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On His 67th Birthday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Starts New Gig: Los Angeles Register Columnist

This is exactly the kind of creative thinking that is required to connect with today’s busy and much better-served-than-before savvy media consumers. As part of the official launch today on the west coast of daily newspaper the Los Angeles Register, columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar highlights his favorite LA-themed movies.

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The opening paragraph quote from Charles Baudelaire also reminds us how even more cerebral things might have been if coach Phil Jackson had guided the Showtime era Lakers. One of the most intriguing categories in Jabbar’s three-by-three list is TOP THREE FILMS ABOUT THE HOOD. This portion of the article includes:

American Me: Directed by and starring Edward James Olmos, American Me spans thirty years (from the 1950s to the 1980s) of gang life in the Latino community. The gangster life, and its influence on the community, has never been portrayed with so much dark conviction.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

The Young Turks Score $4 Million in Equity Funding

TYTCEnkuygurHeadshotThe most intriguing aspect of today’s TYT Network news is the background of the person at the head of equity fund Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co.

Buddy Roemer is a former Louisiana Governor and, as such, has delivered to the former Current TV and current Internet gang the group’s first non-crowd-funded cash. From today’s announcement:

“RRM has been looking for two years to find the best platform in New Media in which to invest,” said Roemer. “We believe TYT will be one of the critical players moving forward in a new media world – edgy, unfiltered news commentary at its best. They are a lot like me, sometimes wrong but never in doubt.”

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Lake Bell AND Tom Hardy Go Topless for Esquire

It’s not quite on the level of Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs (a 1973 battle-of-the-sexes milestone that is about to get the Hollywood treatment). However, the May cover of Esquire does offer a fun he-shed, she-shed echo of our weekly Cover Battle.

In one cheeky corner, we have Lake Bell… And in the other, dual-cover cheeky corner, there is Tom Hardy:

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Automotive Journalist Still Loves His Mazda Miata

Rumor has it that the details of Mazda’s next-generation Miata will be officially confirmed at the forthcoming New York International Auto Show. And that’s just fine with Tom Voelk.

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Back in 1990, the future automotive journalist bought one out of the gate, based on a cover endorsement from Car & Driver magazine. A decade later, when the Seattle-based Voelk needed a second car that could better accommodate full family needs, it sparked a sideline career:

The Ford Focus was bought from an auto writer who prophetically stated “you could easily do car reviews for the TV station you work for.” This was a revelation. My useless command of car knowledge could actually be applied to something. Two weeks later I shot my first review. My automotive writing career had begun.

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Of Mice and Men and Expanding an Acting School with James Franco

Gotham magazine online editor April Walloga has a zippy Q&A with Jim Parrack, a Texas-born actor who can currently be seen alongside James Franco in the Broadway revival Of Mice and Men (in previews).

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Parrack was previously based in LA, but he recently relocated to Fort Greene, Brooklyn not just for Broadway purposes but also to watch over a separate new “Brooklyn Lab” endeavor with his Broadway co-star Franco:

“James [Franco] and I both studied at a place called Playhouse West, and the founder of the school asked me to start teaching about four years ago. One of the reasons I wanted to move out here was to extend the school out here [from Los Angeles] and start the Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab.”

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David Butler, 63, Will Now Oversee 75 Daily Newspapers

DavidButlerPicDigital First Media, headquartered in New York City, has found its man. David J. Butler, editor and senior vice president of the San Jose Mercury News – as well as West editor for the company – has been promoted to chain editor-in-chief.

As such, Butler, age 63, will oversee 75 daily newspapers and other weekly publications that publish across the country. From today’s announcement:

“Dave Butler is a focused editorial leader who will continue to challenge Digital First Media newsrooms to innovate and to continue to transform,” said John Paton, DFM chief executive officer.

Added Butler: “I hope to bring a special appreciation and knowledge to the job having been a long-time editor at both companies (MediaNews Group, Journal Register Company). Our commitment at Digital First Media is unchanged — aggressively pursuing a new and exciting digital future while continue to produce superb, exclusive, local enterprise reporting that makes a difference in the lives of our readers, including those who cherish print.”

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Sally Field on the Joys of Her New York Apartment

In support of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sally Field is on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. With her three sons now fully grown, she’s relishing the freer rhythms of her personal life.

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Field recently traded a large Malibu estate for a smaller home in LA and second apartment in New York. In the Q&A with former Parade EIC Janice Kaplan, she extols the virtues of that east coast abode:

“It’s an old prewar apartment with a view of the Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center tower, so it feels very New York to me. It just invites reinvention. I get to see all the opera and theater that I want and still it’s not enough. There’s so much to do that sometimes I just say, ‘Okay, Field, you have to stop for two nights and just read your book!’”

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Salon Revisits the Time an NYT Reporter Was ‘Swung on the Flippity-Flop’

RickyMarinPicIn hindsight, one of the few consolations is the fact that social media had not yet reared its Hydra-heads when the New York Times was fooled by a Seattle woman’s faux grunge glossary. Can you imagine the hashtags that would have sprung from the 1992 article being exposed the following year as having been victimized by a hoax?

If you’re too young to remember “grunge speak” or if the details have become a little hazy, click on over to author and musician Tom Maxwell‘s fun piece on Salon, hitched to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death. (Shockingly, the Web archived version of the November 21, 1992 NYT piece still features the erroneous sidebar and some wrong-employer attribution for the hoaxer.) From Maxwell’s article:

Thomas Frank (now a Salon contributor) revealed the hoax in The Baffler’s winter-spring 1993 issue and explained that: “[Gag lexicon author Megan] Jasper was surprised by the various journalists’ ’weird idea that Seattle was this incredibly isolated thing,’ with a noticeably distinct rock culture. The result of this credulity was that, as Ms. Jasper puts it, ‘I could tell [the interviewer] anything. I could tell him people walked on their hands to shows.’”

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A Prescription for Vigorous Debate: Katherine Heigl vs. Duane Reade

ShutterstockKatherineHeiglOver at Yahoo Celebrity, there’s an exclamation point in the headline. On Twitter, folks like Piers Morgan are leading the incredulous charge.

Never mind that most of the coverage seems to not understand that in these sorts of legal matters, the plaintiff starts with a figure that is intentionally outrageous and eventually, usually settles from there. This particular Google News trail stems from Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl‘s Wednesday NYC court filing against pharmacy chain Duane Reade:

The actress is said to be livid that photographs of her leaving the New York store last month carrying several shopping bags were used by the company, which tweeted the snap along with the caption: ‘Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can’t resist shopping #NYC’s favorite drugstore.’

The complaint said she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a new television series.

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Rolling Stone Cover is Weird, Wrong

On the right is the cover of the latest Rolling Stone.

Two thoughts:

1) It is weird, sexist and sort of pathetic. Why is Julia Louis-Dreyfus naked? What does that have to do with her being “The First Lady of Comedy?” It’s so over-the-top for no reason that it comes across as desperate. Even Rolling Stone’s tweet about the issue — ”Julia Louis-Dreyfus is naked on our new cover” — was sad. Pay attention to us! Please??? We have a naked lady on our cover!

2) It is wrong. John Hancock did not sign the Constitution, he signed the Declaration of Independence.

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