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Posts Tagged ‘Scandal’

Los Angeles Times Writer ‘Screws’ Up Reporting Job for a Source


We understand. Before the fall, you just get crapped on.

Meet Jason Felch. 

He was a star investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A guy whose credits stood on their own. That is, before he was “dismissed” after editors discovered he had an inappropriate relationship with someone who was a source for a front-page story that the newspaper says contained an error.

A double screw job, me thinks… *golf clap*

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It’s Scandal Premiere Night! And Some Fans Got A Goodie Bag to Get Ready

roland martin scandalOf course you know what today is! It’s Scandal premiere day and thank goodness for it because I don’t know how much longer we could’ve gone without a dose of Liv, Fitz and the rest of the Gladiators!

Twitter timelines around the country have been lit up all day with anticipation as people just went through the motions in order to get home to their wine and jam. As if you needed it, this is proof positive of the huge impact that Twitter has had on the success of this blockbuster show.

That fact wasn’t lost on the Scandal folks who spent the day filling their timeline with every manner of reminder for tonight’s program, from Vine videos (we’ve got one after the jump) to pictures to links and retweets.

It also helps that ABC has got support from some notable names. TV One host Roland Martin is an unabashed fan. Because he’s so loyal and a noted media figure, he got a pretty cool swag bag to get the Scandal party started.

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Saturday Night Live Laughs at a Diversity Problem Even Scandal Can’t Fix

They say Olivia Pope can “fix” any problem—any problem, that is, beyond the lack of black female comedians on Saturday Night Live.

This week’s Kerry Washington episode was definitely one of the season’s strongest aside from a painful reminder than Eminem can’t lip sync to save his life. The diversity issue mocked in this opening sketch came into focus earlier this month when SNL‘s two black stars made very different comments: speaking of the showrunners, Jay Pharoah said “they need to pay attention” and cast a strong black female performer, while Keenan Thompson said that the problem is that “they just never find ones that are ready.”

At any rate, we appreciate the show’s willingness to laugh at the fact that its new additions are a bunch of schlubby white guys:

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Olivia Pope is America’s Favorite Fixer: Scandal Wins With Viewers & Brands

From the Saks Fifth Avenue Instagram page.

From the Saks Fifth Avenue’s Instagram page.

The numbers are in and Scandal is a winner.

Thursday’s season three premiere of the ABC hit was the most-watched in the show’s history with 10.5 million people tuning in, a 71 percent increase from last year. And many of those viewers were under 50, making it the top show for ABC for that demographic. Who knew so many people were into PR?

Well we know it also has something to do with the hotness between Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn’s President Fitz. And bitter First Lady Mellie. And conniving Cyrus. And loyal Huck… Really, the whole show is magic. And in case you thought there’s no reality to the program, Judy Smith, the DC crisis expert on which Olivia Pope is based, is a consultant on the show. Washington revealed, during a visit to The Daily Show this week, that Smith actually advises the writers on how best to handle the difficult situations that the plot proposes. (Clip after the jump.)

And if that weren’t enough, Scandal style has bewitched the nation. The show’s makeup artist is being interviewed. Olivia’s hair is being analyzed. And her outfits are picked apart. In fact, the white coat she wore during this week’s episode caused a stir on Twitter. (It’s Burberry.) Saks Fifth Avenue picked up on the show’s style and they’re trying to capitalize on it.

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Horse Meat Scandal Touches IKEA’s Meatballs

Today everyone’s favorite paperboard furniture provider IKEA announced plans to remove its famous Swedish meatballs from the menu at every in-store cafeteria in 21 European countries after confirming that Czech food inspectors had found “traces of horse” in those round, sauce-covered meat globes. Now we have a few questions:

  • Is any company safe at this point?
  • Will this scandal convince Europeans to re-examine their relationship with red meat and enact stricter regulations on those companies that include it in their products? (You really don’t know what you could be eating in most cases.)
  • Did you know that horse meat is supposedly “leaner” and “sweeter” than cow meat and that it contains twice the Iron and three times the essential omega fatty acids? Doesn’t it feel kind of strange to consider that information?
  • Finally, what good is an IKEA with no meatballs anyway?


How NOT to Do Native Advertising: The Atlantic Runs Scientology Advertorial

The Atlantic Magazine Scientology AdvertorialSo, last week we took the time to lecture our readers on the nature of native advertising–and this week’s biggest media “scandal” conveniently gives us an opportunity to show everyone how not to do it.

In summary: Established magazine The Atlantic, long a home to respectable journalism, ran a sponsored post that was little more than an official release from the Church of Scientology.

The church is scrambling to get some good press before journalist Lawrence Wright‘s upcoming expose Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief hits the nation’s bookstores and e-readers. The post itself amounted to a comical report about how leader David Miscavige has helped the church expand its membership; it included little beyond (obviously staged) photos documenting the recent openings of Scientology “centers” around the world.

And that’s not all: The Atlantic also carefully monitored the story’s comments section, erasing many of the (overwhelmingly negative) comments from users before closing them down altogether. Bad move, guys.

Now it’s damage control time!

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Petraeus Scandal’s Third Wheel Played Politics, Ran a Shady Charity

David Petraeus and Jill Kelley courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Last week we updated you on the juiciest available details regarding the David Petraeus scandal; most of these revelations involved a Tampa, Florida-based socialite named Jill Kelley, who seems to have played the role of third party spoiler in this twisted romantic tragedy.

As the controversy grows into every tabloid writer’s dream scoop and the media subjects Mrs. Kelley’s life to a far greater degree of scrutiny than she ever expected, a few interesting details have come to light.

There’s quite a bit to sort through: First of all, Mrs. Kelley has an identical sister named Natalie Khawam. The two enjoy participating in Florida politics, raising money for charitable causes…and racking up combined debts of approximately $7.6 million! Mrs. Kelley is currently “mired in lawsuits from a string of banks”, and Ms. Khawam declared bankruptcy earlier this year after engaging in a court battle over custody of her son and receiving character testimony from both General Petraeus and top Army General John Allen (who seems to have developed an amorous interest in her sister that included hundreds of not-so-discrete emails).

Another mini-scandal: Petraeus helped Kelley earn a gig as “honorary” consul to South Korea, but Kelley reportedly dropped the first part of her fake title when socializing—and this weekend the New York Daily News ran a story alleging that she tried to turn the unpaid position into a big-time score by enticing businessmen with her fictional connections to South Korea’s president.

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Bad PR: FDA Cites 5-Hour Energy in 13 Deaths

5-Hour EnergyIt’s tough to peddle caffeine these days unless you brew coffee, isn’t it? This week brought controversy over “Jack’d Cracker Jacks” while last month saw the FDA issue a report tying Monster Energy Drink to at least five deaths around the country. N0w we hear of yet another report linking the popular 5-Hour Energy drink to even more fatalities.

The 13 deaths cited in this story easily top the five blamed on Monster, and the details are even more troubling: the popular wake-up shot with the awful commercials was mentioned in approximately 90 filings since 2009 and linked to everything from heart attacks and tremors to “a spontaneous abortion”. We’ll bet everyone at distributor Living Essentials and its parent company Innovation Ventures just loves that phrase.

As expected, the FDA tempered its reports with conditional statements–and a Living Essentials rep defended the company by claiming to be “unaware of any deaths proven to be caused by the consumption of 5-Hour Energy.” The fact that regulatory authorities classify the product as a “dietary supplement” further complicates the issue.

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BP Agrees to Pay Highest Fine in History for Gulf Spill

BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Spill BP‘s hopes of negotiating an out-of-court settlement regarding the disastrous 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill officially died today as the company agreed to pay a $4.5 billion dollar fine to the US government. That total includes reparations owed to government agencies like the SEC and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation along with $1.3 billion in criminal fines–the largest such penalty in history.

Perhaps even more significantly, the company also admitted its own culpability in the deaths of 11 rig workers as part of the agreement and confessed to lying to members of congress about the scale of the damage. And that’s not all: two BP employees will face felony charges of manslaughter relating to their roles in the deaths.

We can’t say we envy the firm responsible for dragging BP’s reputation out of the gutter. The company’s Olympics ads may have been surprisingly effective in boosting consumer perceptions, but we can’t imagine this latest development going over too well with an already skeptical public. BP won’t be getting past this you-know-what anytime soon.

Despite all the noise, BP still managed to make a $5.5. billion profit in the third quarter alone–so brace yourself for a glut of commercials starring oil-splattered birds, wrecked homes and Good Samaritans who just happen to be wearing BP logos.

Lessons from the No Doubt Video Scandal?

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt via Interscope RecordsYou may have heard that late-90’s “ska” kings No Doubt recently jumped on the comeback train. You may have also heard that the band immediately ran into controversy over the video for their single “Looking Hot.”

For some reason, the video’s director thought it would be a great idea to dress the band members in stereotypical Western/Native American gear: feathered headdresses, leather leggings, teepees, cute cowboy outfits…you get it.

We like to play dress-up as much as the next guy (which is to say not at all), but we’re a little surprised that the creative team responsible for the video couldn’t see the “scandal” coming.

Anyway, the band predictably pulled the spot after too many people complained about it being insensitive to the traditions and concerns of the Native American community; they even shut down their own website’s online forum after discussion of the video overwhelmed fans’ comments.

Today Zimbio asks whether this controversy served any discernible purpose, and it’s a good question. Arguments on both sides popped up over the past week, with some decrying the proliferation of political correctness while others lamented the public’s general ignorance of American Indian history and the perpetuation of long-discredited stereotypes.

Can we take any lessons from the band’s screw-up other than the fact that big-name pop stars should choose their video themes very carefully? Did the band make the right decisions to control the damage? And how could they have avoided the controversy (besides making an entirely different video)? Here’s the offending spot in case you missed it: Read more