Monday, August 26, 2013

2.7: Red Team III

Last season the episode that needed little-to-no fact checking was the one where they covered Osama Bin Laden's downfall (coincidentally, also episode 7). This season it looks like this is that episode. It was a great episode, and while it didn't have the historical resonance that the one from last season did, it also worked to propel us into Benghazi and the poor reporting that happened throughout the country in that debacle. The way they explain away their own poor reporting in that case is perfect, and also gives an opportunity to correct it first and win back the trust of the public. But, that's just a guess.

The fact is that Will's bits of trivia are accurate, and Don's amazing quotation of the exceptional resignation letter by Representative Thaddeus McCotter is also properly represented. He resigned amid a scandal involving fraudulent petitions. The representation that 30% of soldiers treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center have Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI's) seems to be close enough to accurate based on page 28 of this study. And yes, Jim's reading of federal law regarding chemical weapons is accurate.

And finally, based on the seven-or-so minute cut-up I watched of it on YouTube the night after the Benghazi attack (it only had about 700 hits at the time, now every iteration has at least a million), the film that was blamed for causing the attack for some time was absolutely horrible. It had no value, artistic or otherwise, and I will not link to it here. If you want to watch it, just Google it.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

Monday, August 19, 2013

2.6: One Step Too Many

Let's start on a part of Genoa that is in its second mention this week, MX-76, the item on the helicopter load out that seems to not have a name. First off, MX can mean a number of things, including, and most likely in this case, either Military or Missile Experimental. Charlie Skinner calls MX-76 a euphemism, but really it would just be a designation of a weapon system of some sort that would likely be classified. Could one jump to the sarin conclusion from this? Yes, but not for the reason Charlie seemed to. And, it's a huge stretch considering the United States has never used sarin. Plus, the description of the people with boils is more consistent with white phosphorous than sarin anyway (as I discussed here).

Monday, August 12, 2013

2.5: News Night with Will McAvoy

The format of this episode was interesting as it followed the various things going on throughout a single episode of News Night. It was different for the show, but it worked from an entertainment standpoint. So, how did the show fare as far as the facts go this week? Let's find out.

Monday, August 5, 2013

2.4: Unintended Consequences

Fact: The wig that Alison Pill, as Maggie Jordan, is wearing looks terrible. The reason that Maggie Jordan is wearing that hairstyle, however, is likely the most poignant and moving moment in the 14 episode history of The Newsroom. That aside, let's look into some actual facts.

There is no way, in the first few days of October 2011, that Maggie and Gary "Is that really your name?" Cooper could have followed the 100 U.S. troops that searched for Joseph Kony. The reason? Sending troops to Africa for that purpose was not even announced until the 14th of October. As usual, fuzzy timelines are used to support their plot-lines. And no, the ends do not justify the means. The 490th Civil Affairs Battalion is a real thing, and so are cattle raiders.

For the record, and you can check the links from last week, yes, death by asphyxiation is a reality with sarin gas. However, this is regularly due to the inability of the lungs to function after exposure to the neurotoxin rather than choking on one's own vomit. Vomiting is colorful and sounds violent. Simply ceasing to breath is not nearly as exciting.

This is a fairly straightforward definition of an NGO, or non-governmental organization. It's simply a global non-profit.

The Danish "Fat Tax" was real and was really repealed in November of 2012 after about one year of existence. And, the statement that Africa has 1,944 languages is Sorkinese for "about 2000."

What do you think about using the full name of Rick Perry's ranch on a newscast? Comment below or on the Fbook page.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.