HOWLS! More babies and bad cops, and some docs


• 2 papers report same story badly

• Good-lookin’ doctors are best?

• The Hamels look to adopt.

Dominican merchants blast ‘cancer’ in Police Dept.

Latino groups want talks with police commissioner

Realizing that the Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer reach different audiences in the region, my issue with the following articles is not that there are two separate stories, but that they are framed in specific ways. The first article is from the Daily News, and was posted on on April 7. Titled “Dominican merchants blast ‘cancer’ in Police Dept.,” Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman write about how Dominican leaders have asked that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey fully investigate and stop any and all corruption in the Police Department. The leaders sent the commissioner a letter expressing their concerns following the Daily News’ story about Officer Jeffrey Cudjik targeting Philadelphia establishments with alleged false search warrants. More than 20 stores owners have made allegations against Cudjik and other narcotics officers. A joint federal and local task force has been established to look into the matter, and Ramsey stated that he will meet with the leaders as soon as possible.

The second article was posted the same day but on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Web site. This article, titled “Latino groups want talks with police commissioner,” was written by Robert Moran. In this article, Moran also discusses the investigation into the work of Officer Jeffrey Cudjik and other narcotics officers of the Philadelphia Police Department. A difference here is that Moran writes that the investigation does not just include Officer Jeffrey Cudjik but also his brother Officer Richard Cudjik, both members of the Narcotics Field Unit. Also Moran includes information from the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which has decided to throw out 24 convictions of drug defendants linked to Officer Cudjik and his informant. The specific Cudjik referenced was not stated, but it can be assumed that they mean Officer Jeffrey Cudjik. Also Moran lists the writers of the letter: Pedro Rodriguez of United Neighbors Against Drugs; Antonio Knight of the Dominican Cultural Center; Jose Joaquin Mota, a merchant; Joe Garcia of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights; Antonio Valdes of the Concilio; and Danilo Burgos of the Dominican Grocers Association. Only Rodriguez and Burgos were used in the Daily News story.

Again, at issue is not that there are two articles about this story. Both publications are geared toward specific segments of the Philadelphia population, and it is possible that some readers will only read one version. What is at issue is the disparity in the information provided and the frames that are used. The Inquirer’s “Latino groups want talks with police commissioner” headline suggests that the concerns being voiced come from a mixed Latino community, possibly including those of Latino ancestry aside from just Dominican. One of the leaders involved, Joe Garcia, represents an organization for those of Puerto Rican ancestry in the city, so that would make this at least partially true. Because the Daily News’ headline suggests that only those in the Dominican community are concerned, it is no surprise that they do not list the fact that Garcia was among the leaders to write the letter to Ramsey. It may mean that the Daily News could have reworded its headline to be as inclusive as possible.

Another point of concern is that in the Daily News story, they do not include the fact that the investigation may include both Jeffrey and Richard Cudjik. This may be only a detail, but they refer to the officer only by his last name in later references, and this could be confusing for those who know that both officers have the same last name. What is interesting is that both the Inquirer and Daily News stories have a similar quote from Pedro Rodriguez near the end of the stories. The Daily News quotes him as saying: “That’s just shuffling the deck. It’s window dressing.” The Inquirer quotes him, saying: “Reshuffling the deck is not sufficient.”

-Rachel Ross

Is Philly mag really representing the best docs?

Philadelphia magazine published their annual Top Doctors issue, featuring the area’s best hospitals with their leading professionals. If you look closely at the cover, you begin to notice that something is a bit off. Then I realized, “Damn, these doctors are good looking!” This made me wonder: Are these really the best doctors Philly can offer? Either medical schools started adding new criteria to their admission process or Philadelphia is looking for something more than just skills and experience, but good looks. It’s not that I’m saying all doctors should have glasses, messy hair, and nerdy suspenders, but something more realistic should be on the cover.

-Litty Samuel

Philebrity Bashes the MVP is a hilariously cynical mix of gossip and news that often gives local elites some much-needed comeuppance. But their latest transmission of populist venom, directed at Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, is a spiteful cheap shot that deserves condemnation.

The post concerns a Fox29 News report from a housewarming party at Hamels’ posh new Rittenhouse Square condo, where the World Series MVP and his wife discuss plans to adopt an Ethiopian child. Philebrity repeatedly refers to the couple’s intention to “buy” an African baby, and implies that the adoption is a narcissistic effort to emulate Madonna and Angelina Jolie.

This post begs for a new adjective that goes beyond “snarky.” Lumping Hamels in with Madonna and Jolie is grossly unfair. Those two promiscuous Mother Teresa wannabes have a gaggle of children each, and questions about their ability to provide the love and attention needed for their entire brood are totally warranted.

But Hamels and his wife are childless. Who are the misanthropic hipsters at Philebrity to judge their plans to start a family? Especially considering the orphan crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent UNICEF report estimated that there are 48 million orphans in this part of the world, a quarter of which lost their parents to AIDS.

The whole post stinks of an ill-conceived effort to jump on the populist bandwagon by bashing rich people. The headline reads “The Further Adventures of Cole Hamels, Crazy Rich Person,” and the backdrop provided by the news clip, of Hamels hobnobbing in his extravagant pad, adds to this prejudice.

The only impression I got from Cole and Heidi Hamels in the Fox piece was that of an earnest and well-intentioned couple excited at the prospect of starting a family.

In Philebrity speak: The cooler-than-thou, alt.-douchebag snark-peddlers running this blog ought to turn down whatever obscure, crappy record they’re listening to and take a moment to reassess their humanity.

-Lance Duroni

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