Who the Heck is Justin Theroux?

28 08 2011

Who’s Jennifer Aniston sleeping with?  This guy.


Ok so just about every time I’ve clicked over to Perez or People this summer there’s been something about Jen and her new man: Justin Theroux.

The name was vaguely familiar but the pictures of them together evoked nothing but the thought: She’s had better.
I felt this way especially after catching his credit in Your Highness the other night… hilariously creepy role, but not the hottest guy in the movie.

I did a little digging for my own piece of mind and it turns out Theroux is a pretty impressive dude!
He has appeared in almost four dozen film and television projects including roles in Mulholland Drive, American Psycho, Six Feet Under, Parks and Recreation, and Megamind.


Bethel Staff Are Bullies (Team SPAC!)

14 08 2011

Not totally sure where Perez Hilton got his tip this time, because I definitely would have looked further into this, but apparently some Selena Gomez & the Scene fans got bullied by the site security at Bethel Woods last Friday.

In the middle of “Who Says,” her current single, Gomez observed an incident in the crowd and told staffers to ” leave my fans alone!”   Gomez went on to close the number with the help of a young girl, dressed in pink, she plucked from the audience.


I don’t live too far from the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, so I have attended two or three shows at the venue before.
I would not be surprised to learn that security and/or staff got too strict with guests of the concert– they do things a little differently down there. You cannot bring in your own chairs, for example.  The intention of the facility seems to be luring elitist Manhattanites “up state.”

I saw DMB there last summer (General Admission/Lawn, $50 after tax and service charges), and it was a good time despite the uncooperative weather. What turned me off to the venue entirely were rude workers. Leaving that show, I have no intention of seeing a concert there again- I’d rather drive the extra 45 mins in the other direction (north) to Saratoga.
I was walking around with some friends, one of which was working there, and when we paused to clap following a number  — THREE staffers turned, waving their flashlights, and yelled at us to get away from the area, as it was for seated ticket holders only. We lowly lawn squatters had to skedaddle before we were “removed.”

Between the first concert I attended there (maybe as many as 8 years ago?) and the latest (13 months ago) the tone of the complex changed from that of a delightful gem nestled in the foot of the Catskills to one of a harshly modern cultural affair.
As I said, I get the impression that Bethel is trying to make itself more appealing to the NYC crowd, offering a “weekend in the country” type experience, if only just for the night.
This attitude is contradictory to it’s clientele – twentysomethings and aged-hippies in neighboring Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties. 


Were you or someone you know AT this concert? Message me!
Anyone else have a story about their experience at Bethel?  I’d love to hear it!


No No No, Another Musical Icon Lost

25 07 2011

Undeniably talented but plagued by her addictions, the five-time Grammy winner became the latest member of the 27 Club Saturday.

The British-born singer Amy Winehouse, a waif of a woman with an enormous voice,  was found dead early on July 23, allegedly by her long-time bodyguard Ray Grange. The London Ambulance Service responded to her home address in Camden Square. 

Many initial reports of the incident claimed Winehouse had reverted to old behaviors and died by overdose. However, a preliminary investigation by London police revealed no paraphernalia to be in the home.

Reportedly in treatment as recently as June, with the Priory Clinic, another item of speculation circulating is that the termination of Winehouse’s rocky relationship with director Reg Traviss played a part in her final fall off the wagon. It is said that after many efforts to turn Amy’s life around, Traviss realized he couldn’t help her help herself, and he ended their year-long romance.

Authorities confirmed the presence of alcohol, fueling theories that Winehouse drank herself to death.

No official cause of death has been announced, pending a post-mortem examination (autopsy) scheduled for sometime Monday.  Her mother Janis has expressed obvious saddness, but also admitted to a lingering intuition that she would outlive her only daughter — quoted on PerezHilton as saying  “it was only a matter of time.”

My Break-Up with PEOPLE Magazine

26 01 2011

It’s called  magazine for a reason.
It’s supposed to feature all kinds of people, not just the famous ones.

I’ve had a subscription to People for 3 or 4 years, but bought it fairly regularly before that. I made the decision to ignore all of the “Renew Now!” letters and flyers that have arrived over the past few months and end my relationship with the weekly.

A) I don’t care about Justin Bieber’s haircut, or his “memoir,” or what he looks for in a woman. Good lord.
It seems as if the editors over at People have forgotten who they’re writing for.  Their target audience is between the ages of 18 and 54, but the content has not been a reflection of who/what 50-year-olds are interested in for some time.
How far have we fallen that this, this, or this are newsworthy?!

B) Yeah, yeah, Celebrity baby news.
What was once info relegated to the “Passages” page, now take up cover space (teasers) and full spreads inside.
Is it exciting to see who the newborn celeb offspring resembles? Yes. Is it worth publications spending millions of dollars to show us? No.  With the exception of Michael Jackson’s children, no one has been able to hide their kids forever (which in Hollywood time, is about 7 years).
Two actresses to make birth announcements this past week were Natalie Portman and Kate Hudson.

Natalie Portman is SO hot right now (An Oscar nom! 4 Films coming out in 2011!), and the fact that she will be taking time off from films to be a first-time mom makes such information timely.

But Kate Hudson? Why should we care? She hasn’t been in an even half-way decent film in a decade. She has gotten more press space and time for her failing relationships than for her work as an actress. I can remember the time between her divorce from Chris Robinson and this announcement not in order of what films she released, but in who she dated/broke-up with! It’s sort of sad that she has crossed over from being judged by her work and her professional accomplishments to being a tabloid fixture who seems to be nothing more than a serial-dater.

C) Fewer and fewer human interest stories.
They claim to be 50/50 coverage, but it really seems like 80/20 in some issues.
One of my professors said recently that Hollywood is being revered in this society as it was in the Great Depression, with film and television serving as “escapist entertainment.” I would have to agree.  In an uncertain world, I care less about replicating this or that celebrity style and more about the great, every day people that still exist.
Honestly, I want to know more about the extraordinary person living nextdoor than any celebrity gossip.  Even just a more researched, detailed, narrative account of a breaking national news story is appreciated!
For example, People magazine did a great job covering the death of Tyler Clementi last fall, and it was commendable for them to bump Mel Gibson’s baby mama drama off the cover…  Wait, did you read that? I just praised them for doing something that should not even have needed a moments thought. Is a wave of suicides among America’s gay youth more important than whatever Oksana Grigorieva has to say? Yes.

D) Poorly laid out website.
Admittedly, I check in daily- I have to double verify whatever gossip I read on PerezHilton! (He has said of PEOPLE, “Those bitches don’t confirm anything without a publicist!”)
But the usability of People.com is poor.  Their archive is not well organized, with search parameters returning irrelevant stories or blank documentaries (meaning the article existed, but is not digitally accessible).
The latest celeb tidbits are right there on the homepage, but juuust try to find a “Heroes Among Us” article.

I will undoubtedly thumb through the latest issue on my next stroll through WalMart, and I will no doubt buy copies in the future, but I could no longer justify the cost of a subscription for the unsatisfying content.  I will be looking to Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, and just about any other contemporary publication to fill the hole left in my heart left by People.  (Suggestions welcome!)

JRL 490 – Sports

18 10 2010

The Poynter Institute has been dragged into the Brett Favre-Jen Sterger “sexting” scandal- material better suited for such outlets as Deadspin, Bleach Report, and Hollywood Gossip.

Gregory E. Favre, a “Distinguished Fellow in Journalism Values” on the Poynter faculty, has had to deviate from the normal rule “writers aren’t the story,” in order to correct an unnecessary footnote attached to a Brett Favre analysis.

“Brett is a distant cousin in six different ways. I am 34 years older than he. I have never met him. I did know his grandfather. I left home 15 years before he was born. He doesn’t know how to pronounce our name, and neither do any of the sportscasters. Or Deadspin, for that matter. I have talked to the managing editor of Poynter.org once in a year and that was about a good place to buy po-boy sandwiches,”  he said.


I am partially amused and partially confused.

Why would an established, career journalist feel the need to buy into the absoulte nonsense of this scandal?

I would have ignored the footnote! Especially knowing (now) that they are distant cousins who have never met!

As much as I do indulge with daily readings of Perez Hilton, and occasionally a stop over at TMZ, I do think that sites like this are contradictory to to real news.  I think that it is important for writers of any format (print, online magazines, blogs) to hold themselves to a high level of credibility.

Perpetuating rumors and clogging up the pipes for real transfer of information isn’t helpful to the industry.
I hope I never find myself in a position where site-hits and ad sales become more important than the ntegrity of my work.

“Tweet Me,” say Celebs on LGBT Outreach YouTube Channel

6 10 2010

In the last three weeks, there have been SEVEN reported suicides amonst teens identifying themselves with the LGBT community.

From Saugus, MA to Houston, TX to Tehachapi, CA- young men were driven by a not-so-normal breed of childhood bullies to hang, shoot, or drown themselves.

These facts and stories are horrific to hear, whether or not you are gay, straight, young, old, a parent, a student, Republican or Democrat.

As Sandra Bullock so beautifully stated in her 2010 Oscar acceptance speech:
“There’s no race, no religion, no class system, no color- nothing- no sexual orientation, that makes us better than anyone else.
We are all deserving of love.”


Author and internationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage founded the It Gets Better Project after learning of the death of 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Indiana.

Rooted in the ever-popular and accessable YouTube site, the program encourages members of the LGBTQ community, and it’s allies, to make personal videos for gay youth.

In the two weeks since the channel was made, over 13,000 users have “subscribed” to Savage’s content and over 1 million people have viewed the video posts.

Getting in on the action are some of Hollywoods most outspoken gay and lesbian figures: gossip blogger Perez Hilton, actor Neil Patrick Harris, and TV personality/comedianne Ellen DeGeneres. 


A few celebrities who have reached out on an even more personal level, encouraging the troubled, questioning teens to talk to THEM, if no one else.  Pop-rocker Joel Madden (of Good Charlotte) and 90s boy-bander AJ McLean (of the Backstreet Boys) back up their “it gets better” claims with the promise to be there for these frustrated, hurt, struggling kids themselves- citing their personal, individual availability on Twitter.  





We cannot let there be any more…  RIP
             Tyler Clementi, 18, Ridgewood NJ
             Seth Walsh, 13, Techachapi CA
             Billy Lucas, 15, Greensburg IN
             Asher Brown, 13, Houston TX
             Raymond Chase, 18, Monticello NY
             Felix Sacco, 17, Saugus MA
             Harrison Chase Brown, 15, Rand CO


What is my social media diet?

15 09 2010

I guess you could say I’m a Front-Page reader. If it’s bold and there’s a picture, it has my attention.  Otherwise, I will seek out only the kind of stories that interest me… 

I love the entertainment industry, but have done well to insure that I am not among the percentage of young adults who depend on Jon Stewart as a primary news source (http://www.journalism.org/node/10953).

Whenever I describe my morning routine to a friend, I have to clarify why I read “my news” in a particular order.
I read Perez Hilton, People magazine and CNN’s sites every day. More than once in a day. When I examine that roster, I can conclude that I read in order of credibility. The gossip and rumors come from Perez, similar stories that can be legitimized by a publicist will show up on People, and if it is of national interest the good folks at CNN will throw out a blurb.

If you noticed, those are all online sources of news. Am I contributing to the fall of this industry? No.  When I am not in school, I read at least one physical news paper per day (my family subscribes to the Poughkeepsie Journal)- sometimes as many as four: The Daily Freeman, Southern Dutchess News, and/or USA Today.  If I have the time, I will at the very least skim every section. Except the sports, anything I “need” to know about the NFL, MLB or the like will be repeated by my 13-year-old brother at the dinner table.

That being said, I took particular interest in the comments of Bill Keller and Rupert Murdoch in the Eric Alterman piece.  “At places where editors and publishers gather, the mood these days is funeral,”  that’s heavy stuff.  Professors and mentors have tried to emphasize that the cuts are real, but that we hopefuls should remain dedicated to the craft of writing.  Poised to graduate in May and enter the workforce as soon as possible thereafter, I am slightly anerved by such a bold confession from an industry exec.

Murdoch made a realistic observation and subsequently a logical deduction regarding the direction of the news media, “Today’s consumers… want a point of view about not just what happened but why it happened.”  The internet has been a blessing and a curse; instant gratification has been exasserbated by entitlement (because the news is available immediately, we want it immediately).

 Andrew Sullivan takes a different approach to examining the online news format- he analyzes the origins, benefits, and consequences of the digital writer.  I agree wholeheartedly with the problem of time that he discusses in paragraph 8.
“A reporter can wait- must wait- until every source has confirmed.”  This is something I love and appreciate about journalism! As reporters we are taught not to perpetuate information that is not verifiable; “For bloggers, the deadline is always now,” and this poses a sincere ethical problem.  When the dust settles, the facts are clarified- changed even. 

The flow of information is as fragile as it is fast. Especially now in the age of technology, once an idea is presented it can never be taken back- you can’t unring the bell.

Due to the fact that anyone can start up a blog, I think it is particularly important for there to be a conscious effort by anyone and everyone, from Anderson Cooper to a lowly college student, who blogs to only put the most factually sound statements out there. If you’re going to come from a news/media standpoint, you should be interested in the truth, not viewership or garnering attention for yourselves.

Journalist’s aren’t the story, they tell the story.