January 26, 2007

Paging Gretchen Mol: An absolutely cruel take on west-Pennsylvania native Sienna Miller, in Defamer. Vanity Fair has always been good at spotting It Girls-Who-Never-Were (remember Sophie Dahl?), as well as other trends that never quite got off the ground, a tendency memorably recounted by Toby Young in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. To wit, this month's cover girl is "hot" actress Demi Moore, recently snubbed by the Academy for her stellar work in Bobby, and leading the casual reader to wonder why Ellen Barkin or Cher weren't available for the shoot.

January 25, 2007

Sorry, but the headline, "Key Tapes Said to Exist in Bush Case," is particularly lame. It's not even hearsay evidence; it's the hearsay possibility ("said to exist") that hearsay evidence exists (that is, the "key tapes") that may circumstantially prove Reggie Bush's family was receiving money at some point during his career at U.S.C. And the underlying Yahoo!Sports story is even thinner gruel, since it's based not on what anyone has claimed on the record, but on the fact that during discovery, "at least one of the witnesses was asked to produce 'any recordings in (his) possession of conversations between Lloyd Lake and Reggie Bush, Denise Griffin, or LaMar Griffin.' Denise Griffin is Bush's mother. LaMar Griffin is Bush's stepfather." In fact, asking the other side to produce any recordings that may be in their possession is asked in almost every civil case, and is part of the standard form interrogatories in California civil cases. Duh.

January 24, 2007

It may be too late for Zach Lund, but WADA has agreed to relax anti-doping sanctions that result in suspensions for athletes who inadvertantly ingested (or ingested trivial amounts of) stimulants tangentially found to improve performance. The group also hinted at possibly reducing the punishment for positive tests for cannabis, a drug with no known performance-enhancing characteristics in Olympic sports, but which has been tested at the strong urging of American representatives.
Eric Alterman points out that Bush's approval ratings are now less than half of what Clinton's were at the same point in his Presidency, which also happened to be when his impeachment trial was taking place.
Among the suitors for the Tribune Company's stake in the LA Times is Rupert Murdoch, apparently. Considering the financial mess his paper in New York City has been, or the clusterfuck that was News Corp's prior trusteeship of a local Angeleno institution, there's no reason to believe he will do much to stem the paper's continuing brain drain or its falling circulation, and as his cable "news" channel attests, he never has been one for practicing actual journalism.

January 23, 2007

Congolese Yellow Cake: It would be interesting to see how the Mutombo Myth got started, since I doubt anyone in the White House was clever enough to invent it. Since the final five minutes were all I saw, a good question would be whether anything else the President said bore any resemblance to the truth. [link via Hotline]

January 22, 2007

Today was the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the death of LBJ, and the Foreman-Frazier title fight (ie., "down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier...."). I wonder if there are any other historical dates that had three distinct, unrelated events that were as momentous as those. Roe was perhaps the biggest Supreme Court decision of the past fifty years, and Foreman's stunning knockout of Smokin' Joe not only crowned a new heavyweight champ, it also helped resuscitate Mohammed Ali's career. But the big headline in the paper's the next day was Johnson's death, only two days after his second term would have ended had he run (and won) in 1968.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....

January 21, 2007

Your sister is a thespian !!! I didn't believe this guy was still alive, until he wasn't...in all fairness, Smathers did deny ever accusing his opponent of having a thespian relative, or practicing "nepotism" with a sister-in-law.