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Richard Horgan

[Email contact: rhorgan@gmail.com; personal Twitter account: @hollywoodspin] I have worked as a journalist and editor for several decades, beginning in Canada at age 17 with a full-time job at the Ottawa bureau of Associated Press Canada (Canadian Press).

New Catholic Religion Site Features Very Appropriately Titled Advice Column

CruxLogoThe column, “OMG!”, belongs to New York magazine contributor Lisa Miller. It can be found at Crux, a site from Boston Globe Media Partners that heralds as its mission “Covering all things Catholic.”

It definitely makes for a different kind of advice-column read. Here’s part of Miller’s answer to “OMG!” query #1, from someone wondering what to do about the discovery of a friend’s adulterous relationship:

There is no question where Catholic teaching stands on the question of adultery. Marriage is a sacrament and fidelity is required of those who undertake that union before God. But your friend is the adulterer here, not you, and it is he who needs to make amends before God and to his spouse. You are not your friend’s priest or confessor, nor are you his intercessor or his wife. You are merely a nice person who tried to help him out of a tech jam.

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Media Scandalized by Non-Scandal

In his take today on the hacking of naked celebrity cloud photo materials by perpetrator or perpetrators unknown, Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson makes an astute observation.

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From his blog post:

Outlets as mainstream as People and CNN are referring to the photo leak as a “scandal.” All due respect, it’s not a scandal. The actresses and musicians involved did nothing immoral or legally wrong by choosing to take nude pictures of themselves and put them on their personal cell phones.

You may argue, without any intended malice, that it may be unwise in this day-and-age to put nude pictures of yourself on a cell phone which can be hacked and/or stolen. But without discounting that statement, the issue is that these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them just like their male peers. The burden of moral guilt is on the people who stole said property and on those who chose to consume said stolen property for titillation and/or gratification.

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A Storied Photographer Turns 95

When you’ve lived for almost a century, traditional birthday celebrations can seem somewhat redundant. So in Phil Stern‘s case, he is marking his 95th turn around the make-a-wish corner by gifting someone else. Stern, who will officially mark his latest birthday in Los Angeles tomorrow, has donated prints of 95 of his iconic shots to the Veterans Home of California.

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From a report in Variety by Shelli Weinstein:

As a teen, Stern had worked as an apprentice in a New York photo studio and as a local police photographer, but got his baptism of fire, quite literally, at age 21, when he became a combat photographer in Darby’s Rangers during World War II, after convincing Colonel William O. Darby to allow him to join. Stern was decorated with a Purple Heart for his services…

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Post-Plagiarism, Ashton Kutcher Site Adds Chief Revenue Officer

BradWestbrookLinkedInIt was an ugly plagiarism scandal.

Last month, thanks to the intrepid efforts of The Daily Dot’s Rob Price, the Ashton Kutcher media empire website A Plus was found to have purloined content from various other Web sources. In short order, posts, tweets and at least one LinkedIn profile were deleted.

The next move for A+, per Michael Sebastian of Ad Age, is not the hiring of an ombudsman. Rather, Wall Street Journal exec Brad Westbrook (pictured) has been enlisted as the site’s chief revenue officer, starting today:

Westbrook joined the Journal in 2011 and has served in several roles, including director of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, which encompassed WSJ.com, WSJ Live, MarketWatch and All Things Digital, the website led by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that became Re/Code and now operates independently of the Journal. He was named chief digital sales officer just in January.

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New Yorker Illustrator Tips His Cap to Derek Jeter

In 2001, illustrator Mark Ulriksen told the San Francisco Chronicle that growing up, all he wanted to be was a center fielder for the San Francisco Giants. But over the years, his allegiances have gravitated to another MLB team, creating an ongoing professional conflict that he has talked about before.

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This time around for The New Yorker, Ulriksen has illustrated Roger Angell‘s story ”S’Long Jeet” with a striking cover illustration of Derek Jeter. The September 8 issue cover, the San Francisco-based artists insists, put him once again at odds:

“Derek Jeter presents a conundrum for a Red Sox fan like me,” Ulriksen says about the cover. “I loathe the Yankees, but I appreciate and respect Jeter. No baseball fan can ever forget ‘the flip’ against the Oakland A’s in the playoffs. He’s a classic—humble, consistently spectacular, both at bat and in the field.”

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Ben Kingsley Expands Upon His Mother’s Profound Disapproval

ShutterstockBenKingsley2010In the spring of 2010, UK journalist Cole Moreton shared a rather startling interview with Sir Ben Kingsley. The actor, speaking in the pages of the Daily Mail not long after the death that year of his mother Anna Lyna Mary (nee Goodman) at age 96, candidly revealed her pathological inability to show affection for her children and give them any approval.

He pantomimed her dismissal of his British knighthood after it was awarded at Buckingham Palace in 2002. And this week, Kingsley went a little further, filling in the blanks of this unbelievable, ultimate slap. From the actor’s interview with Hollywood-based Filipino journalist Ruben Nepales:

Ben revealed a side story about becoming a knight. “Then [after the ceremony], my mother refused to acknowledge my knighthood, which I found bitterly hurtful. Life is all about balance, isn’t it? That wonderful woman (Queen Elizabeth II) had said, we accept you and love what you do, but my mother refused to acknowledge that it had taken place. She was embarrassed, bitter and jealous. That’s the whole story. I have never told it before.”

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Stony Brook Prof Stresses Value of Old-School Journalism

JonFriedmanStonyBrookPicJon Friedman‘s latest Marketwatch column is a good one. In framing what he thinks it still takes to be a good journalist, he laments the fact that many of his Stony Brook journalism students are fixated on the glittery sheen of the boob tube:

When I asked my students last semester what they hoped to do in their careers, the majority said they wanted to be on television. (The most honest of them declared they wanted to be TV stars, not so much for the big bucks but since it just seemed so darned cool to be on TV!) None of them said he or she hoped to be a link in the chain to the late, great Edward R. Murrow. (Who?)

It’s not my students’ fault that TV news today has taken on the mentality of the fabulous 1976 film Network (a movie most of them had never heard of, much less seen). It’s all about flash and pizzazz. News and entertainment are so blurred that it’s hard to tell them apart.

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Wondering About That Spike Jonze-Jonah Hill Collaboration

It’s that time of year when a lucky group of film journalists including the LA TimesRebecca Keegan jet off to Telluride, Colorado and Toronto, Canada to be wined, dined and awards-season appetized.

OpeningCeremonyNYStoreHere in NYC, in the shadow of TIFF, there will be an event of a different nature but one that involves a couple of very familiar festival marquee names. As first reported by WWD‘s Jessica Iredale, Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill have teamed to produce and write a one-act play for the fall New York Fashion Week presentation of Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2015 line:

Jonze, who has done fashion capsules with Opening Ceremony for his films Where The Wild Things Are and Her, will direct a cast of actors and models in his first project since winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Her earlier this year. The storyline is still being finalized, according to OC co-founder Humberto Leon, who noted the play was Jonze’s idea, as was bringing on Hill, who is known primarily for acting though his writing credits include 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.

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On the Cover of Paper Magazine, Courtney Love Looks Great

Much credit for this goes to photographer Richard Phibbs and shoot fashion director Nicola Formichetti. Together, for the September issue of Paper, they have vividly captured Courtney Love to help celebrate the publication’s 30th anniversary.

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Love will no doubt be pleased by the cover, as well as by the ethical behavior of her interviewer, Alex Scordelis. When the reporter visited Love at her Hollywood home and was told by Love’s manager to wait as she wrapped up a call with David LaChapelle, he resisted temptation:

As I wait and fidget with my iPhone, I notice a bound manuscript, The Girl With the Most Cake, on the coffee table. It’s Love’s long-awaited memoir. I’m tempted to skim for a salacious passage, but resist. From the next room, I can hear Love on the phone with LaChapelle, dishing Internet-crashing quotes that I wish I could print, but shall remain off the record. Her hyperactive white Shih Tzu, Sugar, gnaws at my shoelaces and occasionally jumps on my lap. After 15 minutes, Love reemerges, pulls a cigarette from a pack of Marlboro Lights and lights up.

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Worst Celebrity Couple Short-Form Ever?

JarlosWall Street Journal reporter Mike Vilensky‘s piece about the dynamic twentysomething NYC male duo of John Tuite and Carlos Santolalla starts out with some impressive social media particulars. The two model-photographers-writers are constantly about-town and ready to Instagram, resulting in some notable flashpoints.

But then, for us, it went off the rails:

Inspired by it-couple forebears like “Kimye” and “Brangelina,” Messrs. Tuite and Santolalla also have a combo nickname: “Jarlos.”

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