March 2014 | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

March 2014

#Sidney's Picks: Sports, violence, hunger & Hobby Lobby

  • Hobby Lobby claims it just wants to be left to discriminate against its women, but a new expose shows one of the chain’s owners is spending big to spread his religious agenda nationwide.


[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

Northwestern Football Players One Step Closer to a Union

A ruling by the director of the NLRB’s Chicago office puts the football team at Northwestern one step closer to unionization, Dave Jamieson reports. The regional director of the Chicago office ruled that the players are employees and are therefore eligible to vote on whether to have a union. 



[Photo Credit: Pennstatenews, Creative Commons.]

Video: 103rd Commemoration of the Triangle Factory Fire

As part of the 103rd Commemoration of the Triangle Factory Fire in Manhattan, yesterday, a fire truck demonstrated how a ladder couldn’t reach the upper floors of the burning factory, forcing workers to jump to their deaths. One hundred and forty-six workers died that day. The outrage over the Triangle Fire helped usher in a new era of workers’ rights and occupational health and safety.

Video by Alexandra Lescaze.  

Events Today in NYC: Triangle Fire Commemoration & Panel Discussion

Today: Tuesday, March 25, Noon-1pm. 

Ceremony to mark the 103rd Anniversary of the Triangle Fire 

Washington Place & Greene St. in Manhattan (the site of the Triangle Fire)


This evening: 5:30pm 

Panel Discussion: From Triangle Shirtwaist to Bangladesh: The Garment Industry, Tragedy, and Workplace Safety Reform

Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College

47-49 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065

Please RSVP to if you’d like to attend!

Monday at 10pm Eastern on PBS: "All of Me"

Tune in tonight at 10pm Eastern to see Hillman Executive Director Alexandra Lescaze’s new documentary, “All of Me,” a revealing look at how weight-loss surgery is changing the lives of women in a fat acceptance group in Austin, Texas. “The Girls,” as they call themselves, have been supporting each other as fat women for decades. One by one, longtime members are peeling off to have surgery, with very mixed results.

The spate of surgeries forces The Girls to reassess their friendships, their priorities, and even their marriages. “All of Me” uses these women’s stories of weight-loss surgery to examine universal themes like friendship, sexuality, and the nature of self-acceptance.

Whether you think weight-loss-surgery is mutilation or liberation, “All of Me” will make you reconsider your position. 

“All of Me” premieres Monday, March 24 at 10pm Eastern on PBS’s Independent Lens, TV’s leading showcase of independent documentary film.

#Sidney's Picks: Life In Prison for a Stillbirth?

The Best of the Week’s News 

  • A teenager is facing life in prison because she tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine after her baby was born dead from an obstetrical complication.


[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

Utah Hold 'Em: No Limit

Fun fact: Utah has no campaign contribution limits. None. That’s one reason it was so easy for a payday loan tycoon to capture the Attorney General and turn Utah’s top law enforcement officer into a rubber stamp for the usury industry. 

[Photo credit: robad0b, Creative Commons.]

2014 Canadian Hillman Prize Ceremony

On March 19, The Sidney Hillman Foundation recognized outstanding contributions to Canadian journalism at a ceremony in Toronto, Ontario. Karen Kleiss and Darcy Henton shared the fourth annual Canadian Hillman Prize for their expose of child deaths in foster care in Alberta. Gabrielle Duchaine and Caroline Touzin and their team of data journalists garnered an honorable mention for their series exposing deadly defects in the roads of Quebec. A team of journalists from The Province recieved an honorable mention for their multimedia series on racism in British Columbia.

See the Sidney Hillman facebook page for more photos of last night’s event. 


[Photo: Winner Karen Kleiss with Hillman Foundation president Bruce Raynor.]

Faulty GM Air Bags Linked to 303 Deaths

A private research group’s analysis of federal crash safety data links faulty GM airbags to 303 deaths, the New York Times reports. GM has acknowledged 12 deaths from faulty air bags in 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2003-7 Saturn Ions, and four other models. The company announced last month that it was recalling 1.6 million cars worldwide because of a defective air bag switch. 


[Photo credit: Jm3, Creative Commons.]

#Sidney's Picks: CIA Snoopers, Clever Nurses, and a Hospital with a $32,000 Cover Charge

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • What really happened to Ibragim Todashev, the mixed martial arts fighter shot in FBI custody?
  • A Florida trauma center has a $32,000 cover charge: bottle service, valet parking, and medical treatment not included.


[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]