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The Daily Beast Latest Articles
The Daily Beast Latest Articles
Colbert’s ‘Tooning Out the News’ Pivots to Attack Biden in Season 2
Paramount PlusOver the past six weeks or so, late-night shows have been struggling to figure out how to make comedy out of our collective post-Trump reprieve.Mostly, they have either found excuses to keep joking about Donald Trump or found new conservative targets like QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Cancun Senator Ted Cruz. More recently, on the latest episodes of Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo finally started taking some heat.But one political figure who has mostly evaded comedic scrutiny—much to Fox News’ frustration—is the current president of the United States Joe Biden. Now that’s about to change on the new season of Tooning Out the News.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Stephen Colbert Fires Back at Fox News and Don Jr.’s Dr. Seuss Freakout
CBSIf you happened to catch any hour of Fox News over the past couple of days, you may be under the impression that Dr. Seuss getting “canceled” is the biggest news story in America. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not quite so simple.As Stephen Colbert explained in his Late Show monologue Tuesday night, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to stop publishing six rather obscure titles from the iconic children’s author because they contain “racist and insensitive imagery.”“It’s a responsible move on their part,” the host argued. “There hadn’t been an earth-shattering outcry, but they recognize the impact that these images might have on readers, especially kids, and they’re trying to fix it, because Dr. Seuss books should be fun for all people—Black, white, straight, gay, Sneetches both star-bellied and plain, Loraxes, Barb-a-loots, all the Whos down in Whoville and the strange, angry creature called Foo Foo the Snoo.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Trevor Noah Disgusted by Andrew Cuomo’s Creepy Kiss Photo
Comedy CentralIn mid-February, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah was one of the first late-night hosts to really give it to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over his cover-up of COVID nursing home deaths, comparing his aversion to reality to Donald Trump’s. And now, he’s going hard in the paint on Cuomo’s series of sexual-harassment allegations. Thus far, two former aides to Cuomo have accused him of making lewd comments and unwanted advances (allegations Cuomo has denied), and this week, a third woman came forward to The New York Times accusing him of aggressively pawing her and trying to kiss her at a wedding.After thanking Cuomo for his wedding toast about her friends, Anna Ruch, now 33, told the Times that Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back. “When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed ‘aggressive’ and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer,” reported the Times. Ruch says she was “confused and shocked and embarrassed” by the unwanted advance.“Jesus, man! What are you doing? I mean, on the one hand, asking women for consent before you kiss them is what you’re supposed to do, but the other part of consent is waiting for them to answer! You don’t just grab them on the fact like a bear yanking on a beehive,” said Noah.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Marco Rubio Helps Hannity Peddle Conspiracy About Biden’s Mental Fitness
Fox NewsSen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) essentially agreed on Tuesday evening with Fox News host Sean Hannity’s baseless claims that President Joe Biden is “struggling cognitively,” asserting that foreign leaders are thinking to themselves that the president is being used as a “puppet.”Hannity, a close confidant of former President Donald Trump, has long peddled conspiracies about Biden’s mental health and fitness, spending the majority of the 2020 presidential campaign portraying the current White House occupant as senile.In recent weeks, Hannity has returned to openly questioning the president’s cognitive ability, citing reports that Vice President Kamala Harris has held calls with international leaders as proof of Biden’s supposed decline, even going so far as to say “it’s getting a little scary.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Meghan Markle Dismisses Bullying Allegations as Pre-Oprah ‘Calculated Smear Campaign’
Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has denied detailed accusations of “bullying” her former Buckingham Palace staff, and accused opponents of conducting a “calculated smear campaign” in advance of her much-hyped CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey this Sunday.If Meghan and Prince Harry had anticipated an open field to criticize the royal family and/or air various grievances, Buckingham Palace seems determined to torpedo their ambitions prior to Sunday night. A vicious, very public war of words is now underway.Royal aides told The Times of London that Meghan was the subject of an official bullying complaint made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary. The Times reported that the complaint detailed how Meghan allegedly “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.” Prince Harry asked Knauf not to pursue the complaint, a source told the paper.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Feds Bust Gun-Crazy Boogaloo Boi Who’s in the U.S. Illegally
Spencer Platt/GettyDays before the trial of the officer charged with murdering George Floyd is set to begin in Minneapolis, the FBI has arrested a member of the Boogaloo Bois who tried to travel to the city during this summer’s unrest and who has been in contact with a fellow extremist accused of attacking a police station there.Jaap Willem Lijbers, 26, is an undocumented Dutch citizen living in Virginia who investigators have tied to the white nationalist movement that wants to overthrow the U.S. government by inciting a second civil war. He was arrested during a raid on his home in rural Virginia on weapons and immigrations charges.According to a criminal complaint filed March 2 in Virginia federal court, Lijbers was a member of a private Facebook group that included Steven Carrillo, a notorious Boogaloo Boi and Air Force sergeant charged in a series of politically motivated cop killings last June. It says Lijbers had also been in direct contact with Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a North Carolina Boogaloo Boi who in December pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for attempting to provide material support to Hamas, and with Ivan Harrison Hunter, a Boogaloo Boi from Texas charged with rioting after firing 13 rounds from an AK-47 style assault rifle into a Minneapolis police station during the 2020 civil unrest that followed the death of Floyd while being detained by police.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Cynthia Nixon Questions ‘Courage’ of Feminists Who Backed Cuomo
GettyA growing number of activists and lawmakers have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down following multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him. Notably absent are the powerful women’s groups that supported his election.All three of the women’s groups who endorsed Cuomo over progressive challenger Cynthia Nixon in 2018 called for an independent investigation of the allegations—an arrangement to which the governor has already agreed. Two of the groups, Planned Parenthood and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, declined to discuss the matter by phone, instead sending statements via email.The Daily Beast reached the president of the third organization, the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, on her cell phone. Asked about her organization's decision to endorse Cuomo in 2018, the president, Sonia Ossorio, called it a “ridiculous question.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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Church That Ruined Lives Disses Vaccine That Saves Them
Jon Cherry/GettyEven as it condemned as “morally compromised” a COVID-19 vaccine that the Vatican itself has approved for emergency use, the Archdiocese of New Orleans was being hit with dozens of new clergy sex abuse claims.The new claims were filed in advance of a March 1 deadline set by the judge in a federal bankruptcy proceeding instituted by the archdiocese in August, citing the double impact of pending sex abuse lawsuits and the pandemic.The archdiocese was already facing more than 30 outstanding abuse claims and was seeking to curtail future ones. Federal Judge Meredith Grabill set March 1 as a “bar date” for any new claims. Each victim had to fill out and submit a “sexual abuse survivor proof of claim,” reliving the horror with such a stark question as: “Where were you at the time you were sexually abused? Please be specific and provide all relevant information that you recall including the City and State, name of the religious Parish or School or Orphanage (if applicable) and/or the name of any other locations.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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Neera Tanden’s OMB Nomination Finally Pulled Over Mean Tweets
Anna Moneymaker/Pool via ReutersThe Biden administration’s path to a fully staffed Cabinet hit its largest hurdle yet on Tuesday evening, when the White House announced that it was pulling the nomination of Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, to lead the Office of Management and Budget, long after it had become clear that she would not have the votes to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” President Joe Biden said in a statement released on Tuesday evening. “I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.When Biden nominated Tanden, a longtime Clintonworld loyalist, to lead OMB, the choice was seen by many progressives as an insult to the left wing of the Democratic Party that she’d once sought to thwart. But it was the apparent disinclination of Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, thought to be one of the most Democrat-friendly Republicans in the Senate, to support Tanden’s nomination that appears to have sealed her fate.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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Feds Arrest White Supremacist Livestreamer in Dawn Raid, Rattling Supporters
Broward Sheriff’s OfficeThe FBI arrested a notorious white supremacist livestreamer in an early morning raid in Florida on Tuesday.FBI agents, working with Fort Lauderdale police and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, arrested Paul N. Miller, 32, on one charge of being a “convicted felon in possession of a firearm.” The FBI said in a press release that Miller was arrested without incident.Miller’s neighbors in Fort Lauderdale’s Riverside neighborhood reported hearing flashbangs during the raid, which took place around 5 a.m. ET, local TV station NBC 6 reported. One neighbor described seeing law enforcement officers carrying out a box that appeared to have “a shotgun on the front or an AK.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
‘Murdering’ Mom: Boyfriend Wanted Me to Ditch the Kids
Middletown Police DepartmentThe boyfriend of an Ohio woman charged with killing her 6-year-old son while trying to abandon him and his siblings had been pressuring her to “get rid of” the children, she told police.That’s according to a newly released police report that lays out in detail the alleged chain of events that led to James Robert Hutchinson’s body being thrown in a freezing river last week.In a press conference on Monday, Middletown Police Chief David Birk said Brittany Gosney, 29, confessed to killing young James, but said the motive was still unclear.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
Roger Ailes Victim Loses Another Round in Her Defamation Suit Against Fox News
Frederick M. BrownFormer Fox News guest booking director Laurie Luhn, a repeated victim of the late Roger Ailes’ alleged sexual misconduct, lost a major legal round Tuesday in her federal defamation lawsuit against Fox News Media and its chief executive, Suzanne Scott.Affirming a lower-court decision dismissing Luhn’s complaint, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia ruled that a 2019 Los Angeles Times profile of Scott—in which the executive insisted she “had no clue on what was going on in Roger Ailes’ office” and “I have never had any issues with any sort of harassment myself”—could not meet the legal standard for defamation.The ruling said that’s because neither Scott nor the article mentioned Luhn and her statements were not “reasonably capable of any defamatory meaning.’’ The appeals court added that Luhn’s lawsuit relies on “a strained set of inferences in an effort to construct a case of defamation by implication.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Texas Guv Ditches Mask Mandate, Orders Full Reopening Despite Vaccine Lag
Mark Felix/AFP/GettyTexas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he planned to end the state’s mask mandate and allow all businesses to fully reopen, even as the state lags in vaccinations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.“It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Abbott said at a press conference during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at a Lubbock restaurant. “Every business that wants to be open, should be open.”Texas reported 7,778 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 212 deaths; a steep decline from the virus’ peak in early January, when the seven-day case average regularly broke 20,000, according to The New York Times.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Fox News’ Tomi Lahren Calls for Cancel Culture to Cancel Cancel Culture
Fox NewsFox News contributor Tomi Lahren brought right-wing media’s obsession with so-called “cancel culture” to its inevitable full circle on Tuesday, calling for conservatives to “start canceling” the companies that engage in “cancel culture.”After devoting multi-day outrage cycles over Mr. Potato Head and The Muppets being the latest victims of a supposed cancel-culture mob—neither of them, of course, were actually canceled—Fox News spent much of Tuesday complaining about the news that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to racist and insensitive imagery.“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement on Tuesday, which coincided with the late author’s birthday. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
MAGA-Obsessed State Rep. Accused of Being the Boss From Hell
Facebook/Wendy RogersA Trump-obsessed state representative from Arizona is under fire after a damning report confirmed she harassed a former aide by fat-shaming him, making comments about his lesbian sister, and demanding he work while sick with COVID-19.The report, released on Monday by the Senate Ethics Committee, included text messages and an eyewitness account to corroborate the claims that Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) cultivated a hostile work environment. The investigation, which included interviews with 11 people, came after the former legislative aide, Michael Polloni, filed a complaint accusing Rogers of berating him, taking his belongings and cursing him out in a heated tirade during his two-month tenure.“You know I only want the best for you. You are going to be very very handsome when you’re trim,” Rogers wrote in a Dec. 17 text message to Polloni, according to the report. “I had to jump on my husband and he didn’t take it well but he soldiered through it and now he looks so much better.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Meghan Markle’s Oprah Interview Outfit Has Its Own Powerful Message
via CBSIf you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.When Prince Harry and Megan Markle officially stepped back from their royal duties right around this time last year, the internet lost a favorite pastime: the scrupulous over-analyzation of what Meghan wore.Luckily, the famous couple has returned to the spotlight in what promises to be an explosive, tell-all attack on the royal family via a weekend primetime interview with Oprah Winfrey. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things,” Winfrey says in a promo. And such drama requires an outfit to match—one Meghan absolutely nails in Armani.Read more at The Daily Beast.
FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol Insurrection
Mandel Ngan/Getty FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had provided a now-infamous “situational information report” from its Norfolk bureau to D.C.-area law enforcement through an email the night before; an undated verbal briefing at a multi-agency command post set up by the bureau’s Washington Field Office; and through a post on a shared law-enforcement information network.Norfolk agents “made the judgment to get the information, in three different ways, to their partners, even though they didn’t know if it would be accurate,” Wray testified. The Norfolk memo from Jan. 5 remains undisclosed, but reportedly compiled a social-media thread involving exhortations that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
Fox News Insiders Rage Against Hiring ‘Mini Goebbels’ Kayleigh McEnany
Samuel Corum/GettyFox News officially announced on Tuesday that it has hired former Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a contributor.“It is my distinct pleasure today to welcome Kayleigh Mcenany to the Fox family,” anchor Harris Faulkner said Tuesday morning after wrapping an on-air interview with the former Trump flack. “We will be seeing much more of her in the future.”Fox News did not respond when asked for comment.Read more at The Daily Beast.
This Ribbed Towel Changed What I Thought a Towel Could Be
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/ParachuteI am firmly in two towel camps: I love a plush towel but I’m also a big fan of waffle knit. One is soft, absorbent, and spa like, while the other is lightweight, textured, quick-drying, and chic. There hasn’t been a towel out there that has all of these features, so I’ve been stuck alternating between the two. And then, I had the opportunity to test out Parachute’s new Soft Rib Towels, and my two towel identities merged into one.Parachute’s Soft Rib Towels are a match made in heaven. Not only did Parachute manage to make towels that are plush and soft to the touch, but they also nailed the texture and the weight. I wish every piece of fabric in my home could be made out of Parachute’s soft rib material. It is softer than soft: imagine toweling off with your favorite cashmere sweater—and it actually dries you and doesn’t get ruined. The towels are made from 100% Turkish cotton and feature this interesting rib design: I’ll call it ultra-mini-waffle-knit; think of it a bit like corduroy you want to dry off with. There is enough texture to feel it’s there (and to look cool) but not so much that it gets in the way of softness. With that said, they dry quicker than most towels, thanks to this design, and are more lightweight than other plush towels I’ve tried. In short, Parachute somehow managed to combine everything I love about a towel into one, perfect version.The towels come in three colors as of now: white, light grey, and a lovely clay. And if you were wondering, yes, pretty much every material in your bathroom can be made of this fabric (I recommend it). Parachute also offers a soft rib robe, slippers, and a bath mat, too.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Democrats Are Learning Fast Why Being in Power Can Suck
Drew Angerer/GettyIt sounds so easy: Kamala Harris just has to ignore the parliamentarian’s ruling that the minimum wage increase doesn’t belong in the COVID relief bill, and just like that, the minimum wage increase happens. So why don’t these feckless Senate Democrats—and the Senate takes up the bill this week—just do it?Because it isn’t that easy. Legislating isn’t easy. It’s really hard and slow and tedious. But what about Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, you ask? They were bold, not like these timid corporate ninnies today! Bullshit. Roosevelt and Johnson had Democratic majorities that don’t exist now and will never exist again. And even they made loads of compromises.I want a $15 minimum wage—at least. I want a huge green jobs bill. I want much higher taxes on the rich. I also want the Senate to do away with or at least radically change the filibuster, as I’ve been writing for years. And so on and so on. And progressives in Congress are right to push hard for these things. But it’s important not to be under any illusion that any of these things are easy. These things are hard. The Senate is a basically reactionary institution. Progress will be piecemeal. The odds of ultimate victory will actually be stronger if everyone understands this.Read more at The Daily Beast.
MBS Faces Criminal Complaint in Germany After Biden Let Him Off the Hook Over Khashoggi
Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via ReutersA criminal case against Mohammed bin Salman and others in the Saudi hierarchy has been filed in a German court for the brutal 2018 murder, dismemberment and disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi despite the Kingdom’s denial of MBS’s direct involvement and the Biden administration’s flaccid response to the killing.‌The 500-page complaint filed by the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the first time a criminal case has been lodged outside of what was largely considered a show trial in Saudi Arabia. That trial saw the conviction of eight people who were later pardoned after the Khashoggi family was said to have forgiven them.On Monday, the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations disputed a four-page CIA report released last week which pointed to MBS’s involvement, tweeting, “Let us all move forward to tackle the serious business of world issues!!”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Harry and Meghan Begged to Delay Oprah Broadcast While Prince Philip Is Gravely Ill
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of their Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate saying: “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Channeling a Ghost to Create the Next Hit Liquor Brand
Cooper SpiritsFive years ago this April the man who changed what America drank died at the age of 39.Rob Cooper was a spirits entrepreneur and a visionary in the craft cocktail movement. He was both friend to and student of the emerging cadre of high-profile bartenders in the early and mid-2000s. He listened to their commentary and complaint. He figured out what they wanted, often before they did.In 2007, he developed St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, which swiftly became a bartender’s darling. Then sensing a demand for historic products that had gone extinct, he brought Creme Yvette out of the crypt and revived it. When he overheard bartenders excitedly talking about old-school rye—a style of whiskey that had comer perilously near extinction—he tracked down and acquired stores of straight Canadian rye, revived the moribund Hochstadter’s line and launched Lock, Stock & Barrel. And before canned cocktails were everywhere, Cooper rolled out Hochstadter’s Slow & Low in 2011, which was essentially a rye-based Old-Fashioned sold in both ornate bottles and a stubby 100ml can, since copied by others.Read more at The Daily Beast.
There Are 6 Treatments Helping Patients Survive COVID-19
Carl Court/GettyBy William G. Bain, Georgios D. Kitsios, and Tomeka L. SuberA year ago, when U.S. health authorities issued their first warning that COVID-19 would cause severe “disruption to everyday life,” doctors had no effective treatments to offer beyond supportive care.There is still no cure, but thanks to an unprecedented global research effort, several treatments are helping patients survive COVID-19 and stay out of the hospital altogether.Read more at The Daily Beast.
‘They Might as Well Have Torn Up the Constitution’
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFor years, a central goal of the conservative movement was to install right-wing judges. A Republican president delivered, big time. And these Trumpists are still pissed.Which tells you one thing. For the authoritarian wing of the Republican Party, this was never about interpreting the American legal code. It was always about raw political power.“It’s not about the rule of law. It’s not about getting good, qualified judges. It’s about results-oriented litigation,” former U.S. Attorney for Alabama Joyce Vance tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. Read more at The Daily Beast.
The World Is Becoming More LGBTQ-Diverse. TV Should Catch Up.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via GettyIt’s official: America is queerer than it’s ever been before—no matter the anti-trans poison spouted in recent days by Republican politicians including former President Donald Trump in response to the passage of the Equality Act through Congress, which would federally outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people.The Equality Act may or may not be passed in the Senate. If it fails to, it will show how far politics lags behind how people are living their lives. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 5.6 percent of American adults identify as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender—up from 4.5 percent the last time the company collected such data in 2017. Unlike the previous poll, which simply asked participants to answer “yes or no” regarding their sexual orientation, Gallup allowed people to self-identify this time around and found that more than half of LGBTQ adults (54.6 percent) identify as bisexual, 24.5 percent as gay, 11.7 percent as lesbian and 11.3 percent as transgender. Read more at The Daily Beast.
This National Park You’ve Probably Never Heard of is One of the Top 10 Most Visited
Kat Clay/GettyOhio is more than the place where national media drop into diners to interview swing state voters (because, apparently, we Ohioans are only found in diners). It’s more than a Pencil Sharpener Museum or the home of the World’s Largest Washboard—yes, those exist here. It’s also home to a robust world of outdoors recreation, like central Ohio’s Hocking Hills or the just named seventh-most-visited national park of 2020: Cuyahoga Valley National Park.Tucked away just south of Cleveland, Cuyahoga frequently gets overlooked in stories about national parks in deference to the older giants with bigger name-brand recognition, like Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Yellowstone. Of course, on a list like this, no national park can compete with Great Smoky Mountains, which has held the No. 1 slot since 1944.Still, even Yosemite didn’t make the top 10 list last year.Read more at The Daily Beast.
How ‘Putin’s Chef’ Prigozhin Is Now Targeting Europe
Sergei Ilnitsky/APHe’s sent Wagner mercenaries to Ukraine, Syria, and Libya; faced U.S. indictments for assigning his “troll farm” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election; and even dispatched white supremacists and neo-Nazis to sow anti-Western sentiment in African nations. Now Yevgeny Prigozhin, the catering magnate commonly referred to as “Putin’s chef,” has trained his attention a little closer to Russia’s doorstep: Europe and the Baltic States.A joint investigation by The Daily Beast, the Dossier Center, German broadcaster ARD, in Estonia, and in Lithuania reveals that operatives closely associated with the Russian oligarch’s previously exposed influence operations organized a two-day conference in Berlin from Jan. 14-15 pegged to economic and environmental issues affecting Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Germany.The Baltic Sea Region Strategic Dialogue was the first of what is meant to be a series of so-called “foresight sessions” to “create a new vision of the post-pandemic future” for the aforementioned countries, with an ostensible focus on COVID-19, Brexit, environmental sustainability, e-governance, and digital technology. Participants included Rihards Kols, the head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Latvia’s parliament, as well as several members of the German Bundestag including Stefan Keuter, a member of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Michael Moss, Author of 'Hooked,' Shares Five Books on the Evolution of Addiction
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/Daniel Sheehan/AmazonIn 2014, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Moss came out with Salt, Sugar, Fat, a #1 New York Times bestseller that forever changed the way I think about Cheetos and processed foods as a whole. In the book, he detailed cereals, chips, sodas, and explained how all of these foods were scientifically designed to have us coming back for more.Moss is out with a new book, Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions, which is just as intriguing. The book asks the question: Are processed foods as addictive as drugs and alcohol? The answer is yes, perhaps even more so. Throughout, Moss uses research to explain how these corporations got us addicted, and how they continue to keep us at their will. He told me that “we are built to crave things loaded with calories as much as we are sugar,” and went on to recommend five books around “the evolution of addiction,” books that give us “an inward look at how evolution changed things like the naval cavity and that devious organ called body fat, in ways that now make us so vulnerable to losing control of our food and sundry other addictions.”Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for more recommendations and check out our coupon site for more deals. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.Read more at The Daily Beast.
The Bomber and Master Forger Who Tried to Destroy the Mormon Church
NetflixThere’s no weirder twist in Murder Among the Mormons than the initial disclosure that this Netflix true crime series (premiering March 3) is co-directed by Jared Hess, the idiosyncratic filmmaker behind Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Gentleman Broncos. That Hess is a Mormon goes some way toward explaining this unlikely marriage of artist and material, which he helms with Tyler Measom. Yet it remains an unexpected venture for the former big-screen comedy wunderkind, who largely neuters his trademark off-the-wall comedy style for a straightforward recap of a story rooted in deception.Hess and Measom’s subject is an incident that rocked Salt Lake City: on Oct. 15, 1985, two pipe bombs were detonated within an hour of each other, the first killing document collector Steve Christensen in his downtown office and the second taking the life of Kathy Sheets (the wife of Christensen’s former associate Gary) at her suburban home. What linked the two victims was the big business of rare book and document-dealing that had become all the rage in the Mormon community during that decade. An entire industry had sprouted up around the practice of discovering, selling and trading 19th century artifacts with great significance to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And at the time of his demise, Christensen was on the cusp of completing, on behalf of the LDS church, a gigantic transaction—to the tune of $300,000—for a cache of newly unearthed books, diaries, letters and revelations known as the McLellin Collection.Christensen’s partner in this mega-deal was Mark Hofmann, who by that point was a veritable legend in the field. After making his first valuable discoveries during his 1974 mission in Manchester, England, Hofmann began turning up one priceless item after another. In 1980, he and his wife Dorie found, in an old Bible, a folded letter purportedly written in 1828 by Joseph Smith’s scribe, Harris Smith, that transcribed passages from the golden plates that Joseph Smith had unearthed from beneath a stone courtesy of the angel Moroni (an event that forms the basis of the entire Mormon faith). This “Anthon Transcript” made Hofmann a star, and put him into close contact with the church’s leadership, including president Gordon B. Hinckley.Read more at The Daily Beast.