Good morning and happy TV finale week! As the shows head off to their summer homes and the graduates to their parents’ basements to wait out the recession, our thoughts of nice spring things and vacations can officially begin. It’s a media-heavy Monday update this week because New York Times columnists have been being naughty, and icy, famous editors have come out in public to thaw. But stick around for the happy video at the end!
Maureen Dowd’s Sunday column plagiarized a paragraph from a post on Talking Points Memo about the timeline of torture and Iraq. The Times has issued a correction online, and, in an email to the Huffington Post, Dowd admitted that the “line” came from a conversation with a friend, who she didn’t know had taken it from TPM. But that hardly explains how the TPM writer’s entire paragraph appeared word-for-word in her column without attribution. Whatever happened here, MoDo definitely has it coming.
Also in acidic female journalist news, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour posed for 60 Minutes last night and explained, in her rarely-heard half-British, half-American accent, why she wears her sunglasses (“they’re armor”) and why she might, in fact, be a bitch (“if requiring excellence makes me a bitch, perhaps I am.”)
Pakistan is loading up on nuclear weapons faster than we can blink (shite!), and yet, incredibly, someone in the government—or a lot of someones—were considering giving them “billions” in military aid. What on earth is going on here?
The country survived graduation weekend without any major incidents: the President spoke at Notre Dame, where he talked about abortion and kind of admitted the divisions over it are irreconcilable. And wearing a metallic red cap and gown, Bristol Palin walked across the stage at Wasilla High School and collected her diploma. She finished with a 3.497 grade-point average. No word on Levi.
Speaking of abortion, the weekend news was filled with disclosures of conservatives’ no-longer-so-secret plans to block the President’s potential Supreme Court nominees. Gay marriage, several Republican senators said, has replaced abortion as the “flash point” of the confirmation hearings, and they plan to use the spectacle to encourage donations and unite the party.
23-year-old Alexander Rybak, universally and awkwardly described as a “boyish, fiddle-wielding Norwegian singer,” won Eurovision, the world’s biggest song competition held in Moscow on Saturday. A colossal event famous for its dramatic performances, stunts and pyrotechnics, was Eurovision was briefly visited by gay-rights protesters before Moscow police rounded them up. Rybak’s song “Fairytale,” which he performed while fiddling and dancing, took the top honor.
A first look at this week’s magazines: New York’s cover story, by the always-amazing Sam Anderson, is a defense of distraction; The New Yorker has looks into Justice John Roberts’ stealthy judicial activism and an item on Todd Palin’s awkwardness; Newsweek debuts its new format with an exclusive interview with President Obama; the Weekly Standard profiles former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who’s now running to be the next Republican governor of California.
Finally, we’re to the good part: this morning’s start-your-day video, a collaboration of Andrew Bird, comic book artist Chris Ware, and This American Life: the animated musical adventure of Quimby the Mouse and his strange pet … head.
After a brief hiatus/rainout last Friday, the Morning Gossip is back with everything that the good, the bad, and the ugly did over the weekend. We’ve been leaning toward the grim news side of things lately and, well, since there never is a ton of grim news first thing on Monday morning, what better way to get started than with some good, strong breakfast juice?
The top of the news this weekend was the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is kind of like an Oscar afterparty for politicos (i.e., star-studded but still stiff and stilted, thickly populated by olds and nerds. The attending Twitterati, incidentally, referred to the ordeal as the “nerdprom.”)
The correspondents’ dinner is the annual night where the President shoots arrows into his own buttocks in front of the glutted and inebriated press, and President Obama, unlike the warm-up comedian Wanda Sykes, benefitted from some sharp joke writers. Two fake teleprompters unfurled dramatically on the stage as he welcomed the audience to “the ten day anniversary of my first 100 days.” He continued to riff on Rahm’s potty mouth Michelle’s bare arms, and coyly suggested Dick Cheney title his memoir How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People. See the full video here.
Even more entertaining was all the journos rubbing themselves against the collected stardom of D.C. and Hollywood, bursting with pertinent analysis and a landslide of Twitpics. The night had barely begun when Meghan McCain called it a “clusterf—-,” and Ana Marie Cox squealed when she met Gossip Girl stars Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick. The ever glam-hungry Daily Beast has all the further analysis you’ll need, here and here.
After the jump, the latest the British tabloids have on Michael Phelps, where Nancy Pelosi is hiding, and what movie – three guesses and the first two don't count! – topped the box office this weekend. Plus a quick roundup of what's in all of this week's magazines.
Every get that glazed-over feeling that you're reading the same news stories you read yesterday and the day before and maybe even last week? Well, it's not just you. Looking around the interwebs this morning, it's pretty clear that most of last Friday's stories – swine flu, Obama policies, Republican flailings, newspaper deaths – are all right where we left them. Even the naughty people in Hollywood didn't do anything interesting this weekend. So we present a truncated version of the Morning Gossip on this Newsless Monday:
Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney became the latest prominent GOP member to take a public swipe at Sarah Palin, asking if Time's 100 Most Influential People list (on which Palin appeared) was "a list of the most beautiful people, or the most influential people?"
In case you've been wondering where they've hidden in the five years since American Idiot, Green Day are up to Even More Important Things: releasing an album in two weeks called – wait for it – 21st Century Breakdown. Considering that last one, it could be kinda good, you know. But when they're just talking, Billy Joe and Co. never get any less insufferable.
The New York Times Company is finally listening to the Atlantic: our town's biggest newspaper has filed federal documents notifying authorities that it will close The Boston Globe, leaving the capital of New England – and the Atlantic's former hometown – without its "storied" newspaper.
We know you don't want to hear a single further word about the Hipster Grifter, but at this point, why on earth not? And if you must hear something, might as well be the best news ever: she got arrested, and hopefully will be locked up out of all our dear blogger friends' sight.
Anyway. Seriously, nothing is happening today. Well, maybe this stuff. But nothing you can do anything about, so go in peace and have a wonderful, bad news-less day.
The Chrysler Building in Manhattan.
It’s Friday, and we’re not in love with all of the sad passings we have to report this morning. Who feels like talking about Madonna when everything is dying, bankrupting, and retiring? But! Not all of those things are sad, as you will soon find out. And a special promise just for today: not one mention of swine flu.
Chrysler may be over for good; after negotiations to save it broke down, the company will enter a government-managed bankruptcy that our great President says will be quick and painless. (If it’s not, the Times warns, we’ll never see it again.) America’s third-largest automaker, which invented the minivan and owns the Jeep line, will be absorbed by the also-ailing Italian company Fiat. Here it goes, GM. Your turn.
As if President Obama doesn’t need a break from remaking institutions, Supreme Court Justice David Souter has announced his intention to retire at the end of the term in June. Souter was appointed in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, but became a reliable member of the court’s liberal wing.
Also passing is the short-lived Condé Nast business glossy Portfolio, which launched in September 2007 under the editorship of Wall Street Journal star Joanne Lipman. The magazine’s advertising revenue fell over 60 percent in the first quarter of this year. It’s epic failure, which has employees drowning themselves in alcohol, has been blamed on the collapse of the economy it was designed to cover, a lack of coherent vision, and Lipman’s unwillingness to listen to anybody.
After the jump, The Morning Gossip continues with the return of Creed, the juicy memoir of Elizabeth Edwards, and new lows in the outrageous hatred of New York media lovebirds Keith Gessen and Emily Gould.
Good morning a little bit late; hope you’ve been getting some work done. At the closing bell on Friday, we were wondering if there was any way to stop talking about torture. Apparently there is: start a global pandemic! Or at least turn all the sick birds to sick swine, and you have something new to talk about for a while. But in all seriousness, the morning’s news and gossip:
—Oh, Mexico. You just can’t get anything right, can you? First civil war over drugs, and now you’re responsible for a swine flu outbreak that is somehow getting us sick all the way here in New York. What were you thinking? Europe is ignoring us in the halls now because we associate with you. Oh well, at least one positive thing always comes out of global viruses: good M.I.A. songs.
—John Mayer had an angsty night last night. “Would you trade not being a genius for not being crazy?” (We would not.)
—Megan McAllister has called off her previous plans to marry the soon-to-be-convicted “Craigslist killer.” Probably a good call.
—The Times still wants you to believe there is an “atheism closet” that people are increasingly brave enough to come out of. Word.
—Steven Curtis Chapman was sort of the Heath Ledger of this year’s Dove Awards.
—Speaking of movies, the Odyssey is being made into one. It’s directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who was responsible for Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which really gives one confidence in this project. Confidence that we are safe to never mention it again.
—Protestant pastors are evenly split—47% on each side—over whether global warming is “real or man-made.”
Well, people, we have come to the end of another week in which a lot of the same stories we’ve been harping on just refuse to go away. Everything was about torture this week, which is sad, because really, who wants to think about all that awful waterboarding? In today’s completely curse-free edition of The Morning Gossip, we’ve got a one-sentence guide to all the torture torture, a review of what the popular people did, and a few things for you to do in the three days until we meet again.
–Rogue, angsty Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has @#$%ing had it with this torture business: on Fox’s little web TV show The Strategy Room, Shep did some on-air fist-pounding and F-bomb dropping. This is the point we know for sure that Keith Olbermann will lose his show someday.
–Torture Week roundup: Pressure continues to mount for Obama to prosecute Bush administration torturers (especially after the news that we waterboarded one terrorist 183 times). Obama said he didn’t want that, but keeps waffling and contradicting himself; it will be hard to pull off legally, will cost him dearly. Wild prediction: after we get past all the attempts to score political points with this, it probably won’t happen.
–Speaking of President Barack Obama, he’s on the cover of Time this week for the – wait for it – thirteenth time in the past twelve months. At least this time we get to see a different side of him.
–Sad Wasillan Levi Johnston, after saying he might press charges against those baby-hogging Palins, spoke with Larry King last night. He says he’s a “small kind of guy,” which, though we get what he’s getting at, is just not something most guys would say. (Also: he broke up with Bristol because “a lot of people bothered us.” Aw.)
–A dirty little prankster doctored a tape of Beyonce singing “If I Were A Boy,” and Howard Stern and people on the internet who know nothing about singing believed it was really her. Her dad threw a weird hissy fit, and then the whole story came out. Whew.
–Weekend Reading: Go out and buy a copy of Texas Monthly (the one with Joel Osteen on the cover), and read this story about the life of paralyzed high school football player John McClamrock. It will make you a better person. (Slideshow narrated by the author here.)
–If you want to at very least hate America with ever fiber of your being and at worst possibly consider ending it all, then read this here headline.
–Kevin Roose, a 21-year-old Brown University student, went undercover for a semester at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, and then wrote a book essentially saying those Christian college kids are more normal than you’d think. Oh yeah, Kevin, speaking of “having no idea,” you’re mostly right about all this, but your book’s tagline (“America’s holiest university”) is tooootally wrong.
–Note: don’t forget to be-fan the Patrol Facebook page so you can get cool little article links in your news feed and comment on them with us. All of you who beg for article comments, this is your chance.
–Miss California Carrie Prejean stared down gay blogger Perez Hilton at the Miss America pageant this week and defended her belief that marriage “should be between a man and a woman.” Miley Cyrus sweetly consoled the pouting Perez on Twitter, telling him, “Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares.”
–The Cannes Film Festival has released its official lineup for 2009, and it includes Quentin Tarantino’s Nazi gorefest Inglourious Basterds.
–New Yorkers take note: The roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens next Tuesday, and this looks like a spring art must-see.
Well, that's it for this week. Until we gather again for the latest and juicest, enjoy yourselves, and don't read anymore articles about torture or the economy.
Good morning! Spring came to New York (and probably lots of your places, too) this weekend, so we hope you were out enjoying the sun. But we were right here as always, collecting the highlights to keep you informed. There's a lot, so let's get to it:
- Kari Farrell, the law breaking "hipster grifter" currently on the loose in Brooklyn, has driven Gawker out of its everloving mind: 8+ posts in the last 3 days, which divides out to an astonishing almost-four posts per day. All of the other blogs busied themselves posting naked pictures of her. Okay, everybody, this has been fun, but, as our girl Emily Gould said way back at the beginning, this is bringing out your worst.
- The first non-baseball event in the new Yankee Stadium will star Christian prosperity gospel/self-help preacher Joel Osteen, who's holding a "Night of Hope" event this week.
- Oprah Winfrey joined Twitter on Friday. She appears to be getting along well. (She says she had a great Sunday.)
- Shockingly, no young music fans were too afraid of the economy to go to Coachella this weekend. The Times mourns the missed opportunity for a breathless recession trend story.
- Nathaniel Ayers, the insane musical genius who played a two-string cello in the streets of L.A. before befriending Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and being catapulted to the big screen in The Soloist, closed his eyes during the entire 109 minutes of the movie the first time he saw it.
- Pardon the Interruption: Last week's Tax Day thread turned into an existential unrest-fest, in which it emerged that some of you think Patrol is too dirty and/or too skeptical of Republican behavior and/or no longer cool. Alright everybody. Got beefs? Email us, don't whine in the comments. Because we really do want to hear it.
- American tennis star Andy Roddick married Brooklyn Decker this weekend in Austin, Texas. Elton John did the special music.
- The unstoppable, viral Susan Boyle hype reached its apex.
- Madonna fell from a horse in the Hamptons yesterday, suffering several bruises and minor injuries. We thought she knew how to ride like a pro, but whatever.
- Neo-Republican pundit/lust-er after Congressional hotties/gay marriage supporter Meghan McCain is speaking at a Log Cabin Republicans convention, prompting speculation that she may be becoming a gay icon.
That's enough to get off the starting blocks. Have a great Monday.
Overnight victory for the web generation! Good morning, TGIF. Here's our week-end edition of The Morning Gossip, where we break the stuff that happened while you slumbered last night, as well as catch a few items that might have slipped through our information-battered consciousnesses during the previous few days. The very latest:
- This week, star Twitterer Ashton Kutcher started a race with CNN to be the first Twitterer to have 1 million followers. It got heated last night: CNN conceded at 2:12 a.m. Eastern Time, still about 700 short as Ashton roared across the finish line, after which he gave a live victory speech on his UStream channel. Well that was cute.
- At a concert last night, Seal confirmed that he has, in fact, impregnated Heidi Klum. Now she can start looking even older!
- President Obama made a "weighty decision" to release some CIA torture memos. They say that our people kept prisoners awake for a week at a time and threw them up against a wall 30 consecutive times. Yeesh.
- The New York Observer broke the weird, fascinating story of Kari Farrell, a hipster outlaw who showed up from California to lie her way into a job at Vice, then stuck around to defraud and suck the life out of people in Brooklyn. Apparently she's still on the loose, so watch your be-flanneled backs in Williamsburg.
- Who will win this weekend in Zac Efron vs. Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Helen Mirren? You know who our money's on.
- Speaking of Efron, if you want to see the most gratuitously, dishonestly headlined news story to be published this week, it's about him and it's right here.
- The Magazine Publishers of America's advertising comparison numbers are out for this year vs. January-March of last year. Biggest losers: everybody.
- If you got depressed by all of last week's terrible Sarah Palin news, here's a chance to smile: at a campaign stop in Indiana yesterday, she brought out thousands who mobbed her for autographs.
- Today in cool things to look at: Slate's animated map of job losses. Also their fantastic architecture critic with the untypable name looks at the "Jenga" effect – buildings that look like stacks of blocks.
- Patrick Swayze is about to die.
- We'll wrap up on a happy, patriotic note: our girl Kelly Clarkson sang the national anthem at Yankees opening day yesterday (video after the jump).
Good absurdly cold Monday morning. Hope you had a great Easter – because lots of the bad people did! Here's the latest:
- The Somali pirates are dead! We have killed them. Also, we're about to kill some other kinds of pirates.
- The First Family attended Easter services at St. John's Episcopal Church, the home church of Bush family.
- Speaking of the Obamas, they finally got a puppy! Senator Ted Kennedy gave them a Portuguese water terrier like they wanted, but it's not homeless like they wanted. So they're donating to the D.C. Humane Society. (P.S. This story has a crazy journalistic sideshow.)
- The Simpson family, including Joe, Jessica, Tony Romo, and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, had a paparazzi-surrounded Easter dinner.
- Amazon stripped the rankings from several notable gay-themed books, leading to a Twitter backlash via the tags "amazonfail" and "glitchmyass."
- The Republican Party has kinda admitted to owning Fox News. Word.
- Today in the There Are Actually Hot Young Republicans After All file, there is Eric Ulrich, the new 24-year-old New York City Councilman.
- Somebody made another incredible map of the internet that probably means nothing, but is good for several mesmerizing hours of exploration.
- Hannah Montana, or, Hannah Montana, to be exact, is more popular than ever. Vanity Fair's James Wolcott is pleased that she quadrupled the sick Observe and Report.
- Kahlua sponsored a bash for the first episode of the certain-to-be-unwatchable Parks and Recreation, with star Amy Poehler and husband Will Arnett as the guests of honor.
- 47-year old Susan Boyle walked onto the stage of Simon Cowell-judged Britain's Got Talent and shocked the audience with a selection from Les Miserables. The priceless video here.
- Michael Sheen will play a vampire in New Moon, the sequel to Twilight.
Now go get some work done.
In last Friday's edition of The Morning Gossip, it was First Lady Michelle who had done a bad thing by hugging Her Highness the Queen of England. Now she has given the fruit to her husband, and he, too has eaten of the Tree of Politely Greeting Foreign Leaders. Don't they get it already? America doesn't want them to like foreigners! We don't understand what is so hard about this. Anyway, that tops our review of this week's gossip:
- This week's absurd Obamas-break-foreign-protocol drama unfolded in Saudi Arabia, where President Obama dipped his head slightly to show respect for King Abdullah. Crazy people said crazy words about it, he denied it was a show of submission, and ugh. Please.
- Billy Bob Thornton completed his progression from Oscar-winning actor to desperate musician to complete jerk.
- All the weed smoking in Vancouver was too much for Britney Spears and her crew: they left the stage for 40 minutes, refusing to return until the air had cleared.
- The most memorable moment of the 2008 presidential campaign came to life when, echoing Hillary Clinton's sly attack ad, President Obama got a 3 AM phone call … about Somali pirates.
- Kanye West embraced his odd sexual orientation.
- Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson are over after fighting bitterly and publicly and eternally. Lindsay is reportedly a wreck, but, well, that's kind of her usual.
- In the saddest sports tragedy of the year so far, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a hit-and-run car crash.
- Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester leaked a single from her upcoming album. It's called "Birthday."
- A humpback whale visited New York City via the Hudson River. It apparently wasn't impressed.
- The staff of the Los Angeles Times is displeased with the paper's latest recovery stunt: planting an NBC ad as a fake front-page news story. 100 of them have signed a petition saying the chicanery caused "incaculable damage" to the paper.
- Imogen Heap missed her self-imposed deadline for finishing her third album.
Have a great holy weekend! Be sure not to ruin it by going to see Observe and Report.
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