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.

Interestingly, in New York City, March 16th, 2012 had precisely twelve hours of daylight. Seems the only good reason to choose this day, unless you want to break the news of explosions in Damascus or the release of the George Zimmerman 9-1-1 tape.  Okay, maybe those are better reasons. Or at least they would be if the Damascus bombing hadn't happened on March 17th. The Zimmerman tape was released on the 16th and the full audio is here, and many other places.  What Maggie did to the tape is almost exactly what an NBC producer did to it.

The Kandahar Massacre is mentioned briefly, and this one is timely as that event occurred on March 11th. However, it wasn't until March 23rd that the United States officially charged Robert Bales with the murders. So, discussion of Bales specifically may have been a little premature on the 16th.

There most certainly are people named Simon Weingarten, but not a single one of them have been linked to a fictitious group called the Righteous Daughters of Jihadi Excellence. Until this week's show anyway. So that whole bit was made up. On other made up stuff notes, the talking heads that Will interviews on News Night are always made up people. They are frequently based on actual people, but discussing who they are based on requires some speculation since I'm not in the writer's meetings, so I will not discuss those here, unless it is truly controversial and should be brought up (see Sutton Wall).

The realities of the Tyler Clementi situation are a little muddier than Mackenzie leads us to believe. No video of Clementi and his male "visitor" was ever posted online. It was streamed over the internet and witnessed by about five people. Clementi was also reportedly not closeted at all, and therefore not outed by any of the happenings during the days before his suicide. I will use a Wikipedia link this time because it seems to aggregate the information on the case better than any other single site. I read about 15 other articles to verify that this one is good.

A yottabyte is a real thing. To put it in terms you may understand, it's a trillion terabytes. That's a lot of storage. And, a quintillion is a 1 with eighteen zeroes behind 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.


  1. The "Righteous Daughters of Jihadi Excellence" IS from a real story, only instead of "Righteous Daughters of Jihadi Excellence", it was "Friends of Hamas".

  2. Am I stating the obvious in that the whole yottabyte thing is hinting at the current NSA situation?

  3. How come your "Factchecking" has not reflected my pointing out that you were mistaken in how you framed that Don story? You wrote that they made the whole bit up, but they did NOT make the whole thing up.

    They changed some names around, as most shows do when reporting on actual events (like Law & Order for example), but that part was based on an actual event, source given in my comment above.

    Just saying, for a post proclaiming to be a "Factcheck" of the show, I'd like to think you'd be a bit more willing to correct your own mistakes.

    Just saying.

    1. Please read the entire paragraph. Yes, your link does likely give a place where they got the idea for the bit, but I'm not here to discuss where they get every little scenario. I don't know why you're so angry. Simon Weingarten and the Righteous Daughters of Jihadi Excellence are made up. I made no mistakes on this. You decided to take it a step further.

      By the way, the very fact that I published your comment was as far as anything needed to go. I moderate all comments and anyone who reads to the end of this post will see your comment.

    2. Not angry, I'm simply pointing out that you were incorrect with what you stated. They did not "make that whole thing up" which infers that the storyline was completely fiction, rather than based in fact.

      And not everyone reads the comments.

      Your website, though. Your "Fact checking", so you are able to include or disallow anything you like.

      I just happened across the blog post and felt that you might want to include the actual facts, but you clearly are not.

      I apologize for wasting your time, and mine.

  4. Yes, as you stated, a Yotta could be read as trillion Tera, yet also as a billion. However, the producers made a huge mistake, for a Yottabyte does not represent a quintillion, but rather a quadrillion or septillion, depending on whether you use the 24 zeroes count in the same manner we refer to 9 zeroes as a milliard (a thousand millions) or a billion; and 12 zeroes as a billion or a trillion. The producers should contact me. Moreover, Yotta will always be represented by 24 zeroes; the difference relies on how you address it. Finally, in the International System of Units the prefix Exa is represented by 18 zeroes, which would actually be counted as a trillion or quintillion; hence, they were inaccurate in the amount and the prefix as well. The other version of a true quintillion comprises 27 zeroes.

  5. Thanks for this, very interesting stuff and I'm glad I've stumbled across it, big ups to you.

    @Gary, mate, you really should chill the hell out. This man is providing an interesting service for us all and this quibbling is childish and completely uncalled for. It's quite obvious to even the most casual reader that Mr Waddell admitted his possible mistake by including your, frankly, obnoxious comments. He is most certainly the bigger man.

    P.S. You can't apologise to yourself, that's just silly.

    P.P.S Your grammar is truly horrible, it's a bit rich that you seem to think it's appropriate to lambast someone about their intellectual rigour when you're incapable of constructing a meaningful sentence.