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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.

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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you got robbed.

legacyrepublican | August 10, 2020 at 5:16 pm

Koppel, when he practices authentic journalism, can be devastating and can cut to the truth like a hot knife through butter.

I miss seeing that level of journalism in the broader sense. And it is one of the reasons I support Project Veritas.

No evidence that diversity (e.g racism) was a motive… for the Gibsons. Overwhelming evidence that Oberlin College has liberally indulged and normalized diversity dogma and adversity.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to n.n. | August 10, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    OberKKKlin is Racist………..

      I suspect that there will be a resurgence of KKK as a direct result of current black actions. I never had much use for KKK and similar organizations, but black conduct has been just as bad in terms of what was done, and much worse in terms of the scope of what is done.

      I approved of KKK being crushed, now it is time to give those blacks behind this the same treatment.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 10, 2020 at 9:24 pm

        Maybe not anything as crude as the Klan, but, I see things like the old White Citizens Councils, and calls for repeal of the 1964 CRA. Or. At the least, correction of this odd concept that privately owned businesses on private property constitutes “public accommodations”.

        maxmillion in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 10, 2020 at 11:24 pm

        And I would wager that there are at least some of those KKK types feeling kinda smug now, saying “see?”

          Except it’s not the fault of “the blacks”. It’s the fault of those privileged white progressives who use blacks and others.

          I’m much more moved toward Free Citizens Councils, prepared to tar and feather any communist or ‘progressive’ that tries to horn in to their community, than I am “White Citizen Councils”.

        HImmanuelson in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 11, 2020 at 11:55 pm

        > I approved of KKK being crushed, now it is time to give those blacks behind this the same treatment.

        What exactly are you saying?

I will certainly take the word of the Gibsons’ attorneys. But it is so astonishingly rare to see honest reporting from the MSM these days.

It keeps popping up. The observant among us keep pointing it out.

Yet it continues.

AA is an excuse to promote the incompetent.

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.”

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.

      MajorWood in reply to Milhouse. | August 11, 2020 at 12:33 am

      They were underachievers. Weren’t they all promised a free house? You just know that “a promise” of elimination of all college debt will be part of the Dim’s platform. It will never happen, even if they do steal the election, because that debt is the 21st century version of slavery.

      Like this:
      BLM ORGANIZER: “That is reparations,” Atkins continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”

        Neo in reply to lc. | August 11, 2020 at 10:46 am

        It’s nice to know that reparations are now off the table.

        henrybowman in reply to lc. | August 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm

        I’ve heard this BS excuse more and more often recently, including TV dramas, most recently “Stranger Things.” The economic illiteracy of America is staggering.

        Wrathchilde in reply to lc. | August 15, 2020 at 9:42 am

        That’s our answer, when asked why we don’t support reparations – You’ve already gotten reparations according to BLM. You should have joined and looted some reparations for yourself when reparations were going on.

        /half in jest. Not sure which half anymore, though.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Milhouse. | August 11, 2020 at 8:15 am

      Yep. I read crazy narratives in reports all day long. The sense of entitlement is mind boggling.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | August 11, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Nope, you got the White House, so the white guys get the donuts. “Equity.”

    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.

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”.

Ambar shakes head Yes
When did this become a thing? You nod your head for “Yes”. You shake your head for “No”. If you shake your head for “yes” you’re confusing people.

We know that Oberlin disciplines some students for conduct. (Remember the men who have been expelled for sexual abuse.)

Oberlin should expect that their students to be ethical.

If anything, Oberlin should have disciplined the shoplifter for ethical reasons.

Instead, Oberlin wanted the crook to get a free pass.

I look forward to visiting the Oberlin Memorial Theme Park under its new ownership. I understand there’s a helluva great bakery section in their gift shop.

“Oberlin should expect that their students to be ethical.

If anything, Oberlin should have disciplined the shoplifter for ethical reasons.”

A while ago the Oberlin student newspaper asked students about whether they had shoplifted. Something like 35% had. The college suggested to Gibson’s that when a shoplifter was caught for the first time, he should be reported to the college rather than the police. They saw no problem with giving every student a free pass to shoplift until they got caught.

Many college officials (not just at Oberlin) don’t see anything really wrong with shoploifting

On other news fronts, I experienced some dizziness on Monday afternoon (hot,sunny) and on Tuesday was admitted to the cardiology unit at OHSU for tests, and Tursday following yet another test will get a pacemaker. Those who know me and the fact that I am literally the “Toyota” of human beings were totally shocked that a) it happened to me in the first place and b) the idiopathic fiber bundle block has not yet killed me. I guess a strong heart will do the job even at 30 BPM! We will file this under “stuff that gets my attention.” That is all.

BTW, the “C” word hasn’t been mentioned at all.