Lindsay Lohan’s Words For The Person Who Leaked Her ‘Sex List’

April 21, 2014 by  
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Last month, tabloids reported that Lindsay Lohan had kept a record of her alleged sexual partners, releasing a handwritten list to the public that included the names of 36 men, including A-List celebrities. In the finale of her OWN docu-series, Lohan addressed the controversy, saying that she wrote the list while in rehab at the Betty Ford Center.

“That list that came out, that was a part of my [time at] Betty Ford. It’s step number five or step number eight,” she says, referring to the 12 steps followed by Alcoholics Anonymous. “That was in my Betty Ford book, so that was really personal to my sponsor. You write that for your sponsor.”

(Step five is admitting the exact nature of one’s wrongs. Step eight is making a list of all who one has harmed.)

Lohan believes the list was discovered when she was moving out of the Beverly Hills Hotel. “There were two people there that helped me move,” Lohan says. “All of my books from [Betty Ford] were in that. So, someone took a photo.”

The actress also believes she knows who is responsible for taking and releasing that photo to the media. “Pretty sure I know who it is, unfortunately,” she says. “They’re not a part of my life at all anymore. They might be on the show at some point, but they’re not [in my life].”

Lohan says she knows that she wasn’t the only one hurt by the list being leaked. “I don’t care about me in that situation. I care about the people that are involved with other people because it’s really unfortunate and disrespectful,” Lohan says.

She also opens up about her own reaction. “The fact that that happened was not only humiliating, but just mean. It was mean-spirited for someone to do that,” Lohan says. “That is a desperate human being and I hope they find some peace. Because anyone that’s willing to do that to someone else is really f***ed up in the head. And I don’t want that in my life.”

Read more about the “Lindsay” finale here | Full coverage

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4 French Journalists Home After Long Syrian Ordeal

April 20, 2014 by  
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PARIS (AP) — Four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria returned home Sunday to joyful families, a presidential welcome and questions about how France managed to obtain their freedom from Islamic extremists.

The four — Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres — were freed by their kidnappers a day earlier at the Turkish border. They were captured in two separate incidents last June. At an emotional welcome ceremony at Villacoublay military airport outside Paris, President Francois Hollande saluted their return as “a moment of joy” for France.

“This is a day of great joy for them as you can imagine, for their families … but it is a day of great joy for France,” he said.

Hollande saluted Turkish authorities for helping in the journalists’ return but did not elaborate.

“It’s such a delight and a relief to be free, to see the sky … to breath the fresh air, to walk, to talk to you,” said Francois, a noted war reporter for Europe 1.

Elias, a freelance photographer, also was working for Europe 1 radio. Henin and Torres are freelance journalists.

Later, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reiterated “France does not pay ransom” for hostages in an interview with Europe 1 radio. He also said no weapons were delivered to the Islamic radicals holding the four.

“There was no question of contact with the Syrian government” of Bashir Assad, whom France and other Western nations blame for Syria’s civil war and want removed from power, Fabius said.

“So it was of another nature,” he said, suggesting some bargain was struck.

The journalists’ captors have not been formally identified, although the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, among the most radical of the Islamic groups operating in Syria, is a main suspect. A Syrian who served as translator and guide for two of the journalists said that breakaway al-Qaida group surely captured them in the eastern province of Raqqa.

Hussam al-Ahmad, 23, told The Associated Press that Henin and Torres aroused the fighters’ suspicion after they entered a school and asked to take pictures of the fighters as they played soccer. The journalists were seized four days after an initial interrogation, al-Ahmad said.

Francois said the captivity “was long but we never doubted” in an eventual liberation. He said journalists need to go to Syria — the world’s most dangerous conflict for them — because someone must describe the civil war there to the world.

“Our families suffered” for this choice, he said, his voice cracking with emotion.

Henin, his young child in his arms, said in brief remarks that he was “not always” treated well in captivity but did not elaborate. He told France 24 TV station earlier he was held in “about 10 places of captivity, prisons, mostly with other people.”

Just before being freed, Henin said the group was offered extra food but hardly given time to eat.

“Minutes later, they said, ‘Let’s go. To the border.’”

Fabius denied a Turkish media report that the freed hostages were left blindfolded and handcuffed at the border. He said French authorities had known for two weeks that “things were nearing.”

Syria is considered the world’s most dangerous assignment for journalists. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in April that 61 journalists were kidnapped in Syria in 2013, while more than 60 have been killed since the conflict began in 2011.

The widespread abductions of journalists is unprecedented and has been largely unreported by news organizations in the hope that may help negotiations on freeing the captives. Jihadi groups against the Syrian government are believed to be behind most recent kidnappings.


Catherine Gaschka in Paris contributed to this report.

What Type Of Pot Smoker Are You?

April 19, 2014 by  
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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.

Quiz widget by

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

Major Media Does Not Rally Behind Pulitzers for Snowden Stories

April 18, 2014 by  
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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 and blogs at News His latest book is Madiba A to Z: the Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. ( Comments to

I’m Gonna Be a Professional Tweet Reader

April 17, 2014 by  
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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.

Joe Biden Posts First Selfie With None Other Than President Obama

April 16, 2014 by  
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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.


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

You can follow Biden on Instagram here.

Alleged Hillary Clinton Shoe Thrower Detained

April 15, 2014 by  
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PHOENIX (AP) — A federal magistrate on Tuesday ordered a Phoenix woman to remain jailed until she is returned to Las Vegas to face federal charges alleging she threw a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton during a speech.

Alison Michelle Ernst, 36, read documents, talked to her lawyer and sat on the edge of her seat as she waited for her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix.

Ernst, wearing a turquoise-colored hooded jacket and jeans, was arrested late Monday after federal prosecutors in Las Vegas filed charges Sunday accusing her of trespassing and violence against a person.

The federal charges increase the possible consequences for Ernst if she is convicted of throwing a shoe at the former secretary of state.

The judge appointed attorney Maria Weidner to represent Ernst and ordered Ernst detained pending proceedings in Las Vegas.

Outside court, Weidner said Ernst looked forward to resolving the case against her.

Ernst had been arrested in Las Vegas after questioning by the U.S. Secret Service on a local misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge carrying a possible six-month sentence in county jail. She was released by Las Vegas police with a June 24 court date in Las Vegas. Those charges weren’t immediately filed.

The federal misdemeanor charges accuse Ernst of bypassing security to enter the ballroom where Clinton was speaking and committing a violent act by throwing the shoe.

The shoe missed Clinton, and Ernst surrendered to authorities immediately after the incident Thursday at the Mandalay Bay resort.

If Ernst is convicted of both federal charges, she could face up to two years in federal prison and the possibility that federal authorities would be able to monitor her movements under terms of supervised release.


Ken Ritter reported from Las Vegas and can be reached at .


If ‘Money Shouts,’ How Can Democracy Lower the Decibel Level So Both Sides Are Heard?

April 14, 2014 by  
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By: Mark Green


David (47 percent) Corn debates Ron (not NJ’s) Christie about the constitutional and political aspects of McCutcheon. Since the Roberts Court believes that money is more important than voting, how can pro-democracy advocates pursue the slogan, “Money Out/Voter In”? Con Amendment? Term Limits for Justices? Replace one of Roberts Five? Legislation on campaign finance and disclosure?

On McCutcheon. David blasts the McCutcheon and Citizens United decisions for elevating “the .00001 percent over the 100 percent by expanding the power of money which tilts the system” to the super rich — i.e., their money affects our wallets and health when it comes to minimum wage, unemployment compensation, jobs, climate…

Ron is asked if he’s bothered by decisions that to take us back to the Gilded Age of “The Senator from Standard Oil”. “Absolutely not,” he replies, seeing the cases through the prism of money=speech. He adds that labor unions too give lots of money and, like Roberts, thinks that if the First Amendment tolerates repugnant speech like flag-burning and Nazi parades, surely it should tolerate a large volume of paid speech by people like the Kochs.

Host: Of course this assumes that the majority sincerely cares about promoting political speech rather than the ascendency of wealth. Recall in this context J.P. Morgan, who once said: “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason”

So I ask Ron if he’d be ok if Soros spent $5 billion to win the presidency…if it’s fine to limit speech at 120 decibels at midnight in residential neighborhoods, why not limit the “decibels” of billionaires drowning out actual human speech…if he agrees that it’s one thing for more money to buy stuff in Capitalism but a problem if private wealth leeches into public Democracy where 1 person-1 vote is the rule? Nope. Ron sticks to the metaphor and analysis of the Roberts Five.

After Citizens United and now McCutcheon, what should campaign finance reformers do? A Constitutional Amendment permitting the regulation of the volume of speech (which attracts 70%+ when up for local, non-binding resolutions)? Term Limits for Justices (see @rickhertzberg) since it’s absurd that the head of Executive Branch can’t serve more than 8 years but head of Judicial Branch can go 30? Run counter-ads exposing how the Kochs’s money is buying democracy and hurting voters? Push legislation like Government By the People Act, Ginsberg-Bauer Voting Reforms, Disclosure legislation? Replace one of the Roberts Five when there’s a vacancy?


The two doubt the effectiveness of anti-Koch ads and the feasibility of either a Con Amendment or Term Limits. (Ron: “The Founders wanted life-time tenure for a good reason”). Both favor disclosure of all political spending online although the current congressional GOP won’t let that happen. Ditto campaign finance and voter reforms (which may have to wait until and if Democrats win the White House, Senate and House in 2016).

Last, given mortality, will a) one of the Roberts Five be off the bench in next 1-10 years and a Dem POTUS replace him with a Dem Justice and then b) a newly constituted Court reverse the money-is-speech metaphor? David believes that while conservative justices have recently been little concerned with upholding precedents (guns, money, voting rights etc.), liberal justice will probably be.

(Host Esq. disagrees! Why should a reality-based new justice accede to Roberts’s absurd assertion that it’s not corrupting if a candidate feels “gratitude” for donors’ gifts and Kennedy’s monumental conjecture that “the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.” These are comments from ideological jurists people who have never run for or held elective office.

On illegal immigration being an”act of love” Did Jeb Bush commit a suicidal heresy or, as both Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill O’Reilly think, shrewdly take a stand he believes in and then see if it sinks or buoys him?

There’s a consensus that either way it imperils a possible candidacy given how the party’s very right-wing base regards this issue in early primaries (see Rick Perry) but that Jeb had little choice since a) that’s what he thinks, b) he’s married for over three decades to a women from Mexico and c) “self-deportation” didn’t go over well in a General Election.

As for Bush45 v. Clinton 45, David points out that however wearying such a match-up, it would mean a Democratic victory “since our dynastic brand is way better than their dynastic brand.”

On Rumsfeld’s self-love. Donald Rumsfeld was a successful wrestler in school — is he as good at verbal wrestling in Errol Morris’s doc “Known Unknowns”? David says he was amazed at how shallow Rummy was and either deceptive or delusional when he maintained that the Bush crowd never implied that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Ron explains that it’s more likely Rumsfeld was being either “inartful” when he explained that it wasn’t the Bush Administration that okayed torture but his Department of Justice and that he was essentially trying to put a happier face on painful events.

On Eich and Eichmann. Gay protests against Mozilla and (now former ) CEO Brandan Eich spur criticism of “goose-stepping fascism.” Thoughts?

David concludes that the folks on Fox and elsewhere who say that “are simply nuts”. There’s no way to compare the Eich contretemps — he gave money to an anti-equal marriage group and then was forced out of his CEO post by his Board — with governments that killed millions of Jews, gays and communists. In any event, since conservatives value free markets, what’s wrong with gay critics and Eich each “speaking” their minds and then allow a private Board to decide that keeping him as CEO would hurt their bottom line?

Ron’s having none of that. He tears into the “liberal thought police” that values first amendment rights unless they disagree with the articulated position. He won’t answer David’ hypothetical — ok, what would you do if you’re on a Board and the CEO gave money to a white supremacist organization?

On Letterman-Colbert. Turns out that both panelists agree that Letterman was a breakout talent for his hipness, irony and use of face to convey a joke. And Colbert is an inspired choice given his hipness and skills…though neither knows who exactly Colbert is behind the comedic mask he wears on The Colbert Report.Limbaugh’s accusation that CBS was a liberal lap in the face of America” is given no credence.

Mark Green is the creator and host of Both Sides Now.

You can follow him on Twitter @markjgreen

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Franken’s Campaign Against Comcast Is No Joke

April 13, 2014 by  
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For Senator Al Franken, the political became personal at a “Saturday Night Live” cast party, of all places.

Bill Maher Takes On Right-Wing Talk Radio For ‘Bitching’, ‘Influencing Stupidity’

April 12, 2014 by  
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Bill Maher’s final new rule this week was directed at the Tea Party, demanding they explain how on earth they have the time to listen to so much talk radio. He then launched into a rant about right-wing talk radio hosts for having the primary go of ginning up anger and “stupidity.”

Watch the clip above to see Maher take Limbaugh and company to task, praise Ted Cruz for being the only politician to take a talk-radio approach to governing and reveal how Michele Bachmann compromised on gays.

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