Donald Trump Jr. wears controversial pin


Most of the American public will remember when then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton referred to a portion of President Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables” during the 2016 presidential race.

More than one year after this happened, the incident is neither talked about nor mentioned in the news anymore. Trump Jr’s outfit choice on Easter changed this.

Rather than the traditional American flag pin that politicians and political figures wear to these sorts of events, the president’s eldest son chose to wear a golden pin of the American flag with the word “deplorable” over it.

None of the main news sources have commented on the issue but online magazines Esquire and The Root both published brief content on the matter.

Esquire’s take was one of comedy towards the matter. The article ridicules Trump Jr. by referring to his choice to do this as “profoundly stupid,” “dumb” and “unfit for the situation.” On the other hand, The Root’s article takes an angrier approach and comments on the situation with profane language.

Both analyses of Trump’s choice are mostly superficial and miss the real problem with the president’s son wearing a pin that says “deplorable” on it.

By choosing to do this, Trump Jr. adds to the image of immaturity that has been linked with the public image of his father. Further, it raises questions about the motive behind the action. Was it meant to be a joke? Or did he wear it as a reminder of the 2016 victory to President Trump’s adversaries? Was he referring to himself as a “deplorable” individual?

Only Donald Trump Jr. can answer these questions. Regardless, this behavior is should not be acceptable for the presidential family and should have been picked up by more mainstream news outlets.

Both online articles can be found at and

Mandated scripts air on Sinclair stations


A video released this weekend by news sports site and blog Deadspin is circulating news media outlets nationwide. The video exposes the nation’s largest local television station owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, in its controversial underhanded support of President Trump and his “fake news” dialogue.

Opening of Deadpan expository video (Photo courtesy of Deadspin sports news and blog)

In just under two minutes, the video pieces together identical quotes from news stations across the country, all warning viewers to be mindful of “fake news.”

The video itself is unsettling to say the least; news anchors are shown delivering formulaic lines in unison, first stating the particular station’s dedication to serving their respective area, followed by a shared sentiment of pride in the profession of journalism.

The video goes on to show clips of similar formulaic statements, all expressing that they are “concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country,” according to The Concourse. As clips of anchors multiply and their voices echo perfectly scripted lines concerning “truth” and “factual reporting,” the video ends in a rhythmic chant of the anchors stating, “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

Brian Stelter reported for CNN earlier in March on the company mandate, sharing in the article the script with which a local news station owned by Sinclair was provided. One anonymous anchor stated, “At my station, everyone was uncomfortable doing it.” Similarly, American news website Thinkprocess shared a transcription of the script based on news station KOMO out of Seattle, wherein the basic formula is broken down.

The news media are near bursting with anchors stating their discomfort in berating their own chosen profession, as well as being required to boast biased dialogue. Many outlets turn focus instead to Sinclair’s move to acquire another 40 television stations, thereby increasing its political influence.

The Deadspin video alone has exceptional reach, having been shared tirelessly over social media outlets, primarily Twitter and Facebook, and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver.

Unsurprisingly, the exposure has sparked massive disgust and contempt for slimy media politics in general and the now-questionable ethics of Sinclair Broadcast Group. And, unsurprisingly, President Trump has taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter;

“So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke,” the president wrote.

If nothing else, the video has managed to shock and alert the general public to the immeasurable power of mass media.

Saks credit card user data hacked


Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, which are owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., were both reportedly hacked. Those affected include more than five million credit and debit card clients of these stores. Hudson’s Bay Co., has responded and stated it is working to solve the issue. The company has also declared it will compensate those affected with free identity protection services and web monitoring of the credit card information.

Gemini Advisory, a cybersecurity firm, explained that the hackers, known as JokerStash, took the data and put it up for sale on the dark web, causing this scandal to be the biggest attack on retail chains yet. The most cases of stolen information were in the New York and New Jersey locations of Saks and Lord & Taylor.

How this happened is the real question. According to the Gemini Advisory, the hackers installed unique computer codes into cash registers, sending every in-store purchaser’s information to their own computers. This explanation may be estimated because only in-store purchasers were affected while the online shoppers weren’t.

The news media are explaining what steps will be taken to ensure customer relationships and to fix the reputation of feeling safe to purchase at these megastores. The issue here is the fact that the hacking has supposedly been occurring for a year now. Why has this been able to happen? Focusing on the fact that fraudulent charges are probably unlikely, considering the purchasers of these stores buy expensive items, what are customers supposed to do when their identity is compromised?

The media need to inform customers of what is going on, as Hudson’s Bay Company is continuously investigating and enforcing regulations to prevent future situations and to keep customers’ trust. Providing a change in cybersecurity and communicating with customers is the best step to take for now.

The Rock latest celeb to talk depression


Continuing a movement that has seen a huge amount of growth in the past few months, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson became the latest prominent male figure to publicly share his experiences with depression.

Johnson is one of the most famous celebrities in the world and one of the most beloved (and a University of Miami alum to boot). He’s also famously strong and muscular, playing the hardened, badass character in many of the movies in which he stars.

Some people may see this news and say, “Who cares? Boo hoo. A multimillionaire is crying on his yacht, am I supposed to feel bad?” This misses the point entirely. Mental health is not based on one’s bank account and despite what some may believe, celebrities have an enormous impact on the public, especially young people. Johnson is an activist, philanthropist, and general good guy, so there are worse options for kids to mimic.

What Johnson’s story does is continue the conversation, allowing mental health to be discussed openly and without shame, not something that gets bottled up and ignored. The fact that he is a man, and a non-white man at that, is even more important.

Generally, famous women are the ones who share their stories about battling mental health, and in movies and television its usually women who deal with these issues. Of course, that’s perfectly fine, but as Johnson says himself, men have more trouble discussing their emotions and mental states. The social norm is for men to not show their emotions, and women typically are much more emotionally healthy as a result. Johnson shows that you can be a tough guy and have emotions, they aren’t mutually exclusive.

DeMar DeRozan, the Toronto Raptors All-Star guard, really got the ball rolling when he opened up about his own ongoing battle with depression, and he expressed support for Johnson. If an NBA All-Star and a world-famous actor can thrive in their field even with depression, that helps others realize that you can still be successful while dealing with a mental health issue.

Many of the responses to Johnson were like the one displayed earlier, expressing surprise that Johnson dealt with depression and happiness that they weren’t alone. Many news outlets covered this story, which helps to spread Johnson’s message even further. Hopefully, guys like DeRozan and Johnson become the rule, not the exception, and help us move toward a future where we can talk about our problems and heal them, not just hide them and let them eat away from within.

Tank fails at fertility clinic in Ohio


Called a “catastrophic” failure, a storage tank at an Ohio fertility clinic malfunctioned and resulted in the loss of more than 4,000 eggs and embryos this month. 950 patients were affected by the failure and have since had their childbearing plans altered.

The beginning of the newsletter issued by the University Hospitals fertility clinic. The full letter can be found at

According to a newsletter provided by the University Hospitals fertility clinic, the remote alarm system designed to alert employees of rising temperatures was turned off the weekend that the tank temperature rose.

The newsletter says that the clinic, “does not know who turned off the remote alarm nor how long it was off, but it appears to have been off for a long period of time.”

“We are heartbroken to tell you that it’s unlikely that any of the eggs are viable,” the newsletter said.

According to the letter, the clinic had recently come across issues with the auto-refill function of the tank, which fills the liquid nitrogen that preserves the eggs and embryos. Employees had been manually refilling the liquid nitrogen. The clinic claims that they do not know if the new fill process was affecting the temperature of the tank.

In an interview on March 21, cancer patient Elliot Ash said that he froze his sperm in 2003 before he underwent chemotherapy.  After getting married a few years later, Ash and his wife were able to use in-vitro fertilization to have a child in 2015. According to Ash’s wife, the couple’s “goal was to always give [their] son a biological sibling … it has been a rough few weeks.” The couple is “now unsure about their family plans,” according to The New York Times. The Ashs are filing a class action lawsuit against the clinic.

The newsletter issued by the clinic was sympathetic and deeply apologetic for the tank failure, but patients remain outraged and heartbroken. Jeremy and Kate Plants, a couple who lost their embryos, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper that they “had accepted that [their] embryos were lost, but [their] hearts still break for those who were holding on to hope that their embryos were still alive.”

Regarding the clinic, the Plants wrote, “why was nothing done before this disaster happened?”

The logistics of what actually happened are still being investigated.

Ice cream name offends religious groups


Canadian ice cream chain “Sweet Jesus” is being boycotted by Christians as it tries to expand across the United States. Some Christians claim the chain is blasphemous, uses the Lord’s name in vain and mocks the Christian faith.

A petition has been made on to urge the Toronto-based company’s founder Andrew Richmond to change the name of the ice cream chain.  It has more than 7,600 signatures.

“We, as Christians, are deeply offended by the name of a new ice cream chain of stores calling themselves ‘Sweet Jesus.’  This is a mockery of taking the Lord’s name in vain and also highly offensive to Christians,” reads the petition.

The ice cream chain uses upside down crosses on the labels of the ice cream cups and various ads for the company use well-known Christian symbols and language.

“One ad on the company’s website shows a Nativity scene, but instead of Baby Jesus, there’s an ice cream cone,” reads the online petition.  “Many of their ads are replete with cherished Christian and Catholic symbols that are used to mock faith, including a rosary, a crucifix with a corpus, and angels.”

One ad for the ice cream company reads: “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain, but God [expletive] that’s delicious.”

Two Sweet Jesus advertisements (Photo courtesy of

The ice cream company has 19 locations in Canada.  The company has a store at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport and is planning to open in other U.S. locations, such as the Mall of America in Minnesota, according to LifeSiteNews.

In covering the controversy, the Christian Post wrote an article condemning the ice cream chain and advocating for the cause of the petitioners. Their article included multiple quotes from various petitions calling for a name change.

“If anything could qualify as ‘hate speech,’ this is it! . . . Even if this were some innocent faux-pas, it would still be unacceptable!  However, this is anything but a mere mistake.  Both in their promotional materials and menu selection, it is plain to see that [owners] Richmond and Todai have every intention of mocking Christ and Christianity,” reads another petition on the Canadian site CitizenGo.

The Christian Post does not give equal coverage to both sides of the story. LifeSiteNews, another Christian news outlet, even launched its own petition condemning the company and demanding a name change. The end of the article includes contact information for the Sweet Jesus company founders.

“Faithful Christians follow the Second Commandment about not taking the name of God in vain. This means that God’s name should be used respectfully, as in prayer or in blessing. Anything else is misusing his name. Christians believe that Jesus is God and his name is holy.  St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians put it this way: ‘At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,’” wrote Dorothy Cummings McLean and Pete Baklinski for LifeSiteNews.

“I wonder what might have happened had the company been named ‘Sweet Muhammad’ and employed the same kind of plays on Islamic religious symbols as it does on Christian ones.  Mohammed Mud Pie anyone?  It would never have been tolerated.”

Secular news outlets have given much more equal coverage of the story.  The Toronto Star provided mainly facts in their article about who was opposing the ice cream chain and why.

“There are few things that feel more care-free than enjoying an ice cream cone, and Toronto-based chain Sweet Jesus servers up gigantic, Instagram-worthy soft serve cones – or blasphemy, depending on who you ask,” wrote Jenna Moon for the Toronto Star.

Along with several fiery quotes from petitioners against the company, the Toronto Star article also included the disclaimer issued on the Sweet Jesus’ company website.

“Our name was created from the popular phrase that people use as an expression of enjoyment, surprise or disbelief.  Our aim is not to offer commentary on anyone’s religion or belief systems, our own organization is made up of amazing people that represent a wide range of cultural and religious beliefs.”

CBC News, another Canadian news organization, wrote a short Web article that included many of the main quotes from the online petitions that the other stories have used.

Like the Toronto Star, CBC gave a very factual and much more equal account of the controversy surrounding the company name and advertisements.  CBC reached out to Richmond for a statement.

“We are conscious of the fact that, to some, our name can be off-putting,” Richmond told CBC.  “That fact is something we struggle with, because we sincerely do not wish to give offense or show disrespect in any way toward anyone’s personal beliefs.”

“After a lot of thought, we have decided that we will not make a change. Sweet Jesus is an honest reflection of our experiences and that of our customers and how they react when they try our product. In our experience, the majority of people understand that we’re not trying to make a statement about religion.”

The Huffington Post article about the petitions against Sweet Jesus focused on the variety of reasons the company was facing backlash.  They included quotations from many online petitioners, religious groups and YouTubers that spoke out against the company.

Sweet Jesus ad poster (Photo courtesy of LifeSiteNews).

“The first S in the word Jesus is a lightning strike, reminiscent of the Nazi style used by the SS, and the T in ‘SWEET’ is often shown as an inverted Cross on the company’s various products . . . We cannot remain silent while Our Lord is blasphemed,” wrote the Christian site Return To Order.

The Huffington Post also mentioned some non-religious reasons the company is facing condemnation and controversy.

“Others took issue with one of Sweet Jesus’ advertisements, because the child posing with ice cream running down her face looks similar to Jonbenét Ramsey, a child beauty pageant contestant who was murdered at age 6,” wrote Emma Paling for the Huffington Post.

Cosby begins retrial for sexual assault


Bill Cosby, the comic legend and “America’s Dad,” begins his retrial on sexual assault charges today, Monday, April 2 in Norristown, Pa.

Cosby’s first trial ended with a mistrial on the charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, former director of operations for Temple University women’s basketball team. After the mistrial on June 17, District Attorney Kevin Steele announced that he would, without a doubt, retry Cosby.

In the first trial, Judge Steve T. O’Neill only allowed one accuser to testify– Andrea Constand. This was just one of the many women who came forward. However, in the second trial, the judge will allow up to five previous accusers to testify. This will increase the likeliness that Cosby will be guilty.

According to The Washington Post, there is a legal term called “Doctrine of Chances” that basically says the more times someone is accused of the same type of crime under the same circumstances, the less likely they were innocently involved in those situations.

Jury selection begins today for the process of picking 12 jurors to partake in this trial. During the first trial, after more than 52 hours of jury discussion for more than six days, Judge O’Neill declared a mistrial.

More than 60 women confirmed they were drugged and molested by Cosby. According to CNN, Cosby admitted he bought the now banned sedative, Quaaludes, to give to women he wanted to have sex with. Almost a year ago, Cosby confirmed in court documents that, “I meet Ms. [name redacted] in Las Vegas, and she met me backstage. I give her Quaaludes. We then have sex.”

We will soon see what the verdict will be for the second trial.

This story is covered on almost every small and large news station, from CNN and The Washington Post to People and WGAL-TV.

Space station crashes into Pacific


One of China’s greatest space marvels, the Tiangong-1 space station, has met its fiery end by re-entering Earth’s atmosphere on April 1, breaking up over the Pacific. The exact location of the crash is still unknown.

At the size of a school bus, the 8.5-ton space lab has been unmanned since 2013 and lost contact with the Chinese in 2016, following an apparent malfunction that ended communications with the spacecraft. The Chinese have not publicly stated what this malfunction could have been.

The Chinese originally planned to use Tiangong-1’s thrusters to guide the spacecraft harmlessly into the ocean, but after the apparent communications malfunction the space station has gradually been dropping lower as it passes through the upper atmosphere. Scientists predicted the station would re-enter the atmosphere anytime between March 29 to April 2.

“With our current understanding of the dynamics of the upper atmosphere and Europe’s limited sensors, we are not able to make very precise predictions,” Holger Krag, head of the European Space Agency Space Debris Office, said in a statement. “The high speeds of returning satellites mean they can travel thousands of kilometers during that time window, and that makes it very hard to predict a precise location of reentry.”

According to CNN, China’s Manned Space Agency said the space station crashed into the Pacific Ocean at 8:16 p.m. ET on April 1, with most debris burning up in the re-entry process. While the exact location of the downed space station is unknown, it is most likely located north of an area known as “the spacecraft graveyard,” an area of the Pacific where most space agencies try to put space craft down into.

News coverage that surrounded the Tiangong-1 re-entry was unprecedented, only becoming big due to the chance of crashing on land. While no one has died from being hit by falling spacecraft debris, one woman in Tulsa, Okla., was struck on the shoulder by a piece of a rocket fuel tank, but was uninjured, in 1997.