Indeed, all heck has broken loose again over at the Fox News Channel. Bill O’Reilly, their loud and obnoxious talk show host, was fired today in the wake of all kinds of sexual harassment and other allegations against him. This, coming after the mess with Roger Ailes.
O’Reilly had been on a vacation this week to Italy and he was in Vatican City today and even met the Pope. I guess he was there begging for forgiveness. Anyway, not even Pope Francis could perform a miracle to save O’Reilly today.
The reality is that O’Reilly had this huge political target on his back for years, and people on the left of the spectrum have been trying to get him fired for years for no shortage of reasons — for fabricating stories, for all types of things. It wasn’t just sexual harassment. I think all of it finally caught up with him, and the Murdochs finally decided they wouldn’t put up with any more of it.
I notice a lot of the left-leaning people were rejoicing today, saying “we finally got rid of him!” I find this reaction a bit worrisome. Glenn Beck is convinced this was the work of an organized smear campaign to try and drive O’Reilly off the air. Personally, I think the Fox News haters may be encouraged now to go after even more people at the channel. Who else is next: Sean Hannity? Tucker Carlson?
I also notice the “culture wars” are still going on in the “Uptight States” and there was a huge clash that erupted at Berkeley on the weekend between the “AntiFa” crowd and the right-leaning folks. I guess the righties were holding a “Patriots Day” speech and these lefties decided they wanted to shut it down, again. Except, they made the mistake of losing their cool and getting violent.
I was amused by Gavin McInnes’ reaction to it all: he seems to think his side won this particular battle. McInnes has a point. People are getting fed up with the left censoring people and trying to shout their opponents down all the time. It really is anti-democracy, anti-free society and anti-free speech.
Anyway, the folks on the left may have lost the battle at Berkeley, but they surely won a battle today in getting rid of O’Reilly.
Other news of the day, and this is a surprising turn of events: Aaron Hernandez is dead. The word is the former New England Patriots tight end committed suicide today in his prison cell, but even that is in dispute — some people think there is no way this is a suicide.
This turn of events happens just says after his double-acquittal in a second murder trial. Now it looks like Hernandez’ murder conviction from his first trial could be vacated, all because his case was on appeal when he died, I’ll never understand the way justice works in Massachusetts, it’s almost as bad as Canada. Anyway, this sad story is over at last.
Also, I notice this news happened on the same day that the Patriots were at the White House celebrating their Super Bowl win with Donald Trump.
I think that will be all for now, there are some big hockey games I want to tune into tonight. See you later.
So now we know the real reason for all this North Korea news and sabre-rattling you’ve heard about lately: it was the “Day of the Sun” celebrations honouring the founding leader of North Korea, so that meant a big military parade in front of Kim Jong-un and the leadership. I actually tuned into this online — RT was running a live feed of it.
All I have to say is: my God. I cannot believe in this day and age that a regime like the one in North Korea exists. It was like watching old newsreels of parades the Soviet Union would put on back in the day, when the Politburo would stand there saluting as the tanks rolled by. It really was a throwback to the old days: a bad throwback.
Worse yet, it seems like that place is on a permanent war footing: it’s all military all the time. They just tried another missile launch the other day, but fortunately it failed. Still, it was enough to scare the heck out of the civilized world. People are increasingly worried — especially the Americans — about the ability of North Korea to do major damage.
Let’s all hope for more “failed missile tests” in the future — I don’t want to find out what transpires from a “successful” one.
I’ve been MIA due to a flood of work assignments this week. So I haven’t been able to post news about the alligator attack at Disney World, or the shooting death of a Labour MP in the UK, or any of that. Which is just as well. It really has been a rough time.
Tonight, I am finally able to relax by tuning in minor league pro baseball online — this happens to be opening night for some of these summer leagues. Right now I am listening to a Class-A California League game between Rancho Cucamonga and San Jose. Yes, I have California on the brain right now. This is going a long way get my mind off of all the miserable news in the world. Hopefully, I’ll have some more free time on the weekend to post here — in between US Open golf and other sports.
Work update again: this past week has been much quieter for me personally than it has been for a while as I had a number of scheduled days off (one of them a stat holiday). As a result, yesterday I was able to brave the inclement road conditions and was one of the over 11K fans at the Saskatchewan Rush game at SaskTel Centre, where I met and got autographs from the Seattle Sea Gals NFL cheerleaders.
After the game the Rush held their usual autograph session, but even though the players and the Rush cheerleaders were also signing autographs the biggest lineup by far was for the Sea Gals. Gee, I wonder why… ! (I should also point out most of those in line for the Sea Gals were guys.)
Unfortunately, I never did get to tell the Sea Gals that my whole family has been to Seattle several times and that most of them now live not far away in British Columbia, where they get countless Seahawks games on TV.
Going to Saskatoon unfortunately meant missing out on free tickets to see comedian Tom Green perform in North Battleford, but that’s life. Anyway, given I have some free time today I thought I would post some links to the more interesting local stories I have reported on in recent weeks.
For those wondering if I feel I am missing out on all the political action with the primaries going on in the USA, don’t worry, there is still interesting political stuff going on here. I was recently at a Saskatchewan Young New Democrats provincial meeting in North Battleford, and had a chance to report on that. Soon, we’ll be covering the provincial election, so I’ll be inundated with political coverage soon.
Also, I posted a long-overdue story about my December vacation in Cuba, complete with some vacation pictures (like this one from Revolution Square in Havana, above).
As with the story I did a few years ago about Las Vegas, this piece focused on providing tips and advice to travellers who may be considering that sun destination for a vacation. Unfortunately, I don’t think too many of the locals will be making travel plans any time soon. Vacation deals have really dried up as of late, not just for Cuba but everywhere in general.
Finally, remember how I complained about having to miss watching New Hampshire primary night results because I had to go cover a Chamber of Commerce dinner? Well, my story on that event is here. Also, I’m happy to report the food was good.
That is all for now; stay tuned tonight for my live coverage here and on Twitter of the South Carolina and Nevada results. There won’t be any dinners interrupting that, I can assure you.
I don’t have a lot to say tonight, but I notice it has been another one of those bad days in the news business, and for the news business.
For one thing, there is all the bad news about layoffs at CTV and TSN hitting local news, radio news, and shows like TSN’s Off the Record hard. Then, there is the bad news about Charlie Sheen. There is the news that Bobby Jindal is out of the US presidential race, which I guess is bad news for Bobby Jindal. And of course, there is the ongoing overseas terrorism situation. Another stadium, this one in Germany, saw a bomb threat and was evacuated before a big European soccer game today. Just now, I find out a couple of Air France flights have been diverted — one to Salt Lake City and the other to Halifax!!!
And as if my day needed any more bad news, I understand winter weather is finally going to hit us.
Well, great. All this just makes my evening. It reminds me of the old saying– if you really want to avoid being depressed, then don’t watch the news.
Come to think of it, given the cutbacks at CTV today, now you have even less reason to watch the news than ever.
Well, I have had no time to give my thoughts on the launch of the Hillary Clinton campaign, or the launch of the Marco Rubio campaign, or about Rand Paul feuding with the reporters, or about President Barack Obama in Panama with Raul Castro, or about the Aaron Hernandez verdict, or any of that.
What happened is I covered a city council meeting on Monday, and then with the weather allowing for decent road conditions for a change, I finally was able to get to Saskatoon to watch a movie on Cheap Tuesday. I am slowly, very slowly, starting to get my life back again. Now the Stanley Cup playoffs are on and I am tuning in to that, along with baseball and other stuff.
But it leaves no time for blog posts. In short, my real life and interests — which have little to do with news — are crowding out the real news I usually put up here.
Sorry, folks, you’ll just have to deal with it for now. And now, back to watching sports on TV.
The news has been depressing, hasn’t it? In addition to the stories out of Paris is all this doom and gloom about low oil prices, and about lost jobs in the oil patch around here and in Alberta. I don’t like to see that.
But truthfully, it is not total gloom. In fact, it’s unbelievable how good the gas prices are right now.
As a counterpoint to all these news stories out these about how terrible it is that the price of oil is so low, I wrote this column pointing out that hey, it’s not so bad. In fact, it’s great for me personally that gas prices are so low, but you’ll never hear that from the other media outlets.
Finally, I can afford to fill up the tank to go down the highway to Saskatoon — trips that can maybe happen a little more frequently now.
News that an AirAsia flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore went missing in stormy weather conditions on the weekend is yet more bad news I have no interest in watching on TV. 162 people have apparently perished.
Unfortunately, the American cable nets are again going hog wild, just as they did with the Malaysia Airlines tragedy. Apparently CNN even bumped political coverage for missing plane coverage again. Somehow this does not surprise me in the least.
I simply hope these news channels and anchors do the right thing in the coming days and handle this awful news story with some semblance of sensitivity, and not treat it as yet another round-the-clock ratings grab. Seriously, I have had it up to here with nonstop missing airliner coverage. Enough is enough, already.
Sydney’s central business district in lockdown after the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place was taken over by someone with an Islamic flag. Scary situation. Continuing coverage at 9 News.
Just a note for local hockey fans, the new sports reporter arrived last week which means I can finally dial back on filling in on that beat and carrying out several jobs at once. I filed this piece about Hockey Canada’s Century Tour that was in our area last week, which pretty much wraps up my sports efforts for now.
Now, though, it is right back to the grind as I have several hours of budget deliberations ahead of me this week and possibly next. One of these days I might find some time to actually do some Christmas shopping, but not now. Don’t expect much blogging here until later this week, as I am back to not having a life, unfortunately.
Terrifying day here in Canada as that awful shooting situation unfolded on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, with Parliament itself in lockdown. I am just getting caught up on the latest news myself, so for the latest here is the CBC, CTV, and Global. Also I have posted below footage captured inside Parliament by the Globe and Mail.
Once again, I regurgitate all the things I said before about this being the worst time ever to be a journalist — especially journalists in Iraq.
The Islamic State has released a video again where they have beheaded yet another journalist, freelancer Steven Sotloff. The story here.
Really, what kind of a human being would do this?! Who would dress up in these outfits and commit this sort of criminal act?! And that is what it is, at the end of the day. The term “lowlives” does not even begin to describe these evil ISIS people.
It’s grotesque stuff like this that has me down on the state of the world right now. Welcome to September, world.
Welcome to another News from Nowhere, and this week it is going to be brief because this is summer and I’d rather spend the rest of tonight, and this week for that matter, listening to baseball games.
Anyway, the big news this past week has been all about airplane crashes and about airlines not flying to Israel with flight bans in place because of all the fighting there. We are still hearing stories about the latest Malaysia Airlines tragedy over the Ukraine. But now we also hear of another tragedy in Taiwan, and then that Air Algerie tragedy in Mali.
All in all, it all makes one think twice about stepping onto a plane anywhere these days. The major airlines are having no end of bad luck.
I guess I could report other stuff, like the American border crisis, or the recent death of James Garner, or the Ebola epidemic in Africa, or other cheery news like the weekend box office, but I think that is all for now.
There has been so much major news today that you cannot keep up with it all. Of course, there is the latest Malaysia Airlines tragedy. Then you have Israel launching a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
Here in Canada, suspended Senator Mike Duffy faces 31 fraud and breach of trust charges.
Wow, it sure seems like the world is falling apart today, eh?!
Update: Since I don’t know where else to put this, here is a link to the story on what went down at that Toronto mayoral debate the other night.
I am bored out of my mind here in boring Sask., so I am only putting up a couple of links.
First, today is another big tornado chasing day in the USA and I notice Greg Johnson and his Saskatchewan Tornado Hunter crew are chasing storms down around Iowa/Minnesota today on their livestream.
Also, the NFL draft is tonight.
That is all for today.
This is for readers who are wondering why you are seeing my byline on the sports pages of the News-Optimist. No, I am not the new sports guy, I am filling in until the new guy shows up.
So there is no need for sports fans in the Northwest region to panic or jump off a cliff. You will only have to suffer my sports coverage for only a couple more weeks.
At least, I hope it’s only a couple more weeks. Having to devote my time to both news and sports kind of takes me away from my other journalistic pursuits. Such as, for example, my live continuing coverage of Kelly Brook (see below).
Now the reports are that Boston Police is saying nobody has been arrested.
Like I said before: don’t watch the news.
It’s all doom and gloom on the news these days. There’s still this Boston bomb coverage, and then you have the Margaret Thatcher funeral happening overnight, our time.
As an aside, I still can’t believe those haters who danced on Thatcher’s grave this past week just about succeeded in making “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” the number one song in Britain. What a total lack of class on their part. If you are going to cheer on somebody’s death, make it something worth cheering over — like the end of bin Laden, for example.
And if you’re going to make a hit out of a song, it ought to be a good one, which “Ding Dong” is not. Whether you liked Thatcher or not, cheering her death just makes you look bad.
Now, more death news, this time from the world of football: Pat Summerall has died. The legendary big-game voice of CBS and Fox Sports was 82.
Seriously, if you want to keep from getting depressed then stay far far away from the news.
Just wanted to say that the last three weeks for me reporting the news have been ridiculous, to say the least, with a lot of lost evenings and weekends on the job.
This past weekend, I was finally able to get three full days off, but it has been very difficult trying to get back into Saskatoon to essentially live my normal life and do the things I would rather do with my time, such as use my gift cards to go to the bookstore or the movie theatre. When I finally did get to Saskatoon this week, it was mainly for work. It figures.
Among the things I have covered over the past three weeks have been: the local Chamber of Commerce election of a new Executive and swearing in of the new President, the local Robbie Burns Night, city council meetings, court proceedings, two nights of lengthy city budget deliberations, the Battlefords Citizen of the Year banquet, the Sask. Urban Municipalities Association convention in Saskatoon, a local Chamber luncheon speech by Battlefords MLA Herb Cox, and a Prairie Women on Snowmobiles banquet prior to their final leg of their 2013 snowmobile tour to fight cancer. And that is just off the top of my head. (Oh, and I also covered several hockey games, but I have no complaints about that.)
There was one week in fact when I had to be on the job every night during the week. Crazy. In between, I somehow managed to watch the Super Bowl, but that’s it as far as leisure pursuits have been concerned.
May I add that all this work happened during a stretch of some bad winter weather with the thermometer dipping past minus 30 at one point. Terrible. For those unfamiliar with life in Saskatchewan, January is usually the pit of winter with terrible cold and nothing interesting to do (no Roughriders), and is usually dominated by local residents taking sun vacations to escape life in this miserable province.
It’s a good thing I took that trip to Las Vegas when I did, because this recent load would have driven me crazy. Anyway, I am hoping to have somewhat less on my plate over the coming month, so that I can finally get around to doing all the other things I’ve been putting off up to now.
Unfortunately, it will still have to wait because tonight is going to be yet another long night on the job, as I am going to cover, yes, city council. Again.