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Ryan Beltram

Ryan Beltram

Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.
ryan.beltram@eugenedailynews.com @RyanBeltram

Where Did The Week Go…

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On Monday, it was reported that CNET, one of the first and most influential sources of gadgets and tech news on the Internet, was in the middle of a corporate scandal as staffers and editors quit over allegations that its annual Consumer Electronics Show awards was influenced by upper management.

According to The Verge, CNET parent company CBS asked the site to remove Dish’s Slingbox Hopper from consideration for its Best of CES Awards due to a lawsuit between CBS and Dish. After learning that the gadget was going to take the top award, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves requested that the site remove the gadget.

CNET-reporter-quits-over-CBS

The acclaimed tech-news website has lost some credibility.

For a website that has been celebrated for being unbiased in its reviews and news coverage, CNET looks really bad here. This story reeks of that scene in Network when Howard Beale meets with the corporate overlords at the big-boy table over news content. Only instead of shouting from the rooftops “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore,” CNET editors caved in to the power of a pending deal between two big media companies.

A number of CNET reporters did resign, including one publicly on Twitter, but the website still should have showed more ethical judgement.

CBS’s statement in response to the report by The Verge reads, “In terms of covering actual news, CNET maintains 100% editorial independence, and always will. We look forward to the site building on its reputation of good journalism in the years to come.” The steep hill back to respectability may be a hard one for CNET to climb. While it isn’t news that large corporations own tech-news sites, we don’t like to be reminded of it when public scandals like these occur.

Netflix Instant Pick: 24

For my Netflix pick this week I decided to recommend season one of 24. It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since this exhilarating show debuted on Fox. I planned on just watching the first season. Sort of take a trip down memory lane with one of my favorite shows. But as the seminal “first day” reminded me, you can’t just experience one. So when I finished the first one, I immediately watched the first episode of season two just to see where these characters were at in their lives. Unfortunately, now I’ll have to see what kind of shenanigans they can get into for another 24 hours.

But let’s get back to where it all started. Watching the first episode was a bit alarming. There was badass Jack Bauer (Looking a lot blonder in that first season than I remember) sitting comfortably at home playing chess with his daughter. If you’ve gotten through the entire series you know, this is the most chill and relaxed you will ever see Jack. A part of me wanted to scream through the television telling him to pack up his wife and daughter and leave town immediately because it’s all down hill from here.

Following a small conflict at home with his wife and daughter, Jack is called into CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) to investigate a lead on a possible assassination attempt on US Senator and future President David Palmer. But what Jack doesn’t know is that plans have been put in motion that not only  involves him, but his wife and daughter as well.

24

The definition of the word addictive.

For the next 24 hours, Jack has to save his daughter and his wife, pretend to want to assassinate Palmer but not really while also trying to prevent it, weed out not one but possibly multiple moles inside CTU and set a record for henchman killing and cell phone usage. The last three I mentioned will become a 24 staple as you continue watching the show (Seriously, who is hiring these people at CTU and where can I get one of those phones?)

It’s kind of weird that 24 debuted just two months after 911. In a strange way, I was sort of introduced to the word terrorist through these two events. Looking back, I can’t recall how the public reacted to the show following 911 but I do remember 24 becoming this phenomenon. Was it an outlet for people seeing the government get back at the terrorists? Or was it simply the concept of the show, events happening in real time, that made it so unique? Probably a bit of both. Somehow, the idea that one episode was one hour made it feel that much more intense and vital.

The first season wasn’t perfect. The portrayal of female characters in particular was distracting. The term “damsel in distress” has never been more apparent on a show and by the end, I had a hard time rooting for even one female character (Where’s Chloe O’Brian when I need her!) There were other minor complaints like the soap opera cliche of temporary amnesia or the constant over-acting by minor, three-episode characters, but overall this was one of the better seasons of the show (Trust me, you won’t see frustratingly annoying female characters until later.)

I’d like to think I don’t have an addictive personality. I’ve never been big on drugs, or even taken them for that matter, but if I did I think viewing 24 would come the closest to experiencing such a thing. Watching it on Netflix streaming is the definition of addictive so I warn you. If you’ve never watched the show and plan to, be sure to set aside several hours because like a bag of Lays Chips, you’ll have a hard time consuming just one.

Trout Catches Fish

Mike Trout

Trout is even catching things off the field.

Yes you read that headline correct. Last season, Mike Trout completed one of the greatest rookie seasons in baseball history. If not for Miguel Cabrera becoming the first player in 45 years to win the triple crown (Leading the league in homers, RBI’s and batting average), Trout easily would have won the award as he could seemingly do it all on a baseball field.

But how about a consolation prize that sounds equally as cool considering his name. This week, while vacationing with family, Trout caught, not one of the many home run balls he robbed during the season, but a 500-pound fish. I know what you’re thinking. Sadly, it wasn’t a trout.

The outfielder caught a Goliath grouper off of Key West, Florida. The photo of his latest catch was tweeted Monday by Trout’s girlfriend, Jessica tara Cox. Weighing approximately 550 pounds and more than five feet long, the fish proved to be too heavy for them to bring on board so Trout released it.

Let’s be honest, the only reason I’m mentioning this story is because of all the great puns that can go with it. But seriously, what can’t Mike Trout do? Baseball analysts were comparing him to great baseball legends like Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle on the field. Williams was known for being an avid fisherman so Trout can already say he’s matched him off the diamond. Let’s just hope he can avoid the thing Mantle was good at off the field; drinking.

 

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