Oprah's Deal with Apple, Chris Hardwick from 'Talking Dead' Faces Accusations, Obama's Legacy Thrown Away
- Oprah is going into business with Apple. So in addition to being a cable executive and a correspondent for 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey will provide original content in a multiyear deal with Apple. Whew! CNN's Brian Lowry writes in the Reliable Sources newsletter via email: "Oprah Winfrey is a force of nature, and it’s not like she can't juggle multiple commitments at once. But with the mogul/star already having a presence on CBS via 60 Minutes, if I'm Discovery Networks, her partner on OWN, I wouldn't be particularly thrilled about her further splitting the 'Oprah' brand by making this Apple deal..." Discovery Networks still owns a majority stake on OWN, where she still has an exclusivity deal in the basic cable space through 2025. And Oprah is still Chief Executive at the network. That said, if anyone can pull this off based on accomplishments it is Oprah; currently producing the hit series Queen Sugar.
- Is this Chris Hardwick’s reckoning? The podcast mini-magnate and Talking Dead host has been accused by Chloe Dykstra, his ex-girlfriend, of sexual abuse (though not by name). “Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears,” Dykstra writes in an essay on Medium. “He called it ‘starfishing.’ He thought the whole idea was funny. To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him. I’m still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years.” Throughout the long form post, she hinted about her ex, who went from being a podcaster to a media powerhouse, and who is widely believed to be Hardwick. The Nerdist founder vehemently denies this account of their relationship. Nerdist has wiped the founder’s name from the site.
- Sleazy ex-New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, continues to defend the President and, in the process, put his foot in his mouth. In previous months, Rudy has served as the President’s attorney, as well as the primary foil Trump wields against Stormy Daniels and her lawyer Michael Avenatti. Rudy has attacked Stormy Daniels, who has been honest and more trustworthy in her accounts of the night in question, as somehow being not worthy of respect. This is from a man who incited a racist police riot in NYC in 1992, and is presently in a tabloid war with his ex-wife over affair allegations.
- How the mighty have fallen. Elizabeth Holmes, once a Silicon Valley darling, one of the few women in that elite position, has been charged with criminal fraud. “At its peak, Theranos was valued at $9 billion and employed 800 people,” notes Vox. “Yet according to John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose investigations exposed Theranos’s fraud, the company is down to just 20 employees who are trying to close up shop.” The 34-year old former CEO of Theranos, who tremendously over-hyped of the company's inexpensive, accessible finger-prick blood tests that would solve almost every health problem, stepped down from her position as CEO on Friday.
- "We need to stop harassment and hold both perpetrators and enablers accountable,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg at the 2018 MIT Commencement according to TheGuardian. “We need to … stop racism and sexism, including the expressions of bias that become commonplace and accepted instead of rejected and fought … At Facebook, we didn’t see all the risks coming, and we didn’t do enough to stop them … it’s hard when you know that you let people down.”
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions just reversed a 2014 Obama era case revolving around a Guatemalan woman who had fled Guatemala in 2005 and applied for asylum in the United States after years of physical and sexual abuse from her husband. Because of cultural norms in Guatemala making it difficult for a wife to divorce a husband under these circumstances, the Board of Immigration under Obama found that "married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship" can constitute a category that could apply for asylum. “If we say in the year 2018 that a woman has been beaten almost to death in a country that accepts that as almost the norm, and that we as a civilized society can deny her protection and send her to her death?’ Musalo told The Washington Post. ‘I don’t see this as just an immigration issue … I see this as a women’s rights issue.’” Are there any humane Obama era policies yet left? Does anyone remember laughter?