It has been a wild month for Fox News. After being sued by Dominion Voting Systems, Fox settled in court for almost $800 million — a staggering figure that sends a clear message about journalistic ethics. On the heels of this, Fox fired its prime-time host, Tucker Carlson, who has been at the epicentre of the storm.
Fox did not report the incident on its website or on air. The reactions have been mixed, with many surprised that Fox decided to settle. “Great win for democracy? I don’t know about that,” said the MSNBC host, Joy Reid. She added that Fox News “saved their stars from having to take the witness stand and answer questions about all those embarrassing texts and revelations.” Jake Tapper on CNN read out Fox’s statement about its commitment to the highest journalistic standards, which he said was “difficult to say with a straight face.”
Alongside this debacle, the CEO of My Pillow, Mike Lindell, who is an avid Trump supporter and a proponent of election conspiracy theories, is also facing legal trouble. Lindell, while peddling misinformation about fraud and broken machines, launched the ‘Prove Mike Wrong Challenge’, wherein he offered a $5 million reward for anyone who could prove that packet captures and other data he released there were not valid data “from the November 2020 election.”
An engineer named Robert Zeidman entered the challenge and produced a 15-page report proving Lindell wrong. But a panel of judges dismissed him. After an evidentiary hearing, Lindell was ordered to pay up the $5 million within 30 days. Lindell is also the subject of a $1.3 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.
Summer is not quite here yet, but with the mercury rising, people are getting in the mood for outdoor events, iced coffees and travelling around. It will properly kick off with the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.
April is the time Americans usually make summer travel plans. The Expedia travel expert, Melanie Fish, told Good Morning America that the app has already seen a 25% jump in flight searches over the summer for popular domestic destinations such as Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City. According to Google Flights data, the top query for this summer — June through August — is London, followed by Cancun, Mexico, Paris, Orlando, Florida, Rome, and New York City.
Similarly, searches for solo travel destinations, solo cruises, and solo travel for women have also increased. The most-searched romantic locales are Jamaica, Bora Bora, Turks and Caicos, the Maldives, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
However, there is a lot of talk about ‘revenge travel’ — it refers to the pent-up need for travel that people were unable to undertake during the pandemic-induced lockdown. The buzzword gained popularity just last year, but the zest still remains.
Fashion for a cause
We all know of the iconic annual fundraising event, the Met Gala, hosted at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. In a similar spirit, we now have the Debt Gala — it was hosted at the end of April. Not only is it more affordable and less exclusive but it also serves a higher purpose — eradication of debt in America. This is the first time such an event is being hosted and it aims to be an annual occurrence. The money raised will go to RIP Medical Debt, which buys and forgives medical debts, a burden faced by millions of Americans every day.
The Debt Gala event had a red carpet, several musical performances and a dance party to follow. The theme was ‘Garbage x Glamour’ and the goal was to have sustainable fashion on the red carpet. In other news, there will soon be a life-sized Monopoly popup in New York City. The board game will come to life and serve as a 4D experience for players to play the game while moving around the board.
Cloud of smoke
April 20 is informally the weed day in America. The origins of this day are disputed, but ‘4/20’ has become a widely recognised symbol of cannabis culture, becoming an occasion for marijuana-related events. Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park drew thousands of people. Seattle’s oldest-running movie theatre offered a ‘dank double feature,’ playing two weed-themed movies. In Boston, a pottery party offered participants a chance to make their own pipe. St Louis, Missouri celebrated 4/20 day for the first time after legalisation. Thirty-eight states have legalised the use of marijuana for medical use but movement at the political level still remains very slow.