A robust 8-1 majority of the Supreme Court ruled today that, contrary to folk belief, ignorance of the law is a perfectly good excuse—as long as it's a cop who's claiming ignorance. The case, Heien v. North Carolina, dealt with a car owner who ended up charged with cocaine trafficking after a police officer, who thought the driver looked "nervous," followed the car and stopped it because it had only one working brake light.
Mike Lacey, the pugnacious chief of Village Voice Media and overlord of alt-weeklies across America, is known to be a man not afraid to speak his mind. In fact, he's the self-proclaimed "asshole in charge." So attendees at a Phoenix Society of Professional Journalists awards dinner last Friday might have expected Lacey to say something interesting when he accepted an award on behalf of one of his papers [East Valley Tribune]. But they were less than amused when (the white man) Lacey referred to his deceased friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning [UPDATE: also white] journalist Tom Fitzpatrick, as "my nigger."
Folio Weekly, the alt-weekly in Jacksonville, Florida (where I used to work), ran a story this month about the BDSM scene in Jacksonville. Their reporting on sexual practices that are not licensed by the Baptist church outraged a Jacksonville City Councilman, naturally, and he's made a formal call for the city to remove all of Folio's distribution boxes from its property. Which the city is seriously considering. The righteous councilman reasons that children go to libraries, and what's to prevent them from picking up this article and turning into whip-wielding kink fiends? And the worst part is he was actually forced to read the blasphemous article—slowly, no doubt—in order to know what the god-fearing citizens are up against! From his letter to the mayor: