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The Daily Beast Latest Articles
The Daily Beast Latest Articles
Is the Capitol Rioters’ Skull-Mask Fetish Fashion or Fascist?
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos FBIAs the world watched an insurrectionist mob storm the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, eagle-eyed observers noticed that a handful of frontline rioters wore near-identical lower-face masks depicting skeletal jaws contorted into what writer Talia Lavin calls a “vicious Cheshire grin.”In the days since that attempted coup, images have surfaced of more Capitol rioters, like alleged Nancy Pelosi laptop thief Riley Williams, wearing the same skull mask in other contexts. (Williams’ attorney, Lori Ulrich, told The Daily Beast that neither she nor her client would comment on this story.) These skeletal grins have also popped up at subsequent pro-Trump state house protests nationwide, and in the avatars of numerous openly far-right individuals on social media platforms like Twitter.Law enforcement officials, extremism experts, and even some mask wearers say these face coverings amount to “an aesthetic marker for those in the far-right culture,” as Cassie Miller, a research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, put it in a conversation with The Daily Beast.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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The GOP Found Their Backbone in Liz Cheney. Trumpists Want to Cancel Her.
Chip Somodevilla/GettyI have often said that today’s Republican Party is full of perverse incentives—chief among them are who gets blamed, who gets punished, and who gets rewarded for their actions. I mean, Donald Trump incited an insurrection in an attempt to overthrow a democratic election just a couple weeks ago, yet the few brave Republicans who tried to hold him accountable are much more likely to suffer real-world consequences—particularly at the hands of their own party.Case in point: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney. In the brief days after she came out for impeachment, Cheney has garnered a Q-adjacent primary challenger, censure from the Carbon County Republican Party of Wyoming, Twitter and cable news attacks from the likes of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and serious attempts to oust her from her House leadership position by the “Freedom Caucus.” That’s a heckuva way to thank her for what was (let’s be honest) a profile in courage—especially at a time when Republican politicians were reportedly worried not only about their political futures, but also their personal safety. Yet, in rebuking Trump for his obvious sins, Cheney pulled no punches, writing, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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CNN Host Destroys Rep. Cawthorn With Simple Question About Election ‘Fraud’
ScreenshotTwo weeks after riling up a crowd of Trump supporters with claims of election fraud ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn tried to rehabilitate his stance on the presidential election on Saturday night—only to have his entire argument fall apart in spectacular fashion.Pressed by CNN’s Pamela Brown to explain what evidence had motivated him to contest the election results in the first place, Cawthorn visibly struggled to string together a coherent argument.“The things that I was not objecting to the election on behalf of was things like Dominion voting machines changing ballots, or these U-Haul trucks pulling up filled with ballots for Joe Biden as president. The thing I was objecting for is things like, like I said in the state of Wisconsin, particularly in the town of Madison … there was an appointed official in that town who actually went against the will of the state legislature and created ballot drop boxes, which is basically ballot harvesting that was happening in the parks,” he said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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The Coronavirus Variants Are Here. Can the Vaccines Keep Up?
Justin Tallis/GettyAs vaccine rollouts ramp up—or in some cases, stumble ahead—in countries across the world, the SARS-CoV-2 strain has rolled out some new features of its own, primarily in the form of rapid genetic mutations. Some evidence indicates variants of recent months have made the virus more infectious, or in one case, possibly more deadly.Virus variants are inevitable and often benign. The new coronavirus has likely mutated countless times without attracting the attention of epidemiologists. But new strains identified in the U.K., South Africa, Brazil, and California have given some infectious disease experts pause.Several studies indicate that the strain known as the B117 variant, prevalent in the U.K., may be as much as 70 percent more transmissible than the original virus. Two analyses in California suggested that a new strain on the West Coast, called B.1.426, made up a quarter of the infections they examined. As the news whipsaws between infection spikes and inoculation efforts, it can seem like the world has entered a race between variant and vaccine.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Navy SEAL Who Choked Green Beret to Death Sentenced to 10 Years
via United States Army Special ForcesNavy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Tony DeDolph will spend the next decade in a military prison for his role in the killing of a Special Forces soldier in Mali in 2017.A military jury sentenced DeDolph, a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, Saturday. In addition to ten years in prison, DeDolph was also hit with reduction in rank to E-1, forfeiture of his pay and allowances and will be dishonorably discharged, according to a defense official.DeDolph had pleaded guilty earlier this month to involuntary manslaughter in the strangulation death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a Special Forces soldier assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group. DeDolph also pleaded guilty to hazing, conspiracy and obstruction of justice for trying to cover up the cause of Melgar's death.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Inside the Messy Disney Love Triangle Dominating the Pop Charts
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIn the span of just two weeks, three Disney stars have engulfed the old and young in their bizarre love triangle.On Jan. 7, Olivia Rodrigo, known for her acting and singing on Disney’s Bizaardvark and Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, released “drivers license,” a heartbreak song that not only immediately shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 but also twice broke Spotify’s record for most daily streams of a non-holiday song. The song quickly became an overnight phenomenon, with TikTok users creating millions of videos recreating the music video or explaining the drama behind it.The song’s ripped-from-the-headlines backstory only added to the public’s obsession. Rodrigo has been a Taylor Swift fan since she was a kid, and Swift’s songwriting style has clearly inspired Rodrigo, who’s mined specific details of her life to tell the universal story of love lost. “I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about / ‘cause you were so excited for me to finally drive up to your house,” she sings, later crooning about seeing the guy everywhere, especially in all the white cars. Fans quickly picked up on this, pointing out that Rodrigo said in an interview that her rumored former flame (and High School Musical co-star) Joshua Bassett taught her how to drive in his white car.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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As If You Needed a Reason to Spend More Time In Bed, Parachute Bedding Will Make Your Bed Your Favorite Place
Photo Illustration: Scouted/The Daily Beast/ParachuteIf you’re unfamiliar with the Danish word “hygge,” pronounced “hoo-guh,” then you and me (of a few days ago) have something in common. I learned the word from my wife as I ran through a number of terms I was considering applying to products from the linens and home goods brand Parachute.“Oh, like hygge, you mean,” she said.“Um…” I replied.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Tens of Thousands Flood Moscow Streets to Protest Nalvany's Arrest
GettyMOSCOW— As groups of youth dressed in hip winter clothes arrived in the Chistye Prudy area and began the walk along the pedestrian boulevard toward the central avenue of Tverskaya, it looked by 2 PM as if all pedestrians of the Russian capital were walking in the same direction—to Pushkin Square to join the protest against Alexei Navalny’s arrest.It turned out to be by far the biggest rally Moscow had seen since the summer of 2019. At least 30,000 people joined the anti-Putin protest in Russia’s capital, as dozens of thousands protested across the country, answering Navalny’s call.“What are these thieves scared of most of all? Of people coming to the streets,” Navalny said earlier this week, before his improvised court hearing at a police station following his return to Russia after an assassination attempt.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Larry King, the Interviewer Who Talked to (and Married) Them All, Dead at 87 After COVID Diagnosis
Joshua Roberts/AFP/Getty On May 1, 1957, an unknown, untried radio announcer named Larry Zeiger switched on the microphone at Miami’s WAHR and became Larry King.“I had my record ready to go, and all my life I had dreamed of this,” he recalled years later. “I turned down the mic, and I turned down the record, and nothing came out.” His first chance at being a disc jockey and right out of the gate he’d committed the cardinal sin of radio: dead air. “The general manager kicked open the door to the control room and said, ‘This is a communications business, dammit. Communicate!’ And I put on the mic, and I said, “My name is Larry King.” And then, through some combination of gut instinct, luck, or divine intervention, he began to do what he was born knowing: He started talking, directly, honestly, just being himself. “So for two minutes, you’ve been listening to a record go up and down and nothing coming out, so please, bear with me.”It wasn’t Shakespeare, but it was pure Larry King, and after that everything was all right. He was honest with the audience, he was always himself.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Don’t Let Cops Use the Insurrection to Justify Surveillance
GettyAmid growing alarm about the power of big tech, unprecedented numbers of people are transitioning to encrypted platforms like Signal, Telegram, and Proton Mail. But at the very moment encrypted platforms are taking center stage in our digital lives, they’re facing an existential threat. Organizations like the Center for Democracy and Technology warn “there is increasing… pressure” for companies to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted information.Police never let a good crisis go to waste, even when they contribute to it forming. With Americans outraged that insurrectionists could take over our Capitol, law enforcement has been quick to lobby, yet again, for expanded surveillance powers.But as we learned the hard way after 9/11, fear is a poor guide for making complex and lasting policy decisions. Rather than myopically taking steps sold as marking us feel safe, we need to invest in evidence-based measures that will make us safer. Scary as the present situation is, nothing about it justifies giving law enforcement a backdoor to crack encryption—which is what law enforcement demands after every high-profile failure.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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This Professor Protested a School’s Racism. Then He Lost His Job.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo GettyThe University of Mississippi has been a formidable institution since its founding in 1848—thirteen years before the Civil War started. And it has been steeped in racism and exclusion for decades. The school’s mascot has changed several times since 1928, but the most controversial—from the late ’70s through 2003—was “Colonel Reb,” a caricature of a slaveowner (the current mascot is the “Landshark”). The school didn’t remove the song “Dixie” from its marching band’s repertoire until 2016. A long-contested Confederate statue that graced the entrance of the campus was finally moved in 2020 to a less prominent location on university property. Yet, the racist monikers of “Ole Miss,” an antebellum term used by the enslaved, and “Rebels” who fought to uphold slavery, are still held dear.In 2018, Ed Meek, a wealthy businessman who donated $5.3 million to the School of Journalism and New Media and had it subsequently named after him, wrote a blatantly racist, sexist Facebook post that made Black female students feel specifically targeted and unwelcome at a university where underrepresented Black students and faculty make up 13 and 6 percent respectively in a state where 38 percent of the population is Black. By contrast, an overrepresented 76 percent of students and faculty are white. Several members of the faculty and staff and students initiated a petition to rename the building, remove the confederate statue, and to establish scholarships for Black women in journalism. A name that was floated to replace Meek’s was that of my great-grandmother Ida B. Wells—a journalism pioneer and native Mississippian from nearby Holly Springs.One of those who protested was UM history professor Dr. Garrett Felber, who strongly advocated for the renaming of the journalism school. I met him in 2018 when he organized an Ida B. Wells Teach-In that featured various speakers, a student choir, a short video, and I gave a few remarks. Interacting with advocates for justice and inclusion gave me a sense of hope that UM, which has a contentious history of race relations, would finally get on the path to being a more open and inclusive institution. When I met with the then dean of the journalism school, I did not experience a warm reception. I left the meeting with the impression that there was more sympathy for the wealthy donor Meek, who was viewed as having his character attacked, than the Black students whose presence he implied denigrated the quality of the school. Meek eventually withdrew his money and removed his name from the school.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Maduro Is More Powerful Than Ever as Venezuela Collapses
Carolina Cabral/GettyIt became a favorite shouting game on the streets of Caracas. Someone would randomly holler President Nicolás Maduro’s name and people nearby would roar back “motherf**ker”!Not any more. This gleeful verbal exchange between total strangers from a year ago is now regarded as a criminal behavior under the recently established Law against Hatred. The so-called Esquinas de Ideas (Corners of Ideas), where opponents used to tear into the country’s leader, are mostly gone. So are the fiery speeches of dissent in the National Assembly.It appears that political and civic opposition has completely retreated from the public spaces all around Venezuela.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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The Fossil Hunters Who Went to War Over Dinosaur Bones
Public DomainThe bones sat in a box in the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology’s office at the University of Pennsylvania. Sometimes they were pulled out and reassembled, displayed to guests, toasted to. In the 1970s, the skull was loaned to an artist and for several decades after, doubt surrounded the authenticity of the remains. The head now seemed different from the body—was it really the original or had the skull of a different specimen made its way into the collection?It was a fitting end for the paleontologist who had dedicated his life to digging up dinosaur fossils and attempting to puzzle them together to form the original, magnificent beasts that science was just beginning to understand. Now, he was a museum specimen in his own right, courtesy of his final wishes.There was perhaps only one thing he was more passionate about than his life’s work.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Stalin’s Monsters Resurrected in Statues and Public Portraits in Putin’s Russia
Alexander Nemenov/GettyMOSCOW—Russia’s state atomic energy agency has seen fit to mount two full-sized figures of Lavrenty Beria, one of the most ghoulish villains of the Great Purge, in its latest exhibition. The bizarre move to resurrect the hate figure has shocked Moscow, where every post-Soviet child knows Beria as one of the most feared hangmen of the Stalin era.Officials at Rosatom, the nuclear agency, insist that without Beria, the USSR would not have built its arsenal of atomic bombs. But then, Beria is not the only ghost of the Stalin era finding a place of honor in the Russian capital today. As new repressions tarnish modern Russian politics, Russian historians and educators are urging the public to pay attention to the glorification of Soviet tyrants and criminals, an issue that came into focus this week.Ever since a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, rose to the presidency, Russian authorities have been polishing rusty old symbols of the Soviet terror. Moscow toppled the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky in 1991, but by 2005 the dark bust of Iron Felix returned to the police headquarters on Petrovka avenue. Two decades ago nobody could imagine a Stalin statue in the Russian capital. By 2017 a bust of Stalin emerged in the newly created Alley of Leaders, just a few blocks away from the Kremlin, to the great joy of many Stalinist groups. “Now we see authorities taking a step towards the rehabilitation of Beria, who was up to his ears in his victims’ blood—he personally ordered the deportations of Soviet peoples to Central Asia and gave secret orders to execute prisoners,” Alexander Cherkasov, chairman of the Memorial human rights center, told The Daily Beast.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Bats, Bear Spray, and AR-15s: The Terrifying Arsenals of Capitol Rioters
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo Police HandoutThe MAGA mob that ransacked the United States Capitol came to Washington armed with more than just crazy conspiracy theories and a violent sense of entitlement. Scattered throughout over a hundred alleged rioters’ court cases are disturbing hints of the arsenal pro-Trump insurrectionists either brought along or had ready at home.FBI agents say they found a crossbow, assault rifles, knives, tasers, baseball bats, and even bear spray. Many of the weapons, strapped to suspects sporting military helmets and ballistic vests, were used to beat Capitol police and smash into congressional offices, prosecutors say. Others, like a cooler full of Molotov cocktails ingredients, fortunately never saw use.Welcome to Rabbit Hole, where we dive deep on the biggest story. It’s for Beast Inside members only. Join up today.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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The 4’11” Grandma Who Rules Reggae
Courtesy Gingko Press IncThe elegantly attired, 4’11” great grandmother might not have been easily identifiable as a music mogul to the industry insiders attending the American Association of Independent Music Awards at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom on that day in the summer of 2015. Then Patricia Chin, co-founder of reggae label VP Records, stepped up to the stage to receive the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the first woman ever to have done so. “As I look out at the audience tonight, I imagine that many of you may be asking yourselves, ‘who is this Chinese lady with this big Jamaican accent, and what is VP Records?’” said Miss Pat, (as she is affectionately known) in her acceptance speech, to roaring applause. “In large part the story of VP Records is about a woman working behind the scenes and her journey for the past 50 years in the reggae music industry.”VP Records, established in Queens, New York, in 1979, with additional offices in Kingston, London, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo, is the world’s largest independent label, distributor, and publisher of reggae and dancehall music, controlling more than 25,000 song titles. In her forthcoming glossy coffee table memoir, Pat Chin: Miss Pat My Reggae Music Journey, Miss Pat tells VP’s story, which is inextricably tied to the development of Jamaica’s recording industry and the birth of ska, rocksteady and reggae. Miss Pat offers historical anecdotes about recording sessions with Bob Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry when both were seeking greater fortunes. Accolades for Miss Pat are found throughout, including one from hip-hop godfather DJ Kool Herc, who says: “What Berry Gordy was to Motown, Patricia Chin is to VP Records and the reggae industry.”In the book’s most compelling passages, Miss Pat courageously details her life’s greatest challenges: the death of her infant son; fleeing Jamaica’s explosive politics of the 1970s, struggling to acclimate to another society; defying the sexist and racist attitudes she encountered as a non-white female working in the music business in New York City; becoming educated about alcoholism to help her embattled husband, VP Records co-founder, Vincent “Randy” Chin, who passed away in 2003; coping with the unsolved murder of her grandson, VP A&R Joel Chin, in 2011. “The process of writing my book was freeing,” Miss Pat told The Daily Beast in an early December interview via Zoom. “I wanted my book to be truthful, entertaining and interesting so I couldn’t leave out personal details, I want people to get to know me better instead of seeing me as just a music person.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Inside Jennifer Lopez’s Chaotic Inauguration Week, From Sex Cannibals and Botox to Biden
Patrick Semansky/AFP/GettyThis is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.It’s been an eventful week for Jennifer Lopez. Granted, this is J. Lo. I would venture that her typical week boasts more highlights for the bullet-point recap than most, but even by that standard, it was a big one for the Most Egregiously Snubbed Oscar Contender in Cinema History. (I am contractually obligated as a gay to bring up that Hustlers slight in a public forum at least once a month in perpetuity.)Read more at The Daily Beast.
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What Beats a Bungling Government? We’re About to Find Out.
Jim Watson/GettyFor the last four years the Trump administration has been at war with many things and many people, but one thread that’s been continuous throughout is their obsessive desire to destroy the government they failed to run. Over the last four years, the entire Republican Party has often seemed against government intervention or government anything, including government doing its job. Donald Trump has spent more time breaking the government than trying to fix it. He went to war with the Post Office, he declared COVID to be the states’ problem, and he refused to enact the Defense Production Act, which would have been an easy win for Trump.This anti-government government has been a particularly problematic way to run a country during a pandemic when Americans desperately need the government to roll out the vaccine and get a plan together to put said vaccine in people’s arms. Luckily, the guy America just elected to replace Trump is his exact opposite.One must look no further than Joe Biden’s love of Amtrak to know that Joe Biden believes in the federal government. Biden is after all a creature of the government: He did six terms in the Senate and served two stints as vice president. He, unlike the reality television host, understands how government works, and more importantly, he wants government to work, unlike many Republicans who seem to be in it to destroy it. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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ESPN Doesn’t Want to Talk About Conor McGregor’s Rape Case
Christian Petersen/GettyHours after the news broke on Jan. 19 that Conor McGregor, the star mixed martial arts fighter, had been sued in Ireland by a woman who claimed he’d raped her in 2018, ESPN weighed in.On the Tuesday evening edition of SportsCenter, ESPN described the sexual-assault allegation as an “alleged personal injury.” The “situation,” as they phrased it, had been investigated by police, though charges had not been filed. The anchor noted they’d confirmed this information with McGregor’s lawyer and added that McGregor had denied the allegations. The following morning, a different SportsCenter anchor recited the exact same script. The segment was followed by a commercial starring McGregor—for a brand of whiskey founded by McGregor.None of the above is false, but it’s far from a complete picture. According to court documents obtained by The New York Times, the woman in question was invited into McGregor’s bedroom where he propositioned her. When she declined, a struggle ensued. McGregor was physically restraining the alleged victim and while she was subdued, told her, “That’s how I felt in the Octagon, I had to tap myself out three times, that’s how I felt,” the lawsuit states. She was then raped by McGregor, the victim claims. The allegation was initially reported by the paper in 2019. At the time, McGregor was arrested and questioned by the police.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Is Accused Stalker and Kushner Family Friend Ken Kurson Donald Trump’s Most Disturbing Pardon?
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo GettyOn the day that Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, a Facebook friend of former New York Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson’s wrote on his wall, “Congrats on being pardoned for your crimes, I guess.”Kurson, a longtime close friend of Jared Kushner’s, had been arrested in October on charges of cyberstalking three people and harassing two in an elaborate revenge scheme to punish people he perceived as being responsible for the breakup of his marriage. Kurson, who has forcefully denied the allegations and had yet to go to trial, was one of the 74 people Donald Trump pardoned in the final hours of his presidency.There are three reasons Kurson’s pardon stood out to me. First, because I know him. I was the editor in chief of The New York Observer in 2011 and 2012, and Kurson, despite his limited background in journalism, was one of my successors. I met him early in my tenure at the paper that Jared Kushner had purchased a few years after graduating from Harvard, because Kurson—a Republican political consultant who worked for Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm, helped write his book Leadership and helped run his 2008 presidential campaign—was a close family friend who always seemed to be at events, in the office, or wherever the Kushners were. Second, while many of Trump’s pardons went to political cronies who’d committed crimes more or less on his behalf, Kurson’s was an obvious favor to Jared Kushner, whose father, Charles, also received a pardon. And finally, Kurson’s pardon stood out because of the ongoing threat that some of the people he allegedly stalked and harassed fear that he may pose to them now.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘Euphoria’ Star Hunter Schafer’s Stunning Special Episode on Transgender Identity
Eddy Chen/HBOThe most ambitious, stunning moment from Euphoria’s second special episode came from one of its most beloved performers. Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, shared a poem she’d written with creator Sam Levinson—which became the inspiration for the HBO drama’s second standalone episode, the colorfully titled “F— Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob.”In December, Euphoria debuted the first of two special episodes produced during the pandemic—“Part One: Rue,” which finds a relapsed Rue sharing pancakes and a wrenching conversation about life with her sober sponsor, Ali (the great Colman Domingo). The stripped-down episode proved that substance always lurked beneath that glittery exterior—and provides a wonderful showcase for Zendaya’s astounding rawness as a performer. While most of the series seems to unfold from within a hallucinogenic, Instagram-tinged haze, “Rue” grounded us in the sober present as Rue seemed to embark on the journey to really, truly getting clean for the first time.“F— Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob,” on the other hand, is a return to form. Although the special, like the one before it, largely unfolds in a quiet setting—in this case, Jules’s first therapy appointment—Jules’s narration takes us into an impressionistic dream space. As Jules explains her complicated relationship with her mother, online dating, and fantasy, and reality, she brings us inside her mind—a space where reality, dream, and nightmare all commingle.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Bill Maher, Who Said the N-Word on TV, Argues That Racism in America Is Exaggerated
HBO“Bye, Propecia!” exclaimed Bill Maher Friday night, adding, “To quote Melania: Thank god that’s over with.” The Real Time host kicked off his late-night monologue with a series of jabs at Donald Trump, the now former president who left the White House after letting COVID run wild all over the country, contracting (and possibly spreading) COVID himself, tearing at the fabric of our democracy by questioning the results of one of the more secure elections in history (which was not very close in the first place), and helping incite a treasonous siege of the Capitol.“Boy, Donald Trump the last couple of months left graciously,” joked Maher. “From not being man enough to admit that he lost the election, to then telling the mob ‘I’m with ya’ and then he runs back into the house, to not attending the inauguration—class all the way, this motherfucker. I’m so glad he did not attend the inauguration, because you know, he’s the ex-husband you don’t want to invite to the wedding because he’ll stand up and yell, ‘She’s a whore!’”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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MyPillow CEO Hires Gawker-Killing Lawyer to Go After Daily Mail for Jane Krakowski Affair Story
MANDEL NGANMyPillow CEO and staunch Trump ally Mike Lindell has retained celebrity attorney Charles Harder to go after the Daily Mail over a story claiming he had a secret affair with 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star actress Jane Krakowski, The Daily Beast has learned.“Charles Harder is the attorney,” Lindell confirmed in a brief interview on Friday evening. “I never met this lady in my life and have never been to West Village and the Hamptons, where they said I was in the hit piece.”Lindell added: “They’ve done so much damage to my reputation… I’m not just going for a demand letter or a retraction, I want to go after them with a lawsuit because they have damaged my integrity as a Christian and my network to help addicts everywhere.” He said that he has already discussed this with Harder, who he’s just retained, and said that the lawyer was working on the legal paperwork.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Prince Harry Blames Social Media for Capitol Riot and ‘Harassment’ He and Meghan Receive
Joe Giddins - WPA Pool/Getty ImagesPrince Harry has called the Capitol riot, orchestrated by a mob of Trump supporters, “a literal attack on democracy in the United States,” in an interview with Fast Company. Harry added that the riot was “organized on social media, which is an issue of violent extremism. It is widely acknowledged that social media played a role in the genocide in Myanmar and was used as a vehicle to incite violence against the Rohingya people, which is a human rights issue. And in Brazil, social media provided a conduit for misinformation which ultimately brought destruction to the Amazon, which is an environmental and global health issue.”Harry and Meghan will work “to accelerate the pace of change in the digital world,” the prince told Fast Company. “If we’ve learned anything, it’s that our dominant technologies were built to grow and grow and grow, without serious consideration for the ripple effect of that growth. We have to do more than simply reconsider this model. The stakes are too high, and time is running out.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Cop Rioter Bragged He ‘Pissed’ in Pelosi’s Toilet, Feds Say
Criminal complaint, ReutersA Virginia police officer charged in the Jan. 6 sacking of the U.S. Capitol bragged to a friend on Facebook that he “pissed in Nancy P’s toilet,” referring to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to an FBI search warrant application obtained by The Daily Beast.The document, which seeks permission to search Jacob Fracker’s Rocky Mount, Virginia, home for further evidence, follows a prior warrant that gave the FBI permission to scour his Facebook account. Agents say they found photos, videos, and messages to others sent the day after the riot that directly incriminate Fracker, who is also a corporal in the VA National Guard.Fracker and his alleged wingman in the riot, Rocky Mount Officer Thomas Robertson, were the first cops to be arrested for participating in the insurrection that left five people, including a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, dead. Fracker and Robertson have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Rocky Mount Police Department.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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As Dems Stress About Impeachment Trial, Trump Plots Revenge
Andrew BurtonCongressional Democrats can’t wait to get started on the agenda of the new president—but their attempt to clean up the mess the last one left behind is threatening to delay that work before it even begins.When the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol—with unanimous Democratic and even some Republican support—it set into motion the constitutional inevitability of a trial in the Senate, a process triggered as soon as the article of impeachment arrives in the upper chamber.On Friday, newly-minted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that the article would be sent on Monday, making Tuesday a likely opening day of the trial, according to Senate rules. That would, barring a unanimous agreement to the contrary, freeze the Senate floor until the trial is over—a problem for the Senate Democrats eager to confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and begin work on a COVID-19 relief bill.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Gym Owner Who Defied COVID Lockdown Charged for Attacking Cop at Riots: Feds
Criminal ComplaintA New Jersey gym owner who made local headlines for defying COVID-19 restrictions has been arrested for punching a Washington, D.C., police officer in the head during the Capitol riots, authorities said Friday.Scott Kevin Fairlamb, a former ultimate fighter and current owner of Fairlamb Fit, was charged Friday with several crimes for his role in the Jan. 6 riots, including assaulting a federal officer and carrying a dangerous weapon.According to a criminal complaint, Fairlamb was captured on video shoving and punching an officer on the west side of the Capitol, at one point hitting him in the head. In a since-deleted video posted on Fairlamb’s Facebook, the gym owner, who was carrying a collapsible baton, shouts: “What Patriots do? We fuckin’ disarm them and then we storm fuckin’ the Capitol.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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Newsmax Host Scoffs at Rosa Parks Bust in Biden’s Oval Office: ‘Identity Politics’
NewsmaxNewsmax host Rob Finnerty on Friday morning scoffed at the notion of President Joe Biden placing a bust of civil-rights hero Rosa Parks in the Oval Office, derisively referring to the move as part of his “administration of identity politics.”Among the many things right-wing media has found itself outraged over in the first days of the Biden administration has been the new president’s decision to remove the bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.Former President Donald Trump made a big show of placing the bust behind his desk four years ago, especially given the amount of backlash his predecessor Barack Obama received from conservatives for not displaying the small statue in his Oval Office. Besides removing the Churchill bust, Biden has also added busts of Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Latino labor and civil-rights activist César Chávez.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Make Cocktails at Home with the Pre-Loaded Drink Pods in the Drinkworks System from Keurig
Photo Illustration: Scouted/The Daily Beast/AmazonMany of us start our mornings the same way: selecting a K-Cup, pressing a button, and watching our Keurig machine make a fresh cup of coffee.Well, the brand is hoping that you’ll now end your day with a similar routine and a contraption that makes cold cocktails instead of hot cappuccinos. Meet the Drinkworks Home Bar system, which can whip up a Moscow Mule, an Old-Fashioned, a Margarita, or any of the other 30 cocktails currently offered. (You can also buy beer and wine pods for the system.)And, yes, it really is that simple, just choose a preloaded cocktail pod and you’ll have a drink in about a minute. The pod includes all the liquor and other ingredients required for each recipe.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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West Virginia Mom Shot Five Kids Before Turning Gun on Herself: Sheriff
Morgan Funeral HomeA West Virginia mom allegedly upset over her husband’s recent absence fatally shot her five children and set their house on fire before turning the gun on herself, authorities said this week.The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday revealed 25-year-old Oreanna Antoinette Myers killed her three kids and two stepchildren on Dec. 8, then set their two-story house near Williamsburg, Virginia, ablaze. Immediately after, Myers shot herself, authorities said.The children have been identified as Shaun Dawson Bumgarner, 7; Riley James Bumgarner, 6; Kian Myers, 4; Aarikyle Nova Myers, 3; and Haiken Jirachi Myers, 1.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
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