Mixed Media

Feds Say Fox News’ Favorite CIA Source Is a Total Fraud

| Thu Oct. 15, 2015 2:00 PM EDT

Wayne Simmons, a regular Fox News commentator who claimed to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for almost three decades, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly fabricating his agency experience.

CNN Money reports that Simmons appeared in court on Thursday, where he faced charges of major fraud against the United States for falsely claiming to be a former "outside paramilitary special operations officer"—a padded resume that federal officials say he used to successfully gain government security clearances.

The frequent Fox News guest was often credited as a "terrorism analyst" and former CIA operative, who would routinely issue outlandishly false claims on national security matters, including the assertion there are "19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities" in the country.

In the indictment unsealed on Thursday, federal agents said they also believe Simmons had a "significant criminal history, including convictions for a crime of violence and firearms offenses, and is believed to have had an ongoing association with firearms notwithstanding those felony convictions."

Other charges include wire fraud and making false statements to the government.

According to CNN, a Fox spokesperson said Simmons "was never a contributor for Fox News," and that he only appeared on the network as an unpaid guest.

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One of New York’s Most Influential Restaurateurs Just Ditched Tipping

| Wed Oct. 14, 2015 1:34 PM EDT

Danny Meyer, the man behind Shake Shack and a string of acclaimed restaurants in New York City and around the country, announced Wednesday that his restaurant group will be putting an end to tipping at all 13 of Union Square Hospitality's full-service properties.

The move makes Meyer the most high-profile restaurateur to jump on the progressive policy, whose supporters argue that the tipping system doesn't actually incentivize work and in fact leads to unequal pay.

In a letter posted on the company's website, Meyer said that while he believes hospitality is "a team sport," workers like cooks, reservationists, and dishwashers "aren't able to share in our guests' generosity, even though their contributions are just as vital" to a customer's experience.

To compensate for higher wages, Meyer said his restaurants will be raising menu prices significantly.

The shift will begin in November at The Modern, located in New York's Museum of Modern Art, and gradually roll out to the rest of the group's restaurants. Shake Shack, however, will not be included in the changes.

Here's What Happens When You Photoshop All the Men Out of Politics

| Wed Oct. 14, 2015 12:14 PM EDT

The current pace at which women are elected to office in the United States and abroad is incredibly slow. A recent study cited in the Nation found that gender equality in American politics won't be seen for another 500 years— a demoralizing trend that's also evident in most major industries, from Silicon Valley to Hollywood.

For anyone who believes that women's underrepresentation in politics and industry is a progressive myth, a new video created by Elle UK proves otherwise. Using the power of Photoshop, the project wipes out all the men in politics, entertainment, and more to show just how few women actually have a seat at the table. Watch below:

This Aunt Is Suing Her 12-Year-Old Nephew for an "Unreasonable" Hug

| Tue Oct. 13, 2015 1:00 PM EDT

Update, October 13, 3:51 p.m. EST: Jennifer Connell lost her lawsuit. It took the jury just 20 minutes to decide to decline awarding her the $127,000 she sought in damages against her 12-year-old nephew. Here she is leaving the courthouse:

Today's spotlight for some internet outrage can be directed toward Jennifer Connell, a human resources manager who hails from New York.

According to the Connecticut Post, 54-year-old Connell has filed a lawsuit against her 12-year-old nephew claiming he acted "unreasonably" after giving her a hug that caused her to fall and break her wrist.

The unabashed display of affection happened four years ago at her nephew Sean Tarala's eighth birthday. He is the only defendant identified in the lawsuit, which claims his "negligent" hug caused her serious harm.

"All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground," Connell testified before a jury last Friday. "I remember him shouting, 'Auntie Jen, I love you,' and there he was flying at me."

She says she did not complain to her nephew at the time because she didn't want to hurt his feelings, she told jurors. But four years later, Connell is now seeking $127,000 in damages, which include compromising her ability to eat gracefully at social occasions.

"I was at a party recently," she explained. "And it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate."

On Friday, local media reported Tarala sitting next to his father in court looking "confused." His mother died last year.

Recap: "The Good Wife" Would Like You to Stop Selling Photos of Your Naked Children

| Mon Oct. 12, 2015 12:10 PM EDT

RECAP: The Good Wife, Season 7, Episode 2: "Innocents."

The episode opens and the good wife is in bond court and she meets a kid who has been arrested for vandalizing some stupid photo exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Art and this kid, see, this kid just doesn’t know how to help himself. “I did it,” he says over and over despite the good wife’s pleas that he ixnay the whole confession-ay. The bond judge grants the dumb kid bail and as he’s being led away he says to Alicia, “it’s me…in the photo [i defaced.] It’s me.”

Eli visits Governor Bad Wife to apologize for saying some mean things during last week's episode. Peter is all, “great, thanks, apology accepted, Alan Cumming, but you still can’t work in the campaign.” Eli is like “I hear you, buddy. Live long and prosper.”

Can we talk about this whole thing for a second? The entire idea that Peter would fire Eli for Margo Martindale is insane. Peter owes everything to Eli and up until last week’s episode has been acutely aware of that. I get they just needed to set up a fight for Eli to have but it really just makes Peter seem even worse than he already is.

And, look—OK, this is turning into a rant—but Peter, the bad husband, has never been portrayed as an actually evil or nefarious person. Deeply flawed, yes, but never villainous. The whole throwing Eli under the bus thing is really annoying me. But I digress.

Eli bumps into Margo Martindale as he’s leaving Peter’s office and she threatens to kill Eli if he comes near “[her] candidate again.” Eli asks her if she’s seen It Follows. Like me, she has not. Unlike me, she hasn’t even read the Wikipedia summary.

Back to the kid who hates the art. The photo is of him as a child when he was naked. His mom is a famous photographer. His mom is played by Amy Irving! I love Amy Irving. Amy Irving and my dad were in a movie once called The Competition where they played competing pianists who fall in love. The art vandal in this episode is basically my brother.

Alicia needs an investigator because Kalinda is gone so she interviews a few of them. One is this guy who is clearly really good. He’s played by a famous actor whose name I can’t remember, but he was in Watchmen and various other things. He is too famous not be the one she ends up with but also his character is too rich for Alicia’s blood. He costs $5 more than another investigator so Alicia goes with the cheaper one…for now.

Cary and Howard are fighting about something and I don’t know or care what.

Mamie Gummer is back guest starring as Amy Irving’s lawyer. The good wife feels for Amy Irving’s son because he’s clearly a screwed up twentysomething and it’s probably because of all these naked photos of him running around. She is going to try to get the Chicago Museum not to show the photos.

Eli calls the good wife and lets her know that Peter won’t let her hire him as her chief of staff. The good wife is like, “no way, José” and goes to visit her husband and is like “LET ME HIRE ELI OR I WILL DESTROY YOU BY TELLING THE PRESS HOW OUR MARRIAGE IS A SHAM” and Peter is like, “ok ok ok ok.”

Amy Irving and the son she photographed nude as a child meet and he is like, “mom, please don’t put these photos in the museum” and his mom is like, “I’m an artist, kiddo.” Amy Irving is really good at playing a hippy artist here.

Alicia’s case against Amy Irving has to do with whether her son ever gave consent to be photographed nude. Mamie Gummer says Amy Irving gave consent because she is the child’s mom.

Margo Martidale dispatches a spy to be Eli’s assistant and report back to her all his activities because she finally realizes that he isn’t giving up without a fight.

Amy Irving’s son takes the stand and explains how ever since the photographs of him naked where made public he has received emails from pedophiles. “After the book was published I’d come out of school and these…men…would be waiting for me.” Gross.

Cary and Howard are still fighting. I don’t want to bother trying to explain this storyline but one of Howard’s throw away lines is: “I can some up the Cubs turnaround in one word: Jews.”

The investigator Alicia hired screws up a bunch because she is utterly incompetent and Alicia is like “damn i should have hired that famous actor who was far too famous to only appear in one scene of this TV show.”

Amy Irving takes the stand and is all, “look, back off, ok? I am an artist and lots of artists use their children as subjects and if I were a man you’d be throwing me a fucking parade” and then the bond attorney who is now Alicia’s second chair is like, “I’m not in the business of throwing parades for people who take photos of naked children.”

Back at Alicia's house, Eli presents the good wife with a plan to make her “Saint Alicia” again. She needs to go the Democratic party chief who screwed her over last season. I don’t remember all the details of that but he was corrupt and forced Alicia to drop out of the State’s Attorney race even though she had totally won and not done anything wrong. He is a bad corrupt person. That is all we need to know.

The corrupt man asks Eli to let him and Alicia talk privately and is like “I want to put you on the election board. People like people on the election board! But here’s the thing, I need you to do me a corrupt favor. Vote No on the first vote. DON’T ASK ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE FIRST VOTE WILL BE BUT JUST VOTE NO, OK?” And the good wife says, “ok,” because the good wife is not a perfect human being.

Alicia fires her shitty investigator and calls the guy from Watchmen but he maybe is going to work for Cary. Cary can offer him a lot more money.

Anyway blah blah the case of the naked child continues and it isn’t going great for Alicia and Amy Irving’s kid but then P.I. Watchmen suggests she put a pedophile on the stand and the pedophile is like, “oh yeah I love looking at those photos of that kid naked! All the pedos love it!” It’s a darkly humorous scene.

The judge isn’t convinced that it’s kiddie porn though and is like “museum can open!” but then Alicia realizes she can go after Amy Irving for lost wages because the kid was a subject of the photo and was essentially working during the photo shoots. She is going to sue Amy Irving for a whole lot of money.

It seems like ol’ good wife has Amy Irving over a barrel but then the kid is like “mom, i don’t want your money I just want the photos so the pedophiles will leave me alone” and the good wife is like, “the photos are still on the internet, kid. You can’t unring the bell. But this money can help you start a new bell.” Amy Irving looks at the kid and reaches her hand across the table. The kid reaches his hand and joins his in hers. This is the end of the scene.

Peter tells Margo Martindale that Eli did a good thing by getting Alicia on the elections board and that she should call him and give him an attaboy. She is disturbed by this instruction.

Back at the good wife’s home we find out that she won the case on behalf of Amy Irving’s son and got a nice chunk of change so apparently that handshake meant Amy Irving was agreeing to pay her kid. The male investigator shows up and is all “knock knock, I have a really good offer. Can you beat it?” We know what the offer is but Alicia does not. Diane offered him $250 an hour. Alicia says, “what’s the offer I have to beat?” And Jeffrey Dean Morgan (thank god, I finally remembered his name) lies to her and says, “$90 an hour.” Alicia offers him $95 which is still way less than the $250 he was really offered but he says yes because he likessssssssss her.

The end.


Country-Rocker Corb Lund Shows Off His Wit and High-Lonesome Voice

| Mon Oct. 12, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

Corb Lund
Things That Can't Be Undone
New West

With his flexible, high-lonesome voice and witty songs, Corb Lund makes records that have real staying power. On Things That Can't Be Undone, his first studio outing in three years, the Canadian country-rocker and his nimble supporting trio, the Hurtin' Albertans, dispatch sizzling boogie rave-ups and heart-tugging ballads equally well, uncorking a batch of snappy tunes bigger names would be smart to cover. Among the high points: "Weight of the Gun," a loping tale of regret in the spirit of vintage Johnny Cash, "Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues," a hilarious unofficial sequel to Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It," and the haunting war story "Sadr City." Then again, there's not a dull or false note to be found on this remarkable and rewarding album.

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British Photographer Don McCullin Gets a Smashing Present for His Birthday

| Fri Oct. 9, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

Without question, British photographer Don McCullin is one of the best and most influential photojournalists of the 20th century. With his visceral frontline images, he brought intense, gut wrenching moments of combat into the homes of millions. A regular photographer for London's Sunday Times Magazine, McCullin's work ran in all the major magazines and newspapers. He unflinchingly showed readers exactly what was happening in the wars being fought in their names.

Don McCullin sitting for a portrait
Photojournalist Don McCullin CBE at the Oxford Union, Oxfordshire, Britain, 2014. Roger Askew/REX/AP

McCullin spent decades in the thick of some of the most hellish wars: from Vietnam to Biafra, Czechoslovakia, then Northern Ireland, the genocide of Brazilian Indians. He was one of the few photojournalists to cover the Khmer Rouge's take over of Cambodia (where he was badly wounded). In Uganda he was captured and held in the cell right next to where executions were taking place. He covered Beirut off and on for years. In between those wars, he didn't let up, photographing the homeless in London, the Bangladeshi monsoon of 1971 and the Consett steel works in Northern U.K. Later McCullin began shifting away from wars to photographing less damaging subjects. He made trips to India and Indonesia, photographing quieter moments.

This retrospective, first published by Random House UK in 2001, is being re-released to coincide with McCullin's 80th birthday on October 9th, 2015. Since this book's original publication, McCullin's still been at it–this edition is updated with newer images shot since 2001, photos that flow incongruously with the classics. The new edition includes an entire new section on African work from 2004, a handful of new photos from India. And it should be noted that McCullin covered the war in Iraq and the early days of the Syrian conflict, shooting Aleppo in 2012.

Though it should go without saying, this is not a book for the squeamish. As with most books of war photography, there are some very graphic pictures. But it's also not just a collection of war photos and it's nothing compared to his earlier photobooks that really pulled back the curtain on the violent, bloody reality of war.


Don McCullin (Aperture, 2015) Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Outside Buckingham Palace, 1960 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Fishermen playing during their lunch break, Scarborough, Yorkshire, 1967 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Vietnamese family after a grenade-attack on their bunker, Hue, 1968 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
The battlefields of the Somme, France, 2000 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Consett, County Durham, 1974 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images


Let These Awesome Transgender Kids Show You What Their Lives Are Really Like

| Thu Oct. 8, 2015 3:28 PM EDT

Despite the strides made by the transgender community in recent years, the lives of transgender people remain largely out of sight, even taboo, for most people.

With all the misinformation, and often hateful noise, still present in society over the issue, one British documentary series is telling the real life stories of transgender youth in hopes to shed an empathetic light on what life is actually like for people making the incredibly challenging, but brave journey.

Take the story of 7-year-old Paddy from Leicester, England and her father, also named Paddy. The two engage in a simple, remarkable conversation about Paddy's decision to transition into a girl. Watch below:

But as told by Paddy's mother, Lorna, the transition hasn't exactly been easy for many family members. No matter how supportive of their children's decision, the experience for everyone involved can still be a difficult one. In the clip below, Lorna reads aloud a poem to Paddy describing a caterpillar's choice to become a butterfly to help describe her complex feelings,

"I loved and supported still wondering why, till the day my boy said goodbye," she reads. "Sometimes I miss my caterpillar boy, but my butterfly girl fills my heart with joy."

"My Transgender Kid" is a part of Channel 4 in Britain's "Born in the Wrong Body" series, which will continue in the coming weeks with different personal stories. Next up is "Girls to Men" and it will feature 21-year-old Jamie Raines' stunning, three-year photo project in which he took a selfie everyday of his transition. That video has already catapulted to the number one viewed video on YouTube.

Old White Businessman Thinks Ben Carson Would Be a "Real Black President"

| Thu Oct. 8, 2015 9:11 AM EDT

This morning, medial mogul and News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch was forced to retreat from a tweet he sent out last night addressing his notion of who does and does not qualify as a "real black president." That tweet, which also appeared to endorse Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, looked like this:

The message sparked a wave of backlash on social media condemning Murdoch for inappropriately criticizing President Barack Obama—the first black president of the United States—and his work to address racial issues. In an attempt to justify his offensive remarks, he referred to a recent New York magazine profile looking back at the president's legacy in the African American community. But, to no one's surprise except perhaps Murdoch's, the explanation did nothing to lessen the ridicule and the outrage.

Hours later, and with a heavy meditation on the space key, Murdoch apologized.

Looks like Murdoch, a noted Donald Trump detractor, is going to have to rethink how he attempts to advance Carson's presidential aspirations. It might also be helpful to remember who the sitting president actually is.

People Magazine Just Made an Unprecedented Push for Gun Control Solutions

| Wed Oct. 7, 2015 2:58 PM EDT

People magazine, one of the country's largest publications, with a circulation of more than 3.5 million readers, just threw its weight behind the push for increased gun control by publishing contacts for every member of Congress, and urging their readers to lobby for action.

In an editorial on Wednesday, the magazine's editorial director Jess Cagle explained the unprecedented decision to enter the gun debate after the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

As President Obama said, our responses to these incidents—from politicians, from the media, from nearly everyone—have become "routine." We all ask ourselves the same questions: How could it happen again? What are we doing about gun violence in America? There are no easy answers, of course. Some argue for stricter gun laws, others say we should focus on mental health issues, some point to a culture that celebrates violence.

But this much we know: As a country we clearly aren't doing enough, and our elected officials' conversations about solutions usually end in political spin.

In this issue we pay tribute to the nine Oregon victims, as well as 22 other men, women and children who've lost their lives in mass shootings—incidents where a murderer has opened fire on a crowd—in the U.S. during the past 12 months.

The move by People is remarkable considering the magazine—a staple at every newsstand and doctor's office in America—is traditionally associated with celebrity gossip and general human interest stories that carry little risk of being offensive or overtly political, meaning its message could reach many more Americans outside the DC echo chamber, in which action on gun violence has completely stalled.

Read People's entire announcement here.