Debate recaps from GA and OH, a look at ‘meme stocks’: 5 Things podcast

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On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: White coaches challenge owners on NFL diversity woes

Columnist Nancy Armour explains. Plus, Georgia governor candidates hit the debate stage, U.S. Congressional candidates do the same in Ohio, the death toll rises in Nigerian flooding and trending news reporter Anna Kaufman looks at “meme stocks.”

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Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. 

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 18th of October, 2022. Today, a look inside an NFL owners meeting and pushback on the league’s diversity woes, plus debates around the country as midterms heat up and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. At least four people are dead and six missing after a Russian war plane crashed yesterday in Russia. The crash also set off a fire in a nine story apartment building.
  2. Opening statements may begin as early as today in the trial of Danny Masterson, former star of the sitcom That 70s Show. Three women say he raped them two decades ago. The trial’s key figures are all current or former members of the Church of Scientology.
  3. And Australia is dropping recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move reverses a previous government’s recognition.

Four white NFL head coaches address the owners at this year’s annual league meeting, advocating for Black coaches on their staffs. They vouched for their abilities, praising skills and leadership qualities. Producer PJ Elliott spoke with sports columnist, Nancy Armour, to find out what was said and what’s being done to challenge the league’s diversity woes.

Nancy Armour:

We’ve known for decades that the NFL has had a problem in terms of diversity of hiring at its most top level positions, particularly head coaches. And the league has done what it could and finally, really, white coaches are speaking up.

At the owners meeting at the last weekend in March, a handful of really some of the most prominent coaches in the game right now address the owners and for some it was more forthright. Whereas other people spoke of the Black coaches that are either on their staffs or they’ve had contact with or come across throughout their careers.

Andy Reid talked about Eric Bieniemy, his offensive coordinator, who’s been passed over year after year after year. Frank Reich talked about the influence that Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell have had on him. That basically, as Frank Reich told us, they spoke from their hearts and they wanted owners to see these coaches the way they see them, not as Black men, but as leaders and skilled coaches.

PJ Elliott:

What would it take for more Black coaches to get head coaching roles? Does the league need to offer additional draft picks or financial compensation to get the owners to conform?

Nancy Armour:

Well, it’s doing some of that. One of the newer rules is that if you develop a coach or front office executive who’s then hired by another team, you get compensatory draft picks. We’ve seen that with the San Francisco 49ers because they developed, in fact, I think they were given draft picks for two guys. So there’s that.

Another thing is getting these candidates in front of owners before the interview process so that when a job comes open, an owner can think, “Oh yeah, you know what? That guy who was the coach of team X, I met him at an owners meeting a couple of years ago, or I met him at an NFL seminar a couple of years ago. He was really sharp or she was really sharp.” So putting these candidates in front of owners before the interview process so they know them. It’s not just a face or candidate, it’s somebody that you have already made a connection with. And it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s the NFL or anything else, it is about connections. And if you can make a personal connection with somebody, that helps break down the systemic barriers.

Taylor Wilson:

Georgia continued to be a political hotbed last night as Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams hit the debate stage along with libertarian challenger, Shane Hazel. Kemp is fighting for his second term and previously defeated Abrams in 2018. He beat Trump backed challenger David Perdue in this year’s Republican primary after the former president went after Kemp in a series of attacks. On stage, Kemp touted his record as governor while Abrams painted a different picture.

Brian Kemp:

When I ran for governor in 2018, I promised to put hard working Georgians first ahead of the status quo and the politically correct. I said shortly after being sworn in, I would work hard as your governor every single day for all Georgians, whether you voted for me or not. I’m so optimistic about the future of our state; the lowest unemployment rate in the history of the state, the most people working and economic opportunity in all parts of our state no matter your zip code or neighborhood. Stacey Abrams said Georgia is the worst state in the country to live. Well, Marty, the girls and I disagree.

Stacey Abrams:

He promised to keep us safe, but crime has gone up. He promised to protect us, and yet he’s attacked our freedoms. He has promised to take care of our families, and yet the rising prices in Georgia are rising because he refuses to expand Medicaid, because he refuses to tackle the affordable housing crisis that we have, and he’s sitting on $400 million of our money that he will not spend to keep us under roofs and in our homes. As the next governor, I want us to have more; more money in our pockets, more protections in our lives, more freedoms in our days, and more opportunity in our communities.

Taylor Wilson:

One focus of the night was on crime and guns. Kemp said he’s going after people who are committing gun related crimes, specifically referring to street gangs. Abrams said that because of Kemp, background checks are no longer required in the state. She also said, “We can protect the Second Amendment and second graders at the same time.” For his part, Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel called to eliminate public education and urged more support for legalizing marijuana.

Last night’s debate follows a contentious Georgia US Senate debate on Friday between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. And yesterday, early voting began in Georgia. Atlanta resident Francine Sims-Gates was out there early.

Francine Sims-Gates:

I’d be crazy not to get out of my bed early in the morning to get up here and vote. If you value where you live, you vote. If you value your children, you vote. That’s your responsibility. That’s part of being a citizens of this United States of America. We worked hard for the opportunity just to vote.

Taylor Wilson:

For more from Georgia, stay with the Savannah Morning News of the USA TODAY Network.

Congressional candidates in Ohio also met on the debate stage last night. Republican JD Vance and Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan faced off for the second and final time. One theme centered on both candidates trying to assure voters that they’re their own man. Ryan said Vance sucks up to former President Donald Trump and that leaders in DC will eat him up.

Tim Ryan:

These leaders in DC, they will eat you up like a chew toy. You were calling Trump America’s Hitler, then you kissed his [expletive]. It is true. And then you kissed his [expletive] and then he endorsed you and you said he’s the greatest president of all time.

Taylor Wilson:

Vance criticized Trump on some things and accused Ryan of focusing his campaign on Trump comments about Vance. Ryan also accused Vance of spreading the great replacement theory, a conspiracy that argues non-white people are being brought into the United States to replace white voters. This was Vance’s response.

JD Vance:

What happens is that my own children, my biracial children, get attacked by scumbags online and in person because you are so desperate for political power that you’ll accuse me, the father of three beautiful biracial babies, of engaging in racism. We are sick of it.

Taylor Wilson:

For more from the race, visit the Cincinnati Inquirer of the USA TODAY Network and

The death toll from floods in Nigeria this year has now topped 600. More than 1.3 million people have been displaced with floods affecting 33 of the country’s 36 states, and at least 340,000 hectares of land have been affected, causing fears of food supply disruptions. Farmer Moses Ogudike said the situation is dire for many.

Moses Ogudike:

We are living like animals, just like fish in the water. If you go to our communities, the water have gone above the sea level.

Taylor Wilson:

Nigeria sees flooding every year, especially in coastal areas, but this year’s are the worst in more than a decade. Flooding has also made an already existing humanitarian crisis in the country worse. Armed violence, especially in the north, has displaced more than 3 million people.

Meme stocks are a unique symptom of the internet age. PJ Elliott spoke with trending news reporter, Anna Kaufman, to find out why they’ve become so popular.

Anna Kaufman:

So essentially, a meme stock is just a stock that has kind of garnered increased attention through online chatter, either in threads on Reddit or via social media. It’s kind of a stock that has an online community that has come together to build a narrative that maybe inflates the price of the stock on the market in a way that isn’t necessarily directly proportional to the fundamental value of that stock based on how the company is doing. And then sometimes these online narratives are built by the community in order to initiate what’s called a short squeeze in order to be able to have a really big payout by driving up the price of a stock.

PJ Elliott:

So Anna, are they even safe to invest in or is it even worth getting into that sort of game?

Anna Kaufman:

I would say, I’m not a financial advisor, so I won’t say specifically yes or no, but it is a more risky behavior. The value of these stocks is driven up by online chatter, not necessarily by the underlying value of the company, which makes it a potentially financially volatile investment. I think Investipedia compared it to playing the slot machines or gambling. There can be a big payout and you can win big, but it is a risky behavior because you are not betting on something that is necessarily completely connected to the fundamental valuation of the stock. So you can win big, but you can also lose big. So it’s a bit of a risk.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us every morning on whatever your favorite podcast app is. And if you have a chance, please drop us five stars and a review. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

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