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This is Olympian Adam Rippon — a self-proclaimed "glamazon bitch" and aspiring "America's sweetheart."

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

He's the first openly gay American man to qualify for the winter games. So — on top of his bronze-winning performance and viral one-liners — the historic nature of his qualifying has put an extra-bright spotlight on his stay in South Korea.


Also, he's not a fan of Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence was chosen by the White House to lead the U.S. delegation at the games. Rippon — noting the vice president's support for anti-LGBTQ public policies — wasn't on-board. "You mean Mike Pence — the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” the 28-year-old quipped to USA Today in January. “I’m not buying it.”

Many people have applauded Rippon's openly queer presence at the games and his candidness when it comes to politics. Donald Trump Jr. hasn't been one of them.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

After Rippon told reporters in South Korea he doesn't "want [his] Olympic experience being about Mike Pence," the president's son went on the offensive.

"Really?" Trump Jr. tweeted. "Then perhaps you shouldn't have spent the past few weeks talking about him. I haven't heard him mention you once???"

Clearly, Trump Jr. hadn't Googled before tweeting, because his remark isn't all that accurate. In interviews in South Korea, Rippon has largely focused on the games and his performances, only mentioning Pence when asked about the vice president directly by reporters.

At the same time, Pence certainly has mentioned Rippon.  

Pence has helped fuel the perception of an ongoing feud between the vice president and Olympian.

Rippon's remarks blasting Pence's past support for gay conversion therapy seems to have gotten under the V.P.'s skin. His press secretary Alyssa Farah responded to the accusations by Rippon as "totally false," with "no basis in fact."

But — again, for the millionth time — that's not the case.

As The New York times reported in 2016, Pence's congressional campaign website from 2000 clearly stated his support for the dangerous practice. It read: "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."

That didn't stop the vice president from brushing off Rippon's accusations and deeming the story "fake news." "[Rippon], I want you to know we are FOR YOU," the vice president tweeted on Feb. 7. "Don’t let fake news distract you."

Pence also reportedly went through the extraordinary step to set up a meeting with Rippon as well, but the Olympian — much to fanfare of LGBTQ advocates everywhere — declined the offer. (Pence's office denied the vice president attempted to arrange a face-to-face, but Rippon's agent said the reports claiming otherwise were "100% true.")

If Pence wanted this story to die in January, he's certainly done a terrible job extinguishing the flames.

In the wake of Trump Jr.'s tweet, actor Ike Barinholtz called out the president's son for causing a distraction.

"Nothing more patriotic than taunting a U.S. Olympic athlete during the Olympics," he wrote on Twitter.

Rippon replied to Barinholtz with a lighthearted quip: "The tea is exceptionally good today."

Go get 'em, Adam.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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