How can you tell if a news story presents content fairly? In some cases readers may visit www.politifact.com. The Tampa Bay Tribune sponsors this website and some commentators rely on the honesty of the reports. But fairness can be a tricky thing, depending on how the news item is examined. FAIR, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, looked at a politifact fact-checked item and found a concern. According to a recent post, politifact examined a statement by President Obama concerning the recent terrorist killing in Charleston, S.C. Politifact rated the comment “mostly false” when the President said that such violence does not occur in other advanced countries. But FAIR takes issue with the assessment because Politifact’s analysis takes each sentence individually and does not examine the context of the entire statement. For more background into this “fact-checking,” click on www.fair.org/blog/2012/10/09/factchecking-impossible-pointless-say-factcheckers/.

We all know that smoking tobacco products leads to cancer and other diseases. States have spent millions of dollars educating kids about the dangers of smoking. But recently the FDA released some disappointing news. It seems that hookah use and e-cigarette use among teens has more than doubled from 2011 to 2014. To read these statistics click on www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm450882.htm.

For you foodies out there who may have become tired of kale and quinoa there is a new superfood on the horizon: moringa. This plant grows in dry tropic climates, has leaves packed with nutrients and appeals to affluent health buffs as well as malnourished people in poor countries. The skinny on this small tree hypes the nutrient value of its leaves which come packed with vitamins, calcium and iron. In addition, the leaves provide nine times the protein found in a similar amount of yogurt. Moringa eaters may experience the effects of some anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties from the plant as well.  This plant food sounds like the holy grail of vegan food. And, moringa may taste better than Wegman’s new kale and quinoa cakes. For the record, I don’t like kale, and I take quinoa in small portions. For more on this, visit www.grist.org/food/meet-moringa-the-latest-worlds-most-amazing-superfood/. Chomp on, foodies.

Facebook users beware! Not only does this media giant know almost everything about you, the company now has an algorithm that can identify you from a photo even if your face is covered. Thanks to a new software breakthrough, a computer can identify you by hair style, body shape or pose. Facebook developed this algorithm in its artificial intelligence lab. Although presently banned in Europe for privacy reasons, the technology can be used in the U.S. For more info on this development, visit www.newscientist.com/article/dn27761-facebook-can-recognise-you-in-photos-even-if-youre-not-looking/. Hello George Orwell. Good bye privacy. Yikes! This is scary.

Another week, another hack. This time the hack victim is the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance agency. The Associated Press reported the leak on June 12th. Data hacked includes name, social security number, and description of the injuries. Workforce Safety provides workers’ compensation in North Dakota. For more visit www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/threatwatch/2015/06/unauthorized-use-system-administrator-privileges/2368.

The website FAIR.org,  mentioned above, offers analyses of bias found in news articles covered by the mainstream media. As an anti-discrimination organization, FAIR exposes neglected news stories and defends working journalists from attempts by the powerful to muzzle the press. In a recent post, FAIR asked a reasonable question: Would CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling now be in prison if he were white? Two facts are inarguable. One, that the punishment given Jeffrey Sterling, who is black, is much more punitive than the punishment given to former CIA director General David Petraeus, who is white, for much the same crime. Two, that given the recent terrorism seen in Charleston, S.C., race prejudice still produces miscarriages of justice in America.
Although the crimes of both men were similar, the government determined that Sterling’s action of giving a journalist information about CIA torture is more egregious a crime  than Petraeus’ crime of giving government secrets to his mistress. The markedly different sentences suggests that not only does this country have the best legal system money can buy, but also that the legal system is not color blind. To read the FAIR article, visit www.fair.org/  And so it goes.

How can you tell if a news story presents content fairly? In some cases readers may visit www.politifact.com. The Tampa Bay Tribune sponsors this website and some commentators rely on the honesty of the reports. But fairness can be a tricky thing, depending on how the news item is examined. FAIR, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, looked at a politifact fact-checked item and found a concern. According to a recent post, politifact examined a statement by President Obama concerning the recent terrorist killing in Charleston, S.C. Politifact rated the comment “mostly false” when the President said that such violence does not occur in other advanced countries. But FAIR takes issue with the assessment because Politifact’s analysis takes each sentence individually and does not examine the context of the entire statement. For more background into this “fact-checking,” click on www.fair.org/blog/2012/10/09/factchecking-impossible-pointless-say-factcheckers/. We all know that smoking tobacco products leads to cancer and other diseases. States have spent millions of dollars educating kids about the dangers of smoking. But recently the FDA released some disappointing news. It seems that hookah use and e-cigarette use among teens has more than doubled from 2011 to 2014. To read these statistics click on www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm450882.htm. For you foodies out there who may have become tired of kale and quinoa there is a new superfood on the horizon: moringa. This plant grows in dry tropic climates, has leaves packed with nutrients and appeals to affluent health buffs as well as malnourished people in poor countries. The skinny on this small tree hypes the nutrient value of its leaves which come packed with vitamins, calcium and iron. In addition, the leaves provide nine times the protein found in a similar amount of yogurt. Moringa eaters may experience the effects of some anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties from the plant as well.  This plant food sounds like the holy grail of vegan food. And, moringa may taste better than Wegman’s new kale and quinoa cakes. For the record, I don’t like kale, and I take quinoa in small portions. For more on this, visit www.grist.org/food/meet-moringa-the-latest-worlds-most-amazing-superfood/. Chomp on, foodies. Facebook users beware! Not only does this media giant know almost everything about you, the company now has an algorithm that can identify you from a photo even if your face is covered. Thanks to a new software breakthrough, a computer can identify you by hair style, body shape or pose. Facebook developed this algorithm in its artificial intelligence lab. Although presently banned in Europe for privacy reasons, the technology can be used in the U.S. For more info on this development, visit www.newscientist.com/article/dn27761-facebook-can-recognise-you-in-photos-even-if-youre-not-looking/. Hello George Orwell. Good bye privacy. Yikes! This is scary. Another week, another hack. This time the hack victim is the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance agency. The Associated Press reported the leak on June 12th. Data hacked includes name, social security number, and description of the injuries. Workforce Safety provides workers’ compensation in North Dakota. For more visit www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/threatwatch/2015/06/unauthorized-use-system-administrator-privileges/2368. The website FAIR.org,  mentioned above, offers analyses of bias found in news articles covered by the mainstream media. As an anti-discrimination organization, FAIR exposes neglected news stories and defends working journalists from attempts by the powerful to muzzle the press. In a recent post, FAIR asked a reasonable question: Would CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling now be in prison if he were white? Two facts are inarguable. One, that the punishment given Jeffrey Sterling, who is black, is much more punitive than the punishment given to former CIA director General David Petraeus, who is white, for much the same crime. Two, that given the recent terrorism seen in Charleston, S.C., race prejudice still produces miscarriages of justice in America. Although the crimes of both men were similar, the government determined that Sterling’s action of giving a journalist information about CIA torture is more egregious a crime  than Petraeus’ crime of giving government secrets to his mistress. The markedly different sentences suggests that not only does this country have the best legal system money can buy, but also that the legal system is not color blind. To read the FAIR article, visit www.fair.org/  And so it goes.