News on the internet: Fact vs. fiction


The most-shared story on Facebook before the election  was “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” It had more than 960,000 engagements.

It was a fake story.

This is a troubling trend. A lot of people who are getting most of their news online cannot tell what is fake when discerning stories. They just take what is in print for granted, they automatically assume it is true.

This was fine before the internet, because most things that were actually written and printed had a high chance of being true. It would cost an unnecessary amount of money to print out a lie and distribute it for no reason. They would have to deliver it door to door and make it look as if it is a legitimate news source.

This is not the case with the internet. It is cheap and easy to fabricate a story online. It takes a small amount of time to create a website that looks similar to an actual news source and once that site is up and running millions can see it.

People must be wary of this, because spreading false information leads to uninformed opinions and lessens the legitimacy of real news sources. People must be diligent about the sources they get their news from and make sure they are reputable.

Fake news sites are only become more complex with the advent of new technologies. Users of the internet must know how to differentiate real news sites from the fake ones so that we can have discourses with valid and factual information.

Protesting can’t become the norm


Protests have been being staged all across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president.

People are expressing their displeasure and discontent with the new president, but they must be careful. News media only cover stories for so long. If protests become a daily occurrence they may lose their significance and news reporters will stop covering them.
In other words, more protests will make them lose their newsworthiness.

I am not saying that people should not protest. They absolutely should. It is one of the most clear and visible ways for the common person to express their grievances with the government and its leaders.

And Trump being elected raises a lot of problems with the government, but the protesting the mere fact that he got elected will not change anything. He is going to be the next president of the United States. It is too late to change that.

Instead of using up all the newsworthiness of protests now people should save the big protests when he actually does something awful. Which I am sure is bound to happen.

That is when people need to most be heard, because we must show that his inevitable actions are not okay.

Protests in response to what Trump has done need to be shown for an impact to truly be made. Not protests about the mere fact that he got elected. For now we must give him a chance and be ready to give backlash when he messes up so these protests can recieve the most coverage possible.

So please don’t over-saturate the news with protests now. Just wait a little longer until he actually does something about which to protest.

For Wade, Miami does it right


Dwyane Wade was the face of the Miami Heat for 13 years before he signed with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, this summer.

He brought Miami its first NBA championship by having one of the greatest finals performances of all time in 2006. He averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game in route to a championship and a finals most valuable player award.

He was also the catalyst that created the big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh and himself possible in Miami. This was unprecedented at the time when it first happened. Superstars were supposed to stay with the team that drafted them.

Wade convinced James and Bosh to come join him in Miami instead. This move brought another two championships to Miami.

Despite all of these accomplishments for the franchise, Pat Riley, the Miami Heat owner, let Wade walk in free agency this summer. Much to the chagrin of many fans and sports reporters.

Wade played his first game back in Miami last night and he was met with great fanfare. Fans cheered while he was on the court, and his jersey littered the crowd.

This is how a star’s return is supposed to be handled. Instead of boos and jeers. It should be filled with odes and cheers.

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.

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.

Trump and his campaign hit new low


In a week where a category four hurricane ripped through the Atlantic and killed more than 1,000 people, Donald Trump still found a way to dominate headlines for all the wrong reasons.

A tape of the Republican Party nominee from ten years ago was leaked where he was talking about how he uses his power to have sex with women.

He used vulgar terms like “I moved on her like a b***h,” and, “grab them by the p***y,” while talking to Billy Bush before he made a guest appearance on the soap opera, “Days of Our Lives.”

Producers of Trump’s old show the, “The Apprentice,” have come out saying that there are much worse tapes of him out there. Including one of him saying the n-word, but they cannot release them due to a $5 million penalty in their contract.

Donald Trump’s life in the spotlight is coming back to bite him in the butt. He has had hundreds of hours him being on camera and being recorded and now that the floodgates are open I am sure many more tapes of him saying disparaging things are going to come flowing out in the coming weeks.

People must be wary about what they say. Especially in these days with the prevalence of smartphones, because we never know who is recording. And news reporters will find these videos and recordings if you become part of the public eye. It’s their job.

Memes play role in debate


The presidential debate definitely provided some cringe-worthy moments Tuesday night. Whether it be Republican candidate Donald Trump fighting to protect his ego or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton sounding more rehearsed than a Broadway actor at times.

All of these moments provided ammo for Internet personalities to make memes. A meme is a slightly altered picture or video that is made to be shared across the Internet.

These memes were being posted real time as the debate was going on. Clinton or Trump would say something and 30 seconds later it would already be on social media being made fun of.

While this is not a bad thing in and of itself, it does become problematic when that is the only way people get their news from the debate.

Many of my contemporaries told me and even bragged that they did not watch the debate. Instead, they just watched Twitter.

It makes sense that people would gravitate towards memes. They are much funnier than someone droning on about the debate on a live news station. They are also a lot quicker to digest than a late night show host’s take on an issue. Memes are convenient and funny, but they should not be one’s sole source of news.

Memes are convenient and funny, but they should not be one’s sole source of news. They are often too bias and almost never tell the full story. A Photoshopped picture of Trump in a toilet or a video of Clinton being made in a factory is not the same as actually sitting down and watching the debate.

Memes can be used to supplement one’s knowledge about an issue, but it should not be his or her only source of information about the issue.

Kaepernick’s critics go quiet


Last week it seemed as if every reporter had something to say about San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem. A lot of people praised his protest, but a lot of people tried to make it look as if he was being immature about the whole thing.

Fox News writer Larry Taunton asked if Kaepernick was, “a civil rights leader or just another obnoxious athlete with a bad attitude?”

Naysayers tried to skirt around Kaepernick taking a knee by making him seem as if he was just being dramatic. They tried to paint it as if it was just a ploy for attention.

But this past weekend it became abundantly clear why Kaepernick was taking a knee during the anthem.

The video of Terrence Crutcher getting shot in Tulsa with his hands up by police validates everything he has been kneeling for. This man was complying with both hands up and still was fatally shot by a trigger-happy officer.

Now all the news media people who wrote off his movement as childish seem to have disappeared.

Weird right? Instead of addressing the shooting and why Kaepernick is taking a knee they’ve gone silent. I mean they were here defending the national anthem just last week so they couldn’t have gone far.

It is almost like they are avoiding the issue. But I know that’s not true. These are proud Americans. They’re just probably busy standing for the anthem and saluting posters of Uncle Sam.

Maybe if these Americans could take off their star-spangled glasses every once and awhile we could finally start to see some meaningful change in how law enforcement treats minorities in this country.

NBA’s Iverson changed the norm


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lahren is (sad) future of journalism


Tomi Lahren is a conservative news reporter who hosts the show “Final Thoughts” on TheBlaze on the Web. It is a show where she gives her three-minute “thoughts” on an issue happening in America every couple days.

These boil down to her yelling off her imaginary high horse and saying controversial things that may or may not be true.

One of her latest “thoughts” are on professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe taking a knee during the anthem.

“Hey Megan, do you know what they do to women and gay people in many countries around the world,” Lahren said. “They stone them and throw them off buildings!”
Lahren’s argument about Rapinoe taking a knee during the anthem boils down to her saying Rapinoe should be grateful that she isn’t being stoned for being gay.
That’s awful. What’s even more awful is America’s cutest ball of hate routinely gets over six million views on these Facebook videos.

While I hope she crawls back to whatever hole she came from. I think the opposite is going to happen; more of her are going to be crawling out.

Shows like “Final Thoughts” are the future of journalism. They are perfect for the digital age. They are short. They have a couple phrases you can remember. And they generate interaction on social media.

So get ready. Because Tomi Lahren is only the beginning.