Archive | August, 2013

Real News vs. Fake News

31 Aug

There has been a lot of talk about Miley Cyrus on the news recently.  I honestly don’t really care.  I don’t consider it real news.  It certainly doesn’t deserve to get as much media coverage as it has.  I understand there are many people who want to hear about celebrity gossip or just news about a celebrity in general.  That’s perfectly fine; I have no problem with celebrities getting coverage as long as it is miniscule compared to news that affects the rest of us.

Anything that affects world issues or issues in our country is real news.  It doesn’t have to be political news, but it should be something of substance.  Now I understand that it is tough to get information that isn’t biased in some ways, but it’s not impossible.  Even if you are unsure what is skewed and what isn’t, you can verify a seemingly biased story by checking with multiple sources to be sure.  Very few things are 100% unbiased, but I think the closest thing to that is the website politifact.  They do a good job sorting out the distortions in politics.  (Although even they aren’t right all of the time.)

I’m not suggesting that no one should ever look at or get information from a biased source, just be sure to think about the report or statistic on whether it seems too far-fetched.    When I hear a major story on the news, I try to digest it before I go off on a limb.  Emotions are constantly stirred with many major news stories, just be sure to think clearly before you jump the shark.  There are many good news sources you can find online but many people fall for the bad ones.

There have been conspiracy theories for a long time, but I think that the internet has perpetuated them.  In the early 2,000’s there was a conspiracy theory that the Bush Administration were behind the September 11th attacks mainly to get us into Iraq.   That story is complete nonsense.  The 9/11 commission may have been underfunded, but that doesn’t mean that the United States government was behind the attacks.  I have done research on terrorism and the 9/11 attacks and I have found very little if anything to prove that the U.S. government planned the attacks.

The other big conspiracy theory in the last decade is that President Obama wasn’t born here.  Fortunately most of the Birther’s views died down significantly when Obama released his long-formed birth certificate.  I find it ridiculous for several reasons.  The person who started the conspiracy is Orly Taitz….. who wasn’t born in the U.S.  Orly Taitz herself released a supposed, “real birth certificate of President Obama.”  What she released was a complete fake.  Most birthers say that Obama was born in Kenya.  What Orly Taitz released, didn’t even have the proper name of the country Kenya the year President Obama was born.  You would think that if Obama was really born in Kenya it would at least have the name of the country right.  Conspiracy theories prove as with every story that you need evidence to back your claim.

As I stated before, I have no problem with celebrity or fluff news being covered as long as it doesn’t dominate the news.  If you want to read all celebrity news that’s great, I just wish it would be kept mostly in the entertainment section or in a gossip magazine.  I would encourage everyone to read at least one article a week from a nonbiased newspaper to keep informed.  There is a lot of good information out there, but you will sometimes have to search to avoid the bad information.


Liars, Cheaters and Other Scandals

16 Aug

Last week on Monday, I went to a White Sox/Yankees game with a friend.  I also went to the game because I thought that the White Sox were honoring Mariano Rivera that day.  What ended up happening was a game that was still memorable but for very different reasons.  The Biogenesis scandal had been building up for some time and culminated in the suspension of 14 professional baseball players for use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (or PED’s).  The game I went to happened to be the night that the New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez would make his 2013 debut.

I have been to many games, but have never seen and might not see again what I saw before and during that game.  The national media was on the field and outside of the ballpark.  What I witnessed wasn’t just booing or signs making fun of Alex Rodriguez, but a long-building animosity to players who cheat to get ahead.  To be honest, I don’t feel an ounce of sympathy for A-Rod or the Yankee’s organization.  A-Rod put all of the negative attention on himself and while the Yankee’s organization is mad that they are stuck with him, they are the ones who signed him to a huge contract.

I know I mostly write about politics, but scandals aren’t confined to politicians.  It’s true that politicians do stupid things that ruin their careers, but steroids and other PED’s are a different kind of scandal.  The main things PED scandals in baseball and political scandals have in common are stupidity and arrogance.  In both cases people are doing stupid things that will get them caught, but for some reason those involved don’t seem to think that they will get caught.  This brings me to the question that pops up in my mind every time a scandal happens, “Why do they think that they won’t get caught?”

Unfortunately I don’t think I will ever completely know the answer to that.  The only thing I know for sure is that some people can’t help themselves, but cheat or do something that will essentially end their career.  For most people involved with scandals, their lives and even their careers will continue.  What does change is the way that they are perceived or looked at.  In politics, Anthony Weiner is trying to revive his political career while Mark Sanford has already done just that.  Neither of the two will be looked at the same way they were before their scandal again.

In baseball, players have been damaged by PED use but their careers will never be the same.  The mere suggestion of players using PEDs can ruin their chance of getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Proven use of PEDs virtually guarantees that they won’t get in.  Regardless of what happens with their chance of getting into the Hall of Fame, their name will be forever tarnished, and they will play the rest of their career with a dark cloud over their head for what they have done.