Welcome to the paper’s Damage Report!
In order to keep readers up to date with current events, we decided to start this biweekly feature, in which we present short, concise explanations of major topics that have occurred that week in the news. As well, we will link to other articles that will provide further information, as well as other articles we believe coincide with the story. This feature will be published every Tuesday – Friday.
Your News Editors,
Nick & Rachel
Trump Cancels White House Correspondents Dinner Attendance
Since Donald Trump took office barely over a month ago, he and his administration have been waging war against the media, calling some of the biggest media outlets, such as CNN and The New York Times, “fake news” and “the enemy of the [American] people.” Trump’s war with the media to some looks heroic, but to many it looks like an inability to take criticism. On February 25th, Trump announced via Twitter that he would not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner, a black tie event that helps raise journalism scholarships as well as providing an opportunity for the president to humanize themselves. No president has missed this dinner since 1981, when then-President Ronald Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt. However, he still managed to provide some remarks over the phone. This announcement, which currently has no clear reason behind it, comes in the wake of Trump barring media outlets, including CNN and The New York Times, from attending a press briefing just the day before (which even Fox News called out as ridiculous and unnecessary). While the decision isn’t that big of a surprise, Trump is continuing to drive a wedge between himself and the media, which will only continue providing a disservice to the American people.
Further Reading: Trump Declines to Attend White House Correspondents Dinner
The Oscars Proved to be an Eventful Night
After the controversy of last year’s Oscars (#OscarsSoWhite), viewers were skeptical going into this years show, especially in regards to the nominees for Best Picture. The two most notable of these nominees were La La Land and Moonlight. While La La Land saw more mainstream success, possibly due to its high profile leads, mesmerizing dance numbers and costumes, and generally lighter subject matter, critics alike praised Moonlight for its originality, unforgettable story, unapologetic intersectionality of black and LGBT identities, and stunning acting and cinematography. Both were heavily favored to win but Moonlight had the slightest edge. So attendees and viewers at home were all stunned when La La Land was named Best Picture, only to be confused moments later when it was revealed that Moonlight was in fact the actual winner, making it the first movie with an all black cast to win Best Picture. The mix-up, apparently, happened due to one of the employees, who was handling the cards, tweeting after Emma Stone won Best Actress and not paying close enough attention to which card got handed out.
Other big wins of the night include: Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor (first Muslim to win a Best Actor Oscar); Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress (first black woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony); Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Best Costume Design (first of nine Harry Potter movies to win an Oscar). Find the full list of Sunday night’s winners here.
Further reading: Transcript of Oscar’s Best Picture Mix-Up
Perez wins Democratic National Committee Chair
Elections were held last week for the Democratic National Committee Chair, a highly coveted and prestigious position within the Democratic party. The previous chairperson was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned under controversy in the summer of 2016. Many names were put forward to run, eventually coming down to Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison. Out of the 435 Democrats who voted, 235 voted for Perez, and the other 200 voted for Ellison. Afterwards, it was announced that Ellison would be the vice-chair, in a show of unity in the Democratic party. President Trump tweeted out a snide congratulations to Perez for winning, saying that he was happy for the Republican Party. The next day he tweeted a follow up saying that the DNC election was “rigged,” and that Hillary Clinton “demanded” Perez. Perez tweeted out a response to Trump promising to be the President’s “worst nightmare,” as well as expressing further unity in the Democratic party.
Further Reading: Perez Wins DNC Chairmanship
Unfortunate Tragedy Occurs at Kansas Bar
Last week, tragedy occurred on Wednesday when 3 men were shot in a bar in Kansas. Adam Purinton, a 51 year old man, was the perpetrator in what is believed to be a racially motivated attack (however authorities have not officially declared it a hate crime yet). The victims were Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both 32 years old. Allegedly, Purinton was becoming annoyed with these two customers, and he was told to leave by Ian Grillot, another customer at the bar. Purinton drove away from the establishment and returned with a gun. He shot both of the Indian men, (it is reported he yelled “get out of my country), and Ian Grillot, who attempted to stop him after believing the gun was empty. Grillot miscounted the bullets when attempting to stop Purinton, which led to him being shot in the hand and stomach. Purinton promptly escaped the bar and was eventually arrested later at night, after a phone call from an Applebee’s bartender tipped off authorities. Allegedly, Purinton ran in and tried to ask the bartender to let him stay with her, and that he had done a bad thing, claiming to have shot “two Iranians.” The woman called 911 and recounted what Purinton had told her. The recording of this call has since been released by the authorities. Purinton’s bond set at $2 million, and a court date scheduled for March 9th.Kuchibhotla sadly died of his wounds in the hospital, Madasani and Grillot survived and have been released. Many are calling Grillot a hero for his actions. At a vigil on Sunday, Madasani spoke about Kuchibhotla, paying his friend tribute.
Fordham Dance Marathon Raises Over $90k for Kids with Cancer (SPOTLIGHT ON FORDHAM)
After a week highlighted by a talk from Joe McDonough, founder of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, and the most ridiculous student auction known to man, Fordham Dance Marathon came and went this Sunday, raising $91,869.75 to fight childhood cancer. FDM featured a few performances from student bands and clubs, notably 5AM Fridays, Free Advertising, Slainte, FET, and B-Sides. The foundation holds Dance Marathon style events at several universities across the country, all to combat various childhood cancers. With more than 46 children diagnosed every school day, B+ ultimately aims to provide money to underfunded childhood cancer research, which receives less than four percent of federal research funds.
Writers for this Report:
Nick Peters – News Co-Editor
Rachel Poe – News Co-Editor
Luis Gómez – Co-Editor in Chief