Meet The Right-Wing Reality Show ‘Rabbi’ Hustling His Way Into the Trump Campaign

May 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Shmuley Boteach promotes himself as “America’s rabbi” and “the most famous rabbi in America.” A man of many hustles, he has inserted himself as political liaison to far-right pro-Israel casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, close confidante of Senator Ted Cruz, spiritual guide to Michael Jackson, pal of Oprah Winfrey, soulmate of Eli Wiesel, buddy of Senator Cory Booker, star of his own reality TV show,  and bestselling self-help author of Kosher Sex. This month Boteach scrambled between a meeting with Donald Trump, whose candidacy for president he recently endorsed, and a ritzy gala for his own organization, thrown on the solemn Holocaust Memorial Day, at which he bestowed special honors on the former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson and Yoko Ono, among other dignitaries.

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Greg Schwem: Parents, Think Twice Before Posting Those Prom Pics

May 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

I dread opening my Facebook feed during May.

Sandwiched in between the inevitable pro-Trump/Hillary rules/Feel the Bern/Moving to Canada rhetoric are…

Read more: Comedy News, Humor, Satire, Parenting, Prom, Social Media, Facebook, Instagram, Teenagers, College Graduates, Comedy News

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Tribune Gets $70.5 Million Investment, Rejects Gannett Offer

May 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

May 23 (Reuters) – Tribune Publishing Co, owner of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, said Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has invested $70.5 million in the company, becoming its second largest shareholder.

Tribune also rejected Gannett Co Inc’s latest takeover offer of $15 per share, but said on Monday that it would allow Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, access to some confidential corporate information. Reuters first reported the news Sunday.

Tribune’s shares closed down 15 percent on Monday.

Soon-Shiong, through his fund Nant Capital LLC, will hold about 12.9 percent in Tribune and join the publisher’s board as vice chairman on June 2.

Soon-Shiong, a South African-born surgeon, is part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and a founder of two drug companies, which he sold for a total of $8.6 billion.

Nant Capital has also entered into a standstill agreement with Tribune, limiting its ability to raise its stake in the publisher.

Soon-Shiong is also chairman and chief executive of biotech company NantKWest Inc and is one of the highest paid chief executives in America. He took NantKWest public last June.


While Tribune rejected Gannett’s latest takeover offer, it invited Gannett to agree to a “mutual non-disclosure agreement” to share information about a potential deal. The agreement, which has not been signed by either company, has become a source of contention.

Gannett first said in a statement that the proposed non-disclosure agreement “would require Gannett to effectively cease any public proxy solicitation or other public pursuit of a transaction.”

Tribune, in response, said that the agreement it offered does not prevent Gannett from continuing to pursue its withhold campaign or other proxy contests.

Gannett responded by saying the agreement does not have a restriction against a proxy contest, but it does restrict public disclosures that could inhibit a proxy fight. It said Tribune is asking Gannett not to include references to discussions or negotiations in proxy statements or tender offer documents, and that its advisers are preparing a revised version.

Last week, Gannett asked Tribune Publishing shareholders to withhold support for the latter’s eight nominees to the board of directors at its annual meeting June 2.

Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc recommended that Tribune shareholders vote for the nominated directors.

Oaktree Capital Management LP, a major shareholder of Tribune, is also pushing for a deal with Gannett and urged the company to form an independent board to consider the proposal.(

(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru and Liana B. Baker in San Francisco; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Leslie Adler)

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In Adelson’s Newsroom, Looser Purse Strings and a Tighter Leash

May 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

In late January, about a half-dozen reporters from The Las Vegas Review-Journal gathered at a colleague’s apartment after work.

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Paul Lander: Direct Link Between Listening to Barry Manilow Songs and Diabetes Shown

May 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

The American Diabetes Society released a study showing a direct link between listening to Barry Manilow songs and diabetes. The study’s findings should cause alarm for those over-exposed to the sugary sounds of Manilow.

Read more: Satire, Comedy News

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Does Facebook Make You Narrow-Minded?

May 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

That’s the thrust of Frank Bruni’s thoughtful column in the New York Times where he references social psychologists to assert that we’re turning into “culturally and ideologically inflexible tribes.”

By bookmarking given blogs and personalizing social-media feeds, we customize the news we consume and the political beliefs we’re exposed to as never before. And this colors our days, or rather bleeds them of color, reducing them to a single hue. We construct precisely contoured echo chambers of affirmation that turn conviction into zeal, passion into fury, disagreements with the other side into the demonization of it.

Yes, we’ve all seen that kind of Facebook free-for-all, most recently between the Sanders and Clinton camps–though it can be about anything and happen within minutes.


But before Facebook was so popular, how many people who use it ever bothered to read editorials expressing political opinions opposite of their own? How many Fox News watchers, for instance, spent an equal amount of time with MSNBC? And how many fans of Michael Signorelli regularly listened to Rush Limbaugh?

Is it possible that we were already fragmented and refractory, and Facebook has just made that more visible? Bruni maintains that “we’re sorting ourselves with a chillingly ruthless efficiency. We’ve surrendered universal points of reference. We’ve lost common ground.” Did we ever have it? Haven’t we always been cranky and disputatious? Facebook (and Twitter) just makes it easier to express our refractory selves.

Truth be told, without Facebook, I likely wouldn’t watch clips from Fox News at all. I also wouldn’t read about various politicians’ outrageous comments (the real ones, not the ones Snopes exposes as fake). And without the Internet itself, I wouldn’t read conservative columnists like Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post or Bruni’s colleagues Ross Douthat and David Brooks.

I haven’t ever tended to socialize with right wingers or conservative Christians, though I have read books by authors like Dinesh D’Souza–so I’m much more likely to find those views on Facebook (even if they’re framed by someone’s mockery). I might actually be more exposed to them than before.

Facebook brings me news and opinions from a wider variety of sources than I would ever locate on my own, thanks to a polyglot, fiercely curious, international group of friends. My feed is full of surprises thanks to their wide reading. But I’m not any more likely to be won over by cyber views I disagree with than I would be in person. I don’t think I’ve changed, necessarily–the speed of access and commentary has. Is the sky falling? Maybe not.

Lev Raphael is the author of The Vampyre of Gotham and 24 other books in genres from mystery to memoir that you can find on Amazon.

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Weatherman Freaks Out Over ‘Gigantic’ Spider Live On Air

May 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

A meteorologist got the fright of his life when what looked like a gigantic spider appeared on his weather map during a live report.

Bryan Hughes emitted a high-pitched scream as the arachnid crawled across a camera lens just before he was going to forecast the weather for West Virginia on WOWK 13 News on Thursday.

“Argh! Jeez Louise!” he cried out in terror, even though the spider was clearly only normal sized — but appeared much bigger on the screen following its projection.

Hughes walked away in a bid to compose himself, before adding. “Why did that just happen? I nearly lost my lunch. Oh man, saints alive, we’ve gotta get out there and kill those things.”

I couldn't help it. Honestly! I screamed like a little girl. Now, where's the matches and gasoline?!?

— Bryan Hughes (@bryanweather) May 19, 2016

Video of his hilarious broadcast was posted online, and Hughes soon became a viral sensation.

As the footage spread across the world, Hughes later tweeted he “couldn’t help” screaming out. “Honestly! I screamed like a little girl,” he wrote. “Now, where’s the matches and gasoline?”

But things could have been much worse. 

At least the arachnid didn’t touch him — unlike fellow weatherman Aaron Perlman, who was reporting the morning forecast on KBFX in Bakersfield, California, in 2014 when a live spider fell down onto him from the ceiling.

Double urggh!

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8 Transition Steps From Blogger to a Multi-million Dollar Brand

May 20, 2016 by  
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I will never forget the impression on my face when I first heard that someone in the US could make a living by blogging. That was eight years ago. Five years later, I not only could see that this works in Europe, but I could experience it in my own life. After five years of blogging my blog got huge, we published seven books, and my income started to increase. But there’s always the next step and a motivation factor attached to it. For me, it was seeing stories about bloggers from Europe who could make it happen, like Kristina Bazan, Chiara Ferragni or the handsome Mariano Di Vaio who, when I saw at LAX last October, I only could stand dumbfounded instead of saying hello to him. That’s what social media does. You pick your heroes and you start building them into your daily life. You become the part of their story, and you got shocked when you see them live.


But what happens, when one day they wake up and someone signs them? What happens when yesterday they were alone in this one-boy-band structure, but starting tomorrow they have management by their side, which hands all the boarding passes to them, and brings in big deals by sponsors? Daniel Saynt, futurist, startup advisor, founder of influencer casting agency Socialyte was sharing insights about all of this over a breakfast in Soho, Manhattan.

1. Exclusivity

While I was in Manhattan I met with several influencer agencies. Most of them don’t ask exclusivity, and there are several who only work with instagrammers who have smaller following base. But when I ask Daniel about this, he says, their agency asks exclusivity:

We represent 70 talents exclusively. We have a couple big ones signed, for example, Adam Galla and Jessica Wang. We have a really good net identifying talents early. We look at their content, we have interviews with them. If we feel like someone can actually grow, we start working with them. Now we are becoming more selective, we get a lot of application.

2. Education

Most of the bloggers when they start out they don’t want to be huge. They just do what they love, and one day they realize the business potential in it. Of course, there are examples of the opposite, when someone completely clear about the next steps and the goals. In both cases when an agency provides education, that can change the game and help the brand grow faster.

We teach them how to use an editorial calendar, we teach them about apps, we make sure they care about the trending topics, we connect them with photographers and videographers, we make them sure we provide great products for their contents, we have a whole travel program, so when they fly around the world they don’t pay at all, plus they get paid for travelling. We have a division just dedicated to brand opportunities, we develop all these deals.

That makes sense.

3. Management = Growth

Just imagine when a blogger does this all on her own. That’s a lot to handle. All the media releases, all the events, the sponsor deals, finding the perfect photographer, booking the next trip and talking about prices with sponsors. After awhile it’s just getting too much to handle alone. That’s when a manager comes into the picture.

“Our talents work 80 hours a week. They are constantly on their phone, they lose relationships because of it,” says Daniel. Can you imagine how they manage to survive their private life while there’s so much to do? I guess, that’s the reason why most influencers have their boyfriends as a photographer or team member- we see a couple of examples where it worked out, and we see more when it doesn’t (just see Kristina Bazan and James Chardon’s story).

very talent works with us gets three people. There is someone who is dedicated to the talent, managing their deals, dedicated to sales, outreach brands, and manages all the incomes, and someone who manages execution, they make sure they have the time when they have to post, make sure to do copywriting, their calendars are set and organized for them.

It’s doable when you have a team supporting you.

4. Fake it till you make it

This is the most important mindset behind building a personal brand. Even Scooter Braun says the same about his beginnings to Lewis Howes in his interview:

I would spend all the money I made on Thursday night parties, on Tuesday night parties where I was the only white boy. They let me in for free because they were so amused that who is this white boy? They saw me poppin’ the bottles, hanging out with these girls, and I wasn’t drinking anything. I sent them bottles. And they said: “What are you doing? I wanna come to your party!

The situation is the same in the very beginning. You can have 10,000 followers and this can be enough to have coach clients, but what you do is you fake it till you make it. You will say in your videos that this client and that client said this and that while you don’t even have a client. Numbers sometimes are important, sometimes doesn’t — but this is what my next post is about.

5. Fake likes — Fake bags — Fake lives

You don’t have to be professional to see whether the following base is fake or not. But what we need to realize is that with every year there are more and more influencers who has millions of followers, and these people are not buying likes. This is doable.

Of course, a lot of people buys fake likes and followers. It’s doable that way, it’s not as authentic, but sometimes you can catch up with that and finally numbers will make sense, but it’s hard. It’s so easy to do and it’s so much money to make. And I think that’s the biggest problem we face right now.

6. Authenticity

But what happens when all these fake tools become real? When they wake up and they live the life they imagined for themselves? When all the fake Louis Vuitton bags? Some of them just forget about authenticity.

Sometimes happens that you give attention to people, in the beginning they are really grateful but later as they see how they grow, they lose the authenticity what the authenticity appreciated. We’ve seen a lot of talents having a bad reputation, there are influencers we no longer work with no matter how big they are.

7. Handle criticism

This world is not for everyone. These talents sometimes show their private life, and become the target of trolls. One of the first bloggers who got hate was Chiara Ferragni, when she broke up with his boyfriend and started dating with an another one. The first time she posted about it, the amount of hate she got was insane.

Everyone was so upset with her. You kind of just deal with it. For her particular she was one of the first bloggers who had a hate site about her. When she has started growing in Italy, she was on MTV, and people were like her bags are fake, what is true a lot of times in the beginning? But that’s how you do it. You fake it till you make it. That’s how stuff happens. You don’t have 10 000 dollars for a Louis Vuitton bag, but you just start out with a fake bag. It works very very quickly. It looks good, luxury, and you post it more often, the brands will pay attention.

But my all time favorite is Mariano Di Vaio who once said in an interview, that since he doesn’t understand most of the language his followers speaks, he doesn’t understand the comments too, so he doesn’t care about negative criticism.

8. Transition from blogger to a multi-million business

The thing what all the agencies try to avoid is the time when a talent says goodbye since he realizes the money he can earn if he has his own team. Of course, in the beginning, the agency has the connection to these big brands and can convince the marketing directors to choose their talents, but later it’s gonna be so different.

I can go to medium, like Adam Galla, or Chiara Ferragni, and a lot of marketing directors don’t care about the influencers, all they care about the results. That’s just started that influencers need managers more. But later the influencer realize, ‘I just now hire a team.’ We work on ways how to prevent that, because we want to work with them, but sometimes it’s hard.

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Reem Kassis: Parenting Paradoxes

May 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

We bring these tiny humans into the world who look up to us, who think we run the world and control all that’s in it. Little do they know that behind the all-boo-boo-healer, every-worry-comforter, and any-query-responder façade is a mildly crazy person whose brain runs in overdrive and whose emotions waver between guilt, worry, and sheer confusion at times.

Read more: Parenting, Motherhood, Toddlers, Humor, Satire, Life, Funny Pictures, Parents News

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Christopher Lamb: Why Should Trump Select Sarah Palin as VP? As an Insurance Policy Against Impeachment

May 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, apparently has conservative commentator and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on his short list of running mates.

Read more: Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Gop, Presidential Election, 2016 Election, Politics, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Political Humor, Politics News

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