More from the celebrity dating beat …


Rapper Mac Miller said on Power 105’s The Breakfast Club on Thursday morning that he and his girlfriend singer Ariana Grande are in love.

“Just because we are two people who are in love and have a great relationship doesn’t mean I am going to get weird about this incredible music we make,” Miller said when asked about how the impact the news media have on his relationship.

Lately, Miller and Grande have been attracting lots of news media attention about their newly confirmed relationship.

Earlier this week, Grande got into an argument about it with radio host Ryan Seacrest on his morning show On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

A comment Seacrest made about a photo of the couple that Grande posted on Instagram sparked backlash from the singer.

“If I post something, then that’s what I’m willing to share at the moment. That doesn’t mean that you, Ryan Seacrest, with millions of listeners, are entitled to more information,” Grande said, avoiding Seacrest’s question about whether or not her photo was posted to confirm hers and Miller’s relationship status.

Today’s news media are heavily preoccupied with Hollywood couples. Just ask Brangelina.

It seems as if the news media need to know who is dating whom at all times, which poses the question: are celebrity’s relationship statuses public information? Or does Grande have a point?

The evolution of the thigh


In today’s society we see articles about appearance, health, style and, especially, weight.  These articles range from how to be skinny, to healthy, to look like a model, look rich, look famous, look “cool” and look “chill.”

There are other topics within health and beauty that are discussed, but those listed above seem to be the most common.

The way the news media talk about body image is proven to cause body image problems in America such as anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder and binge eating to name a few.

In America, our news media focus on what is in style. The popular body part that young women are focusing on now is their thighs. The style of thighs haa evolved from the thigh gap, to the thigh brow, to the mermaid thigh.

A young girl is considered to have a thigh gap is when standing up straight with their ankles touching, there is a visible gap between the thighs.

A thigh brow is when a young woman is sitting down and a crease in the leg forms between the hip and thigh. This is considered sexy because it shows a woman’s thinness while still having the typical woman curves.

The newest trend is called the mermaid thigh.  This is when a woman puts their thighs together and the size of the thigh decreases from top to bottom, the look is accomplished looking like a mermaid’s tail.

This concept is harmful to young girls because the shape of a persons thighs is genetic, not how skinny they are or how much they work out.

Dr. Gill Rosalind discusses the news media’s effect on women and men around the country. “One of the most significant shifts in advertising in the last decade … has been the construction of a new figure: a young, attractive, heterosexual women who knowingly and deliberately plays with her sexuality.”

Rosalind explained that this new woman is slowly changing the way the news media represents women.

The news media’s way of portraying body types does not just affect women but men as well.  Focusing on women’s bodies however, men then develop an inaccurate image of what women’s bodies are supposed to look like.

This may cause them to in fact be attracted to something that doesn’t naturally exist.

The news media, however, have the power to change this. Rosalind goes on to explain, “If more advertisements take on the view of the new stronger female, we will start to see a change in the way our culture defines women. This new women could potentially change how women feel about themselves and how they need to dress.”

An allegation through social media


Appalachian State’s color guard is accusing the University of Miami’s football team of assaulting some of its members.

The claim is that the UM football players ran out after the half-time performance and aggressively knocked into and inappropriately groped some of Appalachian State’s color guard members without any apology.

The university’s athletic director, Blake James, said the investigation provided no evidence to the allegation and the university does not tolerate any suggestive or violent behavior.

The alleged incident was elevated by color guard member Sophie Randleman’s Facebook  post.

Randleman’s social media post emphasizes disrespect she felt from the football players and describes, in detail, her experience of the event.

The investigation of the case has not confirmed Randleman’s claims; however, her post accurately demonstrates the use of new media in news.

News sites reference Randleman and use her as a source in their articles and broadcasts. Most of the sites only quote Randleman and did not gather information from UM’s football team or other color guard members.

Furthermore, some news sites did not investigate beyond her physical Facebook post and simply quoted from her posting.

The social media post is an effective method of receiving initial information and gathering sources, yet it is concerning to see that events could be blown out of proportion and that some news sites will not investigate past social media. Without more sources and accurate information, news will then falter to being mere gossip.

As social media become more dominate in the news gathering field, it will be important for reporters to react in a professional manner and balance being timely with being accurate.

Why Brangelina’s split isn’t shocking


Brangelina has been the hottest couple in Hollywood for more than a decade. But as of Sept. 15, nobody can say that anymore.

Angelina Jolie, 41, has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, 52, after just two years of marriage. The couple had been together since 2004 and has six children together, three of which are adopted.

Many people were shocked following the news of this power couple’s split, however, I am not one of them, and here’s why.

The couple met on the set of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in 2004, while Brad was married to Jennifer Aniston. Not even a year after the couple had met, Pitt divorced Aniston and started a public relationship with Jolie.

No relationship can be built upon the failing of another relationship. However, they seemed to bust that myth from 2004, but then they came crashing down.

The couple was dating for a little more than nine years when Pitt finally proposed and one must wonder, why the wait? They have the money for a wedding, they already have kids together and live together full time, they combine their finances and celebrate holidays with family.

After a certain point in a relationship, you realize if it’s going to work, or if it’s not. Well, it’s clear now that it isn’t going to work. They should have saved themselves (and the rest of the world) the heartbreak.

Jolie cited irreconcilable differences and has asked for full custody of the kids, asking Pitt to be given visitation rights.

According to, they have both asked for their privacy during this difficult time, and want to make sure they handle this the best for their children.

New York City blast raises questions


On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m., one of New York City’s most popular neighborhoods, Chelsea, was rocked when a bomb exploded.

The first blast was believed to be the result of a home-made, pressure-cooker, flip phone and Christmas lights. Another bomb that looked similar to this was found on 27th Street but did not detonate. Officials say that these bombs were intentional and appeared designed to create maximum chaos and deaths.

These bombs were filled “fragmentation materials.” The bomb that exploded at 23rd  Street was packed with small bearings. The bomb that did not explode appeared to be filled with the same materials.

On Saturday morning, a bombing took place in New Jersey at a marathon for marines. In New Jersey, three pipe bombs were tied together, placed in a trash can and also employed a flip phone as a timing mechanism.

“There is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday, but many experts believe it could be international terrorism.

Experts proved that the explosive material was similar to a compound called tannerite. Tannerite is made by combining ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and has hardly been used in improvised bombing strategies in the United States. An expert on unplanned explosive devices used by terrorists worldwide said that a device constructed as intricate as this one indicates a higher-than-average competence than what people in the United States can create.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged for the Saturday night blast in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, an explosion in Seaside Park on Saturday morning and a foiled bomb attack Sunday night near a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.

Rahamj’s most recent address is in Elizabeth, NJ. This city is where investigators discovered five skeptical devices, one which exploded near a train station on Sunday night.

Rahami had been on the radar of federal agents two years ago, when his father told the police that he suspected his son to be involved in terrorism. They checked him for almost two months and said that he was not a terrorist. Now, the FBI says he is a terrorist. After Rahami was captured during a shootout on Monday, the police found a notebook with a bullet hole in it. The notebook expressed jihadist beliefs, and wrote of killing the “unbelievers.” It also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, once Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist who died in a drone strike in Yemen.

Rahami is linked to 10 explosive devices found in the region. The investigation of whether he worked alone, or was part of a terrorist organization is still ongoing. They believe he worked alone.

It is important for the news media to cover stories like this because terrorism and public safety are huge topics today. The United States is going through a period of time that terrorist attacks are happening at least once every few months. Bombings are important for the news media to cover because the public wants to know what is going on and if people are safe or were killed because of these attacks.

Say goodbye to Brangelina


After more than a decade together, celebrity power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie separated on Sept. 15. According to CNN, Jolie filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Though the pair were only married for two and a half years, they share six children, three biological and three adopted.

Brangelina fans around the world were shocked and craved more insider information. Millennials feed off of the latest celebrity gossip and entertainment news, but where should entertainment news media draw the line when it comes to delving into the relationships and breakups of celebrity families?

Whenever children are involved, divorces always seem to be messier. But how will constant publicity and prying eyes play a factor in the couple’s ability to divorce peacefully?

Many celebrities go to great lengths to keep their children out of the spotlight and give them a “normal” childhood. However, the Jolie-Pitt children will have even more difficulty coping with their parents’ divorce than ordinary kids with headlines plastered on every front page and media website, from tabloids in supermarket checkout lines to media alerts and twitter feeds.

“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids,” Pitt said Tuesday in a statement to CNN. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

Unfortunately, I doubt reporters and paparazzi will take the pleas of this concerned father to heart.

So why do tabloids and even reputable news organizations, such as CNN and the New York Times, continue to report on celebrity divorces, regardless of the strain placed on the families, especially children, involved?

The answer is simple: money. News media organizations need revenue to survive and more eyeballs mean more ad revenue.

The news media are driven by the public’s voyeuristic interest, but coverage of private lives, even of public figures, seems incredibly invasive. In the case of Brangelina, not only are the media dragging the private details of a celebrity relationship out into the open, but they are taking innocent, and potentially unwilling, children along for the ride.

With this breed of celebrity news taking over, it’s easy to forget that the media’s original role is to act as a watchdog on government and serve the needs, not merely the wants, of the people.

Campaign stretches health privacy limits


In light of Hillary Clinton’s recent health scare at the 9/11 Memorial site’s 15-year observation, there has been increased pressure on the presidential nominees to release their medical records.

In an effort to promote the transparency both candidates speak so frequently on, both Donald Trump and Clinton have both made some degree of information regarding their health public.

While it is interesting to note Trump’s slight battle with obesity and his genetic link to Alzheimer’s, and Hillary’s bout of pneumonia and previous blood clots; elected official or not, would you want your medical records made public for the world to judge?

Although the health and medical condition of our elected officials is essential in regards to their capacity to handle their position, it is similarly important to preserve their right to privacy and individual liberty as human beings and, despite their status, I believe matters of health are quite personal.

“Trump plays chicken on health records” read the headline of the Sept. 15 Time Magazine politics page. While the headline mockingly accuses Trump of being scared to release the one-page medical report done by his physician, Harold Bornstein, Trump did in fact make his medical records public on Wednesday, Sept. 14 during a taping of “The Dr. Oz Show.”

The issue has now become the extent to which he has informed the public, as Trump’s one-page summary was not an extensive review of his health.

CNN’s Brian Stelter and MJ Lee refer to Trump as a “master showman,” claiming that “the TV appearance gives the appearance of transparency, but the summary by Bornstein will fall far short of experts’ calls for detailed information about Trump’s health and medical history.”

The New York Times agreed, stating that “the information Mrs. Clinton has made public is more extensive than the details and assessments” given by Trump’s physician, Bornstein. Although Clinton’s records can be deemed as more “extensive”, her physician, Lisa Bardack, failed to include basic information such as her weight and height.

CNN also refers to Bornstein as “hyperbolic,” in saying that, if elected, Trump would be the healthiest president in history and, according to The New York Times, David Plouffe, a former senior adviser to President Obama, tweeted that the Republican nominee would rival William Howard Taft in terms of portliness.

While I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, nor his campaign or policies, I am a firm believer in morality and The Golden Rule. I don’t think that is appropriate to weight-shame, and I think we’ve witnessed a slight double standard; would Plouffe have made the comment if the Republican nominee was an obese woman?

I don’t think so.

So, more importantly, Mr. Trump … where are your income tax records?

Aleppo gaffe hinders Johnson campaign


In an election year with two major party candidates who have historically high disapproval ratings, Libertarian Gary Johnson sees an opportunity to send a third party to the White House.

As Johnson, who appeals particularly to young voters, has climbed to nearly 10 percent in national polls, the news media have been hesitant to give much attention to his campaign. Instead, news organizations have focused on issues that Americans are all too familiar with, such as Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and Donald Trump’s insults.

However, Johnson received a significant amount of coverage last week after an MSNBC interview during which he expressed his unfamiliarity with Aleppo, a war-torn Syrian city.screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-10-31-19-am

Johnson was chastised by several news organizations, including The New York Times, for his lack of foreign policy knowledge.

Criticism for the Aleppo gaffe was arguably the most attention the Johnson campaign has received from the news media.

The tendency of news organizations to focus coverage on the two major party candidates has made it difficult for the Johnson campaign to garner positive attention.

For Johnson, participation in the presidential debates would provide the perfect opportunity to receive good publicity and attract voters.

The Aleppo gaffe was a major setback for Johnson, who must average at least 15 percent in national polls to participate in the debates. With the first debate coming up on Sept. 26, Johnson must quickly recover from his error if he hopes to be a major contender come election day.

NCAA to relocate North Carolina events


The NCAA announced Monday that it will relocate all of the seven scheduled championship events from North Carolina due to the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law that prohibits citizens from using bathrooms that match a gender other than what is listed on their birth certificates.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory passed the law, known as House Bill 2, in March.

The NCAA’s relocation announcement will affect the Division I men’s basketball tournament, commonly referred to as March Madness, in which six games were scheduled to occur in Greensboro, N.C., this coming March.

“We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships,” Mark Emmert, NCAA president, said regarding the decision.

The NCAA has not yet announced where the relocated games will be played.

According to The New York Times, an NCAA spokesman said that North Carolina is the state which has hosted the most men’s basketball tournament games. This makes the relocation decision even more significant.

McCrory has faced harsh backlash from the media and the public since signing House Bill 2, and the NCAA’s recent decision is only making it worse.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-9-31-10-amChris Sgro, Equality North Carolina executive director and a Democrat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, has been an outspoken adversary of House Bill 2 and Governor McCrory.

Sgro took to Twitter to express his frustration after the NCAA’s announcement.

Sgro is not the only one upset by the governor’s stance on LGBTQ rights and the NCAA’s feelings on the issue are not helping his popularity.

NBA’s Iverson changed the norm


Alen Iverson, former superstar NBA point guard, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame last week. He was one of the most feisty players the league has ever seen, both on and off the court.

He was brash and unapologetic. He said whatever was on his mind during his career. He oozed style and swagger.

Iverson did not fit the cookie cutter mold that the media had created for pro basketball players. He dressed like a “thug,” he did not care about being politically correct and he was quite the trash talker on the court.

The media crucified him for these traits while he was playing, but now they turn around and applaud him for these very traits while he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This change in perspective from the press is due in large part to social media. The way news media cover athletes has come a long way since Iverson first started playing. When Iverson was playing, there were not many ways for a player to show his personality outside of the court. And it was not accepted either. But things like Twitter and Instagram have allowed athletes to express themselves and be individuals.

Now it is almost an expectation from the press for athletes to express themselves on social media and show themselves to people on these platforms. Showing a personality is almost as important to their brand as being good players in their perspective sports.

Iverson was a vital piece in normalizing the idea that athletes have opinions and lives too outside of their perspective sport. He accelerated the process of the press seeing an athlete as an individual and for that alone he deserves to be a Hall of Famer.

Bosh ‘ready’ to begin new NBA season


Chris Bosh is one of the NBA’s best big men and was on his way to another amazing season.  He was averaging 19.1 points per game and 46.7 percent shooting. Sadly, his season was cut short when he was diagnosed with blood clots and forced to end his 2015-16 season.

That was eight months ago.  Since his diagnosis. Bosh has been doing everything in his power to rejoin his teammates for training camp. He believes he has done so.

“I’m ready,” Bosh told the Bleacher Report podcast, “Uninterrupted.” “I’ve done all my work. I’ve done what I need to do working with the doctors.”

Bosh, who had the previous two seasons cut short by blood clots, plans to attend the Miami Heat’s training camp in Nassau, Bahamas, when it opens on Sept. 27.

The story presents an interesting choice for the news media and how they will follow it.  They can continue to portray it as a mystery or they could make this an uplifting comeback tale of an athlete overcoming odds.

Until this point, sports journalists have presented Bosh’s story as a “will he or won’t he” story about whether or not he could return or forced to retire. This angle is warranted considering the severity of the condition and that he has had multiple occurrences.

But now that he has stated he is back and “ready to play,” the news media have a chance to change their angle to a more positive view. Bosh could be represented as a hero type character or role model as some who represents the notion that people shouldn’t let the issues be handicaps. Or, we could see the other, more pessimistic, view, asking if he will be forced to end his season again.

That’s what makes this story interesting, it allows for the news media to look at how they wish to present it and make a decision based on how they want to portray Bosh as central figure of the story.

Hurricanes to take on App State


The Miami Hurricanes football team will head to Boone, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 17, to face notorious underdogs, the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

Appalachian State is famous for its stunning upset of then fifth-ranked Michigan on the opening weekend of the 2007 season. At the time, the Mountaineers were still part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Now, though, they are a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team who play in the Sun Belt Conference.

While they have moved up in the college football hierarchy, they are still not on par with the likes of Miami, which is in a Power Five conference, the ACC.

You wouldn’t know it from the pregame coverage, however.

The national narrative surrounding this game seems to suggest that the Canes should be on upset alert. They are only slight favorites in Vegas (-3.5), and have been singled out by writers and pundits as candidates to be dethroned.

USA Today, for example, published an article calling the game a “huge test” for 25th-ranked Miami. The piece highlights all the potential pitfalls in the match-up for the favorites.

It mentions how App State started this season by taking No. 9 Tennessee to overtime in Knoxville. The article also points out that it will be a home game for the Mountaineers; offering fans of the team a rare opportunity to see a major team come into town — something that will surely rile them up.

While these are indisputable observations, many key factors are being ignored. For one, the Hurricanes are the major team for a reason: talent.

The growing narrative sweeping people up is a result of the love of a good underdog story, nostalgia for 2007, and the national distaste for the Miami football program.

Unfortunately for everybody else, the Hurricanes are the superior team — something they will set out to prove on Saturday.

Nowhere to hide for Stockton’s Silva


Mayor Anthony Silva (R) of Stockton, Calif., has had one interesting run as mayor.

Pending the results of the upcoming November election, that run has the potential to continue.

Anyone privy to Valley politics is aware of Silva’s tenuous term as mayor. Perhaps none more so than Stockton Record columnist Michael Fitzgerald.

Silva’s bad rap has only been brought on by Silva himself. He has a laundry list of boneheaded decisions and proposals to his name.

What’s on that list, you ask? Bear in mind that this is an abridged version…

There’s the time he walked around town putting up campaign posters. At 2 a.m., In his bathrobe…

At a city council meeting, he declared himself Stockton’s first black mayor. Silva is Hispanic.

He proposed a vision he called “Stockton Proud” that would bring in cruise ships, mini golf, “fun rides,” and a space needle to Stockton’s port. It’s not as if Stockton was the largest American city to declare bankruptcy before Detroit.

When Carrie Underwood came to Stockton and had the misfortune of performing on the night of a city council meeting, Silva moved his agenda to the beginning of the meeting, declared a 10-minute break after some time and skipped the rest of the meeting to attend the concert.

After partying one night, he got into a drunk fight in his limo with a friend after a dispute about his wife.

Then there’s his Aug. 4 arrest while at his Mayor’s Youth Camp in Silver Lake, Calif., for providing alcohol to minors, playing strip poker with nude teenagers and recording conversations during last summer’s camp.

At every turn, Fitzgerald has been there to call the mayor on his bull. Or his weirdness. Sometimes it overlaps.

Fitzgerald’s responses have made an impression on me.

There’s something that tickles me in the right spot when I read one of his intelligently written articles or comments on Silva’s latest inane exploit. It must be the juxtaposition of idiocy and brains.

Such as what Fitzgerald had to say when Silva bounced from the city council meeting to see Underwood.

“It’s ironic that Silva postured as a Public Safety candidate,” Fitzgerald said. “Because one of the votes he skipped out on was the new health plan for city employees. Exit interviews with departing police cited unsatisfactory health insurance as a prime reason for quitting. The new health plan is therefore the most important step the city can take to retaining police hires.”

He proceeded to finish Silva off.

“A mayor sincerely concerned with law enforcement would want to vote on that,” Fitzgerald said. “A mayor who knows only how to campaign and to party would not.”

I had a good chuckle when reading about what Fitzgerald thought of Silva’s “half-baked” homeless plan.

Sometimes all Fitzgerald needs is a few words to get his point across. 

I love Fitzgerald’s reporting. He doesn’t let Silva off the hook for anything, nor should he. Yet he’s able to do it with a comedic tone that I simply eat with a spoon.

Or maybe it’s just that juxtaposition.

Forgiveness is the answer


Rodney King, an African-American man, was severely beaten in 1992 by Los Angeles police officers. After the officers’ who beat King were acquitted, massive riots were triggered in the LA area, leaving many killed and buildings looted, damaged and burned.

Despite the violence and racial tension, King became known for his forgiveness and encouragement of forgiveness.

Today, his daughter, Lora King, is promoting the same thing. Lora King, along with members of the LAPD, spoke with young adults from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, an organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth through job opportunities, education and training.

Lora King spoke on not generalizing all police officers and building bridges between the community and the police force.

In the past few years, racial tension in America has become the forefront of news especially concerning police and civilian contact.

Because of the newsworthy elements, often media report on shootings, beatings and other unjust actions that occur out of police civilian relationships. With the negativity that is commonly in news feeds, it is difficult to have a perspective of hope. Reporters will not comment every time people serve at a soup kitchen or open a door, but they will cover stories of violence and crime.

However, by reporting Lora King’s ability to stand side by side with members of the same police department that beat her father close to death, a necessary model of forgiveness is sprinkled among the heavy news of crime and disaster.

Sources in the greater California area, such as the San Bernardino County Sun and the SFGate tastefully decided to talk about the event. Not only was Rodney King a figure in the 1990s for racial tension and pardon, but his daughter serves as an effective symbol for combating the continuing issues the country faced 24 years ago.

Presidential health and campaign news


Last Friday Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attended a 9/11 memorial in New York. Everything seemed to be okay with her until she left the ceremony before it ended. In a video taken by a bystander, Clinton is seen having difficulty walking and then fainting just before getting into an SUV. People around her had to assist her getting into the vehicle.

This video has been shown across all forms of news media and has been analyzed by not only journalists but also health professionals. It was even a treading topic on Twitter.

It is no secret that Hillary has struggled with health issues as of late. Along the campaign trail she has experienced a few coughing fits and was diagnosed with pneumonia on the two days prior to the 9/11 ceremony incident. However it was not publicly known that she had been diagnosed until Sunday night.

Some news outlets have been criticizing Clinton for not being forthcoming with her current health status even going so far as to lessen her credibility as a politician by saying that she is not transparent with the general public. Due to the pressure being put on her by the media, Clinton revealed even more medical information by releasing a letter written by her doctor on Wednesday.

Her opposition, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has questioned her health over the course of the election season as well. But this incident has made Trump reveal more about his own health as to not appear that he is hiding anything. He even went on the “Dr. Oz” show today and had Dr. Mehmet Oz analyze his doctor’s notes on TV.

The real question here is why some news organizations are pushing for presidential candidates to reveal such personal information instead of focusing on a nominee’s political views and how different today’s coverage of presidential elections have changed from those of the past. In the past, presidential nominees were not required to reveal their health status. Some of our most memorable presidents ran for office while suffering with serious health issues.

Franklin Roosevelt became ill with polio in 1921. Due to this he lost the ability to move his legs and then became paralyzed. In spite of that, he was elected as president in 1932 and ran for re-election in 1936, 1940 and 1944. However, his declining health during the re-election was never mentioned and after his doctor released a statement to the press saying that his health was okay reporters did not question it. Nevertheless, he died in office in 1945.

Another president who was elected to office while suffering health problems was John F. Kennedy. He had Addison’s disease and when confronted by his opponent over the matter, Kennedy simply had his doctors publicly declare that he was in good health. After that he was never questioned again.

As these examples show, former presidential candidates were not forced by the news media to reveal their health history so why is the press making such a big deal about it now?

A lot of it has to do with the news media’s tendency to attack politicians and want to show the public every presidential candidate’s weaknesses. However, forcing nominees to reveal every aspect of their health history might not be the right way to go about gathering information on them.

If the media wants to gather information on them they should focus on things that matter to public like where the candidates stand on issues. Instead of showing Hillary Clinton fainting multiple times per hour and over analyzing every second of the video, the focus should be about where she stands on issues so that come Election Day people can be well informed.

Suicide is never entertainment


Fox News posted a tragic story today about a woman, Tiziana Cantone, who committed suicide after being bullied and slut shamed for her leaked sex tape.

Cantone’s case exemplifies the harmful effect of bullying in society as well as the risks of sharing personal matters with others electronically.

While I was appalled at the story itself and the sad loss of life, I was practically just as disturbed about the fact that I found this article on the entertainment page of Fox News’s website.

In my opinion, if a news network has an entertainment section it should be reserved for interesting stories that are offbeat, funny and/or about celebrities. An article about the suicide of a young woman should not be included.

Allocating this article to the entertainment section almost seems like further slut shaming of the victim by Fox News itself. It’s as if the network wants to portray that the Cantone’s death is entertaining because she got what she deserved for stupidly making a sex tape in the first place.

On CNN’s website, I read an unrelated article today about the recent suicide of 9-year-old Jackson Grubb in West Virginia.  He too killed himself after harassment from bullies, just like Cantone. While this equally heartbreaking event with similarities to the Cantone story was nowhere to be found on Fox News’s website, I am certain that if Fox had posted the article, the network never would have put it on the entertainment page.

Media love to cover institution rankings


The general public frequently read articles ranking the top 10 colleges, airlines, cities, restaurants, school systems and so much more.  Typically, when reading the article the readers accept the ordered rankings.

Following this, Facebook users post these articles to “prove” their favorite college, airline, city, restaurant, etc., is the highest ranked.

What are these rankings based on?  And who is coming up with the rankings?

The specific articles written usually do not explain the criteria and reasoning for the ranked items.  They simply just list it and provide a little information on each topic.

Where does the general public find out more about the criteria and rankings?

If the reader is curious, unconventionally, they need to go to the “criteria article” which is separate from the rankings.

CNN released an article with the rankings of the top U.S. carrier.  The comments on the lowest ranked airline, Sprint states “The Airline Quality Rating, released Monday, rates the United States’ 13 largest airlines.  No. 13 overall, Spirit had the worst on-time performance and the highest complaint rate.”

Their highest ranked airline is Virgin Airlines.  The ranking qualifications for Virgin is “Virgin Airlines has the lowest mishandled luggage complaints.”

Although both state useful information, they are not judging the airline on the same criteria.  The article does not state how the individual criteria is measured as well.

Similarly, the college ranking new released an article listing the 2016 top undergraduate university and college rankings.

For number one on the list, Princeton, the criteria ranges from endowment, to the tuition, to the enrollment, to size, to stating which famous people graduated from the university.

The lowest ranked university on the list is Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Although their criteria also includes the tuition, endowment and a list of the famous people who graduated from the university, their criteria is focused more on the student involvement.

The rankings that are most specific, constant, and reliable seem to be the restaurant rankings.

The restaurant criteria is the same for all restaurants.  Yes, the articles comment on different highlights of the restaurants, but states clear ranking criteria.  You can view Zagat’s rankings and ranking criteria here

In sickness and in health


Ah, the pursuit of the American Dream. Are any of us immune to this disease? The BBC doesn’t seem to think so.

In light of Hillary Clinton’s appearance at a 9/11 commemoration despite her pneumonia diagnosis, the BBC decided to pick apart the tendency of Americans to forego sick days and even paid vacation days in order to impress bosses who could potentially further their careers and to avoid missing a day’s salary.

In the U.S., we see this dedication to achieving our goals as normal, admirable even. However, BBC News reporter Brian Wheeler points out that, from a European perspective, this tendency is foolish and, at times, dangerous.

Wheeler reported that EU nations “guarantee 20 days’ paid leave a year, plus public holidays,” and, perhaps more importantly, European employees are not afraid to use them.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with loving and being dedicated to a job or career path, but when do the costs of this sacrifice overwhelm the benefits?

Wheeler mentioned how the outbreak of the norovirus vomiting bug at Chipotle was the result of employees coming into work sick rather than missing a day of pay. Were American policies concerning sick leave more lenient or generous, employees would not be forced to put themselves and others at risk in order to eke out a living.

Wheeler made a clever and strategic move in this article. By starting out with mention of Clinton, with election news being all the rage at the moment, Wheeler was able to spark a conversation about American paid-leave policies.

But is that what media must resort to today? It is disappointing to say the least that it takes a public official having a medical emergency at a well-covered event to start a conversation about an issue that has been placed on the back burner for years.

Perhaps, instead of focusing all our attention on the people fighting for a leadership position in which they can solve the nation’s problems, we must invest more time in discussing what those issues are and why they are important.

Why you should take sugar seriously


With pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn and caramel apples around the corner, it’s the perfect time to look at sugar in a way that most of us haven’t before.

We frequently hear that sugar can cause cancer, liver disease and diabetes. So why don’t we just stop consuming it?

The answer: it’s addictive.

According to an article on, written by Monica Reinagel, sugar has a virtually similar affect on the brain as cocaine.

When consuming sugar, it stimulates the same part of the brain that cocaine does and causes a flood of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates our “feel good” neurons, which creates a “high.”

At Princeton University, two Ph.D. students performed an experiment using rats and their reaction to sugar. Almost all rats preferred the sugar water instead of regular water. Once the rats with sweet water were given plain water, they experienced withdrawals. Withdrawal is a common symptom of a chemical addiction.

In American culture, sugar is everywhere. The recommended daily dose of sugar is 6 teaspoons for women, and 9 teaspoons for men. However, according to, the average U.S citizen’s sugar intake is 19.5 teaspoons per day. That’s equivalent to 66 pounds of added sugar every year for those individuals.

The more we consume, the more we need. So, when you’re standing in line at Starbucks next time, ask yourself if you really need that pumpkin spice latte, which has 50 grams of sugar in itself.

Yeah, I think I’ll pass on that.

Hackers reveal drug use information


Simone Biles was involved in a recent hacking scandal that released private medical information about Olympic athletes.

Russian computer hackers released the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Athlete Database, which reported that Biles, Serena Williams and Venus Williams, were given medical exemptions to use banned drugs, though there was no misuse of these drugs.

These documents demonstrate that Biles tested positive for a drug that was banned on the WADA’s list, but she did not misuse this drug.

The International Gymnastics Federation refused to comment on this so far, but Biles spoke out about these leaks on Twitter.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-10-59-45-am“I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid,” she wrote. “Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me.”

“The WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act,” the World Anti-Doping Agency’s director general said.

Fancy Bear, the hackers of the WADA’s Athlete Database, warned that they will release more medical information about other athletes to show that today’s sport is contaminated and the world is ignorant of this.

The media reports on a story like this because the 2016 Olympics has just finished, and doping athletes are a highly talked about subject when it comes to the Olympics.

This private medical information that was leaked is important to report on because sport is supposed to be equally fair for every athlete, but these leaks prove that sport is somewhat skewed or rigged.

The media reports on stories like this to prove that society is unaware of many of the underlying truths of the large numbers of athletes that use banned drugs.