The Philadelphia Daily News accidentally killed Nelson Mandela on its front page yesterday, according to newspaper blogger Charles Apple. Worst part? Nobody appears to have noticed. Oops.

EDIT: In an update sent to Apple, the managing editor, Pat McLoone, says the page was sent to the Newseum by accident, but the newspaper itself did not have that line on the front. “This unauthorized front page was not printed and did not appear on our websites. We alerted the outlets once we realized the mistake,” he emphasized.

There is the Philadelphia you know and the Philadelphia you will never see. The first summons a cornucopia of familiar images: Benjamin Franklin, Rocky Balboa, cheesesteaks whiz wit.

The second is safely out of view from the cobblestone streets of Society Hill or the brewpubs of Northern Liberties. But if you wander north on Broad Street, well past the alabaster phallus of City Hall, you may glimpse the first hints of that obscure Philadelphia in the emptied husk of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, a sullied spinster with more than a century of stories but nobody to hear them anymore.

Shortly thereafter start the Badlands, North Philadelphia neighborhoods like Kensington, whose row-house lanes were once home to working-class whites whose modestly prosperous lives were circumscribed by the factory, the church, the union hall, the front stoop and the bar.

On a summer Sunday, a trip to Connie Mack Stadium or an outing to the Jersey Shore. Then cue the familiar midcentury forces: minority influx, white flight, factories moving to China, crack, crack babies, the end of welfare as we know it, here at the end of the land, the Philadelphia you will never know.

I drove through the Badlands with Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, two journalists for the Philadelphia Daily News who shared a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and are the authors of Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love.

The book is based on a newspaper series, “Tainted Justice,” that revealed such an astounding degree of corruption among Philadelphia’s drug cops that you would not quite believe it in a Martin Scorsese movie. But your belief, or lack thereof, is irrelevant, because this story is true.

The Streets of Killadelphia
Fear not: More Americans support Bernie Sanders than Donald Trump — no matter what TV says

As the Donald Trump campaign turns from farce to tribulation, it’s worth noting that millions more Americans support Bernie Sanders than the Republican frontrunner.Trump’s level of national support is 30.4 percent of GOP primary voters, according to the average calculated by Real Clear Politics, while Sanders remains in second place among Democratic primary voters with a 30.8 percent average level of support.However, as the Philadelphia Daily News‘ Will Bunch points out — there are considerably more Democrats than Republicans.

The most recent Pew poll shows 32 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats, compared to 23 percent who describe themselves as Republicans — so that suggests far more people support Sanders than Trump, based on party identity and both candidates’ levels of national support.Polling guru Nate Silver, who operates the website, cautioned that all the candidates’ poll numbers are misleading at this stage in the election cycle because most voters still aren’t paying attention.

Trump, the real estate tycoon and reality TV star, entered the race as a celebrity and has gobbled up a disproportionate share of media coverage that has, in turn, helped him maintain a healthy lead over his GOP rivals.

The Tyndall Report, which tracks coverage on nightly network newscasts, found that Trump has hogged more than a quarter of all presidential race coverage — and more than the entire Democratic field combined.

Hillary Clinton — who enjoys the most voter support, by far, of any candidate in either party — had received the second-most network news coverage.

Sanders, who is supported by more voters than Trump, has received just 10 minutes of network airtime throughout the entire campaign — which translates to 1/23 of Trump’s campaign coverage.

That has distorted perceptions about Trump’s true level of support, which Silver has estimated as 6 percent to 8 percent of the electorate — or roughly “the same share of people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked,” the pollster said.Trump’s continued success remains mystifying to many observers, and his anti-Muslim proposals are so alarming that his rivals and mainstream media organizations are openly comparing him to Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.But some of those horrified observers might take comfort in realizing that Sanders, the democratic socialist, has earned more voter support than Trump — the fascist fabulist.

Quick background: Many people were offended by various Mummer’s Parade skits this year. On New Year’s Day, I Storify-ied some of those responses. The next day, Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Daily News attempted to call me out in a sort of jumble of calling anyone who doesn’t agree with Bykofsky’s verdict that anyone offended needs to lighten up/buy a sense of humor, etc.


Between hurling insults, Bykofsky points out that I pointed out that blackface has been outlawed by city policy since 1964. He goes on to mention, for mysterious reasons, that I was not born yet when this ban went into effect. This is true, and all the more reason why I was surprised to see it.

Some will argue there was indeed no blackface in this year’s Mummers Parade because performers did not, technically speaking, exactly copy the 1840s style of blackface makeup with burnt cork and woolly wig. In Ferko’s skit, performers donned the exaggerated white greasepaint lips of blackface minstrels, but didn’t shade the rest of their faces in with black. Though such a rush to strict dictionary definitions warms my heart as a writer, it seemed to me that calling this “not blackface” by way of technicality would be questionable. So I consulted an expert.

Dr. Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon is an associate professor of urban theater at Temple University who’s currently working on a book about the history of minstrelsy in Philadelphia, complete with a chapter on the mummers. She actually laughed when I asked her if the lack of black makeup around the lips in the context of the theme meant it wasn’t blackface. “It’s the intent behind the action,” she says. Evoking blackface, she says, is politically fraught—whether you want it to be or not.

Read the full story at Philly Weekly here.

Here’s a gem from behind-the-scenes at Fresh Air. I’ve been reading The Cop Who Would Be King: The Honorable Frank Rizzo, on loan from Fresh Air contributor and veteran local reporter Dave Davies, and learning a lot about the way politics worked in Philadelphia decades ago. When he showed me this Philadelphia Inquirer photo of the former police commissioner and mayor this morning, I couldn’t resist sharing.

Can you spot Dave in this photo from 1987?


Harry and the crew were interviewed by The Daily News last week and on Tuesday, we made the front page!! What a surprise!

If you missed the article, you can still read it here on

Thank you all for your continued support of our film!! We are getting exceedingly closer to our funding goal!

Year one with the Philadelphia Daily News

Hit the one-year mark as a food columnist with the Daily News over the weekend. I’ve learned a ton and met some really interesting people along the way. Here are links to all my columns thus far.

Photos: Alejandro Alvarez, Yong Kim, Stephanie Aaronson

- The debut of Pizza Brain [06sept12]

- Why Cafe Estelle closed [20sept12]

- Josh Kim of SPOT Burger [04oct12]

- The true cost of a cocktail [18oct12]

- David Katz and Terence Feury at Tavro 13 [09nov12]

- John Ihlenfeldt’s Tamale Cart [30nov12]

- Food artist Hawk Krall [07dec12]

- How to spend New Year’s Eve alone [28dec12]

- Navajo tacos from Shiprock [17jan13]

- Metropolitan Bakery opens a cafe [08feb13]

- Peter Woolsey and Laura Frangiosa’s stove exchange [28feb13]

- Jugo Stevcic of Cafe Chismosa [14mar13]

- Staff cook-offs at Sbraga [21mar13]

- In defense of Spam [29mar13]

- “Inauthentic” food at Cheu Noodle Bar [04apr13]

- Cambodian desserts by Koliyan [25apr13]

- Chefs at Wyebrook Farm [23may13]

- Kermit’s Bake Shoppe [06jun13]

- Baklava-making at Manakeesh Cafe [13jun13]

- City farm stand roundup [11jul13]

- Cochon EPIC [01aug13]

- Kati rolls at Spice End [29aug13]

Here’s the illustration I did for today’s Philadelphia Daily News. They have a special section covering Wizard World Philadelphia, and this is its cover. I was inspired while attending a comic convention earlier in the year at how diverse cosplay has become. It’s not so much about doing a perfect representation of a character. It’s more of a melding of the cosplayer and their chosen character. It just kinda struck me as super-cool. As a result, we get to see an African-American Wonder Woman, and a Green Lantern who uses a wheelchair. I dunno. It’s just a scene that makes me feel good about how far comics culture has come. If you’re in the Philly area, be sure to pick up a copy. If not, you can read their tremendous coverage (including a profile of my career in comics) here:

But Rollins wasn’t here to play the way we wanted him to play. He wasn’t here to be an outlet for our post-industrial angst. He told us as much. You are not going to define me, he said. Me is Rickey Henderson, not Steve Van Buren. Me is Tupac, not Springsteen. You can fake the hustle but you can’t fake the game, he said, but don’t think for a damn minute that I don’t have the hustle. You want blue collar? Try working until nightfall at a Clorox plant like Jimmy’s father did. Try taking ground balls on the rock-infested fields of Alameda, Calif.
—  Philadelphia Daily News: Sportsweek’s David Murphy
on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ career and impending free agency

Daily News Headline About Atlantic City Murders: Too Much? “Yo, Philly. Stick It.” That’s in short what the Atlantic City Press wrote in response to a Philadelphia Daily News front page calling Atlantic City a “Tourist Death Trap” after a double-murder Monday outside of the Bally’s casino. The stabbing victims were identified on Wednesday as Po Lin Wan, 80, and Alice Mei See Leung, 47, and their families notified. Antoinette Pelzer, 44, is charged with the crime. She appeared in court on Tuesday and bail was set at $1.5 million.

But the Atlantic City Press fired back at the Daily News with a column Wednesday:

“A “Tourist Death Trap”? 


In words our fellow journalists who designed Tuesday’s front page at the Philadelphia Daily News might use: Yo, Philly. Stick it.

Newspapers, of course, have an obligation to report the news, even and especially when the news is painful and distressing. And The Press of Atlantic City did not shy away from reporting this story in the newspaper and online. But our brethren at the Daily News were over the top – and irresponsible.”

The AC Press column goes on further describe how tourists are rarely a victim of crime in Atlantic City, and then takes on the Daily News further and asks readers to email Daily News editor Larry Platt with further complaints.

The Daily News, of course, is the Daily News - a tabloid known for splashy and even trashy front pages. But calling Atlantic City a “Tourist Death Trap” just as the summer tourist season is about to kick off is not only inaccurate - it’s downright mean-spirited.

Larry Platt is editor of The Daily News. People who care about Atlantic City and know the truth about the city might want to let him know how they feel. His email address is

Interestingly, Daily News casino columnist Chuck Darrow seems to agree with the Press of Atlantic City. On Tuesday, he called out his own employer in a column about the cover and headline:

“Monday’s brutal and random stabbing deaths of two Canadian women in the heart of midtown are being played nationwide (if not worldwide) as just another day in Hell East. A perfect example is the Daily News’ Tuesday front page, which is dominated by the headline, “TOURIST DEATH TRAP.”

This is simply unfair. There is absolutely nothing in this tragedy that identifies it as an only-an-AyCee event. The perpetrator of the heinous crimes, a 44-year-old Philadelphia woman who reportedly suffers from mental illness, could have committed them anywhere—from New York’s Times Square, to the Las Vegas Strip to our own City Hall courtyard. That she did so at Michigan and Pacific avenues in Atlantic City was simply a function of coincidence, random chance, or, if you are so inclined to believe, the fates.”

What do you think? Was the Daily News cover and headline unfair on this story? 


[Philadelphia Daily News, Press of Atlantic CityNBC10, h/t @Romenesko]

“A radio journalist said to one of the ballers walking by… slow down, I can’t get a shot with this camera … That to me speaks to the pressing need for photojournalists… you can’t hand a camera to a reporter and expect them to make photographs. It is a craft.”

–Photojournalist Sarah Glover, the first Black woman to work as a photographer at Philadelphia Daily News, on her final assignment at the paper. Glover accepted a buyout offer rather than be laid off from the paper, which is letting go of dozens of journalists.


Photo Editors Depict Trump as Doing the Hitler Salute

After Donald Trump publicly called for the US to ban Muslims from entering the country on Monday, a number of photo editors responded by publishing photos of Trump that make the presidential candidate look like he’s doing the Hitler salute (or “Nazi salute”) — a gesture that’s a criminal offense in Germany and a few other countries.

The Tuesday cover of the Philadelphia Daily News compares Trump to Hitler with its photo choice and headline, “The New Furor” (a play on the word “führer”).

(Continue Reading)

TODAY’S HEADLINES {Content Updated Daily} | Featured Cities on January 20, 2011 - Madison WI, Tuscaloosa, Denver, Philadelphia, Phoenix:

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“Fast Eddie’s” Top 10 NBA Players. Our favorite former governor is back at it in his Daily News column today, listing his Top 10 NBA players of all time.

“I really believe my analysis is correct (shockingly, I rarely disagree with myself) but I would be very interested in hearing from you if you feel my top 10 leaves out a worthy player or more than one,” says Rendell.

The20’s @meechone clearly can’t hide his mix of excitement and displeasure with the story on Twitter.

Want to weigh in? As always, Rendell is soliciting feedback at


[Philadelphia Daily News, @meechone]

Photo: Getty Images

Philly Bike Wars Heating Up. In what appears to be a never-ending battle between cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and city residents, some new statistics released this weekend from the Mayor’s Office were certainly interesting. Since the city launched the “Give Respect, Get Respect” campaign on May 16, designed to promote the co-existence of cyclists and others around town, 600 bikers have been stopped (though only a few ticketed).

“Cyclists seem to be where the educational focus needs to go,” Police Capt. Alan Clark told the Daily News. “[Motorists] don’t need education. If they ran a red light, they know what they did.”

City columnist Stu Bykofsky wrote a great column today titled “The Naked Truth About Philly Bikers” today, to which The20’s @gonzophilly wrote “The bike fascists won’t like this, but I will.” It’s definitely worth a read.

To which @dhm quickly followed in jest, tweeting:

@dhm Power Rankings: 1. Pedestrians. 2. Cyclists. 3. Car Drivers. 4. Segway Riders. 5. People Who Complain Incessantly About Cyclists.”

How do you feel about about the latest crackdowns on bicyclists? Will someone in Philly follow this New Yorker’s video campaign in which he protests a ticket with all the things bikers need to avoid when obeying the law?


[Philadelphia Daily News,, @gonzophilly, @dhm, YouTube]

Photo: Getty Images

The Philadelphia Daily News has confirmed that, following a massive explosion last Tuesday, Chevron’s been making up to the good residents of Bobtown, Pa., by distributing gift certificates for one large pizza and a free 2-liter bottle of soda. The note delivered to local residents reads:

Dear Neighbor,

We are sorry to have missed you. We wanted to provide you with a status update on the February 11 incident that occurred on Chevron’s Appalachia’s Lanoce 7 H well pads in Dunkard Township and see if you had any questions or concerns that we could address.

Chevron recognizes the effect this has had on the community. We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations. We are committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors, our employees, our contractors and the environment.

If you have any questions, please call our toll free community line at 1-877-847-8408.

Thank you,

Chevron Community Outreach Team