Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ryerson Apologizes For Biddle's Blog Posts

Star editorial writer RiShawn Biddle returned to the blogging scene this week after a several-month hiatus and immediately landed himself in hot water. Today, Star Editor Dennis Ryerson posted this public apology at Expresso:

Recently comments on this blog were posted by a Star staff member, which included offensive, insensitive and wholly inappropriate words in reference to Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council President Monroe Gray. Those comments have been removed. These comments absolutely did not meet the standards of The Star. I apologize to Council President Gray, and to all communities who with good reason were highly offended by the remarks.

The most offensive comment Biddle made in a diatribe against the city's African-American leaders was a comparison of City-County Council President Monroe Gray to Zip Coon, a negative caricature of black men dating back to the days of slavery. Biddle eventually removed that reference from his blog posting, but the balance of the post, including a comparison of the actions of black Democratic leaders over the last several years to something right out of "Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat", remained online. With Ryerson's announcement today, all of Biddle's posts have been scrubbed from Expresso. It is unclear what, if any, other actions have been taken against Biddle by the Star.

Ruth Holladay has more here.

UPDATE: Abdul Hakim Shabazz is reporting that the Star fired Biddle today. "Indianapolis Star Editorial writer Rishawn Biddle was fired this afternoon for comments seen as racially charged that appeared in his blog Expresso," Shabazz writes. "Sources inside the Star say Biddle's job as a columnist was to bring the community together, but instead divided it when he criticized a number of Black Politicians in Marion County."


Anonymous said...


Peterson is running a THREE MILLION DOLLAR campaign to keep a job he has had for eight years.
If he had done a good, or great job, I think that would be unneccessary.
Where does alot of that money come from....BIG time spenders like Simon, Law firms, business. Let's follow this to it's logical conclusion shall we? They must have alot to gain (or lose)

Ballard, on the other hand, has been almost totally financed by individuals in the $ 5.00, 10.00, 100.00 range, including people who have NEVER donated to a candidate before!

If corporations,(like the STAR) media in general, big business, legal firms etc. are so passionate about re-electing the mayor, I would simply ask ..........WHY?

Just a simple man's observations

Anonymous said...

So Denny boy can imply that a well-respected African-american pastor is corrupt and cut him out of an article, yet decides to kiss Amos'... ring because RiShawn called it as he saw it? Ryerson you sir are a hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

That will teach Biddle to tell the truth.

Sir Hailstone said...

I know it's old and worn out but the question remains "If it were a white reporter writing that..."

I think RiShawn will be fired if not already.

Anonymous said...

And IFD Fire Chief can call me a "bulldyke" at a CCC meeting while in uniform and NOBODY does a damn thing about it. Eventually, they will have to though, because I'm not letting it go.

Ryerson had nothing to say about it and he knows it happened and has a copy of the phone call with Kobi Wright and the witness affidavit. But evidently THAT is ok by Ryerson!

Interesting bunch of hypocrites.

We're going to recommend to our readers that they cancel their Star subscriptions. Lots of activists already have. We will also recommend that people purposely avoid doing business with Star advertisers when possible and let business owners know where they stand on the Indy Star as a publication.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could cancel.....but I did that a long time ago.

You don't think the Star and Channel 13's relationship has anything to do with the marriage of the Star's Dennis Ryerson and 13's Mary Milz?????? Do Ya

Anonymous said...

Melyssa: who are "our readers" ?
Dillusions of granduer...damn I'll be glad when next Tuesday is over.

Yeah, Milz did the story on the Star poll last week...which, regardles swho wins or loses the election, was a completely flawed poll. Somuch so that they pulled it, recalculated it, and re-released it in a hour's time.

Very amatuerish. Milz explained it with her usual aplomb. LOL

Tonight, Milz did a story on the new Venu shopping center, and got an "expert" retail broker's name wrong twice.

Anonymous said...

Biddle may have used unwise language but he said nothing that was untrue. I wish he would tell the truth about Ron Gibson.

Anonymous said...

Should anyone really be surprised by Ryerson's actions.
There IS a lot at stake in this election including the black syndicates control of the illegal number racket (pea shakes), prostitution and trafficking of narcotics.
Organized crime CANNOT operate without some control over the print media in the town they run there operations out of.
Biddle posed a threat by calling out the corruption of black organized crime and the select few black leaders that profit handsomely from their position in local government.
Now if the King of the illegal numbers racket in this town's a Zip Coon in Biddle eyes then I can certainly think of far worse names to call these crooked bastards!

Anonymous said...

Bye, bye, RiShawn. You won't be missed. Perhaps now you can go get that college journalism degree that will teach you how to fact-check. Of course, it's hard to keep the facts straight when you're spewing poison. Maybe your buddy Abdul can get you a radio gig.

Anonymous said...

biddle never called anyone anything. he said monroe gray was acting more like a certain stereotype than a statesman.

unfortunately, he used a lightning rod of a term. everyone focused on that and his point was lost.

ok, a black man compared a white man to perjorative black stereotype and gets disciplined.

this has to be a first.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think it's really sad. As much as I disagree with RiShawn, his criticsm of the African-American Democratic leadership in this town is well-deserved. He slipped up, and now he's paying the price. It's a shame that guys like Monroe Gray, Ron Gibson and Aaron Haith continue on operating like snakes in the grass with no accountability while Biddle's career comes to a crashing hot for merely hoping for something better from black leadership.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 5:12,

WTHR 13 & the Star's relationship has nothing to do with Ryerson and Milz. I worked there from 2001 to 2006 and the two media outlets were in cahoots before I even started.

Mary came along probably around 2003 or so. One might ask if she got her reporting job because of WTHR's relationship with the Star, but that is just a shot in the dark too. I would doubt it.

I bet their relationship makes for some interesting pillow talk though.

Anonymous said...

Melyssa 4:46...I dont approve of calling anyone names but you have shown yourself to be an unpleasant bitter person who has been drawn into name calling, finger pointing and wallowing in the mud. It is not flattering and is counterproductive to what you wish to accomplish politically.

Anonymous said...

2:23....You bet I am bitter.

I am bitter that men who are supposed to behave as public servants are hijacking my city and her people's wealth!

I am bitter that our public servants are arrogant and disrespect their citizen masters.

I am bitter that they do not behave with honor because the people of our city deserve to be served by persons with honor.

You bet I'm angry. And you can bet that I am not going to stop until the crap is cleaned up and driven out of my city.

I'm not having it. And I'm not letting my city be led by thieves and liars.....PERIOD!

You have no idea what I want to accomplish politically. And further, I've been quite effective in the 3 1/2 months since I stepped into this arena.

I've managed to get our whole town talking about the Fair Tax, I keep our agenda in the media somewhere every week (including national media), activists from cities all over the state network with me, we have more tea parties scheduled next year, and I've managed to get ordinary people to believe that they CAN take back their government!

I'm teaching our citizens to OWN their power and CONTROL their government because it is their rightful place to do so!

What have you done that makes you so qualfied to speak to me about the effectiveness of my goals?

You don't even have the kahunas to sign your name!

Anonymous said...

And by the way, I understand to fight these filthy people I'm going to have to get dirty. That's the only way to drive the filth out of my city.

You can't clean a filthy home and not expect to be dirty at the end of the day, can you?

Anonymous said...

"And," Ryerson continued, "Just because Aaron Haith called Abdul Hakim-Shabazz a "grandson of Willie Lynch," it doesn't give Biddle the right to do the same thing."

"Besides, Haith was fired by Sweet Pea Gray for his misconduct."

"Mr. Ryerson! Mr. Ryerson! Wake up! Wake up! You're having that nightmare again!"