Analysis: Are Cartoons Now Predicting The Future?

A 2016 Comedy Central cartoon depicts Kobe Bryant in a fiery helicopter crash.

The 20-series cartoon “Legends of Chamberlain Heights” premiered on Comedy Central on September 14, 2016 and lasted for two seasons, according to news sources.

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Artwork from Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlain Heights

Episode 8 titled, “End of Days” written by Grant DeKernion and directed by L. Todd Myers, appears to eerily foreshadow Kobe Bryant’s death with a scene ripped straight from today’s headlines.

In the 2016 episode, Kobe appeals to three of the main characters – Grover, Jamal and Milk – for help while still clutching two NBA trophies, after his helicopter crashes. In crass Comedy Central fashion, Jamal – voiced by Quinn Hawking, one of the show’s creators – says to Kobe: “Just pass me the trophies and we’ll pull you out.”

Kobe, appalled by Jamal’s response, disappointingly asks “Pass?” to the characters, upon which his helicopter blows up and he’s ingulfed in a ball of fire that ejects five championship rings that roll over to their feet.

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Screenshot from 2016 Comedy Central cartoon “End of Days”

Comedy Central and Legends of Chamberlain Heights have removed most references to this event from their social media plaforms, according to a media report. You can view multiple clips here on other websites.

Predictive Programming

Alternative media researcher Alan Watt who runs the Coincidence Theorist blog defines “predictive programming” as a, “theorised method of mass mind control,” whereby people are being conditioned, “through works of fiction, to accept planned future scenarios.”

Watt’s blog highlights many examples of “predictive programming” where celebrities and tragic events were referenced in art and pop culture prior to the actual events occurring in real life.

Take for example, Seth McFarland’s award-winning comedy Family Guy, which referenced the death of actor Robin Williams in an episode that featured a suicide plot line that aired on May 20, 2012.

Williams, years later, reportedly took his own life on August 11, 2014 by suicide, according to media reports.

People are being conditioned, “through works of fiction, to accept planned future scenarios.”

In yet another episode of Family Guy, which aired during Season 4 in 2005, baby Stewie is running through a shopping mall naked. Apparently terrified, he yells at the top of his lungs: “Help! I’ve just escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement. Help me!”

In 2017, the actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused Spacey of sexual advances when he was just 14-years-old. Subsequently, numerous other alleged victims of Kevin Spacey decided to come forward with their stories of sexual abuse.

Kevin Spacey has denied all the allegations through his publicist and on his Twitter account and has not been prosecuted fully, to date, for any of the alleged abuses.

Watts refers to these unique circumstances as “the power of suggestion” whereby “using the media of fiction to create a desired outcome.” That desire he submits is to have a population that is conditioned to accept this reality and not to ask too many questions about the pre-planned outcomes.

Predictive programming is therefore thought to be a means of propaganda or mass psychological conditioning that operates on a subliminal or implicit level, according to alternative media personalities like David Icke and the controversial Alex Jones who both have been accused of peddling and profiting off of conspiracy theories.

Nonetheless, as information spreads about these seemingly odd coincidences that dominate our news feeds and social media platforms, the questions and curiosity will only increase as people seek the truth and want answers.

Answers that don’t fit comfortably within the MSM’s narrative and oftentime fall outside their scope of reporting.

Stay tuned to this developing story . . .

Analysis: Do ProPublica and ProPublica Illinois Have a Black Face Problem?

“The best way to judge us on hiring, in the end, is to look at our numbers,” they say.

On Jan. 1, 2019, I published an op-ed calling out ProPublica and ProPublica Illinois for what I believe to be their blatant hypocrisy. The opinion piece highlighted and called into question their advertising and hiring of Black reporters.

In brief summary, in 2017, Pro Publica Inc. – their legal name, according to the Delaware Secretary of State website – which is operating as ProPublica newsroom out of Manhattan, New York, decided to expand and open a Midwest regional newsroom. First stop: Chicago.

Louise Kiernan, an associate professor from Northwestern University was tapped to head the news outlet. ProPublica advertised requirements that appeared to be welcoming and liberal, particularly to people of color. Click here for the details.

Louise Kiernan with ProPublica Chicago employees in elevator
Photo of newly hired reporters posted on ProPublica Illinois Editor-in-Chief Louise Kiernan’s Twitter account

Soon thereafter, Ms. Kiernan posted a photo on her Twitter account of the new hires in Chicago. And guess what? There wasn’t one Black reporter to be found.

I took issue with the photo, especially after having met Ms. Kiernan in person at the Lookingglass Theater in 2017. Read about my revealing encounter with her here.

Within weeks of publishing my opinion, on Jan. 24, 2019 ProPublica published a report titled: “What ProPublica is Doing About Diversity in 2019.

Three things stood out about their efforts:

  1. The report states that their “Diversity Committee” was just formally started – despite them taking on these issues as far back as 2015. Shouldn’t the diversity committee have been formally formed first – back in 2015?
  2. They couched their achievements in percentages and not whole numbers. Black employees make up 7 percent of their employees, according to the report. Why not share whole numbers with your readers and followers instead of percentages? And tell a more compelling narrative as you so often do with your other data-driven reporting? Unless you’re trying to hide something?
  3. The committee is headed and co-chaired by Lena Groeger and Liz Sharp, two nonBlack staffers.

Who’s Going to Take the Responsibility?

When ProPublica hired its first Black male reporter – Christopher Sanders – in 2015, it appeared to be aiming towards genuine reform and inclusiveness in its NYC newsroom.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. They haven’t hired another Black male reporter since, and they have 42 nonBlack male reporters in their Manhattan bureau and not a single Black male reporter on the ground in Chicago.

That’s a 42:1 ratio for nonBlack to Black male reporters in NYC.

But it would take ProPublica almost two more years before it hired another Black reporter, this time a female – Talia Buford in 2017. Thus increasing their Black female reporters by 100 percent in a single stroke. A remarkable feat, bringing their Black female reporters to two.

Ginger Thompson – senior reporter – is the first Black female hired back in 2014.

ProPublica has 43 nonBlack female reporters. That’s a 43:2 ratio for nonBlack to Black female reporters in NYC.

In Chicago there are no Black full- or part-time staff reporters whatsoever.

The 7 percent of Blacks mentioned in their diversity report includes all the Blacks ProPublica employs, including the business side, Black fellows and maybe a cleaning person or two.

Hone in on the reporters only and Blacks involved in writing and reporting the news drops to a paltry 3 out of nearly 90 reporters, or 3 percent.

Updated ProPublica graphic

Obfuscating the truth, misleading their followers, content partners and maybe even their board members appears to be their preferred method of running their newsrooms.

“Board members,” you say?

Yes, the nonprofit has a 15-member board of directors and two happen to be Black: Danielle S. Allen and Henry Louis Gates Jr., according to their website.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. made national news when a white female neighbor called 911 and reported him as a burglar attempting to break into his own home – in Cambridge, Massachusetts – after returning from China in July 2009.

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Harvard professor and ProPublica board member Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The prominent professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University was arrested for disorderly conduct by Sgt. James Crowley and the incident sparked international outrage opening the door to the ongoing, contentious debate about race, racial profiling and white privilege.

Charges were eventually dropped and both men were invited to the White House for a “Beer Summit” with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Gates was the only Black board member since their founding in 2007, until recent. See the full board membership here.

Also, ProPublica appears to have only one Black on its 15-member Journalism Advisory Board, Cynthia A. Tucker, which also include current members such as:

Jill Abramson, former executive editor, The New York Times, and L Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

To top off their governance boards, there doesn’t appear to be any Black faces among its 18-member Business Advisors, which include as current members:

Ann Blinkhorn, founder, Blinkhorn LLC, a reported leader in digital media, and Maria Gotsch, president and CEO, Investment Fund, which funds rising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors across various sectors.

Click here and scroll towards the bottom to view the full membership of journalism and business advisors.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

This is what ProPublica said in their very first diversity report in 2015.

“The best way to judge us on hiring, in the end, is to look at our numbers.”

Black female reporters in New York – 2
Black male reporters in New York – 1
Black female reporters in Chicago – 0
Black male reporters in Chicago – 0

And the count for executive managers, board members and advisors:

Black Board of Directors – 2
Black Journalism Advisory Board – 1
Black Business Advisors – 0
Black executive managers – 0

Let that sink in for a moment before we get to the heart of the matter.

After 5 years of committees, meetings and vainglorious rhetoric: Why do ProPublica and now ProPublica Illinois have a problem hiring reporters with Black faces?

On Feb. 1, 2019 my attorney Jill M. Willis filed a federal lawsuit alleging race, age and color discrimination.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story . . .

#ProPublicaWhereAreTheBlackReporters?

This story has been updated as of July 18, 2019.

Disclaimer:

This is a personal blog for the above named writer. The views, information and/or opinions expressed are solely those of the individual writer and do not necessarily represent the views of any entity, organization or company that I may have been affiliated with in the past, present or future.

This blog is for education, information and entertainment purposes. All information is provided on an as-is basis. It is the reader’s responsibility to verify their own facts. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of any entity other than the author(s) and due to critical thinking these views are subject to change and revision.