The Daily Moth 10-26-17

October 27, 2017



JFK Classified Documents Due Today, More Sexual Harassment Accusations Against MSNBC Contributing Journalist, Child Star Corey Feldman Threatens to Reveal Hollywood Pedophile Ring, House Republicans Narrowly Pass Budget Resolution to Pave Way for Tax Reform, Three Social Media Platforms Making Changes on Political Ads, Possible Serial Killer in Tampa Bay, and Interview with Matt Maxey of DEAFinitely Dope: Suspension of Working Relationship with Chance the Rapper 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, October 26. Ready for news? 




The classified government documents about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is due to be released today. 


JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. After an extensive government investigation, it was determined there was only one killer — Lee Harvey Oswald. But there have been many who don’t agree — saying there is more to the story.


In 1991, there was a movie about it by director Oliver Stone — “JFK.” The movie explored a theory that there was three shooters and that the CIA was involved. That movie simulated the public to debate the shooting again. 


One year later (1992), Congress passed the JFK Records Act, to disclose any records related to the assassination in 25 years — which is now today. 


There is almost 40,000 different files in it. When it’s released, many will look through it and we’ll get plenty of new information related to the shooting, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the CIA. 


Now it’s up to Trump to allow its release. He tweeted last night that it would be released, saying it was “so interesting!” 




1) Five women have accused journalist Mark Halperin, who frequently appears on MSNBC, of sexual harassment when he worked for ABC News more than 10 years ago. 


Two of the women said he approached them asking to have sex, three of the women said he pushed himself against them and groped them in private work meetings. 


Mark said he was deeply sorry but has denied physically touching the women. 


MSNBC said he will be leaving his position. ABC said they didn’t get any complaints at the time. 


Some of the women said they feel empowered to disclose it after the Weinstein story broke.


In separate news but related with sexual harassment accusations — 


Former child star, actor and singer Corey Feldman, said he would expose a pedophile ring in Hollywood that had powerful people in it and is connected to a major studio. He is  said since announcing that, he felt like people were trying to kill him. He is now trying to raise $10 million to make a documentary about it, and so far he’s raised $100,000. 


An article on CNBC titled, “The Weinstein ripple effect” — has a list of names of famous and powerful men also recently accused, with all of them either resigning or being fired from their position. The men worked for big companies such as Nickelodeon, Vox Media, Fidelity Investments, or were celebrities.




Today a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018 narrowly passed in the House after Republican representatives were able agree on the proposal. The Senate voted  51-49 in favor for it last week.


Up next is a tax bill as a part of President Trump’s goal to reform taxes.


The budget resolution is not the same as spending bills that funds the government. This is for legislative strategy — with the budget resolution passed, Republicans now have the power to pass tax reform with a simple majority instead of relying on 60 votes. 


The details of the tax reform will be disclosed next week on November 1. What we know is that Republicans want: 


— the corporate (business) tax rate down from 35% to 20%

— a 25% rate on businesses that pay through their owners’ individual tax returns

— a repeal of the estate tax (a “heir” tax for estates worth more than $5.4 million) 


A challenge is there are many different tax issues that impact different states, and their Representatives/Senators will have to negotiate and make compromises. 


Top Republicans want it passed by Thanksgiving. We’ll see what happens. 




Three top social media platforms are making changes on how they sell and manage political ads after the fallout from Russian interference.


Facebook announced they would do the following: 


— Employ an additional 1,000 people to review ads people buy globally


— Implement a more thorough documentation process by advertisers who want to do US federal election-related ads


— Will make Facebook Pages’ ad-buying activity transparent


— Will continue to work with Congress to share ads — saying they’ve shared with them more than 3,000 ads that a Russian company bought. 


— Will work with countries and election commissions around the world to protect the integrity of their elections. 


Twitter announced two days ago that they would do similar steps for their political ads, including changing the appearance of political ads so people know the difference. They have also banned any ads from Russian-sponsored news sites such as RT (Russia Today). 


Google said earlier this month that they have seen evidence of Russian-bought political ads for U.S. elections and are taking steps to address it.




It seems like there is a serial killer in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. Three different people within a 1-mile radius were shot dead within the past two weeks as they walked alone. One of the victims is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult). 


The first person who died was Benjamin Mitchell (22) on October 9. He was a college student and an aspiring musician. 


Two days later on October 11, Monica Hoffa (32) was shot. She is the CODA — her mother is deaf. Her father, Kenny, told news that Monica could sign and do interpreting, that she was a good person. 


The third was last week on October 19 — Anthony Naiboa (20). He had autism and took the wrong bus and was walking to a different bus stop when he was shot. 


Police do not know who it is and only have released a grainy image of a “person of interest.” 


It looks like a tall, thin man wearing pants and a hooded windbreaker. 


There is a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. 


The Tampa mayor told police to bring him the killer’s head. The FBI and the ATF is helping as well. 


It’s put some fear in the area where the shootings took place — the Seminole Heights neighborhood. Residents are warned not to walk alone at night. A bus route was changed.




Interview with Matt Maxey of DEAFinitely Dope: Chance the Rapper Suspends Working Relationship 



Here is an interview with Matt Maxey of DEAFinitely Dope. Matt was the main sign language translator for Chance the Rapper during his tour and has been traveling extensively with him in recent months with free tickets given out to deaf fans, but is now no longer signing for Chance after someone at the Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival raised a complaint about him two weeks ago.


We’ll discuss the complaint, how this affects him, and what his future looks like. Here it is.



Matt: Hi, my name is Matt Maxey. I started DEAFinitely Dope. It has been my long-time goal to encourage hearing people to learn sign language, and also provide a different form of music signing for deaf people that I feel has been missing in hip hop and rap. I’m trying to give them the full… so they can feel inspired and experience a connection. 


Alex: Can you explain what happened two weeks ago at ACL? What was the compliant? 


Matt: Well, that day — it was a good day, I had finished a Deaf Festival in San Diego at noon and flew to Austin on the same day. When I performed that night, it was like every other show, I had good vibes, I can’t complain, I knew all the songs, it was good. 


But… a few days later I was informed that there was a formal compliant, which took me by surprise because I hadn’t heard anything. There was a list of complaints, the first was on dress code, that what I wore made it hard for them to see. That day I was wearing a white t-shirt with black words, “H-Town” for Houston. I flew in that day and didn’t have time to change, I was stuck and tried my best to stay in the light so others could see me. The second one was that they couldn’t understand my signing. For that one, I’m a little defensive, because with hip-hop, a lot of people don’t understand it anyway. I might sign it, but if you don’t understand rap culture, music culture, you might not understand how I sign it because you don’t relate. So with that part of the complaint, I understand but feel it could go either way. The third one was that they saw me smoking weed and drinking and felt that I was intoxicated during the performance. I personally feel like I wasn’t, but that was recorded in the complaint. Once it is received, the person who is responsible for interpreters has to pass it through the superiors to the head of ACL, who had to reach out Chance the Rapper. I accepted the result. They told me that they understood that I did what I did, but that Chance had a positive image and that they didn’t want the complaint to be attached to them. So I accepted responsibility for that. They said they appreciated that and wanted to meet again in January and see if I would get certifications and become a “professional interpreter” — they would revisit it. So I said okay, and we will meet again in January in reference to the next tour that Chance is taking. They might hire me again to tour with him. 


Alex: I can imagine this is tough for you. A lot of people look up to you. How does it feel that one person’s complaint can impact you? 


Matt: I’m stunned that one complaint has so much power, because everything that we’ve shared in the past about being an “interpreter,” Deafinitely Dope, or bringing access — it’s been all positive. All the media, articles, interviews, reports, has been positive. That’s rare. So it’s a part of what has deflated me because all of that is now thrown away because of one complaint. But that’s kind of how it works in the real world — for example if you shot someone, there is no excuses, there’s nothing you can say to cover it up — the fact is that you shot someone. It’s the same with Chance — the fact is that I smoked and drank. So I accept responsibility, even though it’s hard and might not look fair, as if they’re ignoring the other things, that I’m a deaf role model, a black role model, all that… But the fact is that the complaint said I smoked and drank… It’s a tough pill to swallow, but I will move on with it to ensure I have a good opportunities in the future. 


Alex: It seems like you’re at the line between a professional interpreter and an ASL performer. Can you share your thoughts on the blurring of the lines? 


Matt: Okay. I look at myself as more of an artist and a performer. I understand — people have been telling me this — that when I stand up in front of people, I’m portrayed as an interpreter and should act like one. However… I don’t feel that an “interpreter” doesn’t bring the same message. How an interpreter signs is different from Deaf culture. I feel that although they do communicate, deaf people can easily tell that they are “interpreters,” right? So for me, when I sign, I bring the Deaf effect to the song. I could become a CDI, but my passion is in music. I feel like why do I have to be “stuck” and choose a label? That I “have” to be a certified interpreter and meet certain criterion? I feel like I don’t, but people around me are telling me that I’m an interpreter as soon as I get up (on stage). 


Do I feel that Chance provides access? yes. But access has been provided for many years (well, not that many years) — and in spaces like Austin, access is more available. So this isn’t exceptional. But for a while interpreters have been seen in viral videos, magazines, and on the news, but nobody has ever wanted to hire their “personal interpreter.” The first time is a deaf and black person. So now, being myself is what changed everything. Now more people know about Deaf culture because of Chance the Rapper, more deaf people enjoy concerts because of Chance. How did that happen? Because I did things my way, not the interpreter way, not the school way, not the proper way, not society’s way, I did it my way and it changed everything. So I feel people don’t like that change, they’re left reeling because they don’t know what is for sure, it’s a whole new ballgame. That’s why I feel like I have to stay as an artist rather than an interpreter, since being an artist is pure and true to the game. An artist is more about society and culture, while an interpreter is just doing its job. I’m not doing my job. If I viewed it as a job, I would work as an interpreter every day, but I don’t. That’s why I feel you can’t put me in the same category. But unfortunately, again, it’s a tough pill to swallow because I think I have to go into that category just to keep things going. Do I want to? No. Do I have to? I think so. The lines are getting blurred but I’m forced to take a side. Which one will I be? I’m not sure and I’m figuring out which way I’ll go. 


Alex: Any final comments? 


Matt: I would like to apologize on behalf of people who were involved — if they feel let down by this. Because… I’ll be honest…this is a big admission I’m going to make now… but from Day 1, I’ve always been smoking and drinking. I can admit that, I’ve never been ashamed or scared about it. But I’ve been in my own private space all this time. I think that mixture does help me with expressing proper rap and hip hop, and for five years, people actually enjoy it. So if that formula works, why change it? But with this complaint, I’m apologizing and it’s a coming of age. I’m now a public figure and have more responsibility on me to be a role model and give a positive image.  So those things now apply to me that didn’t apply to me in the past. And that responsibility, I feel I was not ready for it, but I’m not running away from it. I’m trying to adjust and accept it in my own way. So if I offended anybody, I apologize, and hope that in 2018, Deafinitiely Dope will come back better, more positive, and stronger than ever. 



Alex: Thank you for your time and sharing your thoughts, Matt. You can follow him on Facebook at DeafinitelyDDope or on his Twitter @deaf_dope




That is all the news for this week. Be sure to check out the Deaf Business Spotlight tomorrow. Follow Daily Moth on Facebook for the latest and… stay with the light! 

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