Friendly Skies Flight Diversion Over Knee Defender an Airline First?

Categories: Air Travel, Beefs

The Knee Defender, a device marketed to airline passengers fed up with fellow fliers who hog their legroom by reclining, has been around for more than 10 years.

But the low-tech gadget appears to have registered a first yesterday morning, when United Airlines diverted a Newark-to-Denver flight to Chicago after a knee defender and his target got into a physical altercation.

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The Voice Talks To KNPR About the 37 Reasons Why We Hate Las Vegas [AUDIO]

Steven Thrasher
Reason No. 19 to hate Las Vegas: even the pools are designed to TAKE YOUR MONEY
We must admit: when KNPR, the NPR affiliate of Las Vegas, contacted us and asked, "Do you want to come on the air to talk about '37 Reasons Why An Unapologetically Judgmental New Yorkers Hates Las Vegas'?" we were a tad nervous. In fact, the polite, kind and good-natured people at KNPR's State of Nevada almost made us feel guilty for writing the anti-Vegas screed. (Well, almost.)

We went on the air with them on Friday to talk about our list and to try to be a little less screechy about why we didn't like the city. Some of the reasons are pure snark ("No. 10: There are 31 flavors of Cirque Du Soleil, all peddling the same shit with a different soundtrack") while others are more serious ("No. 32: When you realize an entire "city's" "economy" is based on this madness, it makes sense why it spent 22 straight months as the metro area with the highest rate of home foreclosure").

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37 Things For An Unapologetically Judgmental New Yorker To Hate About Las Vegas

Steven Thrasher
No. 13: There are actually LINES to PAWN YOUR SHIT
The Voice just returned from a trip to Las Vegas. While we enjoyed the UNITY 2012 and NLGJA conferences, we were disturbed by the "city" itself. Here are 37 reasons why we hated it, presented in no particular order, except that No. 37 is the most insidious.

1. The architecture of confusion reigns supreme, so that you never have any sense of direction, time, or space

2. Carrot Top

3. There is more than one Hard Rock Cafe

4. There's a pyramid with THREE different Starbucks inside of it

5. There is little difference between the strip and the airport, but the airport is better. (While both have slot machines and trap people inside a closed system, the airport has better, cheaper and healthier food options.)

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James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond Implicated Himself in 1994 Tupac Shakur Attack: Court Testimony

Categories: Beefs, Justice

Thumbnail image for JimmyRosemond.jpg
For nearly two decades, drug lord James Rosemond, a/k/a "Jimmy Henchman," denied accusations of his involvement in the near-fatal 1994 ambush of rap star Tupac Shakur at New York's Quad Recording Studios that marked a pivotal moment in American pop history.

The attack on Tupac triggered a bicoastal rampage that played out in songs and videos generating billions of dollars for global music corporations and left a trail of body bags from Manhattan to Beverly Hills, culminating in the murders of both Tupac and his nemesis, the Notorious B.I.G.

Before he was assassinated, Tupac recorded a song called "Against All Odds," in which he blamed Rosemond for orchestrating the assault at the Quad:

"Jimmy Henchman. . .
[You] set me up, wet me up... stuck me up.
But you never shut me up."

Now, new evidence implicates Rosemond in the crime -- facts recently divulged by an unlikely eyewitness, never previously interviewed by police: Rosemond himself.

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How Many Negroes Must Support Gay Marriage Before "Black Homophobia" Stops Getting Overblown?

Here are the three biggest hand-wringing fears/misnomers people have had about gay marriage, even those who support it:

1. This unimportant issue will cost Obama re-election!

2. Marriage equality would have happened by now, if not for those on-the-down low, religious, self-hating, homophobic black folks!

3. Marriage equality will never pass when it comes up for a vote, because it never has before, and therefore never will, especially in a state with a lot black voters!

Ever since President Obama came out for same-sex marriage, all three have been proven to be utter bullshit. Let's explore.

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Tupac Shakur, the Los Angeles Times, and Why I'm Still Unemployed: A Personal History by Chuck Philips

Categories: Beefs

For years, Chuck Philips produced some of the best reporting on the shooting deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls
Last week, a trial in Brooklyn started off with a strange twist. At the federal criminal trial of James Rosemond -- a/k/a Jimmy Henchman -- one of the first things Rosemond's attorney did was kick an unemployed journalist named Chuck Philips out of the courtroom by naming him a witness in the case.

Philips was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times for 18 years covering crime and entertainment. In 1999, he won a Pulitzer Prize with his colleague, Michael Hiltzik, for a series examining corruption in the entertainment industry. In 1996, he won the George Polk Award for articles about black art and culture in America. A year later, he won a National Assn. of Black Journalists Award for in-depth coverage of the rap music business.

For years, he investigated the shooting deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, producing some of the most important research into those crimes. And then, in 2008, Chuck Philips' career in journalism suddenly ended. Now, for the first time, he's speaking at length about how that came about, and how he became a witness in a federal trial. At the conclusion, we have a statement from the Los Angeles Times, which I received after informing its attorney that we were printing this story -- Tony Ortega, Ed.

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Hey, Steven Thrasher, James King Here -- Nice To "Meet" You!

Hey, Steven Thrasher, I know we've never met, and all, but this is me. Cheers, pal!
Yesterday, veteran Voice scribe Steven Thrasher apparently spent a good chunk of his day kvetching about me in the form of a lengthy blog post, in which he called me a racist. He then challenged me (without ever actually speaking to me -- or replying to multiple emails -- of course) to some sort of pissing match under the guise of the Voice's grand tradition of in-house bickering.

While I can think of a million things I'd rather be doing than responding to Mr. Thrasher's uber-public request for a fight, I'm not one to turn down a good pissing match. 

Before we get started, however, I don't think we've been properly introduced...

My name's James King -- I'm the new guy here at the Voice and I'll be covering politics, crime, and any other nugget of local news I find interesting enough to share with our adoring audience. However, if you're looking for a news blog full of kitten videos, I'm not your guy.

I was born and raised in New York (despite Mr. Thrasher's insistence on showing me "how we roll in New York," I've actually been here before), but have spent the last six years living in Phoenix, Arizona, the last three of which I spent pissing off Hells Angels, laughing at Governor Jan Brewer, and making the life of America's most racist sheriff, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as miserable as fucking possible -- all while working for the Voice's sister paper, the Phoenix New Times.

While some of my new colleagues here in the Big Apple have taken me out for drinks to offer advice, give me the lay of the land, and help me settle in, Mr. Thrasher decided to treat me like the new kid who farted in a seventh grade English class -- he rolled out the welcome mat with nothing but insults, again, without ever having met me, or having the cojones to bash me to my face.

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James King, Newbie Voice Writer: Casual Racist BS Will Be Called BS By (Slightly) Older Voice Writer

Fight Club!.jpg
"In the old days, reporters, in the pages of the Voice, went after one another. Readers enjoyed taking sides in these civil wars, and we ourselves sometimes discovered what we should have known before we so confidently wrote."

So wrote Nat Hentoff in "Why I Oppose the Downtown Mosque: How I questioned an imam's motives and broke Tom Robbins's heart" in September of 2010, when Hentoff went after his colleague, friend and onetime union shop steward.

Indeed, there is a long, proud, half-century old tradition here at the Voice of writers duking it out with words within our own paper. "I do not want to get in the way of what looks like it has the making of a really good feud (the old Voice excelled at these; usually we had them with each other)" Robbins himself commented on another 2010 Voice article, where Editor in Chief Tony Ortega got into the ring with Louis Black of the Austin Chronicle. (After Robbins dropped in, he ended his message, "gentlemen, please go back to ripping each other up.")

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55 of the Rudest Things Rude New Yorkers Do

Travel + Leisure Magazine has once again declared New Yorkers the rudest of all the rude peoples of America. Congrats New Yorkers. You know what they say...any publicity is good publicity, and if you can be rude here, you can be rude anywhere! According to our pals at T+L, which based the rankings on input from their esteemed readers, "The Big Apple reclaims its heavyweight title in hostility, a dubious honor it last held in 2009 -- and a reputation it has had for much longer ("You talkin' to me?"). Besides its fast pace, New York City is also No. 1 for diversity. As a result, you might encounter unfamiliar mannerisms that aren't meant to be mean but come across that way. Deep down, voters probably love New York for its flamboyant, bird-flipping spirit. After all, it's also the No. 1 city for great theater." But what does that MEAN? And what rude things do we do? We've compiled a list of 55, but, please, feel free to add your own. To assume there are limits to our rudeness would be rude.

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Paypal Kills Christmas for Regretsy, Needy Families [Updated]

Just in time for the holidays, here's your Internet beef (it concerns charity this time): On one side, there's Paypal, your go-to method for paying for things online without using a credit card. On the other, there's Regretsy, the hilarious "fail blog of hand crafts." To get everyone up to speed: Regretsy set up a gift exchange where people could buy gifts for 200 needy kids. They raised more money than expected, and with the extra cash, planned to send a monetary gift to the families along with the presents. However, as Helen writes on Regretsy, they used the "Donate" button -- a no-no, apparently -- Paypal says it's only for nonprofits. So Paypal froze the account and is making her refund the donations.

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