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‘This is just cruel’: Viewers tear into ABC for airing brutal ‘Bachelor’ footage

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For once, ABC’s promise of the most dramatic season finale ever for “The Bachelor” actually lived up to the hype. And it was excruciating.

As the tabloids have been hinting for days, Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. did the worst possible thing during Monday night’s episode[1]: After proposing to Becca Kufrin, he changed his mind and broke up with her. Because he couldn’t stop thinking about the runner-up, Lauren Burnham.

The cameras showed Arie and Becca in the weeks after the proposal (which occurred last fall), joyously spending secret weekends together so they wouldn’t spoil the result of the show before it aired. Then all of a sudden, the show cut to a scene of Arie walking sadly in the rain. Something had changed.

“I told Becca I would choose her every day and I know I made that commitment, and it kills me that I’m going back on that, but I have to follow my heart,” Arie told the camera. “Just thinking about the possibility of something with Lauren is making me want to risk it all, because I really feel like I made a mistake.”

What followed was stomach-turning television, as Arie informed host Chris Harrison and the producers that he was going to dump Becca. So, as apparently contractually obligated, cameras followed along as he blindsided Becca with the news of their broken engagement.

The whole scene was very upsetting to watch, as Becca started out thinking she was spending a romantic weekend with her fiance — and then ended up wracked with sobs as the cameras eagerly captured every moment of their surprise breakup. It was all spliced together with shots from a live special hosted by Harrison, who repeatedly gushed to the audience that it was “the first uncut, unedited scene in reality TV history.”

“To say this is trending and blowing up social media right now is a gross understatement,” Harrison exclaimed.

This was true — partly because many viewers were furious with ABC for airing the footage that showed Becca in so much pain. (As she cried, she repeatedly tried to get Arie to leave, and he refused.) Overall, it seemed like an especially uncomfortable invasion of privacy, a special achievement considering it’s hard to have sympathy for people who voluntarily signed contracts to be on a reality show.

Even former cast members of “The Bachelor” thought the show went too far.

“I don’t like this one bit. Shouldn’t have filmed,” tweeted Sean Lowe[7], who starred as the Bachelor on Season 17.

“Great idea, let’s take this major moment of heartbreak to gloat about how this is blowing up on social media?” wrote Taylor Nolan[8], a contestant on last season’s “Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise.”

“I get it. It’s a TV show,” tweeted Trista Sutter[9], who starred as the first Bachelorette in 2003. “But why must you make the soon-to-be-broken-hearted vocalize just how in love they are full well knowing just how much those very words are going to slap them in the face @BachelorABC?”

Before the episode aired, creator Mike Fleiss and ABC executive Robert Mills urged viewers to stay calm. Fleiss[10]: “Please try to have sympathy for all involved [tonight]. These are real people with real emotions.” Mills[11]: “Let’s also remember that these are real people with real feelings so please be mindful and respectful of that.”

Viewers ignored this advice, as Arie’s social media accounts were flooded with furious comments[12]. And people continued to vent on Twitter.

… and so on. In the closing minutes of the show, Harrison welcomed Becca to the live TV special. Looking very unhappy, Becca said it was “brutal” to watch the footage.

“I feel like I kind of blacked out,” she said. “So much was going through my mind, I couldn’t take it all in or even focus on what I wanted to say.”

Becca has even more to say, and good news! Harrison reminded everyone that on Tuesday night, the network gave them two additional hours to air a special “After the Final Rose,” where Becca will be reunited with Arie and the drama will continue.

Read more:

Why this ‘Bachelor’ expert always feels sorry for the final couple in the finale[21]

‘The Bachelorette’ finale was an actual nightmare — but it was pretty good TV[22]

Is ‘The Bachelor’ making me dumb? I hopped in an MRI to find out.[23]

References

  1. ^ during Monday night’s episode (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ The worst moments from an awkward ‘Bachelor’ finale that just kept going (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ #TheBachelor (twitter.com)
  4. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  5. ^ #TheBachelor (twitter.com)
  6. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  7. ^ tweeted Sean Lowe (twitter.com)
  8. ^ wrote Taylor Nolan (twitter.com)
  9. ^ tweeted Trista Sutter (twitter.com)
  10. ^ Fleiss (twitter.com)
  11. ^ Mills (twitter.com)
  12. ^ flooded with furious comments (www.instagram.com)
  13. ^ #TheBachelor (twitter.com)
  14. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  15. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  16. ^ #TheBachelor (twitter.com)
  17. ^ #TheBachelorFinale (twitter.com)
  18. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  19. ^ #TheBachelor (twitter.com)
  20. ^ March 6, 2018 (twitter.com)
  21. ^ Why this ‘Bachelor’ expert always feels sorry for the final couple in the finale (www.washingtonpost.com)
  22. ^ ‘The Bachelorette’ finale was an actual nightmare — but it was pretty good TV (www.washingtonpost.com)
  23. ^ Is ‘The Bachelor’ making me dumb? I hopped in an MRI to find out. (www.washingtonpost.com)

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Houston Recalls Legacy of George Bush, Its Lone Star Yankee and Senior Booster

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HOUSTON — Inside the airport that bears his name, George Herbert Walker Bush looks, at a distance, as if he’s wearing a cape.

An 8-foot-tall bronze statue at the Houston airport shows Mr. Bush, who , Barbara Bush[4], who died in April at the age of 92. After Mr. Bush’s death on Friday, Houston lost its two most famous residents in the span of seven months.

“George H.W. Bush served with valor and integrity as the 41st president of the United States,” Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, said in a statement. “But to Houstonians he was one of our most esteemed and relatable neighbors. He and his wife, Barbara Bush, were our sports teams’ biggest fans, and boosters for everything Houston.”

This was the man whose most memorable quote in years had to do with men’s hosiery. In 2012, as his fondness for wearing bright eye-catching socks was going strong, he explained that he simply “likes a good sock.” At his wife’s funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Mr. Bush wore a pair of socks with a colorful stack-of-books design, a tribute to Mrs. Bush’s advocacy work for family literacy.

In Houston and its surrounding suburbs, Mr. Bush had not only an airport in his name but a park, a high school and a few more life-size statues. Above Buffalo Bayou, a bronze statue of Mr. Bush looks out into the distance with his hand in his pocket, gazing at, of all things, James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state and Mr. Bush’s tennis partner at the Houston Country Club. The statues of the two close friends face each other in the downtown park, separated by about 100 yards, in Houston’s oddest and longest-running staring contest.

“All I can do now,” Mr. Bush told The New York Times in 2011 about the statue, “is hope that the pigeons will be kind and gentle.”

Charles C. Foster, a Houston immigration lawyer and a longtime friend of the Bush family, came up with the idea for the George H.W. Bush Monument, which was unveiled in 2004. Mr. Foster recalled the day he sat in Mr. Bush’s office at 10000 Memorial Drive and asked for his blessing for the project.

Image
Mr. Bush in 1970, when he was a congressman.CreditAssociated Press

“He looked at me and he sort of looked up at the ceiling,” Mr. Foster said. “He pointed to the ceiling and said, ‘Shouldn’t you wait until I’m up there?’ And then he said, pointing downward, ‘Or perhaps down there?’”

In 1990, Mr. Bush helped turn the eyes of the world to Houston.

As president, he brought thousands of reporters and foreign dignitaries to Houston that summer for the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations, an annual gathering of the world’s economic powers. The summits had been held in a number of global cities — London, Tokyo, Paris, Venice — and Mr. Bush made the case that his adopted hometown belonged among such world-class company.

Houston was scrappier back then. The city was rebounding from an oil bust in the 1980s that crippled the economy, and it tried hard to present its best, and cleanest, face to the cameras and the visitors, picking up millions of pounds of trash, repaving roads and enlisting the aid of 12,000 volunteers.

“That was huge for Houston,” Mr. Foster said of the 1990 summit. “When the president had a chance, he could have picked some mountain retreat. But he picked his hometown. He was well aware of the chip on our shoulders that we didn’t feel like Houston got the recognition that it should.”

Now, with 2.3 million residents (compared with 1.6 million in 1990), Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, known as much for its diversity as its energy-capital status. George Bush High School, part of the Fort Bend school district, is 43 percent Hispanic, 38 percent black, 12 percent Asian and 4 percent white. More than 90 languages and dialects are spoken in the district.

Early Saturday morning in the upscale Tanglewood area, Houstonians paused at the gates at South Post Oak Lane and North West Oak Drive — the entrance to the gated community where Mr. Bush lived. Someone draped an American flag in the center of the gates, decorated for the holidays with Christmas wreaths.

Shirley Matthews, 66, a lifelong Houstonian who lives nearby, walked up and took a picture of the memorial for her mother. “He was just a good person,” she said. “He wasn’t perfect. But it’s family, and we love each other.”

References

  1. ^ died at his home here on Friday (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Read the obituary of George H.W. Bush. (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ the funeral for his wife (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Barbara Bush (www.nytimes.com)

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A Close Race, a Mysterious Ballot and Control of Alaska’s House at Stake

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With a crucial legislative seat in Alaska teetering toward a tie earlier this month, lawmakers in Juneau braced for the possibility of a coin toss deciding control of the state’s House of Representatives. Then a mysterious extra ballot emerged that threw the process into further disarray.

Amid several counts, the latest coming on Friday afternoon, a single ballot drew scrutiny across the state.

The state’s review board certified the race, between Kathryn Dodge, a Democrat, and Bart LeBon, a Republican, as a tie earlier this week, with exactly 2,661 votes going to each candidate. The extra ballot, for Ms. Dodge, could have settled the race for the Fairbanks-area district seat.

Later on Friday, the mystery appeared to have been solved — but the standoff over who won the election continued.

Samantha Miller, a spokeswoman for the state elections office, said that workers at Fairbanks’s No. 6 precinct told officials that a woman had come into the polling place to request a special needs ballot on behalf of her husband, who was outside in a vehicle.

The woman came back into the precinct. Her husband had made a mistake, she told the precinct worker, and needed a new ballot. She left behind the one he had already marked, thus making it a spoiled ballot.

The precinct chair told the worker who took the spoiled ballot to put it into a secrecy sleeve, “and that they would deal with it later in the day,” Ms. Miller said.

But instead, the spoiled ballot was put into a compartment with other questioned ballots.

Typically, Ms. Miller said, spoiled ballots are destroyed once they are accounted for. So, because the mystery ballot was found to be spoiled, it will not be counted, she said.

Still, that left the question of what happens if the recount that began on Friday afternoon ends in a tie — again.

Ms. Miller said that both candidates had five days to file a legal challenge to the results. And if the court decided the recount went as it should have, and the race was still a tie?

The prevailing candidate would be determined “by lot,” Ms. Miller said. “It could be a coin toss or some other way of deciding, as long as it’s random.”

It would not be the first time an Alaska race was determined by coin toss.

In 2006, State Representative Bryce Edgmon[1], a Democrat from Dillingham, beat the incumbent, Carl Moses. Mr. Moses’s name was drawn, so he got to make the call: Heads.

The state’s elections director at the time flipped an Alaska Mint medallion — the side with a walrus being heads and the side with the state seal being tails. It landed state seal side up.

Ms. Miller would not speculate about when the recount would be complete, but said both candidates were present, along with observers and officials.

Mr. LeBon did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Sara Harriger, a spokeswoman for Ms. Dodge, said in a statement that during Friday’s recount, one additional vote was found for Ms. Dodge and a challenged ballot was allowed for her opponent, Mr. LeBon, which meant that the tally stood at 2,662 apiece. Still tied.

Ms. Dodge said in a statement that she believed every legally cast ballot should be counted. “I just want everyone watching this process to take away a sense of confidence in our democratic system and a commitment to cast their votes in future races,” she said, “and knowing that their votes will matter.”

Ms. Dodge had said earlier on Friday that legal action “unfortunately” seemed probable.

“It’s certainly not what any of us expect when we set out to campaign, to find ourselves in a squeaker of this nature,” she said. “I hope we don’t have a coin toss. I don’t know quite what to say, but it doesn’t feel like it’s an appropriate way to settle an election.”

In Alaska, the repercussions of this race will be felt into the next legislative session, though party control of the House in Juneau will be far from clear-cut.

Political coalitions in Juneau do not always come down to party-line votes like in other state houses. Even if Ms. Dodge wins the race, Democrats would still not have an outright majority, and so members of the House will still be tasked with negotiating a coalition majority.

References

  1. ^ Bryce Edgmon (akleg.gov)

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3 Killed After Pickup Truck Fleeing Border Patrol Hits Tire Spikes and Crashes

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Three people in a packed pickup truck were killed on Thursday afternoon after the driver ran over tire spikes and crashed on a Southern California highway while trying to flee Border Patrol officers, the authorities said.

The officers turned on their vehicle’s emergency lights and began chasing the pickup truck on Interstate 8, near Boulevard, Calif., at around 4:20 p.m., according to the United States Customs and Border Protection. The authorities said they believed that the pickup truck had been illegally driven over the southern border and had crashed through an “iron bar vehicle barrier.” They said they identified it by matching a piece that was missing from the truck to one agents had spotted on the ground near the border, though they did not elaborate.

The pickup truck reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour, weaving between cars and bypassing others on the side of the highway, before it drove over spikes that the Border Patrol had placed on the road, the California Highway Patrol said. About a mile later, the truck spun out of control and flipped over, ejecting the nine people who were riding in the truck’s bed, the authorities said.

A woman inside the truck, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was killed, as were two people riding in the bed, the police said. Seven people who had “multiple serious injuries” were taken to the hospital, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said.

The driver, a United States citizen whose name was not released, was the only person wearing a seatbelt, the agency said. The California Highway Patrol took the man into custody, but it was not clear whether he had been charged. The identities of the passengers in the truck have not been released either.

“The investigation into the smuggling incident is ongoing,” the spokesman said in an email, “and the Border Patrol is fully cooperating with the CHP in their investigation of the collision.”

About an hour after the crash, the Border Patrol stopped another vehicle that officers believed had crossed over the border with the pickup truck, the agency said. The driver of that car was also arrested.

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