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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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#Sidney's Picks: Art, "Redemption," Gerrymandering, a Stray Machine Gun

  • It's a unregulated speculative free-for-all, but is it art? Yeah, it's art.    
  • Co-directors co-directors Jon Alpert and Matt O’Neill discuss their Academy Award-nominated documentary short "Redemption," a portrait of the people who eke out a living collecting New York City's recyclables.  
  • Yes, Virginia, ProPublica rounds up the best reporting on the hot topic of gerrymandering
  • Fearless Distribution: How a botched ATF front operation put a machine gun and $35,000 worth of stolen goods on the streets.

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]


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