Chuckwagon pictures

Below are some extra pictures from the 2012 National Chuckwagon Championship, which I took for VICE magazine (full story in the October 2012 issue):

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Those who’ve confronted representatives with vitriolic language speak out

Jared Loughner’s question for Gabrielle Giffords was utterly incomprehensible. When the Arizona representative couldn’t makes sense of Loughner’s nonsense during a 2007 rally, it set the alleged Tucson gunman off (“Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question“). Loughner felt ignored and then the questions stopped.

In wake of the Arizona tragedy, however, there is one question that needs to be asked: Where’s the line between enough security and not enough liberty? Continue reading

Emailing Santa

At about 1:25 a.m. on Dec. 3, I sent a quick message to I figured if Santa was going to have an email account, it would be Google-based. When the note didn’t kick back, I wrote a follow-up letter:

So I’m supposing this does work. Well, sorry to bother you. I’m sure you’re beginning to get a lot of emails in the box this time of year—wanted or not.

Anyway, if you see this and possibly have a few moments, I’d love to chat.

I included my title, Managing Editor of The Washington County Observer in West Fork, Ark. I thought maybe it would help. Then, like a child, I patiently waited, for 48 hours. Continue reading

Michelle Obama deserved a grilling on her burger choice

The mainstream media was attacked for highlighting Michelle Obama’s Shake Shack visit. But they were right

A health-conscious Michelle Obama scarfing down a “burger, fries, a chocolate shake and a Diet Coke,” at a greasy hamburger joint? The irony was as thick as mayo. And for critics, it should have been faster to heat up than Easy Mac.

The item, however – reported by the Washington Post and later Good Morning America – was barely picked at. The website Mediaite chided the “mainstream media” for pushing the story and offered a backhanded compliment to the relatively quite conservative blogosphere for its “growth and maturity [or] recognition that even their own pundits find this line of attack idiotic”. Continue reading

The eternal appeal of conspiracy theory

Barely had Obama ‘birtherism’ been laid to rest than the Osama ‘deather’ narrative was born. Is it part of the American psyche?

The US – with the help of a few Navy Seals – found the elusive Osama bin Laden, shot him in the face and then deep-sixed the diabolical diabetic somewhere in the Arabian Sea. While the rest of the country cheered “How wonderful!”, many others had only one thought: “How convenient.” Continue reading

Fox News: real winner of the GOP debate

The revelation of the GOP debate was none of the candidates, but a brilliant performance from the network liberals love to hate

The 2012 Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa, Thursday night was exciting. Really.

Sure, it was a civil discussion between conservatives in nice-looking outfits. And it took place in the most midwestern of midwestern states – Iowans’ insistence on maintaining an air of middle-class normalcy is almost fanatical. Still, the two hour-long affair sparkled, thanks to the event’s co-host Fox News. If bad news is good news for television (“it bleeds, it leads”), however, then this bit of good news about Fox‘s performance is sure to be bad news for everyone – including the media organisation itself. Continue reading