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Scandalous

Here’s an Example of How Comedians Are Joking About Cosby

Here’s the set-up, shared Monday night December 15 by veteran stand-up comic Dom Irrera from the stage of The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles: “I was raped by Bill.”

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The rest of the gag? For those interested, here it is, courtesy of a tipster who was in attendance and showed us the Smartphone video.

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Stephen Collins Completes the TMZ News Cycle

tmz-logo-240It is by now a devastatingly familiar entertainment news progression. It starts with TMZ releasing some bombshell audio or video and ends with very serious comment or consequence.

Earlier this year, Donald Sterling lost an NBA team because of TMZ’s reporting. Today, 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins is commenting for the first time (to People magazine) about some horrible revelations contained in a leaked-to-TMZ therapy session audiotape:

“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since…”

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Taking Another Look at That Bernard Weinraub Farewell Column

ShutterstockAmyPascal2013When Bernard Weinraub exited the New York Times in 2005, he of course composed a farewell column. That article contains what now seem like a number of very prophetic statements, given the criminal intrusion and Tinseltown reactions threatening his wife’s tenure as Sony Pictures co-chairman. Starting with this Weinraub observation about his 14 years covering Hollywood:

My marriage, and some of the events that tumbled out of it, taught me something about the ferocity of a culture in which the players can be best friends one day and savage you the next.

Maybe it was 24 hours then. But thanks to the solidified culture of texting, email and social media, it’s now nanoseconds. As some of Pascal’s emails have shown (and the press has failed to properly contextualize), one of the main jobs of a studio chief is to tell each fragile ego what they want and need to hear. Regardless of that studio chief’s personal, true beliefs.

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Maureen Dowd Dismisses BuzzFeed Insinuation

AmyPascalThumbOur first reaction last night to Matthew Zeitlin‘s BuzzFeed item about some more of those Sony hack emails, in this case a brief March 2014 correspondence between studio co-chairman Amy Pascal (pictured) and her husband, former New York Times reporter Bernard Weinraub, was two-fold.

One, we quickly ascertained that there was no email in the shared string from Maureen Dowd; second, after reading, we surmised that if anyone had overstepped some bounds here – privately and carelessly – it was Pascal’s husband Weinraub. Today, in a statement provided to FishbowlNY and other outlets, Dowd has responded:

“I never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it. Bernie is an old friend and the Times’ former Hollywood reporter, and he sometimes gives me ideas for entertainment columns.”

“In January, he suggested a column, inspired by a study cited in the LA Times, about the state of women in Hollywood. Amy is a friend and I reassured her before our interview that it wasn’t an antagonistic piece. She wasn’t the focus of the story, nor was Sony.”

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Beverly Johnson Drops the Hammer on Bill Cosby

ShutterstockBeverlyJohnsonLet’s see how Bill Cosby‘s high-priced lawyer Marty Singer tries to shield his client from this one.

The headline is sickeningly familiar: “Bill Cosby Drugged Me. This Is My Story.” So is the routine of the entertainer, in this particular alleged case in the mid-1980s, of asking a female guest to audition in pretend-drunk fashion.

However, the byline is something altogether new. It belongs to an African-American as impactful on their corner of the entertainment industry as Cosby has been on his.

From the top of supermodel Beverly Johnson‘s devastating Vanity Fair essay:

As I thought of going public with what follows, a voice in my head kept whispering, “Black men have enough enemies out there already, they certainly don’t need someone like you, an African-American with a familiar face and a famous name, fanning the flames.”

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Philadelphia Magazine Writer Crowdfunds Bill Cosby Play

Victor Fiorillo, a senior writer with Philadelphia magazine who has extensively covered the Bill Cosby scandal, has his sights set on next’ fall’s local Fringe Festival. To get there with what he has tentatively titled The Bill Cosby Assault, he is looking for at least $10,000 on Kickstarter.

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From a report on philly.com:

Producing the play independent of Phillymag, Fiorillo has gathered Philadelphia theater personalities like James Ijames, Amy Smith and Jennifer Kidwell to develop The Bill Cosby Assault, which still is only in very early development. It will be Fiorillo’s first professional foray into writing and producing theater.

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AARP Magazine Scrubs Cosby Mention from Cover [Corrected]

The October/November issue of AARP magazine is a reminder of just how quickly things have come crashing down for Bill Cosby.

Framing a brief excerpt from Mark Whitaker‘s biography of the entertainer, the publication references the comedian’s Netflix special (indefinitely postponed) and fall 2015 NBC sitcom plans (canceled) under the headline “A Life of Laughter.” The brief intro blurb also suggests that Cosby’s life is “still all about making people smile.”

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Howard Kurtz Assails New York Times for ‘Reckless Move’

ShutterstockTimesSquareProtester1124Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, media critics continue to question the wherewithal of New York Times editors with regards to this week’s article “A Quiet Wedding for Darren Wilson.” Although the report by Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson, posted ahead of the Grandy Jury verdict announcement, hints that the police officer and his wife have essentially vacated the referenced property, it’s still extremely surprising that the paper, at this late press time, has yet to redact the pinpoint-his-whereabouts information. The paper has only removed an equally careless image of Wilson’s marriage license, which revealed the full name of the officer’s wife.

From Howard Kurtz‘s op-ed:

The New York Times, whether consciously or not, has just endangered Darren Wilson’s life.

With tensions running high in Ferguson over the lack of an indictment for Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown, the paper has published the officer’s approximate address – the street and town where he lives with his new wife, who also is named.

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Reporter Remains ‘Livid’ About Spiking of 2005 Bill Cosby Expose

RobinMizrahiPicThe Bill Cosby news stream continues to unfurl at a furious pace. And from an inside-media perspective, one of  the biggest headlines remains the business explored by Mark Ebner and now, The Guardian.

New York-based Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington spoke to Robin Mizrahi (pictured), the journalist whose National Enquirer 2005 expose was spiked after pressure from Cosby attorneys. (Details of this pressure and editorial flip, which resulted in the piece being replaced with a more straightforward Cosby denial, were documented in the Andrea Constand civil lawsuit.) The original Enquirer story centered around the civil suit’s “Jane Doe No. 5:”

Mizrahi made contact with Beth Ferrier, who alleged that she too had been drugged and sexually molested by the entertainer. The Enquirer brought Ferrier to Los Angeles from her home in Denver, where she was then working as a model, and Mizrahi interviewed her and arranged for her to undergo a lie detector test.

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Michael Wolff Questions Ben Smith’s Uber Expose

USATodayPeterPanModifiedLogoCaught in the middle of Uber and BuzzFeed, Michael Wolff has opted to make the headline-grabbing story – and himself – the subject of today’s USA Today column.

Wolff writes that after hearing directly from Uber on Monday that BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith was working on an article about the Friday “influential” held at Manhattan’s Waverly Inn, he contacted Smith (his +1 for the event) to note the fact that he should have told Smith it was off-the-record affair. While Wolff says he understands the tricky balance for a journalist of off-the-record vs. inflammatory remarks, he thinks ultimately that Smith did not paint an accurate picture:

Other than meeting at The Waverly dinner, I do not know the Uber people, except as an often grateful consumer of their services. I do know, however, that it was a convivial evening, and that Smith’s portrait is at odds with the event.

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