Josh Duggar Records Destroyed By Arkansas Police At Judge’s Request

May 23, 2015 by  
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Police in Arkansas have destroyed records detailing the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar.

“The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record,” Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis told The Associated Press on Friday. “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.”

Lewis also told the AP that these types of records are usually kept indefinitely.

A 2006 police report, which was obtained by In Touch before its destruction, indicates that family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar knew as early as 2002 that Josh Duggar — who was 14 at the time — was accused of sexually abusing an underage girl. The teen was ultimately accused of inappropriately touching five underage girls, some of whom were his sisters, between 2002 and 2003.

Police did not find out about the allegations until 2006, when they were tipped off to a letter discussing the incidents, the AP reports. A family friend had lent another person a book, and the letter was stuck inside.

The police report obtained by In Touch indicates Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar told police in 2006 that they had disciplined their son themselves.

The couple allegedly said that they sent Josh Duggar to a “Christian program” that “consisted of physical hard work and counseling.” Michelle Duggar later admitted that they actually just sent him to live with a family friend to help with a home remodeling business, according to In Touch.

Both Josh Duggar, now 27, and his parents acknowledged the incidents and publicly apologized in Facebook posts on Thursday.

TLC pulled all airings of “19 Kids and Counting” from its lineup the day after Duggar admitted the allegations were true.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee voiced his support for the judge’s decision to destroy the records in a Facebook post Friday. “There was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed — not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims,” Huckabee wrote.

The Duggar family has “a long and active history of political advocacy for social conservative causes,” CNN noted. Josh Duggar resigned from his position at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group and lobbying organization, on Thursday. According to the AP, Duggar was previously “a public face” of the group.


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The Pakistani Friends and the Foes of the New York Times

May 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Videos

There are rare occasions when the launching of a new media company makes top headlines on other news organizations. For example, in 2013 when Al-Jazeera announced the launching of a channel from the United States after purchasing Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million, big U.S. newspapers and networks reported about it. The launching of Al-Jazeera American generated a great hype among the media analysts. Some believed it would usher in a new epoch of investigative journalism and others feared it would give a tough time to the existing networks. Then came Al-Jazeera America and nothing happened. Mere hype does not define the impact of a news organization.

For many months the media in Pakistan has been going through the same phase that the American media experienced at the time of the anchoring of Al-Jazeera America. A new news network, BOL, was going on pre-launch campaign that was almost similar to the hype the Doha-based network had triggered. Some anticipated a media earthquake that will shake the foundations of many established television networks while others hoped that for the first time in the country’s history journalists would be paid handsomely for the hard work they do. Then there came the New York Times story revealing that Axact, a software company that was funding the BOL project, was actually engaged in a global fraud of churning out fake degrees. The revelation was so big that it nearly derailed the launch of the new channel or jeopardized the employment of hundreds of media workers, including several nationally acclaimed star journalists.

Shaken by the NYT disclosure, the owners of BOL launched their test transmission ahead of the scheduled date for its launch. It is strange that the Pakistani government has allowed the network to go on air in spite of the major scandal. The government has already initiated an investigation into the scandal that surrounds the news channel’s parent company, Axact. However, the authorities should have prevented the channel from going on air unless it proved that the money that is being invested in the network did not come from fraud and illegal means. It is dangerous to authorize a media company to go on air when its parent company is under federal investigation. This is clearly a conflict of interest. The network, in spite of being in its testing mode, can interfere in the investigations and mislead the public opinion. Media should not be given in the hands of those who simultaneously face charges of breaking the law because they can exploit the media to influence the law, the lawmakers and those who enforce it.

Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, the CEO of BOL, has also emerged as the main spokesman for Axact and BOL since the NYT broke the story. His speeches and interviews are worrying because of his lack of understanding of journalism and how the media in Pakistan works.

For example, he has been complaining that the story against his company was published because his professional rivals had egged the NYT reporter to pursue his investigations. Well, if that is true what is wrong with that? Isn’t it how reporters are supposed to work? It is surprising that the CEO of an upcoming news organization does not know that reporters always use the opponents of leaders and companies as the source of a big story. It is pretty obvious that a journalist does not get a scoop against a leader or a company by speaking to their spokespersons.

It does not matter who tips a reporter about a story that mortifies certain people nor does it exempt the wrongdoer from his or her actions only because their rivals tipped the reporter. For ages, journalists have been checking-in with people’s opponents and competitors to get ideas for their next scoop. If Mr. Shaikh did not know this journalistic practice, his ignorance may cause the decline of his media empire one day through one of his own investigative reporters by the virtue of a leaked internal memo. Having a lot of money is not enough to run a big media company. It is also important to know how the people who work there maneuver and bring story ideas at the morning editorial meeting table.

In another attempt to provide a clear explanation about the origins of Axact’s revenue, the BOL officials and staff have raised questions on the integrity of the NYT because its local partner for the International New York Times in Pakistan is the Express Tribune, a paper owned by one of BOL’s biggest competitors. Any follower of the Pakistani media would consider such conclusions as absurd. In spite of being NYT’s partner in Pakistan, the Express Tribune does not have even half of the independence, professional integrity and reliability of its New York-based partner. As a matter of fact, media critics have ridiculed the Tribune for its frequently unconditional submission to the Pakistani military establishment, the Taliban and even the political parties.

On March 22, 2014, for instance, the NYT reported, “An article about Pakistan’s relationship to Al Qaeda, and its knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s last hiding place within its borders, was censored from the front page of about 9,000 copies of the International New York Times in Pakistan on Saturday, apparently removed by a local paper that has a partnership to distribute The Times.”

An insider’s shocking account on how the Tribune actually compromises its journalistic integrity by succumbing to pressure from the Pakistani military was published in Foreign Policy on November 20, 2014. Neha Ansari, a visiting researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), who had previously worked as a senior sub-editor at the paper’s Karachi office, wrote, “there is a more elusive problem within the country’s press landscape: the collusion of Pakistan’s powerful military and the nation’s media outlets. I experienced this first-hand while I worked as a journalist at the Express Tribune.”

Similarly, when Imtiaz Alam, a veteran journalist working for the television channel of the same group that owns the Tribune, protested against his organization’s pro-military policy in the wake of an assassination attempt on a fellow journalist, Hamid Mir, the newspaper brazenly stood on the army’s side although the targeted journalist had blamed Pakistan’s spymasters for trying to kill him. The Tribune accused the respected journalist of “spitting venom, making wild accusations against the ISI”.

The battle between BOL and the Tribune is not for the supremacy of independent journalism. It is, unfortunately, a competition between two media groups to prove who is the real darling of the Pakistani military. In this contest, both sides use the NYT to make arguments in their favor and against the opponents. Alas, the Times has got bad friends and foes in Pakistan.

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Here Are A Few The Things The LGBT Community Will Still Be Fighting For After Marriage

May 22, 2015 by  
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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court may make history this summer if it rules same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.

Such a decision would be a huge win for gay marriage advocates, but it doesn’t mean the fight for LGBT rights will be close to being over. The LGBT community will still be fighting legal battles for decades — while facing continued discrimination.

“We can pass all of the laws we want and talk about public policy until we run out of air, but until our society stops thinking of queer people as deviant or corrupt or sinful or in any way less than non-queer people, nothing is going to change,” said Noah Michelson, editorial director of The Huffington Post Voices and founding editor of HuffPost Gay Voices.

“It’s probably the most difficult thing we face,” Michelson continued. “And the only way to do it is to come out as queer whenever we can. And once we’re out, we need to talk openly and honestly about our lives and who we love and how we have sex. It’s only after we’ve challenged and changed the most basic and fundamental viewpoints about who we are that we can really begin to think about true liberation and true equality.”

Here are some of the battles LGBT advocates will continue to face, even if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage:

1. Workplace discrimination

There’s still no federal law protecting LGBT employees from discrimination. Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., have passed employee non-discrimination laws, but it’s still legal in many places — even the U.S. Congress — for employers to fire workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Critics also have said religious freedom laws, which allow individuals or corporations to cite “religious beliefs” in a legal defense if they refuse to serve LGBT customers, are discriminatory. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a religious freedom bill into law this year, but asked that the law be revised after backlash from LGBT supporters.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) followed suit, asking his state legislature to revise a bill similar to Indiana’s.

But not all governors are changing their minds. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) issued an executive order in May protecting businesses that refuse to serve customers planning same-sex weddings.

2. Lack of gender-neutral restrooms in public places

3. Gay conversion therapy

Only three states prohibit so-called gay conversion therapy, despite opposition from the American Psychological Association. The most recent governor to prohibit the practice was Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D), the nation’s first openly bisexual governor.

governor kate brown

President Barack Obama is greeted by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) at the Oregon Air National Guard Base May 7, 2015, in Portland, Oregon. Brown is the nation’s first openly bisexual governor. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Housing discrimination

5. Acceptance in sports, politics, entertainment, business and more

6. Health risks, and education about how to lower them

A 2011 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzing data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that LGBT students were more likely to face health risks because of factors like tobacco use, weight management and drug use. The report suggested school health policies should be developed to help sexual minority youths.

7. Restrictions on gay men giving blood

In May, the Food and Drug Administration finally recommended lifting the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, which has been in place since 1985. But the new proposed policy says men will have to wait at least one year after engaging in gay sex before being able to donate.

Dr. Eli Adashi, professor of medical science at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, told The Huffington Post in December that the one-year waiting period “is not any more warranted than a lifetime ban.” According to research by The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, a 12-month deferral excludes thousands of potential donations from the nation’s blood supply.

8. Jury selection

In January 2014, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that gay people can’t be excluded from a jury based on sexual orientation. The ruling mirrored a 1986 Supreme Court ruling that found jurors couldn’t be dismissed based on race, and another that declared the same for female jurors.

But a Supreme Court challenge could occur future. As Slate points out, the Supreme Court has never declared gays a protected class. Also, the 9th Circuit’s ruling clashes with an earlier decision from the 8th Circuit.

9. Transgender military service

10. Youth homelessness

According to a 2012 study by The Williams Institute, 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. The most frequently cited factor contributing to that group’s homelessness was rejection by family members based on sexual identity.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, homeless LGBT youth are at a heightened risk of violence, abuse and exploitation, and can experience both physical and mental strains because of discrimination and the stigma of being LGBT.

11. Adoption, custody, surrogacy and other parenting issues

12. Discrimination of youth in foster care

13. Violence

A report released in 2013 by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs revealed the transgender community was more likely to experience physical violence, police violence and discrimination than cisgender people.

14. Placement and treatment of trans people in prisons and immigrant detention centers

15. Discrimination in jails and prisons

16. Suicide

The Williams Institute report from 2014 showed the prevalence of suicide attempts among trans and gender non-confirming adults who responded to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey was 41 percent. Of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults, 10 percent to 20 percent report attempting suicide. That’s compared with the 4.6 percent rate of the overall U.S. population that reports attempting suicide.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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Greg Schwem: How to Run for President in 2052

May 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Listen up, American newborns. I realize your middle ears are still teeming with fluid and you’re only capable of responding to high-pitched voices, but in just 35 short years, you’ll be eligible to run for our nation’s highest office.

Read more: Humor, Satire, Comedy News, Politics, Presidential Election, Cnn, George Stephanopoulos, Comedy News

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Colm Mulcahy: Myles Away From Mathematics, Magic and Mystery

May 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Did you ever wish you’d asked one more question of somebody you once knew, who is no longer around to chat with? The great unasked question most on my mind in recent times is this.

Read more: Martin Gardner, Myles Na gCopaleen, Flann O'Brien, Brother Barnabas, George Knowall, Brian O'Nolan, Irish Writers, American Writers, The Third Policeman, Myles Away From Dublin, At Swim-Two-Birds, Mathematics Magic & Mystery, Julia Child, Google Doodle, Postmodernism, Novels, Satire, Humor and Satire, Books News

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(VIDEO) comScore Readies Measurement Tool for Connected TV’s

May 21, 2015 by  
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Responding to a dramatic increase in video consumption on connected TV’s, comScore is readying a measurement tool to tabulate views on the devices and will roll it out this year in the U.S., says Serge Matta, CEO in this video interview with Beet.TV.   He says that comScore is already measuring OTT consumption for publishers including Hulu with a system that is not “100 percent there yet.”

In the interview, Matta explains the investment with WPP and the strategic alliance with its Kantar unit to bring comSore measurement solutions to global television operators.

We spoke it him yesterday at the LUMA Partner’s annual adtech leadership conference in New York.

comScore has reached an all time high stock price this week, with a valuation now in excess of $2 billion.

You can find this post on Beet.TV.

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Fox News Guest Accuses Network Of Creating ‘Cloud Of Corruption’ Around Hillary Clinton

May 20, 2015 by  
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Fox News’ Megyn Kelly found herself defending her own network Tuesday night after attempting to criticize Hillary Clinton following a new report that Clinton had a controversial email history with Sidney Blumenthal.

Kelly brought on former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton to discuss a New York Times report published Tuesday that revealed Blumenthal, a longtime friend of Clinton, had sent reports about Libya intelligence to Clinton’s private email address during her time as secretary of state.

Kelly said the situation “raises questions about [Clinton's] judgment,” but Burton argued that everyone in the White House has friends who send them information, and said the story will have little effect on Clinton’s reputation. He added that he found the Times report to be “a confusing story” and unclear.

Kelly pressed Burton further on why there seemed to be a “cloud of corruption that follows” Clinton, to which Burton replied, “Maybe it just only follows her around on your network.”

But it was The New York Times that broke both stories about Clinton’s private email account and her relationship with Blumenthal, Kelly pushed back.

“The right is going to take these news reports and they’re going to talk about them as much as they can, because they think that they can really make ground by going after anything that smells like scandal,” Burton said. He told Kelly that if Republicans continue to talk about Hillary Clinton at this rate, they “don’t stand a chance” in the 2016 presidential election.

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Em & Lo: The Forthcoming Slut-Shaming of The Bachelorette

May 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Can we really blame them for taking a hot and heavy makeout session to the next obvious level? And if we can, then we’ve got to be consistent with our blame: If women are expected to abstain, then men must be too.

Read more: The Bachelorette, The Bachelor, Chris Harrison the Bachelor, Satire, Entertainment News

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India May Have Just Published Its First ‘Gay Groom Wanted’ Ad

May 19, 2015 by  
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An newspaper in India — where gay sex was made a criminal offense in 2013 — just ran what may be the country’s first man-seeking-man matrimonial ad.

The ad, which ran this week in MiD DAY, an English-language newspaper in India, seeks a husband for Mumbai-based equal rights activist Harish Iyer. Iyer’s mother submitted the ad and was rejected by three other publications before MiD DAY accepted it.

In a Facebook post, Iyer thanked MiD DAY and its editor, Sachin Kalbag, and shared an image of the ad originally posted by Gaysi Family, an India-based gay rights group.

thanks Mid-day, thanks Sachin Kalbag

Posted by Harrish Iyer on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The ad, which reads, “Seeking 25-40, Well-placed, Animal-Loving, Vegetarian GROOM for my SON (36, 5’11″) who works with an NGO, Caste No Bar (Though IYER Preferred),” was rejected by The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and the website dna, Iyer told BuzzFeed.

None of those publications responded immediately to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The ad has sparked some criticism for its closing parenthetical, “Though IYER Preferred.” Iyers are an upper-class rank of India’s caste system with which Iyer shares a name. He defended that portion of the ad to HuffPost India, saying it was a way for his family to try and match him with someone of a similar upbringing.

“My Mom would be happy if it was a Dalit Muslim yet vegetarian and animal loving guy,” Iyer said. “But she would love it if he happens to come from a familiar territory that she knows about. So, not really caste discrimination. It’s like you (author) saying that I would love people from any caste as an alliance, but I would love to enjoy machher jhol (fish curry, a Bengali staple) with him if he was Bengali.”

Although The Times of India refused to print the ad, it interviewed Iyer about his decision to create one.

“My mom worries about me too much,” he told the paper. “She is constantly thinking that I am getting old, will be alone, and all those concerns a mother has. So, she and I had a discussion last week and decided to go ahead with placing a matrimonial ad looking for a gay person.”

“My mum called me this morning saying three people have responded so far,” Iyer continued. “She asked me what to do next, how to proceed, so I told her, ‘proceed like you would have if you were looking for a girl for me.’”

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Kalbag said running the ad was a no-brainer.

“A marriage is a meeting of minds, of souls,” he wrote. “At mid-day, we believe that human rights should be applicable to all, regardless of religion, caste, colour, sexual orientation, etc. Therefore, a mother seeking a union for her gay son is perfectly normal. Why should it be any different? In fact, why should we even be talking about it? In an equal society, which we all strive for, this should be routine.”

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When Presidential Candidates Tinder With America

May 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Humor

Let’s swipe right on the best candidate for the job.

Read more: Tinder, Presidential Candidates, Media Humor, Political Humor, Funny Pictures, Fail, Tinder Fails, Political Tinder, Candidates on Tinder, Politicians on Tinder, Tinder Politicians, Presidential Candidates on Tinder, Tinder Funny, Tinder Conversations, Funny Tinder Conversations, Tinder Pics, Funny Tinder Pics, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Comedy News

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