Rick Perry wants an Apology!

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is demanding an apology from the Sacramento Bee newspaper which published a controversial cartoon. The cartoon depicts Perry’s push for less regulations with the recent plant explosion that happened in Texas. The explosion killed 14 people, injured more than 200, and destroyed several homes.

An editor for the newspaper defended the cartoon by stating that it focused on Perry’s disregard for workers safety. The editor said that the cartoon was directed or aimed at the explosion. The editor believes that Rick Perry is trying to interpret the cartoon as disrespectful.

Perry wrote a letter to the bee saying, “it was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon.”

“While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans,” Perry wrote. “Additionally, publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans who lost family and friends in this disaster.”

Ohman defended his cartoon with an Internet post, noting that the fertilizer plant “had not been inspected by the state of Texas since 2006″ and that many “Texas cities have little or no zoning, resulting in homes being permitted next to sparely inspected businesses that store explosive chemicals.”

Newspaper cartoons have always been big when it comes to criticizing politicians, but did the Sacramento Bee take it too far? Is Rick Perry right for demanding an apology? We talked in class about different pictures we would run and ones we wouldn’t, if you were working for the newspaper how would you handle this situation? Would you stand behind your artist or would you do some damage control and apologize?

Keep in mind your audience and the fact that you’re a California-based newspaper and not a Texas newspaper. Will that affect your decision-making?

Boston Bombers “Actors”

In a recent interview with the Fox News, Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis called the two bombing suspects “actors“. After he said that he quickly went back to say they were suspects.

Ed Davis was referring to the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. The two brothers are key suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing that killed four and injured hundreds. Tamerlan was killed and his brother Dzhokhar is still recovering in the hospital from injuries he sustained when he was captured.

Since this slip-up, no word has been said about it and it has seem to have been swept under a rug. During this event Ed Davis has been in front of the camera a lot and has been a key figure in informing the people of the events that were going on.

The clip is very easy to find and has been posted on popular websites such as youtube and worldstarhiphop. Yet, no one has question Ed Davis about his comment and he hasn’t said anything about it.

Since more and more people are seeing this clip, should Fox News and/or Ed Davis release a statement? Is it our right to know why he said it? Should the Boston Police Department say anything about this comment?

We have read in chapter four of the Social Contract Theory that the Government is responsible to its citizens, who in turn agree to abide by the rules. How would you handle this situation? Do you feel that there should be an explanation? If you were to address this problem would you have a more consequential approach or non-consequential?


“Do you believe in DUI’s.”

Famous sports broadcaster Al Michaels was arrested and charged with D.U.I this past weekend in Santa Monica. Michaels is famously known for his, “Do you believe in Miracles,” comment during U.S. hockey team’s upset over heavily favored Soviets during the 1980 Winter Olympics. Michaels now works for NBC and can be seen working play-by-play for “Sunday Night Football.”

Michaels was pulled over around 9:30 pm when officers working a DUI checkpoint noticed a car doing an illegal U-turn. Michaels was then given a breathalyzer test where he blew over the .08 percent legal limit. He was then booked and charged with a misdemeanor  DUI and was released five hours later. Michaels is ordered to appear in court on June 26th.

NBCnews.com has stated that they are in contact with Michaels and had no further comment.

“We are aware of the situation and we’ve been in contact with Al,” said Greg Hughes, a spokesman for NBC Sports. “We have no further comment at this time.”

What was interesting to me was the difference in the story from CNN and NBC. Obviously NBC is giving a more detailed story but it also seems sugar-coated. They make it seem like the DUI is not as bad as it seems. While CNN gives a more basic and straight to the point story.

The question is how would you go about this situation if you were representing NBC? They haven’t released any statement and neither has Al Michaels. Michaels violated the law and also did some damage to his image and NBC’s image as well. Would you fire Michaels, suspend him, or just not take any action?

With the NFL being in an offseason would you wait to penalize Michaels  or would you take immediate action. Another note to think about is if Michaels will appear in court or not. What if he is found innocent? What do you feel is the most ethical path to take when dealing with this situation?

What’s Going On?



In the wake of the recent events in Boston, this post carries more weight than one would normally. In a time of crisis, such as the immediate events following the two explosions in Boston that killed three and wounded nearly 200, it is important to be absolutely sure of what you know and what you do not know before you report the news. 

It is hard to know what is going on when all of the world is in a frenzy to have the most immediate details when something as big as the marathon bombings, and it is during this immediate reporting of the news that many mistakes can happen. (Read this)

Around the same time of the explosions at the finish line, there was a suspicious fire at the John F. Kennedy Library several miles away. Many people were quick to deem this fire the result of a third explosive device that was part of an elaborate plot linked to the marathon bombs. 

Reports that the perpetrator of the explosions was captured shortly after the explosions occurred were also wrong. A Saudi Arabian national who was a student at Boston University was a spectator at the race and was severely injured in the explosion. Link here. This man was not being questioned by police as a suspect, but rather as a witness to the events.

In class we’ve discussed ethics in News Journalism, what are some of the biases that are being exhibited in these mistakes being made by news outlets? Has the rush to have the most up to date information led to inevitable mistakes?  How can some of these mistakes be fixed so that they can be better avoided in the future? What advice could you give to these news outlets to help them avoid these errors in reporting?

Grammar Nazi?

A teacher in Albany, New York is in hot water for an assignment she had recently given to her students. Read about it here. Her intended assignment was to be a persuasive paper, which seems like no big deal, right? Wrong. In this persuasive paper, her students were to pretend that the teacher was a Nazi official and their assignment was to persuade the Nazi official as to why Jews are evil.

“Your essay must be five paragraphs long, with an introduction, three body paragraphs containing your strongest arguments, and a conclusion,” the assignment read. “You do not have a choice in your position: you must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

These were the instructions that were given to the students when the were given the assignment. The teacher is in hot water with her supervisors within the school district, as well as Jewish leaders and the community in general. Many parents are calling for her immediate removal from the school district.

i want you to act as if you were on the school’s board of education. How would you go about dealing with this situation in a swift and positive manner?

Rick Ross Loses Deal With Reebok

William Roberts

Rapper Rick Ross is in hot water with Reebok shoes after the company dropped Ross as one of its partners. The recent drop is due to Ross producing a song that is described ad “pro rape”. In the said song,Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA (Molly) and taking advantage of her. The lyrics are as follows: “Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it,”. Reebok’s firing of Rick Ross came immediately as womens group called Ultraviolet protested outside a Manhattan Reebok store.

Ross apologized for his tweet via twitter, citing a misinterpretation of the lyrics and that he did not use the term “rape”. Reebok says it does not necessarily believe that Ross “condones sexual assault,” but they are is not happy with Ross’ manner of handling the situation.
Reebok stated: “We are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse,” the statement read. “At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.”

Ross’ part in the song is in the process of being removed.

So how do you feel about this situation? Would you fire Ross? Rappers are known to have controversial and explicit lyrics, but does this go too far? How could these lyrics be “misinterpreted” as Ross said? On the part of Ross and Reekbok, what ethical issues were violated in regards to both parties? How could Ross have handled this situation differently?

Here is the original article: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/04/11/reebok-drops-rick-ross-after-pro-rape-lyrics/#ixzz2QDO0S2bI

Punishing Kids for Getting Sick?


A new bill called the “Don’t Get Sick” bill has been introduced by Steve Cookson in Missouri and has caused quite the debate. Although some critics have considered it a publicity stunt, it is still something to think about and discuss. This bill states that school age children of those receiving welfare must attend public school, unless a physical disability prohibits them, at least ninety percent of the time in order for the family to receive proper benefits. This bill is receiving both positive and negative feedback. On a positive note, this will prohibit children from missing too much school, however, it could punish students who contract a serious illness that requires them to miss school for an extended period. Critics say this bill would hurt children battling sickness or difficult situations by taking their food stamps away and making more of a hassle for the kids and their families.Democratic State Representative Stacey Newman brought up two issues with the bill, one being that some children on welfare may have scholarships to private school and the bill only affects public schools. She said the bill is also very vague as to what constitutes as welfare.

So what do you think about this bill? Will these kids being forced to go to school benefit them in the end? Should this be applied to all kids, not just those on welfare? What have we learned that can defend or promote your ideas?

Here is the full story:


Also, here is a video explaining the bill:



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