Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com writes:

Robert Morris University, whose best postseason appearance before Tuesday night was an almost-win against Kansas in 1990, beat the University of Kentucky, whose latest best postseason appearance came 350 days ago, when the Wildcats won their eighth national championship. The program with more losses than wins in its history beat the program with more wins than anyone in college basketball history.

So this is what happens when you don’t do research:

You miss things like RMU’s win in the opening round (okay, the #12 seed play-in game) of the 1983 NCAA Tournament against Georgia Southern, which they followed with a two-point loss against Purdue, 55-53, in the first round.

Or you miss the game in the 2010 NCAA Tournament—the one where they took #2 seed Villanova to overtime in Providence, and lost 73-70, again in the first round.  A game in which Pete Thamel of the New York Times describes thusly:

No. 15-seeded Robert Morris led No. 2 Villanova for virtually all of regulation, outhustled the Wildcats to the point of embarrassment and used an aggressive switching defense to render them impotent on offense. But the Colonials could not hold an 8-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation and succumbed in overtime, 73-70.

I mean, really. A simple search would have borne these facts out.  I mean, coming close against Kansas is nice, but discounting close losses against Purdue 30 years ago, or Villanova three years ago because you can’t make a salient point about Robert Morris’ win without tying it to a bigger name college program, is simply doing lazy work.

They may well have had their best postseason performance on Tuesday night.  But their next best came well before 1990.  


Somebody is suing Dr. Oz for following his dumb advice.

During an April 17 (2012) episode of “The Dr. Oz Show,” the popular cardiothoracic surgeon touted a segment dubbed “Dr. Oz’s 24-Hour Energy Boost.”

Oz encouraged viewers to fill the toes of a pair of socks with uncooked rice, warm up the footwear in a microwave oven and slip them on.

“You do this and lie for about 20 minutes with those socks on in bed. The heat will divert blood to your feet,” Oz explained on the show.

“When your feet get hot, guess what happens to your body? It gets cold. Your body will automatically adjust its core temperature and as it gets cooler, you’re going to be able to sleep better because your body has to be cold in order to get sleepy,” he said.

The only warning he offered was to not get the socks too hot in the microwave.

Oz capped the segment by telling viewers, “If you do this the right way, you’ll be thanking me for years to come.”

But Dietl, the brother of former NYPD detective and TV personality Bo Dietl, was anything but thankful for the advice.

In his Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, he revealed he suffers from neuropathy, or numbness in his feet, due to diabetes — a condition Oz did not address.

“There were no proper instructions or proper warnings,” Gullo said. “There were no warnings to anybody with neuropathy to not try it.”—Barbara Ross and Bill Hutchinson, New York Daily News

I’m not a medical expert, and I’m really not sure what the deal is with people with neuropathy, but here’s what I think:

If you have a medical condition, and you follow the advice of some quack on TV, and you don’t check with your doctor first…you’re doing it wrong.  And suing a TV show for following dumb advice it gives absolves all responsibility from the person who followed quack advice.  I might be wrong about this, but it seems like you should research claims like this before you try them.

Further, you’re taking homeopathic advice and miracle cures from a throat surgeon. Who’s on TV.  Not in a surgery room, or a clinic.  On TV.  During the daytime.  It’s really not a good idea most of the time.  And any quack can go on TV, call himself a doctor, and suggest you do things—you gotta talk to a practicing doctor and make sure you can do those things.  And most of them will tell you that Dr. Oz is full of shit.

Good luck with that lawsuit.


From the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual report on the state of the U.S. media—specifically from it’s section on the changing television landscape—this data point:

A separate analysis of cable in late 2012 finds that, over all, commentary and opinion are far more prevalent on the air throughout the day (63% of the airtime) than straight news reporting (37%). CNN is the only channel to offer more reporting (54%) than opinion (46%), though by a small margin. By far the highest percentage of opinion and commentary is on MSNBC (85% to 15% reporting).  Fox was in between at 55% commentary and 45% reporting.

63% of all airtime on cable news is devoted to some talking head blathering on with their opinions about the stories of the day, and nowhere is this more prevalent than at MSNBC.

I’m a little disturbed at that number for MSNBC. 85% of their newshole is opinion and commentary as opposed to straightforward news reporting. Eighty-five percent. The question that lingers for me is that, if you’re watching MSNBC, how informed are you when the majority of the information out of that network is opinion-based commentary?

In other words, you’re getting individual takes on the news, rather than the news itself. And sure, you could point at the other News/Talk channels and say they do it too—and to some extent, they do—but if you look at the programming lineup for each daypart outside of, say, 8-11pm Eastern Time, can you really make the case that MSNBC’s programming isn’t more opinion-based than the others?

I expected Fox News to have that number, honestly.

That number, given the resources that NBC News has at its disposal—to do much more news reporting than they apparently do right now—is, in my view, simply out of proportion to what it should be. Then again, I may be assuming, perhaps reflectively and yet incorrectly so, that a news channel’s primary purpose is to report news, and not merely broadcast individual opinions about key stories in the news.

Or that I may be assuming that “news” is a primary driver for these channels at all. When we clearly see, in at least two individual cases, that it’s not.