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AN OPEN LETTER TO REP. ANTHONY WEINER

EWWWWWWWWWW! Now, go away.

Dear Congressman,

You are cordially invited to resign office as one of New York’s representative in Congress.  I think I join a growing chorus of those who are sorry we got to see your nipples and grey underpants.  We hope to forever wash your icky twit pix from our memory.

I’m sorry you turned out to be just another narcissistic buffoon with a zipper problem.   I’m sorry for your constituents, I’m sorry for your great wife. What a great political team you two would have made: the Jew and the Muslim as the new power couple for the ages.

Sadly, that you have no impulse control makes you unfit for office, unfit to be the husband of the fantastic Huma, a woman whose very name means “bird which brings joy.”  How pathetic that her beauty, her grace, her savvy and her joy wasn’t enough to distract you from your obsessive compulsive behavior on the internet.

Wake up Weiner: we’re sick of cads like you.  If you need an engraved invitation to step down, I’ll call you from the printer’s and confirm the time of the announcement. Read the rest of this entry »

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CHRIS BROWN’S VICIOUS CYCLE: THE OUTBURST, THE APOLOGY, THE FALL OUT ***UPDATED WITH NEW VIDEO,  AND REACTIONS

***UPDATED WITH FULL DETAILS OF THE MELTDOWN


I must say, I am confused, very confused.  As we all now know, on Monday  Chris Brown performed on GMA and after went back stage and had, shall we say,  a serious anger management issue — screaming in the face of a segment producer, screaming at his manager and throwing, depending on which report you read or which staffer you talk to, either a cooler or a chair which shattered the dressing room window, sending shards of glass to the sidewalk below.   This extreme behavior because Robin Roberts asked him about the changes in his life since his court-ordered restraining order against Rihanna was “relaxed.”

***THIS JUST IN: Chris Brown threw both a cooler and a chair at different times.  After he left the set, his behavior was described as “batshit.”    He spotted a  cooler by the props department and  threw that towards the office of the executive producer. He then continued the tirade as he walked down to his dressing room.   Once he and his entourage were in the dressing room, the door was closed and  a chair was thrown thrown through the window, presumably by Brown.

Now Brown has explained what happened and apologized, sort of, not on GMA, but on BET. I, for one, think apologies should at least sound more heart-felt than obligatory. And I don’t think they should come with a soundtrack, as this does.

I also feel strongly that this one should have been directed to the GMA segment producer and to Robin Roberts who has chosen to remain publicly friendly to the star. In the BET video, Brown asks fans not to threaten Robin Roberts, as he says he’s learned  of on twitter. (No outrage on his part there, however.)

A sincere apology  should also be given to internet fans for whom he was to perform a second song before storming shirtless out of the studio. And, of course,  the hair and make-up team who were frightened enough to call security.

TMZ first published Rihannas assault photo

Chris Brown also owes an apology to the Superior Court judge who, just weeks ago, modified the court order (questions about which really ticked him off) that barred him from contacting or being near ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Part of the order  is still in effect; he’s still prohibited from  harassing or annoying her.

I wonder if Rihanna found the GMA outburst annoying or harassing.  And I wonder if it triggered any post traumatic stress disorder she might have resulting from the beating he gave her that fateful night before the Grammy Awards.

Last December 21st, Brown tweeted to fans, “‘im done with class” and sent out to fans a copy of his domestic violence course completion certificate.   In a follow-up tweet, he wrote, “i have enough self respect and decency to be proud of accomplishing this DV class.. Boyz run from there (sic) mistakes.. Men learn from them!!!thx”

After pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna,  giving her a bruised face (a photo of which would be leaked to TMZ)  the 21-year-old R&B singer was sentenced to five years probation, 1,400 hours of community service and ordered to complete that one-year domestic violence course. Read the rest of this entry »

PREDICTION: NO ONE WILL PAY NEW ONLINE ACCESS FEES
The toothpaste is out of the tube.  The public has been getting news online for years now, the most recent Pew Study showing the majority of people 30 and under use online sources as their “go to” for news.  And it’s been free.  So why does the New York Times think anyone will be willing to start paying $15 a month for the same access (after you’ve clicked on 20 times.)
As of March 28th, you’ll have to pay for anything past the home page and section fronts.  The fee for unlimited access to online content will be $195 a year.  Add on iPad access, it’s $260.  Unlimited digital access: $455.
Let’s get real.  I have been a news junkie my entire adult life.  I consume more news than just about anyone I know.  I get ill on vacations where I am removed from the news.  I have worked in the news business for three decades during which time I will take responsibility for destroying too many trees, perhaps forests. I am a heat-seeking missile for the latest coverage, the most in-depth coverage, the most creative or thoughtful coverage.  I have never balked at spending money on subscriptions for newspapers and countless magazines.  But I, for one, am not going to pay for the Times online.

Now, admittedly, I won’t have to:  my daily newspaper subscription entitles me to free access online.  I’m just sayin’, that if I was asked to, I wouldn’t.  The New York Times, and every other publication,  is going to have to figure out a more sensible business model.  Company chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is calling it one of the most significant days in the Times’s 159-year history: “Our decision to begin charging for digital access will result in another source of revenue, strengthening our ability to continue to invest in the journalism and digital innovation on which our readers have come to depend.”

I agree it’s a significant day for the New York Times.  Only I think it day that will go down  as the worst miscalculation of consumers in the company’s history.  Sulzberger seems to believe the world is invested in good journalism.   Sadly, they don’t care.

This isn’t a critique of the New York Times and what many see as its mistakes or declining standards over the past few years. This is not about Judith Millers’s war drums before the invasion of Iraq, or Jason Blair, or the embarrassment of the front page John McCain faux mistress story in the middle of the presidential campaign.

I believe the New York Times, on balance, is still an outstanding newspaper, worthy of its many Pulitzer prizes.  Their obituaries of the 9/11 victims, focusing on who they were as people instead of what they did for living, was a defining moment in journalism.  Their science, health and medical reporting is in a league of its own.  Their willingness to take on pharmaceutical companies separates them from network news which has become co-dependent. Tom Friedman, Maureen Down, Paul Krugman, I love them even when I don’t love them.  I will miss Frank Rich.

After all, a brilliant mind, even one with whom you disagree, is a terrible thing to waste.  Which brings me back to the wacky decision to charge for the New York Times online.

WILL CONSUMERS PAY FOR NEWS ONLINE?  JUST ASK RECORD EXECS HOW CHARGING FOR DOWNLOADS IS WORKIN’ FOR THEM? Read the rest of this entry »