Who killed Cassidy? (5×8 – 11/5/10)

Bullying again, pants on fire in the 6th District, yellow (book) fever, off to Liberia, and when people do good.


1) BULLYING, AGAIN

CASSIDY.jpg It’s happened again. Bullying has apparently claimed another young life. In Cooperstown (pop. 1,200) , just northwest of Fargo, a 16-year-old girl posted her goodbye on Facebook, then hanged herself, the Fargo Forum reports. Her last words came via the same social network that led to her death. Now, it’s where her friends are offering ideas to stop this from happening again.

“It’s a trend our kids are going through,” the sheriff said. “They communicate behind a screen. They text each other standing next to each other. They don’t always realize that who they are writing to or about is a person.”

2) PANTS ON FIRE

It only took 24 hours after her election for Rep. Michele Bachmann to say something on national TV that had people scratching their heads. Asked what cuts she wants to make in the federal government, Bachmann told CNN that President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to India will cost $200 million a day.

The Pulitzer-Prize-winning Politifact scoffs at Bachmann’s assertion:

we think Bachmann and others have a responsibility to back up statistics they cite. And in this case, the backing appears to be one news story, relying on an anonymous state government official in India. People familiar with presidential travel say that estimate is way off, and they question how a government official in India would know anyway. And a report by the independent GAO backs that up: A trip to India by Clinton, regarded at the time as perhaps the most expensive in history, was estimated to cost $50 million, or $10 million per day. That alone should cause someone to question the $200 million a day figure. In short, we don’t see any evidence to back up this statistic. And we rate Bachmann’s claim False.

More politics: MPR’s Curtis Gilbert remembers the 1990 gubernatorial election.

Freakonomics: How much does the president really matter?

Final tally: Who had the most accurate polls?

Just like the Dems in 2008: Republicans have a problem. Should they try to keep their most ardent supporters happy? Or risk disappointing the independents that put them in power? Sound familiar?

3) YELLOW FEVER

You’ve perhaps noticed that the Yellow Pages/Yellow books are being delivered this week. The Deets‘ Ed Kohler has waged a one-person campaign against the books and details his story in a new video. He sends an invoice to the company.

4) OFF TO LIBERIA

Minnesota Public Radio’s Toni Randolph is included in a team of journalists heading for Liberia on Sunday. We’ll be posting updates from her on News Cut for the next couple of weeks:


I’ve been preparing for my study tour to Liberia next month. Part of that preparation is doing some reading and other homework about the county. I’ve also been meeting up with some Liberians in Minnesota, which has one of the largest Liberian populations in the U.S.

We’ll be looking at a number of issues including health, education, development and other areas. These are issues that Liberians are dealing with in the aftermath of years of civil unrest, unrest that drove many of them out of Liberia and here to Minnesota. Although some have returned to Liberia — and others say they want to — the country has many critical issues to deal with, including getting electricity and running water throughout.

This trip will also enable more informed reporting, generating a greater understanding of the Liberian culture.

Toni has also set up a Facebook page for her trip.

5) WHEN PEOPLE DO GOOD…

A little girl in New Hampshire thought she had a cold, but it turned out to be an unusual illness that resulted in amputations of her arms and legs. So a small town did what small towns do. They pitched in and rebuilt her entire house. Now they’re trying to pay for the increased property taxes.

A couple in Canada hit the lottery, then gave most of the money away.

AND WHEN THEY DON’T…

A woman in Wisconsin stopped to help three women by the side of the road. They stole her car.

Must reading: The Eternal Yes. A woman’s sister dies from complications of Alzheimer’s. “You’re witnessing a miracle,” her physician ex-husband says to her. “You’re seeing a human body die the way it’s supposed to.”

TODAY’S QUESTION

San Francisco has banned toys with Happy Meals or with any restaurant meal that fails to meet basic nutrition standards. How far should government go in regulating fast food for kids?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: One author argues that America is suffering a crisis of creative thought. A psychologist explains what we can do to encourage creativity and innovation in our thinking.

Second hour: The new film about CIA operative Valerie Plame opens today and Midmorning delves into some best picks for the spy genre.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Possible governor-elect Mark Dayton.

Second hour: Veterinarian KateAn Hunter is in the studio to answer pet care questions.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A look at crowd counting and why the number you get may depend on whom you ask.

Second hour: Did our sense of right and wrong evolve?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - MPR’s Brandt Williams takes us into the room at Hennepin County elections where this week’s counting glitch occurred. Election officials describe exactly how it happened.

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Bloomington. Chris Roberts looks at the popular show from the late ’60′s.

  • Shane

    I can’t help but remember some time ago where we had a newscut discussion about why people are losing faith in politics. Its comments such as the one you posted today. That problem is that people don’t fact check anymore. And I know I’m at fault as well. I’ll hear something that my bias wants to hear and I’ll repeat it without checking the source of where it came. But, I feel that politicians should have the responsibility to fact check their sources. We have elected them to make the most informed decision.

    And I don’t want to just say its republicans and tea party members; it’s also democrats and independents. However, the republican voice seems to be the loudest in the media.

    My question: was there ever a time where we could take politicians at their word? Or was there a time where people didn’t discredit an idea solely on the premise that it was suggested by an opposite party member? Will we actually ever be able work together?

  • bsimon

    “It only took 24 hours after her election for Rep. Michele Bachmann to say something on national TV that had people scratching their heads. … [She] told CNN that President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to India will cost $200 million a day.”

    So, does CNN have her on because they think they’ll get a realistic answer to detailed policy questions, or do they have her on because she’ll say something ridiculous & get their ‘brand’ out there?

  • vjacobsen

    I think it’s been said before, but if you can’t even agree on the facts, how can you move forward and have a discussion on policy?

    Maybe politicians should be subject to fines when they make stuff up. Or journalists should be subject to fines for not challenging plain old lies.

    I’m just glad I moved out of her district…yeesh.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Regarding Bachmann: Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

  • TJ

    Factcheck.org says that the war in Afghanistan costs $190 million per day. Maybe those figures are just a titch off.

    The question with Bachmann and her ilk, for me, is whether she’s credulous or malicious. In any case, I am astonished that anybody believes a word she says.