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Pandora Young

Possible Sale of LA Times to Koch Brothers Sparks Protest

Approximately 300 union members, activists, and Los Angeles Times readers rallied downtown yesterday to protest the potential sale of the paper to right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

The protest was held at noon outside the downtown office of the investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, which holds the largest share of the Tribune Co. Musician Ry Cooder performed for the crowd, singing “I Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister” with special anti-Koch lyrics added.

From the LA Times coverage:

The protesters targeted Oaktree because the firm manages pension investments on behalf of unionized government employees, including those in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

“We don’t want that kind of thing going on with our money,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “That’s like us selling you a car so you can run us over.”

The rumor of a Tribune Co. sale to Koch Industries has already inspired multiple online petitions and vocal opposition from unions and politicians.

The LA Weekly also covered the protest, and took some great photos.

Angelina Jolie Reveals Double Mastectomy in New York Times Op-Ed

Earlier this year, actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed she had a high probability of developing breast cancer.

The actress candidly discussed the elective procedure in a column for today’s New York Times titled “My Medical Choice.” Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 56 after battling the disease for nearly a decade. The loss of her mother strongly influenced her decision to have the procedure.

Husband Brad Pitt was there “for every minute of the surgeries,” Jolie notes, and said the experience has brought the couple closer together.

Jolie’s role as a sex symbol lends the narrative a special resonance, given how devastating the procedure can be for women’s self-image. “I do not feel any less of a woman,” she writes. “I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

Jolie opted for reconstructive surgeries and implants following the mastectomies. “There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.”

Jolie says she was able to carry on with her work during the three months of medical procedures. She’ll next be appearing on the big screen as the title character in Disney’s Maleficent. The film is set for a summer release in 2014.

The G-Rated Parenting Blog Facebook Doesn’t Want You To See*

The Tumblr blog Reasons My Son Is Crying is only 6 days old and already has an enthusiastic following. That’s because the site’s chronicle of the very specific logic behind a toddler’s meltdowns is familiar to anyone who has ever cared for young children, or even used to be one. Reasons My Son Is Crying is finding fans on Reddit and parenting blogs alike.

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Facebook, however, is not laughing. They’ve blocked the website “for being spammy or unsafe” (the blog is neither) and removed all posts that linked to it.

This isn’t the first, or even the hundredth time Facebook has blocked innocuous links and content. In 2011, Facebook briefly took down film critic Roger Ebert‘s page for “violating the terms of service” after a controversial post by the author generated complaints. Facebook soon restored Ebert’s page and said its removal had been a mistake, but declined to explain further.

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Dog Lovers Hijack Barnes & Noble Facebook Page

No, the page hasn’t been hacked or anything. But since the news broke last week that the bookseller planned on hosting book signings for former dogfighter Michael Vick, Barnes & Noble’s Facebook page has become something of a discussion board for animal lovers. Vick’s appearances were cancelled by his publisher, but that hasn’t stopped the protestors.

There are literally hundreds of comments left by people criticizing Barnes & Noble, many promising to boycott the company, and from what we can tell, none have been deleted.

Arguments have broken out among the commenters, resulting in impassioned debates on topics including animal rights, the banning of books, prisoner reform, corporate ethics, and the correlation between animal abuse and sociopathy. There is name-calling, emotional bonding, and a whole mess of spelling errors. In short, it’s a free-for-all, and has been for nearly a week.

Whoever runs the Barnes & Noble Facebook page is either a passionate supporter of open debate, or falling asleep on the job.

Here’s hoping they never wake up.

 

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Publisher Says Threats of Violence Behind Cancellation of Michael Vick Book Tour
Michael Vick Book Signings Spark Barnes & Noble Boycott
Michael Vick’s Appearances at Barnes & Noble Stores Cancelled

Publisher Says Threats of Violence Behind Cancellation of Michael Vick Book Tour

When Barnes & Noble announced Monday the cancellation of Michael Vick‘s scheduled book signings at 3 of the bookseller’s stores, animal lovers celebrated. Thousands had protested Vick’s appearances at the B&N stores through an online petition, calls to the bookseller’s customer service line, and comments on the Facebook pages of B&N and Vick. For a moment, it seemed like a grassroots victory. Tweets like these summarized the celebratory tone:

But this was not a case of a corporation finding their conscience. On Monday afternoon, Vick’s publisher released a statement that the book tour had been cancelled by Worthy Publishing “after credible threats of personal harm and property damage were received by Barnes & Noble Booksellers and distinguished independent bookstore Books & Greetings in Northvale, New Jersey.”

With one press release, the story had changed. Both Barnes & Noble and Michael Vick had become sympathetic characters, their detractors potentially violent criminals. The author, publisher, and book sellers were able to back out of a book tour that had become a public relations nightmare, all without ceding any ground to the protestors.

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Not Even Porn Stars Look Like Porn Stars

Makeup artist Melissa Murphy has been posting “before and after” shots of her porn actress clients on Instagram for months, but it was only this past weekend that they went viral, with galleries of the pictures popping up on hundreds of websites. By Monday Murphy’s work was featured on Gawker and she was giving interviews to the Huffington Post.

It’s easy to see why the pictures are such a hit. The images are simple but striking, dozens of side-by-side comparison shots, all neatly demonstrating how much work it takes to make even gorgeous women look like porn stars.

It’s refreshing to learn that even professional sex goddesses suffer from blemishes, dark circles, and bed head. More pics after the jump.

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Michael Vick’s Appearances at Barnes & Noble Stores Cancelled

According to the Barnes & Noble website, Michael Vick‘s upcoming book signing events at 3 of the bookseller’s stores have been cancelled by the book’s publisher.

Animal lovers began an online petition late last week demanding Barnes & Noble cancel Vick’s in-store appearances. The bookseller’s Facebook page quickly filled up with comments from customers angry that B&N was hosting an event with a convicted animal abuser and killer.

Protestors got their way, but if the B&N website is to be believed, it is Worthy Publishing, the publisher of Vick’s book Finally Free: An Autobiography, that cancelled the events. Whether the cancellations were a reaction to customer protests remains unclear. Neither Barnes & Noble nor Worthy Publishing have commented the issue. We’ve reached out to both companies, but have yet to hear back.

Previously on FishbowLA: Michael Vick Book Signings Spark Barnes & Noble Boycott

Michael Vick Book Signings Spark Barnes & Noble Boycott

Bookselling giant Barnes & Noble is taking some heat for hosting multiple signings this month for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and convicted animal abuser Michael Vick. Vick is scheduled to appear at the stores to promote his new book, Michael Vick: Finally Free An Autobiography.

A petition was started last week asking Barnes & Noble to cancel the signings, and the bookseller’s Facebook page has since been flooded with comments from angry customers. Many readers are vowing that they will never shop at B&N again if the company doesn’t cancel Vick’s scheduled appearances, and several have called for B&N to stop selling the book altogether.

While we at FishbowlLA aren’t generally in favor of boycotting bookstores, it’s hard to see gruesome photographs of the victims of dogfighting and remain impartial.

We’ve reached out to Barnes & Noble for their reaction to the controversy, and will let you know if we hear back.

Should You Write For Free? Journos Weigh In on the Thayer/Atlantic Kerfuffle

When freelance journalist Nate Thayer posted an email exchange he’d had with an editor at The Atlantic, who hoped to publish his work without compensation, he had no idea it would garner so much attention. The blog post has been viewed over 100,000 times, tweeted like mad, and has prompted a vigorous debate among journalism professionals.

Over at Reuters, Felix Salmon breaks down point-by-point where The Atlantic screwed up, while explaining why the magazine’s online freelance budget is so small as to be, at times, non-existent. It’s not that digital journalism doesn’t pay, he explains, it just rarely pays freelancers. If you want to make a living wage, you need a staff position.

Not everyone is against working for nothing. Matthew Yglesias of Slate calls it “an enormous boon to society” when people write online for free. Staffer-turned-freelancer Ann Friedman admits in her column at CJR that she occasionally writes for free, albeit only with good reasons. Those include establishing experience, raising her profile, or an opportunity to participate in something wonderful.

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Hidden LA Sues Los Angeles Magazine Over Borrowed Moniker

Hidden Los Angeles, the popular Facebook page and website dedicated to our town’s lesser-known treasures, has slapped Los Angeles magazine with a trademark infringement lawsuit, reports LA Observed. Hidden LA’s complaint is with the magazine’s February issue and its “Hidden LA” theme, featuring “73 secret spots in the city.” The magazine also ran a Lexus Hidden LA sweepstakes and a private Hidden LA dinner event.

Los Angeles first published a “Hidden LA” themed issue in 2011, prompting Hidden LA founder W. Lynn Garrett to have a sit-down with the mag’s publisher, Mary Meltonleaving Garrett with the impression it wouldn’t happen again. This time around, she decided a sit-down wasn’t enough and filed suit.  ”I am not by nature a litigious person,” Garrett wrote on the Hidden LA facebook page. “I was left with no choice. A legally registered trademark is only as good as your steady enforcement of it.”

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