Sampler platter.

Think of this as sort of like a fruit basket, without the fruit. Or the basket.

This is a headline as it currently appears on the LAT website:

Here is the actual story.
Some things that are worth noting:

There are so many things I could say about this next story, but (with one exception) I am going to avoid saying them:

The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on “Sesame Street” is taking a leave of absence from the popular kids’ show in the wake of allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

The one exception (and this isn’t snark, just a statement of fact): this was the same thing that destroyed Jeff “Frugal Gourmet” Smith’s career.

Detroit and Washington still have a shot at going 0-82 this NBA season (0-7 and 0-5 respectively).

Yet another election result that amuses us: Cynthia Brim was re-elected to her seat as a judge in the Cook County Circuit Court. Why does this amuse us?

Because Judge Brim is batshit crazy. Really. As in, “can’t be prosecuted because she was legally insane at the time” crazy. Even better:

Judge Brim has been suspended from hearing cases since March, and it’s not clear when she’ll be returning to the bench. During the suspension, she’ll continue to collect her $182,000 salary.

63.5 percent of the vote, folks. (Hattip on this to Overlawyered.)

This next story pushes a couple of my better hidden hot buttons. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is located in San Francisco; the church is “the oldest black pulpit in the city”. Bethel’s previous minister, who had been there for twenty years, left to take over the First AME church. First AME is kind of a big deal among AME churches: “It became a regular stop for Democratic political candidates over the years, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore and President Obama.” First AME’s minister, Rev. John J. Hunter, was transferred over to Bethel AME.

But Bethel doesn’t want him.

The next morning, church members said they stood on the steps of Bethel AME on Laguna Avenue an hour before the early morning service to block Hunter from entering. Hunter was not present when the service began at 8 a.m.
Thirty minutes later, Hunter and a bodyguard bypassed the lone guard who monitors the front entrance, church members said. Officials said that when they blocked Hunter from the pulpit, his demeanor shifted.

And why doesn’t Bethel AME want Hunter? Are they just upset at losing their pastor and throwing a temper tantrum?

In 2008, Hunter acknowledged using First AME’s credit cards for $122,000 in personal expenditures on items including suits, jewelry, vacations and auto supplies. A year later, the Internal Revenue Service said he owed more than $300,000 in back taxes. Hunter has said he repaid both debts.


For years, critics of Hunter complained that he was inaccessible, overspent on personal security and refused to live in the South L.A. community where he preached. They said the church’s membership, tithing and its activist profile declined during Hunter’s tenure.

The LAT also alludes to, but does not detail, a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Hunter during his tenure at First AME. Sounds like something more than a tantrum, doesn’t it?

2 Responses to “Sampler platter.”

  1. […] don’t feel I have anything to apologize for in my previous coverage. But I wish this scene from “Absence of Malice” was […]

  2. […] while back, I wrote about the case of Reverend John J. Hunter, who was transferred to the Bethel AME church, except Bethel didn’t want him for good and […]