Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hack Need

The cable news channels have their Natalee Holloways; the Reader has its Jeremy Hammonds. The beaches and hotel bars of Aruba still swarm with TV, ah. "journalists" on the cold case of the hot presumed-dead blonde. The Reader, meanwhile, devotes yet another forest-worth of newsprint to yet another story of some earnest young activist’s run in with The Man.

"But Can He Hack Prison?" the cover of this week’s Reader asks. "This 20-year-old antiwar activist could be facing hard time for online crime." Our coverboy, the aforementioned Mr. Hammond, pecks defiantly at his laptop in the cover shot, a scarf draped rakishly around his neck. His (alleged) crime? (Allegedly) swiping credit card numbers from a right-wing web site, an (alleged) act of astounding (alleged) stupidity that brought the FBI to his door.

Our handsome hacktivist (his term) hasn’t actually been CHARGED with anything just yet, but that doesn’t stop The Reader from mentioning "hard time" in its coverline – nor did it stop Jeremy’s pals from starting a web site called Among other things, the site invites visitors to "Help drop the investigation!" -- which doesn’t make much sense, if you think about it in a logical, literal sort of way, though it’s not hard to see what they must have meant.

I’m more troubled by the site’s NAME. If your lawyer is posting press releases on a site demanding that you be freed, before you’ve even been charged, much less tried and convicted, this would seem to suggest that he doesn’t have much faith in your innocence or his lawyering ability. You gotta think these things through, folks.

Unlike the cable news channels, which only seem interested in missing persons if they happen to be white and hot, the Reader is at least an equal-opportunity time-waster when it comes to its little obsession. Ben Joravsky’s piece this week tells the Rashomon-like story of corrupt-alderman-turned-soul-food-restauranteur Wallace Davis’ recent run in with The Man.

In an act of creative casting, The Man was represented in this particular case by a black woman -- specifically, a black policewoman who arrived at Davis' restaurant one recent evening recently to find him confronting a knife-wielding would-be robber with a broom. Yada, yada, and Davis ends up beaten by several dozen cops, all white, that the "Aunt Jemima" (his words) policewoman called for backup. That’s his story, anyway. Trust me, it doesn't make much more sense without the yada-ing.


Blogger spacecog said...

Hmm. I can no longer get through to, Maybe someone else decided it wasn't such a good idea.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the new site!

10:07 PM  

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