Mar 21, 2009

Sanjay Gupta's Third Daughter Came Along at the Worst Possible Time For His Career [TV]


So a celebrity died from a traumatic brain injury this week and where was Sanjay Gupta?

Gupta was tailor-made by the TV news gods to cover celebrity traumatic brain injuries. He teaches neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and is the associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He performed life-saving brain surgery on a soldier in Iraq. He owns the brain beat.

But he was nowhere to be found this week while a million questions were swirling and confusion reigned regarding Natasha Richardson's fatal accident. CNN had a bunch of hack doctors on instead who had probably never performed battlefield surgery.

Why? Gupta's wife gave birth on Monday night, the day before Richardson fell. It must have been killing him! There was so much he could explain to us. Which is why he was back on CNN last night, four days after his daughter was born, talking about Natasha Richardson to Campbell Brown.

Also, Gupta took his name out of the running for surgeon general earlier this month because his wife was expecting and he wanted to "spend more time with his family," according to the New York Times.







Is Buying Cardboard Boxes for Hobos a Good Use of Charity Money? [Questions]


So asks Tom Hopkins of Vail, CO in this week's New York Times Ethicist column. He wants his charity organization to spend their money on boxes, and he wants to give them to the homeless.

He writes:

I am a member of a nonprofit benevolent organization. I am considering proposing that we give the homeless cardboard boxes - big enough for a person to sleep in, heavily waxed and hence weatherproof. For the cost of helping 100 people with our traditional programs, we could help 1,000 with these boxes. Is this an ethical project?

So good intentions and whatnot, but perpetuating and endorsing (to use the Ethicist's word) the idea that the homeless should sleep in boxes too. Hopkins' argument is that his 'benevolent organization' can help ten times as many people this way than through their usual, more expensive methods. But giving more people less doesn't quite even out to the same thing as giving fewer people food and, potentially, getting them off the street, does it?

What do you think?

Related: I miss The Unethicist. :(







Which A-List Hollywood Pals Like to Make the Rounds at Porno Sets? [Blind Items]


Today we have actors who like doing sex with people. One actor doesn't mind if you're married, two others would like you to be porn stars. Also, a House death and something about perfume.

1) "Which celeb is so sexually frustrated he didn't stop trying to pull a girl even when she flashed her wedding ring and introduced him to her hubby?" [Mirror]

2) "Both of these award winning actors are A list. #2 is an A list movie actor, while #3 got his start in movies, and is now an A list television actor. Oh. Both of them are married as well. And both of them also have child(ren). Three or four times a year they get invited to a porno shoot by one of their mutual friends. When they get there though, it is not about watching, it is about each taking a turn with every actress on the set." [CDaN]

3) "Which egotistical household-name celebrity shouldn't be so proud of his latest fragrance? The cosmetics company that created it had already rejected the formula as being inferior, but quickly dusted off the recipe when he came knocking with a licensing opportunity." [StyleList]

Oh, also, a major character on House is going to die. I don't have any idea who it could be, but I'm pretty sure it's not Lupus. It's never gonna be Lupus.







Mar 20, 2009

Twitter, the Next Generation [Valley Spawn]


Twitter CEO Ev Williams is working on a new product release, currently in beta testing inside wife Sara Morishige's womb: The couple's first child.

Ev and Sara being Twitter's First Family, they've been teasing the news out on the microblogging service. We're curious: When Morishige referred to Williams's "Christmas present" in a tweet last week, did she mean a bit of procreation? Do the math: She wrote that she "ordered it" in early December, and the baby's due in August.







We're Going But Just For the Cheese [Poster Boy]


Poster Boy and friends have a gallery show in Brooklyn tomorrow. Don't tell the cops.







New Media Landscape Is Political Hack Wonderland [Calling Bullshit]


So the fact that nothing is ever "edited" or "fact-checked" anymore because of "the internet" is so great because of citizen journalism and no gatekeepers etc! But the down side is all the bullshit.

The LA Times, which now has an editorial staff of like, ten people? maybe? met some shady "political operatives" who love this wonderful new media landscape, because it allows them to plant whatever bullshit they want and watch it grow into cable news stories and "serious" analysis pieces.

Well, Times, some of us have been on this beat for a while! But hey, you got some neat quotes from your unnamed political hack sources.

One operative told me this week about planting attacks on opponents in partisan blogs, knowing the stories could bleed into mainstream news outlets, without leaving any incriminating fingerprints. Another described how he got green reporters to write stories (no campaign cash wasted!) on ads that the candidate had no intention of ever paying to put on TV.

By "green reporters" do you by chance mean, say, the entire staff of The Politico? They sure did a lot of that this last campaign season! (Hell, everyone did. They are just the most transparent about their symbiotic relationship with the venal hacks they allow to use them to "drive the stories" or whatever they call getting a Drudge link and a segment on Hardball.)

Here is a sad bit:

The consultants cited a few recently departed veteran journalists who wouldn't fall for such funny business: Time magazine's Jay Carney, the Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman (the Tribune, like the L.A. Times, is owned by Tribune Co.) and our paper's Dan Morain, who took a buyout last month and went to work for a lawyers' lobbying association.

Anyway, breaking: there is a lot of bullshit out there and everyone just repeats it, all the time, unquestioningly, because all the smart people were laid off.







Janet Jopler Spotted in New York [Open Caption]


[Mary-Kate Olsen in Manhattan today; image via Splash]