Now, here’s something to get upset about

In the fifth version of GTA, players assume the role of one of three criminals, and then drive around a fictional city and commit or witness crimes including: carjacking, assault, drug use, murder, prostitution and rape. Actually the company claims the rape scene isn’t actually rape; rather, it is meant to “imply cannibalism” — because that’s so much better.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, September 28, 2013

There are a lot of things a parent can, and should, get upset about as it relates to their children, their education and things to which their kids are exposed.

A lot of people were upset because of the Common Core State Standards for education that would have replaced the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in 2014. But Gov. Rick Scott recently put the brakes on those plans, so now all is wonderful in education in Florida, and tea party types can go back to sticking their heads in the sand.

Seriously. Tests don’t educate our kids, and they aren’t what we should be getting worked up about as it relates to their development or education. But the tea party needed to do something to appear legitimate so it got worked up about Common Core.

If there is ever something to get fired up about, or if you ever wondered why we’re raising a morally tone-dead generation of citizens, take a look at the recently released video game Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5).

In the fifth version of GTA, players assume the role of one of three criminals, and then drive around a fictional city and commit or witness crimes including: carjacking, assault, drug use, murder, prostitution and rape. Actually the company claims the rape scene isn’t actually rape; rather, it is meant to “imply cannibalism” — because that’s so much better.

The video game had sales of $800 million in its first day of release. By day five, it had broken the billion-dollar mark and is on track to become the No. 1-selling video game of all time.


The game is intended for adults, but it is apparently all the rage among teenage boys who are its unspoken target audience.

A mom with a 13 year-old son was over at our house last weekend and she said her son has been begging for GTA5. So she did some research on it and told him he can’t have it, and why. He kept begging for it, and she kept telling him no. At some point he frustratingly told her, Continue reading “Now, here’s something to get upset about”

Rick Scott’s two Charlies

For students of politics, it will be easy to tell very soon just how busy Gov. Scott’s pollster has been. After all, he has a nice, cushy job, but in order to keep it, he needs to keep the boss happy. In other words, he needs to get Scott’s poll numbers up — and fast.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 5, 2013

If Charles Manson showed up at your door and offered you a free box of Girl Scout cookies, would it make you forget about his evil ways?

If you were a public school teacher who hasn’t had a pay raise in years, and Gov. Rick Scott offered you a $2,500 pay raise (merit pay be damned), would it make you forget that he cut  more than a billion dollars in the state’s education budget his first year in office and indirectly cut your take-home pay by 3 percent?

If you were a member of the Florida Legislature who sees himself as a team-playing, collaborative kind of guy who likes to plan spending and budgets, and things like pay raises for teachers, would it bother you that you learned of the governor’s $2,500 pay-raise-for-teachers plan by reading about it in the paper?

If you were a police officer or firefighter and learned that if you were to become permanently disabled on the job, you wouldn’t receive a dime in pension disability payments under proposed changes to the GOP’s pension reform plan, would you respond to a burglary  or fire at Scott’s mansion in Naples?

If you were a dog and Scott adopted you, would you Continue reading “Rick Scott’s two Charlies”

Dos and don’ts at the RNC

There are better ways to watch the RNC than coming downtown.

By Chris Ingram

Tampa  locals have been watching the build-up to the Republican National Convention for nearly two years. Now with the start of the big affair just days away, RNC visitors and locals are wondering what to do, and how they can view and participate in the convention activities. (Hint: The best view is on TV).

Here are my suggestions for locals interested in the convention:

1) If you don’t already have credentials to get into the convention, there is no point going down to the Forum as you won’t get inside.

2) If you just have to come down and see what all the excitement is about, be careful. I’ve been to conventions before and some of these protestors are total losers just looking to do harm. Stay out of their way and don’t engage them (they want you to engage them – better off to just ignore them). Resist the urge to tell them to “get a job” — for some, this is their job. That said, not all of the protestors are looking to do harm. In fact, most are not; they’re just exercising their right to free speech, and that’s a good thing.

Photo: Making Momma proud.

Continue reading “Dos and don’ts at the RNC”

Newsroom Insider: Hating on Chelsea Clinton

I found myself recalling that formative experience from my time as a cub reporter last night as I pondered the announcement that NBC had hired former first daughter Chelsea Clinton as a special news correspondent. It’s the latest hiring of a child from a prominent political family in the contracting news industry. The field I’ve devoted my life to never seems to run out of room for them, even as thousands of veteran reporters are being kicked to the curb.

Silver spoon lands plum job in shrinking news industry without paying dues

(Editor’s note: The following was submitted by my friend Victor Epstein, a veteran newspaper reporter. Victor, like a lot of professional journalists is out of a job due to the economy and the newspaper industry still trying to figure out how to make money in the age of Twitter and The Daily Show. His column focuses on how ridiculous it is that Chelsea Clinton was recently hired by NBC News — and his (understandable) frustrations. But the column doesn’t stop there. It gives an insightful first-person account of what it is like to be a journalist with real world accounts about covering the news. Those examples demonstrate how being a “real journalist” translates into better reporting and story telling. The column is longer than what we normally publish here, but if you’re interested in the news and journalism as I am, you wont be able to stop reading it.  — Chris Ingram, Publisher, Irreverent View)

By Victor Epstein

A pair of headlights cut through the darkness behind me on a two-lane road outside Claxton, Ga., one night in 1994. They closed swiftly on my pickup before matching my speed at about 200 yards.

That almost never happens on country roads. Cars either pass you or you pass them. They don’t race toward you before trailing  from a fixed distance. So, I slowed down to protect the identity of my source – a black high school student who had been warned to stop dating a white classmate in a town plagued by institutionalized racism.

The mystery car drew closer each time I downshifted, before matching my speed. We drove along in this manner for a stretch at 150 yards, then 100, then 50. We were separated by less than 10 feet by the time I brought my pickup to a complete halt.

The vehicle now visible in my rear-view mirror was a Claxton police cruiser. Continue reading “Newsroom Insider: Hating on Chelsea Clinton”