Does That “Nasty Woman” T-Shirt Defeat Its Own Purpose?

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

The past couple of years have been among the most politicized of the last decade, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Depending on where you live, you’re probably hard pressed to go a day without seeing a red “Make America Great Again” hat or “Nasty Woman” t-shirt. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wearing your politics on you sleeve—or head, lapel or otherwise—it’s a practice that’s carried on for centuries. However, you’ve likely noticed an irrefutable uptick in merchandise specifically marketed towards feminists. Kendall Jenner was just spotted in a $710 Dior t-shirt that says “we should all be feminists,” and controversy was spurred when a gaggle of white celebrities promoted Suffragette in a t-shirt that said “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” While it’s understandable that women want to bring attention to the fight for women’s rights, when does all of the merch just become a capitalistic ploy, profiting on a contentious time in American politics?

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What Jobs are Worthy of a Living Wage?

Originally published in Paste Magazine
Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty

Commentary on the ongoing feud between millennials and baby boomers has been done to death. Millennials are lazy and entitled. Boomers ruined our chances of ever being able to retire. No matter how much we harp on it, we’re not going to stop taking selfies and our parents aren’t going to stop asking us when we’re going to just settle down and buy a house already. However, a mentality that’s pretty widespread across both generations is that there are jobs that aren’t necessarily “worthy” of a living wage.

Now, few people who think the Fight for $15 is absurd would actually use the phrase “not worthy of a living wage,” because that would make them sound like dicks. But, you’ve probably heard that “service jobs are starter jobs” or “flipping burgers isn’t a career.”

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The Marijuana Industry May Be Too Big to Shut Down

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

The marijuana business in the United States is booming. Though the country’s current administration is focused on the coal industry and other manufacturing jobs that are nearing obsolescence, New Frontier Data has predicted that if given the chance, the legal marijuana market—medical and recreational—can create over a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that this is far more than the manufacturing industry is expected to create—in fact, jobs in this field are expected to fall by over 800,000 in the next three years.

The legal marijuana industry has quickly gone from being almost nonexistent to one of the biggest moneymakers in record-breaking time. Though the drug has been prohibited in various capacities in the United States since the early 1900s, there was never a time in American history that it wasn’t present, either as a way to treat pain, relax or use recreationally.

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These Companies Have Provided Great Examples of How to Turn the Public Against Your Business

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

Customers can be a finicky entity. One day they’re singing the praises of a company, and the next day people are deleting apps and unsubscribing from email lists en masse. Since the public is the source of a company’s cash flow and determines its ultimate success or demise, deleting and unsubscribing can be incredibly detrimental. While an angry consumer base isn’t always the kiss of death for a company, it can be the beginning of a downward spiral.

There are a few reasons that cause people to begin “boycotting” individual businesses. It could stem from the company’s political beliefs, uncovered shady business practices or the fact that people feel betrayed by their values.

Surely, there are some powerhouses out there—like Walmart—that no amount of bad press or angry customers can knock down, and there are some brands out there that have such a monopoly on the industry—like Comcast—that people have no choice but to just deal with it.

However, for smaller and mid-sized brands, it can take a lot of damage control to get back into the good graces of your bread and butter.

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Who Determines Celebrities’ Images: the Media or the Public?

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty

It’s undeniable that the media has a certain power that plays a huge role in a celebrity’s success. After all, that’s their primary method of reaching the masses. They say that all publicity is good publicity, and for a few untouchable celebs that tends to be true. For example, no amount of controversy or bad press will ever knock the Kardashians down. In fact, we could probably argue that one of that family’s greatest talents is their ability to twist and turn all press—good or bad—to their advantage. Some love ‘em, some hate ‘em, but we have to give them credit for staying relevant.

Not all celebrities are so lucky, though. Is it the people or the media, though, who ultimately determines a public entity’s fall from grace? It’s a chicken or the egg situation. Sometimes, the media coverage is what warps the public’s opinion of someone and other times, it seems as if the media’s coverage is tailored to appeal to public opinion. As consumers of what celebrity’s produce and also of the media, we should acknowledge how much pull we have over the entertainment industry as a whole.

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“We Have a Very, Very Divided Nation.” Yeah, Because You Won’t Talk to Us

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

Donald Trump  has officially been the President of the United States for what feels like the longest month of all time. When he accepted this role, with his 306 electoral college votes that we’ve heard about time and time again (it actually wound up being 304, as two electoral college voters did not cast their ballots for him in states that he won), he said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me.” It would be rad if this turned out to be one of the campaign promises he kept, but it doesn’t seem likely.

In February, Trump went three press conferences without answering a single question from a news source that didn’t identify as conservative. On Feb. 10, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he took questions from The New York Post and Fox Business. On Feb. 13, with Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, Trump called upon WJLA and The Daily Caller. Then, on Feb. 15, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he allowed reporters from the Christian Broadcasting Network and Townhall.com to ask questions.

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Arresting American Journalists May Not Be as Rare as It Once Was

Originally published in Paste Magazine
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

When it comes to the United States Constitution, there are some amendments that are more well-known than others. For example, we all know the First Amendment protects our freedom to say just about whatever we want on the internet, while people like to shout loudly about the Second. However, not everyone realizes that the First Amendment protects a variety of different forms of free speech for us, like the freedom to exercise religion, peacefully assemble, petition the government, and yes, freedom of the press.

While journalists are expected to adhere to a set of ethical standards and may find themselves wrapped up civil cases—defamation or libel—when those standards aren’t upheld, this amendment is meant to allow members of the press to seek stories under legal circumstances and report them accurately, free of repercussions from the government. This is true even if the government doesn’t approve of the story being told. American journalists have been arrested around the world—some with good reason and others not so much. Though, up until recent years, it was fairly unheard of for American reporters to be arrested on U.S. soil. If it was heard of, it wasn’t publicized nearly as widely as it is now. Here are some recent foreign examples, and how they compare to the rising number inside America’s borders.

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Trump’s Former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski Joins One America News Network

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

They say that job-hopping looks bad on a resume, but it seems to be working for Corey Lewandowski, who just took on his fourth position in just two year’s time at One America News Network. If you’ve never heard of OAN, it claims to be “fast becoming the fourth rated national cable news channel,” and “adding credibility back to news,” which is pretty rad for a guy who apparently once got seven write-in votes for Massachusetts state representative election in 1994. It’s like Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” was written for him.

OAN is a fairly new, very conservative network, launched in July 2013. It offers 24-hour news coverage and a variety of programming like Tipping Point, hosted by Liz Wheeler and The Daily Ledger with Graham Ledger. Until TheBlaze commentator Tomi Lahren left the network in August 2015, she hosted On Point with Tomi Lahren – her first job out of college. It’s unclear as to what it is that Lewandowski will be doing at OAN, however. Robert Herring, CEO of OAN just told The Daily Beast that he will be working for them “like he worked for CNN,” so it’s likely that he will be taking on some sort of commentator role. Herring pointed out the fact that the network is growing and they’re looking to bulk up their staff.

“We got a lot of help from [Corey] in the past,” Herring said to the The Daily Beast. “He seems like a very nice guy and very knowledgeable.”

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For the Love of All That Is Holy, Please Don’t Stop Reading the News in the Age of Trump

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty

If you’re like many Americans, you’ve probably fallen into a rut of inactive discontent since the election. The first couple of weeks, before the Electoral College met and said, “Nah, this is definitely happening,” there were opinionated think pieces written and marches happening across the country. People were sure that their voices would be heard, but over the last few weeks, everyone’s quieted down. Maybe this is because we had to rein it in during holiday festivities with the family, or more likely, it’s probably because keeping up with what’s been happening has been downright exhausting.

From openly racist cabinet nominees to late night tweet storms, we may not be cool with what’s happening, but nothing really surprises us about Trump & Co. anymore. Did people see the repeal of the Affordable Care Act coming from a mile away? Of course. In fact, people are surprised that it’s taken this long to get the ball rolling on the defunding of Planned Parenthood as well. Yeah, people are pissed off, but so many have become jaded reading the news, just counting down the days until this guy’s out of the White House-1,459, to be exact. It’s not uncommon to read a headline that would seem downright ridiculous in any other administration, sigh, and click on to the next puppy video. This is because a puppy video doesn’t stir up reminders of pussy grabbing or giant walls.

That is, until #goldenshowergate broke.

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How We Create and Consume the News Is Constantly Evolving

Originally published in Paste Magazine.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty

Think about the amount of things that have changed since you graduated high school, or even college. With the creation of such a variety of technology and advances in devices that have been in existence since when you were in school, you can probably deduce the dramatic impact these things have had on your day-to-day life. With new advances-especially ones that connect us to one another- there are bound to be changes in how we consume information. In fact, the past decade or so has probably exhibited the biggest change in how information has reached the public.

The Great Recession

In July 2015, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication teamed up with the American Society of News Editors to get an accurate read of how newsrooms have changed in recent years. This census found that while there may be more digital outlets than ever before, print journalism-specifically local news is seriously dwindling. In 2007, there were approximately 1,400 daily newspapers scattered throughout the country, employing as many as 55,000 journalists full-time. In 2008, the recession began, and like just about every other industry out there other than mortuary science, journalism took a big hit.

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