Lauer story dominates news cycle


“Today” show co-host Matt Lauer was fired Wednesday due to inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, an incident that “Today” executives said they learned about two days ago.

Lauer’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, announced the news this morning on “Today.”

“This is a sad morning here at ‘Today’ and at NBC News,” Guthrie said before reading a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Lack’s statement read. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

The statement also said that this is the first complaint regarding Lauer’s behavior the company has received “in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News.”

“All we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” said Guthrie.

All that is really known about Lauer’s misconduct is that an NBC staffer had complained about his behavior from throughout 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Also, The New York Post reported an incident that occurred during the coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  However, no details from these incidents can be confirmed.

Lauer’s firing comes just days after “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose was canned for his behavior towards women, which included showering naked in front of them at his home.  This leaves “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos as the only remaining male anchor of the top three network morning shows.

The news media have covered these stories extensively during the past few days. This story is currently on the front page of CNN, FOX, MSNBC and The New York Times.

Since NBC News fired Lauer without much of an investigation at all, what he was accused of doing must be severe. The network will likely lose ratings due to his absence since he was very popular.

Although I believe it is important for the news media to cover stories such as these, this is taking away a lot of attention from the fact that North Korea has successfully tested a ballistic missile that officially put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

This is a very dangerous fact that should be the main topic of news for today. With its recent threats and other tests, North Korea is clearly not playing around.

The news media need to help convince citizens and governments that North Korea is a real threat.

A great tragedy can occur if America looks the other way on this issue.  If we are not careful, we will be on the verge World War III if North Korea decides to launch one of these missiles at the United States.

Fox News bans rock star Gene Simmons


The frontman of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons, has been banned for life from the right-leaning Fox cable channels.

Formally Simmons was a favorite guest on Fox News and Fox Business Network programs, which loved his rock star antics and conservative political views.  However, Fox just could not take him anymore after he insulted female Fox staffers, exposed his chest to them and behaved like the “demon” character that he plays on stage.

As a response, Fox’s management posted Simmon’s photograph to the security entrance of the company’s Manhattan headquarters with a “do-not-admit” stamp.

The incident began when Simmons appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business Network show, “Mornings with Maria,” to promote his new book “On Power.”

All went well until Bartiromo asked Simmons his views on the Harvey Weinstein sexual-misconduct scandal.

“Okay, I’m a powerful and attractive man and what I’m about to say is deadly serious. Men are jackasses,” Simmons answered. “From the time we’re young we have testosterone. I’m not validating it or defending it.”

Right after this, Simmons left the interview and barged into a staff meeting in Fox’s entertainment section completely uninvited.

“Hey chicks, sue me!” he shouted, before pulling up his shirt to reveal is chest.  Then, he began to tell pedophilia jokes and insulted the intelligence of the Fox employees in the room.

“It was pretty severe,” said one person who was present in the room.

This story has gained some substantial news media attention.  It was featured on the New York Post. However, the most important question to ask is: Why in the world Fox was having Simmons come on their shows?

The “Fox and Friends” show had previously let Simmons do a weather forecast in their broadcast. Watching the clip on YouTube of this made me feel as if I was watching the “The Jerry Springer Show.”

If the major news media continue to participate in this nonsense for a few extra views, then we are heading to an America that will be far less intelligent.

Although I believe it is justified to have unusual guests who specialize in “shock value” on once in a while, this clearly crosses the line by a mile.

Media giants such as Fox allowing people to blatantly spew ignorance on their shows is something that must go.

Even though Fox News banned Simmons from the network, I am certain another station or network will pick him up and allow him to partake in the same ignorance.

Anything for money.  Anything for views.  We live in troubled times.

TripAdvisor hides warnings of rape


More than 10 travelers from around the United States say reviews website TripAdvisor is deleting and muzzling their accounts of rape, blackouts and other injuries suffered at resorts in Mexico, according to an extensive investigation published Wednesday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This report came out two days after U.S. officials called on the U.S. State Department and the Office of the Inspector General to investigate Mexican resorts that have allegedly been serving dangerous, tainted alcohol.

Tourists who have had terrible experiences say their posts of TripAdvisor are frequently removed and labeled as “hearsay.”

“To me it’s like censoring,” said Wendy Avery-Swanson of Phoenix. “It wasn’t hearsay. It actually happened to me.”  In her review, she wrote she blacked out after being served alcohol at a swim-up bar.  This review was scrubbed from the website.

Another review that was taken off the website was one by Kristie Love of Dallas. She posted that she had been raped by a security guard at the Iberostar Paraiso Resort near Playa Del Carmen.  She wrote that she had been followed by the guard who later overpowered her and raped her outside. She claims that the hotel staff refused to call police.  Her post was taken down for violating the “family friendly” guidelines.

“We apologize to the sexual assault victim,” said Brian Hoyt, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Since 2010, when the forum post was removed, our policies and processes have evolved to better provide information like this to other travelers.  As a result, when recently brought to our attention, the victim’s initial forum post was republished by our staff.”

Hoyt also said the company is creating a “badge” notification to apply to businesses to “alert consumers of health & safety or discrimination issues at that business reported on within the media or other credible sources of information.”

Hopefully TripAdvisor is being truthful and will no longer censor these voices.

The media has done a very good job of covering this story.  An interview of a woman whose post was deleted had been featured on the NBC Nightly News last week.  The story has been showing up on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC’s websites as well.

This is an important story that many should be aware of, especially college students since many of them go to Mexico for spring break each year.  It is very good that many major news sources have been covering it and getting the word out there.  A lot of people will likely think twice about going to Mexico after reading about this.

8 killed in New York City truck attack


Police and witnesses say a man deliberately drove a rented truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in Manhattan which killed eight people and injured at least 12 others.

The man later got out of the truck waved around a fake gun before being shot by police.  He was wounded and taken into custody.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.  It was a very painful day in our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

This was the deadliest act of terror in New York City since 9/11.

The suspect was identified by law enforcement as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old truck driver from New Jersey and Florida.  He immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010.

A federal law enforcement source said a note had been found inside the truck that was in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Saipov does not appear to have an extensive criminal background, according to the FBI and the NYPD.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack appeared to be a “lone wolf” incident with no links to a wider terrorist plot.

The incident occurred at West Street and Chambers Street at 3:05 p.m.  The truck drove down a bike path for about four blocks and stuck cyclists and pedestrians before moving back into traffic lanes and striking a school bus.

The media should pay very close attention to the fact that this attack occurred without the use of any firearms.  Lately the media has been giving a lot of attention towards the possibly of banning firearms to increase safety.  However, I believe that they do not realize that there are many other ways that criminals commit murder.

This incident shows that even without a gun, a person can murder multiple people at the same time.  Firearms aided the police in this situation.  They wound the man with their firearms and stop him from creating anymore havoc.

If firearms are banned, I believe that terrorists will find other ways commit mass murder.  As seen in Nice, France last year, a trunk ran over and killed 86 people.  This was more than the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history last month that killed 58 people.

Media should report these facts accordingly and point out the fact that this incident shows banning guns will not solve the occurrence of mass murders.

Documents about JFK death released


President Trump has ordered the long-awaited release of more than 2,800 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  However, due to pressure from the CIA and FBI, he withheld thousands of additional papers and put them on pending review before release.

These documents are a treasure for historians and conspiracy theorists who have spent years searching for information on what really happened in Dallas on the day of JFK’s assassination in 1963.  The papers include suspicions that Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the killing and other talks of mobsters and spies.

The documents had fuzzy images of CIA surveillance photos from the early 1960s.  There was a report that Lee Harvey Oswald obtained ammunition from a right-wing militia group.

Some of the files convey the drama and chaos of the days immediately after the murder  of the president.  One of them is a memo dictated by then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on Nov. 24, 1963 after Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as he was being moved from police headquarters to a local jail.

President Trump, who has shared his own speculation about the assassination, had a strong desire to finally open the last government files since he was campaigning for president. This was when he accused Ted Cruz’s father of being a part of the assassination.

Although Trump has rather outlandish ideas involving the killing of JFK, I believe that having released these files is a useful decision for this country.

Citizens have a right to know everything that the government knows involving this.  Having this information out there may allow people to draw firm conclusions and put conspiracy theories aside.

The act of releasing these files is really something that President Trump has done to fight against the elites and give power back to the common people.

Aside of the content of the files, the news media should report that Trump is taking a stand against big government and bureaucracy. This is a step in the right direction for our nation. Freedom of information has always fueled this nation and I hope that the major news media organizations will report Trump’s efforts in this step forward.

Kid Rock considers run for Senate


Songwriter and singer Kid Rock expressed interest in running for political office on Wednesday.

“I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real … The answer is an absolute YES,” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

In another tweet, the Michigan native said, “I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

The website Kid Rock referred to in his tweet features a photo of the 46-year-old wearing a hat, aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket. The website has a logo that reads “Kid Rock ’18 For US Senate.”  There is also sales of stickers, shirts, lawn signs and caps that say “Kid Rock for US Senate.”

The artist has been speculated to be a potential opponent for Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election next year.

A supporter of President Donald Trump, Kid Rock performed at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“I’ll bet you he would generate as much excitement as Trump did,” said Wes Nakagiri, a Michigan Tea Party activist.

Considering that the media will do anything for an intriging story nowadays, Nakagiri is probably right.

Similar to President Trump, Kid Rock is a controversial figure.  He enjoys swearing and bashing groups of people that he is against.  In response to the uprising of white supremacists he said, “Nazis. F—ing bigots. And now again the KKK? I say F— all you racists. Stay the hell away.”

I believe that if the news media gives Kid Rock the immense amount of attention that President Trump was able to receive during the election cycle, he will easily be able to win the senate seat.

What reporters seem to be unable to understand is that negative news media attention does not necessarily hurt a candidate.  In fact, in can actually help a candidate by getting his name out to more people. Trump had a much greater amount of news media attention than Hillary Clinton. The fact that a lot of it was negative did not prevent him from winning.

Many other celebrities such as Kanye West, Mark Zuckerberg, Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey have been talking about running for public office as well.  If the news media decides to give all of these people coverage, they too are not far from the White House.

A 2020 presidential election with Kid Rock on the Republican ticket and Kayne West on the Democratic ticket is not something that far out of reach.

Police charge 10 in LSU fraternity hazing


Police at Louisiana State University have issued arrest warrants for 10 Phi Delta members in an investigation on whether fraternity hazing lead to the death of a freshman student.

The student, Maxwell Gruver was a Phi Delta pledge from Roswell, Georgia whose death last month had been ruled accidental and was caused by “acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration,” according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.

Gruver’s blood alcohol was 0.495.  Anything above 0.4 carries a moderate risk of death.

Last month, LSU President F. King Alexander said the 18-year-old’s death is being investigated as a “potential hazing incident.”

“As we’ve continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible, and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU period,” said Alexander.

All of the 10 fraternity members were charged with hazing.  One of them faces an additional charge of negligent homicide.

Phi Delta’s LSU chapter has been suspended by the university and by the fraternity’s national office.  The national office also has opened an investigation into the incident.

Hazing incidents such as these happen far too often at American universities and colleges.  I believe the news media do not put enough effort and reporting into these cases.

Hazing deaths happen multiple times each year and usually do not receive major coverage. If college students and administrators saw these stories in the national news, they would likely think twice about the risks they bring to campuses.

With broader coverage of these stories, students would likely take time to reflect and think before deciding to join a fraternity.  Many would realize that making friends and getting into parties is never worth the risk of death.

Tropical Storm Nate may hit U.S. Gulf Coast


The United States may still not be off the hook for hurricanes this season.

A tropical cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has recently been upgraded to a named tropical storm called Nate.  Meteorologists believe the system is likely to become a hurricane in the next three days.  They also predict that it may hit the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday morning.

“Nate is expected to strengthen as it moves over warmer waters on its way to the U.S. coast,” says the National Hurricane Center.  “But at this point, it is too early to specify the timing, location, or magnitude of these impacts.

Nate is currently bringing heavy rainfall to Nicaragua as it is heading towards Cancun. It has triggered flood warnings in these areas, as well as a hurricane watch in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

Right now the tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.  It is expected to take a northwestward path later today and start to move at a faster speed, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The sustained winds are expected to reach 75 mph by Sunday.  Although this is much less than recent hurricanes such as Irma or Maria, forecasters are still warning people to watch out for flash floods and mudslides.  Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, has already addressed the state to discuss preparation for the storm.

After the devastations from hurricanes Irma and Maria, another hurricane clearly is something the United States can do without at this time.

Congress has been debating passing a 15 billion dollar hurricane recovery bill.  However, if Nate ends up being as catastrophic as Sandy was in 2012, American taxpayers may have a lot more to worry about.

Puerto Rico desperate for assistance


Hurricane Maria left a disastrous mark on the U.S. territory, leaving 3.4 million American citizens without the essential resources of life: food, water, electricity, communications, transportation and much more.  These residents urgently need assistance.

The U.S. federal government bears a huge responsibility in this crisis.  When a natural disaster strikes the mainland, such as with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, trucks with federal assistance arrive to help with rescue efforts.  Shelter is also provided to those who are left homeless.

However, in Puerto Rico, barely any of this assistance has been provided.

Residents of the island are running out of the meager supplies they had before Maria hit.  Most of these people can learn to live without air conditioning and electricity, however they cannot survive without clean water and food.  To make matters even worse, most of these people had not even fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit just a few weeks prior.

Unlike, individual U.S state governments, the territory’s government cannot provide much help because it is in a deep financial crisis.  Plagued by debt, the government is barely even functioning at all.  The island has no resources and its infrastructure is old and dilapidated.

The capitol city, San Juan, has an international airport that is open, but its flights are very limited.  People in the U.S. mainland who want to offer help are simply unable to.  Most have no way to even get in contact with their relatives on the island.

Things get even worse.  Hospitals are running out of fuel to keep generators running.  When these generators stop running, patients will die.

Some rural areas are cut off because roads are blocked by fallen trees and flooding.  Police across the island are exhausted and overworked.

Lots of water, food, and fuel must be brought immediately in order to keep people alive.  More workers must be brought in to fix power stations and bring back electricity.  Shelters must be created for tens of thousands of people who are homeless.

These are our fellow Americans, they deserve the same support that any state would receive.

Fox News hires commentator Lahren


Fox News Channel has hired conservative commentator Tomi Lahren, who is known for her previous positions at The Blaze and One America News Network.  She is also known for her work on a political action committee supporting President Donald Trump.

Tomi Lahren (Photo courtesy of #Tommy Lehren@Twitter).

The South Dakota native will make her debut as a contributor on tonight’s edition of “Hannity” at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

According to Fox News, Lahren will have a “signature role” on a digital product currently under development and will also be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming.

She will most often appear on Sean Hannity’s show, where she originally made her first appearance on Fox.  On his show, she has been most known for criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the “mainstream media.”

“How about when the mainstream media stops covering Russia day in and day out, maybe we can drop the Hillary email scandal,” said Lahren on Twitter yesterday.

The 25-year-old Donald Trump supporter, is a University of Nevada at Las Vegas graduate who built a following on social media with over four million Facebook followers.  She creates her own videos with commentary on politics and culture. Lahren has made national news for her strong criticisms of Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests, as well as comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK.

The conservative commentator was fired from The Blaze earlier this year after saying that she was pro-choice in an appearance on “The View.”

“I have moderate, conservative and libertarian views. I’m human.  I will never apologize, to anyone, for being an independent thinker,” said Lahren on Twitter shortly after she was fired.