More NYTimes nepotism

Ulrich Durney gives a nice, pithy rundown of the nepotism / conflict of interest scandal at the sleazebag NYTimes Book Review. Well worth checking out:


Add a comment December 30, 2009
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SNL Cast Member Jenny Slate’s First Fu*king Show: F-Bomb, Dropped

Ouch. That hurts. New cast member Jenny Slate‘s first night on SNL. Season premiere. She’s co-starring in a skit about a biker chicks’ talk show. The word “freaking” was used a lot. And guess what: she freaking said the F-Word.

As commenter DahlELama put it: “Serves Lorne right—Michaela Watkins would never have done that.” Entirely possible! But also: maybe not? Not sure. Either way, it’s surely going to generate a nice amount of publicity for the new season, which we’ll get into tomorrow morning. In the mean time, enjoy the blowfish face of “oh, shit, Lorne’s going to have my ass on the fryer in about twenty minutes.” Let’s see if she’s in any skits next week. Or the week after. Or the week after that.

Be nice to her, Lorne. It’s the kid’s first night.

–Foster Kamer / GAWKER

1 comment September 27, 2009
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Randi and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle


Randy Quaid and his wife Evi were just arrested in Marfa, Texas, TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us they were picked up by Presidio County Sheriff’s deputies. We’re told there was a struggle and deputies had to wrestle Evi to the ground as she screamed loudly.

Felony arrest warrants had been issued for the Quaids in Santa Barbara, CA for burglary, defrauding an innkeeper and conspiracy. They’re accused of stiffing the San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara out of thousands of bucks.

UPDATE: Presidio County Sheriff’s deputies tell us Randy assaulted them both physically and verbally and resisted arrest, but they will not file charges. We’re also told the Sheriff’s office is in touch with officials in Santa Barbara County, who want Randy and Evi extradited. 

2 comments September 25, 2009
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Travolta’s Alleged Extortionists Haggle on Tape


Secret police videos have captured the alleged extortionists in the John Travolta case in deep conflict … with one defendant accusing the other of trying to settle way too cheap — this according to law enforcement sources.

As we first reported yesterday, authorities have at least two videos of paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and attorney Pleasant Bridgewater demanding millions of dollars from John Travolta’s lawyers, in return for not making a document public.
Our sources say Bridgewater is caught on tape demanding many millions of dollars, but another video shows Lightbourne outraged that Bridgewater demanded what he considered such a paltry sum. His demand was exponentially higher than hers, law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

We’re told the videos show them haggling over money — and although it’s been reported the pair allegedly demanded $25 million, we’re told they finally agreed to $15 mil.

We’re also told lawyers for Bridgewater and Lightbourne will make a motion today to suppress the videos, on grounds they were illegally recorded.

And there’s a sticky problem — we’re told one of the key Bahamian cops in the video sting was seriously injured “under suspicious circumstances” and is unable to testify.

Travolta has not finished testifying. We’re told he has left the Bahamas and will return next week to complete his testimony.

Add a comment September 24, 2009
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Blue State, Red State: Both Nuts

By Pareene / GAWKER

Public Policy Polling just keeps revealing how stupid, paranoid, and misled the American electorate is. Here are some results from their new national poll on conspiracy theories that aren’t true.

Democrats win! 25% of Democrats think Bush “intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East” (that is much more specific wording than previous polls so there is less “it’s fair to say Bush knew” wiggle room) and 12% are not sure. But a full 42% of Republicans are positive the President was not born in the United States and 22% just cannot make up their minds about where the President, who was born in Hawaii, was born.

And self-declared “independents,” once you take away the genuine libertarians and socialists and Greens and fascists who make up .01% of the electorate, remain mostly white conservatives who voted for Clinton once.

2 comments September 23, 2009
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A $64k Dinner With Sarah Palin?

So: journalist, writer, and Sarah Palin critic Joe McGinniss was outfoxed in his attempt to bid on a dinner with Sarah Palin by $3,200, bringing the final bid to $63,500. The winner, please?

Ms. Cathy Maples, who hails from Huntsville, Alabama, come on down! You’re the next diner on Iron Chef: Wasilla. Maples put in the final bid on Palin’s eBay auction for dinner with her; proceeds will go to Ride2Recovery, an organization helping wounded soldiers get by on their way back to a normal existence after getting FUBAR’d because they didn’t have the proper resources or infrastructure for their missions laid out for them, often because that money went to private, non-government defense contractors. Like the one Cathy Maples works for!

Other things Ms. Maples could’ve bid on in the auction include:

Lunch with former Bush aide Karl Rove (which went for $16,000), a “CSI: New York” set experience and party with star Gary Sinise ($4,150), and a Rob Lowe-autographed baseball jersey ($620).

Hm. Between dinner with Palin, lunch with Rove, a party with Sinise, and Sam Seaborne’s baseball jersey (?!), tough call. Maples has apparently met Palin twice before, is a huge fan, and is one of many Americans who would like to see Sarah Palin take the presidency. She has to pay for the ride up to Alaska, but can bring four people to dinner.

She says the plan right now is to bring her two grandchildren, 13 and 18 years old, their mother and the 18-year-old’s girlfriend.

Functional! A learning experience for all. Maples will be treated to America’s Best View of Russia, while McGinniss will write contritely congratulatory letterswhere he basically writes, HA, you paid all that money to have dinner with Sarah Palin, sucker:

As one of the underbidders, I salute you and congratulate you on winning the dinner with Sarah Palin. I’m pleased that my bids helped increase the total proceeds that will go to our wounded veterans through Ride2Recovery. I wish you the best for your forthcoming trip to Alaska. Although I would have enjoyed the opportunity for a frank exchange of views with Gov. Palin, I’m pleased that someone with your record of accomplishment will grace her table.

Joe McGinniss

Ah, the menu, though. Might I suggest a Black Truffle Squirrel Soup, served behind a pure Alaskan Mooseburger, topped off by—appropriately—Jeffrey Chodorow’s infamous “Baked Alaska” recipe.

The kind of food meant to stimulate an open exchange of ideas about progress, family values, dedication to one’s post, and of course, the children of children. $64K well spent, Ms. Maples. It’s no entry into Conde Nast’s Orangina-barren cafeteria, but it’ll do. It’ll do.

–Foster Kamer / GAWKER

Add a comment September 20, 2009
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Travolta will Testify in Extortion Case

Travolta extortion story

Travolta extortion story

TMZ has confirmed John Travolta will testify next week at the extortion trial involving the death of his son, Jett.

Travolta will travel to the Bahamas to testify on behalf of the prosecution. Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former politician Pleasant Bridgewater allegedly demanded $25 million in return for not going public with a document which authorized paramedics to take 16-year-old Jett to a hospital via ambulance after suffering a massive seizure.

We’re told Travolta and wife Kelly Preston are outraged by the alleged extortion plot which authorities say was concocted shortly after Jett’s death.

Add a comment September 19, 2009
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How not to get arrested for weed

Possession of a small amount of weed in New York is only punishable by a ticket and a small fine. So why do cops bring so many people to NYC jails for the same violation? They use tricknology.

Here’s how easy it is for a cop to get you to turn your own little fine-worthy misdemeanor into a night in jail, from the educators at Cannabis News:

“We’re going to have to search you. If you have anything illegal you should show it to us now. If we find something when we search you, you’ll have to spend the night in jail. But if you show us what you have now, maybe we can just give you a ticket. And if it’s nothing but a little weed, maybe we can let you go. So if you’ve got anything you’re not supposed to have, take it out and show it now.”

When police say this, the young people usually take out their small amount of marijuana and hand it over. Their marijuana is now “open to public view.” And that – having a bit of pot out and open to be seen – technically makes it a crime, a fingerprintable offense. And for cooperating with the police, the young people are handcuffed and jailed.

In other words: Make them find that shit themselves, kids. The more you know, ding ding ding ding

— Hamilton Nolan / GAWKER

Add a comment August 11, 2009
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Was Michael Jackson Murdered?


La Toya Jackson, sister of deceased superstar Michael Jackson, has told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that the King of Pop was the victim of foul play, or so she believes.

“I believe Michael was murdered, I felt that from the start,” the newspaper quotes LaToya Jackson as saying. “Not just one person was involved, rather it was a conspiracy of people.”

Jackson cited no evidence to substantiate her story, but did indicate that the “shadowy entourage” surrounding her brother was responsible for his death.

Quoting the Daily Mail:

She believes her brother was fed addictive drugs by handlers who wanted to control his moods. She says they regarded him as a ‘cash cow’ and exploited him at every turn. It was this, she believes, that led directly to his death.

La Toya summed up the situation saying, “”Michael was a very meek, quiet, loving person. People took advantage of that. People fought to be close to him, people who weren’t always on his side.”

1 comment July 14, 2009
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He’ll take Manhattan…


The New York Observer reports that Rupert Murdoch is planning to add a lavish weekend culture section to his new American flagship paper, The Wall Street Journal, focused mostly on the New York arts scene.

Has Murdoch – whose cultural commentary until now was limited to New York Post headlines like “Wacko Jacko Backo,” on the occasion of Michael Jackson first comeback tour – suddenly developed a taste for opera, ballet, or experimental video art?

Nah. He just wants to fuck the New York Times into the ground by spending money (which the Times no longer has) on a smarter alternative to the Times’ Arts & Leisure section, outdoing the Gray Lady in an area where she once excelled but where Murdoch now thinks she sucks dick.

The Observer got a couple Journal insiders to fill them in on one of Murdoch’s closed-door strategy sessions:

[Murdoch] said that The Times’ coverage was lightweight and uninteresting, according to two people present. Mr. Murdoch said if The Journal could strengthen its culture coverage, it would be easy to pluck off Times readers and advertisers.

Maybe so. But, come to think of it, how many people will still be advertising in newspapers, or even reading them, ten years from now? Not a lot.

Our bet is that Murdoch doesn’t care. If he has to siphon profits from NewsCorp’s mega-lucrative TV, cable, and internet ventures in order to put the Times out of business, he’ll do it.

Anyway, do you think he’ll cover the trans-sexual cabaret scene? If so, I could give him a few leads…

Add a comment July 10, 2009
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