Who’s having a good week? Who’s having a bad one?
Every week we track the highs, lows and everything in between. We give you … What’s Up? What’s Down?
DOWN: Travis Scott
The concertgoers are also suing Drake, who performed with Scott during his set, Apple Music, which livestreamed the festival, and a few other companies to the tune of $750 million. The suit accuses Travis Scott of keeping the concert going while fans were being trampled right in front of the stage.
The rapper has said he was blinded by the stage lights and didn’t know what was going on until it was too late.
UP: Sandy Hook Families
Parents of some victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting had a victory this week.
A Connecticut judge found that right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was liable for defamation after the talk show host spent years calling the massacre of 26 a staged hoax and accused some parents of being paid actors.
It’s the second legal defeat for Jones, who was found liable in two similar cases last month in Texas, where he lives.
We won’t know how much money Jones will have to shell out in the Connecticut case until the judge rules in an upcoming hearing. But the Sandy Hook families have already won at least $100,000 in damages from the InfoWars host.
Have you ever had such a bad month you had to legally change your name?
Facebook, now officially known as Meta, has had a rough go of things in recent weeks. First, an employee-turned-whistleblower testified to Congress that the company willingly spread misinformation in the name of profits. Then, there were the leaked “Facebook papers” that showed the company was tracking and selling user data, followed by a major lawsuit from the state of Ohio.
Now the company is in hot water again. The Associated Press reported that the platform is being used to foment violence and hate speech in Myanmar, where the military seized power in February.
Since then, the southeast Asian nation has been host to a slew of human rights violations, which critics believe is being fueled on Facebook.
Instead of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg might have been better off choosing the name Mega. As in, mega problems.
UP: New Year’s Eve
We’re finally getting New Year’s Eve back!
The streets of Times Square were almost empty last year on New Year’s Eve, but NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio said the iconic celebration is coming back in full force to ring in 2022.
To attend, you’ll either need proof of vaccination and a photo ID, or a mask and a recent, negative Covid-19 test. Kids younger than 5 won’t need a vax card, but they will need a mask, and children under 2 won’t need either.
The mayor said he expects hundreds of thousands to show up for this year’s ball drop, a much-needed dose of normalcy after two wild years.
The pre-pandemic world still feels like a distant memory, but we’re betting a goofy hat and glasses at midnight will help.
DOWN: The NFL
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden was forced into early retirement last month, after a league investigation found that he had sent racist and degrading emails during his time with the Washington Football Team.
Now, Gruden’s suing the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell, claiming they unfairly targeted him and forced him out of his job. Gruden’s lawyers want to know why his were the only emails leaked out of the 650,000 uncovered by an investigation that had little to do with him in the first place.
However the suit turns out, it’s sure to cause weeks if not months of the NFL’s dirty laundry being aired in civil court. That’s a potential scandal in the making, which means this week, the NFL is trending down.
UP: California School for the Deaf
In other football news, the California School for the Deaf in Riverside is leading the way this season, as the team is on the cusp of its first division championship appearance in 68 years.
The Riverside Cubs are on a hot streak. Their undefeated, 11-0 record speaks for itself, and their head coach told reporters this week their deafness is an asset — hearing players don’t rely on their eyes as much, he claims, giving his team the advantage in reading the field and reacting accordingly.
What’s more, the Cubs’ dominance this season is point of pride for the CSDR campus community, which has rallied around its football team and helped cheer them to the brink of a division championship.
The Cubs won’t find out if they’re headed to the big game for another week, but for now? They’re trending way up.
DOWN: Chrissy Teigen
Netflix’s smash hit Korean drama Squid Game is about poor, indebted, and desperate people playing deadly games for a cash prize, all to amuse a shady group of wealthy Americans.
Which is why fans were bewildered when Chrissy Teigen revealed on Instagram she threw a costume party based on the series this week.
Fans said the party — which reportedly featured replicas of the piggy bank, bunk beds, and staircase from the show — was tone-deaf and out of touch, seeing as Teigen and husband John Legend are millionaires, like the show’s masked villains.
It’s also not the first time the model has stoked social media backlash by embracing a Korean drama about the plight of the working class. Teigen was slammed on Twitter early last year for saying she enjoyed the film Parasite, which features a similar premise.
We all like Squid Game. But if you can’t read the room — or at least dress as good guys — you’re bound to trend down.
UP: Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is back in the public eye.
First, the American-actress-turned-British-Royal made waves with her dress at the Salute to Freedom Gala in New York on Nov. 10.
Then, in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, the 40-year-old charmed audiences recounting how she and husband Prince Harry kept their relationship under wraps from the press before their 2018 marriage.
Meghan Markle might not be the most popular royal in the United Kingdom, but Americans can’t get enough of her. For the moment, she’s trending up.
DOWN: The QAnon Shaman
Prosecutors said Chansley, memorably shirtless and wearing a horned helmet as he entered the Senate chambers, was the “flag-bearer” for “chaos” that engulfed Capitol Hill early this year.
The 33-year-old has been in police custody since January, and pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstructing Congress in September.
The QAnon Shaman expressed regret at his sentencing hearing, and the judge said he believed that Chansley’s apology was heartfelt. But the 33-year-old will have plenty of time to mull it all over in prison.
UP: Gunther the German Shepherd
Some dogs have all the luck! A very wealthy canine is putting a Miami mansion that once belonged to Madonna on the market to the tune of $31.75 million. Yes, that’s right, we said a dog.
According to reports, Gunther the German Shepherd is the descendent of a dog that once belonged to the late German countess Karlotta Liebenstein. When the Countess died in 1992, she left her dog — Gunther’s great-great grandfather, also named Gunther — a multimillion dollar trust that has lasted for generations.
Gunther reportedly wears a diamond-encrusted dog collar, has a personal chef, and sleeps in the master bedroom of the eight-bedroom estate.
The handlers who manage Gunther’s trust, now estimated to be worth $500 million, said the Miami real estate market was too “hot” to resist selling the mansion.
We’re not sure where Gunther will end up after he sells the Miami mansion, but with a personal chef he’s sure to be looking up.
See you next week for What’s Up? What’s Down?