Post examines reorganization plan


A news article reported and written byin the Health & Science section of The Washington Post discusses a new plan to reorganize parts of the executive branch of the federal government. Click for the June 21 article: Government reorganization plan embraces conservative goals for the safety net.

Besides the Trump administration’s proposal to reorganize specific subdivisions of the federal government, the administration is also explicitly requesting the implementation of specific requirements. These requirements encompass having people work in preparation for jobs to qualify. I agree with the idea of having possible standards implemented as a satisfactory passage, but believe their should also be additional options to choose from besides the requirements that have been listed, such as education.

The authors are good at being subtly bi-partisan by clearly differentiating the conduct of both parties without bias but rather rationally.

They specifically target the popular rhetorical opinions of the media that classifies the ideals of the parties to the public eye. For example, the following paragraph:

    The blueprint does not itself contain funding cuts for food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid or other longtime pillars of the government’s safety net. But it runs alongside President Trump’s efforts in his budgets to slash funding for such programs. And it would buttress a case for reductions by pulling together programs in ways that make clearer how much the government is spending.

The reflective overlook of the article does not depicts the character of President Trump negatively rather they choose to articulate his ideology. They’re attentive to the rhetorical ideology the president has originally promised on his campaign but also observes the application of his ideology. The continuous tone of voice has been neutral in comparison to  the tone of mockery the news media often have for the president.

The article did fall short in educating the public as to the foundational elements of the context. The majority of the article had various questions rather than answers in which made me, as the reader, feel slightly informed but still not fully comprehending the material.

Enquirer accused of covering for Trump


Popular celebrity magazine The National Enquirer is being accused of buying and burying stories that portray President Trump in an unfavorable light. This practice is known as “catch and kill.” It’s thought that David Pecker, publisher of the Enquirer and longtime friend of Trump, has been doing this as a favor to the president.

All the purchased stories relate to allegations of Trump having affairs.

According to the Washington Post, the source allegedly paid off by the National Enquirer is a former Trump Tower doorman, Dino Sajudin, who told the Enquirer that Trump had a child outside of wedlock and that top executives of the Trump Organization were aware. Sajudin claims to have been paid $30,000 for the exclusive rights to the story but the Enquirer never published it.

As reported by CNN, another source coming forward is Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. McDougal was paid $150,000 for her account of an affair with Trump that lasted nine months. Allegedly, the deal included an agreement that McDougal would publish regular columns on aging and fitness in the Enquirer. McDougal’s story was never run, and only a small portion of the agreed-to columns were published. American Media Inc. claims that McDougal did not write the columns.

Trump has denied all allegations of cheating.

Of all the news outlets that I read from to learn more about this story, I found the one with the most comprehensive coverage of this story was CNN. CNN’s homepage had more stories on this scandal than the Miami Herald, The Washington Post and The New York Times. On the Herald’s homepage, there was not a single story on the scandal to be found today. I found this surprising because it’s a story of national relevance. In the case of the Times, I had to scroll to find a link to the story.

I think this speaks to how desensitized news outlets are becoming to the latest Trump scandals and also how difficult it is to report on a Trump scandal when there are so many happening all the time.

The CNN coverage took many angles. There was an article reporting on the “catch and kill” practice and on Pecker and another article reporting on the different sources paid off by the Enquirer. CNN also published a poll on what Americans think of the Enquirer’s coverage of Trump. The website also had a video uploaded with reporters discussing the story. I found this to be very comprehensive coverage, and I feel that I learned the most from CNN.

The coverage by the New York Times focused more on the investigation into the Enquirer and its possible ties to the Trump campaign. The investigation is sparking a First Amendment debate and it is looking into whether any campaign laws were violated.

If it’s true that the Enquirer is engaging in this “catch and kill” practice as a favor to Trump, I think that’s a very troubling ethical issue. Journalism is supposed to speak truth to power, not facilitate its lies.

Raid of lawyer’s office and its coverage


On Monday, Michael Cohen’s offices were raided by FBI officials. Cohen, who is President Trump’s lawyer, was investigated in relations to deals the lawyer may have made to keep women affiliated with Trump quiet about their past relationships.

This unexpected and largely shocking raid was triggered by Stormy Daniel’s accusations she was paid off to keep quiet about her sexual relationship with trump, who was married during the alleged affair, as well as the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump makes vulgar comments about women and how he could “do just anything to them” and they would let him.

The warrant, which was issued early Monday, includes everything from financial documents to explore possible payoffs to emails, which would reveal communications between Cohen and President Trump, especially during the period in which Trump cautiously referenced his extramarital encounters.

The coverage of this event is not lacking, for several reasons. First of all, the tension and controversial surrounding President Trump’s affiliates and possible crimes has been bubbling since he entered office. With the rising concern over Russian interference as well as Facebook and Cambridge Analytics bombshells, all eyes have been on the White House to not only see how they react but also how they handle the mounting issues.

Because the raid on an lawyer’s office is so rare, the story with its basic facts is gaining a lot of attention, so news outlets do not feel the need to embellish or add extra details to make it seem more scandalous, though many sites do include links to previous stories that cover Stormy Daniels and the “Access Hollywood” tape mentioned above. The issue with coverage here, to me, is not how much is being covered or if it is being covered truthfully (I believe many, if not all reliable outlets are doing an excellent job with bringing people the true facts) but rather who is covering it.

Fox News as long been recognized as a very conservative, extreme right channel. Their coverage of events differs greatly from others in how it is treated and highlighted. They may cover the March for Our Lives just as accurately as CNN or MSNBC, but follow their facts-based news blurb with an hour of talking heads speaking negatively about the cause, the kids, and/or gun control. We seem some backlash to this, as in the Laura Ingraham case, but overall it just seems to be an extra bit added onto people’s personally sculpted echo-chambers.

However, as far as the FBI’s raise on Cohen, the popular conservative news outlet has been almost silent. There are several tweets circulating all over Twitter showing how almost all major news stations are covering the raid while a screenshot of Fox News sits below with an anchor covering panda’s sex drives.

Vox, an alternative, internet-based news outlet, underlined this in an article “Why Fox News limited coverage of the raid of Trump’s lawyer’s office” alongside several line graphs.

The graphics show how MSNBC and CNN devoted slightly over twenty percent of their airtime to the raid, while Fox News barely jumped above seven percent. The amounts become slightly more even when Fox covered Trump’s rant against the raid.

When it did cover the raid, the coverage was focused on a deeper lying conspiracy against the president and his allies, often called “deep state” by extreme right-wing supporters, instead of why the raid was even happening. It is a mindset that is convinced bureaucrats are controlling the news and elections to try to shame and ridicule conservatives, and it is the rhetoric that Fox News, most notable Sean Hannity, uses to justify Trump’s controversial staffing decisions and anything negative that happens against Trump.

In the end, Fox News as long been a haven for hardcore Trump supporters and they know their base will block out a majority of negative news and commentary about their president. But this is where the journalistic decision between maintaining and audience and covering what is relevant and important comes into play and I believe Fox made the wrong choice.

Zuckerberg testifies before Congress


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, testified before Congress today for the first time at Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers questions about the data hack.

Zuckerberg said he takes full responsibility for what has recently happened with the data hack. As soon as he entered the room, he told Senate, “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

The data hack was started by an American researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, who gathered information from basic profile information of Facebook users. People are very upset because Kogan lied and said that he was “gathering research” but then violated company’s policies by passing the data to Cambridge Analytica.

According to Fortune, this type of data is used to target voters with hyper-specific appeals on Facebook and then that try to change their opinions. Cambridge Analytica is a site that uses “data to change audience behavior.” Basically, data is being leaked about people’s political views on Facebook.

It uses such data to target voters with hyper-specific appeals, including on Facebook and other online services, that go well beyond traditional messaging based on party affiliation alone. This is known as “psychographic” targeting or modeling.

“Here are a few things that we are doing to address this and to prevent it from happening again. First, we’re getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected. Second, to make sure no other app developers out there are misusing data, we’re investigating every app and to prevent this from going forward, we’re making sure they can’t access as much information now.” Zuckerberg, 33.

This has been covered by almost every large news broadcast network, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, and more.

Scott announces run for U.S. Senate


Florida Gov. Rick Scott finally announced that he is running for the U.S. Senate on Monday morning at an Orlando rally. His announcement was much anticipated, as Florida residents had speculated that he would run for the U.S. Senate for months.

CNN posted the video of his announcement and it can be found here. The governor will be running against Democrat Bill Nelson, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.

CNN and the Miami Herald pointed out in their news stories that the governor stated there should be limits for members of Congress and that voters should be cautious in sending the same politicians to Washington if nothing has changed in the previous years. Although not directly stated, his comments were probably aimed at Nelson.

This race could be a test of the popularity of President Trump. The governor has been a supporter of the president since the beginning. If the governor is not elected, this could express the public’s disliking towards the president and the Republican party.

Based on the video where the governor made the announcement, he did not mention the president directly, but his speech had the same ideologies as those of the president. According to the Miami Herald, he used the words “fix,” “tired old thinking” and “we gotta stop sending talkers to Washington.”

The governor also stated that he did not engage in “insider games” in Tallahassee and won’t in Washington either. He stated that he hasn’t fit in before and probably won’t fit into Washington, much like the president. The governor said that people should vote for a doer and not a talker.

CNN, The New York Times, the Miami Herald and many more news organizations have stated that this will be one of the most expensive races in history and both Scott and Nelson could have close votes in the results of the Senate election.

Florida governor to run for Senate


Florida Gov.  Rick Scott, officially announced on Monday that he would run for one of the U.S. Senate seats to represent Florida. The Miami Herald reported on the matter and commented on Scott’s upcoming campaign as well as his politics during his time as governor.

The announcement took place at an Orlando rally filled with supporters of the politician. In making the announcement, he also criticized current senator and his opponent, Bill Nelson. The article reports Scott said that “We shouldn’t be sending the same type of people to Washington.”

Additionally, the article comments on what is to come for the two candidates by making note on how expensive the race will be and how close it will be in the end.

Regardless of political views this Senate race will be important and memorable for the state of Florida.

Nelson has the experience, as he has held the seat for three consecutive years. He represents tradition, so this is why he might remain attractive to voters. However, if voters seek someone new to represent Florida in a conventionally Republican way, they will most likely gravitate towards Scott.

The announcement also leaves Floridians thinking about the possibility of a new governor for the state. And if this becomes a reality, it also raises the question of who the next person to fulfill this seat could be.

The article on the Miami Herald can be found at

State to end business with Venezuela


Venezuela has been experiencing the worst economic crisis in the country’s history since current president, Nicolas Maduro, came to power. Yet, American news media often overlook this collapse and focus more on the crises of other counties.

However, recent article from local Miami Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, reported on a new decision that might be good news for the Venezuelan people.

This decision, taken on Thursday by the Florida Senate, prohibits the State of Florida to engage in business with companies that support Maduro’s regime. The article reported that the vote to move forward with this regulation was unanimous.

Finalizing of this decision is especially important for the state of Florida in that it would prevents the state from indirectly contributing to an oppressive regime. The last thing Florida Senate needs for this motion to go through is Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.

State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

Additionally, the article reported on the Florida Senate’s point of view by interviewing one of its members, Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

He said he expressed his support for the action and explained how it favors the Venezuelan people and the struggle for democracy in the country.

Given the high Venezuelan population in South Florida, El Nuevo Herald does a great job at catering to this group of likely readers. However, stories such as this one are still not being reported enough at the national level. The article can be found at

Pepe the Frog creator sues ‘InfoWars’


Matt Furie, creator of Pepe the Frog, is suing Alex Jones’ “news show” “Infowars” after a poster featuring the character showed up for sale on the site’s merchandise page.

“MAGA” poster for sale on the Infowars website

Though it started out as an innocent comic character in Furie’s comic “Boys Club” in 2005, the image and its various versions such as “Sad Pepe” or “Smug Pepe” quickly spread across the web as a popular meme.

Many consider it to be the first major meme and was used by Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and was the most retweeted meme on Twitter in 2015.

However in 2016, as the presidential election began, Pepe was adopted by the republican party after candidate Donald Trump retweeted a version of “Trump Pepe” that featured his blonde hair, suit and stance at the presidential podium.

His son, Donald J. Trump Jr. also retweeted a parody of the movie poster for “The Expendables” that featured Pepe as part of the Trump family on the poster and other popular right-wing and conservative figures.

As the right wing became more and more extreme and radicalized up to and following

A common use of the original Pepe and “Sad Pepe” meme on Twitter.

the election, so did the causes, groups, and alt-right news sources Pepe was associated with, to the point where the Anti-Defamation League, a watchdog group opposed to antisemitism, added Pepe to its hate symbol database.

The image became deeply associated with hate groups and white supremacists and the Trump campaign did not distance themselves from it.

“Infowars,” a sensationalized “news source” hosted by extreme conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, is yet another outlet taking Furie’s image and continuing the misconstrued message now associated with the character.

A screenshot from the ADL website with examples of the hijacked Pepe images

Jones called the lawsuit “frivolous” and insists the suit is part of a larger attempt by news media outlets to make Infowars “public enemy number one.”

This will not be the first time Furie has had to sue over the depiction of Pepe however. A children’s book that used the Pepe promoted “racist, Islamophobic and hate-filled themes,” according to a federal lawsuit filed by Furie, and the out of court settling required the removal of the book from sale.

Furie also killed off Pepe from his comic as a reaction to the corruption of his character.

This issue brings into consideration the way a meaning can be attached to an image and how quickly it can be propagated as such. Social media’s speed with condemning or supporting an image and inventing the unspoken meaning behind them is a powerful one and is frequently carried over into real life.

Even in the earlier days of Pepe’s alt-right association, news outlets struggled with dividing the comic character frog from the hate symbol he had been painted over as and they raised the unspoken question of where to draw the line between the creators intent and the current usage. I consider it similar to the swastika.

Though it was created and used across many eastern religions as a symbol of good luck, awareness, and even the footsteps of Buddha, today we know it as the symbol of the Nazi party and their acts of hate and genocide. However, Furie’s quick rebuttal to all attempts to use his character and hopes to redefine him could change how we see Pepe five years down the road.

News media baffled by Nunberg outburst


Nearly every major news media outlet across the country stopped in their tracks Monday afternoon to gape at a live MSNBC interview with a former campaign adviser to President Trump, Sam Nunberg.

The afternoon began with a Washington Post story by Josh Dawsey reporting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office had subpoenaed Nunberg to testify before a federal grand jury regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nunberg refused.

Approximately 15 minutes after the story was released, MSNBC cut short an interview to go to Nunberg in a phone interview. The interview spiraled into a 20-minute, seemingly no-holds-barred spiel from Nunberg during which he divulged what he claims Muller’s office asked of him and that he had no intention of cooperating. Most shockingly, the former Trump-aide said that he thinks Trump “may have done something during the election” and that Muller may “have something” on the president, according to CNN.

Nunberg proceeded to call into various news media outlets, including two different CNN interviewers and New York news station NY1. He then reappeared on MSNBC, this time accompanied by three lawyers, to discuss whether or not he should cooperate with Muller.

The White House is baffled by Nunberg’s outburst, calling it “nuts” and “bizarre,” according to CNN’s Kaitlin Collins. National news media certainly share the sentiment.

Though Nunberg could have perhaps been motivated by his own alleged mistreatment by Trump along with Trump’s similar treatment of Nunberg’s mentor, Roger Stone, why Nunberg would then defy subpoena remains unclear. Nunberg suggests that Trump did something questionable during the 2016 election and, if so, has no interest in testifying.

Speculations as to why Nunberg, who actively hates Trump, would not testify, point towards Nunberg’s allegiance to Stone; according to Nunberg, Stone is suspect to collusion with Julian Assage, who is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence. If there is something to cover on Stone, it seems Nunberg is covering it.

Despite being initially adamant, The Washington Post reports that Nunberg may testify after a night of considerable advice gathering through his various news media appearances. It seems Nunberg’s obstinate resolve and speculative protection of Stone will not withstand the risk of jail time he could face for defying subpoena.

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?”

Tree ceremony not well attended


Thursday, as part of the annual tradition which has been dated back almost 100 years, Donald Trump led the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

During his campaign in 2016, President Trump said that he was looking forward to saying in the National Christmas lighting “Merry Christmas” and made the promise that Americans will be able to say Merry Christmas again instead of “Happy Holidays.”

In fact during the ceremony President Trump said: “Today is a day that I’ve been looking very much forward to all year long, It’s one that we’ve heard and we speak about and we dream about and now, as the president of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to now wish America and the world a very Merry Christmas.”

A photo shared by Steve Rudin, a journalist in Washington, went viral and showed the many empty seats during the event. The photo was shared on Twitter, Rudin tweeted with the photo that it was a “beautiful” ceremony but “hard not to notice the empty seats.”

Many reporters decided to compare this National Christmas Lighting Ceremony led by President Trump with the ones led by Obama in 2009 and 2013. Reporters added photos in their articles comparing the number of people who showed up in the ceremony with different presidents. The photos showed a packed crowd of people showing up for the traditional ceremony during the Obama era, with the clear intention of highlighting the greater amount of respect and support for the last president.

Liberals need to look at weaknesses


New York Times contributing op-ed writer Thomas B. Edsall this week calls on liberals to analyze their weaknesses through a review of the Republicans strengths.

He starts by listing a large number of Republicans successes, from elections to the House of Representatives to President Trump’s current domestic approval rating among his voters, to the recent Tea Party proposal and success with the tax bill.

With a clear warning to Democrats, Edsall presents conscientious research and analysis. He bases his opinion piece upon clear and precise language and abundant well-documented data. He tells Democrats to get rid of sentimental party identification and recognize gaps and mistakes. It is a convincing research piece.

The analysis is lucid, aided with concrete facts and accurate data and figures, it shows seriousness. Edsall is impartial; he does not take sides and does not identify with either one of the two major political parties.

Trump drinks Fiji water


This week, President Donald Trump paused during a speech to take a sip of water. Similar to the Marco Rubio mid-speech sip from a few years back, the country had fun with it.

However, CNN introduced a four-person panel to analyze Trump’s sip and gave it a “breaking news” banner to boot.

CNN has been abusing that “breaking news” banner on their news programs for years. Seemingly every story they run earns the privilege. That, in its own right, is deserving of criticism. CNN has de-legitimized the definition of breaking news by applying the phrase to every single story.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but the president of the United States pausing during a speech to sip some water is not breaking news.

Furthermore, the four-person panel headed by Wolf Blitzer began to criticize the fact that Trump drank from a Fiji brand water bottle — saying it went against his “America First” agenda by drinking from a foreign brand.

The absurdity is evident. Like one conservative pundit has said, “Trump could walk on water and CNN would find a way to criticize him for it.”

This semester, I have spent a lot of time criticizing the apparent agenda the mainstream news media have against our president, but I am in fact quite happy that this occurs. When Donald Trump suggested the incarnation of a federally run news network, “Trump TV,” I was incensed. One of the best aspects of American news media is the absence of state-run TV, essentially pro-government propaganda generators, the likes of which we see most notably in North Korea, but across Europe as well.

The fact that America has a news media that continually keeps the president in check is a privilege we often overlook. Criticizing the government and the man or woman at the helm is part and parcel of what makes a democratic republic so appealing. That right to free speech to praise, criticize and pontificate is so important today, especially because many other countries do not enjoy that right nearly to the extent that we Americans do.

So, yes, I am in fact a fan of news media criticizing and judging the merits of a president and the government as a whole. I just wish they were consistent with their criticism across party lines and were a little more selective in these critiques — instead of spending precious air time talking about a drink from a water bottle.

Ivanka Trump speaks in Tokyo


“TOKYO — As the president might say, the room was half full.”

Ivanka Trump’s appearance at a government-sponsored conference on Friday, during the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, took place before a half-empty room that motivated clumsy excuses on the part of those in charge of the security and the organizers of the event that put in greater evidence the embarrassment of the moment.

New York Times reporter Motoko Rich wrote, “Yet Ms. Trump spoke to a room with so many empty seats that ushers hustled to move audience members forward several rows in the minutes before she walked to the podium.”

The author limits himself to report in well-structured succession the stumbling blocks of this event.  There was no intention of lecturing and he is so candid in his description of the events that he cannot be labeled as malicious. However, even for the most confused reader, it allows us to glimpse the low popularity and lack of sympathy that Ivanka Trump generates. The author writes in a simple fluent language that engages the reader as if he was following a comedy of situations.

Pending answers on Niger attack


The U.S. Department of Defense continues to investigate a more accurate account of events for the attacks in Niger.

On Oct. 3, 12 members of the U.S. Special Operations Task Force and 30 Nigerian forces left Niger’s capital, Niamey, to travel to a small village near Tongo Tongo, to complete a mission for the purpose of gaining information. The following day, U.S. soldiers and the Nigerien forces were ambushed by an Isis-affiliated group composed of 50 attackers.

Two hours after the attack, French Mirage jets came to assist the soldiers. Questions remain about why the soldiers waited an hour into the fight to call for help.

“But it’s important to note that when they didn’t ask for support for that first hour, my judgment would be that that unit thought they could handle the situation without additional support,” said Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford during a briefing at the Pentagon on Monday. “And so, what we’ll find out in the investigation exactly why it took an hour for them to call.”

Information is still pending about why the mission in Niger went wrong, leaving four U.S. soldiers dead, two soldiers injured and five Nigerien troops dead.

Even after the most updated timeline of events were released, it is uncertain why fallen solider Sgt. David Johnson’s body was left unrecovered for two days.

“We owe the families of the fallen more information and that’s what the investigation is designed to identify,” said Dunford.

The U.S. Africa Command is continuing a thorough investigation of what happened.

Battle for U.S. Senate in Florida is even


The U.S. Senate race between incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Florida Gov. Rick Scott is too close to call, with the contestants being practically tied according to polls cited by The Miami Herald. According to these new polls, 37 percent of registered voters plan to vote for Nelson, while 36 percent are backing Scott.

Nelson also has the upper hand with non-party affiliated voters and other partisans, with support from 32 percent of those surveyed. Scott, on the other hand, has only 28 percent supporting him, though he boasts a 59 percent job approval rating from surveyed voters, a huge surge from the ratings he received in his time as governor, which tended to stay below 50 percent. Nelson has only a 35 percent approval rating in comparison, down from 42 percent in February.

Another noteworthy factor is Donald Trump and how divided Florida is about his performance as president. The divides are mostly along party lines, with 91 percent of Democrats disapproving and 71 percent of Republicans approving. In total, however, 59 percent of those surveyed disapprove, compared to 35 percent that approved, a fact that will no doubt benefit Nelson on election day.

Overall, the competition for the Senate seat next year will be down to the wire until the very last day and The Miami Herald did a praiseworthy job of showing this through their coverage of the race. Their use of statistics that favored both sides in different areas was a good way to show how divided and complex voting is in the modern age of politics, and the statements they had from public polling institutions did well in emphasizing that fact.

Additionally, there was no evident bias in the numbers or the tone of the article, leaving readers with nothing but the facts and their own thoughts on the present state of affairs.

Sen. Jeff Flake not seeking another term


U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who has long spoken out against President Trump and his actions, announced that he would not be seeking re-election for another term on Tuesday. His speech, which lasted 17 minutes on the Senate floor, was filled with powerful rhetoric aimed against Trump and his policies, and toward a call to action.

Flake addressed several issues that he has seen with the current state of the country, including a direct challenge to his fellow Senate Republicans.

“It is often said that children are watching,” he said. “Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say?

Flake spoke at length about the principles of democracy, and how he believes the very nature of these ideals have been undermined by the current administration, quoting Lincoln, Madison and Roosevelt in an attempt to recall a past where things were different.

“We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal,” he said. “They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified.”

Thanks in part to the fact that these Senate speeches are usually quite dull, the story has received much attention, but the explosion of eyes has been aided by the use of buzz words in the titles of stories, to make them pop.

“Jeff Flake Gave the Most Important Speech of 2017,” wrote CNN. All news outlets have also included links to the full transcript of the speech, and The New York Times included a video of the speech in its entirety. There were also links to related stories, including similar denunciations of the president’s policies by George W. Bush, John McCain and Bob Corker. Using these various online media strategies to keep viewers interested has also helped the story develop and has given readers across the country a deeper understanding of the importance of the speech and the issues with which it deals .

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.

The other battle for independence


Catalonia voted for its independence on Oct. 1. The called “referendum” was held illegally. Independence politicians sought refuge under the made up “right to decide” to accomplish the voting.

After ignoring the orders of the government to not hold the query because it was against the Constitution and disobeying the judgment of the Court, the first Sunday of October everything was ready in Catalonia for the referendum.

The government replied sending hundreds of police officers and Civil Guards. Their only goal was to close peacefully every school where people could vote. Because the local police (Mossos d’Esquadra), under the orders of Catalonia’s government, didn’t obey to Spanish government.

When the polling day was about to start, the Catalonia’s government announced that the requisites changed: Universal suffrage and people could vote with a ballot paper printed at home. The computer system for vote counting failed, because the Spanish government locked the Web site. So, people could vote more than once, because all the control measures were write down the ID number on a sheet. Likewise, people from other parts of Spain with a Spanish ID could vote.

While this fraud was happening, the police were trying to close every polling place. The order was to do it peacefully, but, in some places, independence citizens opposed and the provocations started. The eviction that had to be peaceful became a battle with violence of both sides.

The Catalonia’s government found in this violence an opportunity to give visibility to its referendum and deflect attention from the referendum’s problems. So, they reached their goal and international news media focused on the violence.

National and international news media published photos of individuals wounded by the police, finding them on social media platforms such as Twitter. But soon, other Twitter accounts, started to determine that some photos were fake or didn’t occur on that date.

So, we could see some news media didn’t fact-check the information and the consequences were horrible for the Spanish conflict. For the world, the police was demonized, the Spanish government appeared guilty, the Catalan government was the victim, and people around the world criticized Spaniards.

Days later, other news media revealed how some photos were edited, some of the images of  injured people belonged to 2012 protest march when Mossos d’Esquadra beat demonstrators, and to other conflicts in other places around the world. Other photos were real, but the story behind them was false. Thus, the international opinion started to change again in favor of Spanish government.

In the same conflict, we could see two different practices, one right and one wrong, and how it affects public opinion, even at international level. In journalism, it’s not just about ethics, it’s about having a responsibility with the world and the society.

Some of the corrections that news media have published belong to the Twitter account @malditobulo and here are some examples:

This two wounded are attributed to the police charges during the first day of October.

But this photo is from 2012, in a manifestation of miners.

This other belongs to a manifestation in 2012 in Barcelona, when Mossos d’Esquadra charged against the demonstrators.

In the video, an independence citizen tells how Police has broken her fingers one by one.

Days later, she recognized that she had made up the story. This is one of the stories that media have covered the most.

News and a useless vacuum of time


With President Trump’s comments last Friday regarding the NFL and those players who have knelt during the national anthem, a storm of controversy has blossomed that has the entire country talking.

Some people would argue that this should be the top trending story on all news programs, however, is it the news media’s job to discuss a very widespread, opinionated topic in detail and most extensively?

Leave it to the pundits and talk shows. Let a panel of partisan talking heads on CNN or Fox News debate each other on the legitimacy of the protest and the absurdity or necessity of Trump’s comments.

But news programs such as NBC’s “Nightly News” or ABC’s “Good Morning America” shouldn’t devote the majority of their air-time to a story lacking overall fact-based newsworthiness.

Naturally, a topic of such relevance to most if not all Americans and the magnitude of a controversy involving the most prominent person in the United States against the most popular sport in the country covers nearly all the bases for a story needing to be told.

Now that we are a week removed, however, it’s time to return to covering breaking stories and national coverage that have more severe consequences. News from North Korea and the latest of their nuclear endeavors or the latest from Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria should take up the most time because they are more severe.

News programs have received a week to talk all around this controversy. At this point, it has become debate. Leave debating to partisan shows and pundits, and let the news programs stick to what’s news.