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Scandalous

Report: LA Stripper Does a Number on Hearst Exec

On the same day that feature documentary Citizen Hearst is opening in LA and a handful of other U.S. cities, allegations in the New York Post of a lurid sex scandal involving one of the media company’s top executives are being fanned across the Hollywood trades and beyond. From today’s “Page Six” dispatch, posted online just after midnight:

Top Hearst executive Scott Sassa has left the company over a sensational extortion plot involving a Los Angeles-based stripper he was sexting, multiple sources exclusively tell Page Six.

Sassa — the high-flying president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication group who manages the company’s interests in ESPN, Lifetime and recent successes including executive producing the hit miniseries The Bible for the History Channel — is quitting after the stripper forwarded sexy texts between her and Sassa to Hearst Corp.’s very conservative top brass.

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Newspaper Delivery Drivers Shot by LAPD Won’t Get New Truck

The LAPD PR-nightmare continues unabated. After mistakenly shooting more than 100 holes through the truck of Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, (who also took two bullets to the neck) during the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck apologized and promised to replace their truck.

The new truck, however, is apparently not going to happen, according to NBC4, who spoke with the pair’s attorney Glen Jonas.

According to Jonas, LAPD and Galpin Ford wanted his clients to pose for a photo opportunity and pay income tax on the truck. The women no longer want the truck after they were told they needed to fill out a 1099 form for the donation, Jonas said Monday.

“You tried to murder the woman, now you’re telling her she can’t have a four-wheel drive, you’re telling her she can’t sell it and you’ve got to be taxed on it?” Jonas said. “How would anyone react to that?”

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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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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.

Former Boss Comes to the Defense of Embattled BuzzFeed Reporter

Before Tessa Stuart joined BuzzFeed, she worked at LA Weekly. Today, that publication’s editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske has done what very few elsewhere in the media have dared to up to this point: firmly take Stuart’s side.

The crux of Fenske’s argument is that she feels there’s no way, under any circumstances (logged by the CPB or not logged), that Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat could have been detained for the amount of time Michael Moore first claimed (1.5 hours). From her op ed:

The Atlantic revealed that Burnat’s plane arrived at LAX at 4:59 p.m. , fourteen minutes behind schedule. Even if the plane was blessed with a relatively quick deboarding, it’s hard to imagine that Burnat could have possibly first encountered federal agents any earlier than 5:20 p.m.

Weirdly, The Atlantic lets Moore suggest otherwise: “In the half-hour between Burnat’s arrival and the first log entry cited in BuzzFeed’s post, Moore says Burnat and his family had already been taken to two other holding areas.” Oh really? So the plane landed at 4:59, and somehow magically everyone was ushered into various holding areas within just a few minutes, only to be detained and shuffled to room after room in just 29 minutes?

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Another Very Sad Scientology Tale

At the end of his latest blog piece, Church of Scientology watchdog reporter Tony Ortega writes the following:

CODA: The Bunker just wants to add, on a personal note, that back in the day, this was the kind of story you would find on the front page of the LOS ANGELES FREAKING TIMES, and not on the blog of some dude in New York City.

We know things are tough at the formerly great newspaper out there, but it was once the leading journal of all things Scientology. Doesn’t it bother anyone there that so many Los Angeles Scientology stories are broken here rather than in the city’s supposed paper of record?

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The Onion Apologizes for Quvenzhané Wallis Tweet

As predicted by yours truly last night, The Onion’s tweet about Quvenzhané Wallis still has the Internet in full wrath mode. Not only was the offending tweet removed, this morning Onion CEO Steve Hannah issued a rare apology on the paper’s Facebook page.

“On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.

“No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.”

That Wallis is 9 and utterly adorable is obviously what has everyone so worked up. It’s also why the joke is so funny. It probably wouldn’t fly on TV, with its mass mainstream audience. But it’s an appropriately crude, tongue-in-cheek joke for a disposable, largely-adult, medium like Twitter.

Hannah’s letter in full after the jump:

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TheWrap Asks Bauer Media to Explain the Nazi Porn

Who is Andrew Gumbel? That was our immediate first question upon reading TheWrap’s provocative look at some of the less well-known tentacles of Bauer Media, the Hamburg, Germany-based publishing giant that puts out weekly glossies In Touch and Life & Style. Gumbel, the author of the piece, is a veteran British-born LA journalist who worked for London’s The Independent for many years and authored the 2005 book Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America.

He’s zeroed in on some extremely unsavory bits of Bauer media activity. When asked about the following, company spokesperson Claudia Bachhausen had no comment:

A wholly owned Bauer subsidiary publishes Der Landser, a military adventure magazine that specializes in World War II stories sympathetic to Hitler’s armies and that enjoys brisk sales among skinheads and neo-Nazis. The respected German magazine Der Spiegel once described it as “a specialist journal for whitewashing the Wehrmacht”…

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NBCLA Lands the Early Front-Runner for Car Chase of the Year Video

Plenty of stupid car chases find a way to infiltrate our local TV news, but none quite like this. NBC informs us the suspect above was wanted by police on suspicion of “drunk driving.”

Are you sure about that?

Not that he couldn’t have been drinking before he got in the car, but based on the mania with which he’s huffing those balloons, we’re going to go ahead and say that he’s under a different kind of influence. NBC’s story does get a quote from the suspect’s father claiming his son has nitrous habit.

Love how he was sucking on those balloons even with a small army of police officers pointing shotguns at him. That’s dedication! Either that or the most stubborn addiction we have ever seen.

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