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Bill O’really scary December 11, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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Aftre seeing this clip in the documentary Outfoxed I must admit my newest phobia. Take a backseat, drowning at sea or being burned in a fire. Heights, spirders, no problem. Being confronted by Bill O’Reilly is now my greatest fear. Take a look at the coldness in his eyes as he attacks and demeans this young guest.

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Watching the News with a Grain of Salt: Political Satires November 26, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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With ratings through the roof and rising for many comedic news programs, many are wondering just how endangered traditional news has become, and why.

John Stewart’s The Daily Show is now the highest watched “news show” in America. I keep that in quotes because the show is a self proclaimed satire here to shake up the world of boring, all info- news reporting. Just check out their about section which clearly defines the premise by stating their motto at the end,

‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — it’s even better than being informed.’

The Daily Show is followed closely by its companion The Colbert Report. The show follows the same premise, presenting news with an obviously biased, humorist tone. The Colbert Report seems to take itself more seriously than the Daily Show, which makes it even funnier in my opinion. Simply compare the head shots of the two faux anchors on their respective sites. john Stewart allows a faint smile to play on his lips as the American flag waves proudly behind him letting you know that not even he takes politics too seriously, while Stephen Colbert is stern and serious, his eyes raised to the heavens and his jaw firmly set. A man truly dedicated to his craft.

These are not the only two satirical news organizations around. There is the infamous The Onion, confusing people for decades. With its daily free publication donning a realistic news style format, the paper is apt to fool anyone who has not heard of it. My own mother placed an ad to rent out an apartment in the paper, not knowing it was all a joke. The Onions stories are based on fact at times, yet completely chopped and screwed. The paper borders on fiction, which is why it aggravates me that it is even considered a news source. I’ve never seen the appeal in reading a newspaper that is not only uninformative but misleading. Just browse through some of the articles, and you’ll see what I mean. The Onion however has a huge cult following and many books in print, so it does appeal to many people, but not this blogger.

So what does it say about the American public that more people get their facts from these sources as opposed to the ever reliable cable newscasts like CNN or my personal favorite MSNBC?

I think it says that Americans are fed up with scare tactics and hidden agendas. This is the post Bushera. We are tired of the lies and the cover ups, and we are ready for the truth, without your spin. Take a look at leading news giants Fox News and their creation, the abominable Bill O’Reilly . It is reported in the book Fair and Balanced, My Assby Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Bruer that a whopping 97% of O’Reillys stories contain his opinion, compared to 24% on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. So even the professional news media cant avoid being a little biased, why not watch the satires who are unapologetic about being biased? I’d rather have a laugh with my daily dose of stock market crashes and overseas catastophies than be insulted by your opinion.

But hey, thats just my opinion.

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert

An informal plug for amNY November 13, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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I am an avid reader of the free New York Daily AM New Yorkfor many reasons. The size and format of the paper is ideal for us straphangers with usually only one free hand to navigate the paper. Have you ever tried to read the New York Times on the subway? I envy the yuppiesprofessionals who can do it.  its front page is always catchy, colorful, and grabs my attention.  The paper from earlier this week had Barak Obama on the cover dressed as Uncle Sam.   The creative directors at the paper are very intelligent and funny, and the full page cover makes it look more clean and concise, drawing me to amNY over the other free daily metro.

Lately I’ve noticed some changes in amNY. The news content has shrunk, and the ads have almost tripled. Im not sure if this is a good sign for the paper, meaning it has a higher readership and is therfor more desired by advertisers. Or a bad sign, the paper is not doing well and is selling more of its news space to advertisers. Either way, its frusturating when I see a compelling story on the front page only to have it cut in half and spliced over an ad for Nordstroms.

After the first economic blow, I noticed the business and money sections grow impressivley form three columns to three pages. It comforts me to think the staff of the paper is truly intined with the needs of New Yorkers. The articles offered many helpful tips and hope for New Yorkers struggling to comprehend this crisis.

The lifestyle listings ar a personal favorite. As compared to another free daily, the L Magazine, I feel amNY offers listings for everyone, not just overpair hipsters. Pardon my distaste towards the L, I used to be very fond of it before it became solely geared toward a particular group of people that I do not identify with. AM offers events for kinds, families, and young adults. amNY does not descriminate! And as long as they remain this way, I will remain an avid reader.

November 4th 2008- D Day November 4, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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It was a lazy Sunday evening when my friend Josh’s announcement that he might not vote sent me into a frenzy. My mind raced and I was enveloped in a panic; how could anyone not want to vote?  Doesn’t he know the repercussions? Doesn’t he see all the same ads I did, hear all the same arguments? What was wrong with him??

As I struggle to control my breathing I start to think about why my sense of urgency regarding this election is so strong. I’ve read many articles, including one from AM New York, regarding the high level of stress placed on the average citizen during an election year. But this is not just another election year, for many reasons. After careful thought I have compiled my list of reasons why this election is making me, and many others, loose their wits:

1) I’ll start with the obvious. Our country has been driven almost into the ground during the last eight years under the Imperial Rule of King George Bush the II. The facts speak for themselves.

a) tied with this is the Bush administrations enviable quality of being able to hide the truth. Imagine a world without Michael Moore. With an election comes the airing of some very dirty laundry. While I claim to be informed, some of the things I’m hearing really scare the bejeezus out of me, especially issues concerning the environment and tales of genocide from around the globe. Basically, we’re being shown the truth, or something close to it, all at once. And its not pretty.

2) Presidential actors candidates. Not to sound crass, but here are our candidates in a nutshell:

a) young, half black male democrat with an impressive resume and a Muslim sounding name. b) an established and semi-likable old republican with his own list of impressive (or devastating) accomplishments. c) the stepford wife beauty queen from Alaska. d) Joe Biden is in there, too, but compared to the other members of this circus, he’s the least of the media’s worries.

3) The media coverage of this election, for the reasons I’ve listed above, has been unprecidented. It is  on every television channel, news show, and radio station. There are ads on street poles, store windows, front lawns, backpacks, t-shirts, you name it. Every celebrity has come out to contribute to urge us to vote or die.Or in this latest youtube vid to play up our generations supposed ignorance a slew of boring celebrities declare they really dont care if we vote or not. Thanks to the internet in our homes offices, and cell phones, the coverage is inescapable.

4) While I personally think that video is ridiculous and condescending, people have become involved in this election in record numbers. More people have registered to vote this year than any other, and the democratic turnout at early polling places is oustanding, according to http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/. The percentage of black voters has skyrocketed, and many are just proud to be part of the historic election, including Timothy Hairston, a bartender from Brooklyn.

“I wanted to be a part of a historical moment,” Mr. Hairston said, “to say that I was involved in history in the making, that I was an active participant as opposed to someone on the sidelines rooting for change but not involved in the process of making change.”

So there you have it. My comprehensive list of why this election is important, and why it’s driving me crazy. Feel free to add your own, and be sure to VOTE! Jeez I cant wait for this all to be over.

The economy is collapsing, but DONT PANIC. September 23, 2008

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The struggle to find an emotional medium in headlines got a lot trickier with the recent stock market collapse.

 

While the war in Iraq seems to be winding down (key word seems) and the too-close-for-comfort election teetters on a precarious ledge, the latest disaster on Wall Street has stolen headlines nation wide. The doomsday headlines come equipped with accompanying photos of  disgruntled employees carrying boxes out of their foreclosed offices and young stock brokers collapsing in what looks like, dare I say, panicon the stock room floor. While the photos are used to instill emotion, writers are receiving instructions to tone down their articles to keep the peace- and quell the panic.

 

There’s no denying there’s something really bad going on. Headlines like “The Worst Crash Since the Depression” (The Wall Street Journal, Front Page) and “From stock market to Job market” (Daily News 9/20) insinuate that our economy is in big, huge trouble. The career section of AM New York on 9/22 was almost the length of the news section itself. While politicians like John McCain and Mayor Bloomberg are pointing the blame at greedy investors and nasty monopolies, it appears the media may have more of a hand in the theatrics than we thought.

 

In a New York Times article this Monday, RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA takes a look at the careful phrasing necessary in todays media publications to keep the public informed yet still mentally intact. ‘Crash, panic, pandemonium, and apocolypse’ are amongst the words now blackballed from the newsroom floor according to spokesman Robert H Christie of the Wall Street Journal. Other obvious choices include free-fall, liquidate, and ‘run for the hills!!” Well, maybe the last one isn’t all that official.

 

Along with the subjective adjectives comes the banning of professional predictions that may lead to the so-called panic. Take a look at the recent demise of financial giant Indy Mac . This passed summer Senator Charles Schumer threw around casual statements eluding to the companies downfall. This then prompted a nation to run out and liquidate all their shares, causing the company to days later begin shutting its doors.

 

 Analysts have been saying that the only thing that’s separating this financial non-crisis from the dreaded Great Depression is our ability to KEEP CALM. Total liquidation and mass firings is what turned the Great Depression into what it was- a dark, suicidal period in American History that it took a war to get us out of. The word “billion” is being thrown around more than the word “foreclosure”, which is a pretty scary thing in itself. What would the government do with out our hard- earned tax dollars floating around to bail them out/redeem their bad decisions/ buy gruesome weapons for their unpopular oil war? Just what they are- in a real state of behind-the-scenes PANIC.

 

In this sense, journalists are right to cap the cuss words. This isn’t a freedom of speech issue, it’s a preserve the peace issue. Only don’t coddle us too much or Michael Moore might come out with another documentary. Help keep us informed and at least some of our hair still on our heads. And while this journalistic middle ground seems as mine-filled as the Middle East, it is the treacherous path of the modern journalist to walk the line between what the corporations want us to think and what we need to know.

 

Cut, and print.

Act your age! September 11, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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So I’m watching the new 90210 and I’m irked by the feeling like something is terribly wrong. Now, I didnt watch the original, so it can’t be feelings of betrayl or inconsistency. The acting is as terrible and predictable as the juvinile script, but that’s to be expected by a sub-par WB11, oh sorry, CW11, 90’s remake.

It’s halfway through the episode when it hits me- the anorexic looking girls that star on the show actually look like they’re supposed to be in high school. After years of 20+ year olds playing pubescent teens I’ve become accustomed to high school sophmores with more developed breasts, cheek bones, and check books than anyone I know now.

Turns out the main character, Annie, played by the irritatingly adorable Shenae Grimes (I know, I’ve never heard of her either) is actually in her teens! Check her out at her fansite www.shenae-grimes.net …or don’t.  Shes a little older than the 17 year old she plays, but Shenae is still barely legal- the budding actress turns 19 in October. That might be a bit of an age difference, but compare that to the gorgeous (and twenty-one year old) Blake Lively who playes 17 year old Serena van der Woodsen on the CW’s other “high school” drama teeming with over privelaged youths, Gossip Girl.

I guess what I’m getting at is I dont want to sit at home and watch girls that could be my little sisters age  bowling with their too perfect TV parents as their skinny knees and prepubescent breasts struggle to pop out of their k-mart brand attire. If I’m going to burn some brain cells after hours of school and work, I want to do it watching girls, nay, women, that are straight out of Vouge wearing clothes that probably cost more than my tuition.

So my adevice to the ladies: eat a cheeseburger, Shenae Grimes. Or maybe three. And Blake, I’ll see you next Monday.

Miss Lively ready for "class"

Blake ready for class

Hello world! September 11, 2008

Posted by kristinav718 in Uncategorized.
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