Arianna Huffington, Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NOLA.com asks: when is Super Bowl 2013?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

As New Orleans prepares to host the event know as the "Super Bowl," there are many questions on locals' minds. Which major roads will be closed? Will there be anywhere to park my car? What events sponsored by dog food companies and cable providers can I attend? But the most important question weighing heavily on our minds is: when is the Super Bowl?

Fortunately, NOLA.com has answered this tough question in its dogged pursuit of robust content-gathering.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

James Franco takes a ghost tour

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM

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James Franco seems to be Arianna Huffington's latest addition to her vast collection of human celebrity curios — or, as she puts it, "fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors."

Franco, who is shooting a movie here and staying on "Charters" Street, has taken to the cluttered HuffPo salt mine to write about his recent French Quarter ghost tour with "Nana (my trusty hair woman, raised in Japan) and Iris (my production consultant, raised in Mexico)." First, though, he has a note about economic development:

Our driver told us that there are more restaurants in New Orleans now than before Katrina. I don't know what that means exactly, but I guess some business is coming back.

When the tour gets to the Lalaurie Mansion, there is, of course, Nicolas Cage content:

We also visited a strange mansion that at one point was owned by Nicolas Cage. It was the site of horrific medical/carnival experiments on slaves in the vein of Human Centipede. About 200 years ago, the mansion belonged to a rich socialite with red hair. A fire broke out during one of her parties, and the fireman who answered the call discovered a chamber that smelled so bad it brought them to their knees, retching. Inside were living and dead victims of a variety of mutilations: amputations, limbs exchanged between people, sexes switched (meaning dicks were sewn onto women), skin flayed in designs to turn the victims into "human caterpillars" and other grotesque monstrosities. The house is still occupied, but it has not had a single owner for more than a five-year period.

Nana was a little disappointed by the tour; she wanted more of a haunted house experience.

Confidential to Nana: There's always this, just a couple blocks away. Far, far more terrifying.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How the National Enquirer is covering the BP oil disaster

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Every media outlet has its own niche when it comes to the BP oil disaster. The Wall Street Journal, not surprisingly, is concentrating on the ups and downs (mostly downs) of BP stock prices. Mother Jones is muckraking (literally) from an environmentalist perspective. Even The Huffington Post is doing its own thing, which involves one of Arianna's celebrity friends penning a new-age, pop-psych essay called Drawing Blessings From the Gulf Oil Spill. ("To best serve the Gulf of Mexico, ourselves and our world, I encourage focusing and having faith in the power of divine love. By focusing on bringing greater good into manifestation, there can be a returning to the natural order that thrives and creates bounty.")

With everyone getting into the act, it's no surprise that the National Enquirer is muscling in on the action with a story headlined OILY BP BOSS BUSTS UP NUPS!:

BP boss CARL HENRIC-SVANBERG isn't just being blamed for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he's the accused villain behind the breakup of a Massachusetts couple's 18-year marriage! ...

What's more, just days after BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 - leaving 11 dead and millions of gallons of oil spewing into the gulf - the lovebirds vacationed in Phuket, Thailand on his luxury yacht!

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Wow. Can't wait to see how the Weekly World News is going to cover this ... but I bet it'll involve space aliens and Bat Boy.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday morning news dump: Obama day edition

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM

While you're waiting for President Barack Obama to arrive (Air Force One touches down at MSY at 11:20, unless he pulls a switcheroo and comes in on JetBlue), here's some background reading...

The New York Times and The Washington Post both report on the duration of the visit and the contretemps over whether it's long enough....

• Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao is still disappointed in Gov. Bobby Jindal for not getting in on the funding for the proposed high-speed rail line between here and Baton Rouge....

• On the HuffPo, Harry Shearer examines Obama's to-do list, and weighs in on what's been checked off and what's overdue....

Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle interviews Leah Chase, who will be packing up a takeout lunch for the president today. (Hail to the chef!) Then the topic of another president arose:

In another photo, President George W. Bush was seated at a table with other dignitaries, and he was grasping her hand as she posed behind him.

At the end of the meal I asked about Obama and her eyes took on a joyous sheen as she practically sang his praises in her deep, rich voice.

I couldn't resist: "So you seem to be an equal opportunity cook," I said, as I drew attention to the other President. Her twinkle shifted a bit.

"He's a lovely man," she said. "He's invited me to the White House twice and he's such a gentleman." After a short pause she said: "However some men just find themselves in the wrong job."

That ought to keep you occupied. Meanwhile, Clancy DuBos will be on CNN at some point this morning, and we have reporters at both the UNO town hall and the Crescent City Recovery protest on the river. We'll also be Twittering Obama's speech, as well as all the bloviating from the punditocracy. Later.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Future of Facebook Journalism

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Do you want to know what your friends are reading? What about your friends’ friends? With Huffington Post’s new HuffPost Social News, you’ll get your chance. The new feature is a partnership with Facebook that tracks what HuffPost articles you’re looking at and what all your Facebook friends are perusing. In a recent article, “Huffington Post + Facebook= the Future of Journalism,” for Slate’s The Big Money, Chadwick Matlin, explains how the two Web sites are providing the service:

Connect basically serves as a conduit between Facebook and another Web site, allowing data to be sent between the two. Facebook sends profile information. In return, the site sends details on what the user is doing. Web sites, of course, have always tracked what pages their users visit. Now HuffPost is broadcasting that information to all of your friends. It has become a loudmouthed Big Brother.”

Not too surprising, the success of the venture could guarantee quite a cash windfall for both Facebook and HuffPost. Matlin isn’t a huge fan of HuffPost, but as he concludes, “it’s not important. Trust me. Huffington Post has taught me that lesson all too well.”

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bad day at 3800 Howard

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 9:12 PM

Layoffs may be on the way for staffers at The Times-Picayune after the first of the year, reports Editor & Publisher:

Advance Publications' Newhouse Newspapers, believed to be the only major newspaper chain to avoid layoffs throughout the recent upheavals suffered by its industry, is planning to remove its long-standing "no-layoffs" pledge.

Publishers at the chain's 20 daily newspapers, which include The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.; The Oregonian in Portland, the Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, broke the news to staffers Wednesday.

"We wanted to communicate to employees that this is coming," said Steve Newhouse, chairman of AdvanceNet, the chain's online division, and a member of the Newhouse family, the company's longtime owners. "We have had a pledge not to layoff employees for economic conditions or advances in technology."

But Newhouse said recent industry problems have forced the company to rescind the pledge. He said staffers are being told today that the pledge will remain for six more months, and then layoffs could occur.

"It was not a pledge that applied to the kind of transitional moment in the newspaper industry that is basically struggling to survive," he said, noting it only applied to the company's daily newspapers.

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This is following the departure of some of the T-P's most experienced and recognizable names, including Angus Lind, Susan Finch and David Cuthbert in the paper's latest series of buyouts. It's also a rough blow to a paper where morale already isn't tip-top and yet the staff is working hard to put out quality work, because that's just what they do.

The pledge was a lovely thing in theory, but it was hardly legally binding; the life of a newspaper employee isn't a civil-service sinecure, with all its perqs and guarantees. The days of big-city dailies as fat-and-lazy "velvet coffins" where people remain for decades are gone forever. It's possible to foresee a day when big-city dailies are gone forever, too. According to the blog Paper Cuts, which tracks the death decline of U.S. newspapers, the industry has lost 12,964 jobs in 2009 alone -- almost as many as it did in the entire year of 2008, which was horrendous on its own. With this news, it's hard to imagine 2010 will be any better for anyone except perhaps Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden, who will likely be offering unemployed journos the chance to work "for exposure." But exposure don't pay the rent or feed the cat.

To our friends and colleagues over at the T-P (even the ones who can't stand us): we're feeling for you today. Truly.

• And to double the bummer: It's been one of the worst-kept secrets in town that the T-P's excellent food critic, Brett Anderson, was on the very short list of people to replace The New York Times' food critic Frank Bruni. Today it was announced that the job went to Times culture editor Sam Sifton. We're disappointed for Anderson, but the silver lining is that we'll be able to look forward to his byline in Lagniappe.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday morning news dump

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Stormy Daniels was arrested over the weekend on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

• The former head of the Louisiana Film Commission is headed to the pokey after pleading guilty to accepting bribes.

• Democrats are outraising Republicans in Congressional swing districts. Notes Real Clear Politics:

Perhaps the most obvious Republican district on Democrats' wish list is in New Orleans, where Joseph Cao gave the GOP one of its few bright spots of 2008 by defeating the ethically-challenged Bill Jefferson in a heavily Democratic district. Cao has raised more than $500,000 this year, however, and has proven his independence on the House floor.

• A new production of A Streetcar Named Desire has opened in London, featuring Rachel Weisz as Blanche DuBois. Mixed reviews, but mostly positive.

• Thirsty? Poppy Z. Brite offers up a recipe for "The Sadist's Sazerac."

• Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden makes another high-profile hire for the Huffington Post. Notes Gawker:

The Huffington Post just hired another VIP's child, this one the son of White House senior adviser David Axelrod. Funny how a website famous for not paying bloggers finds room on the payroll for an undistinguished corps of rich kids.

• The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau has been cited for its innovative use of Twitter.

• And speaking of Twitter: we got into a vigorous discussion last night about the merits (or lack thereof) of the White House press corps with ABC News' Jake Tapper.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday morning news dump

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Rising Tide

Rising Tide 4, the annual conference of bloggers and others concerned about the Crescent City, will be held Sat. Aug. 22 at the Zeitgeist. Gambit's "Suspect Device" cartoonist, Greg Peters, designed the striking poster, and the keynote speaker will be Harry Shearer. More details on the Rising Tide blog as they get finalized.

• A rep for Arnie Fielkow emails a statement from the councilman this morning:

My family and I continue to discuss our future and my professional plans and I anticipate announcing a final decision on or before Labor Day.

Clancy DuBos is on a plane today, but he has confirmed with NOPD Crisis Intervention Unit director Cecile Tabo that she will not be runnng for the District A council seat being vacated by Shelley Midura. Tabo told him, "You can look for me possibly in 2014, when all the kiddies are off to college and, hopefully, life is dandy."

Lutherans, Lutherans everywhere! And, boy, are they excited to be here for a week to do public service. Here's a nice story from a Wisconsin newspaper about their mission.

Cliff's Crib blogger Clifton Harris reviews last night's CNN special Black in America 2, and finds it an improvement over the (depressing) original.

• The federal minimum wage goes up to $7.25/hour tomorrow (it's currently $6.55). Not surprisingly, a writer for The New York Times approves and a writer for Bloomberg sees gloom and doom. Perhaps more interesting is this piece from an org that calls itself Business For a Fair Minimum Wage:

“A minimum wage increase at this time could be the most important factor in powering our economy out of the recession,” said Camille Moran, owner of a paralegal service and Christmas tree farm in Louisiana. “The higher the wage an employee receives, the more income he or she has to purchase goods and services for their family, which is indeed ‘the best medicine’ for our economy.” More than 8% of workers will be affected by the minimum wage increase in Louisiana.

• The hideous story about the local baby killed by rats plays out elsewhere, with a similar instance in Ohio.

• Newsbusters is the latest to take up cudgels regarding Arianna Huffington's policy about not paying her bloggers:

In any case, it all makes me wonder how many HuffPo bloggers are realizing that “the exposure” does them no real good at all if there isn’t any actual, real reward in it for them? Further, how many are becoming irked that Arianna Huffington is pulling in millions of dollars in investment cash and advertising fees made on the backs of the thousands of those bloggers that toil for free on a daily basis?

• ...and local rockers Rotary Downs are currently previewing songs from their upcoming CD, Chained to the Chariot. Listen here.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday morning news dump

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:18 PM

[image-1] • Gov. Bobby Jindal continues his media tour to denounce "Obamacare," with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, a folksy piece at Politico, and an appearance with Sean Hannity on Fox News, who asked Jindal: "So my question to you is on a scale of 1 to 10, how devastating is what Barack Obama has done to the economy?"

• Outrage du jour: Dr. Regina Benjamin, Obama's surgeon-general designate (and a grad of Xavier and Tulane) isn't a size 2. Or, as Neil Cavuto said while introducing a discussion of this vital topic:

Brilliant, dedicated, experienced and, oh yeah, fat. The President's pick for Surgeon General is fat. Not a lot fat, but enough fat for my next guest to say fat chance for Dr. Regina Benjamin to even be considered.

The word "fathead" comes to mind, and we're not talking about Dr. Benjamin.

Arianna Huffington once again explains why paying the bloggers who write for her is just not part of her business model, darling. Or, rather, her spokesman explains; Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden is off on a cruise.

• The Atlantic has a reverential profile of local developer Sean Cummings. Local blogger WetBankGuy calls it a "glowing in-flight magazine puff piece." Ouch.

• That horrible story about the NOPD police dog that died in the car is joined by one where a couple left their terrier to die ... while its owner's girlfriend auditioned for American Idol.

• St. Aug has a lovely tribute on its Web site to its late band director, Edwin Hampton, who died yesterday.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid-afternoon reading

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Eric Boehlert examines how Alaska bloggers watchdogged (soon to be former) Gov. Sarah Palin. Sounds like Juneau and Anchorage have a blogging community as active and engaged as we do here in New Orleans.

• Marigny/Bywater guy-around-town Jonno d'Addario interviews Dan Cameron about the prospect of Prospect.2, the city's 2010 art biennial.

Edna Gundersen of USA Today writes a lovely profile of local music legend Cosimo Matassa (complete with photo of Cosimo in front of Matassa's Market in the French Quarter).

• Most-of-the-time New Orleans resident Harry Shearer is in London, wondering why the British newspaper industry seems so robust while its American counterpart is so anemic. (Confidential: Harry, you can do your part by not writing for Arianna any more.)

• And speaking of Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden, Exploitress of Writers: Michelle Haimoff, a blogger for the Huffington Post, ventures forth with a plan that would allow Arianna Huffington to actually pay the people who make her millions. Poor Michelle, though, has to slobber all over the boss' ring before mewing her piteous proposal:

People are willing to write for The Huffington Post for free. I'm one of them. It's great exposure, the tone is unapologetically opinionated and if you've ever met Arianna Huffington you've noticed that she exudes a kind of warmth and authenticity that is rare for people at her level in the media world. But not only are people willing to write for Arianna for free, she is also willing to let us write for her for free, something an old guard institution like the New York Times won't even consider.

Yet as brilliant of a strategy as hiring legions of unpaid writers is, there is a catch....

"[S]he is also willing to let us write for her for free"?!?!?! Does Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden magnanimously allow you to clean her house for free, too? Run, Michelle! Get thee to a deprogramming center stat!

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