Wednesday
Jan182012

Johnny Depp Blah Blah Vanessa Paradis Blah Blah Split Up Blah

REVIEWING THE NEWS: Multi-gazillionaire actor extraordinaire Depp and mildly interesting model/actress/singer/whatever reportedly no makey the love-y anymore. Blah. Wah.

 

By Crispin Reynolds

Blah blah blah blah, blah, blah blah blah. 

 

Sorry, REVIEWniverse readers, if it took me eons to post about the day's most scandalous celebrity-breakup news. I spent all morning drying my hair and wiping away crocodile tears after hearing that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have, according to People mag (and, also, just other people), been living separately and out of love for some time.

Boo-hoo, blah blah. Don't get me wrong, gals and cads, it's sad when any couple with two children can't reconcile their differences (ParaDepp have two tween- and elementary-aged little ones, Lily-Rose and Jack, though it's never been confirmed if their naming was some kind of coded inspiration for Daniel Day-Lewis' 2005 drama, The Ballad of Jack and Rose... you know these actor types). I'm sure they'll sort all that out with more aplomb than your average not-loaded, irreconciled parents. Otherwise, a big blah blah and who cares, outside of the fact that Hollywood's sauciest middle-age bad-boy is back on the market. I know a certain 40-something gossip columnist (me) who wouldn't mind searching for that Pirate's booty.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Insert seductive, Eartha Kitt meow noise. Also, blah.

BLAH RATING: Blah/10

SINGLE WATERS RUN DEPP RATING: See "In Other Words"/10

 

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Tuesday
Jan172012

Gawker, Denton and Daulerio Get Brian Williams/Lana Del Rey Fiasco All Wrong

REVIEWING THE NEWS: The gossip site and its founder, Nick Denton, draw line in the sand of journalistic ethics after posting Brian Williams' personal e-mail about Lana Del Rey.

 

By Kenny Herzog

 

Nick Denton's Gawker Media embodies the blogosphere's curious position as unfiltered aggregator of truth and unchecked court jester. REVIEWniverse has taken the company's principal domain, Gawker.com, to task in the past for the relatively victimless distinction of boasting less-than-credible musical taste. But yesterday, Denton and his new editor-in-chief, muckraking former Deadspin Editor A.J. Daulerio, imposed a substandard of poor journalism when they posted NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' personal e-mail to Denton without consent. 

By now, you've all read that Williams wrote Denton on Sunday to join the chorus of boos hurled at last weekend's maligned SNL performer, pixie chanteusse Lana Del Rey. It was an informal, clearly personal and off-the-record correspondence in which Williams lamented that Del Rey was "the least-experienced musical guest in the show's history" and good-naturedly bemoaned that "it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone [sic]." And you also know that Daulerio, after what we presume was much discussion with Denton and Gawker staff, posted the e-mail verbatim on their site the following afternoon. Lastly, you've heard or seen that NBC PR (no doubt unhappy about the cross-contimination within their brand) sent Gawker a stern but reasonable demand to remove the item, and Daulerio merely updated his original story by making that correspondence public as well.

Frankly, this reeks more of Daulerio's recklessness than Denton's salacious tendencies. Either way, the gauntlet has been laid. It's clear that for Gawker (and as they go, so do countless apers), no friendship or set of basic personal or journalistic principles will stand between them and a childish impulse to determine what qualifies as "news," deliver it with irresponsible whim and no discernable point of view, and let others sort out the consequences and implications while they calculate Web traffic and turn it into liquid ad-revenue gold.

For any of us who've ever worked in a real newsroom or, as consumers, are simply adapting to the digital information age with a bit of blind faith, it's impossible to fathom that Denton and Daulerio's story could be planted with total transparency from the inside. It's depressing to consider the breakdown of accountability within an organization that, like it or not, influences more readers on an average afternoon than most major newspapers even reach in a week.

Gawker may have caught Williams in an untenable position by putting him at odds with his employing network, but something tells us we haven't heard the final word on all this. In journalism and in life, corrupting privacy and closely held relationships can have short-term gains, but almost always precipitates an eventual collapse of relevance and character. Daulerio better realize he's playing with the big boys now, because Denton's just a careless schoolyard bully.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: There has to be some kind of bar before it can be lowered.

DENTON AND DAULERIO RATING: 0/10

WE STILL LOVE BRIAN WILLIAMS RATING: 10/10

NO COMMENT ON LANA DEL REY BECAUSE THIS SITE'S EDITORS HAVE WILDLY DISSENTING OPINIONS RATING: We'll Publish Our Private E-mails About It Later/10

 

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Thursday
Jan122012

Katy Perry Refuses to Comment on Dad's Anti-Semitic Remark

REVIEWING THE NEWS: The pop star's Reverend dad makes ugly, hurtful comment about Jews during sermon, and she's staying mum.

 

By Kenny Herzog

Katy Perry: Daughter of a misguided preacher man.

 

Dating back to the holiday season, it's been a banner winter for ignorance toward Jewish customs and/or outright anti-Semitism. First, there was Mitt Romney's tossed-off Twitter sentiments toward his "Hannukah"-loving constituents, then a group of four men were pursued for allegedly spray-painting swastikas near Manhattan's Bryant Park and, right on that incident's heels, a Brooklyn jewelry shop incited residents' furor by selling earrings that eerily invoked the Führer. And now, we can add Katy Perry's father, Rev. Keith Hudson, to the list of individuals perpetrating prejudice stereotypes and/or casual slandering against Jewish people.

Hudson, while recently appearing as a guest sermonizer at Pastor Paul Endrei's Church of the Rise in Cleveland, was conveying the story of how God blessed Abraham. At that point, Endrei tells the Associated Press, Hudson "talked about being blessed so much that you would make a Jew jealous." Cause, ya know, modern-day Jews relate to enormous spoils. (Ugly, ugly, ugly stereotype.) 

Endrei, amidst his damage-control, insultingly added that only one out of his 300 congregation members objected to the joke. Talk about preaching to the choir. Hudson complied by issuing his own statement of contrition, making sure to specifically apologize for "hurt I caused my Jewish friends," which sounds awfully similar to when hompohobes defend their ignorance by boasting about all their gay acquaintances. Nice try, Keith.

And where was daughter Katy amidst all this? Granted, the former Christian songstress has been preoccupied dissolving the sanctity of that whole marriage thing with ex Russell Brand, but you'd think she could muster up better than having her agent tell AP "the singer does not comment on her personal life."

Katy: Gossiping about your own divorce and standing up for an entire minority of people, many of whom buy your records, are two very different things. If you're not embarrassed by your father's remark, then that's your business, and diverting attention away from your days as a faith-based artist is most certainly all business. But standing by as the man who raised you and molded you makes damaging, ignorant insinuations about millions of proud Jews isn't protecting your privacy, it's just selfish and immature. 

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Time to wake up from your "Teenage Dream," Katy.

KEITH HUDSON'S UGLY REMARKS: 0/10

KATY'S CONFLATING IMAGE-PRESERVATION WITH HUMANE OBLIGATION RATING: 0/10

WHERE ARE OUR PROUD JEWISH CELEBRITIES RATING?: 5772/10

 

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Monday
Jan092012

Get Well Soon, Tony Iommi

 

 

REVIEWING THE NEWS: On the verge of reuniting with his Black Sabbatah bandmates for an album and tour, founding guitarist and recent autobiographer Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with early stages of lymphoma.

 

By Kenny Herzog
Hopefully, the Iron Man will prove immortal.

 

There are times when life seems to get in its own way, and the timing is almost always cruel. Only two months after releasing his autobiography, Iron Man, and practically concurrent with the news that he and the remaining original Black Sabbath lineup—Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)—would record their first LP together in 33 years, Sabbath guitarist and founding member Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with an early onset of lymphoma.

 

The sad announcement arrives via the band's record label, and only elaborates to say Iommi is considering treatment options and will join his mates and producer Rick Rubin in a UK studio to continue work on their comeback album. They have not commented, as of yet, on whether the ensuing 2012 tour dates will be in jeopardy.

 

Rubin, of course, has helped artists from Johnny Cash to Neil Diamond age gracefully on record, and it will be fascinating to hear what he and heavy metal's most iconic doom architects create together. But chances are, any of the band's fans would wait another 33 years if it meant Iommi himself was given at least that many more.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: A speedy recovery to one of the great, unsung guitar innovators of all-time.

 

TONY IOMMI, CERTIFIED METAL LEGEND RATING: 10/10

 

TONY IOMMI, FUTURE LYMPHOMA SURVIVOR RATING: 11/10

 

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Thursday
Jan052012

Casey Anthony's Disturbingly Vapid Video Diary

 

REVIEWING THE NEWS:  Casey Anthony video blog debuts, and it’s a shocker… in that it’s so booooring.

 

By Robbie Woliver

A still image from disturbed Casey Anthony's unsettlingly ho-hum video-diary debut. 

 

In a stunning, just-released, almost  four-and-a-half-minute video diary, Casey Anthony, who many believe murdered her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, provides a psycho performance that is more exceptional for its mundaneness than for providing any real insight. To the majority of the blood-lustful public, Anthony, now sporting a short blonde bob and glasses, represents the worst miscarriage of justice in history, after she was found “not guilty” after a six-week sensational trial. While many believe the evidence was overwhelming that she was guilty, the trial,  if nothing else, proved that she was a sociopathic liar at best, and most likely a murderer.  

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player 

I have written a book about childhood mental disorders (Alphabet Kids) and have also co-written the memoir of attempted murderess Amy Fisher (If I Knew Then...), so I have insight into how a sociopath thinks, and Anthony is a prime example of the cluelessness associated with pathological mental illness. Anthony, according to polls, is “the most hated person in America” (wow, that takes a lot), so the thought that she would even put together a video blog is astounding. The banality of Anthony’s diary is really what's most frightening.

“I have something that is finally mine,” she says about her computer, seemingly forgetting she once had a beautiful daughter. “I hate being on camera,” the 25-year-old whines in that slacker-ish monotone of her generation. I seem to recall that she sure liked being on camera when it was a hot-body contest or she was showing off another boyfriend. At no time does Anthony make mention of her daughter Caylee, who was first reported missing in July 2008 and whose decomposed body was found five months later. She doesn’t discuss her thousand days in jail, nor the “trial of the century.”

The diary itself is meandering and incredibly insipid. She doesn’t once defend herself or try to mitigate the palpable hatred for her. We learned at the trial that she’s a pathological liar, so maybe the fact that she vapidly discusses... nothing is actually good, because it doesn’t waste her time. This blog, supposedly filmed in October 2011, is all about her petty interests (filming her diary), and that’s the Casey Anthony we have grown to know and despise. She warns that this might be the first of others. So far, it’s not even train-wreck pop culture. It’s Abnormal Psych 101. 

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Cannot wait to watch Nancy Grace tonight. 

CASEY ANTHONY VIDEO DIARY RATING: 1/10

PSYCHO RATING: 10/10

BEATING OUT KIM KARDASHIAN, DICK CHENEY, O.J. AND ANN COULTER AS THE MOST HATED PERSON IN AMERICA RATING: You are really despised, girl/10

THE MOST WASTED TIME OF YOUR LIFE RATING: 4 Minutes 20 Seconds/4 Minutes 20 Seconds

REMEMBERING CAYLEE RATING: www.justiceforcaylee.com/10 

 

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