural affinity between people of backgrounds different than the standard one that is often presented on television.”

And while some of his guests are maddeningly obnoxious, at least they tend to be outnumbered rather than making up the majority.  That's a huge deal, and considering the ratio of white men to everyone else on other weekend punditry roundups tends to be 2 to 1, the opposite is true on Up With Chris Hayes.

Here's hoping that tradition continues on his new show, All In...but my question is where's the praise for Melissa-Harris Perry?

StupidiNews, Easter Weekend Edition!

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