Tony Norman

Tony Norman is a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist. He was once the Post-Gazette’s pop music/pop culture critic and appeared as an expert on cultural issues on local radio talk shows and television programs. In 1996, he began writing an award-winning general interest column, which, he says, rejuvenated his enthusiasm for the kind of journalism that makes a difference.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 8:09am
Police Brutality Hits the Spotlight, Again
When the late Gil Scott-Heron said that "the revolution would not be televised," he spoke too soon. There was no way that the performance poet could conceive of the era of the viral video or know that it was just around the corner. Even Mr. Scott-Heron couldn't have predicted that every citizen would one day have the option of recording and disseminating a piece of the revolution with a cell phone camera. Who would have imagined back in the 1970s that a generation later, we would all be media gatekeepers by virtue of living in the modern world?
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Friday, October 7, 2011 - 8:57am
Another Great American Died Wednesday: Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
As saddened as we are by Wednesday's death of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs, we should also note the passing of the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a great American and civil rights leader who died early the same day. In 1957 after Alabama "outlawed" the NAACP, Rev. Shuttlesworth founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference along with the Rev. Martin Luther King and the Rev. Joseph Lowery.
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Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:22am
MLK Gets Set in Stone, but the Man Is Missing
Most Americans, even those who hated him when he was alive, adore the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. As with all icons, we love them with all of our hearts once the reality of what they stood for has been buried under layers of flattery and forgetfulness. Though most often thought of in gauzy, sentimental terms if he's remembered at all, MLK has become the most nonthreatening of our national patron saints. The word "dream" -- as in "I Have a Dream" -- is now his middle name. It also happens to be our nation's most memorable cliche.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 10:16am
Afghan Casualties Remind of War's Waste
Besides stupidity and arrogance, the root cause of every modern war boils down to a failure of empathy. Afghanistan and Iraq are the poster children of pointless, fear-based wars in this era. It just happens that we own them both.
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Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 11:48am
God's Polling Numbers Less Than Heavenly
If you're God, you're probably not sweating the results of the latest national polling survey putting your approval rating at a mere 52 percent for overall job performance. One of the perks of being God is that you never tire of reminding the creatures made in your image that the universe has never been a democracy. Atheists are just being honest when they point out that the arc of a universe oriented toward God bends toward monarchy.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 9:34am
Picture Lennon as Closet Reagan Backer
Imagine John Lennon a conservative. It isn't easy if you try. Filmmaker Seth Swirsky imagines just such a scenario in his new documentary "Beatles Stories." In the documentary, Fred Seamons, Lennon's personal assistant at the time of his murder in New York City in 1980, said the former Beatle had tired of the utopian politics that had defined his image and musical output for two decades.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 11:27am
Dylan Hardly Needs to Justify Himself
Forty-eight years ago this month, Bob Dylan was scheduled to perform "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" on "The Ed Sullivan Show," the most popular variety show in America. An invitation to perform on Ed Sullivan's Sunday night program seven years after Elvis did, and a year before the Beatles, was quite a coup for a scruffy folk singer with a mere two albums under his belt.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 12:01pm
Nader Deserves More Respect than He Gets
Ralph Nader has been the victim of more playa' hatin' than just about any figure in contemporary American politics. Merely whispering his name is enough to elicit hisses of derision across the political spectrum. The Right hates Mr. Nader because his decades of activism have emboldened ordinary citizens to challenge the prerogative of big business to profit at the expense of the American consumer.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 10:25am
The G-20: A Guest with an Iron Fist
Once upon a time, people in Western Pennsylvania knew authoritarianism when they saw it. It had an unmistakable odor about it -- like the smell of Pinkertons and sulfur wafting up from the steel mills of Homestead.
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Friday, August 8, 2008 - 5:02pm
Andre Thomas Is Dead. Why?
Too bad Andre Thomas of Swissvale is dead. He probably would have disputed the Allegheny County medical examiner's report that his death was not the result of excessive force by the Swissvale police.But what would he know? Andre Thomas was just another unarmed 37-year-old civilian acting "erratically" when he encountered the police for the last time late Monday night. He died early Tuesday morning.
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