About Us

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Contemptor is a site that is dedicated to providing unfiltered media criticism along with bluntly honest commentary on politics and popular culture. Unlike many media and culture websites, Contemptor is not interested in appealing to a specific demographic. We don’t believe in sacred cows. There are no untouchable targets or sympathetic favorites. If something is shit, we will make sure to let you know how bad it smells.

The whole point of Contemptor is to cut through all the bullshit and highlight instances where media organizations and personalities are failing at their jobs. In general, when it comes to news media, we will take great pride in calling those out who engage in the following practices:

  • Blatant pandering to politicians or political groups/figures
  • Pushing narratives in the guise of news coverage
  • Peddling obvious false information as facts
  • Spouting out hyperbole or allowing guests to do the same
  • Bait-and-switch headlines or just plain ol’ click-bait
  • Faux outrage
  • False equivalencies
  • Creating debate on topics solely for the sake of having a debate
  • Run of the mill hypocrisy
  • Purposely presenting something out of context

While the media is the main focus at Contemptor, we also will provide harsh commentary on other elements of popular culture, such as entertainment and sports. If you are looking for a biting review of a film or album, a takedown of a thinkpiece at a gossip site or a discussion of the latest trending topic on social media, Contemptor will be there.

Overall, we aren’t interested in providing you with your daily dose of confirmation bias. Contemptor doesn’t cheerlead for any powerful person, organization, party or group. Instead, we are devoted to taking them down a notch, and maybe, just maybe, getting them to do their jobs a little better.

 

THE STAFF!

 

Justin Baragona — Editor/Publisher

Justin Baragona is the editor and publisher of Contemptor. He is also currently an Editor and Writer for Mediaite. Prior to starting the site, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.

 

Darragh Roche — Senior Editor/Political News Writer

Darragh is an Irish writer and journalist with a strong interest in US and world affairs. He studied history and literature in Ireland and American studies in Budapest, Hungary.

 

Levi Olson — Editor/Senior Political Columnist

Levi Olson is a recent college graduate unimpressed with the world his generation is inheriting.

 

Becky Sarwate — Associate Editor/Political Columnist

Becky Sarwate is the current President of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, founded in 1885, as well as Recording Secretary for the National Federation of Press Women. She is a national award-winning journalist, blogger, newsletter editor and theater critic. Becky lives in Chicago with her partner Bob and their menagerie of pets. Keep up with her at beckysarwate.com.

 

 

Evangeline Van Houten — Pop Culture Writer

Daughter of a high school English teacher and an English professor, Evangeline is working on her PhD, also in English. She has one fat cat and a lot of feelings.

 

Adonis Gonzalez — Pop Culture Writer

Freelance Writer. Lover of film, television, video games, superheroes, and other landmarks of geek/pop culture. Full believer that Marvel and DC fans CAN get along! Follow me @FanJournalist to see me talk about things I’m passionate about.

 

Derek Scarlino — Contributing Writer

Derek Scarlino is an activist, teacher and dashing thirtysomething who was born and raised in Utica, NY. He has lived and traveled overseas, and has contributed material to The Inquisitr, Bleacher Report and Groove Korea, as well as his own news/views site (loveandragemedia.org). He’s no longer embarrassed to admit that he’s a giant fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently resides in Utica with his dog Chewie.

 

Maryann Tobin — Contributing Writer

Maryann Tobin is a political junkie and animal rights advocate. She won the Allvoices American Pundit Award for her reporting on the 2012 elections, and believes that if people can stand on line to buy junk food, they should also be able to stand on line to vote. Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit” available on Amazon.com.

 

Dave Kilby — Contributing Writer

Dave is a self-described “Professional Snarkist”  with several decade’s experience in media and politics. As he puts it: “I’m not everybody’s cuppa tea, but then, I don’t try to be.” if his scribblings don’t bug you too much, check out his blog: “Grumbles From an Old Grouch,” and/or his Facebook page: “Grouchy’s Grumbles.” He’d love it if you did.

 

Cole Figus — Film Reviewer

Cole Figus has a BFA degree in acting, for which he logged countless hours acting, directing, writing, producing, designing, and watching theatre and film projects. This gives him a unique vantage point from which to appraise movies both aesthetically and technically.