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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

It’s Friday the 13th, and you know what that means — avoid all cracks, don’t walk under any ladders and turn around when the hoard of black cats crosses your path. It’s time to stock up on four-leaf clovers and rabbit feet (or whatever the vegan alternative to rabbit feet is) and toss salt over your shoulder. But if you’re running away from a man in a hockey mask, make sure to flip your newspaper open and prepare yourself for the Friday the 13th edition of...

On the subject of unlucky things that could possibly kill you, if you’re one of the 15 million Americans who have food allergies, you’re probably intimately acquainted with the EpiPen. Drug company Mylan raised the price of this vital, life-saving device to more than $600 per pack of two, which, quite frankly, is a ridiculous price to pay for something you really need if your roommate accidentally leaves a spoon that touched peanut butter in the sink. But good news to all you allergic folk out there: CVS has released a generic, cheaper version of the EpiPen, that runs at $109.99 for a pack of two. It’s even working to reduce costs for qualifying patients. So, a laurel to CVS for making a critical, life-saving medication more affordable.

Let’s stay in the health zone and take a look at what just happened to the Affordable Care Act — or as it is sometimes referred to, Obamacare. Although some people might mistake the two names for separate entities, they are in fact the same thing. Obamacare has had a long fight ever since it first appeared but has given rise to some pretty great benefits: specifically, coverage for people with preexisting conditions, young people being able to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and affordable contraceptives. This week, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal these parts of Obamacare. The repeal has not yet taken effect, but it should be noted that the “replace” portion of “repeal and replace” was sorely lacking. Now if there had been a clear plan as to how to reshape the health care system in the absence of Obamacare, perhaps we might hold off on this dart, but the fact is, there isn’t one. So we aim a dart to the Senate for voting to repeal Obamacare without a backup plan.

In the world of politics, the media frenzy regarding President-elect Trump, the dossier and CNN is still going on strong. After Trump denounced CNN as “fake news,” Fox News host Shepard Smith rose to defend the rival network. Considering Fox News and CNN’s bitter rivalry, it was refreshing to see a bridge across networks in order to defend reporting. So we bestow a laurel upon Shep Smith for defending journalism, regardless of network bias.

In a similar vein, let’s throw a dart at this whole fiasco in the first placeBuzzfeed for the document dump, the incoming Trump administration for deliberately shifting Buzzfeed’s error onto CNN and trying to delegitimize the network and everyone who’s posting long, angry Facebook rants about one great evil or the other without really researching what’s going on. What we need to take away from this whole firestorm is that there is a time and a place to call out “fake news.” Preferably, of course, when an outlet and its news is actually fake. There is also a standard for reporting and journalism. A site primarily known for its personality quizzes and recipe videos might not exactly be the best example of that. Buzzfeed might just want to stick to “Which Kardashian are you?” quizzes for the time being.

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