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March 26, 2007

Pet Food

There has been a recall on many pet food brand names. With in the past week, cats and dogs have died. The FDA does not need to approve the ingredients that are put in pet food. It is time that the FDA get involved in pet food production to assure that what is being feed to out pets is safe and trust worthy. If not who will protect out pets? The food companies have already failed at that.

This story could be an investigative piece. Are these the first deaths because of pet food? What companies are involved and how did they let this happen? Will there be lawsuits? How is the FDA going to get involved?

Aimee Meyer, DVM (veterinarian) at Blue Cross Animal Clinic 612-822-2149

Amir Alavi, FDA Investigator, 414-771-7167

Dan Stevens, DVM, founder of a non profit organization that emphasizes on ethical issues with animals, peta.org 757-622-7382


Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales fired seven U.S. attorneys. It seems like Gonzales is trying to cover something up, but as far as everyone knows there is no need to cover up.

The Washington Post says, A Justice Department spokeswoman said the latest e-mail did not contradict the attoney general's previous assertions. He's entitled to explain why not, and he'll get that chance, in congressional testimony after his former cheif of staff, Mr. Sampson, testifies Thursday."

The New York Times says," But e-mail messages and other documents released by the Justice Department in recent days suggest that Mr. Gonzales was told of the dismissal plan on at least two occasions, in 2005 when the plan was devised and again in late 2006 shortly before the firings were carried out."

As far as I am concerned, there will be many contradictions like this because there are over 4,000 memo/e-mail that were sent about Gonzales and the U.S. Attorney's. I think that it is important for the public to know what is going on, but I also think that this story is getting out of porpotion. It is almost like the media feeds onto anything that shows deception within the government. Ofcourse we need to make sure deception is revealed. The extent that the media has played in the Gonzales story is unnecessary. How does this story effect the American people so much that reporter need to write about every play by play?

We need to think what is really news and what is just pop news. There is a serious war going on in Iraw and instead of debating who said what, maybe we should write stories that will actually change a readers opinion on what is happening in Iraq. Or something that prove journalists have integrity and are not a bunch heyana's just waiting for any gossip.

5 Soldiers Killed in Iraq In Two Roadside Bombings

Five American soldiers were killed in two seperate roadside bombings Sunday in Iraq. Four soldiers were killed and two soldiers wounded during patrols in Diyala province. The fifth soldier was killed while clearing roads in northwest Baghdad. Also Sunday, three Sunni mosques were attacked south of Baghdad, one day after 11 people were killed and 45 wounded in a truck bombing outside nearby a Shiite mosque.

The Washington Post has two reporters on the story, Karin Brulliard and Saad Sarhan. The story was confusing because it gave lots of facts in little space. In just one paragraph they wrote about three different bombing that has happened within the past two weeks. The headline says, "5 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq In Two Roadside Bombings." I think that topic should have been emphasized throughout the whole story. If both reporters wanted to add other bombings that had happened then it should have been added at the very end because it is irrelevant to the headline topic.

They also mentioned other killings about three chlorine-truck bombings in Anbar. I think that the reader will feel overwhelmed by reading about five different bombing stories that has literally been packed into one story. Because of all the different stories, this one story lacks good transitions. The story talks about many different bombings that it might have been difficult to make logical transitions between paragraphs. I think this could have been because of limited space.

I think that the headline should have been adjusted to what the article was actually going to talk about. This way the reader will have choice on what they want to read. If the reporters wanted to talk about other bombings that has happened in the past, then they should have waited until there was enough space to allow a time consuming piece.

The New York Times wrote about the same story. I think the associated press did great job delivering the message. They write, " Roadside bombs killed five American soldiers in Iraq on Sunday, including four in a single strike in the volatile province of Diyala, northeast of the capital, the military said."

The second paragraph focuses on how the bombings happened, a very important detail. This gives the reader the how in the story that the Washington Post forgot to write about. At the very end of the article it talks about how many people besides soldiers who have died.

I think that the New York Times did a better job in reporting the facts and the story's event. It was clear and got to the point. When the reader read the headline, the reader from Times actually read what they thought they were going to read. The Washington Post reader was given a lot more then what was expected.

March 14, 2007

Betty Hutton's Obit

Betty Hutton was an actress and singer in the 1940s and 1950s. She died on Sunday at 86 years old.

New York Times Richard Severo, wrote the obituary as a story-telling piece, using a lot of adjectives. He describes Betty Hutton's and her work as: upbeat, electric, masked, brassy and energetic. He also used clichés such as, "sound like a fire alarm" and "blond bombshell." I think Severo could have written a better obituary without using clichés and over used adjectives. I believe it sounds insulting and shows laziness in the writer.

He then writes about her career chronologically, but in descending order. To start off about her life, the first paragraph quotes Betty, "I tried to kill myself" after recalling her decline after fading from public. This is rude. A writer should not start off by writing about the horrible events that the person went through, at least not as graphic. He ends the obituary commenting on Betty's love life. The first sentence, "She married four times, to Mr. O'curran; Ted Briskin, a manufacturer; Alan Livingston, a recording company executive; and Pete Candoli, a jazz trumpet player.

He finishes off with a stupid quote that is irrelevant or doesn't sum off her whole life, he writes, "My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton," Ms. Hutton once said, "None of them fell in love with me." I think this leaves the reader felling sorry for Betty, like she was lonely. I don't think Severo himself knew if Betty was unhappy in her marriages. He needs to be optimistic and believe that Betty, received the fullest self-satisfaction with every marriage, or else he is leading on the reader. Having the obituary's focus on Betty's "Tragedy Hollywood" life is just trashy.

Washington Post Martin Weil writes with the same enthusiasm as Severo. He uses a lot of adjectives: brassy, bouncy, big-voiced, sparkled, shined, blond leading, zest, and hilarious, abounding energy. Weil focuses on Betty's career throughout the whole obit.

When describing her not-so-glamorous life he says, "She began a slow descent into obscurity. At one point, she was described as reclusive and beset with physical, financial and emotional troubles". When writing on Betty's downfall, this is all Weil writes about. I believe this is a generic and respectful way of describing Betty's troubles.

About Betty four marriages, Weil writes that she had four marriages, and that is all.

March 9, 2007

St. Paul Light Rail

The light rail is expanding its tracks to downtown St. Paul. There has been controversy on what streets the train will have its stops. When the Minneahaha train was being built contractors built the train right through neighborhoods and then gave residents money for the any loss in proppery value. What should the St. Paul contractors do to prevent this distruption?

Otto Banks, Deputy Assistant Secretary for economic development, 612- 708-4091.
Peter Bell, chair metropolitian council member(supports the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund) , 651-602-1453.
Ralph Whyman, board chair person of Longfellow community council (Hiawatha light rail), (612) 722-4529.

March 3, 2007

Payne Rape Case

A St. Paul teen was arrested in Wisonsin in connectino with a New Year's Day assault that was an ongoing process for police for a long time. Joshua L. Smith who is 16-years-old sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in his him in September. The investegations have been going for a while and police finally found the person who matches the victim's clothes DNA. Smith was arrested Thursday in Racine Wisc, where he was staying with relatives. Another assualt that Joshua made was with a 13-year-old girl one week later after the first assualt.

Howie Padilla from the Star Tribune said that police have said that two men were responsible for the rapes because the DNA did not match with the 13-year-old girl. I think that Padilla should have emphasized that in his article. The lead suggests that the rappist is found--the rappist from Payne St on St. Paul's East Side. Padilla also interviews Smith's mother and says that the mother has been crying for a whole month. I think that Padilla did a great job of keeping the article in balance. If possible I would have gotton more information on the community at large. Such as, how has the recent rappings influenced people in the community to act? Padilla only touches briefly on that idea. It's not about getting together and discussing the rappings, but how is the community going to take action in the rapping cases?

The P


The South Torn Apart by Twisters

P.S. I don't know "Reuters" affiliation

Reuters New York Times. Summary: Tornadoes across the southern United
States killed at least 20 people when tornadoes tore a hospital, high school
and mobile homes. The tornadoes killed nine people in Georgia, where the
hospital was hit, and 10 people in two southern Alabama towns. The U.S.
Coast Guard said six people were missing Friday after their 23-foot vessel
began taking on water in stormy seas off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Reuters focuses on damage across the nation,it even talks about the
blizzards that happened in the Midwest--North Dakota and Wisconsin. It
mentions the tornado that killed about 20 people in central Florida a month ago as
well. One thing that it talked about was the El Nino Effect. I thought was it was an inapprioate claim, "The height of the tornado season in the United States does not begin until May, but
winter tornadoes are common in years which experience the El Nino
phenomenon." Personally I think this is insensitive to the community.
First, Reuters is making a prediction that with in the coming year there is
a good chance of an El Nino. Secondly, He places the claim at the very end
of the article, almost leaving the reader in question. The reader does not
know how Reuters got its information and I don't think the reader will take
bold statements seriously if there are no credentials.

Jay Reeves. Summary: Enterprise high school was struck by a tornado and
eight students were killed. Faculty and students were warned about severe
weather three hours before the tornado struck. It raised questions on
whether classes should have been canceled earlier.

After the summary, Reeves gives an explanation on behalf of Enterprise High School on how this tragedy happened (not literally, but it sounds like it). He
writes, " But school officials said they had no chance to evacuate earlier
because of the approaching severe weather..." Governor Bob Riley had
something to say, " I don't know of anything they didn't do." This is
Reeve's most blatant statement, "Riley said after stepping out of the
collapsed hallway where the students died,' If I had been there, I hope I
would have done as well as they did.'"

That is just ridiculous. Yes, it is
a horrible event that these kids went through, BUT Reeves cannot "set
up a scene" and then support a quote by a politician. It's being biased.
What about the parents who believe that the school should have done a better
job on evacuating the school? If I were that parent I would be pretty
pissed off. A reporter's job is to tell a story without persuading the
reader, just give the facts. I think Reeves made a poor choice in
choosing that quote. The quote did have newsworthiness, but Reeves
should have expanded on its meaning. I have another comment to add, the word "But" at the beginning of a quote can turn any sentence into a biased predicament, just like the one
Reeves proves in this article.


March 2, 2007

Strip Clubs and Students

Strip clubs businesses are popping up everywhere in Minneapolis, the increase has doubled in the past 4 years. Employment ads for dancers are posted in the Minnesota Daily, the ads say," Will work around school schedule." How many of these girls are actually stripping while in college, and why? Is the causation of stripping due to an increase in school tutition, social issues changing, psychological, etc.

John Wilkie, business lawyer 612-298-6646
Dave, Deja Vu, Manager , 612-333-6333 (would not give last name)
Ellen Berscheid, Psychology Department of the Unversity of Minnesota--deals with Social, interpersonal attraction, close relationships, social perception and cognition, emotion