November 21 - 27, 2012
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JACKSONIAN JAYNE JACKSON
ayne Jackson calls herself a community organizer: She brings people together with the help of food, wine, and—most recently—radio. She hosts a biweekly show on WLEZ-FM where she interviews other charismatic Jacksonians about goingson around town. “One thing that people who live in the metropolis say is that there’s nothing to do here, and yeah, if you aren’t connected with the JFP events calendar, you would think there’s nothing to do here!” she says. Jackson, 36, is also a self-described “Rainbow Brite.” This is a modest disguise, because in “real life” she does a million things, including being a mother to three little kids— Audrey, 2; Alex, 3; and Will, 4. After years in the restaurant business, Jackson cultivated an active love for people and organizing events. “I especially love restaurant people—we’re a different breed,” she says with a laugh. She was raised in Jackson, and her family moved to Little Rock, Ark., when she was a teenager. Jackson stayed and “did her growing up” there, then followed her parents back to Jackson to start a family. In order to spend time with her daughter during the day, she worked nights at The Parker House in Ridgeland on and off for about 10 years. While at a wine school at Table 100 in Flowood, Jackson met Nelene Ledford, who produced the WLEZ radio show before her; the rest is history.
After Edward St. Pe’ established National Weather Networks, where he produces weather reports in nearly all 50 states, he founded WLEZ as a “just-for-fun” project. “That to me was the most appealing: starting with nothing and trying to expand our market and use this to reach more people. … We’re given complete license to do whatever we want to do. It’s really the way that Edward St. Pe’ gives back,” Jackson says. Jackson does the research to find guests and tries to balance the topics to keep the city’s diverse demographic interested. “I really look for somebody that’s making a difference. I want somebody to tell their story,” she says. “I really want to be a part of the racial-healing process in this area. I think it’s time. I think a lot of people in this area are ready to take that next step and look for some healing with our racial divides, because they still exist.” Jackson credits her positive outlook about the capital city and its people to a core gratefulness that she developed during high school. Her parents worked in ministry full-time, and her family of six had a hard time, financially. “It’s one of the things in life that has colored me,” she says. “I don’t see color in people. I don’t see financial differences in people. It’s made me a much more open creature.” Tune in to Jackson’s show on WLEZ 100.1 FM Wednesdays and Fridays at noon.
Cover photograph by Kathleen M. Mitchell
10 Budgeting Babies and Boats
“One of the things that I find ironic is that he wants to expand ports for boats but not health care for babies. Our people are more important than expanding ports for boats.” —Sen. Hillman Frazier, D-Jackson, at a recent luncheon sponsored by civic organization Jackson 2000, referring to Gov. Phil Bryant’s push to spend about $500 million in unused federal Hurricane Katrina housing grants to expand the Port of Gulfport.
28 Mr. Potter
Lee and Pup McCarty’s pottery business was honored this year for becoming an integral part of Mississippi’s arts landscape.
34 Cozy Yet Edgy
Grizzly Bear’s latest offering, “Shields,” is an album that offers smooth, haunting background music that still stretches musical appreciation.
4 .......... BEST OF JACKSON BALLOT 6 ..............................EDITOR’S NOTE 8 ................................................ YOU 9 ............................................ TALKS 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................. EDITORIAL CARTOON 15 .................................... OPINION 16 ............................ COVER STORY 28 .............................. DIVERSIONS 30 ....................................... 8 DAYS 32 .......................................... FILM 32 ............................... JFP EVENTS 34 ....................................... MUSIC 36 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 37 ......................................... FOOD 40 ................................. ORGANICS 41 ................... GIRL ABOUT TOWN 43 ..................................... SPORTS 45 .............................. ASTROLOGY 46 ............................................. FLY
COURTESY WARP RECORDS;VIRGINIA SCHRIEBER; TRIP BURNS
NOVEMBER 21 - 27, 2012 | VOL. 11 NO. 11
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Giving Thanks Where It’s Due
ost mornings, I write down seven things that I’m grateful for in a little purple “grateful book.” This practice puts me in the right frame of mind to take on the day. My list is typically a wild mix of blessings that are very me, from small domestic delights to societal issues I’m passionate about. Here’s a recent list: 1) Sweater+boots weather today 2) Saints won 3) My amazing staff 4) purring cats all around me 5) Todd’s goat-cheese enchiladas 6) Damn election is over 7) FOX News meltdown. Social issues and politics are not part of my grateful list every day, but things that matter to me show up there because, well, they matter to me. As a Buddhist-Baptist, which I labeled myself as recently, the state of the world matters greatly to me, especially violence, hunger, poverty, inequality. I take the role of the press in a strong democracy very seriously; thus, I care about how media help, and hurt, our community. I am concerned when I spot holes in coverage that, if filled, would make us a stronger and more compassionate city, state and nation. For instance, I read a report recently in The Clarion-Ledger about a budget meeting that Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn held. From the news report, you wouldn’t know that the state economist had warned state leaders that increased federal budget cuts (especially with costly Bush tax cuts in place) could devastate Mississippi economically because we’re so dependent on federal resources. (The JFP did, however, report that vital part.) Could this kind of omission be responsible for the weird disconnect of the majority of Mississippians—most of whom are not helped by tax cuts for the wealthy—supporting budget and tax cuts that would raise costs for the state while lowering revenue? Would it explain people supposedly voting for smaller government while not understand-
ing that our state gets far more than its share of federal pork—with Republicans actively lobbying for most of that bacon? Sure, good citizens should seek out all the facts themselves, but we-the-media have the responsibility to tell people the whole truth, and it doesn’t matter where that falls on the political spectrum or which party it
You lose when media just tell you want you want to hear. makes looks good or bad at the moment. When the JFP reports facts other media ignore, many try to dismiss us as “liberal”—a word used very loosely in Mississippi—regardless of the truth of our reporting or the motives of the politicians they support. We’ve seen it happen repeatedly as we’ve reported facts about the lies and myths behind the Iraq War (that we reported the week it began); the real Frank Melton (ClarionLedger hid that he was lying under oath, and endorsed him anyway); the enormous problems with George W. Bush (Clarion-Ledger endorsed him for re-election); the conflicts of interest and unreported campaign donations of Two Lakes backers; the fact that voter ID is costly, frivolous legislation that doesn’t target actual voter fraud; and much more. This information blackout is a national problem. We’ve all watched 24-hour cable “news” turn into infotainment designed to tell certain views what they want to hear— without much regard for actual facts. Rupert
Murdoch’s FOX News, of course, has led the way on producing the most unfair and unbalanced and often inaccurate “news” coverage that becomes gospel for its choir. (Go read up on Murdoch’s war on Gov. Chris Christie because he worked with the president after Hurricane Sandy to see what “fair and balanced” really means over there.) I was grateful for a FOX News meltdown on and since election night because I want more Americans to start demanding real facts, not propaganda, and to learn to tell the difference before we end up with another Mayor Melton or an Iraq War we still haven’t paid for. It is one thing for a news outlet to do heavy-duty research and then take an informed position based on those facts (what we do) and another to decide a partisan position and say (or ignore) anything to please ideologues. That’s not real journalism. Americans too often allow ourselves to be divided into two distinct camps and told to support a position of one “side” with scant evidence to back it up. This is bad in any circumstance, but it is dangerous when one party swings as far to the extreme as the Republican Party has of late (and Democrats did in previous decades and could again some day). Media that feed extremism are not giving the public the information it needs to make informed decisions. One side or the other will always to media that report than their side. We’ve gotten hate mail over the years from the left and the right—and some of the strongest has come from people who think we’re supposed to be on their side (such as when we unendorsed Democrats because they were publicly pandering to extremists publicly to get votes). Years ago, I started saying that a good news outlet “tells the truth with style and lets the chips fall where they may.” And the chips will not always fall evenly on two sides of a line. Depending on which political party is being more of a stinker at the moment, tell-
ing the truth will likely make one look better than the other. It should. Reporting the truth shouldn’t be about taking two opposite opinions and giving each equal time—not when one of them is factual and the other isn’t. Dividing a story down the middle when one side is more honest or honorable than the other is anything but “objective.” It is journalism malpractice to pretend two sides are even when the facts don’t support it. Partisans will always slam media for not reporting their side as the best or equal one—and they hate factchecking, which should be part of every news report ever published. (It’s policy here.) People who dislike Mayor Harvey Johnson wanted us to go easy on Melton and not tell readers he was a devastating choice for mayor. Partisans want us to be “fair” about voter ID, thus concealing that it is costly, frivolous legislation that Republicans have openly admitted is done to help their party win office. Not reporting that, and making up good reasons for voter ID that do not exist, would be the most irresponsible kind of yellow journalism we could come up with. It would be similar to the Ledger’s history of biased tort-reform coverage—which left out facts its supporters didn’t want in there. (See jfp.ms/hoodwinked). Incomplete reporting ultimately leaves people feeling cheated as so many Republicans felt election night after their chosen media outlets assured them of a “landslide.” The data never indicated that; it was an irresponsible lie, although not as bad as some of the dangerous whoppers FOX et al hyped about a Benghazi conspiracy-that-wasn’t, welfare work rules and, yes, voter suppression. Regardless of your beliefs, you lose when media just tell you what you want to hear. The job of the Fourth Estate is precisely to give people needed if disconcerting information because, well, no one else is going to. Pandering never builds great societies. Let’s be thankful for that.
November 21 - 27, 2012
Whitney has this Einstein quote stuck in her head: “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” She wrote the Jacksonian.
Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Call him at 601-3626121 ext. 12 or email rlnave@ jacksonfreepress.com.
Brittany Hickman Cain Kathleen M. Mitchell Brittany works in Washington, D.C., and lives in Connecticut, but her heart remains in Mississippi. Britt is an enthusiastic cook, craftswoman and a blogger at magnoliaandelm. blogspot.com. She wrote for the cover package.
Features Editor Kathleen owns more holiday socks than most people, and tends to wear them year-round. She loves to be surrounded by friends, food and funky sweaters. She coordinated and wrote for the cover package.
Sports writer Bryan Flynn is a lifelong Mississippi native who lives in north Jackson. He also writes a national blog, playtowinthegame.com. He lives with his wife, new baby and four cats. Follow him @jfpsports. He wrote the sports feature.
Doctor S is the JFP’s sports consultant. He is a graduate of Miskatonic U. in Arkham, Mass., where he majored in Cthulhu Studies and was a member of the varsity 43-man squamish team. He wrote the Slate for this week.
Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a freelance designer, and the mother of one cat. She shamelessly promotes her design skills at latashawillis.com. She runs the best events calendar in the state at jfpevents.com.
Account Executive Stephanie Bowering is from Mendenhall. She is the mommy to Jameson, the cutest 2-and-a-half-yearold-boy, and Duke, a 4-year-old boxer. She loves good food, red wine and music, and wants to travel the world.
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