Melania Trump addresses social media


First Lady Melania Trump delivered a speech about the challenges of American youth at a recent a White House luncheon.

In light of the recent protests by the younger generations of Americans regarding gun control, FLOTUS stressed the fact that children deserve a voice when it comes to these issues. Additionally, she encouraged parents to teach their children positive social media habits.

Many, saw the irony in this remark, as her husband’s social media presence has been anything but positive. And, as highlighted by BBC news, these people took their frustrations to twitter, where her comment about positive social media was ridiculed.

The BBC news article did a great job at providing tweets from Twitter users criticizing Melania’s speech:

These tweets and the others highlighted on the article imply her remarks are ironic given the nature of Donald Trump’s tweets.

However, he is not the only member of the Trump family guilty of negative social media usage.

The article also highlights the fact that Donald Trump Jr, her stepson, liked a post on social media that falsely accused an innocent man of being an “FBI stooge”.

Further, Mrs. Trump has been known for posting risqué pictures to her social media accounts prior to becoming First Lady. Even after her new position, she has been criticized for posting selfies and utilizing Snapchat filters on her posts.

So, the mass criticism of her speech also comes from her own usage of social media, which many believe to not be appropriate for the First Lady of the United States.

Father of 13 wins paternity rights


In Bangkok, Thailand, Mitsutoki Shigeta, a Japanese man nicknamed the “baby factory,” has won the paternity rights to 13 of the babies he has fathered via Thai surrogate mothers.

In 2014, Shigeta revealed to have fathered 16 babies through surrogacy. He won the paternity rights of three of the children in a 2015 trial.

According to strong research by BBC News South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head, an airport security photo from more than three years ago that showed Shigeta holding a baby as he was leaving Thailand, caused concern about his motives for leaving the country. Shigeta was investigated by Thai police for possible human trafficking, as he had already taken some of his children to Cambodia.

Further investigation by the Japanese government and a statement from Shigeta’s lawyer has since revealed that he is the son of a wealthy entrepreneur and is merely looking to expand his family.

Details about Shigeta’s life are very secretive and there is hardly any information about him that is public, besides for the fact that he owns several companies and has set up trust funds for his children. BBC shares that according to several “sources,” Shigeta has been moving around through Asia frequently and could have even fathered children in India and Ukraine.

Mitsutoki Shigeta, father of 16 surrogate babies.

BBC does not convince the audience that Shigeta should have won the paternity rights, but merely shines a light on the kind of questionable activity that Asian authorities are letting occur.

According to BBC, Shigeta’s Bangkok apartment was raided during a crackdown on commercial surrogacy and nine surrogate babies, nannies, and a pregnant surrogate mother were found. The Thai police seized Shigeta’s 13 children, leading to an investigation and Shigeta filing for sole custody.

According to Thailand’s Central Juvenile and Family Court, Shigeta earns the American equivalent of more than $3 million a year and has enough caretakers and resources to take care of his 16 children.

The reporting on this case is questionable, as is the decision to let Shigeta have sole custody of his 16 children. Despite this, the Thai government has found evidence that he should have paternal rights of the children, according to BBC.

Tweet costs Snapchat $1.3 billion


Kylie Jenner, one of the most influential people in the world today and the wealthiest of the Kardashian-Jenner family, can now add making an impact in the stock market to her list of accomplishments.

Kylie Jenner tweeted on Feb. 21, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me … ugh this is so sad.”

Exactly one day later, Feb. 22, Snapchat’s stock dropped six percent, which was about $1.3 billion.

Kylie’s tweet referred to Snapchat’s newest update, which made it harder for people to view their friends’ stories in the app. In the past week, Snapchat users have started a petition to get it changed back to the original layout. CNN interviewed Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, who stated, “with roughly 25 million followers, Kylie Jenner carries a loud mouthpiece that speaks to today’s knee-jerk reaction in shares.”

In response to this petition, Snapchat released a statement saying, “We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.”

The Kardashian-Jenner clan has an influence among millennials that many other celebrities don’t possess. They are at the top of their game.

However, Fast Company, a progressive American magazine, disagreed that Kylie Jenner had any impact at all on Snapchat’s downfall. Fast Company‘s most recent blog post titled, “No, Kylie Jenner didn’t kill Snapchat” talked about how a week before Jenner tweeted about Snapchat, Wall Street wasn’t fond of the company because of the recent changes in design. This prompted analysts from Citi to lower Snapchat’s stock from “neutral” to “sell” which could have had a large impact on their stock price falling rather than Kylie Jenner’s input.

So the question still begs, which do you think it was?

More companies cutting ties with NRA


In the wake of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., many companies have cut ties with the NRA.

Gun control activists have been increasing the pressure on companies to end their relationships with the NRA. The list of companies that have done so includes major airlines such as United and Delta and rental car services such as Hertz.

Much of the pressure being put on companies is happening on Twitter. Twitter users have been tweeting at companies asking them to publicly state their stance on the NRA and to reevaluate their relationships with the NRA in light of the NRA’s pushback on strengthened gun control legislation.

Many of the companies have been using Twitter to make these announcements, which makes sense given that much of the pressure to cut ties is happening on Twitter. Many articles covering this developing story have included screenshots or links to tweets from the various companies that have cut ties.

I find that including the tweet is more visually appealing than simply copying and pasting the company’s statement into quotes for the text of the story. Including the screenshot also allows readers to see if the tweet was in response to a user or a stand-alone tweet, which is a detail that some readers want to know.

FBI’s NCAA probe receives backlash


Yahoo Sports published documents on Friday containing information from the FBI’s probe into college basketball’s corruption and it could alter the future of the sport itself.

With big name programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and others being listed for potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families, college basketball is under a microscope with nowhere to hide. What’s interesting is that coverage has not been scrutinizing these teams for breaking the rules, but has instead been looking at the rules themselves and the NCAA.

The NCAA and its members are essentially a brand that makes money off of college kids, but doesn’t pay them. Meanwhile, these same kids aren’t allowed to make any money themselves off of their talents. While the NCAA and its members are making billions of dollars off of college basketball players, they are quick to turn around and deem them ineligible to play if they receive any benefits.

While the violations range from an agent buying Duke star Wendell Carter Jr dinner to Deandre Ayton receiving about $100,000 to play for Arizona, it doesn’t really matter whether a player receives a dollar or a million. College athletes can’t get paid for their talents and services, nor can they market them in any way.

While the FBI is punishing schools and players for breaking the rules set by the NCAA, it is interesting to see former and current players along with college and professional analysts side with the young athletes. A common theme is rising to the surface as more and more voices weigh in, and it’s becoming evident that the real villain in this story is the NCAA, and that it is almost laughable that the players see no return from the profit that they are responsible for.

“Don’t play in the NCAA tournament,” Jalen Rose, a former NBA player and current NBA Reporter, said. “Send a message young fellas … go for the money.”

Perhaps the best course of action is to go right after the NCAA where it hurts them the most; their pockets. If the players can’t make any money, than neither can the NCAA, who deem it fair that they should be able to keep every penny of the $10.8 billion that the TV deal for march madness will bring them during the next 14 years. But the players, who are the sole reason for the tournament’s popularity, will see none of it, and be deemed ineligible to play if they want to sell their own autographs.

ACLU sues to challenge Ohio law


The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and ACLU Foundation have stepped in on Ohio’s recent law. This law bans abortions if the fetal diagnosis is Down syndrome. This law came into place to put a stop against discrimination and pay more attention to the protection of people with disabilities. Pretty much, Ohio wants to ban abortion and can only move further by making ridiculous regulations.

ACLU said this law is “unconstitutional” and has nothing to do with discrimination. By March 22, this law will come into play.

Anti-abortion groups went so far into making their point that they called ACLU hypocrites and said the union wasn’t truly looking out for individual rights. Of course, it should be a black or white viewpoint: you either support abortion or don’t. However, us humans like to make things difficult.

These “Right to Life” supporters and anti-abortion groups use disabilities to fight for their rights. So now that the fetal diagnosis is Down syndrome, ACLU should fight for this law? It makes no sense.

Along with the Planned Parenthood funding issues continuing to rise, there seems to never be a middle ground when it comes to this topic. Why should ACLU be shamed and criticized when the union hasn’t changed their viewpoints at all? The point is simple: How can the fetal diagnosis change abortion regulations?

The point of abortion and national teen pregnancy programs is to assist women who are in a financial, emotional and physical disposition. Certain freedoms are given to women to ensure not only their safety but also the safety of what’s going on inside them. With the lack of sex education and health information worldwide, teens are not given the accessibility to learn about the seriousness of this issue.

Reproduction, birth control, safety and health care seem like another world to many teens, and it should be the influencers of our country to protect their innocence and inform them.

Laws like this are what stop progress in America. To take away the licenses of physicians to perform their duties on the basis of their patient is the unconstitutionality here. ACLU is only being seen as a union full of hypocrisy and violations against freedom. Pro-life groups need to speak up and show support for the issues arising in Ohio that interfere with the freedom of choice women have been given until now.

Did ABC’s ‘The View’ cross a line?


Recently, former White House staffer Omarosa Manigualt, on the reality TV show “Celebrity Big Brother,” commented on Vice President Mike Pence’s faith.

“As bad as you think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence . . . everyone that is wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life . . . I am Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things.”

On ABC’s “The View,” Joy Behar and fellow panelists discussed Manigault’s comment.  “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices.”

“The View” member, Sunny Hostin, said, “I’m Catholic, I’m a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president speaking in tongues.”

Behar continued to mock the vice president.  “My question is, can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?”

Joy Behar on ABC’s “The View” (screengrab from YouTube)

In response to the comments on “The View,” Pence said during an interview with Axios journalist Mike Allen, “I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness.  And I’d like to laugh about it, but I really can’t . . . It’s just wrong.”

Pence told Allen, “And it’s an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith.  My Christianity is the most important thing in my life.”

CBN covered the story in favor of Pence and supported the vice president’s stand against the comments made on “The View.”

As a Christian, upon reading the quotes made on national TV mocking the vice president’s Christian faith, I was deeply offended.

Regardless of your politics, to make fun of someone’s religion, especially on national TV, in such an insensitive way is completely inappropriate.

“But I just think it demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that,” said Pence on Axios.  “And I call them out on it. Not because of what was said about me.  But it’s just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

FOX News provided more coverage of the conversation that was held on “The View” by explaining that the panelists’ conversation was surrounding the idea of Pence, an evangelical Christian, becoming the new president and what that would entail.

“He’s not very popular at all,” Hostin said.  “I think when you have a Mike Pence who now sort of puts this religious veneer on things and calls people ‘values voters,’ I think we’re in a dangerous situation.”

FOX News, which is typically criticized for conservative biased, did provide more well-rounded coverage of the story than CBN or the Christian Post.  Although CBN, the Christian Post, ABC, and Fox News cater to niche audiences, Fox News presented a broader perspective on the incident.

The FOX article mentioned the political debate unlike CBN, which only mentions the attack on Christian values.

In the FOX News article, journalist Brian Flood wrote, “Behar said hearing voices is a ‘mental illness’ before Sherri Shepard offered a limited defense of Pence.”

“As a Christian, that’s just par for the course,” Shepard said “You talk to Jesus, Jesus talks back.  What concerns me is, how long is the conversation with Jesus?”

Michelle Obama to release second book


“Becoming,” a memoir by former first lady Michelle Obama will be released on Nov. 13. After much anticipation, the announcement was made on Feb. 25 by Penguin Random House. “Becoming” will be published by Crown, an imprint at Penguin Random House. Crown obtained the rights to publish the memoir worldwide.

According to The New York Times, Crown said that the memoir will touch on topics like Obama’s experience in the White House, as a mother of two, on her campaign on public health and more.

CNN reported that Penguin Random House said that the Obama’s memoir is “an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations — and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

Courtesy of Michelle Obama via Twitter.

Obama said via her Twitter account that the memoir was a “deeply personal experience” to her.

According to the The New York Times, “Becoming” will be published in 24 languages.

Read by Obama herself, audio versions will also be published. The former first lady will donate a million copies of the memoir to First Book, a nonprofit based in Washington. First Book helps children get access to books and educational resources in the U.S. and Canada.

CNN also included that Penguin Random House said that the memoir will sell for $32.50 in the U.S. When the release day comes around, Obama will promote Becoming through an international tour.

This will be Obama’s second book. “American Grown” was published in 2012. The book encourages healthy living and talks about the White House Kitchen Garden.

NBA All Star format shakes up game


The National Basketball Association had its annual All Star weekend and All Star game this past weekend. Instead of having a traditional East vs. West match up, the commissioner decided to change the format of the game. The two players who received the most fan votes, Steph Curry and LeBron James, drafted their teams from the pool of NBA All Stars and created their teams with both Western Conference and Eastern Conference players.

The All Star game had been receiving criticism over the past few years because of lack of competitiveness and lack of intensity from the players, so a change needed to be made. However, as soon as the format was announced back in the winter of 2017, CBS Sports stated in an article.

CBS Sports was reporting on the format change and criticizing it. CBS talked about how the game had always been West vs. East and they shouldn’t change the tradition. CBS also argued how it didn’t even think changing the format in this way would help the players compete harder.

After the game this past Sunday, the league and reporters thought the game was a success. Not only was the game competitive, but it was also close and came down to the final possession.

CBS Sports published a second article almost immediately after the game stating how the new format worked and how it could keep getting better over the next few years. The article went into heavy detail about why the format worked and the reporter did well on explaining the pros and the cons of the format to the reader.

Sports Illustrated also put out an article on Monday morning talking about how the new All Star game was good for the sport overall and how the NBA players’ symbolic value is what’s important to the fans. So, the players needed to play hard in order to show the fans that they do care about their voices and their opinions.

A reporter named Ben Golliver tweeted a graph showing that the 2018 All Star game was the lowest scoring since 2013 and the closest margin since 2012, which means there was a lot more defense being played the players really cared about winning.

Overall, reporters did a good job analyzing and reporting this game especially after all the anticipation and expectations from this new format.

Parkland continues to dominate news


More than a week later, the mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High in Parkland, Fla., continues to be the biggest talking point for most news organizations.

A quick visit to CNN or The New York Time’s websites will reflect this, as the stories closest to the top of the page and in the biggest fonts are related to Parkland. Even stories about the Winter Olympics or new developments from the Mueller probe into the Russia investigation, stories that at any other point in time would eat up most of the space on the homepage of any news organization, have not been garnering the same attention as any of the stories related to the Parkland shooting.

This is a typical occurrence with mass shootings. Tragedies such as these come as shocks to the community and to the country as a whole and we find ourselves unable to turn away our attention from the aftermath. Writing and profiles of victims and survivors become a means of paying respect to them.

Another aspect of mass shootings that keeps them in the news is the political debate over gun control and mental health that always follows. Some recent examples of this are the stories on the chief of the NRA attacking Democrats about their gun control stance and Trump’s suggestion that we let teachers be armed and incentivize them to carry guns with a bonus. Many marches and demonstrations have happened, and more are being planned, each one garnering coverage.

Details continue to emerge about the shooting, consistently reigniting interest in the story and leading to more stories. For example, a recent look at the police response found that an armed school resource deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School never went into the building where the killer was, drawing intense criticism. The deputy has since been suspended following an internal investigation.

NRA uses Leslie Knope in pro-gun tweet


Former stars of the hit NBC show “Parks and Recreation” are furious at the National Rifle Association for tweeting a GIF of a scene from their series.

After the tragic events that happened at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School, students, faculty and parents of victims gathered at CNN Town Hall on Wednesday. They gathered for questions and answers with Florida lawmakers.

The NRA tweeted a message of support to the official spokesperson, Dana Loesch, who was at the event.

“Thank you for begin the voice of over 5 Million #NRA members.” read the tweet. A GIF showing one of the main character of the show, Leslie Knope was put as an attachment.

It demonstrated Knope pointing and saying, “Thank you.” Knope is famously played by Amy Poehler who did not mince words when she heard about the tweet.

Moments later the co creator of the show Michael Schur tweeted, “Hi, please take this down. I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro- slaughter agenda.”

Poehler does not have a Twitter account, but requested Schur to post a message for them. “Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said f**k off?”

The news media covered this story in a very honest and raw way providing the facts about the situation and how it was a chain effect. Tensions are very high right now in regards to anything involving guns because of the high school shooting.

Although, the news media did manage to keep their coverage respectful and honest.

Team USA Hockey wins against Canada


For the first time in 20 years, Team USA Hockey has won gold. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a hockey player on Team USA, scored the goal that won the game. It was a 3-2 victory against the Canadian hockey team, who had been undefeated for four years.

If you did not watch the game, reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Miami Herald described the game and Lamoureux-Davidson’s move that lead to the goal in a way that was easy to picture and understand.

According to The New York Times, there were only seven minutes left to play when, Lamoureux-Davidson sister, Monique Lamoureux-Davidson, scored the goal that they needed to match Canada’s score. The game went into overtime and Team USA knew it had a chance to win.

Since overtime in a hockey game lasts five minutes, a shootout began when the score remained tied. This meant that there would be one member from each team attempting to make penalty shots against their opposing goaltender. Because there continued to be no change in the score, the game went into sudden death. The game would end as soon as a team got ahead of the other.

The Miami Herald described that Lamoureux-Davidson’s teammates were eagerly watching her play on the hockey’s biggest stage. As they watched, Lamoureux-Davidson made the anticipated move that they were hoping she would do: the triple maneuver. And she did, scoring against Canada’s goaltender, Shanon Szabados.

Lamoureux-Davidson practiced the intricate move many times. She admitted that she failed many of those attempts, but remained persistent to get it right. According to The Washington Post, Lamoureux-Davidson’s said that the triple maneuver consisted of, “a forehand fake, a backhand fake and then a quick transition back to the forehand to shoot the puck, all while selling each herky-jerky con with deft skating.”

Maddie Rooney, the U.S. goaltender, then made a save against Meghan Agosta of the Canada team, which gave the Americans the game.

Team USA hockey team members threw their gloves in the air and piled on top of Rooney. After 20 years, gold was finally theirs.

Vigil at UM honors Parkland victims


After the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) that took place on Feb. 14, the University of Miami organized a candle light vigil on Feb. 20 to honor the 17 victims.

This took place at the Rock Plaza at the Coral Gables campus and according to The Miami Hurricane, “hundreds” attended the event.

During the ceremony, UM students and faculty gathered to listen to different student speakers speak on the matter. Additionally, attendees were encouraged to write letters to the school and the families affected as well as sign a banner that will be sent to the High School on UM’s behalf.

The Miami Hurricane’s coverage of the event focuses on UM’s strong connection to the Parkland tragedy. Not only is MSD geographically close to Coral Gables, but many UM students attended the high school. Some of these students, who also lost family members last Wednesday, spoke out during the vigil.

The article highlights the words by sophomore Ally Rosenberg, who lost her cousin, Alex Schachter at the shooting. Rosenberg spoke to the attendees about the hardships this has created for her family, but also used her platform to advocate change in gun control laws.

The article also makes note of UM senior Matthew Labkovski, who also lost his cousin, Meadow Pollack. It also mentions the loss of UM’s own alumnus, Scott Beigel, who was a teacher at MSD.

Additionally, the article mentions that 128 MSD students have attended UM since 2006 and that the school has 27 currently pursuing their education.

By taking this focus, The Miami Hurricane not only reports on this vigil but also demonstrates the toll that this tragedy has taken on this campus. This coverage shows that events like the ones at MSD can happen to anyone in this country and further demonstrates the importance of policy change when it comes to firearms.

The article can be found here:

U.S. women earn hockey gold


On Feb. 21, the U.S. women’s hockey team won its first Olympic Gold Medal over Canada since its first victory in 1998. The game lasted through regulation playing time, overtime and an extended shootout to finish in a 3-2 win for the United States. The truly inspiring victory has drawn news media attention to one of the most underrated rivalries in recent sporting history.

As the two undisputed most successful women’s hockey teams, the United States and Canadian women’s teams have been battling it out in the Olympics for the past 20 years, since the sport was first included in the Olympics in 1998 in the Nagano games. After its first Olympic victory in 1998, the U.S. women’s team has been silver to the Canadian’s gold in all four of the following Olympic games.

The rivalry deepens considering the IIHF Women’s World Championship outcomes since its introduction in 1990; Canada dominated all but one championship for the first 10 years until the U.S. took the title in 2005. The U.S. has held the championship since 2008, except in 2012.

The U.S. women’s team has been growing in news media relevance since its introduction to the Olympics, but the team earned national attention nearly a year ago after boycotting the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in pursuit of equal pay.

When USA Hockey threatened to bring on replacements, the Women’s national team convinced high school and college level potentials to boycott as well. Fellow athletes, including the Women’s national soccer team and players’ associations for the NHL, NBA, NHL, MLB and WNBA, supported the boycott through social media. The team was successful in negotiations with USA Hockey just three days before the 2017 IIHF games, which it went on to win for the seventh time in eight years.

Last night’s victory, which happened on the 38th anniversary of the historic “Miracle on Ice” upset of the U.S. men’s national team victory over the former Soviet Union in 1980, has brought the women’s national hockey team into the news media spotlight it deserves after years of exceptional competition and a groundbreaking stand for equality.

Flu kills at least 120 in Hong Kong


This year’s flu has spread worldwide in a matter of a few weeks, leading to the death of children and elders.The common strain among the others this year is H3N2 also known as the “Australian flu.”

Currently, the flu has struck Hong Kong in January and has killed more than 120 people according to public broadcaster RTHK. In order to keep the flu from spreading, Hong Kong has ordered school children to wear face masks.

The city has also ordered some schools to close early for the Lunar New Year and to also help keep the flu quarantine.

According to the World Health Organization, they estimate that “each year around 290,000 to 650,000 people die worldwide as a result of influenza.” With numbers being so high, the Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection believes schools are easier sights to spread influenza strains because many toddlers and children may be too young to take care of their personal hygiene.

Hong Kong closed all kindergartens and primary schools 8 days ahead of the New Year holiday to contain the spread. According to HKU researchers, they announced in their latest study that this particular influenza virus was “more transmittable”.

GlaxoSmithKline, a company that supplies the city with batches of flu vaccines said more than 20,000 doses of vaccine from Germany had arrived in Hong Kong the second week of February. The firm released a statement saying the vaccines “will be allocated equally among the public and private clinics as soon as possible.” All this is a part of the process of keeping the flu from killing more people and spreading.

Copycat death threats: Fault of media?


Just a few days following the devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., police have foiled many copycat threats toward schools and their students.

Many of the charges have simply been for written threats to kill, but the message forms have ranged from pictures on Snapchat with guns declaring dates they would attack to a physical written note threatening teachers. The police have arrested and defused these threats, but a majority of the threats made were termed as jokes or seen as “funny” by their perpetrators.

This perception of the national tragedy by high school and middle school students could reflect a much larger issue when it comes to media coverage of major shooting incidents.

A screenshot of the Rolling Stone’s Facebook page following the publishing of their Boston Bomber cover.

The news media came under scrutiny for their treatment of national disasters largely due to The Rolling Stone‘s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing incident on April 13, 2013.

They chose to put the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s face on the cover of their magazine and caused national outrage for glamorizing and popularizing Tsarnaev rather than respecting and focusing on the victims and the city’s recovery. It was somewhat comparative to young woman who send love letters to serial killers such as Ted Bundy or Jeffery Dahmer.

When it comes to national tragedies, the media has a responsibility to inform as regularly and as accurately as possible. But many people have urged networks and publications to not repeatedly print the accused’s face and name since the popularity and recognition is often what the perpetrators aim for when they do what they do.

Whether these kids wanted to scare their friends or see how their school’s react, a large amount of mass shootings are often inspired by the national attention previous disasters like Columbine or Sandy Hook receive.

The killers are instantly picked apart and their interests, friends, family, and possible motivations are published everywhere and they dominate the news. The Las Vegas shooter was a noted narcissist- what better way to satisfy the need for attention then to be discussed in the news for weeks?

New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci questions news media treatment of Las Vegas shooting.

This is also fault to the new age of 24-hour news cycle. With networks dedicated to instant, braking news updates every hour of the day, these incidents are rehashed over and over.

No Notoriety, a group that focuses on media coverage of mass killings asks the media to “limit” the name and images of a shooter except for instances where the suspect is at large.  Let’s focus on the event, the victims and the heroes, and not make the killer a household name.

LeBron will not ‘shut up and dribble’


LeBron James won NBA All-Star Weekend, in more ways than one. In the first year of the new All-Star game format, in which the top two vote-getters were selected as team captains, LeBron’s squad toppled Stephen Curry’s bunch in one of the most watchable and competitive midseason showcases of the past 15 years. James earned MVP honors for his efforts.

The biggest story involving James came not from the game, but from a Fox News segment aired on Friday morning before the contest. Host Laura Ingraham shredded James and fellow NBA superstar Kevin Durant for voicing their negative opinions of President Trump in a recent ESPN interview. It’s not the first time James has come out against Trump and he has gone as far to make a speech at a Hillary Clinton rally in Ohio during her 2016 election campaign.

Ingraham’s main position was that James needed to “Shut up and dribble.” She also labeled the two stars’ comments as “barely intelligible” and “ungrammatical,” which is ridiculous and inaccurate, considering James and Durant are some of the most-well spoken and intelligent athletes in sports.

James handled Ingraham in the same way he handles opponents on the court: by (metaphorically) dunking all over her.

During All-Star media day, James naturally was asked to comment on the segment and he responded as he tends to do with most things: taking the high road, with a little bit of James’ trademark passive aggressiveness thrown in.

James talked at length about how he felt it was his duty to be a role model for young kids in the same position he was once in.

“We will definitely not shut up and dribble…. I mean too much to society, too much to the youth, too much to so many kids who feel like they don’t have a way out,” said James.

He later posted a picture on Instagram with the words “I am more than an athlete.”

It may sound like cockiness, but he’s absolutely right. Many kids look to professional athletes as role models and there may not be a better one than James. The man came from a poverty-stricken, single-parent household in Akron, Ohio. He was a household name before he turned 17, landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school junior. He was anointed as one of the greats before he could even drive. How many people would crumble under that kind of pressure?

Instead, James became one of the three greatest ever to play basketball and transformed into a shrewd businessman with holding in a wide variety of industries, from restaurants to multimedia platforms. He donates millions of dollars to social causes, and is a vocal leader of the fight to end racial injustice. If the man wants to give his opinion on politics, his voice certainly has more weight than some ignorant news anchor.

Of course, James is the clear winner in this, with most of the news media throwing hate on Ingraham and this story blowing up to give Lebron’s fight against racial injustice more awareness. Much of the coverage of this story entailed tearing down Ingraham. For example, NFL player Chris Long tweeted many photos of athletes who were guests on Fox News, and none of them were told to stay out of politics. However, James was able to concede this to Ingraham:

“I had no idea who she was until now, so I guess she won in that case,” James said.

Florida House declines ban on AR-15


The AR-15 is the most popular weapon used in mass shootings in America today. The rifle was used in the most recent shooting in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people. Before this incident, the rifle was used in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, a music festival in Las Vegas, and the Orlando nightclub. These mass shootings have only happened in the past year, killing more than 150 people.

After last weeks shooting in Parkland, survivors went to Florida’s capital to take action against the gun laws in Florida. According to CNN, the Florida Statehouse rejected the ban on semiautomatic guns. However, they declared that “porn is now an official public health risk but not the use of rifles,” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith from Orlando.

Why is the AR-15 so popular? The National Rifle Association said that the AR-15 is “popular because it’s customizable, adaptable, reliable and accurate.” People believe that the AR-15 has gotten a bad rap for the number of times it shows up in the news for mass shootings when in reality it was made for “sports shooting and hunting,” says the NRA.

The subject of AR-15 weapons is covered very well because it is a controversial topic of discussion. It was covered on almost all websites including, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and others. They cover the basics of the AR-15 rifle and how it has been used in almost all mass shootings. There should be more coverage of the decision-making process among Florida officials to ban AR-15 rifles.

Could gun violence be curbed by banks?


In a New York Times Dealbook article in the Business & Policy section by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Sorkin suggested that banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America should ban the purchase of certain firearms using their credit cards companies in order to curtail gun violence in America.

Sorkin effectively discussed the position that many CEOs and high level executives of banks feel that they should take towards moral and social issues. He claims that they feel a “sense of moral responsibility … to confront social challenges when Washington won’t.”

Truthfully, following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day, the sales of assault weapons has not yet been limited by lawmakers in Washington, but according to Sorkin there is a “real opportunity for the business community to fill the void and prove that all the talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow”.

An AR-15: the automatic assault weapon responsible for the most amount of deadly shootings in America

Sorkin suggests that these credit card processing banks should add restrictions in their Terms of Service in which they start by restricting the purchase of assault rifles and bump stocks, the mechanism that makes rifles fire faster.

There is even a precedent for banning the usage of credit cards for certain purchases, so the banks would not be doing something extremely outlandish. In the past month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America have set restrictions to ban the usage of their credit cards to purchase Bitcoin – a completely legal worldwide payment system.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase said that he and his bank “have a moral obligation but also a deeply vested interest [in helping] solve pressing societal issues,” according to Sorkin.

Sorkin’s quoting of high level executives reveals their deeper interest behind solving issues like gun violence, which Sorkin believes could be easily curtailed by simply restricting what could be purchased on bank-issued credit cards.

Most people will not pay for an assault weapon in cash or they will have a harder time figuring out how to pay for it or why they should pay for it when their bank condemns it.

Sorkin includes an important detail in his editorial to show a problem in restricting gun control in this country. He writes that, after 72 hours of phone calls to high level people, nobody wanted to discuss his idea on the record or even at all.

Nobody wants to talk about a world where the purchase of assault weapons would be untraceable – only in cash. But, an America where assault rifles could not be purchased using credit cards would make purchasing them more difficult and would raise national recognition of the level of danger of these guns. According to Sorkin, it would be a great start for a country that has had more than 18 school shootings in just one month.

Fergie bashed for national anthem effort


Fergie’s performance at the NBA All-Star game has received so much negativity and has been described as “cringe worthy, laughable, and my friends drunk mom acting sexy.” Roseanne Barr also mocked her saying her own rendition of the song in her 1990 performance was “low key better.” The singer took the responsibility into her own hands by sincerely apologizing for her artistic risks and explained she tried her best.

Even the NBA players were unable to contain themselves, as it was evident during the performance. Players including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Matt Dollinger, were ones who proved their problems with the performance, as they laughed and made faces throughout. Fergie has always been known to put her own kick into her music, making her stand out as an individualistic artist who has proven to sing from her own soul. Apparently, this was not good enough for everyone.

Every report of this performance has been nothing but disgraceful and hurtful towards Fergie. She has been respected as not only a performer but also a person. She is real, successful, and different. Singers are ridiculed for being too bland and for being too “risky?” The backlash of her performance can be understandable to a certain point, but the coverage of the situation is unnecessary.

Albeit it is the national anthem, but if the NBA is all about respect, how is it that the players are allowed to laugh during the performance of this “sacred” anthem? The players are free to laugh, talk, and ridicule the performance and performer of the national anthem? Reports need to also focus on the mutual respect between the performer and the players. What needs to be done is for whatever incident occurs, it needs to be taken seriously and in a fair manner. For players to be tweeting and mocking Fergie as she apologizes for the incident, just seems like the system is rigged and the players are bullies.

It is 2018, crazier things have happened. Having such a well-liked and respected woman perform the national anthem, should be the automatic point made to not ridicule her. However, if there are going to be rude comments given, they should come from both sides.