News and Nonsense

September 30, 2006

CZJ 

  • T-Mobile has decided to stop paying Catherine Zeta-Jones millions of dollars to annoy millions of people on tv.  [London Times] 
  • Film piracy reportedly cost the US economy $20 billion a year, while the war in
    Iraq, government overspending, and corporate tax breaks barely made a dent.  [BBC]  
  • Tony Parker finally realized that dating Eva Longoria was ruining his future love life; by the time she finished telling all of his private business to the press, no other women would want to date him. [A Socialite’s Life] 

  • After firing Star Jones, demoting Elizabeth Vargas, and downsizing Bob Woodruff, we shouldn’t be surprised that ABC has started firing people from the staff of Good Morning America.  [Jossip]  

  • Janice Dickinson states the obvious about the fashion industry in her new book.  [Contact Music]  

  • Vanity Fair was so impressed with Jessica Coen’s skills at trashing their publication that they hired her to write for them.  [Gawker

  • Girlfriends has officially jumped the shark.  [LA Times

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News and Nonsense

June 14, 2006

Ice Cube

  • Who knew that Ice Cube was so rich?  Should we assume that he has at least $25 million to burn, because that is what it just might take to get Chris Tucker to join him for another installment of the Friday series.  Oprah would probably invite him onto her show before Chris would agree to work for scale again…  [Hip Hop Ruckus]
  • Is Paul McCartney behind the sudden media stories about Heather Mills-McCartney's alleged past as a porn model and prostitute?  [Reuters]
  • Apparently, Anne Coulter's brainless vitriol isn't even original.  [Gawker]
  • K-Fed wants to make 8 Mile 2: Straight Outta Fresno.  [The Bosh]
  • Vibe Magazine to publish a style edition, which will probably amount to nothing more than a more organized volume of advertisements.  [Jossip]
  • Jim Carrey's fan base has apparently grown up, or moved on to Will Ferrell.  [Slate]
  • The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift… even the title sounds boring, enough to make viewers drift off to sleep.  [Cake and Ice Cream]

Friday Flurry

June 9, 2006

Vivica Used to be A Fox 

  • Vivica Used to be A. Fox reportedly to join the cast of Dancing with the Stars.  Fortunately, this would mean that we would only have to see her plastic face in passing, if she's paired with a gifted dance instructor.  [HipHop Ruckus]
  • More on the Craig Scheffer Stephen Dorff (I don't know why I always get them confused) vs. Ari Gold Jeremy Piven men's room brawl.  Stephen is apparently fond of trying to reenact boxing scenes from The Power of One, and Jeremy has obviously decided that Ari Gold is such a dynamic character, that he doesn't need to be himself off camera anymore.  [Defamer
  • When Lindsay Lohan is said to be "dating several men who live overseas", are we to interpret it as meaning that she got really wild and crazy during Fleet Week?  [Mollygood]
  • Not only has Neil Strauss discovered how to use stupid magic tricks to impress drunken bar chicks in order to get laid, now he's discovered how to use his book to get money from lonely guys who really want to get laid.  [Gawker]
  • LOGO has purchased AfterEllen and AfterElton.  [AfterElton via Queerty]
  • MTV Movie Awards recap.  [Celebitchy]
  • Keith Olbermann shows us that he can actually be clever sometimes by speaking his mind about Ann Coulter.  [Humanity Critic]
  • Raz B (formerly of B2K) faces more controversy over his upcoming role on Noah's Arc, and his other brushes with the gay community.  [Rod 2.0]
  • Diane Sawyer needs a brainy type to serve as a foil to her role as the ditzy blonde now that Charlie Gibson has left Good Morning America.  [Gawker]
  • Jennifer Beals goes all the way gay, well, sort of, by serving as the Celebrity Grand Marshal at San Francisco's Gay Pride parade.  [SF Pride 2006]

“Godless”: Satan Publishes a Book

June 7, 2006

Ann Coulter

Think nothing strange happened yesterday?  Think again.  Ann Coulter released a new book, and of course it included some over-the-top nonsense bashing the 9/11 widows as being "self-obsessed" and "reveling in their status as celebrities"…

Ann Coulter is known for saying outrageous things, such as "Sen. Joe McCarthy was an American hero" and we should conquer all of the Islamic countries in the Middle East and make the people "convert to Christianity"… but this takes the cake:

"These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted… as if the terrorist attack only happened to them.  They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony.  Apparently, denouncing Bush was a part of the closure process…

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefpaparazzis.  I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much."

That is low, even for Ann Coulter.

Of course, the objective of all this is to allow her to take over the headlines for a week or two, a pattern that she has established with her other books, by starting out with something shocking enough to outrage a lot of people.  Oddly enough, she actually has a fan base, of people who really believe that the statements she makes are logical and credible.  I used to think most of what she said was so ridiculous that it was funny, but it doesn't take much for her to start spewing some truly vile things:

    • "Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy."
    • "Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do.  They don't have the energy.  If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."
    • "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is that he did not go to the New York Times Building."
    • "The problem with women voting… is that.. women have no capacity to understand how money is earned.  They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it…"
    • "Liberals love America like OJ loved Nicole."

 It is really scary that there are people out there who can't see through Ann Coulter's shock tactics.  I find it hard to believe that she actually believes the things that she writes.  No one could be that coldhearted, all in the name of being "conservative".  Her statements always tend to be erratic, as if she talks just to hear herself speak.  And whenever she is asked to back something up with fact or logic, she starts in on the tired tactic of "liberal bashing", even if she is talking to a fellow conservative.  She tends to come across as being less than sane.

This is a woman who stops short of saying that Hitler was a hero.  Maybe one day she'll write a book about that.


Emo News Reporting: A New American Trend

May 3, 2006

Anderson Cooper

Tara Taghizadeh of PopMatters takes a look at the prevalence of subjective reporting in American television news coverage:  

… In an era when network news audiences are dwindling and viewers are instead opting to receive their news from the Internet, is it only a matter of time before anchors are extinct? Or is it that anchors will have to follow in the footsteps of [Anderson] Cooper and provide a more intimate, "touchy-feely" version of the news; that is, news which is deemed more subjective, rather than objective? The networks are also facing considerable challenges from cable news (especially, the right-leaning Fox network) and the Internet. Network news gained momentum with 9/11, but since then, more and more viewers are eager to turn to cable news shows (such as Fox and MSNBC and blogs) for what appears to be personal, biased commentary (hence the popularity of the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity), and for more immediate, breaking stories which the Internet offers readily.

It has long been said that the evening news has always been about the personality of the anchor rather than about the news itself (case in point: the legendary Walter Cronkite, who was known as the "most trusted man in America"), and therefore the current lineup of anchors is merely a popularity contest. What else can possibly explain CBS' decision to hire away the bubbly, cheerful [Katie] Couric — who seems to be a perfect fit for the light fare of morning TV — to lead its serious evening newscast? Can this be explained in any way other than the "Anderson Cooper effect"? That is; that star power is far more important than the actual content of the news itself? As Tim Goodman writes in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article titled "Sure, Cooper is cute and young, but get a grip CNN" (12 October 2005):

The Anderson Cooper cult of personality must end. That may be difficult, given that he's the Poster Boy Anchor and Future of Broadcast Journalism, so perhaps merely containing him would be a start.

In another article in TomPaine.com ("Must-Cry TV", 20 September, 2005), which explains Cooper's outburst at a local politician regarding the aftermath of Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans and other Gulf areas, Richard Bradley quotes CNN boss Jonathan Klein as saying: "I think other news executives are drooling over [Cooper.] He brings a new dimension to the job, which is a concept of an anchor as a kind of missionary. It's a new model for thinking about what the anchorperson ought to be." Bradley states: "Forgive me for not salivating, but is crying on television… really what a television news anchor 'ought to be'? I don't want my newscasters to be missionaries." Read the rest of this entry »


Tuesday Trivialities

May 2, 2006

Laurence Fishburne 

  • Interview with Laurence "Don't Call Me Larry" Fishburne.  [Journal News]
  • Speaking of Larry, Samuel L. Jackson is tired of people getting the two actors confused.  It is hard to tell them apart sometimes, since they both look so much alike.  [Contact Music]
  • The Supreme Court gives Anna Nicole Smith her golddigging pass back.  [Jossip]
  • Tom Cruise might well be a celebrity terrorist.  [Digital Spy]
  • But hopefully, he's not one of the people who is sending death threats to Susan Sarandon.  [Independent]
  • Interview with Edward Norton.  [Just Jared]
  • By enlisting Jessica Alba to host its Movie Awards, MTV shows us that it doesn't even try to cater to people with at least half a brain anymore.  [Contact Music]
  • Johnny Depp to play Mick Hutchence in a new biopic.  [BiggestStars]
  • Rosie O'Donnell's biggest challenge at her new gig on The View won't be dealing with Star Jones; Rosie is contractually obligated to "keep it femme".  [Jossip]

Another Year, Another List of Annoying People

March 31, 2006

Isaac Mizrahi 

From the 2006 list of 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers:

37.  Hillary Clinton (U.S. Senator)

As she prepares for her run for the presidency—whoops, we mean senator—it’s about time liberals took off the rose-colored glasses and realized that at least some of the character assassination coming from the right is grounded in very real personal flaws. True, she is intelligent, articulate and certainly ambitious. But she’s also arrogant, aloof and detached. Her unwavering support for the president’s Iraq debacle and her relentless opposition to gay marriage have finally attracted much-needed criticism from the left. Still, we are told to avoid in-fighting. But if the “liberal” Clinton’s policies are indistinguishable from her “enemies,” what’s the point? Fact is, Clinton’s “it takes a village” outlook is the kind of bloodless bureaucratic collectivism that overlooks persons in favor of “the people.” We suspect that, had Clinton lived in St. Petersburg, she would have been the kind of apparatchik who would have had no qualms about killing a few million kulaks for the good of the peasantry. We don’t begrudge her the Chappaqua estate or the Georgetown townhouse. But some true fellow-feeling for the welfare mother in East New York or the lesbian who has no visitation rights for her lover dying in the hospital would be nice. 

33.  Naomi Campbell (Supermodel)

It’s as if Naomi Campbell has spent her entire career trying to exact revenge for Linda Evangelista butchering her last name in the 1995 documentary about Isaac Mizrahi, Unzipped. Now that she’s become a first-name-only boldface, her last name seems superfluous. But her life story continues to unspool as if John Candy’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles character was replaced by a five-foot-nine-and-a-half, gorgeous but psychotic woman. Whether hurling courtesy phones at minimum-wage employees long before the Gladiator thought of it, pushing assistants out of moving vehicles or attacking airline passengers years before al-Qaeda, La Campbell has always been ahead of her time. But if that’s not enough of a story, try her 1995 “novel,” Swan. This 359-page dog-pile has the nerve to introduce a nefarious snuff-film impresario on page 335. It’s enough to make one tell Judith Krantz she can take Manhattan, as long as she takes Naomi with her.  But perhaps dancing is more your speed. How about 1995’s disco disc Babywoman, which was huge—in Japan? Poor Naomi, the fur was flying when she was caught in Milan working the runway in mink after her debut as a PETA spokesmodel. Even wax Naomi at London’s Madame Tussaud’s required her own velvet rope after visitors repeatedly molested her. Actually we love the naughty Naomi; you’re on this list because 2005 was an endless litany of excuses for bad behavior. Whether in the House of Lords or on the house of Tyra, this year has been a nonstop whine-a-thon from the 36-year-old. Reported drug use, crazed stalker, the Dalai Lama: You already have a mountain named after you outside Madrid: La Maliciosa. It’s a swift drop after you’ve reached the Valley of the Dolls. 

30.  Isaac Mizrahi (Fashion Designer)

We remember when the poor man’s Gianni Versace seemed to be fading into well-deserved obscurity. What was there to hate? He’s graciously fat; a charming queen and, after Unzipped showed him throw his tizzies with all Supermodels In Creation bedecked in his creations, he seemed to grow quietly obsolete. It seemed to make no difference that no one actually bought his clothes when he was a couturier, until his going out of business made the front page of the Times (his biggest cheerleader). But savvy branding made him suddenly ubiquitous: at Target (giving Starck and Graves a run for their money), on the tube (taking up where the Queer Eye guys left off). Then came the Golden Globes. Seems that’s when he overstepped his boundaries and morphed from perfectly harmless court jester to an object of disdain. By honking one of Scarlet Johanseens hooters, he became a devil in a tux. At last it was revealed: Isaac is a closet hetero! 

Read the rest of this entry »