Columnist: Leonard Pitts

Mar. 23, 2015 @ 10:51 AM

I've got your back, Ashley Judd!

Dear Ashley Judd:

I guess this is a fan letter, though it is not written in praise of your work in movies like "Insurgent," "Divergent" or "Tooth Fairy." Rather, it's in response to the headlines you made last week when you called out Internet trolls who defamed you as a "b---h," a "whore," and a "c---" and threatened you with rape after you tweeted an opinion about an SEC basketball tournament.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 06:43 PM

Republican list of things you cannot say

You are, perhaps, already familiar with the Republican List of Things You Cannot Say. If not, here's a quick refresher:


Mar. 16, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Like and dislike in these polarizing times

This is for Gigi, who can't figure out why I don't like Bill Maher.

Gigi, a reader in West Palm Beach, wrote me last week noting that I agree with the star of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on most political issues. Yet I have, on previous occasions in this space, expressed distaste for him. "I just don't understand," wrote Gigi, "why you profess to dislike someone who is so like-minded. It baffles me."


Mar. 13, 2015 @ 03:04 PM

Fox 'News' proof of old P.T. Barnum adage

Every once in a while the universe arranges itself to make you look smarter than you are. Lucky me, I am having such a moment now.


Mar. 09, 2015 @ 08:11 AM

Ferguson is an example, not an exception

By now, it should come as news to no one that Ferguson, Missouri, has a lousy excuse for a police department.


Mar. 06, 2015 @ 08:39 AM

Injustice is resilient, but so are defenders of freedom

First, they sang "God Will Take Care of You."

Then they walked out of Brown Chapel to a playground where they organized themselves into 24 groups of 25 each and set out marching. Their route out of Selma took them onto Highway 80, which is carried over the Alabama River by a bridge named in honor of Confederate general and Alabama Ku Klux Klan leader Edmund W. Pettus.


Feb. 23, 2015 @ 10:25 AM

Jon Stewart, a Cronkite for the new millennium

I am not insane. For this, I have Jon Stewart to thank.


Feb. 20, 2015 @ 11:48 AM

Believers of Ernst hoax say a lot about who we are

"Unbelievably sad."

That was the subject line of an email a colleague sent me last week. In it, she forwarded a link to a story that had Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst telling a Des Moines radio host that Congress should outlaw vaccines because they "manipulate brains."


Feb. 16, 2015 @ 12:22 PM

Judge Roy Moore stands on the wrong side of history ... again

In June, it will be 52 years since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.


Feb. 13, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

Brian Williams' lies are not equal to those of Fox 'News'

There's this speech I give my students. Distilled, it goes like this.

"Your primary asset as a journalist is not your dogged curiosity, your talent for research or your ability to make prose sing on deadline. No, your one indispensable asset is your credibility. If you are not believable, nothing else matters."


Feb. 09, 2015 @ 01:16 PM

The Secret Knowledge, just ignorance by another name

I call it the Secret Knowledge.

Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you'll never see in your "newspapers" or "network news" or any other place overly concerned with verifiable "facts" and reliable "sources."


Feb. 06, 2015 @ 10:47 PM

Mental illness and disability are not a fad

He had his first major breakdown when he was 26.

A man who had been known for his sunny, outgoing temperament became suddenly sullen, silent and withdrawn. He spoke openly of suicide. It got so bad that a couple took him into their home to ensure he did not hurt himself.


Feb. 02, 2015 @ 10:44 AM

Marissa Alexander's out of jail, but not yet free

Marissa Alexander got out of jail last week, but she is not free. At best, she enjoys only a species of freedom, a defective freedom that imperfectly resembles the real thing.


Jan. 30, 2015 @ 01:44 PM

We could have predicted ‘Cake Wars II’

We should have seen this one coming.

This is America, after all, a country having no shortage of people with, apparently, too much time on their hands. So someone should have predicted Cake Wars II.


Jan. 26, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

Why serious people discount Fox News

Tucker Carlson said on Fox that more children die of bathtub drownings than of accidental shootings. They don't.