What Type Of Pot Smoker Are You?

April 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Videos

Like snowflakes or THC crystals*, no two pot smokers are truly the same.

But even in a group as diverse as marijuana users, certain patterns do emerge. For example, does your pot use lead to endless pontification? You might be what we call the philosopher smoker. Or does your mind wander alone when you’re stoned? If so, you’re probably more the loner-artist type.

Being as it’s 4/20 weekend, what better time to discover where you land on the stoner spectrum? Take our quiz below to find out.

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*OK, OK, THC crystals tend to look pretty uniform up close, but you get where we were going with it.

When Grooms Are In Charge Of Save-The-Dates, This Is Bound To Happen

April 18, 2014 by  

In honor of Flashback Friday, we proudly present this gem from 2012, which has been popping up again recently and for good reason — it’s hilarious.

A groom named Ben posted a photo of his save-the-dates to Reddit. See if you can find the trespasser — which he added as a pre-wedding prank — hiding in the brush on the left side of the photo.

“I had to wait until they were sent out [to share this], but it was worth it!” Ben wrote on Reddit.

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Major Media Does Not Rally Behind Pulitzers for Snowden Stories

April 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Videos

First, the good news: The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was not only the best covered of its awards this year, but it recognized a series of disclosures that made many media outlets nervous, if not adversarial — the publication of NSA secrets leaked by Edward Snowden.

They recognized the reporting by the Guardian in England and also Bart Gellman’s work in the Washington Post even as they, did not recognize the work directly of Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras whose independent reporting appeared in many newspapers.

Laura and Glenn still make the news world nervous because a) they are outspoken, b) not always under the control and discipline of traditional editors and have a respectful and acknowledged positive relationship with their source as if that is a high crime or misdemeanor. It is significant that they were recognized by the Polk awards, but not the Pulitzer.

In some higher circles, their source, Ed Snowden, is still considered a traitor or worse.

The Pulitzer Prize is the big enchilada in the media word announced in a formal ceremony at the Pulitzer room in the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism on New York’s Morningside Heights. The journalists who win these prizes are recognized for life as “Pulitzer Prize Winners” a sign that they reached the highest heights in the profession. It’s a ticket to raises and more recognition.

I once was once told by a former dean of the same “J school” — where I taught as an adjunct — that they considered themselves the “Taj Mahal” of American Journalism. I didn’t have the heart to remind her that the original Taj was built as a tomb.

Almost as significant as the prizes to stories emanating from a whistle blower, was the award to an investigative report into coal miners who were denied black lung disease benefits by one of the new not-for-profit media organizations, the Center for Public Integrity. A CPI reporter, Chris Hamby, won that one.

The ink on his award was not even dry before ABC News, a network I used to work for, muscled in with a high profile media claim that since they aired a story based on Hamby’s reporting, they deserved the Pulitzer too. The embarrassingly loud demand for credit by outgoing ABC President Ben Sherwood was gently, and then indignantly rebuffed by the Center’s Director Ben Buzenberg,

According to Talking Points Memo, Buzenberg said: “I don’t take well to being bullied by anybody or threatened by anybody. We just stuck to the facts.”

Buzenberg explained that the Pulitzer committee did not award the prize for broadcast pieces and told ABC to cease its demands.

“The Center is prepared to show in great detail how little ABC’s Brian Ross and Matt Mosk understood about even the most fundamental concepts and key facts and how they repeatedly turned to Chris to advise them or, in some instances, to do their work for them,” he wrote in the letter.

He noted in a letter to ABC:

“Though you have framed the issue as the Center seeking to diminish ABC’s contributions, the reality is quite the opposite: ABC is seeking to take credit for a large body of work that it did not produce. These are the facts, as confirmed under the very strict Pulitzer Prize rules by the Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler again just yesterday.”

Having worked at ABC for eight years and written about the experience in my book. The More You Watch, The Less You Know, I could identify with Buzenberg’s taking umbrage at network arrogance and bullying.

In my experience, TV executives see their shops as if they are military units under the control of the men who control the control rooms. (After reports leave the control room, they pass through the even more Orwellian sounding “Master Control.”) These news chiefs would not do well on school report cards evaluating their ability to “work well with others.”

The TV networks are desperate these days for legitimating recognition in a media world that has fragmented, and in which they no longer have the commanding position.

That is not say, that they don’t also relish insider recognition and pats on the head from people in power.

NBC has hosts who are sympathetic to Snowden and Nightly News has carried investigative reports but the the initial tone of its contempt for the whistleblower was nasty when Meet the Press host David Gregory sniped at Glenn Greenwald, asking why he shouldn’t be in jail.

Even as the newspaper world recognized its obligation to recognize the Snowden story — sans Snowden, of course, who the Moscow Times reports has run out of money in his forced exile but may finally have a new job — another major network disses Snowden.

CBS News, once known as the network of Edward R Murrow and, then, Walter Cronkite has veered in another direction since it canned Dan Rather after a star chamber proceeding to punish him for a story showing that president Bush lied about his military credentials.

Today, predictably, CBS has gone the other way on the Snowden story too. That shouldn’t be a surprise for an outlet that appointed Pentagon groupie Lara Logan as its chief foreign correspondent, only to be called on their attempt to cover-up her erroneous Benghazi report that gave credence to right-wing spin on the subject.

More recently, CBS produced a two part pro-NSA story on 60 Minutes, reported by John Miller who acknowledged on air that he has worked for the Director of National Intelligence, but, then after it ran, left the network to become an intelligence chief at the New York Police Department.

As the Village Voice reported:

“Miller is not the first reporter to make this sort of switch — newsrooms are shrinking and folks have families to feed. He has shown that there is a viable, and lucrative, career in circling the revolving door between journalism and law enforcement (or any other institution).”

Now, CBS, the “big eye” network, has gone even further, as Danny Weil reports:

‘CBS News has hired former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, as their senior security correspondent. Morell has been a frequent guest on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he has disseminated CIA propaganda and misleading information, raising questions about CBS’ journalistic integrity. Morell also works for Beacon Global Strategies, a DC consulting firm which peddles its government connections to defense contractors, raising even more questions about his role at CBS.

(This news came a few days after it was reported that CBS overlord, Les Moonves, is now bringing home $63 million a year.)

On December 23, 2013, Morell appeared on Face the Nation, where he promoted the government’s campaign to prosecute Edward Snowden. On that day, Morell stated:

“He violated the trust put in him by the United States government. He has committed a crime, in my view. You know a whistleblower doesn’t run. A whistleblower does not disclose information that has nothing to do with what he says his cause is which is the privacy and civil liberties of Americans. You know if I could talk to Mister Snowden myself, what I would say is, Edward, you say you’re a patriot, you say you want to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, you say that you wanted Americans to have a debate about this and to make up their mind about what to do about this. Well, if you really believe that, if you really believe that Americans should be the judge of this program, then you should also believe that the Americans should be the judge of your behavior in this regard. So if you are the patriot that you say you are, you should come home and be judged.”

Now, it’s our turn to judge: is this or is this not media complicity in the surveillance state? Bear in mind that had Snowden not done what he had — and if Greenwald and Poitras hadn’t done what they did — we would not have learned of what’s being done by the NSA in our name. If we had waited on the big media to tell the story, we would all still be waiting.

News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org and blogs at News Dissector.net. His latest book is Madiba A to Z: the Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. (Madibabook.com) Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org.

An Exclusive Look At ‘Metastasis,’ The Spanish-Language ‘Breaking Bad’ Set In Colombia

April 18, 2014 by  

“Breaking Bad” may be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely say goodbye to the crazy meth ventures of Walt and Jesse.

Univision’s Spanish-language remake of the AMC series, “Metastasis,” takes the story of the chemistry teacher-turned-meth lord out of Albuquerque and into Colombia. According to the the first trailer of the Latin American series, things look pretty similar to “Breaking Bad,” except now Walt is Walter Blanco and Jesse is Jose.

Exclusive new photos of “Metastasis” reveal the meth lab, Walt’s first murder and a stash of money in barrels — just a few of the many unforgettable moments from Vince Gilligan’s series. “Metastasis” premieres summer 2014.

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I’m Gonna Be a Professional Tweet Reader

April 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Videos

My preparation is nearly complete: I have been building up strength in my index finger by moving it back and forth in a horizontal motion countless times daily.

I utter “hashtag” aloud whenever possible. When my children ask who I’m talking to, I put the aforementioned finger to my lips, silencing them while I continue my regimen.

Finally, I stand in front of a mirror, practicing various expressions of shock, surprise, anger, incredulousness and my best, “I can’t believe somebody tweeted that” look.

Now all that’s left to do is finish my resume, send it to television outlets nationwide and announce that, yes, I’m ready to become a professional tweet reader.

Welcome to the latest vocation under the broadcast media talent umbrella — peering at a laptop screen and starring in a segment called “What Do YOU think?” or something similar. Local news anchors, after reporting that residents in their viewing areas are outraged by property tax increases, often turn to their “social media correspondents” who announce that, according to Twitter, the #property #tax #increase indeed has viewers #outraged. And here’s a tweet from @teapartydude745 to prove it!

Last December The Today Show ensconced Carson Daly — who vies with Ryan Seacrest for the title of “TV guy with most jobs” — in the “Orange Room,” a slice of the NBC set devoted exclusively to monitoring the Twittersphere. As Orange Room emperor, Daly presides over a large map that could easily do double duty for Al Roker’s weather segments or CNN “Where’s That Plane?” updates. But instead of pointing at raincloud, snow flurry, tornado or black box clip art, Daly’s Twitter-trained fingers swipe different geographical areas, revealing actual tweets from viewers in those areas. Daly then reads those tweets verbatim, raises one or more eyebrows depending on the tweet’s tone and then presumably collapses into a chair and removes his makeup, exhausted by his 90 seconds of work.

Eager to jump on the tweet-reading bandwagon, The Today Show‘s chief rival Good Morning America recently signed ESPN host Tony Reali to man a new corner of its studio, called “The Social Square.” No word on what color the studio will be but Reali’s duties are clear: Cover social media. In other words, read tweets. Time permitting, Reali may enter uncharted territory by reading Facebook posts as well.

While some media outlets embrace viewer and reader interaction, others have grown weary with the “join the conversation” vehicle. The Chicago Sun-Times recently pulled the plug on subscriber comments because, according to managing editor Craig Newman, they “too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.”

Hopefully the Sun-Times boss eliminated the comments section before readers could prove his point by hatefully typing, “@#$%^ Craig Newman!”

Personally, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Twitter. But what keeps me attached to the social media juggernaut is its ease of use and outlet for creativity. It’s amazing how a 140-word post can be hilarious, philosophical, insightful or, on rare occasions, a combination of all three. Follow @SteveMartinToGo for proof.

But I’m perfectly capable of searching for, and then reading those tweets all by my lonesome. I don’t need them spoon fed to me by a spray tanned TV personality. Perhaps if I were functionally illiterate I’d feel differently and would relish somebody like Daly or Reali with their high-tech maps, their tailored suits and their ability to realize that yes, President Obama is trending today!

Then again, if I were functionally illiterate I wouldn’t be watching a morning news show like The Today Show or Good Morning America.

I’d be watching Duck Dynasty. And live tweeting every episode.

Wife Breaks Down And Apologizes For Killing Husband With Hammer

April 17, 2014 by  

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona woman convicted of bludgeoning her husband to death with a hammer is making a tearful plea for mercy to the jury deciding whether she should live or die for the crime.

Marissa Devault broke down in tears and repeatedly lost her composure Thursday as she spoke to the jury in the penalty phase of her murder trial. She apologized to family members for the pain and suffering she has caused, and said several times that she is sorry.

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17 Celebrity Faces You Recognize, But Their Names? Not So Much.

April 17, 2014 by  

There are dozens of actors who look totally familiar to us, like Anne Hathaway’s best friend in “The Princess Diaries” or Jessica Biel’s boyfriend on “7th Heaven”? But do you know these stars’ names?

Here are 17 celebrities whose faces you recognize, but names you can probably never remember:

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Greg Schwem: I’m Gonna Be a Professional Tweet Reader

April 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Humor

But I’m perfectly capable of searching for, and then reading those tweets all by my lonesome. I don’t need them spoon fed to me by a spray tanned TV personality. Perhaps if I were functionally illiterate I’d feel differently

Read more: Social Media, Carson Daly, Cnn, Satire, Tony Reali, Today Show, Twitter, Facebook, Al Roker, Good Morning America, Malaysia Airlines Plane Missing, Steve Martin, Media News

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Firetruck Crashes Into Restaurant After Colliding With Another Firetruck In California

April 16, 2014 by  

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Two firetrucks heading to a burning home collided Wednesday in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and injuring 15 people, including six firefighters.

One man, who isn’t a firefighter, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.

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Joe Biden Posts First Selfie With None Other Than President Obama

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Videos

Vice President Joe Biden joined Instagram on Wednesday, and it wasn’t long before he posted his first selfie.

Hours after the vice president launched his account, he cozied up to President Barack Obama for a selfie of epic proportions.

The White House tweeted out the photo, too.

Pals. pic.twitter.com/yt5MjtLYPi

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 17, 2014

You can follow Biden on Instagram here.

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