Category: media

Easter reflections on how the Notre Dame fire united us, for a moment

In the midst of all the political and social discord roiling America and Europe at the moment, in the middle of all the angst and discontent playing out in our streets and legislative houses, the world collectively paused for a few hours this past Monday in a rare if brief display of unity and one-mindedness,... Read more »

Don’t like the price Zillow puts on your home? Don’t bother suing—you’ll lose

It seems that people either love Zillow or hate it. Home buyers tend to be in the first group, and home sellers in the latter. While it can empower consumers with knowledge, it can frustrate homeowners when the “Zestimate” falls considerably below their asking price or what they believe their property is worth. Zestimates are... Read more »

Loss of Tom Wolfe, Philip Roth leaves big literary shoes to fill

In the space of less than two weeks, we lost two giants in modern American literature. Both of the same generation, each groundbreaking and provocative in his own way, but at the same time very different in style and substance. Tom Wolfe, of course, was the dapper, eccentric Southern-gentleman author of such classics as The... Read more »
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Tarantino's Manson movie invites more apprehension than anticipation

When I first read that director Quentin Tarantino was shooting a film centered around the 1969 Charles Manson murder rampage, I rolled my eyes. Why, Quentin, why? Tarantino, the former video store clerk turned directing genius, is one of my favorite filmmakers. But not only has this particular story been done to death (no pun... Read more »

A way to deter mass shooters: Stop giving them recognition

These mass shootings have become tragically routine. As have the usual gun-control debates that rage in their aftermath. Now a new proposal is gaining traction, one that could be a very powerful deterrent if only the mass media would heed it. These shooters—overwhelmingly male, mostly (but not always) young, often mentally ill and/or antisocial, alienated,... Read more »

The shameful police interrogation of Brendan Dassey (Part 2)

(In my last post, I explained that a 4-3 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision released Dec. 8 held that Brendan Dassey’s 2006 murder confession was admissible and upheld his conviction, reversing a federal district court ruling that had granted Dassey habeas corpus relief.) For a very long time, I was one of those who... Read more »
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Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey loses quest to have confession thrown out (Part 1)

Anyone who watched Netflix’s hit 2015 documentary Making a Murderer is familiar with the case of Brendan Dassey, a 17-year-old Wisconsin youth who was convicted of helping his uncle murder Theresa Hallbach. Last Friday, a bitterly divided Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals likely defeated any remaining chance Dassey had of having his conviction overturned and... Read more »

Attempts to sanction bus operator for offensive ad could run afoul of First Amendment

Suburban Express, a Champaign-based bus line that serves Illinois college students, provoked outrage recently when it sent a promotional email to University of Illinois students that read: “You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.” The line, from what I’ve read, was an apparent reference to the allegedly high number of... Read more »

This time, an American divorcee gets her prince and her royal title too

Monday’s announcement that Britain’s Prince Harry is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle was remarkable for a reason that seemed to receive relatively little attention. It’s not because the 36-year-old future Duchess of Sussex is American, three years older than Harry, or even because she’s biracial. (The reaction on the British tabloid comment boards Monday... Read more »
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What new Fox Sports analyst Michael Vick really did

Fox Sports announced August 27 that it has hired former NFL quarterback Michael Vick as a studio analyst for its NFL Kickoff program that immediately precedes NFL Sunday on the Fox network. The news release announcing the hire was hilarious in the way it avoided the elephant in the room; namely, Vick’s 2007 felony conviction... Read more »