Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin sinks to bottom

Sarah Palin is not extremely popular among college students, yet instead of continually bashing her beliefs, they do not say what she can do to improve her standing with students. There is something about every candidate that students will not like; however, students will not tell us what they do look for in candidates or positive things about ones they like.

In the Loop video, the interviewee does not tell viewers what she looks for in a candidate — instead, she continually bashes Palin. Instead of giving specific examples of what Palin does wrong, she only comments on her disagreement with her beliefs and criticizes her personality. Everyone knows what Palin believes in, but a majority of students do not know Palin’s actions and history.

After watching the video, I became extremely annoyed with the student because all she does is complain and whine about Palin. I know that this is personal opinion and the student has every right to express it, but it should not be on a college news Web site. This video would be perfect in a blog, but not in a professional setting.

If the video was put in a professional setting, the student should not whine about the candidate, but give solid, concrete examples to back up her opinion. Without these opinions, the video is boring and frustrating.

Link to video: http://rocloop.com/videos/8656-60-second-rant-sarah-palin

Rating: The scorpion-filled chest

Monday, September 29, 2008

Celebrity blogging overboard?

We all know celebrities get all the attention. But blogging about blogs about celebrities? That's when it's gone too far. To get the root of the story about Jennifer Lopez's participation in a triathlon for charity, you have to search through other blogs. That's not the worst part though - the original blog doesn't focus on what she earns for the charity (only briefly mentioned halfway through the story), but instead focuses on the fact that she finished and just cannot stop smiling.

The story has some value to it, but once again, the journalist needs to figure out what the focus is. It shouldn't be that Jennifer Lopez finished, but rather that she was able to raise $127,000 for the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Now that is newsworthy.

Overall, I would expect more from a magazine like SELF. It's great to keep in shape, but celebrities have personal trainers so chances are, they will look amazing after having children. Show me a normal mother running a marathon after having twins and able to raise money for a hospital and then I will be intrigued.

Rating: Marooned on an Island

Link to Article: http://www.self.com/livingwell/blogs/celebrity/jennifer_lopez/index.html

Friday, September 26, 2008

LHC is alright with me

While swashing through Google News today I saw this little gem from The Dallas Morning News.

It's a short post about a helium leak within the Large Hadron Collider, by Andrew Smith detailing the Five W's and linking to a right handy link to a larger story by the AP.

There's nothing particularly objectionable about either one, clearly define and relate the story with none of that end of the world black holes eating the universe shenanigans.

Good on them.

Promoted(s) to first(s) mate(s).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gay dogs flock to Oregon park

What is this world coming to? Apparently, this "news" story reveals that the best place for your gay dog is to go to Jamison Square park in Portland, Oregon. Why is this news worthy? It's not.

The author drops the "F-bomb" and talks about his dog getting "down to business." Oh, no. This is just some soft porn for dogs. This is not news at all. The grammar is horrible. The article is just complaining about how his gay dog is not accepted into society in most places, including a gay bar.

I'm sorry, but it's a dog.

An example:
So keep saying how "progressive" Portland is, but until Sparkles can openly frolic with other gay dogs, I ain't buyin' one goddamn word of it. Not until my Sparkles can find some other gay dogs for some pumpin' action in the great, gay dog-friendly outdoors. Then, Sparkles can proudly announce--at his moment of climax, and in his adorable little yips and squeals--"I am queer! I am here! I am Sparkles!"

This is probably one of the worst articles I have ever read in my life. The end.

Rating: Walk the plank - twice over.


Bush bashing takes place as economy crumbles

So, we are currently in the middle of one of the biggest financial disasters in the history of the United States. President Bush addressed the country tonight with his concerns and plans for the future. One would think that this crisis is a little more important than Clay Aiken coming out of the closet. Yahoo news covered both stories in great detail. However, the difference in the word count for these stories is 395 words.

Now, this seems like a significant difference but when most of the article bashes President Bush with statements such as, "The president turned himself into an economics professor for much of the address," and "Intensive, personal wheeling and dealing is not usually Bush's style as president, unlike some predecessors. He does not often call or meet with individual lawmakers to push a legislative priority," it makes you wonder who wrote this article thinking that the country wants to read about the stupid things President Bush has done. We have too many of those stories as it is. And, this is in no way trying to defend the president and any of his wrong decisions and choices, but a little smack in the face with reality. Give it up. We're tired of hearing about it. With little quips such as those, the focus of the article turns into a presidential bash rather than a news story about how our country is falling apart.

The bottom line is that news stories concerning President Bush never truly end up being about the issues, only his stupidity as a president. Wow, America, that's a great news story. Think again.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shark finds candidates as fool's gold

My mother always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Apparently, Joe Biden’s mother did not teach him manners to incorporate in the Presidential election. At his age, you would think that Biden would learn when to keep his mouth shut.

After Biden’s advertisement poked fun at John McCain’s computer illiteracy, Biden received some negative attention of his own.

The author of the article presents how negative campaigning is often used in the election, though the candidates claim they have no idea what is being said. Instead of focusing on only negative republican advertisements, the author provides examples of negative democratic advertisements as well.

Additionally, the author sheds light how the public is picking up on the negative advertising when the candidates should be focusing on issues that Americans. People are beginning to notice the negative campaigns rather than events that matter. One of the author’s sources mentioned to Biden that he knows about the false advertising because he “approves” each media message. Apparently, Biden says he does not know that the negative messages were publicized. Good job to the author for pointing out this piece of information to the public. The author makes me think this: Can I really trust the candidates?

Positive 3. Promoted to first mate

Link: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/23/biden-seeks-to-dial-back-from-terrible-comment/

Monday, September 22, 2008

Drop anchor there, Clark

Columnist Ross Clark dropped an awesome bomb at The Times Online, the web component to the Britain based paper. In his column, Clark attacks what he sees as Britain's inconsistent drug policy.

Particularly in the handling of former Wham! front man George Michael.

Where his argument starts to sail away is right around the point where he compares drug use to child pornography.

Alright, Clark, I got it. Drugs are bad, but come on. Directly proportional to child pornography? That's a bit strong.

Not to mention the lead is more than a little ridiculous.

Ross Clark:

Imagine being a latterday Pontius Pilate presented with two offenders and faced with a dilemma: which to grant a second chance and which to sentence to a long term in jail. Do you free the nervous Jamaican single mum caught at Heathrow with 30 capsules of cocaine in her intestines, having been persuaded to act as a drug mule by a gang promising money to educate her children? Or the multimillionaire pop star caught with crack cocaine in a London public lavatory?

I'm not going to lie, folks going to jail for this sort of thing is terrible. The thing is, we're comparing drug trials to the biblical trial of Christ.


Just going to take the rum.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Magician may need eye patch for blindness?

This entertainment story could have value - if it actually happened.

The story focuses on the possibility of famous magician David Blaine going blind in his next dangerous stunt, but nothing has actually happened. The story's greatest weakness is that it lacks newsworthiness. David Blaine attempting dangerous feats is nothing new. He's jeopardized his life enough that the public expects it from him.

If the author of this story had focused on the fact that it might "yield valuable data for doctors," as it mentions in the last line, the story could have had some value to the public. Instead, this fact is briefly mentioned and does not detail exactly what data doctors are looking for. In addition to this, the doctors are completely unsure of the side effects and don't even have an estimation of how long Blaine's possible blindness could last.

To improve this story, the author could have spoken to other experts to obtain an estimation or reinforce these ideas. The story lacks substance, but a little more research made have made it slightly worthwhile.

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/09/21/david.blaine.ap/index.html

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dancers leaping across a water fountain are a unique site, and this has the potential to be an interesting story. Typically, dancers dance on a stage inside an auditorium, so when they moved performances outside, it created a new atmosphere for people to enjoy.

However, the style and technique the author of the blog used to describe the fountain dancers was a flat and weak performance. Though the idea and originality of the article was interesting, poor grammar and style weakness outweighed the originality of the piece. This article was written in The Oregonian, a print newspaper, which makes it more disappointing. Reviews and articles should be well written in newspapers, especially a professional one.

What made this piece bad journalism was long, run-on sentences and weird word choices. Though the author described a dance piece, it should have been important to keep the audience in mind. Readers do not want to have to read a sentence three or four times before finally understanding its meaning. Sentences should be simple and to the point. Too much information can lose the reader’s interest, and this piece did deserve to be well written because it was a good topic.

One example of a long sentence with too much information was this: “At first glance, Linda Austin's dance at Lovejoy Fountain was similarly inscrutable, progressing from flocking patterns to pedestrian jogs to agitated shakes, but Austin, like Halprin, is a choreographer deeply attuned to her performance environment, and her ingenious use of drinking cups to stain the fountain's walls in streams of water revealed contours of the space previously unseen.”

After reading the sentence a few times, I got the overall idea of the movement and flow of the dancers, yet the words used to describe it were too big and downright weird such as “inscrutable” and “pedestrian jobs.”

If this piece was written with the target audience in mind and correct AP style, it would have been as enjoyable to read as watching the actual performance.

Link to article:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Generic Post to be removed.

This is one.