Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Ace in the Hole Questions

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by John Sireno

1. What did you think of the film? 1-4 star ranking. 1 being low, 4 being high. I need reasons.
– This film was great! I’ll give it a 4 because it showed the dangers of media. In the movie Tatum exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave rumored to be a haunted Indian burial grave, he ends up causing the mans death, just to jump-start his own career back to it’s former luster. It was funny, sad, intense, suspenseful, interesting, caring, emotional; the movie was awesome, no wonder why it won 2 Oscars, nominated for four. Billy Wilder directed “Ace in the Hole,” writing the movie along with Lesser Samuel’s.
2. What are you impressions of Tatum? What do you think of him?
– He was awesome: confidante, ambitious, driven I’d say even courageous. It takes balls to take advantage of the trust and life of such an obvious innocent “good guy” as Leo Minosa. He even bullied and exploited a cop! However, these attributes can be both positive and negative to a man. Tatum can definitely get the job done; he is a great journalist, the best around. Still his price is too high in that he is willing to put an innocent life on the line for a story, fame and fortune.
3. What characters did you like or dislike? Which did you connect to?
– Even though Tatum was messed up and got Leo killed he was really a pretty cool guy. He never meant harm and if Leo had gotten out alive, think of all the good. I know I’m playing devils advocate but: the shop was getting its best business ever; Leo could improve his quality of life once he was freed. Leo would be famous and his place would probably always remain pretty busy, Tatum would be famous and rich and even his protégée in the movie would get the break of a lifetime. So Tatum was one of my favorite characters, I mean he punched a cop! I hate Lorraine Minosa; she is the worst person ever. I would only be ok with her if she was being beaten or abused in someway by Leo, but she wasn’t. He was a great husband, kind, nice, caring, and giving. She admitted her self the only reason she married him and came to live in Escudero was because he said he had a ton of land and money. He didn’t all together lie he just didn’t mention that it was located in the middle of nowhere. Still she had no problem with him in the hole; at least Tatum felt guilt, regret, and it even killed him I think in the end. She was heartless!
4. Does Tatum follow the Canons of Journalism that are in newspaper chapter? Which has he broken and which has he followed?
5. What does Tatum believe in being a newsman? Is he a good newsman?
– He believes that bad news is good news. That being a good reporter is doing anything necessary to get a story. Manipulating, and exploiting the players involved including and most importantly the audience and to always give them what they want, then take it away so that there begin for more, and you’ll own them. He is great at what he does, as for being a great newsman I don’t know.
6. Should a newspaper hold onto a story? What if they were asked by the family or by the government?
– No I think a story should be open to all papers so people can get different perspectives on a story, and so the papers won’t be able to just write what they want. They all have to stay pretty close to facts or people won’t know who is telling the truth; they keep each other in check. No, because the only reason for that would be for the government to cover something up, same with a family.
7. Could this story happen today? Has it? Give Examples.
– Sure it could, people are just as manipulative now as they were then. Elian Gonzalez comes to mind, or Nancy Scrivo maybe?
8. If you were close to the mountain (or far), would you go to visit? Be honest. Why?
– Well I would just watch it on TV in between work and school, I’m way to busy to camp out or even drive most places these days. Yes, if I lived back then I probably would. It’s interesting and I want some pancakes at that market!
9. Even though the film is from the 1950s, it touches upon the power of media and shows how a story gets made/created. Was Tatum wrong for doing this?
– He wasn’t wrong for reporting of the story, what was wrong was his manipulation of the rescue plans to add longevity to the story. This was murder!
10. Who is the Jimney Cricket of the film? Who was Jimney—what did he say, “Let your conscience be your guide.” So, in essence, who tells him right from wrong.
– Jacob Q. Boot played by Porter Hall was the Jimney Cricket of the film.
11. Which character represents you, the audience, in this film? It might be the answer to #10.
– Mr. Boot.
12. Did you like the film? Did it work for you? Is it far-fetched, over the top?
– I loved it, it worked, was not to far-fetched for me! Let’s watch another!


Extra Credit: Tom Toles

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by John Sireno

I liked the editorial cartoon by Tom Toles the best! What is wrong with us? Everything is so delicate and fragile right now, there is no room for mistakes, and yet we allow an oil spill to occur! For the love of god we shouldn’t even be depending on this crude way of feeding our insatiable appetite for power when there really are so many “green” alternatives. Yes we would need to overhaul our entire info-structure and it will cost a lot of money, but it will also create lot of jobs and I think it’s time for America to once again step up to the plate and lead the world into a new light. We should be at the forefront of “green” technologies and figure out ways to completely power our entire country through wind, hydro, solar and bio energies. I know that we already have these technologies, or at least could seriously start developing and implementing them, but we won’t because the people in power are making way to much money on what we currently use to power our world. They are destroying our planet now so they can live big today and if we don’t stop them there will be no such thing as future generations to worry about, because I believe we will soon destroy our whole planet!

Extra Credit: Pat Oliphant

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by John Sireno

This editorial cartoon by Pat Oliphant to me is about how the NYPD is our first line defense against any shady character that intends to hurt us. You see the busy New York street filled with vendors, people, traffic, the day-to-day chaos of life and on the sidewalk a creep unnoticed by all except the officer who says, “Don’t event think about thinkin’ about it.” On the sidewalk, against a vendor stand is a newspaper front page which reads, “Give that some thought.” Pat is asking us to think about the good things cops do for us not just the fact that they also give us expensive tickets. They put their lives on the line for us everyday so we can go about our day-to-day to do’s. They do their best and are on the front line, in the streets, trying to safeguard our way of life and we should take a second to recognize that. Sure some people may look at this as racial profiling because the creep tends to resemble a man of Middle Eastern decent, but to me he just looks like a creepy guy and I’m glade that cops are here to keep an eye on people like that. I think Pat has all the right in the world to create this cartoon and anyone who views it otherwise is to PC for my taste.

Extra Credit: Mike Luckovich

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by John Sireno

Mike Luckovich makes a good point in his editorial cartoon about education in our country. It seems that every year class size grows while teachers are laid off, resulting in less attention and help for students and teachers spread to thin to effectively do their jobs. The success of a student is directly linked to the caliper of teacher and the amount of help a student is able to receive. Today in our overcrowded classes students are not able to get the attention they need and so I believe we will begin to see a direct effect of teacher lay off rates to student drop out and diploma rates in the future. None of this is good for anyone involved and if we do not stop the problem and invested in education now we will inevitably fall behind the rest of the world. Education is key to America’s survival and well-being for the future we should really get on the ball with this one!

Questions for Goodnight

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 by John Sireno

1. What did you think of the film? Scale Zero to Four stars.
a. I really enjoyed this film it showed the power the media has for good and how Murrow was able to use his time on air to help the masses understand how crazy McCarthy really was! It showed so much of things that we’ve been reading and discussing about al semester. It shows how the media was scared of being targeted and so didn’t truthfully report about McCarthy doing anything wrong. I can understand why the network and Bill didn’t want to get evolved but it just goes to show you someone has to and CBS in my opinion looked pretty pimp exposing McCarthy for the lunatic he was.
2. What two words would you use to describe this film and why?
a. Entertaining, Interesting
3. What part of the film stood out for you most and why.
a. The part where the old lady is being accused of being a member of the communist party, which was ridicules. Even if that lady had once been somehow affiliated she’s a grandma! Seriously the movie shows two of McCarthy’s victims and they’re both the least likely people to be plotting against America. McCarthy, I think, meant well but the power got to him and he went crazy; he was a dangerous man and the one threatening our way of life far more than anyone else!
4. What was your favorite part of the film?
a. Murrow’s speeches, the one in the beginning, the one in response to McCarthy’s appearance on the show and the ne at the end. Powerful stuff!
5. Do you agree or disagree that there is sometimes only ONE side to a story?
a. I disagree; I think there can only ever be two sides to a story. Everyone feels that they are right and if you could really put your self in their shoes you would understand their beliefs to be as true as your own. Still, I think the only solution in to combined the better parts of each and discarding the left over’s. There’s your side and my side, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
6. Should a TV News Commentator (like Murrow & Friendly) take sides on an issue?
a. I know a reporter is not supposed to share his opinion’s on a n issue just report the facts, but when an issue as important as this comes up and opinions are needed to counteract the issue and get the truth out to the masses than yes it is not only right but a duty that said reporter speak from the heart and reach out to fix a great injustice.
7. In what ways (if any) does this film relate to today’s world? Give me one example to accentuate your point.
a. I think today most reporters give their opinions and even if they don’t different networks seem to stay on one side of the issues most of the time. The tragedy in New Orleans and the coverage of it, I think, is a good example of how this film relates to events taking place today. Or that whole bank bailout thing, or the war. Reporters have taken sides on these issues.
8. What is YOUR OWN PERSONAL definition of the word “patriot” or to be “patriotic”?
a. A person who does whatever he can to preserve the foundational values of our country to protect current and future generations life, liberty and happiness.
a. What scene or moment was my favorite from the film? List only one. More than one—answer will not count.
i. The part when McCarthy gets grilled.
a. What do you look for in a journalist? What do he/she need for them to be someone you turn to?
b. I look for someone who seems honest; who reports the truth and the facts and only when necessary delivers his opinion in order to really covey the severity of a situation. I appreciate a reporter who is calm and compassionate, professional, worldly and wise. Reporters that come to mind are Walter Cronkite and Lou Dobbs.

Edward R. Murrow –
1958 Convention of the Radio-Television News Directors Association

Speech in the beginning of the film

This might just do nobody any good. At the end of this discourse a few people may accuse this reporter… of fouling his own comfortable nest and your organization may be accused of having given hospitality to heretical and even dangerous ideas.

But the elaborate structure of networks advertising agencies, and sponsors will not be shaken or altered. It is my desire, if not my duty, to try to talk to you journeymen… with some candor about what is happening to radio and television.
And if what I say is responsible, I alone am responsible for the saying of it. Our history will be what we make of it. And if there are any historians about or years from now and there should be preserved the kinescopes of one week of all three networks… they will there find recorded in black and white, and in color… evidence of decadence, escapism… and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live.

We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent. We have a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses… and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us…then television and those who finance it those who look at it and those who work at it… may see a totally different picture too late.

Ike & Murrow’s Speech continued at the End of Film

We are proud because from the beginning of this nation man can walk upright. No matter who he is or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend or his enemy. And he does not fear that because that enemy…may be in a position of great power… that he can be suddenly thrown in jail… to rot here without charges and with no recourse to justice.

We have the Habeas Corpus Act and we respect it.

I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are… then history will take its revenge and retribution will not limp… in catching up with us.

Just once in a while, let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night… the time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan… is given over to a clinical survey on the state of American education. And a week or two later, the time normally used by Steve Allen… is devoted to a thorough-going study of American policy in the Middle East.

Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? Would the shareholders rise up in their wrath and complain? Would anything happen… other than a few million people would have received a little illumination… on subjects that may well determine the future of this country… and therefore the future of the corporations?

To those who say, “People wouldn’t look, they wouldn’t be interested… they’re too complacent, indifferent and insulated”…

I can only reply: There is, in one reporter’s opinion considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right and this instrument
is good for nothing…but to entertain, amuse and insulate…then the tube is flickering now… and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.

This instrument can teach. It can illuminate and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it… towards those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights…in a box.

Good night, and good luck.

Article Response

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 by John Sireno

The Rainy Day Foundation is definitely counter acting government efforts to seek out mortgage lenders that make risky loans. They’re not helping the situation by making it appear that people are able to handle such loans; the Rainy Day Foundation is putting a band-aid on the situation, postponing the inevitable default of these loans. The government backs these loans not the Rainy Day Foundation or the lenders. When people default on them the government, aka taxpayer’s money, must assume the loss. It’s bad enough that lenders allow borrows to take out more than they can handle, but its worse that the Rainy Day Foundation isn’t even held accountable; maybe if they were they wouldn’t be so irrespirable. If the Rainy Day Foundation is truly pulling one over on the FHA than they should be held accountable for their actions not the government and our tax money. At this point the Rainy Day Foundation is being paid $600 a pop by lenders so they can continue to get away with letting people take on loans they can’t handle.

This article got me upset because of how true it is. My father a few years back and right after his divorce refinanced all his loans and mortgage and dipped into he equity to try and survive with four kids after my mother had left. The loan he made consolidated all his debt into his mortgage and since his house at the time, about five years ago, was worth a little over 250,000; he took out a new loan for about 250,000. At this point he had a 401k with about 50,000 and all his bills other than utilities and life expenses like food consolidated in a 30-year mortgage at about 250,000. Soon after this when the interest rates went up and the housing crises struck my father was left with a house that was only worth about 195,000 and a loan out for 250,000. Certain legal battles with my mother and other family craziness happened and my father 401k was all but gone. About a year ago my father eventually lost his house and the home my brother, sisters and I grew up in. There’s no doubt in my mind this was a predatory loan company and that my father was allowed to take out to much money and that it was inevitable that he would eventually default on the loan. The final cost of the loan was over 11,000 dollars, my father brought it to a lawyer and he said that an 11,000-dollar closing fee is unheard of for his type of loan and that he believes he lender stole about 8,000 from my father. Sure my Dad should have known better and yes that’s why they say never do business under distress, but in his desperate situation he shouldn’t have even been allowed to do what he did. At least there should have been some agency he could have gone to as a single parent to get a loan and financial plain that could have worked for him. Instead the loan agency saw that he was desperate, knew he would default on the loan, and gave it to him anyway to make a quick buck. My father had to file for bankruptcy and has been renting and struggling ever since. I know he might have been able to make some better decisions but in his mental state at the time he was taken advantage of and that’s why this article was so interesting to me. I believe in fact after talking to my Dad recently the lender he dealt with worked for Lend America!

Link to Article:

Final Post

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 by John Sireno

Star Trek is as relevant today as it was when Gene created it in the 60’s. The show is about the wildness of space, the boldness of man to explore the unknown, and the moral values needed to coexist and survive in the mysterious universe and beyond. The show’s message is timeless and universal; Star Trek is a great show for people of all ages. I would recommend that everyone watch it. The story, acting, characters and concepts are so good; I think anyone could get into it. I feel like people associate geeks to Star Trek, but this show is really very good and much more than a Sci-Fi show, it’s like the Wild West meets Star Wars.

I enjoyed this assignment more when I first got it than as I got into it. The most challenging part about watching this show was the length of episodes and trying to get everything else done that I have to do everyday while still meeting the blogging dead lines. Each episode is about an hour-long and sometimes it’s hard to think of what to write about that’s analytical so it took a while for me. I thought it was going to be easier, but it really took some time and effort. The easiest part was watching the show because it’s awesome; it was a lot harder to come up with things to talk about other than how much I liked the show. It was an interesting assignment and I would have enjoyed it more if we could have just wrote about whatever… The pressure to make it so analytical got to me a little. I think I did ok, but if I had just been more relaxed and took it lighter I think it would have come out better and been more fun.

Blogging is an interesting thing. To me it’s a type of social networking machine like Facebook or Twitter. I like the fact that if you’re a talented writer you can use blogging as a tool to get free exposure. It’s a quick inexpensive way to get your opinions and thoughts out there, but like Facebook or twitter it seems to suck you in and I think some people go to far; there’s something nice about paper and pen, about a book, about a newspaper or magazine, it just seems more real. This assignment overall was great, but It was a challenge to keep up on it. Watching a TV show no matter how good it is as an assignment somehow seems too work related. It was a fun assignment and introduced me to the world of blogging; I enjoyed this assignment overall.

I think Star Trek shows the importance of calm understanding and tolerance. In every episode there is something presented to the crew that they have yet to encounter and so each situation is new and full of possibility. Still no matter the situation there always seems to be a moral lesson to be learned and only through understanding, tolerance and the pursuit of fair justice are the situations resolved.

The Season Finally, which I couldn’t find, was probably awesome yet I know I can make a fair judgment on the show without it. Star Trek is a great show, it really captivates its audience and in the 60’s people must have really gone crazy over it. My father said he used to skip school or lie on the couch and not do his homework just so he could watch Star Trek. In fact my father is one of eleven children and all his brothers love the show. Each grew up in the 60’s and watching Star Trek, I remember when I was little they each had a prop communicator and at family gatherings would jokingly call each other to beam each in turn up to the dinning room for dinner. I’m glad I was able to watch Star Trek for this assignment because this show is not only great, but also it brought my father and I closer together in someway. I understand why he might have laid on the couch not doing his homework or going to school because this show is addicting and awesome to watch. Each character is so well-developed that by the last few episodes of season one each character has become so much more than a fictional creation but a hero, or role model… Star Trek is really a great show.