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'that's so stupid that one can only cry at the foolishness of it.'

In the past week, Germany has found and fired an American mole in their intelligence agency, investigated another suspect in their defense ministry, and asked the CIA station chief to leave the country. Media reports offer an interesting view of a post Cold War world grappling with the unexpected* - spy vs spy among friends and allies, while traditional intelligence targets Russia and China play the part of bemused bystanders. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 11, 2014 - 56 comments

The jester's last laugh

What do you do after working for Bank of America, betting against the lives of AIDS patients, becoming the financial adviser and official court jester to the King of Tonga, getting sued for embezzling and accused of massive passport fraud? You turn to creating smooth jazz, of course. The life of Jesse Bogdonoff. Previously.
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Jun 18, 2014 - 7 comments

“Where do left and right meet? At the truth.”

Politically Incorrect was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2014 - 66 comments

When power evaporates and you’re just a 61-year-old without a job

"You resigned, though your office is the office that actually started this investigation. This would not have come to light unless your office would’ve started it. But as the leader at the top, you resigned. And people that were directly there making the decisions, signing onto the warrants, going through these fraudulent contracts, they’re still there."
Two years after Martha Johnson resigned from her position as the head of the General Services Administration following an investigation of wasteful spending under her leadership, what is her life like now? Lillian Cunningham writes for the Washington Post's On Leadership blog about life after a scandal.
posted by medusa on Apr 30, 2014 - 46 comments

"There’s always an inherent danger when comparing two television shows."

Why Scandal beats House Of Cards at its own game
Why ‘Scandal’ can’t hold a candle to ‘House of Cards’
Barack Obama Says Life in D.C. is “More Boring” Than Scandal and House of Cards Depict [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 30, 2014 - 60 comments

The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie

"It was one of the most effective optical illusions in American politics—until it wasn’t." Alec MacGillis, in the New Republic, describes why "Chris Christie's entire career reeks. It's not just the bridge."
posted by spitbull on Feb 13, 2014 - 99 comments

"I cannot comment on an article I have not read or doesn't exist."

Despite years of unabashed support, Canada's most conservative newspaper The Toronto Sun has published a 7-part recap of the Rob Ford scandal(s): Part 1: From penny-pinching councillor to crack mayor - Part 2: Rob Ford crack video hits the fan - Part 3: Mad scramble for the Rob Ford crack video - Part 4: Cops seize the Rob Ford crack video - Part 5: Walls close in on scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford - Part 6: The meltdown of a mayor - Part 7: Scandal-plagued Rob Ford unsinkable? (warning: only 20 free articles/month) [more inside]
posted by Theta States on Jan 29, 2014 - 167 comments

If you see the Buddha on the road

The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side is an Ebook about the rarely discussed but long-understood-by-insiders phenomenon of the "sexually voracious" Buddhist leader who "preyed on vulnerable women."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 15, 2014 - 32 comments

First, we must dispose of any obstacles

Rory and Paris: The Real Gilmore Girls
I am going to make you want something that you may or may not have already known that you wanted. I am going to make you realize that the real love story at the heart of Gilmore Girls took place between two tightly-wound, highly-strung, overachieving rivals-turned-roommates who wore matching ties and skirts and engaged in sexually charged fencing sessions. The mutual respect, admiration, and trust that sprang up between Rory Gilmore and Paris Gellar was hard-fought and slowly earned; theirs was a friendship forged and refined slowly over the years. They grew into the shape of one another. Put aside your dreams of Jess, that human sneeze; let Logan sail away on his yacht of indifference into the sunset: Rory/Paris are endgame.
Femslash Friday is a series on The Toast ... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 3, 2014 - 44 comments

Weiner Recontextualized

"So, after reading all his sexts and stuff, it’s basically impossible for me to not hear every single thing Anthony Weiner says as some sort of horrible half-assed double entendre sexty come-on. So I cut together a few of his recent public statements to demonstrate why I laugh every time he speaks." (SLYTP)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 15, 2013 - 53 comments

Hedwig? Hedy? Hedly?

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 8, 2013 - 18 comments

"I'm done"

Hugo Schwyzer announces his retirement from feminist punditry. Schwyzer cites his declining mental health and a recent extramarital affair that tarnished his "brand," as reasons for his retirement. [more inside]
posted by Unified Theory on Aug 1, 2013 - 148 comments

Who Audits The Auditors?

On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized to conservative non-profit 501(c)4 groups for singling them out for heightened scrutiny during the 2012 campaign season. While the abuses were initially blamed on "low-level" workers in the agency's Cincinnati office, new questions were raised Saturday with a report that senior IRS officials were aware of the practice as early as 2011. That senior IRS officials knew of the politically-selective practices "seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner." [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on May 11, 2013 - 366 comments

Former Enron CEO in deal to cut prison term

Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron Corp chief executive, could be freed from prison nearly a decade sooner than originally expected, under an agreement with federal prosecutors to end the last major legal battle over one of the biggest corporate frauds in U.S. history.
posted by Leisure_Muffin on May 8, 2013 - 70 comments

"'Spitzer! You’re Governor Spitzer!'"

Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Post-Scandal Playbook (Spoiler: The disgraced Congressman is likely running for Mayor of New York City. SLNYT, Via)
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2013 - 72 comments

"Magna est veritas et praevalet"

Last June, the New York Times published an exposé of New York's exclusive Horace Mann School, detailing decades of sexual abuse of students by their teachers. The revelations prompted additional accusations and lawsuits from former students, an all-but-useless investigation, an admission by one of the school's former teachers, and a response by the school to parents (pdf). But one person who escaped the Times' notice was former English teacher Robert Berman.
posted by zarq on Mar 24, 2013 - 24 comments

Report of the UK Leveson inquiry into the conduct of the press published

"For the seventh time in less than 70 years, a report has been commissioned by the Government which has dealt with concerns about the press. It was sparked by public revulsion about a single action – the hacking of the mobile phone of a murdered teenager. From that beginning, the scope of the Inquiry was expanded to cover the culture, practices and ethics of the press in its relations with the public, with the police, with politicians and, as to the police and politicians, the conduct of each."
The report, in four volumes of around 500 pages each, is available for download.
posted by rjs on Dec 7, 2012 - 38 comments

Petraeus and the Fourth Estate

We’ve caught some of the smartest and most commited public men and women with their pants at their ankles. Time and again, we’ve had our fun. We’ve roundly mocked them for the very weaknesses that are so utterly our own. Reporters who have at points in their lives fucked themselves silly in hotel rooms across this great land of ours while pursuing the infidelities of more public men with righteous glee — these are not men and women who are much inclined to any real moment of self reflection, but then who among us really is? This kind of hypocrisy requires a complicit silence and a ritual wiping of the memory before every byline. [more inside]
posted by Hypnotic Chick on Nov 14, 2012 - 72 comments

Pure black and white sex

Scandals of Classic Hollywood* is a fantastic series of articles exploring the careers and private lives of old Hollywood's most legendary performers, written by self-styled "doctor of celebrity gossip" Anne Helen Petersen. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 3, 2012 - 44 comments

"Our control is only to play as good as we can."

The Olympics are never without controversy and 2012 is no different. South Korea's Shin A Lam was held in the throes of perhaps the longest second ever of épée sudden death, as the clock was improperly reset with one full second remaining allowing her opponent to register a hit and knock her out of gold medal contention. Now the Badminton World Federation has accused four pairs of Olympic doubles players with "not using one's best efforts to win a match": essentially throwing their games to secure a better draw. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on Aug 1, 2012 - 156 comments

Nixon's Five Wars

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 11, 2012 - 72 comments

The Hippy and the Expressionists

Confessions of a Genius Art Forger — In one of Germany's greatest art scandals, former hippie and talented artist Wolfgang Beltracchi forged dozens of paintings over a period of 35 years, earning millions and fooling top collectors and museums. In a SPIEGEL interview, he reveals how he did it and why he eventually got caught. Photo Gallery. Background... [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 26, 2012 - 20 comments

Pun intended.

The Pope's butler arrested following Vatileaks investigation. [telegraph.co.uk] Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents.
posted by Fizz on May 25, 2012 - 44 comments

Exit stage left

Gu Kailai, the wife of senior Chinese party leader Bo Xilai, has been arrested for the murder of an English businessman. Bo, until his sudden fall from power this year, one of the most popular politicians in China, the leading figure of the Chinese New Left and Party Committee Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing, has completed his downfall by being expelled from the politburo and stripped of all party positions. The collapse started in February, when his top lieutenant, Wang Lijun, was suddenly demoted and then fled to the US consulate for a day - supposedly, either attempting to defect or to give incriminating evidence on Bo and Gu to the Americans for safekeeping. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Apr 10, 2012 - 38 comments

2, 12, 1, 9, 4: Big Money. No Whammies.

On May 19, 1984, an unemployed ice cream truck driver named Michael Larson went on Press Your Luck and over the course of two episodes, took home more money than had ever been won in the history of television: $110,237 -- to the shock of the show’s producers and host, the late Peter Tomarken. How did he do it? The show’s game board had only 5 patterns of 18 squares, and Mr. Larson had memorized them all. After the show, CBS tried to disqualify him but couldn’t, because Larson hadn’t done anything illegal. But they did refuse to allow those episodes to be aired in syndication. So, they didn’t re-air until 2003, when the Game Show Network produced a Tomarken-hosted documentary about Mr. Larson’s incredible win: Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 3, 2012 - 42 comments

Pie In the Sky

Tom Monaghan had a dream: To create a law school and surrounding community that would adhere strictly to Catholic values. Things have not gone according to plan. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Mar 17, 2012 - 102 comments

The French breast implant scandal

In March 2010, a pair of health inspectors responding to multiple tips paid a three-day visit to the factory headquarters of the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company, a leading international maker of breast implants. On their second day, the inspectors found something odd: six discarded plastic containers of Silopren, a liquid silicone designed for industrial, not medical use, lined up along the outside wall of the production site. The lead inspector estimated they had contained nearly 9 tons of liquid silicone. It now appears as if between 300,000 and 400,000 women throughout the world may have received potentially toxic, faulty breast implants containing ingredients never clinically tested on humans, manufactured and distributed by a company that knowingly deceived regulators, suppliers, distributors, medical professionals and ultimately, patients. Reuters photographer's Blog: Operating on an implant scandal. (Last link NSFW, graphic images that contain nudity.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 18, 2012 - 58 comments

The Fall of the House of Murdoch?

Five senior journalists and editors at the News International tabloid the Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three public officials as Operation Elveden, the British investigation into bribery of police by News International papers, broadened to include corruption of officials in the armed forces and Ministry of Defence as well. The Guardian reports that the new arrests escalate the stakes of the ongoing US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of News Corporation, which carries potential penalties of millions of dollars of fines and prison sentences for senior executives. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Feb 11, 2012 - 93 comments

May no act of ours bring shame...

Paterno, Joseph Vincent (Joe Pa)
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Employer: Penn State, Retired.*
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 22, 2012 - 172 comments

Dirt

John McCain's entire 2008 opposition research file on Mitt Romney [PDF], scribd mirror
posted by msalt on Jan 18, 2012 - 145 comments

"From the bottom of our hearts, we ask that you please accept our apology."

Senator Amy Koch, who campaigned this year to put a constitutional amendment on next year's ballot to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. has admitted that she had "a relationship with a Senate staffer" who is not her husband. She has stepped down as Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate, announced she will not seek re-election, and issued an apology. In response, the gay and lesbian community of Minnesota has issued their own apology, for "ruining the institution of marriage and causing her to stray from her husband" [more inside]
posted by dubold on Dec 22, 2011 - 70 comments

More Inside

The world’s most prestigious consultancy prides itself on its intellectual prowess and ethical standards. But this year, an insider trading scandal surrounding former McKinsey luminaries has left staff and alumni reeling
posted by infini on Nov 27, 2011 - 42 comments

Scoops, Swoops, and Perry's "Oops."

Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 10, 2011 - 208 comments

Surely this..

A new BBC Documentary titled This World: Spain's Stolen Babies alleges that up to three hundred thousand Spanish infants were stolen from their mothers at birth over a fifty year period, and then sold by the Catholic Church through illicit adoption services.
posted by FatherDagon on Oct 17, 2011 - 64 comments

One Bad Cop

Fans of "The Shield" should learn more about the LAPD's Rampart scandal. Rafael Perez and his cronies were the inspiration for Vic Mackey and the Strike Team. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 7, 2011 - 13 comments

"Totally unacceptable in our world."

Diner for Schmucks. GQ's restaurant reviewer Alan Richman had heard "nothing but great things about M. Wells, one of New York City's hottest restaurants—the food was amazing, the setting sublime, the ambience charming. And, in fact, everything was going quite well. Until..." More at Eater. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 17, 2011 - 238 comments

More phone hacking revelations

"Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World's disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman. In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday, Goodman claims that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it; that Coulson offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court; and that his own hacking was carried out with "the full knowledge and support" of other senior journalists, whom he named." (Most recent previously.)
posted by Len on Aug 16, 2011 - 77 comments

How News of the World interfered with hunt for 13-year-old's killer

Thirteen-year-old Milly Dowler was kidnapped and murdered on her way home from school in 2002. During the six-month hunt before her body was found, her parents gave exclusive interviews to the News of the World, saying they believed she would be found alive. That hope was based partly on the fact that her voicemails were still being listened to and deleted. Today, it was revealed that the deleting was being done by the News of the World. [more inside]
posted by bonaldi on Jul 4, 2011 - 324 comments

The cops are crashing the Fiesta.

A long investigation into the Fiesta Bowl has produced a long and damning report (link goes to long PDF) detailing a culture of corruption under CEO John Junker. The report details gifts given to lawmakers, college administrators and others to help boost the bowl's stature in college football. [more inside]
posted by azpenguin on Apr 1, 2011 - 18 comments

He's "classy"!

House Rep Christopher Lee (R-NY) has suddenly announced his resignation after it broke that the married congressman had been trolling Craigslist for hookups, as well as sending out topless pictures of himself, all while using his real name.
posted by FatherDagon on Feb 10, 2011 - 156 comments

The End of Japan's National Sport?

In March of 2009, the Japan Sumo Association won a lawsuit against Kodansha, a large Japanese publishing house. Kodansha had alleged that match fixing was rampant in Sumo, even at the highest levels. However, in the last week, police have discovered text messages between wrestlers showing proof of fixing, including negotiation over compensation. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 5, 2011 - 24 comments

Burlesquoni

Maria Laura Rodotà an Italian journalist bemoans Berlusconi´s philandering and the culture of machismo that celebrates his habitual womanising. Rubygate - the latest of many scandals involving teenage girls is shrugged off by the 70 year old as My Passion for women is better than being gay. How much longer can he cling to power? (previously)
posted by adamvasco on Nov 7, 2010 - 73 comments

Not exactly "I Am Charlotte Simmons."

When a Duke graduate documented her sexual hookups with a series of University baseball and lacrosse players during her time there, she thought only her close friends would see it. But the list, a PowerPoint presentation which includes names, pictures, and extremely detailed ratings of the men she had sex with, spread beyond that circle of friends and has since gone viral. A few days ago, it was posted to Jezebel and Deadspin, both part of the Gawker Media. Deadspin initially failed to redact the names or pictures of those named within to protect their privacy, prompting an angry response and leading others to speculate if this "privacy landmine" will eventually lead to lawsuits.
posted by zarq on Oct 5, 2010 - 336 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

A pilgrim's POV of the UK Papal Visit

"Claz Gomez" is reporting live from the 2010 Papal Visit to the UK. Claz is using a variety of Internet media to provide her personal point of view from the ground, covering events running up to, during and presumably after the visit (official site) which takes place 16th - 19th September. [more inside]
posted by KMH on Sep 6, 2010 - 37 comments

Morality Play

Scandal brewing at Harvard. Marc Hauser, evolutionary biologist/psychologist who is an authority on how animals think, is taking a year's leave of absence because a university review has concluded that there were "irregularities" in the conduct of his research. One article is being withdrawn. Others under suspicion. Hauser is well-known for his studies of cotton-top tamarin monkeys. Not clear if he will be required to give up his edge.org page. His most recent book is about morality (previously).
posted by cogneuro on Aug 10, 2010 - 117 comments

Because they're Woerth it

Forget the Ewings, the Carringtons, or the Channings and Giobertis, France is in the grip of the real-life soap opera of the Bettencourts, heiresses to the L'Oréal cosmetics empire, featuring a suave gigolo, a scheming wealth manager, a paradise island, feuding lawyers, embarrassed politicians, squabbling magistrates, New Media, another major multinational, and even a butler with a tape recorder... [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 15, 2010 - 25 comments

Sanctity of Marriage

"Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder acknowledged an affair with a staffer Tuesday and unexpectedly announced his resignation, giving Democrats a chance at capturing what many had thought was a safe Republican seat." He had previously recorded a pro-abstinence video, with the woman he had the affair with.
posted by furiousxgeorge on May 18, 2010 - 124 comments

Into The Mud They Go

Yesterday, the New York Times published an investigative report showing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) either lied or spoke ambiguously about serving in Vietnam in several past public appearances. Blumenthal is currently the Democratic frontrunner for Senator Chris Dodd's Senate seat, and is expected to face former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R). Today, McMahon's campaign announced they "fed" the story to the paper and posted the video of Blumenthal's statement to their YouTube channel. More from Politico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 18, 2010 - 124 comments

Don't let the cabinet door hit your ass on the way out.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ejected cabinet minister Helena Guergis from the Tory caucus following allegations of impropriety. The RCMP is investigating claims that her husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer, was conducting his private business through her office. In her resignation letter, she calls the rumours "baseless allegations and unfounded assertions." [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Apr 10, 2010 - 52 comments

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