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The 13th Annual Muzzle Awards

A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England
A year and a half into the Age of Obama, we are learning a lesson we should have figured out long ago — that repression, once in place, is rarely rolled back all the way, and that liberals no less than conservatives are reluctant to give up power.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 05, 2010

Unmaking a bad federal law

Justice for Some
It's been a depressing stretch for supporters of marriage equality.
By ADAM REILLY  |  November 24, 2009

You're all guilty!

In his new book, Three Felonies A Day , Harvey Silverglate dissects the corrupt justice practiced by federal prosecutors
Silverglate's thesis is as provocative as it is simple: justice has become sufficiently perverted in this nation that federal prosecutors, if they put their minds to it, could find a way to indict almost any one of us for almost anything. It is a truly radical notion.
By PETER KADZIS  |  September 28, 2009

The 12th Annual Muzzle Awards

A look at the dishonorable enemies of free speech and personal liberty in New England.
With the era of repression and secrecy fostered by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney finally over, this should be the best of times for freedom of expression, open government, and civil liberties. Yet change comes slowly.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 10, 2009

Hitting the brakes

With Boston public schools facing a $107 million budget gap, busing is once again in the crosshairs
The last time that “busing” was a buzzword around Boston, John Havlicek and Jo Jo White were the only ebony-and-ivory cronies shooting hoops in harmony.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 13, 2009

Providence lawyer plays pioneering role in suing terrorists

National Security
The use of Predator drones and covert Special Forces teams is bound to be satisfying for many victims of terrorism.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 21, 2009

A tale of two TV stories

Hidden influence can be a bigger concern than aggressive reporters
Bill Rappleye, of WJAR-TV, was pursuing the adversarial relationship between reporters and elected officials when he asked Governor Carcieri to explain why he isn’t violating the state’s anti-nepotism law.
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 18, 2008

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Can’t anybody here play this game?

Rhode Island remains trapped between economic distress and missed opportunities
The need to reinvent Rhode Island’s economic infrastructure — which remains anemic compared with most of its neighbors in New England — is more urgent than ever.
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 21, 2008

State sued over inmate’s death

Silencing alarms
As severely mentally ill Maine State Prison inmate Ryan Rideout prepared to hang himself from a sprinkler in his cell on the night of October 5, 2006, other inmates frantically pressed panic buttons in their cells.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 05, 2008

The Station’s long shadow

Five years on, getting by remains a day-to-day challenge for some of those touched by the fire
For most Rhode Islanders, the Station nightclub conflagration — the worst disaster in the state since the hurricane of 1938 — is like a receding object in a rearview mirror.
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 20, 2008

Bishop’s puzzlement on pro-choice Catholics is misplaced

Clergy matters
Dogma doesn’t pay the rent, feed a hungry child, or pay for medicine; nor do arrogance, hypocrisy, or feigned bewilderment.
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  January 02, 2008

US Attorney Corrente and CVS CEO Ryan: two ‘regular guys’

Probing matters
The closely watched ongoing investigation of state legislators stars Robert Clark Corrente as the focused US attorney and Tom Ryan as the more enigmatic CVS CEO.
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  December 05, 2007


The DEA’s bad-faith war on pain doctors
Things haven’t been going well as of late for Needham-based chronic-pain specialist Dr. Joseph Zolot.
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  September 26, 2007

Blueprint for disaster

Letters to the Boston editor: September 7, 2007
It figures that Attorney General Martha Coakley would scapegoat an epoxy manufacturer for the Big Dig disaster.
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 05, 2007

Apolitical justice

Lefts and rights
When they began their careers in the 1960s, few would have predicted that TV broadcaster Dan Rea and US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner would make history together.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  August 15, 2007


A Rhode Island icon sails back into the limelight  
Buddy Cianci was already making the media wait.
By IAN DONNIS  |  August 02, 2007

Speech therapy

The Muzzles through the ages: 10 years of First Ammendment deterioration
The Muzzle Awards have been chronicling the worst Free Speech violations for a decade. Here are some of the lowlights from the past 10 years.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 03, 2007

A squandered opportunity for more competition

For those familiar with David Radler, the cuts at Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers seemed inevitable.
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 09, 2007

Pressing the case

A limited federal shield law would be better than the post-Libby status quo
In the aftermath of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s perjury conviction last week, the journalistic fallout of the case remains a subject of intense interest for reporters and legal observers.  
By JIM TARICANI  |  March 14, 2007

BeloJo celebrates Black History Month

Carcieri appointment wins Casa Diablo approval
Is it just Phillipe & Jorge, but something seemed patently wrong, if not offensive, when the Urinal ran a headline on the top of its February 20 Vo Dilun section that read: “Black lawyer named to judicial panel.”
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 21, 2007

Rhode Island in ’06: same as it ever was

Democrats on top, a casino quest, and a dose of corruption
Imagine a year when the Narragansett Indians were energetically pitching a casino, cynical Rhode Islanders had plenty of reason to reinforce their jaundiced views, and state house Democrats maintained the upper hand over hapless Republican opponents without even breaking a sweat.
By IAN DONNIS  |  December 20, 2006

Sound off

One citizen journalist’s saga may bode poorly for the new arm of the press
Anyone who wants to understand the perils of being a citizen journalist in an age of DIY media should consider the case of Freeman Z.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  December 13, 2006

Is Rhode Island still a state for sale?

The shoe yet to drop is the extent of private sector responsibility
As the star witness of federal prosecutors, former state senator John Celona of North Providence has sang chapter and verse about his arrogant, shameless, and corrupt dealings while having worked for an affiliate of Roger Williams Medical Center.
By IAN DONNIS  |  September 27, 2006

Boston agrees to pay $3.2 million to Stephan Cowans

Wrongfully-convicted Mattapan man’s case exposed incompetent fingerprint unit
Finally giving Stephan Cowans some measure of justice for the six and a half years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit, the City of Boston has agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a civil lawsuit, the Phoenix has learned.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  August 10, 2006

Feel-good movie of the summer

Oliver Stone: from the Hollywood crackpot of JFK to the Republican sellout of World Trade Center
With the upcoming November elections poised to determine the future of Congress, what better gift could Republicans ask for than a popular Hollywood movie that conjures the image that for five years has granted them power and impunity? Watch the trailer for World Trade Center (QuickTime) Off-Center: Oliver Stone's trite take on 9/11. By Peter Keough
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 10, 2006

Return of the rogue

Will Buddy Cianci try to make life difficult for Cicilline?
In December 2002, when Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci stepped into a car for the drive to his new home at a federal prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey, some thought that life in Rhode Island would never be the same.
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 12, 2006

Flower power

Did Jim Jarmusch steal the screenplay?
Stealing someone’s screenplay is serious stuff.
By GERALD PEARY  |  July 12, 2006

The Ninth Annual Muzzle Awards

Our annual New England roundup of those who undermined freedom of speech and civil liberties. But first, a word about George W. Bush.
Nearly five years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, our political culture has been warped beyond recognition.
By DAN KENNEDY  |  July 04, 2006

Justice Department tries to dismiss EFF’s wiretapping suit

Grapevine justice
As we learn more and more about the scope and extent of the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, we’re also learning — to the surprise of precisely no one — how difficult it will be to challenge such domestic espionage in court.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  May 17, 2006

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