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    CBS News Feature About Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College Nominated for Emmy Award

    CBS News Feature About Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College Nominated for Emmy Award

    David Gibson died two weeks after the story aired. The price of defending the family’s name continues to be paid.
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    On November 3, 2019, I wrote about a CBS News Sunday Morning feature by Ted Koppel about Gibson’s Bakery, its owners, and the years-long struggle to obtain justice after being targeted by Oberlin College, its administrators, faculty, staff, and students.

    My post was, Ted Koppel: Despite verdict, Oberlin College President still “makes allusions to a pattern of racist behavior” by Gibson’s Bakery. Read the post for background on the events, and Oberlin College’s post-trial campaign to portray the Gibson’s as racist notwithstanding the jury verdict and evidence to the contrary. It’s astounding, what I called Oberlin College’s “almost sociopathic malevolence” towards Gibson’s Bakery.

    [CBS News]

    Koppel focused heavily on the post-trial targeting of the Gibsons, A protest against racism, and a $31.5 million defamation award.

    KOPPEL: …. But to this day, the president of Oberlin makes allusions to a pattern of racist behavior, if not the specific incident that set things off three years ago.

    AMBAR Well, the students pled guilty to the shoplifting. Um, there has been some debate about whether it was shoplifting or  false ID.

    KOPPEL: It was both.

    AMBAR: Right. Well, I think that, that one of the things that the college has always said is that the college has not, doesn’t condone shoplifting, doesn’t condone bad behavior by its students in any way, shape or form. But what led up to the protest, and I think that’s sort of kind of the core issue here, was some series of things that happened before. Some perspectives about people’s experiences in the store.

    KOPPEL: Tell me about, tell me about those then. And be specific. What specific incidents are you referring to that happened before?

    AMBAR: Right, well, I think that the specific incidents would be, the perception by faculty and students and staff and other people in the town that there had been disparate treatment with respect to people of color in the store. The way I would phrase it, kind of different lived experiences.

    DAVE O’BRIEN: This is all basically anecdotal evidence that people …

    KOPPEL: Dave O’Brien covered the trials for the local paper, the Chronicle-Telegram

    O’BRIEN: People commenting on a, on social media saying I had a, um, I, I felt, I felt uncomfortable in there. I felt like I was targeted because of the color of my skin.

    There was no evidence presented in court supporting the claim of a long history of racial profiling. There was an interesting portion when Ambar clearly was uncomfortable, when Koppel pressed her as to what her reputation was worth:

    KOPPEL: (Narration) What is a reputation worth? (Question to Ambar) You’re a very distinguished academic. What’s your reputation worth?

    AMBAR: My reputation is important.

    KOPPEL: It’s worth a lot, isn’t it? (Ambar shakes head Yes) I mean, if your reputation was destroyed overnight, you could hardly put a price on that could you.

    AMBAR: Well, I certainly believe that reputations are important, but here’s what’s also true, and it’s the jury system that we have, right? And the legal system that we have. That we go through a legal process that makes that determination. And what the institution has said is that we believe that this determination was excessive.

    Watch the WHOLE THING, it was well done.

    Particularly watch the very end, when Koppel notes that David Gibson may not live to see a final result in the case.

    David Gibson died two weeks after the CBS News story aired. He was able to see the story before he died, and was gratified that Koppel pushed back against Ambars’ comments.

    (if video does not load, click here)

    The CBS News story now has been nominated for an Emmy Award:

    The Gibsons’ attorneys issued a press release about the Emmy nomination:

    “The Emmy® award nomination is a testament to both the universal appeal of this case and the legendary reporting of Mr. Koppel,” said [lead trial attorney for the Gibsons, Lee] Plakas. “The CBS Sunday Morning feature provides an excellent, unbiased overview of the facts of this case — and serves as a fitting tribute to the life of David Gibson as he fought tirelessly to protect his family’s name and reputation.”

    The segment includes the last television interview given by Gibson, who passed away on Nov. 16, 2019, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer which he fought through during the six-week trial, although his illness was not disclosed to the jury.

    The appeal of the verdict is pending. Media entities allegedly colluding with Oberlin College continue to seek to unseal the private Facebook records of Allyn D. Gibson, David’s son, who was not a party to the case and did not testify at trial.

    The price of defending the family’s name continues to be paid.


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    When you re-watch the CBS program and the stunning dishonesty of Oberlin emanating from its new president, you have to wonder if the members of the Board of Trustees are proud of what has happened under their governance. It seems Oberlin’s Trustees missed every move that Oberlin could of made to bring this, along with the other ongoing litigation and union busting publicity, to an end. One must question if the school will or should survive in its current form. It is a shame.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to JRD47. | August 10, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Oberlin president is a Hillary Clinton boot licker imo……

      buck61 in reply to JRD47. | August 10, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      Raimondo has been at Oberlin since 2003 starting out as a prof.

      maxmillion in reply to JRD47. | August 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      I had the same thoughts all along. The board must be comprised of people as whacko as any of them. My colleges are failing nowadays. I do not think Oberlin deserves to survive. Stunningly bad leadership at every level.

      MajorWood in reply to JRD47. | August 11, 2020 at 12:30 am

      I am disappointed that none of them have resigned in protest. perhaps they are in a bubble too. It does boggle the mind though that this continues with just one fail after another and yet those calling the shots are expecting a Hail Mary pass at some point.

      It wasn’t that Koppel did an exceptional job here. He just needed to present it as it played out because Oberlin, unbeknownst to themselves, apparently, has never had a winning argument in this case.

      BTW, Ambar wasn’t here from the start. She arrived at about the time that the shoplifting trial was wrapping up, so she had no first hand knowledge of what went down in the preceding 9 months. But that still doesn’t excuse her from doing her own due dilligence to verify what was being said to her from all sides. My guess is that she saw it as a “we are big and they are small” kind of thing. Krislov had no regard for the Gibsons and likely passed on that sentiment to her.

      It seems to me that Oberlin thought that they could control the narrative. And now we are at the point where the screw-up can be a potential Emmy winner. What little sympathy I may had had for my alma mater is now officially gone. I have watched them move from a high ranking to where they are now, and I know it is all of their own doing.

        Yep. It is high time for the BOT to fire Ambar for the high crime of following orders. She appears to have been brought in by the BOT as a “fall girl” for anything that might go wrong.

        Would the BOT be giving her $25,000 PER WEEK in compensation unless it is to compensate her for her anticipated downfall?

    Comanche Voter | August 10, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Shorter version of Oberlin President Ambar: “My reputation is important. Yours? Not so much.”

    LukeHandCool | August 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    I can say because of the police reports I’m privy to that small retailers are now besieged with aggressive shoplifting that is much worse than in times past.

    In many cases the shoplifters are open and blatant about their theft. They don’t even try to hide it. They often hit a business in groups to completely immobilize any possible defensive actions by store employees. And they aren’t shy about using bodily force to take the merchandise they want.

    It’s bad enough that chain stores and big-box retailers lose a fortune to these thieves.

    But mom-and-pop retailers like the Gibsons are already struggling against so many headwinds as it is.

    I have no compassion for a large university that uses its vast resources to protect the criminal behavior of its students while attacking the good name of a family small business that has meant so much to the community for so long.

    I hope whatever the final payment Oberlin has to make is excruciatingly painful for the university and forces them to do a lot of rethinking.

      Milhouse in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 10, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      I can say because of the police reports I’m privy to that small retailers are now besieged with aggressive shoplifting that is much worse than in times past.

      I’m not surprised.

      A friend of mine reported that on the day after the 2008 election some black teenagers ahead of him in the line at Dunkin Donuts demanded free donuts “Because 0bama”. You can imagine how their current equivalents are behaving in the current climate.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 10, 2020 at 9:46 pm

      Only solution is to literally bury everything to do with that racist college.

      No matter how large the settlement, it will probably have zero impact on the Oberlin College BOT. Fiduciary duty pales into insignificance when facts, truth, and integrity are Trumped by Summer of Love righteousness. This new value system is a mockery of the decent values which Oberlin College held to until recently.

      IMHO, by far the number one reason this pack of clowns hates Trump so much is that he personifies everything which they hate in themselves.

      /s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.

        HImmanuelson in reply to J.D.Nobody. | August 12, 2020 at 12:01 am

        Aren’t the trustees legally responsible for the actions of the university? Can’t they be sued as well?

          It is reasonable to presume that the BOT has well insured itself, using college funds to pay the premiums, and would not feel the impact of any personal liability.

          The controlling members of the BOT appear to have no sense of right and wrong beyond the uncalibrated values inside their heads. These BOT members are thoroughly inoculated against facts that could cause cognitive dissonance with their disconnected beliefs.

          Personal liability is a small cross to bear when one is “right”. Trying to turn such people into responsible trustees would be as absurd an endeavor as the recent efforts to have Kodak’s management build an ethical pharmaceutical company.

      My comment below was intended for LukeHandCool.

    Sally MJ | August 10, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Bastards. You know if any of the Oberlin gaggle has their reputations damaged, they would Demand their day in court.

    the specific incidents would be
    the perception by faculty and students and staff
    The latter is NOT an example of the former. Period.
    And no, Ted, they’re not even “anecdotes”.

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