Archive for the breaking news Category

FCC Fines Fox News For Inaccuracies

Posted in breaking news with tags , , , on January 14, 2010 by Bitch Slap Poli

Wouldn’t it be great if that headline were true? And not just because it’s Fox News.

If the FCC punished media outlets that repeatedly relay misinformation like they punish stations that show indecency on television, then we’d probably be a smarter voting base in general.

The Corruption of Trusted News

A good journalist knows you need to get to the source. Dig into some news outlets and you’ll see money is greasing the gears. Fox News striking a deal with Sarah Palin is a perfect example. Despite her repeated inaccuracies and obvious bias, the “fair and balanced” Fox News is showing its true colors – green and more green with a red bow on top.

Is Entertaining News a Good Thing?

An entertainment factor has been slowly changing the way “news” sources deliver information, right down to the accuracy of it. Call me crazy, but I think if it has to be one or the other I’d rather my news be factual and informative and I’ll find entertainment elsewhere.

I guess that’s why I’m such a big fan of NPR.

In a Romanesque culture that gets off on bloodsports, we’re not satisfied with logical, respectful debate and discussion. The political jabs and theatrics of a house divided are much more attention grabbing. It’s hard to clearly determine if the general public or the politicians are more to blame for the state of things.

Regardless of the cause, the cure partly rests in media sources that resist over-dramatize a story by sticking to unbiased facts.

Money Talks in Media

At the end of the day there’s a bottom line. If spicing things up with a little twisting of the truth plays to a sizable market then who’s to say that’s not affecting how news is delivered and received in turn affecting public policy.

We must also remember there are people at the top of news networks with political ties and special interests of their own. They set the tone and direction for their whole operation.

But what if the FCC regulated news stations the way it regulates profanities on t.v. with fines? What if, in order to call yourself a “news source” you were subject to a rule of accuracy? If you break the rules you get fined, if you don’t meet the standards you can’t call yourself a news source.

The stations and shows can still operate independently of these regulations if they choose. They just wouldn’t be able to call themselves a news source. That seems pretty logical and fair, especially to the end consumer.

‘Boy in the Balloon’ Kids Need a Spanking – And Police Should’ve Been More Thorough

Posted in breaking news, entertainment on October 16, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

Update: It appears BSP Politech contributor jwilhelmy may have been right about the boy in the balloon incident being a complete set-up. We also predict there will be a lot of boy in the balloon  Halloween costumes this year.

Today the media was ablaze with a whooper of  a story that only comes around every once in a while. A 6-year-old was afloat thousands of feet in the air in a home-made aircraft powered by helium. One of the boy’s older brothers alerted their parents that his brother had climbed into a box at the base of a home-made aircraft just before it took off into the air.

After hours of horrible anticipation and balloon tracking the world watched the aircraft slowly come to a nice, soft landing. However, the boy wasn’t inside.

These Kids Need a Good Spanking

Unlike some others I was very much hoping the kid wasn’t inside, no matter how it landed. The aircraft was powered by helium which meant after more than 2 hours there’s no way the boy in question, Falcon Henne, could have survived without an oxygen supply. But now there was the fear that he must have fallen off along with the small box at the base of the aircraft. (No one thought to mention the box compartment until the contraption landed.)

After several more grueling hours of police and emergency crew searches the boy was discovered in perfect health. It seems that the lad was hiding in the aircraft box in the family’s garage attic. Yeeeeeeah.

See I enjoy a well thought out prank, but my cousin did something every similar during a game of hide and go seek when we were around 6 years old oddly enough. It happened while we were at our Grandmother’s house for Sunday dinner and the whole houseful of adults and kids went on a frantic half out search involving  a call to the police before I found her wedged in the narrow gap between the couch and a wall.

That day all five of us kids learned a very valuable lesson as we watched Miranda get a good old fashioned spanking. The general relief  of all involved saved my cousin from reprimand for only a few minutes. What I took away from the situation is that the joke is over once someone mentions getting the police involved.

All joking aside the stunt today cost Colorado a lot of money. Taxpayers’ money. Not to mention that the aircraft could have gotten in the way of a plane’s flight path.

The one that needs the spanking isn’t Falcon. He’s the youngest of the group and stuck up in the attic he most likely had no idea how the situation had escalated, unlike his older brother. He’s the one that needs a good old fashion spanking, and a few ours of community service wouldn’t hurt either.

The Police are Also to Blame

I’ve got one question; how thoroughly did the police search the home before the whole damn county went into media saturated panic mode? Did you ask for a complete description of the aircraft so that you could rule out the possibility that he was in the balloon that everyone was chasing?

Because if you had, a few people could have chased down the balloon and that would be that.  The police could have then narrowed their search for the child to the family’s property and the local area. Then policemen, EMS personnel and reporters wouldn’t of had to stand around in a field today.

And the general public could have used that media coverage time for real news reports, like the issue of increased violence against peaceful protesters the world over.

Study Finds Women Getting More Attractive, Guys Not So Much

Posted in breaking news, scientific studies with tags , , , , on July 30, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

There’s an interesting series of studies just released that found women are evolving to look more attractive. But that’s not the only interesting thing they found.

The studies conducted by the University of Helsinki focused on reproductive success and physical attractiveness. It’s worth noting that these studies took place in the U.S. following 1,244 women and 997 men over the course of 40 years.

Similar results have been found in studies done by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics as well as the U.S. government’s Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Attractive Women on the Rise

All this isn’t so surprising to me since I originally majored in anthropology – which of course makes me an expert on evolution. Procreating and spreading your seed is one of our strongest primal instincts. And just like many breeds of male birds, women are evolving to attract the opposite sex with a display of beautiful plumage.

Also not surprising is the finding that attractive women have more children than plain Janes. Kind of goes hand in hand with why women are are getting better looking.  However, there was one finding that was quite surprising.

Attractive women, attractive couples really, are more likely to have females than males. No true 50/50 shot here. Additionally, these females in turn are more likely to carry the attractive genes than their male counterparts. It’s fairly significant considering good looking people are 26% less likely to have boys. Here’s how Kanazawa put it:

“Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.

“If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.”

Yeah, Guys Aren’t Getting Any More Attractive

Does this evolutionary divide mean women have lower standards when it comes to looks? In some cases yes, but as a whole it just means that we value other attributes above attractiveness unlike men. Research suggests women value a man who’s a good provider – real shocker there, huh.

It seems attractive women and successful men go hand-in-hand. Something we’ve been witnessing and taking note of for years without needing a formal 40 study to point it out.

What Does This Say About Us as a Society?

Remember these studies were analyzing Americans. Though it’s great ladies are looking better and better, it does put a spotlight on ideology that some say have been holding women back for generations. Namely, that women are valued more for their looks than their brains.

Case in point – Sarah Palin

Now it’s been scientifically proven. However, considering the great strides that women have made in recent years after gaining near equality, it will be interesting to see if the evolutionary trend continues. Now that more women are becoming the bread winners in their families will men start looking better?

More importantly, does this mean smart, attractive women are the epitome of evolution?

What’s Your Favorite Walter Cronkite Moment?

Posted in breaking news, entertainment with tags , , on July 18, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

At 92, Walter Cronkite died yesterday, July 17, 2009 of cerebrovascular disease a result of dementia. A walter cronkite

painful twist of fate for one of the best American news journalists in history.

Growing up in a military family I personally have to say my favorite work of Cronkite’s was in his early days when he elevated his own exposure and credentials while covering WWII.  He got to help bomb the Nazis on their home turf, how awesome is that!? Some of the most touching and eye-opening of news coverage comes from those who put the truth above all else, even personal safety.

The way that Cronkite and his colleagues took to the lines alongside the soldiers on the ground and in the air is just what reporters like Graham Smith and David Gilkey are doing now during the war in Afghanistan.

This war coverage, showing the best and worst of humanity at all once, is the general public’s closest means to understanding exactly what it is our country is involved in – the actual costs and rewards to be gained and the people being directly affected on either sides.

The globalization of war through media has brought it closer to home. Anyone with interest can even see videos from the enemies or read blogs written by Taliban supporters if they want that take on it.

That’s what I think was Mr. Cronkite’s finest moments bringing us the news. But he accomplished quite a bit in his lifetime – he was a college drop out with a career, was the first person to ever be called an anchor man, hosted a game show, and let’s not forget CBS Evening News.

Feel free to add to the list of achievements.