CBS Sunday Morning News Gaffe – April 15th, 2018

Melissa DePino - Starbucks - Philadelphia

Melissa DePino – Philadelphia – Starbucks


I’m disappointed in the CBS Sunday Morning news article on the Starbucks empire this morning (April 15th, 2018). Clearly, when the producers first put together the article on Howard Schultz’s successful coffee career, correspondent Mo Rocca didn’t anticipate an incident in Philadelphia would overshadow his focus upon the success of the Starbucks entrepeneur.

(At this writing I am not able to find a link to the Mo Rocca article to share).

When Kai Ryssdal, the CBS Sunday Morning host this week, introduced the article, he initially took the time to report on the ‘breaking story’ of two African-American males being removed in handcuffs from a Philadelphia Starbucks for what appears to have been two Black men sitting in the coffee shop without making a purchase. Further research, NPR article  would suggest they were waiting for a friend to arrive, and when asked to leave, declined, and police were called.

From there the incident blew up and a young woman, Melissa DePino, caught the entire incident on her phone – thus creating this viral video, none of which was covered in Mr. Ryssdal’s initial introduction on CBS Sunday Morning.

Here is where my issue arose. The host introduced the already in place article with a controversial telling of an actual Starbuck’s incident in Philadelphia that in my eyes trumped (sic) the fanfare of the Starbuck success story. Discrimination is not successful, and it is also not talked about. Instead, it remains an afterthought.

I believe this was a missed opportunity by Kai Ryssdal, despite his attempt to include the incident, what was his motive? Was he told by the producers of CBS Sunday Morning News that we must include this incident before running the article on Starbucks, or did he do it on his own? I think the issue of priority raises serious questions about our society and how we choose to neglect or emphasize topics that do touch on sensitive issues versus those that will satisfy the majority of a news article’s listeners.

In her own retelling of the incident, Melissa DePino states in her interview, this would not have happened to her. In other words, because of the color of her skin, she would not have been asked to leave the store without a purchase. Personally, I agree with her, and being a frequent coffee shop connoisseur I can speak frankly and say I have had many meetings with people in coffee shop where either myself or my associates did not make a purchase and in all cases we were never approached to leave – certainly the police were not called to intervene. That would not happen.

In looking at the story and the incident itself, the two men removed did not protest the directives of the police and left without incident while the shop patrons all watched with concern, question and interpretation. Since, Starbucks has issued an apology on Twitter, and the men have been released and the incident is under review. That is all fine, and all should happen, but it still brings me back to my frustration with the CBS article and more specifically how we handle such situations in our society.

We don’t.

We choose to focus on moving away from important dialogue rather than facing it head on. Perhaps this was a golden opportunity for Kai Ryssdal to address the issue of discrimination and make this week’s news story a commentary on the continuing issue that occurs and impacts people of color throughout our society.

I am convinced had Rysdaal rather than run the article on Howard Schultz and his successful career, instead turned the next five or six minutes into a discussion and commentary of the Philadelphia incident there would have been controversy. Producers would have changed jobs in the coming week, and Rysdaal might have risked his own opportunity for further hosting opportunities in Jane Pauley’s absence.

My question is why not take the risk? Why not say we’re going to run the Starbucks story next week, because we have a situation that merits discussion today, that has more impact on our society than we would like to understand. I guarantee there would have been a ratings spike of viewership that would have stayed, rather than change the channel after Ryssdal slapped a band-aid on the discrimination and jumped immediately into the cacao fields of the Starbucks empire.

I’m disappointed that when we see opportunity we choose not to address the important issues of our society that are relevant. I’m saddened by the reality that the dialogue on discrimination continues to take the backseat to anything that will allow us to quickly move away from the issue rather than face it head on.

Let me be clear, until this last paragraph I have not used the word systemic to describe an issue in our society that clearly exists, but I did today watch a major news outlet – CBS News – pass by a wonderful opportunity to recognize the need for dialogue in our extremely mosaic world. The conversations if they cannot occur on a national or international level certainly will be far more difficult to create on a local level. However, they need to. Today Kai Ryssdal and CBS Sunday Morning missed an opportunity.

Where do we begin?

 

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On The Occasion of Equality

What would happen,

to jealousy,

to envy,

to wanting more,

to wishing that one were less inclined,

understanding the difference

between yours and mine.

 

What would be said,

when questions arose,

about the ludicrous nature,

of those with a nose

for finding fault in their neighbor

rather than

atoning their own yard.

 

Where would we go,

if no one would regard,

we are the same …

oh wait –

that’s where we have been

for so many years,

so how is it we finally find

some avenue to recognize

respect is a word,

not simply a thought,

a word we can listen to,

practice, believe with a buy in,

that settles all trivialities

those incomprehensible

travesties

keep us yards apart

from unity.

It Is A Beautiful Day

cometogether

Beatles


How so do the moods define our day,

we wake to a sunlit morning to defy the odds,

or perhaps we settle in selective pods

stepped away we did from society’s way.

 

A certain lovely attraction is contained in smile

circus acts and normalcy all find sweet balance,

life becomes less of form, tossed beyond chance

might we interact open heartedly in the while.

 

We speak of a world that exists based upon because

spirited within an altruistic desire toward freedom.

Yet somewhere along the way began a kingdom

begetting perhaps – there begs the question of laws.

 

Sans the trifle, sense the spirited nature of release

We shall find resolute Love internalized in peace.

When A Mass Shooter Commits Suicide

I feel lost and helpless, out of control,

I cannot fathom the pain that is now endured

by the family, the friend, the community,

the loss of life so random and unexpected,

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

I’m left in a fury of angst and simple confusion,

I know the emotional drain of being human,

living out our purpose and striving to be,

and like Hollywood, just when we realize …

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

I think we all think about how a person’s day begins,

the same as yesterday, perhaps a sweet happiness,

or even probably the angst of having to be the machine,

another day of social squabbles and night’s end purpose.

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

All of these moments we’ve all felt together,

we know the sense of sunshine in the morning,

we understand the beauty of a co-worker,

the laughter of a memo, the reality of our family.

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

There isn’t a day when we are awoken

by the silly notion of our mortality, when thriving

seems to be our goal. There is no reaction

to the possibility our life will be taken with random …

…. AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SHOOTER!

 

THIS PART has everything to do with the shooter,

because those lives, those people that were so important

to everyone far beyond the trigger of your cowardice,

deserve an opportunity to COME TO LIFE AND WATCH,

WATCH YOU SUFFER INDIGNITY, YOUR FLAWED PURPOSE ON DISPLAY!

Getting Older in Autumn

sunset

pinterest – sunset

I read somewhere today about recognizing positive energy,

wonder came across my mind,

am I, can they, do anyone I know,

is there really a measure,

or are we all simply kidding ourselves.

 

I would glance around the room during times like these,

see all the different faces,

are they feeling the same,

maybe not now, or could we, is the

same solitude as impactful for her,

as it might be for the other guy

nearby wondering what lunch will be,

later on.

 

Is it really that simple for those that would rather complicate

the reality of our lives,

are we all, is it this, did you, I said it again,

I keep trying to stay out of this argument,

yet somehow I find I’m in the middle,

always trying with little effort,

or perhaps it is the other way around,

I might really exercise a certain bizarre discipline

toward accentuating

the negative nature of the human condition.

 

I do know there is a measure of truth

in the reality of a giving spirit,

I can see it on their faces,

the fresh affect, beautiful demeanor

of those whose smile is as real

as a wonderful sunset on a cool summer’s night.

 

That visual caused just a little bit of happiness … right?

The Circle of Deceit

I can’t listen anymore,

I’m a citizen of this country,

I believe in my freedom,

the welfare of my neighbor

the peace of mind of a stranger.

I want to understand the peril

that one family has overcome

in order to help another find peace,

find hope,

find their own sense of freedom.

 

But the circle of deceit

two parties battling one another,

a constant rubrics cube of

smoke and mirrors,

Pollyanna and Slaughterhouse Five,

they’re all the same,

all told before,

all recognized to be contributors,

to our own incessant

Catch – 22

of hit and miss, ugliness.

 

I suppose I will turn to fiction

once again,

the result of years of twisted reality,

I’d rather just …

Imagine.

Responsive Journey

A quiet path,

many minds have passed,

yet inside remains

alone like a ricocheting energy,

a certainty in privacy,

that which no one might alone

experience beyond

a silent beholden traveler.

 

Many nights, autumn mornings,

spring into action while the world around

might discover new purpose,

a reasoning that while easily

defined,

still remains on the outside,

wondering just how soon

there might be some quiet

revelation

toward opening doors.

 

yet there in the midst of a quiet existence

remains the wonder,

which while inside is felt.

What happens when

shared notions

become some emotive prayer

for understanding the logic

of living out our dreams

based upon

some ventured task to grasp

insecurity.