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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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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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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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Miley Cyrus Covers V Magazine

Miley Cyrus is V Magazine’s latest cover star. This is her second time on the fashion glossy’s cover.

Cyrus is the featured artist for V Magazine‘s “Rebel Issue,” because nothing says rebel like a rich kid who makes terrible music.

Journalist Revisits a Celebrity Biographer’s Fraudulent Ways

The late author’s editor would not talk to reporter David Cay Johnston. Neither would Simon & Schuster spokesperson Paul Olewski.

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But there it is, nonetheless, detailed in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine. The litany of errors and fabrication committed by celebrity biographer C. David Heymann, who passed away two years ago in New York City:

It’s too bad CBS didn’t want to hear more, because all the celebrity bios Heymann wrote for them and other publishers — dealing with JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe — are riddled with errors and fabrications. An exhaustive cataloging of those mistakes would fill a book, so a sampling from his long career will have to suffice.

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Mad Men Star Ribs London Hotel

The conversation for the Jon Hamm British GQ September cover story took place at New York’s Mandarin Hotel.

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But for Alice Howarth‘s more recent Web sidebar, it was a London boutique hotel with the seemingly perfect name for the occasion. So that’s where the conversation started:

GQ: Is it a coincidence that we’re in the Ham Yard Hotel?

Jon Hamm: [Laughs] it is a coincidence! They spelled it wrong which is retarded, I mean, come on you guys! No double m, what a shame. I can see a gold pineapple from my room on the roof of another building, so it’s like ham and pineapple – very Hawaiian.

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AP Writer Gets the Huge Brangelina Scoop

JakeCoylePicWhen AP welcomed Jake Coyle (pictured) as one of two new film writers last fall, it said it looked forward to both he and [since departed] Jessica Herndon breaking news. Boy, did the wire service get that right.

This morning, Coyle – ahead of People, TMZ, Paris Match and any other number of logical outlets we can think of – broke the news of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s wedding in France this past weekend:

Jolie and Pitt wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends at Provence’s Chateau Miraval. In advance of the nondenominational civil ceremony, Pitt and Jolie obtained a marriage license from a local California judge. The judge also conducted the ceremony in France.

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BuzzFeed HR Exec: ‘You Can’t Have an Ego Here’

BuzzFeedLogoThe latest installment of Cosmopolitan‘s “Interview Insider” is most apt, since it relates to a media company that has – per the interview subject – ‘hired a new employee every day for months.’ We’re talking BuzzFeed.

When writer Heather Wood Rudulph asked senior vice president of talent Joel Greengrass what BuzzFeed looks for in job candidates, he gave this very useful reply:

“You need to be self-directed and know how to solve a problem on your own. But you must be excited about the opportunity to work with others and understand that you’ll become better by bouncing ideas off of colleagues.”

“You can’t have an ego in a collaborative environment such as this. If you have too much pride of ownership of an idea, this is going to be a difficult place for you to work. The other piece I look for is leadership. I want to sit across my desk from someone — whether just out of college or working in the industry for 20 years — and think, I want to work for you!”

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