Posts by Jay Hart

  • Who's responsible for the tabloid-ification of America?

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    Maybe you already knew that, and yes, I'm a part of the media, which aren't always bad. But when Andrea Mitchell — once a serious-as-a-heart-attack journalist — cuts off a former U.S. congresswoman for "breaking" Justin Bieber news, well, it's a sure sign that we've officially jumped the shark.

    That really happened on Thursday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

    Now, don't take this as a slam on Mitchell. These days, not covering a Justin Bieber arrest, a Kardashian divorce or a Honey Boo Boo car accident is more the exception than the rule. Two years ago, the "Today" show trumped the annual moment of silence on Sept. 11 for a Kris Jenner interview. Thursday, CNN broadcast Bieber's bail hearing live, and on Friday night the network will air a Bieber introspective — "Justin Bieber's Wild Ride" — that will focus on the trials and tribulations of the 19-year-old pop whatever he is.

    I'll admit it: For Yahoo, Bieber's arrest was one of our most-read stories on Thursday.

    You do the math.

  • Is unemployment really 6.7 percent?

    Jay Hart at Yahoo News 1 yr ago

    So how does the "unemployment" number fall despite such weak job growth?

    In simple terms, the U.S. Department of Labor stops counting people who have stopped looking for work. The "labor force," as defined by the department, fell from 155.3 million in November to 154.9. This decrease of 400,000 accounts for nearly the entire drop in unemployment — from 7 percent in November to 6.7 in December.

    How the department calculates unemployment is rather simple: It takes the number of unemployed and divides it by the number of people it considers in the labor force. But does this provide an accurate account of how many people are really unemployed? Not really.

    According to department statistics, nearly 11 million out-of-work Americans were not counted as unemployed in December. How is it determined who is and isn't considered unemployed? Here are the department parameters for those who aren't counted as part of the labor force:

    The department classifies those who fall in the "marginal" category as U-6. The chart below shows actual unemployment (as defined by the department) versus the U-6 number:

    House Speaker John Boehner wasn't as impressed.

  • Watch: man who lost 130 pounds surprise his parents

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    This is Lucas Irwin in May of 2012.

    This is him on Dec. 10, 2013.

    In just shy of one year – he didn't start losing weight until December of 2012 – Irwin went from 300 pounds to 170. How did he do it?

    "95% of it was done through nothing but a 1350 calorie limit per day," he wrote on Reddit. "No foods were off limit, but I survived mostly on tuna salad, chicken with salsa, frozen vegetables, beans and rice, turkey/roast beef sandwiches, spinach, and eggs. After I lost 100 pounds I started walking to work (5 miles) for about 2 months until it got too cold outside."

    Here's the best part – during the entire year, Irwin didn't mention anything to his parents. Not a word. So imagine their reaction when they saw him for the first time. Or better yet, watch it:

    Only his sister was in on it. She's the one who filmed the unveiling.

    When asked if he likes his new clothing options, the 5-foot-8 Irwin responded, "Yes I do, and it's very strange having 'how does it look?' be a criteria instead of just 'does it fit?' "



  • MSNBC host apologizes to Mitt Romney

    Jay Hart at Yahoo News 1 yr ago

    MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry has taken to Twitter to apologize to Mitt Romney's family for offensive comments made during a segment on her cable talk show on Sunday.

    I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. #MHPapology

    If you haven't seen the segment, during Sunday's show Harris-Perry and her panel were providing captions for some of the most "talked about pictures of the year." They rifle through a few photos – President Obama standing under an umbrella held by a Marine, the selfie seen around the world – before getting to one of Romney and his grandchildren. And that's where the hilarity ensued.

    You see, sitting on Romney's right knee is his adopted grandson, Kieran, who is black. Harris-Perry's panel took that as their cue to have a little fun.

    "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn't the same," actress Pia Glenn sung. Glenn then explained, "And that little baby, front and center, would be the one"


  • You should find out why this teenager is smiling

    Jay Hart at Yahoo News 1 yr ago

    This is Billy Baker's story. Well, actually it's Billy Baker's story about an amazing kid, George Huynh. This is George:

    Why is George smiling?

    Well, a few years ago Billy, a reporter for the Boston Globe, met George on a bus and ... that's all I want to tell you because this is Billy Baker's story and he deserves to tell it. Not me.

    For that, click here and scroll down to the first tweet posted on Dec. 16 — or just above the video of a McDonald's drive-thru. Don't peek at the top. Just scroll down, then follow Billy Baker's story back to the top.

    Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

  • For one victim, something good came out of Boston Marathon bombing

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    Out of evil comes something good. The evil: the April 15th bombing of the Boston Marathon. The good … this:

    "As you all know, April 15th was one of the worst days of my life, suffering not only physical injuries of my own but the emotional difficulties when I learned about my friends," James "Bim" Costello wrote on his Facebook page Sunday.

    Costello was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when two bombs went off. He suffered burns and shrapnel wounds, having to pull two nails from his stomach. This is him in the moments afterwards:

    "I now realized why I was involved in the tragedy, it was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life. Eights months later I'm happy to announce that we will spend the rest of our lives together... We got engaged last night in the middle of the beautiful French city Lyon!!!."

    The engagement came during a 10-day cruise of bombing survivors and first responders.

  • 'Merry Christmas Exclamation Point' is the must-hear holiday song of 2013

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    It's happened. For the first time since Mariah Carey released "All I Want for Christmas Is You" in 1994, we have a fresh new Christmas song that's, well, a classic.

    From Jon Lajoie — you might know him better as Taco from FXX's "The League" — comes "Merry Christmas Exclamation Point," a carol that, in just over four minutes, captures the evolving spirit of Christmas, circa 2013.

    Dressed in a Santa-red sweater while sitting at a piano topped with candles and a garland, Lajoie embodies the spirit of Jolly Ol' St. Nick when he sings:

    "It will definitely not be the best Christmas song ever," Lajoie wrote on his website last month when he announced the release of the song, "but it'll be a close second, I promise."

    Here, in all its glory, is "Merry Christmas Exclamation Point":


  • Two words for you: dancing dog

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    If you've ever had a barking dog that you want to stop barking, you've probably tried just about everything.

    Clapping loudly.

    Shaking a can full of coins.


    Calling Cesar Millan.


    But have you tried playing Modern Talking's "You're My Heart, You're My Soul"?

    Some guy in Russia did and, well, check out the results:

    As Bruno Tonioli might say, "It will take all the shrinks in America their lifetime to analyze this."


  • #WalmartFights sparks a trend on Twitter

    Jay Hart at The Sideshow 1 yr ago

    Attached were pictures and videos and Vines of all sorts of violence and chaos and other nonsense.

    None of this is a surprise. It was expected, which is why police were at the ready at your local Walmart. You just wonder if those caught up in it thought they would be when their day began.

    Did you think you'd be the one on a video gone viral, being arrested while lying on top of the TV you were hoping to buy?

    Or the guy lying face down on the ground with a police officer's foot planted on his back?

    Or part of this stampede?

    Or this stampede?

    Or this stampede?

    I have this burning desire to go to Walmart with a video camera today #BlackFriday #WalmartFights

    Uh, bud, think a few people beat you to it.