What's behind an old debate, veterans dying for a little help, the North Dakota cowboy lifesaver, the season of stealing, and setting a high bar for marriage proposals.
If there's any appetite at all from American news consumers for information about the rest of the world, you sure couldn't find much evidence of it from a survey released today by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press.
Only the attacks on the consulate in Libya made the list of the most followed stories of the year, and the chances are, that's only because it became a campaign issue.
The survey -- available here -- also showed that the younger you are, the less likely it is you cared about the Libya story.
What could've made the list if there interest in foreign news stories? For one, the U.S. is still fighting a war somewhere.(1 Comments)
Given the lack of much new emanating from today's long-awaited National Rifle Association news conference reacting to last Friday's Connecticut massacre, Twitter's 140 character limit seems like the perfect vehicle for reviewing it.
NRA: "Sure, some children died, but the president is still a scary black man, so we expect gun sales to remain high. And, um, freedom."— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) December 21, 2012
So far on NRA's blame list: video games, media, gun free school zones, hurricanes soup.ps/VWfjVo— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) December 21, 2012
UPDATE: Has anyone explained to the NRA that absolutely nobody in Mortal Kombat has a gun?— Disalmanac (@Disalmanac) December 21, 2012
#NRA bungled its response to Newtown. Pulled Facebook pg, says nothing until Wed, holds presser on 1 wk anniversary, blames everyone else.— Darin Broton (@DBroton) December 21, 2012
When NRA chief starts to criticize the media for concealing the truth, live stream cuts to the bank of video cameras all pointed at him.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 21, 2012
Truth! >> "The only thing that stops a bad guy with the gun is a good guy with a gun." #NRA— Eye on Politics (@EyeOnPolitics) December 21, 2012
The #NRA is ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help— NRA (@NRA) December 21, 2012
The dirty little secret of Minnesota,is that we get you, Wisconsin.
And, truth be told, we're a little envious of your mirth, as evidenced by the streets of Madison early this morning.
Update The image is from 2009, which just goes to show you how cold it is in the summer in Wisconsin.(1 Comments)
Many years ago -- 14 to be exact -- when the idea of news organizations having websites on which to display stories was a toddler, many newspeople were horribly aghast at the notion that there would be advertising on the same page on which their stories would appear. They feared that people would not be able to figure out what part of a page is editorial, and what part is commercial.
People, of course, were much smarter than they were given credit for and have been able to figure out the difference.
But, occasionally, there is still the page layout that stops you in your tracks. Like this one in the Washington Post this afternoon, spotted by MPR editor Hart VanDenburg.1 Comments)
Dogs get what a lot of people don't.
In Newtown, Connecticut, National Geographic reports today, K-9 dogs are being brought in to counsel kids in the wake of last week's tragedy.
Tim Hetzner, leader of the Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) K9 Comfort Dogs, reveals the secret to why dogs provide better therapy than adults.
"I think that's a common mistake people make in crisis situations--feeling obligated to give some sort of answer or advice, when really, those who are hurting just need to express themselves."
"When humans show us affection, it's quite a complicated thing that involves expectations and judgments," said Rachel Wright, who runs a pet therapy program. "But with a dog, it's a very uncomplicated, nonchallenging interaction with no consequences. And if you've been through a hard time, it's lovely to have that."
(Photo: Associated Press)(2 Comments)
If a wife suspects her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with one of his female employees, is it legal to fire the female employee even if there's no evidence of an affair?
It is in Iowa. The state's Supreme Court ruled today that an "employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction."
The court upheld a lower court ruling that Melissa Nelson, who had worked as a dental assistant for Dr. James Knight of Fort Dodge for 10 years, had no basis under the state's civil rights act to sue him when he fired her at his wife's demand.
The two had texted each other with what could be considered sexually suggestive messages. And when Dr. Knight fired Ms. Nelson, he told her it was because he might try to have an affair with her.
In her suit, Nelson claims the dentist discriminated against her on the basis of her gender. She also says the action could allow any employer to fire any employee just by saying "my wife is jealous."
But the court today rejected her argument:
The civil rights laws seek to insure that employees are treated the same regardless of their sex or other protected status. Yet even taking Nelson's view of the facts, Dr. Knight's unfair decision to terminate Nelson (while paying her a rather ungenerous one month's severance) does not jeopardize that goal. This is illustrated by the fact that Dr. Knight hired a female replacement for Nelson.
The court said its decision doesn't mean that the dentist didn't treat his employee badly, just that he didn't treat her illegally.
The dentist's attorney called the 7-0 ruling a victory for family values.
The woman's attorney told the Associated Press it's a case of blaming the victim.
"These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."