Michael Bloomberg Sued by Reporter Over Cathie Black Freedom of Information Requests

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Today, I am suing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Last year, Bloomberg baffled New Yorkers when he appointed publishing executive Cathie Black to be the city's next schools chancellor. Black was an unpopular choice, and for months, responses to her appointment ran the gamut of ridicule, confusion, and outrage.

Black's tenure came to an abrupt end in April, when the mayor asked her to step down from the post after just three months on the job. New Yorkers who opposed her appointment were vindicated, but the question remained: What led the mayor to make such a choice?

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Our Favorite #@&*%ing Swear Words

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A Brooklyn writer took to the New York Times today to bitch about people who "curse" too much. The worst offenders, he says, are "20-somethings whose informal language consists of a liberal use of profanity blended into their OMG-juvenile act."

"Is there a cure for this rampant vulgarity?" he asks.

We say... "No." But to investigate this sociolinguistic WTF, we culled a list of our own favorite vulgarities (from a staff of, well, 20-somethings) to celebrate the great art of swearing. Our defense of F-bombs and other profanities, after the jump.


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Cops Hunting BMW Bandit Who Stabbed Man and Put Him in Trunk

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Barion Blake

​​Remember the mutilated, unconscious Columbia University employee cops found in a BMW trunk while investigating a hit-and-run fender-bender on Wednesday? Turns out it was his car, and cops are now looking for his assailant, a 30-year-old man whom the New York Post has named the "Beemer Schemer" due to his prior arrests that twice involved trying to steal BMWs.

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Beware of BMW Owners Who Will Shoot You and Lock You In Their Trunk

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The Daily News says police are investigating a bizarre Harlem "fender-bender," in which the driver of a BMW slammed into the back of a cab this morning, jumped out of the car, and ran away. Cops later popped the trunk and found a man with no ID and a gunshot wound in his head. (The man was rushed to Harlem Hospital and is in critical condition; no word on who the driver was, but we bet he's a Quentin Tarantino fan). [SH]

Unlike Teachers, Report Cards For Cops Are Off-Limits

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Oh, what's that? The NYPD denied another freedom of information request? You don't say! City Limits has a piece today, pointing out that while the city seems glad to hand over teacher performance rankings (much to the teachers' union chagrin, of course), an obscure law shields cops, firefighters, paramedics, and corrections and parole officers from the same kind of public records scrutiny. Rats! [SH]

Suspected Long Island Serial Killer Murdered Prostitutes Who Advertised on Craigslist

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It's official: the Daily News says Suffolk County cops are pretty sure the speculated Long Island serial killer really is a serial killer. Better (worse?) yet, he's a Craigslist serial killer. Police say they've finally identified the bodies they found along Long Island's Oak Beach last month, and each was a missing prostitute who advertised on Craigslist.More »

Prospect Park Still Doesn't Want Your Damn Bike Lanes

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Brooklyn Downtown Star
​L
isten, Prospect Park. The generous, benevolent Department of Transportation has bestowed upon you a big, green bike lane to keep you safe from all of those scary, lycra-clad cyclists. Big Brother (i.e., the city) says it keeps your babies safe and your Subarus dent-free, so stop being so ungrateful and like the damn thing, okay?More »

Will the City Be Hit By a Storm of Snow Suits?

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​Yeah, nobody saw this coming: The Daily News reports that "a Brooklyn man whose wife died of a heart attack after waiting more than 90 minutes for an ambulance during last month's blizzard" is filing a $20 million lawsuit against the city. Yes, the onslaught of post-blizzard litigation has begun!

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What's at the MTA's Lost and Found? $89,000 in Unclaimed Cash, to Start

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​A few months ago, we took a trip to deep beneath the Penn Station subway stop to a place called the MTA's Lost Property Unit. The LPU -- a mass transit no man's land where New Yorkers' umbrellas, wallets, phones, and, yes, plenty of cash go to live out their days -- is like a dig site for the urban anthropologist. Items ranging from the mundane to the bizarre (an LPU supervisor says he once bagged "teeth"; the New York Times said it found a prosthetic leg) line the shelves of this bleak repository, a cinderblock-and-linoleum lined room buried beneath the harsh glow of florescent lights and the constant roar of an overhead A train.

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Inside the Great Cathie Black Media Blitz

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​Today in How Reporters Report: Everyone got their panties in a twist when former city schools chancellor Joel Klein resigned last November and Mayor Bloomberg appointed Cathie Black -- a publishing exec with no discernible skills, background, or preparation for the job -- as his replacement. Then we found out she needed a state-approved waiver (which she got) to take the job, despite the fact that nobody really wanted her to.

Black's appointment had all the elements of good drama: Secrecy! Cronyism! Outspoken public backlash! School children in (exaggerated) peril! So it's no surprise that New York's press corps were (and kind of still are) foaming at the mouth over the story of her appointment. And since Runnin' Scared has traditionally had kind of an interest in How the Media World Works, we decided to take a closer look at the story behind the Cathie Black story.
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