Blogs > In The Mix

Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maher elaborates on stupid Americans

A few weeks ago comedian and political talk show host Bill Maher caused a bit of a stir when he was blunt and unapologetic when he said Americans are stupid. Some people were quite upset by his comments (I wasn't, for the record). When asked about it on The Tonight Show, Maher was once again unapologetic and instead decided to be more elaborate:

I would think as he details things even further the number of people offended would become more focused. Then again I wasn't offended by what he said in the first place so I can't be sure.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Make your own Kenyan Birth Certificate

Have a friend or relative who supports the "birther" movement?

Want to have a little fun with them?

Imagine the look on their face when you show them a copy of THEIR birth certificate, definitively proving they were born in the Republic of Kenya.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Student sues her college, worst idea ever

By now everyone has heard about Trina Thompson, the 27-year-old Bronx resident who is suing her alma mater Monroe College in New York because she has not been able to get a job in the 3 months since she graduated.

Thompson, who has not retained the services of a lawyer, apparently believe the college owes her $70,000 in reimbursed tuition and an additional $2000 for the stress she has had to endure in trying to find a job.

Not surprisingly, public reaction to the lawsuit has been almost entirely negative towards the unapologetic Thompson, who said she would encourage other unemployeed grdautes to sue, saying "It doesn't make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what they planned."

What doesn't make any sense is how anyone can go through four years of higher education and not understand that their tuition is payment for that education and in no way a guarantee of employment. Thompson has said the school's placement department has not helped her as much as they should have and show preferential treatment prefer to students with higher GPAs (Thompson graduated with a 2.7 GPA). Imagine that.

Unfortunately for Thompson, her obviously frivolous lawsuit will most likely do the exact opposite of what she wants. In addition to having he case thrown out, Thompson will likely have a much harder time finding a job now that employers know she shows a lack of common sense, is quick to file frivolous lawsuits, and appears to have a massive sense of entitlement. Not the best way to stand out in the worst job market in decades.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Birthers" are their own worst enemies

There's a reason nobody takes the "Birther" movement seriously. Pressed for any real arguments, "Birthers" resort to blaming the media for being in the pocket of the POTUS (even Ann Coulter?) and making claims that show just how uniformed they are:

This is the second time I've seen Taitz interviewed where she argues Obama could not be a US citizen because his father wasn't. The sad/scary thing about it is that neither time did someone correct her. And this woman is a lawyer.

Nevermind that every argument proposed by birthers has been debunked numerous times, they keep coming. And it seems their hope is that if they keep repeating the silly arguments loudly that it will somehow legitimize them.

Of course the question(s) that keeps looming is... "If he's a real citizen, why not... (insert request here)?"

The reason is simple: It won't work. For one thing, even the birthers can't agree on exactly what the truth they are trying to prove is. Second, birthers are not going to be convinced if they were shown video footage of his birth in a hospital in Hawaii time-stamped and authenticated by the CIA. No matter what proof they are shown, the birthers can always claim it is fake. They already do this with the birth certificate that was released before the election. Yet they have shown their own "birth certificate" that "proves" he was born both Muslim and in Kenya and many still cling to it as legit. These people are only going to believe what they want to believe. Responding to anything they demand only gives them the power they want but don't deserve.

The White House and many Republicans and conservative commentators are outright dismissive of the movement and rightfully so. These are not credible activists, these are bitter people who didn't get the result they wanted in the last election and are looking for any way to undermine the President.

In a report by CBS, Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University Michael Barkun, an expert in conspiracy theories, had this to say about why so many people get hooked into conspiracy theories like this:

"There are people out there who firmly believe that the truth is always hidden, regardless of whether it's about politics or science or any other subject," he said. "That whatever is presented as public knowledge is necessarily false. That the truth is always hidden from them, regardless of what the subject is."

He also said that, "in a strange way, conspiracy theories are comforting."

"They give people a feeling that we know the truth," Barkun said. "That we have secret knowledge, and that we know how the world really works. In a sense, we're part of a kind of elite of those who know and everybody else is misled or are trapped by illusions."