Miami Heat begin new season


The 2016-17 NBA season began this week and with it comes a whole new set of narratives. Perhaps most relevant to the city of Miami, is the expectation for the Heat.

This season symbolizes the first year of life without any of the “Big Three.” With LeBron James winning a title in Cleveland, Dwyane Wade choosing to represent his hometown Chicago Bulls, and Chris Bosh’s career being in doubt due to blood clots, the core of one of the most dominant NBA teams in recent memory has disassembled.

As a result, the Heat is expected to enter a transition period in which they struggle. According to NBA experts in Las Vegas, Miami is expected to win about 36 games — 12 less than last year.

Many pundits and prominent news media members have picked the Heat to miss out on the playoffs entirely. ESPN’s Amin Elhassan, for example, bluntly stated that he believes the team “isn’t very good.” This is in stark contrast with what Elhassan thought of last year’s roster — one he picked to reach the NBA finals.

These are just a few examples of the overwhelming negativity surrounding the team’s prospects for this season. There is, however, one rather distinguished voice backing the Heat to surprise some people.

Notorious Boston Celtics fan and self-proclaimed Miami sports hater Bill Simmons has picked the Heat to not only make the playoffs, but be a six-seed in the East.

Simmons’ endorsement, while surprising, is credible. He points to the team’s core of  Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow as an exciting one with incredible potential – especially on the defensive end.

Though there is no way to know which side of the prediction spectrum will be more accurate, Miami natives will be hoping it falls closer to Simmons’ end.

Good deed goes unnoticed by media


Unfortunately, good deeds and good news often go unnoticed by larger news media organizations as these touching stories are often overshadowed by the hard, political news we are accustomed to seeing when we turn on the TV.

However, acts of goodwill and selflessness that serve to better a community should never go unnoticed, as service gives way to change and the betterment of the collective.

So that is why when I got wind of the generous and benevolent efforts of an elderly Canadian couple, I couldn’t dare keep it to myself.

Rick and Donna Wanless, the owners of a 25-acre farm in New Westminster, Canada, have decided to extend the use of their land to veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In partnership with a local housing project, known as Honor House, the couple plans to turn part of their farm into a sanctuary for Canadian first responders and veterans dealing with PTSD.

Honor House, also native to New Westminster, provides individuals facing PTSD a place to stay with their families while they seek treatment and rehab in nearby areas.

The farm, which will be named Honor Ranch after Honor House, will offer programs geared towards rehabilitating those veterans and first responders, and Rick says that he hopes the project will provide a bit of an escape from the everyday rigors of life.

Rick, a retired teacher, developed the idea following his encounter with first responders who rescued him after he fell of his horse. With a broken pelvis and some down time, Rick had some time to think, and says that his accident helped him realize what a great help these individuals can be.

Rick is hoping that those individuals battling with PTSD will use the ranch as a retreat, where they could camp, fish and do some boating.

Personally, I find it upsetting to note that this story of goodwill was not covered by any major news networks such as Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, as these networks need to do a better job of covering positive news, even if it’s only a short piece once daily. along with were the only two sites as of Wednesday that had written their own stories in reference to the project, and given the Wanless’ sacrifice and dedication to service, I hoped that there would be a little more coverage on the project.

However, although the noteworthy project has not gained the media attention it deserves, once the New Westminster Fire Department got word of the development, they offered to contribute by building a 300 square foot cottage on the property.

Although news is meant to be informative, I believe that news is often too negative and, sometimes, amid the daily chaos, we need something positive to remind us that this world is not all bad, a fact that is too easy to forget.

Kelly, Gingrich clash on Fox News


Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, clashed with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during a live television interview earlier this week.

Kelly asked Gingrich about the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump and whether or not they were causing him to slip in the polls. Gingrich responded by accusing Kelly and other members of the news media of bias against Trump.

“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” Gingrich said to Kelly. Gingrich also said that Kelly has not given a fair amount of coverage to the scandals of the Clinton campaign.

Kelly argued that her show, “The Kelly File”, has covered all stories relevant to the 2016 presidential race, including the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton and the private paid speeches that Hillary Clinton made to big banks.

Kelly said that polls show that the allegations against Trump are concerning to voters and that she has an obligation to report on them.screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-2-34-05-pm

After the exchange between Kelly and Gingrich, the news media responded by speculating on the future of Fox News.

The traditionally conservative network is in a transition period after CEO Roger Ailes was ousted over sexual harassment accusations.

Fox News is not used to its anchors clashing with Republican politicians. Kelly’s altercation with Gingrich is representative of the division within the GOP over the Trump campaign as well as the network’s increased willingness to allow its journalists to disagree with party leaders.

With the network’s niche audience divided over Trump, Kelly’s moderate perspective is key to retaining viewers who may be turned off by traditionalist anchors like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly.

NFL’s television ratings decline


The NFL’s ratings have been on the decline for the 2016-17 season. People have blamed this on the ugly on-field product that it has produced this far, the outspokenness of its players and how the league has been handling celebrations.

The Seahawks versus Cardinals game is a perfect example of how the NFL’s on-field product is deteriorating. This game was billed as the game of the week and had a prime-time spot on television to show for it. And what did we get? A sloppy, turnover-filled affair that ended in a 6-6 tie. No touchdowns were even scored. Disappointments like that lead to people not watching NFL games.

The public has also been turned off by the fact that so many of NFL players have decided to protest the national anthem.

People see this and decide not to watch because they do not believe the NFL deserves their money if its players don’t support our country. Broadcasts have stopped focusing on players protesting the anthem and, I am sure, a big reason why is because it is starting to lose money.

The last major thing contributing to the NFL’s ratings plunge is how the league is dealing with touchdown celebrations. The league hands down punishments like it is candy when players are celebrating in the end zone. These are often some of the best parts of the game and replayed on highlight reels all week yet the NFL seeks to discourage them. That is bad for business.

To make matters worse for the NFL, the NBA, the NFL’s cooler, tech savvy cousin, has just started its new season and that will make ratings drop even further as they have to compete with another sport for the rest of the year.

Much campaign news ado about nothing


Tonight’s top story: Mike Pence’s plane skids off runway.

According to CNN, Mike Pence and his campaign staff were on their campaign plane leaving LaGuardia Airport in New York City when wet weather conditions caused the plane to slide of the tarmac.

No one was injured.

CNN stated that while the incident was taking place, Trump was preparing to go on stage at a rally in Geneva, Ohio.   When addressing the crowd, Trump informed everyone that Pence and the crew were alright.

Mike Pence made this statement via Twitter:


Hillary also took the opportunity to throw her name in the mix by modeling cordiality:


CNN quoted Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, as she explained that the rainy weather probably prevented the wheels from getting “good traction.”

When I first heard about the incident, I didn’t think it was worth reporting because there were no injuries, and the plane suffered no damages, suggesting that it wasn’t very serious. It seemed that the media piped up the event just because it happened to Mike Pence.

Additionally, Schiavo’s explanation of why the plane might have slid off the runway seems extremely unnecessary to me. It is common knowledge that wet roads increase a vehicle’s likelihood of sliding out of control.  No duh.

Quoting Schiavo would have been worth it if she talked about the plane’s faulty brakes or a miscommunication between the pilot and the radio tower- information that only she and other experts would have.  But stating that the rain may have caused the plane to slide is not worth the reader’s time.

At the end of the day, the lengthy articles on CNN’s and Fox News’ websites make the event seem more dramatic than it really was.

CNN stated that Pence cancelled his appearance at a fundraiser at Trump Tower tonight, but that the campaign will pick up where it left off as scheduled tomorrow.

Warriors go from 24-0 start to 0-1


In a stark departure from last year, the Golden State Warriors are winless so far this season. A far cry from their record 24-0 start to the 2015-16 NBA season, the Warriors are a dismal 0-…well they’re only 0-1.

As many people know, the Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant to their lineup during the off-season. An off-season that followed Golden State’s record setting 73 regular season wins.

The 2016-17 season started Tuesday night, which saw the Warriors get trounced at home to the San Antonio Spurs, 129-100. It wasn’t exactly the coming out party many expected.

So, how did the news media react to the Warriors blowout loss?

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s new Warriors beat writer, Connor Letourneau, brought up how the Warriors were relatively dreadful offensively outside of Durant, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green. The entire team combined for only 29 points outside of the main trio.

The Bay Area News Group’s Tim Kawakami, one of my favorite sports writers, offered his own unique take on the fizzled-out spectacle that was opening night.

“The lights went on, the curtain raised, and … the new super-team flopped,” Kawakami writes. “Fire everybody! Shut down the show! Let’s all overreact and sound the alarms!”


“Well, that’s not quite right, of course,” Kawakami reasoned, before going on to remind all of those who were disappointed that the Warriors have only played one game out of 82.

Marcus Thompson II, also of the Bay Area News Group, wrote about the lesson that the Spurs taught to the Warriors. The lesson was twofold, that Durant “isn’t the answer for a suspect front line,” and “not everybody is scared of him or the Warriors,” Thompson wrote.

After collapsing in the NBA Finals when the championship was only one game away, the makeup covering the Warriors mortality began to wash away.

To round up the coverage, ESPN Warriors beat writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss made an appearance on “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” on ESPN radio Wednesday. Strauss also spoke about the Warriors lack of defense. He criticized the play of new center Zaza Pachulia,citing his low rebounding totals, while speaking with host Bomani Jones.

“Andrew Bogut’s MVP campaign is jumping off the page right now,” Strauss said.

Bogut, cut by the Warriors in the offseason to create salary cap space for the signing of Durant, is one of the premier rim-protectors in the association.

The Warriors might struggle to replace his presence in the paint.

At least they have 81 more games to figure it out.

Wentz, Prescott face each other Sunday


One was considered a top prospect in the draft while the most teams slept on the other. One was forced into action by injury while the other’s team traded away a veteran so he could start.  As different as these two quarterbacks are, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott find themselves in the same place, facing each other in Week 8 of he NFL regular season on Sunday Night Football.

Both rookies led their respective teams to successful seasons as of now.  As a result, these players received much praise from the news media and NFL analysts alike.  Wentz and Prescott have both been hailed as Rookie of the Year candidates and viewed as the future of the quarterback position in the NFL.

These praises have only drawn the news media to do two things, compare the two quarterbacks and discuss who is better and push the prospective rivalry to the public.  Prescott does not like these comparisons and just like to be compared to himself.

“I really don’t measure myself to anybody,” he told reporters at the Cowboys headquarters. “Not any other rookie, not Peyton Manning, not Tony (Romo), not any of those. It’s all about how I can become better each and every day.”

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says it is the players’ intangibles that draw their comparisons.

“They know how to lead their teams,” Pederson told the media, “Nothing seems to be too big for either one of them. They take it in stride, the ability to protect the football through these first six, seven games like this has been crucial.”

The game’s being on Sunday Night Football only aids the media in their quest to balloon this rivalry before it begins.  Reporters are already saying Wentz and Prescott could produce a rivalry that could equal the rivalry of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

It is clear the media is looking for a new QB rivalry following the recent retirement of Super Bowl 50 champion Peyton Manning.

Celebrity social media activism backfires


With Election Day less than two weeks away, some states are offering early voting.

Justin Timberlake flew to Tennessee from California to take advantage of the state’s early voting opportunity.

While inside the voting booth in Memphis, Timberlake snapped a selfie. He then uploaded it to Instagram, encouraging his followers to “get out and vote.”

What seems like a well-intentioned public service announcement may have gotten the singer in trouble with the law.

As it turns out, a new Tennessee law that prohibits citizens “from using the device for telephone conversations, recording, or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place” took effect in January. Committing the crime is a misdemeanor, and the penalty could be up to 30 days of jail time and a $50 fine.

Timberlake was unaware that his selfie was against the law in Tennessee.

“I was like, ‘This is gonna be great, I’m gonna inspire people to vote,’” Timberlake said on NBC’s Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday.

Selfies are a big part of today’s news media, especially with the popularity of social media sites.

Many celebrities use their media spotlight and large fan followings to speak about issues that are important to them. Timberlake has nearly 40 million Instagram followers.

If he did not inspire his followers to “get out and vote,” hopefully he at least inspired them to get out and check their state laws before posting voting selfies.

CNN spews celebrity gossip


Kim Kardashian West was robbed at the No Address Hotel in Paris on Oct. 3. News media speculated the robbery was motivated by Kardashian West’s flaunting of her wealth, particularly a 20-carat diamond ring, on social media.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-7-32-04-pmKardashian West has kept a low-profile since the incident, particularly on her many social media pages, leaving fans concerned.

The robbery was old news until hotel employee Abdulrahman, who preferred to use only his first name for security reasons, sat down with Entertainment Tonight and claimed he believes the thieves were after money, not jewelry.

With this new evidence, apart from the impressive haul and Kardashian West’s celebrity status, the incident sounds like your average, everyday robbery.

As expected, entertainment media have dedicated a lot of time and effort in thoroughly covering the case since celebrity gossip is what their audiences want. Even if the incident had been far more minor, voyeuristic interest would still tempt readers to pick up a copy.

But why are news media, which typically focus on hard news, such as CNN, still covering it?

Across the nation, this year’s unprecedented presidential election has caused citizens to question party values. In North Dakota, hundreds are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Indiana, a 25-year-old mother overdosed in her car with her 10-month-old son in the backseat.

With all the newsworthy happenings of the world, why is a nonviolent robbery worth mentioning on a hard news site, regardless of the celebrity status of the victim?

It goes without saying that a robbery is a terrifying incident for the victims and should be taken seriously by authorities and the news media. However, the personal distress it causes a victim doesn’t automatically warrant newsworthiness.

Kardashian West should not receive special treatment or coverage by media, unless that medium’s focus is entertainment and celebrity gossip.

Rather than dredging up old events the public is already aware of, news media should focus on educating readers on the various far-reaching events taking place around the globe.

News morphing into entertainment


Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley was arrested along with 27 other people after protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Oct. 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in North Dakota. The protest, Standoff at Standing Rock, gathered 200 people who attempted to create a blockade on the pipeline’s construction sites.

The pipeline is in the process of being built on grounds considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. There is also a fear that the pipeline will create contamination of water via fossil fuels.

Woodley, along with the other protestors, were met with armed police officers in large trucks. Although there was no violence at the event and protestors left the land when asked, Shailene among 27 others were arrested.

Woodley was targeted specifically for her arrest due to her Facebook live stream. Approximentally 40,000 viewers were watching the event live off of Woodley’s Facebook page.

Woodley pleaded not guilty to criminal trespass and rioting charges.

Most news sources, aside from news dedicated to strictly Hollywood entertainment, failed to report the event until days after and, for some, even a week after.

Woodley expressed her concern in a penned article in TIME magazine.

“It took me, a white non-native woman being arrested on Oct. 10th in North Dakota, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to bring this cause to many people’s attention. And to the forefront of news publications around the world,” Woodley wrote.

Woodley elevates an important notion: News media often do not cover stories that are vital for the public to know about. It should not take a celebrity to make a topic important. News media should be advocating for the public, for rights of the people, to create an informed society.

It should not take a celebrity to make a topic important. News media should be advocating for the public, for the rights of the people, to create an informed society.

Modern journalism and mainstream news media are quickly approaching a territory that is motivated by money. News outlets are businesses, but what about ethics? What about stories that matter? Although reporters and editors commonly choose stories that sell airtime or print editions – which in itself is not bad, far too often are necessary topics of debate pushed aside.

With the changing platform of news, it is difficult to get readers and viewers attention; however, maybe the public doesn’t care because they aren’t informed or people feel like things don’t impact them.

In Woodley’s Facebook video, as she is walking away, handcuffed and escorted by officers, she shouts backward to her mom who is holding her phone. “I hope you’re watching mainstream media.” Woodley’s statement highlights the need for media to focus on topics that impact the environment, cultures and society, such as the pipeline.

News outlets could do a better job at gearing the topic of stories to the issue, such as contaminated water, opposed to the “gossip” or “selling point,” such as Woodley.

Journalism is changing, but that doesn’t mean the integrity, wit and depth of journalism have to.

Microsoft reinvents desktop PC


Once a year, Microsoft’s Panos Panay appears with new creations that he and his Surface team have produced in their labs.

Microsoft is expected to deliver their latest gadget: a Surface PC.

It is expected to convert a desk into a creative work studio. Today, most people are using tablets and laptops instead of desktop PCs, so it will be difficult for Microsoft to convince society that the Surface PC is better than a laptop or tablet.

One way that Microsoft can do this is by promoting the powerful GPU inside that works well with video games. Most Surface laptops are not powerful enough to play video games like Gears of War 4 properly, but this PC will be powerful enough.

Microsoft is trying to convince people that this Surface is going to be different because it is more innovative and creative. They are promoting the different ways to create content: using a keyboard, touchscreen or stylus. Additional leaks have been released like a new 3D paint app, along with 3D additions to Microsoft Office and Windows itself. This new painting app will let you 3D print your Minecraft creations

A desktop PC will have to blend the best aspects of both the Surface Table and the Surface Hub.

Microsoft’s focus on HoloLens and Windows Holographic should be a big focus for Windows itself and hardware like the Surface PC if Microsoft truly believes that mixed reality is the future.

If Microsoft wants to reinvent the PC for a 3D future and use creativity for its new hardware, then it will need to show society why regular Windows 10 users will be eager to test and use 3D objects, applications, and mixed reality devices on this new Surface PC.

Virtual reality and enhanced reality headsets are still in their early stages of development, but Microsoft is bringing its full virtual Windows Holographic experience to Windows 10. Microsoft is unsure about how society will react to their new advances in technology, but they are hoping that the product will skyrocket and become the next big thing, reinventing Microsoft as a big name market in the industry. (

The media reports on stories like these because innovative technology is an important aspect of society today. Everyone is looking for the next big thing, and everyone wants to have the most recent technology, so they want to hear about new ideas in the news.

Reporting about medicine is challenging


Endocrinology, the medical field of diabetes, thyroid disorders and metabolism, is often misunderstood by most adults.

This includes the journalists who report on any new findings in the endocrinology field that originate from the doctors and medical scientists themselves.

Therefore, articles on “living a healthier life” with diabetes, a thyroid disorder or an illness that affects the metabolism are strictly from a scientific point of view as opposed to other topics that are geared toward discussing what the readers (or at least their preferred audience) wants to hear or read.

For example, the majority of articles are published by doctors and medical researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as reliable newspapers such as The New York Times.

The articles pertaining to endocrinology that are published in regular newspapers (not medical journals) are summarized and simplified articles from various medical journals.

An article called, 2 Endocrinology Groups Raise Doubt on Earlier Onset of Girls’ Puberty was published in The New York Times on Sept. 3, 2001.

One week earlier, the official study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  This article includes the full abstract, intro, thesis, tests, charts, results, conclusion and overall write up properly cited.

The New York Times version, although explaining everything, is a relatively short article as opposed to the full study report that is approximately 14 pages (not including cited sources and methods).

Reporter continues to hound mayor


Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva is unhappy with many people.

Perhaps none more so than Stockton Record metro-reporter Michael Fitzgerald.

I’m sure Silva thinks the microscope has been hovering over him and his every move since  his inauguration. I’m also quite sure Silva thinks the unending news coverage about his is unwarranted and unfair. Except Silva is a mayor in one of the largest cities in California. Not only is he the mayor, but, to put it one way, he’s an unconventional mayor at that.

So sure, he’s going to live in the eyes of the news media. His failure to understand why such a thing might be falls in line with his whole mayorship, from day one to present, as you will see momentarily.

Fitzgerald has been there at every turn to chronicle how poorly of a job Silva has done with his time in office, both administratively and politically. Let’s take a look at Silva’s mayorship through Fitzgerald’s reporting.

First, we’ll start with Silva’s accomplishments.

“In terms of accomplishments in office, Silva ranks beneath do-little Mayor Ed Chavez (2005-08). He has set the bar for getting nothing done,” Fitzgerald writes.

Fitzgerald goes on to write about the only policies Silva has successfully championed while in office. Both of them, “the fiscally suicidal Safe Streets crime-fighting plan and a reduction in building fees,” were handed to him by developers, according to Fitzgerald.

Now that we’ve looked at Silva’s successes, why don’t we delve into the remaining 98% of his term.

Silva calls himself “the people’s mayor,” fighting on behalf of everyday citizens, from the middle-class to low-income families. He was sure to stand up to big money influences while in office, not only with words, but with actions, right?


“He’s made some rich guys richer,” Fitzgerald writes. “All the while demagoguing about the rich bigwigs who control this town and how he stands up for the economically disadvantaged.”

Okay, so maybe standing up to money while in office isn’t as easy as the politicians want us to believe. That isn’t to say mayors are impervious to submitting to financial influences.

But what about possessing knowledge on the rights, duties and powers that a mayor does actually have?

“[T]hen it appears Silva did not understand the office for which he ran,” Fitzgerald writes. “He has been publicly shocked and perturbed by the statutory limitations placed on the mayor’s power.”

Well, maybe the educational system is to blame for Silva’s ignorance on the position he campaigned and was elected for. He can at least keep his word on things under his control, can’t he?

“Ethical lapses followed,” Fitzgerald continues. “Silva promised if elected not to work two jobs. But he did. He promised not to take a mayor’s salary until crime tumbled. But he did. There were more.”

Alright alright alright, but he had to at least have some ideas on policy and positive changes that can be made to the citizens of Stockton. Right?

“What did not follow was policy,” Fitzgerald goes on. “It became clear that “The People’s Mayor” had no real ideas for governing and no real interest in the hard work that goes into civic improvements.”

But wait, there’s more:

“When I asked him what his position on growth was — on sprawl vs. infill — he looked at me as if I had spoken to him in Mandarin,” Fitzgerald writes.

While Silva has a laundry-list of political and administrative failures, Fitzgerald looks to the distraction he has become as the figurehead of the city, a city which is attempting to move out of the darkness of being the largest city in United States history to declare bankruptcy (before Detroit).

“[I]t is as a distraction from the serious business of governance where Silva has been a Hall-of-Famer,” Fitzgerald writes.

I wrote about some of those in a previous post.

To strengthen the case that Silva is unqualified to run a city of 300,000 people – or any city, for that matter, and as if his case needs any strengthening – look no further than his reactions and response to the most serious of his “lapses.”

“Silva is refusing to cooperate with investigators trying to understand how his stolen gun came to be used to kill a 13-year-old,” Fitzgerald writes. “And he has been indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his alleged participation in an alcohol-fueled strip poker game with teens.”

Come Nov. 8, material as great – and horrible, considering his is an elected public official – as what Silva provided might be harder to find.

In all likelihood, it won’t just fall into our lap.

No politics, ESPN warns Le Batard


Miami-based ESPN personality — and University of Miami graduate — Dan Le Batard is no stranger to controversy. He has a history of testing the limits of his employers… and getting suspended for doing so.

For example, he’s been suspended for paying for billboards mocking LeBron James and calling an ESPN film about Bob Knight a “mountain of elephant crap.” He even lost his MLB Hall of Fame vote for allowing Deadspin to cast his ballot one year.

Le Batard, though, has had good reason for each of these actions; whether it be in the name of fun or in protest.

He’s also notorious for hosting a national radio show on ESPN that isn’t necessarily about sports. He focuses on the pop culture and social elements of the sports world and often ventures entirely out of this environment.

So when the footage of Donald Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush leaked and was defended as “locker room talk,” Le Batard suggested that the controversy was right in his show’s wheelhouse.

When he asked the rules surrounding his ability to talk about the subject, his producer told him that he “probably said too much already.” While he said he understood the hesitancy by ESPN to approach anything regarding politics, he was upset that they didn’t trust him enough to cover the subject without taking a political stance.

Le Batard later admitted that he would be suspended if he did end up talking about the Trump tape on air.

While it may be sensible that ESPN try and avoid anything that could result in political stances being taken, Le Batard has a proven track record of handling tricky subjects without displaying any bias.

It’s also interesting that the Colin Kaepernick protest sparked conversations on ESPN airwaves that contained political opinions and no objections were raised. Clearly the issue is taking a stance on an issue involving a candidate running for office.

Johnson’s league suspension upheld


The National Football League has outlawed the performance enhancing drug (PED) use among players for many years. The league also, however, provides an approved list of supplements that players can take.  To our surprise, it seems that players aren’t even safe when it comes to these approved supplements.

Lane Johnson is the starting right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now serving a 10-game suspension.  Prior to the season start Johnson tested positive for a banned substance.  The interesting part is that Johnson claims it was something in an approved NFL supplement which caused the positive test.

Johnson told Jay Glaser of Fox Sports that he took an amino acid approved by the NFL which caused the positive test.

This provided an difficult decision for the NFL. They do state players should take the substance at their own risk and they still may contain substances that are banned. But they also should consider how misleading that is. They ultimately decided to carry out their initial decision of a 10-game suspension as this has been Johnson’s second run with he PED code.

The news media have covered this story for weeks due to its long timeline. Johnson tested positive prior to the season and has only been officially suspended in the sixth week. During that time it has been a constant stream of stories making if he finally be suspend this week.

The NFL’s drug policy has also come into question by the news media.  Questions have been raised as to whether an approved list should exist if the players may not be allowed to take  the drugs on the list.

Overall, the news media has found that Johnson’s case and suspension will serve as a precedent and scare players from taking any supplement that may or may not cause them to potentially fail drug tests.

Lane Johnson’s attorney has expressed dissatisfaction regarding the NFL’s decision.

“We are disappointed with Arbitrator James Carter’s summary ruling,” Steve Zashin, Johnson’s attorney, wrote in the statement obtained by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. “We will wait for his formal written opinion. After we review that decision, we will consider all available legal options.”

Forecast models predict Clinton victory


In a wild and chaotic election season, pollsters and statisticians are attempting to do the seemingly impossible: predict the winner of the 2016 presidential election.

National and state polls get the most attention from media organizations, as they are simple ways of communicating how much support the candidates are receiving.

However, political scientists also produce forecast models which may provide a more insightful look into what will happen come election day.

The forecast models incorporate the voting history of each state and hundreds of national and state polls in order to determine how many electoral votes each candidate is likely to receive.

The models are produced by organizations such as The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, and the Princeton Election Consortium.

According to the forecast models, Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to be elected president. The Princeton Election Consortium model gives Clinton a 97% chance of being elected. The New York Times says that Clinton is 89 percent likely to win the presidency. The FiveThirtyEight model gives Clinton an 86 percent chance.

When reporting on the 2016 election, individual state and national polls only tell part of the story.

While the forecast models clearly have error and uncertainty, they take hundreds of pieces of information into account to produce an exhaustive look at the presidential race.

When news organizations only report the results of individual polls, they are providing people with incomplete and unreliable information.

In addition to providing poll results, news media outlets should report on the forecast models to make sure people are not receiving skewed interpretations of the presidential race.

Trump video an October surprise


Just when America thought it couldn’t get anymore raunchy…

Trump, the master showman, gives yet another spectacular “locker room” performance the weekend before Monday’s debate.

The Washington Post released video footage retrieved from “Access Hollywood” of what could be acknowledged as this election’s October surprise, given the unmistakable lewd comments that Trump makes about his behavior towards women, as well as the allegations that arose following the footage’s dissemination.

These newly released wire briefs and tapes, some dating back as far as 1992, confirm the suspicions many Americans already had in regards to Donald Trumps views on, and treatment of women.

“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said in reference to an actress on the Access Hollywood tape. “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful … I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

“Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything,” Trump added.

The media has been all over Trump’s horrid campaign since January, and an article written by The Atlantic entitled, The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet, says that, “now his behavior toward women threatens to doom a campaign that was already limping.”

Trump’s campaign released a statement in response to the allegations saying,

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

“Locker room banter,” is it?

The things you say and do when you think no one is watching are the things that define you, not the performance that you put on with the knowledge that people are listening and judging you.

Let’s not bypass the fact that he apologizes for offending anyone, not for his comments and actions in regards to women. I guess that is the narcissistic way to apologize when you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.

According to an article written Thursday by David Graham of The Atlantic, many women allege that this is no small talk, but are accusing Trump of sexual assault, and in one case, rape.

Remarkably, in the past 24 hours, The Washington Post has published nine stories with ‘Trump’ in the headline.

How can the media be unbiased in their reporting if a new Trump scandal emerges every week?

And in case anyone forgot, we still haven’t seen the taxes.

Is the audit finished yet, Trump?

News media struggle with Chibok story


Twenty-one Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago were freed Thursday.

The Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, kidnapped more than 270 students from a school in Chibok in April 2014. Although the militant group had been terrorizing Nigeria for years, the kidnapping provoked international attention and increased support to stop Boko Haram.

After numerous negotiations with the Islamic militant group, the Nigerian government finally made a breakthrough this week. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered a deal between Nigeria and Boko Haram which allowed 21 of the girls to go home.

The celebratory information has spread quickly across global platforms but has lead to conflicting information. Some groups, such as The New York Times, have sources that claim that no Boko Haram members were released from jail in exchange for the women. In opposition, other news media groups, including the Chicago Tribune, claim there was a swap.

The news outlets have different quoted sources yet, not all are credible. Phrases such as “a credible source” or “someone close to the negotiation” were used as attribution in the reports. This tactic points to a trend of large news media organizations valuing getting out information instead of getting specific sources that are proven true.

In important, historical stories, such as the initial coverage of a major kidnapping, it is vital for journalists to have accurate information. The fact that the news media are not consistent, are negligent about sources and compete to get out information quickly oppose to correctly needs to change.

With the increased presence of social media, the pressure to get out information is heightened. New audiences are more attracted to quick blurbs and immediate information; however, if news sources are giving inaccurate information, their credibility decreases.

It is the primary concern for a journalist to uphold the truth –– a truth that is should not be compromised.

Ken Bone’s moment of instant stardom


Forget the policies. Forget the candidates. Forget the issues. The real winner of the presidential debate was Ken Bone.

The red cardigan wearing, average Joe looking, plump man was the hero America needed in this ruthless election cycle.

He was a breath of fresh air from America’s two favorite candidates attacking each other’s character and families.

He has been praised everywhere from Twitter to broadcast news networks. All for asking a relatively simple question about energy policy.

Ken Bone has just signed an endorsement deal with Uber. He literally got it, because he has become America’s newest meme and social media darling.

There has always been the overnight celebrity phenomenon in the news media, but the Internet makes the process so much easier to happen.

Before the age of the Internet, it was the mostly the press who could influence overnight stardom, but social media have made millions of more people have a voice in this process.

Journalists and businesses have to adapt to this. When someone becomes an overnight celebrity they need to get involved with them. Whether it be giving them a sponsorship like Uber or by running stories about mundane aspects of their life; like why Ken Bone wore a cardigan.

Overnight celebrities offer companies an easy way to get money and viewers. They need to embrace them to get the hits and exposure to thrive.

Ken Bone becomes Internet sensation


A man in a red sweater who asked a question at the second Presidential Debate on Sunday has became an instant Internet sensation.

Kenneth Bone asked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”

kenbone18The question itself isn’t to blame for Bone’s fame.

His name and the red sweater combined with his glasses made him the perfect internet meme.

Bone told CNN on Monday morning, “I went from, last night, having seven Twitter followers, two of which were my grandmother…to now, I have several hundred,” he said. “And I don’t know why they care what I have to say, but I’m glad they’re engaged in the political process.”

Now, Bone has more than 200,000 Twitter followers.

And the fan frenzy doesn’t stop there. #KenBone was a trending topic on Twitter, people created parody accounts, and Bitmoji—the iPhone app that allows users to make cartoon versions of themselves—created a Ken Bone-themed icon.

kennethboneNot to mention the Sexy Ken Bone Halloween costume that sold out within four hours.

Internet media sensations come and go faster than Ken Bone asked his question on Sunday, so who knows when his fifteen minutes of fame will be up and the next guy will have his chance in the Internet spotlight.