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The Daily Beast Latest Articles
The Daily Beast Latest Articles
CBS Host Tony Dokoupil, Katy Tur’s Husband, Reveals He Got a Vasectomy
Shedrick Pelt/Getty ImagesMove over, ladies—Tony Dokoupil is ready to shoulder that burden, and he thinks other men should be, too.On Sunday night, the CBS Mornings co-anchor took to Instagram to reveal he underwent a vasectomy last Friday, sharing photos from a hospital room and a post-procedure video recorded by his wife, the author and MSNBC anchor Katy Tur.In the footage, Dokoupil can be seen walking stiffly behind a grinning Tur. “You’re not supposed to be this mobile,” he remarks. “It’s a perfectly good procedure, but it’s just—feeling a little off.” The 41-year-old pauses for a moment, then adds: “I’m wearing a diaper, what do you want?”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘The White Lotus’ Keeps Doing Jennifer Coolidge So Dirty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/HBOEveryone is suffering from end-of-trip blues in The White Lotus. But better to go out with a bang than with a whimper, right? While the Di Grasso boys’ trip becomes a spit sisters soiree (and the rest of us wait for a Laura Dern cameo), the Harper/Ethan/Cameron/Daphne foursome’s cheating scandal becomes more complicated. And then there’s poor Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), who’s starting to realize she’s in danger. How many of The White Lotus cast will be held hostage in a villa this season?(Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of The White Lotus.)Tanya’s terribly-dressed assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson)—who sports her worst ensemble ever in this episode—has completely disentangled herself from nice guy Albie (Adam DiMarco), who has hit things off with sex worker Lucia (Simona Tabasco). Portia, you should’ve stayed with that silly little simpleton. Sure, he wasn’t all that, but he would’ve kept you out of trouble, girl! Now, he’s busy exploring his family’s history in a small Sicilian town while Portia may end up complicit in screwing her boss out of a bajillion dollars.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Israeli Soldier Turned Melania Impersonator Says Career Ruined by Dye Job
J. Kempin/Getty ImagesA former Israeli soldier who became New York City’s “#1 Melania Trump lookalike” claims an incompetent hairstylist derailed her career impersonating the 45th first lady by leaving her with “short purple bangs that had been chemically burned to a crisp.”Mira Tzur, a one-time counterintelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces who can earn upward of $3,000 an hour to appear as twice-impeached ex-President Donald Trump’s third wife, says a dye-job-gone-wrong turned the rest of her “beautiful chestnut colored hair with highlights and superior quality” jet-black, after which it became “brittle and breaking all over,” and began falling out, according to a lawsuit first obtained by The Daily Beast.A “devastated” Tzur, 50, soon developed a visible bald spot and was forced to sleep on a silk pillowcase to help stem the hair loss, according to the suit. Tzur was told by “numerous stylists” that her hair would not look like Melania’s again for up to a year, and recommended she consider a wig.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical’ Is a Broadway Concert for the Truly Devoted
Julieta CervantesA Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond MusicalIf you’re a Neil Diamond fan, you’ll be in clover. All around this critic, his devoted faithful waved, pointed to the sky, swayed, whooped, and sang. A Beautiful Noise is a jukebox musical (Broadhurst Theatre, booking to September 3, 2023) only for those who love Neil Diamond—or for people who want to hear “Sweet Caroline” played with theater roof-raising gusto. If you’re not a Neil Diamond fan, you’ll have to figure out how much you want to hear “Sweet Caroline” played with theater roof-raising gusto, and make your ticket-buying choice accordingly.A Beautiful Noise tries, and fails, to give the conventions of the jukebox musical an innovative shake by starting out with an encounter between the older Diamond (Mark Jacoby) and his therapist (Linda Powell). A note from Diamond himself in the program says the musical is part-dedicated to his late therapist Dr. Lu Katzman, who inspired it. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Why SCOTUS Could Be About to Unleash Frankenstein’s Monster
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyIn Moore v. Harper—scheduled for oral argument on Wednesday, Dec. 7—the Supreme Court will decide whether to resurrect the previously dead “Independent State Legislature Theory”–in a way that some commentators believe may pose “an existential threat to our democracy” and could enable “the Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election.”Proponents of the “ISLT”–Independent State Legislature Theory–believe that the U.S. Constitution bestows unreviewable power upon state legislatures to determine how congressional elections–and by extension Presidential elections–are conducted. The case is so controversial that more than 70 amicus briefs–“friends of the court”–have been submitted, including everyone from former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the ACLU, with 48 of them being opposed to the legitimacy of the ISLT.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Bob McGrath, Beloved Original Resident on ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies at 90
Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesBob McGrath, an actor who spent more than half his life playing a resident on Sesame Street, putting a human face on the beloved children’s show across 47 seasons of broadcast television, died on Sunday, his family said. He was 90.In a Facebook post announcing McGrath’s death, his children wrote that he had “died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.” A cause of death was not given.As the cheery neighborhood fixture Bob Johnson, McGrath was one of Sesame Street’s four non-puppet characters when its pilot episode broadcast for the first time in 1969. He would continue as a regular castmember until 2017, and continued to appear at related events in the years that followed, including the premiere of the 2021 documentary Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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N.C. County’s Power May Be Out for Days After Power Stations ‘Targeted’ in Armed Attacks
Jonathan Drake/ReutersNorth Carolina investigators were hunting for at least one suspect after two electrical substations were “targeted” in an “intentional, willful, and malicious act” on Saturday evening, with damage so extensive to both facilities that at least 40,000 customers were warned to brace for possible outages until Thursday. Officials speaking at a Sunday afternoon press conference announced a county-wide state of emergency, establishing a 9 p.m. curfew to protect affected residents, who were advised to stay home or seek shelter at a local sports complex.“It’s going to be very, very, very dark,” state Sen. Tom McInnis (R) said, explaining the reason for the curfew. “... It’s going to be chilly tonight.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Putin Cronies Resort to Begging on Live TV Over War Failures
GettyRussia’s ill-conceived invasion of Ukraine has so far failed to yield the goals set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his top propagandists are struggling to hide their growing sense of panic.On Monday, head of RT Margarita Simonyan appeared on The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov and admitted that the Kremlin’s collaborationist elite has concerns about the possibility of being tried for war crimes. After disingenuously claiming that neither the Russian leadership nor her fellow propagandists in the studio ever wanted to conduct strikes against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, Simonyan said, “I am amazed by our people—and I unfortunately know many of them—including those in very high circles, who are afraid of this and are scared to call things by their proper names because of what people over there may think.”Simonyan defiantly asserted: “We could spit on what they think over there! People who are afraid of the Hague—listen, you should be afraid to lose, to be humiliated and be afraid to betray your people. Let me tell you that if we manage to lose, the Hague—whether real or hypothetical—will come even for a street cleaner who is sweeping the cobblestones behind the Kremlin.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Milo Yiannopoulos Out t Kanye West Campaign After Infighting
Chip Somodevilla/GettyFar-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been fired from the informal 2024 presidential campaign of Ye, the music star formerly known as Kanye West.Yiannopoulos’s ouster follows a string of disastrous media appearances for the disgraced rapper, as well as infighting within the West orbit. Last week, Ye stormed out of an interview with YouTube personality Tim Pool and repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in an appearance on InfoWars.Yiannopoulos insisted he decided to leave Ye’s operation on his own.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Leaves GOP Rep Fumbling Over Trump 2024 Defense
ABC NewsA GOP representative refused to denounce Donald Trump—even when the former president (and current nominee) called for the termination of the U.S. Constitution.Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) told ABC’s This Week host George Stephanopoulos that he would support whoever the Republican nominee is in 2024, even if Trump is that person. It came a day after Trump called for a new election on Truth Social: “Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”“Well, again, it’s early,” Joyce said, almost trying to reassure the anchor of his sanity. “I think there’s going to be a lot of people in the primary. I think at the end of the day, whoever the Republican then the pick (sic) I’ll fall in behind.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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River Baptism Ceremony Ends in Tragedy After Flash Flood Kills 14
Siphiwe Sibeko/ReutersFourteen people have been found dead after a congregation of 33 attending a river baptism were caught in sudden flash flooding in South Africa’s Jukskei River on Saturday afternoon. At least one person had been rescued from the rising stormwaters while several others from a church in Alexandra were able to make it to safety on their own, according to Spokesperson of the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services Robert Mulaudzi.“Total number of bodies recovered today is 12 including 2 discovered yesterday makes it a total of 14 bodies recovered in this drowning incident,” tweeted Mulaudzi, announcing that the search for the remaining constituents would resume on Monday. “Search has been called off for today.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Prince William Plots Fightback Over Harry and Meghan’s ‘Utterly Explosive’ Netflix Documentary
DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesWelcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.The new royal war is not only on, it’s intenseHow to sum up the world of the royal family this weekend? Easy. Everyone has lost their freaking minds.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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The Hysteria Over the Trans Jesus Sermon Gets it All Wrong
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkLast week, the media was abuzz with the scandal that a University of Cambridge dean had claimed that Jesus may have been transgender. The news was first reported in Telegraph, with other outlets like New York Post, NBC Montana and Fox News quickly piling on. A piece in the Daily Mail claimed that worshippers “left in tears” about “row over Christ’s wound having a ‘vaginal appearance.’” The ruckus, which seems to have obscured many details of the sermon and turned an art history talk into grand heresy, seems to avoid one critical point: there is a long Christian tradition of reinterpreting the body of Jesus so that it speaks to a more inclusive community.The event that precipitated the blowback was a lecture-style guest sermon, delivered by Cambridge University Junior Research Fellow Joshua Heath in the chapel at Trinity College. Heath is advised by Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury and leading theologian. The subject of that talk was a book on the crucifixion called christs. This 1993 work joins a series of series of engravings by the French artist Henri Maccheroni with texts from the poets Jean Claude-Renard and Raphael Monticelli.The Daily Beast obtained a transcript of the sermon to get a better sense of what happened. Maccheroni, as those more familiar with the art scene than I will already know, is an artist with a developed interest in the vulva. It’s thus not wholly surprising that it finds its way into his artistic depictions of the crucifixion. In his analysis, Heath directed the audience to consider the yonic appearance of the wound in Christ’s side and to ruminate on the suggestive possibilities that the wound’s appearance as vulva has for thinking about Jesus’ identity.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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SNL Goes Off on Kanye West for Declaring ‘I Like Hitler’
NBCKanye West served as musical guest on Saturday Night Live seven times over 13 years. But despite the fact that the show has welcomed Donald Trump and Elon Musk in the not-too-distant past, it seems unlikely the rapper will be back on the show again.“Well, you guys are not going to believe this, but Alex Jones and Kanye West got together this week and it didn’t go great,” Colin Jost said at the top of SNL’s “Weekend Update.” Noting that West made antisemitic jokes and at one point declared ‘I like Hitler,” he joked, “which is also the password he used to get into Mar-a-Lago.”“At this point, I don’t think Kanye is off his meds so much as he’s immune to them,” Jost continued. “We’re basically dealing with the Omicron variant of Kanye. We thought he would fade away, but now we realize we may have to deal with the brain fog of long-haul Kanye.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘Intentional Vandalism’ Leaves 40,000 Without Power in N.C.
Moore County SheriffA major power outage in North Carolina that left almost 40,000 people in the dark on Saturday night was caused by “intentional vandalism” at numerous substations, police said.Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a statement that the blackout that began just after 7 p.m. was “being investigated as a criminal occurrence.”Chief Mike Cameron of the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department told the local newspaper, The Pilot, that the substations had been damaged by gunfire.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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SNL’s Kenan Thompson Can’t Out-Crazy the Real Herschel Walker
NBCWith three days to go before Georgia’s Senate runoff, Saturday Night Live opened on an intervention of sorts on Capitol Hill in which Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders confronted Herschel Walker over his cratering campaign.“Hey there, Mitch McDonald’s!” Kenan Thompson’s Walker said when he walked into the room. “I’m sorry I’m late, I was having too much fun in that free merry-go-round you have out front,” he added, referring to the revolving door.Over the course of the cold open sketch, a deeply confused Walker mistook Senator Marsha Blackburn for the Queen and revealed that he recently drove yet another woman to a “Planned Parent Trap.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Cormac McCarthy Uses Fiction to Cross Examine the Universe
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and PublisherCormac McCarthy’s latest novel, Stella Maris, consists entirely of transcripts of conversations at a psychiatric facility between a suicidal genius named Alicia Western and her therapist. Readers of McCarthy’s previous novel, The Passenger, know how the story ends: Alicia has already committed suicide when The Passenger begins. Stella Maris shares themes and its central character with The Passenger, but it offers a new angle on her strange, luminous mind. In the first book, we saw Alicia’s troubling hallucinations as they appeared to her—as bizarre but undeniably real beings. In Stella Maris, we have a more external view of Alicia. Her inner life is not dramatized, only described in exchanges with a therapist whose sympathy cannot entirely conceal his bewilderment at many of her comments about her mind and the world. Yet the novel suggests that she may have grasped more of the nature of reality than her interlocutor.It’s odd to call Stella Maris McCarthy’s latest novel, since it’s being published just six weeks after The Passenger. While each book stands alone, they clearly form a single broader system, something like a planet and its dark orbiting moon. Like The Passenger, Stella Maris is a fascinating and disturbing book, its essential bleakness of vision powerful if not completely persuasive.Alicia is a mathematical genius, an extraordinarily gifted violinist, and a voracious reader with a photographic memory. Asked by the therapist if she remembers everything she reads, she seems puzzled: “Yes. Why else would you read it?” Though barely out of her teens, she has spent years doing extremely difficult mathematics for 18 hours a day. Her lighter reading includes classic works of epistemology, such as the 18th-century philosopher Bishop Berkeley’s An Essay Towards A New Theory of Vision. Her therapist makes some perceptive remarks, but he often admits that he is simply incapable of understanding what she says.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Pulse Shooting Survivor Tells How to Make Anti-LGBT Pols Pay
Jim Watson/GettyBrandon Wolf was the first survivor from the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting to testify before Congress, where he called for gun reform so that event which left 49 people dead, including his best friend Drew, would not happen again.He told The New Abnormal after hearing about the shooting last month at Club Q in Colorado Springs—another LGBT nightclub—he was not just heartbroken but furious. Wolf says anti-LGBT legislation like the Don’t Say Gay law in Florida has made his community a target yet again.“We have a right to be angry because this is what we’ve been telling people would happen,” he said. “This is what we warned would be the inevitable consequences of this, I want to call it diabolical hysteria, that has been whipped up by the right wing in this country. We always told them that someone was going to pay the price for the words coming out of their mouths.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Don Katz Built Audible to Keep Us Telling Campfire Stories
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyThis is an excerpt from the book The Moment: Changemakers on Why and How They Joined the Fight for Social Justice, edited by Steve Fiffer and published by NewSouth Books. The author of more than a dozen books, Fiffer most recently collaborated with the late civil rights icon Dr. C.T. Vivian on his memoir, It’s in the Action. For The Moment Fiffer interviewed more than 35 activists of all ages, backgrounds, and professions. Among those featured “in their own words” are Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; Don Katz, founder of Audible.com; and award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat. Excerpts featuring Jackson, MS Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Professor Ebony Lumumba, Zev Shapiro, Renee Montgomery, Doug Glanville, and Christian Picciolini appeared here earlier this year.Don Katz, 70, is the founder and executive chairman of Audible, Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling. Prior to starting the company in 1995, Katz was a globetrotting, award-winning journalist and author. Audible is widely considered one of the most socially responsible “corporate citizens” in the country, and Katz has been recognized by Living Cities as one of America’s “Top 25 Disruptive Leaders” for his work on behalf of urban transformation in Newark, where Audible has its headquarters.I was politicized and, in many ways, radicalized by the character of my upbringing and by my understanding of history and the times in which I came of age. I knew there were profound moral underpinnings to my father’s sense of patriotism when he chose to take huge personal risks to enlist in World War II—running away from home at seventeen and ending up becoming a scout behind enemy lines. He was a highly decorated hero fighting murderous fascism in Europe. So I had that as grounding.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Here’s Why You Need to Get Hated on Twitter
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyWith all of the news about Twitter following Elon Musk’s purchase and peculiar actions as CEO, a common question in the Twitterverse has been—“is everyone else losing followers?” Since its inception, a primary goal of Twitter has been to attract followers as yet another measure of success in the modern quantocracy. But is more always merrier?One way to answer this question is to ask not how to attract followers—but how to repel them. The easiest way is to tweet something undemocratic or vastly unpopular with a democratic audience, and ‘presto,’ you’ll be left with an account that is hated.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Musk’s Twitter Has a Huge Blindspot—and It Could Be Deadly
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyA tidal wave of bad news has rained down on Twitter in the U.S. since Elon Musk bought the company in late October. Almost immediately after the acquisition, hate speech spiked on the platform, the company spectacularly botched a new paid verification system, and Musk went to war against major advertisers that had pulled back spending.But overseas, watchdogs say, the situation is perhaps even more dire.“There are certain markets that Twitter is operating in that are in open genocide,” said Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director of Equality Labs, a civil rights organization that advocates against caste systems in South Asia.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo’ Is a Horrifying Exposé of a Megachurch’s Pedophilic Predators
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and HBOReligion, self-help, and horrific sexual abuse are frequent bedfellows, as detailed by Spotlight (about the Catholic Church), The Vow (about NXIVM), Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (about the FLDS), Wild Wild Country (about guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s New Age movement), and numerous other modern exposés. In terms of sheer despicableness, however, few nonfiction affairs can match Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo, a three-part HBO offering (Dec. 6) about La Luz del Mundo (“The Light of the World”). A Christian church-cum-cult that now spans the globe with a reported 5 million members, its doctrine revolves around strict loyalty and obedience to its “apostles,” who claim to be the chosen messengers of God—and who, according to those featured in director Jennifer Tiexiera’s docuseries, are pedophilic predators that prey upon their adherents.La Luz del Mundo was founded in 1926 by Eusebio (Aarón) Joaquin, the first “Servant of God,” and he was succeeded by his son Samuel Joaquín Flores and then, in 2014, by his grandson Naasón Joaquín Garcia. Built around the notion of these men’s divinity, the church recruits Mexico’s poorest and most in-need citizens, and under Samuel, it grew into an international powerhouse, replete with a Guadalajara headquarters that looks like something out of a science-fiction novel. It preaches heavenly prosperity to those who dedicate their lives to its teachings, and who pay tithings whenever requested—all of which go directly to the apostles, allowing them to both expand the church’s reach around the world and to live like veritable kings, with cars, homes, and real estate holdings on multiple continents.That La Luz del Mundo exploits its flock economically is no shock, since that’s how virtually all cults work. Equally unsurprising is the fact that followers who choose to question the apostles’ divinity—or the means by which they’re selected in a “Divine Election”—are denounced and excommunicated, instantly cut off from family and friends. Still, there are plenty of jaw-dropping revelations in the archival material-rich Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo, most of them having to do with the depravity perpetrated by Samuel and his successor Naasón. Even by the low standards of megalomaniacal monsters, the two come across as the vilest of the vile, erecting and maintaining a system of control and assault that transformed victims into victimizers and, in the process, ruined countless lives.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Right-Wing Hosts Try Saving Kanye but He’s Too Far Gone
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyIn the past week, Kanye West has done the unthinkable. He’s made Alex Jones look like the voice of reason.In case you missed it, on Alex Jones’ Infowars show, Jones attempted to throw the scandal-plagued star a lifeline. “I get the Hugo Boss uniforms [are] amazing,” Jones said, perhaps attempting to explain West’s anti-semitism. “But just because you’re in love with the design—you’re a designer—can we just kinda say you like the uniforms, but that’s about it?”“No, there’s a lot of things I LOVE about HITLER,” West replied. “A LOT of things.” At this point, Jones had that same look on his face that Mike Myers had when Kanye said, “George W. Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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McDonald’s Launches a Fashion Collection, Fries Not Included
Photo composite by The Daily Beast/Photos shot by Sofia OkkonenWhen the outfits started burbling up on social media this week, people responded with shock: why were McDonald’s employees, usually decked out in basic black separates, suddenly appearing in photos wearing chic, Balenciaga-esque skirts, button-downs and hoodies emblazoned with oversized versions of the iconic logo? It turns out that the designs are the result of an official collaboration between the brand and VAIN, a freshly-launched Helsinki-based fashion label run by designer Jimi Vain, representing an interesting new entry into a years-long trend that’s seen big names like TELFAR and Forever 21 pair with fast casual chains like White Castle and Taco Bell. The goal? Come up with bizarre, lighthearted new garments to be sold at accessible prices. Unlike luxury labels like Gucci and Ralph Lauren, which have lately begun branching out into the culinary space with Michelin star-courting restaurants and branded cafés, slightly less prestigious fashion brands are tapping into the populist power of food via collaborations with beloved chains. Not everyone can afford a meal at Gucci Osteria Tokyo, but almost everybody can shell out for the occasional Big Mac; that relatability engenders deep emotional bonds with consumers, even in spite of scandals or criticisms of the fast food company. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Even the Jan. 6 Committee Knows Its Report’s Dead on Arrival
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyThe House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, is nearly done with its work. Witness interviews, including one on Monday with former Trump administration adviser Kellyanne Conway, are wrapping up. Agreement on the “scope of the investigation” to be included in the final report is “very close” to being reached, committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said this week, and that document will soon be ready for the public to review. Before the year is out, Schiff declared, America will “have the evidence.”Sure—but what will we do with it? Will anything come of these toils? Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Christian Nationalist Leader Claims He Forgot He Ran Mega-Racist Twitter Account
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyUntil last month, Thomas Achord’s friends in the increasingly assertive world of right-wing Christian nationalism saw him as an upstanding member of their movement.The headmaster of a Baton Rouge school that teaches “classical Christian education,” Achord hosted a podcast with the author of a new book advocating for Christian nationalism. In the insular online community where Christian nationalists debate how to live out their values in a secular world—perhaps by abandoning society altogether or by rallying around an American Caesar who will impose their values by force—Achord was seen as a rising star.Then someone found his secret Twitter account.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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Jessica Chastain Proves Why She Earned That Oscar With ‘George & Tammy’
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Dana Hawley/Courtesy of SHOWTIME“As long as I can remember, I’ve been in pain,” Tammy Wynette slurs into a microphone in the fifth episode of George & Tammy. The country music icon, played here by Jessica Chastain, isn’t performing one of her more melancholic hits, but delivering an impromptu speech at her wedding to her fourth and final husband, songwriter George Richey (Steve Zahn)—hunched over and high on painkillers.By the time this line is uttered in the penultimate episode of the Showtime miniseries, it feels cathartic. As the title suggests, the bulk of George & Tammy, premiering on Sunday, focuses on the tumultuous six-year marriage between the “Stand By Your Man” singer and her third husband, legendary country artist George Jones, played by Michael Shannon.Wynette experiences physical and emotional pain at the hands of Jones, who suffers from alcoholism. Richey, who eventually becomes her manager, also turns out to be an abusive partner. In the second episode, we see a flashback of Wynette receiving electric shock treatment while pregnant after being diagnosed with depression during her first marriage. Later on in the series, while giving birth to her and Jones’ daughter Georgette, she’s given a hysterectomy without her consent, causing chronic abdominal pain that would lead to her drug abuse and her eventual death at age 55 from a blood clot.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Star of MTV’s ‘Rich Girls’ Hits Showbiz Lawyer With Rape Suit
Jamie McCarthy/GettyOne of the stars of the MTV reality show Rich Girls has filed a federal lawsuit against an entertainment lawyer, claiming he raped her when she was a 19-year-old virgin.Jamie Gleicher, who is now a 37-year-old social worker, is using the one-year window created by the Adult Survivors Act to go after Roger Haber almost two decades after the incident.Haber denies the allegations.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Soccer Star Pelé Says He Is ‘Strong’ and ‘Hopeful’ Amid Reports of Declining Health
Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty ImagesBrazilian soccer legend Pelé has sought to reassure fans following reports that the 82-year-old’s health was rapidly declining.The soccer star, who has been battling colon cancer since last year, was admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo on Tuesday for a reassessment of his chemotherapy treatment, according to the hospital. A local newspaper reported Saturday that his chemotherapy had been suspended and he was receiving end-of-life care, setting off alarm bells across the soccer world.But in an Instagram post Saturday, amid the World Cup fervor, Pelé appeared to refute the latter claim, saying he wanted to “keep everyone calm.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Will Smith and ‘Emancipation’ Director Defend Releasing the Slave Film Now
Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesOne of the biggest wild cards of this year’s awards season is Emancipation, the biographical slavery epic starring Will Smith. It’s also the contender with the most baggage, thanks to its star and controversial subject material.The AppleTV+ film, in select theaters now and streaming on Dec. 9, comes only nine months following this past year’s Academy Awards, where Smith infamously slapped presenter Chris Rock onstage after the comedian made a joke about his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. The timing of the film, in relation to the Oscars slap, has raised some eyebrows. Additionally, folks on social media have expressed fatigue about the film, given the prevalence of slave narratives in Hollywood and the question of whether or not these portrayals are exploitative.At a press conference for Emancipation on Saturday, the movie’s director Antoine Fuqua explained why he felt the need to depict this gruesome time period on film.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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