Arianna Huffington: April Fools’ Day Gag Rip-Off Artist?

Originally published at NewsReal’s That’s What She Said blog. Please follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our feed!

Runnin’ Scared notes that Arianna’s April Fools’ Day jab at the New York Times is awfully similar to a post that appeared at The Monkey Cage … on March 20. In a fairly lame attempt to razz the Times for its new paywall, she announced:

Today marks a significant transition for The Huffington Post Media Group, as we introduce digital subscriptions for employees of The New York Times.

Yeah, yeah. In other news, she just flew in from the coast and BOY are her arms tired. Hardy har har. Here’s a snippet from the earlier post at The Monkey Cage:

Starting on March 28th (and immediately for any Canadian NY Times employees), we will begin charging employees of the NY Times $29.99/month to access the electronic version of The Monkey Cage.

The similarities don’t end there.

Not only did the blog Monkey Cage make the same joke two weeks ago — “Monkey Cage to Begin Charging NY Times Employees for Access,” as pointed out on Twitter — but even the bullet-pointed formatting of the joke is the same, complete with wild and crazy caveats. For instance:

From Monkey Cage: “Times employees who wish to leave comments on posts will be permitted to do so without charge, but only if the comments are essentially positive and invoke the words ‘insightful’ or ‘counter-intuitive.'”

From Arianna: “If you come in through Digg, you’ll be able to read for free all stories that refer to TV’s Erik Estrada.”

Now sure, it could be that the comedy stylings of Arianna Huffington were something she thought up on her own, perhaps during a late night coffee klatch with Van Jones and Nora Ephron. But this is hardly the first time The Huffington Post has been on the receiving end of content theft and idea theft allegations. And when she’s not stealing, she’s “aggregating,” or as Stephen Colbert recently explained, “HuffPo is famous for its extensive, comprehensive coverage of things other people produce and put on the Internet.” In his best Arianna accent, he asked:

Darling, I happened to cruise by your $300 million website and you know what I find? A whole lotta me, including clips from my show on your site’s dedicated Stephen Colbert page. You have achieved the impossible. You made me feel angry while looking at pictures of myself. Where’s my money, Arianna?

If even Stephen Colbert is mocking her reputation as a content thief with The Colbuffington Re-Post, is it beyond belief that she’d swipe her April Fools’ Day “joke”? Runnin’ Scared suggests she’s not a thief, it’s just that her ideas are “played out.” I’m not so sure.

Federally Funded Frog and Fairy Folly

Originally published at NewsReal’s That’s What She Said blog. Please follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our feed!

There was actually a different “f” word that sprang to mind when I read about this at Verum Serum:

A $600,000 frog sculpture that lights up, gurgles “sounds of nature” and carries a 10-foot fairy girl on its back could soon be greeting Defense Department employees who plan to start working at the $700 million Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. this fall. That is unless a new controversy over the price tag of the public art doesn’t torpedo the idea.

Decried as wasteful spending that will be seen by just a couple thousand of daily workers who arrive on bus shuttles, foes have tried to delay the decision, expected tomorrow, April 1. But in an E-mail, an Army Corps of Engineers official said that the decision can’t be held up because it would impact completion of the huge project.

With a decision deadline of April 1, I figured this had to be an April Fools’ Day gag. No such luck. The proposal by artist Cheryl Foster is proudly displayed on the City of Alexandria website, along with equally absurd wastes of taxpayer dollars like a magnolia sculpture (pretty sure you can grow a magnolia for under six figures) and a “robust, maintenance free, colorful and uplifting” bench. Yes, a bench. An uplifting bench.

A member of the advisory committee overseeing the project says just 2,500 people will pass by the sculpture each day.

$600,000 for a giant toad the artist says will “magically radiate” light? I wonder how much she’ll knock off the price tag if we’re willing to forgo whatever dark enchantments she uses to produce that “magical” amphibian glow.

Check out the photo of the proposed sculpture at Verum Serum, and get ready to wish this out-of-control government spending was just an April Fools’ hoax.

Paul Krugman’s Freaky Anne Hathaway Fantasy


Originally posted at NewsReal’s That’s What She Said

Every time news coverage of actress Anne Hathaway spikes, so does Berkshire Hathaway stock. At least, that’s the fantasy Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman promoted on his New York Times blog this weekend.

Why? The claim is that it’s the fault of robotrading algorithms, which now account for most of the market, and which sometimes rely among other things on trends in news coverage.

That’s the kind of dumb mistake human traders wouldn’t make. Unfortunately, they’d make other kinds of dumb mistakes.

“I, For One, Do Not Welcome Our Dumb Robot Overlords,” writes Krugman.

Where’s the evidence that Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are at the mercy of a half-baked fleet of starstruck retard-o-bots? Krugman cites The Financial Times, but the original source of this bizarre story is Huffington Post blogger Dan Mirvish, a media hoaxer the New York Times once called “a senior fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence.” On March 2, Mirvish wrote:

On the Friday before the Oscars, Berkshire shares rose a whopping 2.02%. And on the Monday just after the Academy Awards, they rose again, this time 2.94%. But it’s not just an Oscar bounce, or something Warren Buffett may have said in the newspaper, or even necessarily something the company itself is doing (i.e. rumors afoot to buy Costco). Just look back at some other landmark dates in Anne Hathaway’s still young career:

Oct. 3, 2008 – Rachel Getting Married opens: BRK.A up .44%
Jan. 5, 2009 – Bride Wars opens: BRK.A up 2.61%
Feb. 8, 2010 – Valentine’s Day opens: BRK.A up 1.01%
March 5, 2010 – Alice in Wonderland opens: BRK.A up .74%
Nov. 24, 2010 – Love and Other Drugs opens: BRK.A up 1.62%
Nov. 29, 2010 – Anne announced as co-host of the Oscars: BRK.A up .25%

Yes, the fearsome Hathaway Effect is based on eight dates in a two-year period analyzed by a professional media manipulator. But … but … studies show! Yeah, one “study” of a handful of data points.

I know, Paul. Markets are confusing, and math is hard. It’s been a while since you had to memorize all that information about sample sizes and correlation vs. causation for Stats 101. And it sure can be a hassle to RTFG. Fortunately, The Motley Fool cleared this up nearly three weeks ago:

Berkshire’s stock most certainly was up on Oct. 3, 2008, but there was more than an opening for Anne going on. Just two days prior, the stock had jumped almost 5% after Buffett got a dandy deal on perpetual preferred stock from General Electric (NYSE: GE ) .Meanwhile, on Feb. 8, 2010, did Anne Hathaway’s movie push up Berkshire’s stock? Or were investors anticipating the heavy buying from index funds that would be forced to add Berkshire to their holdings after it replaced Burlington Northern Santa Fe in the S&P 500?

The March 5, 2010 gain we can write off even more quickly, since the S&P gained nearly double Berkshire’s jump that day. What good is the Anne Hathaway signal if the stock still underperforms the rest of the market?

And of course, all good Fools know that the weekend of Feb. 27, 2011 something happened that was much more important than the Oscars — the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder letter was released. My wild guess is that the stock gains that Friday reflected anticipation about the letter, while Monday’s pop was due to Buffett’s bullish outlook in the letter.

Now run along, Paul, and check the inside of the fridge to see if a tiny Anne Hathaway turns the light on when you open the door.

The Barefoot Contessa Hates Cilantro … And Children With Cancer


Originally posted at NewsReal’s That’s What She Said

I always thought there was something a little off about Ina Garten. The woman substitutes basil for cilantro in her chili recipe. What kind of animal does such a thing?

This kind:

The “Barefoot Contessa” star allegedly turned down a request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The foundation reportedly tried to contact the celebrity chef twice on behalf of a six-year-old boy suffering from leukemia who wanted to cook with her. And twice they were rebuffed.

Garten reportedly blew off the first request due to her busy book tour schedule. But 6-year-old Enzo decided to wait, skipping the chance to have another wish granted by the foundation. Bad choice, kid:

We’re told the organization went back to Ina this year … but her team responded with a “definite no” … once again, citing scheduling conflicts.

A member of Enzo’s family says the 6-year-old is heartbroken … and asked parents, “Why doesn’t she want to meet me?”

Ina Garten can’t spare 10 minutes to teach a dying kid how to stick Nilla Wafers in a dish of banana pudding? Maybe whip up a little guacamole? (Hold the cilantro!)

Of course, The Contessa has been swamped for ages, what with entertaining celebrity friends like Alec “my daughter is a ‘pig'” Baldwin, writing checks to Obama for America, and hosting Planned Parenthood Benefits at her home.

Political Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro Dies; Westboro Trash to Picket Funeral


Originally posted at NewsReal’s That’s What She Said

Geraldine Ferraro, former NY congresswoman and the first woman on a major party presidential ticket, succumbed to blood cancer this morning. Greta Van Susteren writes:

Whether you are a Dem or a Repub, you have to admit, an extraordinary woman has died.  She was the first and it meant so so so so much.

Fred Phelps and his Westboro cultists immediately began to celebrate the 1984 VP nominee’s death.

Fred Phelps’ daughter Margie tweeted:

She taught nation proud sin. She’s in hell. #WBC will picket public memorial.

Rebekah Phelps-Roper wrote:

#Westboro rejoices when God kills His enemies!

And Shirley Phelps-Roper added:

The ONLY thing important for USA about Geraldine Ferraro is that God has righteously sent her to hell! #TaughtProudSin

I proudly support the First Amendment right of Americans to picket each and every Phelps family funeral. Vile gutter sludge.

RIP, Geraldine Ferraro.

Never Let A Gang Rape Go to Waste?

Originally published on March 13, 2011 at NewsReal


In 1989, a jogger was beaten, raped, and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park.  When she arrived at the courthouse to testify, a swarm of protesters led by Al Sharpton greeted her with shouts of “whore!” and “drug addict!”

She was just a rape victim, an acceptable casualty of Sharpton’s beloved race warfare.

“It’s typical of the left to make a convicted rapist a hero,” Susan Brownmiller told an interviewer in 1975.  The feminist author was referring to the Left’s embrace of Eldridge Cleaver, the 1960s Black Panther radical who called his rape of white women “an insurrectionary act.”

And so it is decades later in Cleveland, Texas.

An 11-year-old girl suffered a brutal gang rape that began in the bedroom and bathroom of a house and ended in a filthy abandoned trailer strewn with garbage and debris. Police say the assailants forced the child to remove her clothes under threat of violence and raped her while filming the prolonged attack with a camera phone.

The child’s vaginal injuries were so severe that she told a forensic interviewer “investigators might find blood at one of the locations as proof.” A reporter who read the search warrant affidavit described the details as “too obscene to repeat.”

At least 18 men and boys were arrested, and up to 10 more suspects may be charged in the coming days. The victim is Hispanic and all of the accused are black.

Like a vulture circling carrion, New Black Panther Party leader Quanell X swooped down on the small East Texas town to devour the remains of an 11-year-old child’s innocence. The soulless race hustler attracted a standing-room-only crowd to an event in support of the accused attackers. He called his victim blaming, race baiting hate rally “What’s The Real Truth Behind The Rape Allegations?

“I did not come here this evening to jump on an 11-year-old girl,” he insisted during remarks that questioned “why she didn’t report the attack to authorities herself.” The rally was packed with supporters of the accused men who “blamed the girl for the way she dressed or claimed she must have lied about her age.” A revolting article in the March 9th edition of the New York Times chronicled similar victim blaming by local residents who said the girl “dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.” And a defense attorney for several of the men told a Houston Chronicle reporter that the child was “seeking attention” and “wants to be a porn star.”

Is this the best Cleveland, Texas has to offer a vulnerable young girl violated by a gang of local men?

Before Quanell X descended on the town of Cleveland, residents were experiencing heightened racial tensions due to the possible recall of three black city council members. The opportunistic, exploitative stench of his agenda belched forth from the rally Thursday night as he encouraged the community’s despicable, unconscionable questions about the 11-year-old victim’s culpability. In a move carefully orchestrated to cultivate a toxic atmosphere of doubt and blame, he “even went so far as to show reporters a scantily clad photo of her posted on Facebook.”

Further victimization of an 11-year-old rape survivor means nothing to Quanell X. She’s collateral damage, a civilian casualty in his endless quest to recruit violent criminals and their sympathizers as foot soldiers in his race war. “’She lives in another community,’ Quanell X told the gathering. ‘You mean to tell me the only men that had sex with that girl were black men, locked up in that jail?’” Proclaiming the innocence of some of those arrested, he took up a collection for their defense and attempted to whip the crowd into a frothy mix of racial resentment and hatred. “We do not want someone with a malicious racist motive to rid your community of an entire generation of black men,” he said.

From victim shaming and race baiting fabrications to politically motivated rape jokes, exaggerated statistics, and vicious smear campaigns, rape has long been an acceptable political weapon in the professional Left’s arsenal.  Victims of rape, the wrongly accused, and the damaged and disturbed people who make false allegations are all completely dispensable in the service of illuminating some larger “truth” about American imperialism or social injustice.

The horrendous false allegations of gang rape made by Tawana Brawley and Crystal Gail Mangum proved just as useful to the political Left.   Their tales of racially motivated sexual violence were carefully manipulated to advance a disturbing narrative of racial hatred–truth and justice be damned. Both women were fashioned into political dodge balls and lobbed repeatedly at the Left’s targets until, worn and battered, they found themselves discarded unceremoniously in the nearest gutter.

And now, that gutter is where an 11-year-old  Texas girl finds herself, abandoned by the feminists who spoke out about her rape but are now appallingly silent about her savaging by a prominent black activist and his depraved disciples.

← Previous PageNext Page →