at least he didn't have bad breath


The anniversary of Occupy came and went, but Justin’s still feeling the effects from reporting on the big day in San Francisco. Hear about all the drama that happened after a couple of street vendors began trolling a group of occupiers who had taken back Bradley Manning Plaza. This leads Eve and Justin to wonder about some possible ways we can use livestreaming that go beyond street protests and civil unrest.

Then we look at a recent flap on the Internet involving Punching Down pal Beth Spotswood, who got accused on Twitter by another area blogger of stealing stuff even though she didn’t. When faced with the truth, did the blogger do the right thing? Listen and find out!

Media personality Wendy Williams has had a kind of fascinating career, with a 23-year career in radio, a daytime TV talk show entering its fourth season on September 10, as well as an accessory line and turns on “Dancing with the Stars” and “One Life To Live.” Kind of a weird interview choice for Punching Down, huh? But when Eve went to interview Wendy, who was on a media tour promoting her show’s new season, what resulted was a conversation that went beyond what you might expect.

Sure, Eve and Wendy talk about The Wendy Williams Show, but they also dive into Wendy’s early aspirations as a newscaster, her Twitter strategy (it’s not as simple as just sending a tweet when you have, at publication time, over 700,000 followers), and her outspoken feminism.

If you’re in San Francisco, The Wendy Williams Show returns to broadcast TV on September 10, on KTVU (channel 2). It’ll be on at 10 a.m. and will rerun at 4 p.m.

Punching Down - Episode 25

Grabby!



Well, it finally happened: Somebody grabbed Justin’s camera while he was livestreaming! Was it a cop? No. A banker? No. An occupier? No!!!!

Who was the evil villain in the latest installment of Justin Gets Chased Grabbed? It was, not just one, but two, spectators during Occupride’s disruption of this year’s SF Pride parade!

And if that’s not bad enough, why did one of Justin’s livestream archives of Occupy Oakland’s move-in day get blocked on YouTube?

You’ll hear about what happened with that, and then we get all Inside Baseball as Eve observes some changes over at our former place of employment. Looks like they’ve gotten themselves a fancy new content management system! But, as Eve notes, the upgrade may not be without its downsides.

We also let you know what Punching Down alums Brock Keeling, Susie Cagle and Andrew Dudley have been up to lately, so stick around!

Punching Down - Episode 24

Independent journalist Steve Rhodes returns to the podcast, perhaps feeling a little lighter now that a judge has dismissed those bullshit charges that BART brought against him last summer. Finally!!

So, once again from a glass box inside a library, we talk some opBART, hear about a handful of interesting events coming up in the Bay Area, and Steve shares highlights from his trip last month to the anti-NATO protests in Chicago.

Hey San Francisco, did you know that they have a bearded, tattooed hipster cop in the midwest?? Segway cops, too!

Punching Down - Episode 23

Andrew Dudley is not a trained journalist. So, what business does he have showing up at events wearing his reporter’s hat and asking reporter-y questions? Judge for yourself: Haighteration, Hayeswire, and Uppercasing are three SF neighborhood blogs which Andrew runs and oversees, and still they somehow manage to inform and entertain their respective communities.

If we didn’t have people like Andrew who are not trained journalists, how else, for example, would residents of the Lower Haight know about the illegal abortion clinic that used to be at 327 Fillmore? And where else would they go to argue with each other about the color of the new bike lane on Duboce? (Hopefully not SFGate!)

So, if you are not a trained journalist but still want to ask questions and get answers about what’s happening in your part of town, do not lose hope. Go ahead and start a blog! Because as Andrew has proven, you don’t have to follow one path to do something you’re passionate about.

Punching Down - Episode 22

Would you rather do what you want to in life, or be someone else’s monkey and just do what you’re told?

If you’re like San Francisco-based writer Brittney Gilbert, who back in 2005 was one of the first bloggers working in TV news, you’ll put up with only so much. The constant harassment from angry readers of your blog, the lazy and entitled newsroom bigshots informing you that social media is stupid, the clueless bosses grilling you on why their stupid hashtag isn’t trending — typical crap that the young, modern journalist has to endure in the business.

The story of her journey from Nashville to the Bay Area, then to New York and finally back to the Bay, ought to be required listening for every journalism student. 

Happily for Brittney, she found a way out, and now she’s doing what she really wants: “I was just like, fuck it. I’ll just wait tables and write.”

Punching Down - Episode 21

IWW General Strike poster by Eric Drooker

The name of this week’s episode is Don’t Fuck With @pixplz.

Punching Down - Episode 20

Punching Down is back with a bang! So is Susie Cagle!

And just in time for the May Day General Strike, which is scheduled to kick off early Tuesday morning with an occupation of the Golden Gate Bridge (?! We’ll see! UPDATE: Oh well.) then continue with the opening of another SF Commune amid other direct actions and protests around the Bay Area.

Susie, our friend and independent journalist who’s been doing a kickass job reporting on the Occupy movement, says this about #M1GS: “It’s gonna be totally insane, all over the region. It’s just gonna be nuts.”

Then, Susie and Justin talk about their launch of Commie J-School. Did you know that you can get a journalism education without all that debt? Now you can!

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far, we discuss whether some newspaper buying another newspaper is a good thing or not.

Something something future of journalism!

A Blessedly NYT-Free Morning Coffee (Well, Tea) Shot

Friend of the show and HuffPo SF Assistant Editor Aaron Sankin writes: 

In a punching down from a while ago you complained that in most of your coffee/paper pics everyone is reading the New York Times. I’m currently hiding the old grey lady behind the tiny paywall in my heart, so I thought I’d rectify that with a pic of me drinking tea and reading the China Daily in Beijing while on a trip I just took to the mysterious orient for my friend’s wedding. 

To answer your questions: 1. Yes, that is a picture of a naked dude running along a sidewalk right behind me. 2. Yes, I am reading a story about how people are increasingly experiencing job discrimination based on their Zodiac sign. 

Punching Down - Episode 19

Could anything be more fun than getting kettled and cuffed by the cops for allegedly messing with a railroad?

How about the SFPD busting into an urban commune (where you were charging your phone), and pointing a so-called less lethal shotgun at your face?

If you happen to be a journalist, that’s where the fun sort of ends, actually, in part because it’s kind of difficult to report the news when your hands are zip tied and you’re sitting in the sheriff bus.

This week we’re delighted to have as our guest independent journalist Steve Rhodes who describes in detail these true stories about getting arrested while reporting.

For those that don’t already know Steve, he’s often seen covering the news in the Bay Area, including the spectacular April 1 takeover of an abandoned building in San Francisco by Occupy SF, and the forceful eviction by the cops the next day.

Besides his two arrests, Steve also talks about the path that’s led him to become one of the region’s essential sources for real-time information and images.



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