Time for our weekly look at stories that attracted our notice.
Before fans tune in for the big game on Sunday, you may want to take a look at Mark Bowden’s 2009 piece in The Atlantic, The Hardest Job in Football, to get a fuller appreciation of just how complicated a football broadcast is. Bowden describes the virtuosity of Bob Fishman, who directs up to 20 cameras and 40 replay machines to produce a seamless rendering of the game. “More than any other professional sport, football is primarily a television show,” Bowden notes. “The broadcast arrives in their living room, packaged in stereo sound and in full-color high-definition, shown from constantly shifting angles, from stadium-embracing wide shots to intimate close-ups, all of it smoothly orchestrated and narrated, and delivered up as though from the all-seeing eye of the supreme NFL fan, God Almighty.”
Mississippi’s attorney general has accused BP of pressuring financially strapped victims into accepting quick (and comparatively small) settlements in exchange for promising not to sue later, Bloomberg News reported. In a filing in federal court, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said that the company was deliberately stalling any action or payment on interim claims “to increase financial hardship on the claimants,” making them more likely to settle. Conversely, the $20 billion fund has quickly paid 95 percent of the “quick-pay” claims, in which claimants agree not to sue in exchange for not having to document their losses.
Two Mississippi men spent a combined 30 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit because a flawed autopsy purported matched them to “bite marks” on the bodies of two deceased 3-year-olds, NPR reported. On television, medical examiners and coroners often uncover key forensic evidence, but in reality, they operate in “a deeply dysfunctional system that quite literally buries its mistakes,” the joint investigation with ProPublica.org and PBS’ “Frontline” determined. In the Mississippi cases, the men were exonerated, and an expert panel assembled by the Mississippi Innocence Project concluded that the bite marks were probably caused by routine decomposition or activity by fish, turtles and insects in the water where the bodies were found.