Darlings! As you can see, this issue of the Mercury is devoted to Portland's newcomers—which means we should be using this space to familiarize newbies with Portland's celebrities. The only problem with that? PORTLAND HAS NO CELEBRITIES. (Seriously, name one. Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale? Give us a fucking break. The only time he'd be recognized is if someone thought he was Guy Fieri's baby brother.) But trust us, this pitiful state of affairs won't last forever! Because EVERYONE from LA is moving to Portland, which means we'll soon be up to our tits in actual real-life celebrities! What follows are our top seven picks for celebs who should (and a few who definitely should NOT) move to Portland!—Ann
Why should Channing Tatum move to Portland? The reasons are many, but here's one just off the top of our head: Portland boys look like SHIT. If they're not owners of rat-infested beards, a startling number of Portland's "men" look like they were just dragged out of a hobo camp by their ankles. Even the more presentable ones fuck up their appearance with the addition of top buns, TOMS shoes, hipster scarves, drop-crotch sweat pants, acid-washed skinny jeans, and T-shirts that could pass for a circus clown's mini-dress. But the worst... THE ABSOLUTE WORST... are the beer-obsessed douches of this town, who appear to have formed a clone army in which their sole uniform consists of mandals, cargo shorts, LA Kings baseball hats, and craft brew T-shirts in one of 17 various shades of "taupe." Hey douchies! Get the fuck out of our town, move to Gresham, and make room for a real man—Channing Tatum. Unlike local boys whose idea of exercise is carrying a six-pack of Montucky Cold Snacks from the Plaid Pantry to their fixie, the muscular Chatum is a pleasure to look at—particularly when his clothes are OFF. This is why Channing should consider moving here and opening up two male strip clubs; one called Magic Mike's, and another stationed two blocks away called Magic Mike's XXL. Please, Chatum. For the sake of Portland's het women and gay men. PLEASE.
But as it turns out? Jared's charitable foundation wasn't so charitable. From USA Today:
[Jared's] non-profit foundation would distribute $2 million to schools and community organizations to fight the condition that had plagued Fogle for years, childhood obesity.
But the Jared Foundation has not issued a single grant, records show.
According to the story, of that $2 million that the Jared Foundation presumably collected, 60 percent of the money went to pay executive director Taylor's salary—while 26 percent of the foundation's profits are currently unaccounted for.
Here's a bit more grotesqueness (if you can stand it) from the Huffington Post:
Twelve of Fogle's 14 victims were minors who Taylor secretly filmed. Taylor then shared the images and videos with Fogle, federal prosecutors said in documents released last week. Fogle allegedly traveled to the other two victims, who were both underage, to engage in commercial sex acts.
Fogle faces between five and 12 years under the plea agreement. He also agreed to pay his victims $1.4 million.
For the past week, the tabloids have been circling Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner like blood-thirsty sharks in anticipation of their much rumored impending divorce—all except for People magazine who has laughably been ignoring the situation in hopes they'd get the exclusive when the pair decided to pull the trigger. And guess what? People's gambit paid off!
After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce," the couple tells PEOPLE in a joint statement. "We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."
Our condolences to Ben and Jen, and good luck with that request for privacy. Here are the couple in happier times....
Need more gossip? Yes, please. Check out One Day at a Time.
Life can be an arduous challenge, where one must continuously move forward, or fall backward into the darkness. But don't move too fast—especially on stairs—and don't do it while wearing flip-flops—like the unfortunate (and now UGLY) Brad Pitt. Named People's "Sexiest Man" in both 1995 and 2000, when Brad showed up for Saturday's Light Up the Blues concert in Hollyweird, his once beautiful face looked like it had been dragged for a quarter mile behind a particularly angry rhinoceros. What happened to turn the face of a demigod into a plate of old, raw hamburger meat? (And no, apparently it wasn't Angie... this time.) Here's the excuse he gave People magazine. "This is what happens when you try to run up steps in the dark, with your arms full, wearing flip-flops," said the now hideous Pitt. "Turns out if you then try to stop your forward momentum with your face, the result is road rash." Hmmm... well, that would be a totally believable excuse... if it weren't for one thing: Actors of Pitt's stature are not commoners. They do not "run," they do not "carry things" in "their arms" (they have assistants for that), and they most certainly, absolutely, never ever NEVER wear "flip-flops"! We'll let this one slide... but Angie? We're keeping our eye on you.
TUESDAY, APRIL 28
Following yesterday's funeral service of 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray—whose neck was broken while in police custody—riots broke out around Baltimore... largely due to the inability of the police bureau to learn from the mistakes of Ferguson, Missouri. Curfews and unrest followed, with at least 20 officers injured, 235 people arrested, and an untold amount of property damage as of April 28. The riots halted only when the six officers in question were brought up on charges, including second-degree murder. So! Who best to speak on behalf of Baltimore and its beleaguered citizens? Why Carson Daly (former MTV VJ and host of The Voice), and Donald Trump (billionaire and fucking ignoramus), of course! "Really sucks to see these lawless looters ruining the great city of @Baltimore," Carson said on his Twatter machine. "This isn't protest, this is a violent attack on your OWN city!" Weirdly, these words from a white game show host had almost no effect on those protesting the senseless and cruel murder of Freddie Gray. Meanwhile, here's what the always wise and levelheaded Donald Trump had to say on Twatter: "Our great African American President [We assume he's being sarcastic and racist here—Ann] hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs [More sarcasm and racism!—Ann] who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!" Hmmm. How about this for an idea: Celebrities should not be allowed to use Twatter, unless they pass a special test and get a license for it. All in favor, say "Aye!" AYE!! Let it be written, let it be done.
To be fair, it sounds like the Youngs' divorce is relatively amicable, but one person is not pleased with Young's new girlfriend—living lion of a man David Crosby, who told the Idaho Statesman last week:
I happen to know that he's hanging out with somebody that's a purely poisonous predator now. And that's karma. He's gonna get hurt. But I understand why it happened. I'm just sad about it. I'm always sad when I see love get tossed in the gutter.Ouch. Guess that CSNY reunion isn't going to happen anytime soon. The rest of that interview is worth reading, as Crosby has no filter. (He's tired of some of the songs he has to sing every night! His voice is in better shape than his bandmates! God love ya, Croz.)
C, along with S and N (Stills and Nash) perform—without Y—tonight at the Keller Auditorium. Daryl Hannah will not be on the guest list. CSNY recently released a three-disc set of their 1974 tour, which I can't afford but sounds like it's pretty terrific.
As we report in this week's paper, the office responsible for Multnomah County's emergency planning experienced something of a mutiny starting in late June. Three separate employees complained to the county's Office of Diversity and Equity that Joe Rizzi, then-director of the Office of Emergency Management, had committed a litany of managerial sins—including skipping out on work for large portions of the day to brunch and hang out with his girlfriend, singling out minorities and women for harsh treatment, and recording his conversations with coworkers without telling them. That last one is a potential breach of state law.
It's important to note that Rizzi denies most of those claims. He says the complaints were part of a smear campaign organized by staffer Rachel Novick (newly married to City Commissioner Steve Novick). But Rizzi nonetheless chose to leave his $122,000 a year position in mid-July, a day after he'd been put on administrative leave due to the allegations.
"If you have a staff that's undermining you, it's really hard," he told the Mercury. "I don't want to be part of the slander."
The county's emergency management office sees a lot of turnover at the top. Rizzi was the seventh person to helm the department since 2000. At least one of those departures was even cloudier than Rizzi's.
Initially, when the Mercury asked for complaints against Rizzi in a formal records request, the county sent back several lengthy complaints filed by Novick, as well as documents Rizzi's administrative leave and subsequent resignation. You can read those records here.
Because we'd been told there might be more complaints than just Novick's, though, we made another request. "If not formal complaints than at least written communications detailing concerns about Mr. Rizzi. Possibly from staffers mentioned in the complaint by Rachel Philofsky: Tina Birch, Luiz Hernandez, or Kristen Baird." We were told none of those existed either.
It wasn't until we filed a third request that the county handed over records of concerns that had been raised—by the aforementioned Baird and Birch—weeks before Novick filed her complaint. Those documents are mainly notes a diversity and equity office staffer took of the women's concerns. They're here.
For those interested in the machinations of the gossip industry, take a few minutes and read Anne Helen Peterson's lengthy Buzzfeed story about the birth of sleaze mongering site TMZ and how it became a powerhouse that has built an empire on terrorizing celebrities with little regard for journalistic integrity. (Though in some regards they show far more integrity than their magazine based competitors.) Peterson's investigative report recounts founder Harvey Levin's "secret vault" which allegedly houses a number of scandalous videos and photos of celebrities that the organization allegedly uses to gain access to these same people. For example, it was revealed recently that Justin Bieber's video of a racist joke he made when he was 15-years-old was one of the items that was stored away for such a rainy day.
TMZ happily admits they're willing to pay for interviews and scandalous videos, as in this instance regarding Seinfeld's Michael Richards and his famous n-word laced comedy club rant:
In November 2006, for example, a source came forward with the recording of the Michael Richards racist comedy routine. The source wanted several thousand dollars for the tape, and TMZ would pay it, but the source wanted the cash immediately — as in before-the-banks-opened immediately. Levin couldn’t write a personal check and allow the money to be traced back to him, and he, like everyone else, had a limit on the amount of cash he could take out in a single day from the ATM. His solution, according to multiple staffers working for the site at the time: Call every TMZ staffer and force them to immediately take out their ATM max and bring it down to the TMZ offices. The staffers were reimbursed, but the story highlights just what lengths TMZ was willing to go to obtain — and pay — a source.
It's an illuminating article, and if you want to be creeped out by the machinations of Hollywood—read the whole thing.
Over at the LA Weekly, Amy Nicholson has a pretty amazing piece up about Tom Cruise—that also happens to be about a whole bunch of other stuff. "How YouTube and Internet Journalism Destroyed Tom Cruise, Our Last Real Movie Star" is about Cruise, true, but it's also about technology, Hollywood, Oprah, news, and gossip (in particular, the kind dished by the Mercury's own Ann Romano). It's even got an appearance from Portland's Andy Baio (co-founder of the XOXO Fest, one of the guys behind Kickstarter, and—I didn't know this—the guy who first let us all know about Star Wars Kid and The Grey Album). And in looking at how Cruise's infamous couch-jumping on Oprah affected both viral videos and Cruise's career, it starts by pointing out something remarkable:
You've seen it, too. You can probably picture it in your head: Tom Cruise, dressed in head-to-toe black, looming over a cowering Oprah as he jumps up and down on the buttermilk-colored couch like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Cruise bouncing on that couch is one of the touchstones of the last decade, the punchline every time someone writes about his career.
There's just one catch: It never happened.
Like Humphrey Bogart saying, "Play it again, Sam," Tom Cruise jumping on a couch is one of our mass hallucinations. But there's a difference. Bogart's mythological Casablanca catchphrase got embedded in the culture before we could replay the video and fact-check. Thanks to the Internet, we have video at our fingertips. Yet rather than correct the record, the video perpetuated the delusion. (Via.)
(Nicholson's piece is also an interesting counterpoint to both the latest issue of Empire, which has a hagiographic feature devoted to Cruise's majesty ["THE LEGEND OF OUR LIFETIME"], and, naturally, Lawrence Wright's jaw-droppingly good Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, which I can't recommend enough, and spends a fair amount of time on Cruise's role in Scientology. Seriously, that book is impossible to put down for a billion different reasons.)
[ORIGINAL POST]: Early rumors indicate that big changes are in store for next year's MusicfestNW (MFNW). Instead of a multi-day, multi-venue festival, 2014's edition will be a two-day affair at the Portland Waterfront, with room for 10,000 festivalgoers, and two large stages—one sponsored by Nike and one by Red Bull, the Mercury's sources indicate. This is a marked change from Musicfests of previous years, in which more than a dozen Portland venues around town played host to more than 100 different acts over as many as six nights. This will be a condensed, far more focused affair, more akin to other Northwest music festivals such as the Gorge Amphitheater's Sasquatch!, or Portland's annual Waterfront Blues Festival. It also marks the end of concerts taking place in Pioneer Courthouse Square, a relatively recent development that, while initially anchoring the festival, suffered this past year from both bad weather and neighbor complaints.
When asked for confirmation on any of the potential changes, or information about 2014's festival in general, MusicfestNW Executive Director Trevor Solomon
declined to comment [SEE ABOVE]. MusicfestNW typically takes place at the beginning of September, and is run in part by Willamette Week. It's traditionally Portland's big live-music event of the year, and we like it a lot. We'll provided any further updates and/or confirmation, as the information becomes available.
Sadly, Wild Flag, despite acclaim for their eponymous debut, are no more: “It was great but I think it just kinda ran its course," Weiss tells us. "It’s hard to have a band when you live five hours apart by plane.”The article goes on to theorize that this raises the possibility of a Sleater-Kinney reunion coming soon, although of course Weiss is currently drumming for her longtime band Quasi; they're in the middle of a UK tour.
As the news echoes around the internet (as in here and here), pundits are hoping, hoping for a Sleater-Kinney reunion, citing as encouraging evidence the November 29 Pearl Jam show in Portland, when Weiss, Brownstein, and Corin Tucker all joined Vedder & Co. onstage for a finale of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." (Rolling Stone went so far as to call it a Sleater-Kinney reunion.)
Like the rest of America, I AM OBSESSED WITH MILEY CYRUS RUMORS. And so I was pretty psyched to learn that Community creator Dan Harmon had some especially juicy gossip to share about Cyrus, and he spilled the beans yesterday on his blog "Dan Harmon Poops." Here are the scandalous details, and now that I know this about Miley? IT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.
I can’t say that I really know any of this for a fact. I have heard that she is taller than she seems on TV. I have heard that she is able to see in very low light. Someone told me that she is actually ashamed of this, and has had numerous surgical procedures attempting to “cure” herself of her special eyesight, which, to me sounds like more of a gift. I think I read somewhere - but please do not quote me on this - that if she is standing twenty feet from a tablecloth, in normal light, she can make out individual fibers, and that the FBI will sometimes bring her in to assist them on special cases, cases which are particularly time-sensitive, i.e., a human life is at stake, and/or a crime happened in a convertible with the top down and it’s going to rain soon, and they can’t wait for someone to look at fibers through conventional means.
Apparently, in those cases, the head investigator will say “get Miley” or “where is she this time” and it will cut to her finishing a concert, and she will look over from the stage into the wings, and there will be men in black suits waiting, and she’ll have this look on her face, like, “here we go again.” Because I guess she doesn’t get along with the FBI on a personal level, because they’re highly trained and very cautious people, and she’s just sort of a free spirit with these very powerful eyes.
As I understand it, and I need to stress this is all gossip, this is just stuff I hear in the kitchen at work, but supposedly, in the end, they get the job done together, in spite of their different approaches, and justice is essentially served.
Also, I heard she twerked, I don’t know what that is but I heard she twerked.
Well, that clears that up. Read the rest here.
Abby Ohlheiser at The Atlantic points out that on Sunday, the Examiner published an amazing piece of fiction by Dean Chambers, the man who came up with Unskewed Polls during the 2012 election. The piece, which was written with absolutely no evidence, attempts to explain where President Obama was when the attacks in Benghazi was taking place:
"Barack Obama retired to his private quarters (perhaps with Reggie Love…or maybe one of the other low-ranking young men who are forever suspiciously palling around with this president, unlike any president before him) sometime around 6pm EST or so on 9/11/12. He then seems to have taken drugs (which I believe most likely involved cocaine). Hillary Clinton either showed up to kill his buzz or she kept calling on the phone over and over again until he answered at 10pm. I’m sure he hung up on her as fast as he could, because the woman scares him (and no doubt scolds his sorry ass every chance she gets).
From then until the staff was finally able to rouse, dress, and make him presentable enough for the public at 1030am the next day Barack Obama appears to have been out of his mind high on drugs."
Chambers's post can no longer be found on the Examiner's site. (And if I may stoop so low as to point out one error in the above quoted passage: Reggie Love used to work as President Obama's body man. This is not "unlike any president" before President Obama. Most modern presidents and presidential candidates have body men, including Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and John F. Kennedy. Trying to turn a presidential aide into a scary hint about President Obama's secret homosexual/pedophilia tendencies is quite possibly the most unhinged part of the whole screed.) The last election would have been much closer if Republicans had managed to engage with the President Obama that actually exists, rather than the President Obama they've made up. But now that he's won a second term, they seem to only be interested in making their fictional President Obama as batshit insane as possible.
As the acid-tongued Ann Romano told you in this week's One Day at a Time, "butcher-knife chinned" actress Reese Witherspoon was recently arrested for getting mouthy with an Atlanta cop and pulling the "Do you know who I am?" card. HOWEVER! The story gets even more hilariously awesome when there's video to accompany it! Watch Reese shoot off her mouth ("This is just BEYOND!"), get the cuffs slapped on her, and be sure to stick around until the end of the clip when her own husband sells her down the river. NICE.
Direct from the world of "Hollywood speculation," TheWrap is reporting that Portland director homeboy Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, etc.) is apparently gunning to direct the film we all can't wait to hate, EL James' 50 Shades of Grey.
Two-time Oscar nominee Gus Van Sant has shot a steamy sex scene featuring Alex Pettyfer as Christian Grey in a bid to direct "Fifty Shades of Grey," the film version of the erotic bestseller, individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
The scene, insiders said, is when the ingénue Anastasia Steele loses her virginity to Grey.
The "insiders" were quick to point out that Pettyfer has not been cast as Christian Grey in the movie—just for Van Sant's audition tape. Also...
Van Sant was not officially asked by the studio to shoot a test tape. But doing so may indicate how badly he wants the coveted assignment.
So what sayest thou, Blogtown? CONDEMN OR ALLOW??
Watch the following scenes from next week's episode of Law & Order: SVU and see if you can guess which actual headline they're using for their "ripped from the headlines" story. (HINT: It is Rihanna and Chris Brown.)
Oh, wait... he doesn't actually get murdered in real life? Oh, pooh.
I'd rather read Teen Vogue than American Vogue—the clothes are more fun, and there's less hand wringing about at what age you should stop wearing short skirts (how about when I'm dead?). But even if you've never cracked either, you know who Vogue editor Anna Wintour is, because she's turned the historically unsung role of fashion editor into one of the most visible perches of celebrity in the world. Erik Maza has a good piece in WWD about the obsession with Anna and the guessing games about what her next career move might be. (The latest scuttlebutt involves an ambassadorship to England or France, believe it or not.) Conveniently, her latest appearances in the gossip pages coincide with the debut of In Vogue: The Editor's Eye, an HBO documentary chronicling the magazine's 120 (!) years. It's airing tonight at 9, which makes me reconsider my decision not to pay for cable:
As Sarah noted in Good Morning, News, Kevin Clash, the puppeteer responsible for bringing Elmo to life on Sesame Street for the past 28 years, gave his notice today. Articles such as this one are making sure to point out that the resignation comes amidst sexual misconduct allegations, even after Children's Television Workshop had announced they'd done their own internal investigation and found that Clash had committed no wrongdoings, and said allegations were recanted within 24 hours of their being lobbed at Clash in the first place.
So if the accuser recanted, and Children's Television Workshop found the accusations baseless, why is he still quitting? Well, a man in his 30s named Cecil Singleton is saying Clash trolled a gay phone line in 1993, and picked up Singleton for gay sex at the age of 15.
The key details of his accusation:
In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in NYC, Singleton claims Clash "groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money."
Singleton claims while Clash was featured on "Sesame Street," he was "preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests."
In the suit, Singleton claims ... although the sex occurred nearly 20 years ago, he didn't take action until now because ... he "did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012."
Singleton is demanding more than $5 million.
The details of the story seem to be in flux already, as now Singleton is telling TMZ.com, the site that broke the original recanted accusation and seems to be in the business of killing Elmo singlehandedly, that the sexual encounter happened in 2003, and his age is actually 24.
Regardless the veracity of Singleton's claims, this is likely why Clash resigned. The question is whether the Workshop will have to mothball their most popular character ever due to this controversy, as they've let go of their creator. Will people eventually forget that Elmo was somehow tied up in a sex scandal? Elmo will be performed by puppeteers that Clash had been training to perform the character, as they have been since his initial suspension.
Buzzfeed alerts us to the well-known fact that Chris Brown is a big asshole jerk and is just getting jerkier! Here's his Halloween costume.
That first debate was a tough one, but this is a real heartbreaker:
LOS ANGELES – Four years ago, Lindsay Lohan referred to Obama's Presidential victory as "amazing," but cut to 2012, and it seems the "Mean Girls" star has had a serious change of heart.
"I think unemployment is very important for now, so as of now I think (my vote) is Mitt Romney," Lohan told reporters, including FOX411's Pop Tarts, at the Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink Launch Party Los Angeles on Thursday night.
I will enjoy watching Republicans struggle to embrace Lindsay Lohan as a conservative icon, but I would like to issue a warning to Lohan: Immediately after Jenna Jameson endorsed Romney, she was arrested for drunk driving. I'm starting to think that a Romney endorsement is becoming an important step in the celebrity meltdown cycle, right before rehab.
After 30 years of marriage (!!) Danny DeVito (Taxi, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Rhea Perlman (Cheers) are divorcing, according to TMZ.
You're welcome for ruining your day. :(
As I mentioned in Good Morning, News, TMZ has acquired some blurry, but still funny video of Nicki Minaj GOING THE FUCK OFF on co-judge Mariah Carey, the American Idol staff, and... the universe, I guess? If she's hard to understand, here's a transcript of some of the stuff she's saying. (Note: Before the video started, Nicki allegedly vowed to "knock Mariah out." WHEEEE!!)
"Oh why, WHYYYY do I have a three year old sitting around me?"
"I can’t see my kids, because you decided to act like a little crazy bitch and go all around the stage.”
"I told them I'm not fuckin' putting up with her fuckin' highness over there."
OH, NO SHE DID NOT. Here's the video from TMZ.
From Voodoo's FB:
What do you do before your season premiere tonight of "How I Met Your Mother?" Go to Voodoo Doughnut, of course! Thanks Jason!
NICE. Hey, if anyone sees him, ask him if he'd like to stop by the Mercury office and shake the hand that shook Sam Elliott's hand!
TMZ reports the Alaska native's girlfriend, Sunny Oglesby, gave birth to Johnston's second child Wednesday, a daughter named Breeze Beretta Johnston — with the unusual middle name referencing the Italian firearm manufacturer.
This is pretty much an Every Child Needs a Mother and Father waiting to happen.
Today in the "Worst News in the World Ever from Us Magazine":
Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are separating after nine years of marriage, Us Weekly has learned exclusively. "It's very amicable," a source says.
According to the NYP:
Lena Dunham has an indie rocker boyfriend. The “Girls” creator is dating guitarist Jack Antonoff of the band Fun, according to the upcoming issue of Us Weekly.
Whatever. She can date whoever she wants. But can we PLEASE all agree that the "We Are Young" song by Fun is a simply TERRIBLE, and GROSSLY OVERRATED tune? Can we do that? Please?
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