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Fusion’s Pot Reporter Predicts when Marijuana Will be Legal Nationwide

NerzPotFollowing the New York Times Editorial Board decision calling for the repeal of the prohibition of pot, we wanted to know the possibility of it really happening. So we reached out to network TV’s only Chief Cannabis Correspondent, Fusion’s Ryan Nerz. He says, it’s high time:

TVNewser: How big of a deal is it that the Times editorial board came to this decision?

Nerz: Pretty damn big. The country’s most authoritative newspaper is saying that the United States federal government should repeal its 40-year-long ban on marijuana. And yet, you could make the case that they are actually late to the party. For me, the real tidal shift happened last year, when a Gallup poll said that a majority of Americans favored legalization for the first time. But this is still pretty huge.

TVNewser: The Times says marijuana should be legal only for people 21 and over because of “legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains.” Do you agree with this or should the legal age be younger, say 18?

Nerz: I agree wholeheartedly with this age limit. The human brain doesn’t stop developing until at least the mid-20s, and there are credible studies that correlate marijuana use during the years of brain development to a 6-8 point drop in IQ.

TVNewser: The editorial board says the criminalization of marijuana is racist, “falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.” Is this what you’re reporting has found?

Nerz: The wording of their statement seems a little melodramatic, but the underpinnings are spot on. My reporting shows that the people making the big bucks off weed are disproportionately white, and yet the people getting busted are disproportionately black and Latino.

TVNewser: Do you expect the editorial boards of other media organizations to follow suit?

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From the Rio Grande to the Canyon of Heroes

ClintonRamosJust days after swimming the Rio Grande, Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos was glancing up at the World Trade Center, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In the continuation of a series of interviews about her new memoir, Clinton and Ramos chose lower Manhattan for their interview, which will air Tuesday night on Fusion. The conversation touches on current global crises, the political climate leading up to the midterm and 2016 presidential elections, and immigration reform.

Why Jorge Ramos Swam the Rio Grande (It Wasn’t to Get to the Other Side)

JorgeRamosSwimsNo, that’s not Jorge Ramos taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean off Miami Beach. In fact, the Fusion and Univision anchor swam across the Rio Grande as part of his Fusion special tonight on the border crises.

“I swam with my cameraman all the way to the Mexican side without actually touching the Mexican side because that’s illegal by treaty,” Ramos tells the Daily Beast. Also, even though Ramos has dual U.S./Mexican citizenship, he didn’t have his passport.

As for what it’s like:

It’s exactly what you think it is. There are very strong undercurrents, a lot of rocks and plants and a muddy bottom. If you try to stand up you might be stuck because it’s so muddy you can’t actually move your legs. It is very, very contaminated. And it’s dark. It’s impossible to look through the water. It took me about 15 minutes.

Isaac Lee Praises Fusion’s ‘Comprehensive, Truly Distinct’ World Cup Coverage

Fusion World Cup celebrationFusion staffers gathered in Miami last night to celebrate the end of the World Cup and welcome back the team who traveled to Brazil to lead the network’s coverage, including “Soccer Gods” hosts Nando Vila and Simon Carr and VP of news Mark Lima (pictured). In a note to staffers yesterday afternoon, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee called the World Cup coverage “comprehensive, truly distinct, and full of personality across our television and digital platforms”:

Nando and Simon did a terrific job anchoring our coverage in primetime with “The Soccer Gods” live from Copacabana Beach every night.  As two avid fans, they brought a level of passion, excitement, and humor to our coverage that struck exactly the right tone for Fusion. While they shined in front of the camera, it wouldn’t have been possible without Zach Rigg and Pablo Sanchis behind the scenes making them look good!

Fusion not only delivered a unique take on the action unfolding on the pitch every day, but it was the stories from the streets of Brazil that helped us stand out. From Mariana van Zeller watching the Brazil v Chile match in a favela with one of Brazil’s largest, most violent drug gangs to Pedro Andrade scoring interviews with some of the biggest soccer stars of all time includingPele and Marta. Jorge Ramos and Leon Krauze also contributed their unique insights both on “Soccer Gods” and by live-blogging several matches on Soccer.Fusion.net.

With the World Cup over and the midterm elections on the horizon, Fusion is building up its booking unit. Capital New York’s Alex Weprin has more on the new hires that will lead the effort to secure interviews with big-name guests.

Lee’s full note, after the jump. Read more

Germany or Argentina? Univision is Another Winner at the World Cup

SoccerGodsThe New York Times says the “biggest scorer” of the 2014 World Cup may be Univision.

An A1 story in today’s paper adds up what the World Cup has meant to the dominant Spanish-language U.S. network: Univision coverage has topped competitors ABC/ESPN in markets including Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. The network has averaged 80 million viewers, or about 60 percent more than the 2010 tournament. Univision has carried the World Cup since 1972. But this will be the final tournament until at least 2026. Univision rival, NBCU-owned Telemundo outbid Univision for the Spanish-language rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Over on Fusion, which is a joint venture between Univision and ABC, the host of “The Soccer Gods” Nando Vila and Simon Carr, gave their predictions for today’s Germany-Argentina final to Univison News anchor Jorge Ramos. Says Vila: “Simon, before the tournament, predicted that Germany was going to win. I predicted that Argentina was going to win… so we have a lot riding on this, mainly our entire credibility.”

Fusion Ponders Brazil’s Speedo Obsession

With the World Cup winding down in Brazil, Fusion’s Mariana van Zeller took to the beaches of Rio in search of the answer to one last important question: why do Brazilian men love their Speedos so much?

“It’s practical, it’s sexier, it dries very fast,” one woman told her. “You get a better tan line. With shorts, you’re all white,” a Speedo-wearing man responded. Watch:

In Profile: Stacey Dash, Alicia Menendez

DashStaceyNew Fox News contributor Stacey Dash talks with the New York Post about her dating life:

For now, Dash says she’s just trying to get a hold of the whole “dating thing.” “It’s liberating, but it’s mind-boggling,” says thrice-divorced Dash. While she claims not to “judge anyone by their political standings,” Dash admits a recent date ran afoul for just that reason. “He was very, very liberal and kind of hippie-ish and, you know, that didn’t quite work out well,” says Dash, who’s also working on a memoir, “Not Black Enough.” The LA-based actress says that while she’s in town for Fox, she’ll test the NYC dating scene. “You know, New York men, they have a little bit more swagger, which I like.”

aliciamenendezFusion anchor Alicia Menedez talks with Cosmo about what led her to the ABC/Univision net:

“I really wanted to prove that I could do more than politics, so I also looked for opportunities that focused on pop culture. Even in my writing, I tried to make a pivot to more socio-cultural issues. When I was booked on political topics, I would try to find a cultural entry point that I could speak to instead of remaining only in the politics box. In my real life I am interested in politics, yes, but I’m also interested in pop culture, I’m interested in all those conversations we have with our friends about sex, about money, about relationships. I needed to reintroduce myself to people in that way.”

CNN ‘Confused the Sh*t Out of’ Alicia Menendez

MenendezEarlier in the week, Fusion’s Alicia Menendez took on CNN’s controversial tweet penned during its “Documented” documentary Sunday night. The tweet urged users to answer whether the documentary’s central figure, Jose Antonio Vargas, should be deported.

“Last night, CNN confused the sh*t out of me,” Menendez said.

“I’ve spent two hours watching a film that articulated the myriad ways that deportation is a non-starter, and now you want to engage in a paradigm that you just invested two hours of airtime tearing down?”

One thing to note: CNN’s tweet asking whether Vargas should be deported didn’t go out after the two-hour “Documented.” CNN tweeted it 10 minutes into the documentary.

WATCH:

Read more

Jason Farkas, Cullen Daly Bolt for CNNMoney; Jane Spencer Joins Fusion

  • CNNMoney continues its hiring spree, poaching two more from Bloomberg. Jason Farkas, a daytime executive producer and Cullen Daly, a coordinating producer, will be joining the CNN brand, which split from TIME Inc.’s Money magazine last month. Daly will be Senior Producer, leading the originals video team while Farkas is taking a leadership role in original series and programming. CNNMoney hired away Bloomberg reporter Christina Alesci last month.

  • Jane Spencer joins Fusion tomorrow as Editor-in-Chief of all digital platforms. One of the founding editors of The Daily Beast, Spencer was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong and New York. She’ll be based in Miami for the ABC/Univision network. Spencer joins other recent digital hires including Anna Holmes, Felix Salmon and Mariana Santos.

Isaac Lee on Fusion’s Political Coverage

isaac lee bloombergIn an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee talked about his network’s approach to political coverage going into the 2016 election. “We are not Democrats, we are not Republicans. We are awake, pro-Hispanics and we take into consideration what is important to the audience,” Lee said.

“In 2016, all of the millennial generation will be eligible to vote. The election is going to be defined by Hispanics and millennials. So they have to play their politics smart,” Lee said. “We are just going to do what’s right … we will inform with every possible tool we have, and we will let them make their minds and their choices.”

Watch after the jump. Read more

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