In A Crowded Hotel Lobby, No One Can Hear You Swear

I was watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper ring in the New Year last night, but that unmistakable despite-what-Anderson-Cooper-may-say F-Bomb went completely over my head in the lobby of the Marriott Desert Springs Hotel in Palm Desert, aka Mediaite’s West Coast Bureau for the holidays. I double-taked at the choice when we walked in (I would have assumed that old classic for the holiday-going family-friendly all-ages crowd, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”), but then again, I saw Kathy Griffin play a sold-out show here, and let’s just say the constituency is solid. But anyway, does a hotel lobby filled with cheerful, wholesome revelers in party hats count for ratings? In any case, here’s my view of Kathy and Anderson last night….before we came back to the room, turned on the TV, and watched properly.

Anderson Cooper Kathy Griffin Marriott Palm Desert

I can’t believe she talked about doing coke on CNN. She’s amazing. Why doesn’t CNN get her to host a show? Kathy Griffin just talking, to anyone, who cares. Or tag-team her with Poppy Harlow, who would make an excellent foil. I liked how she seemed to have no filter, like when they cut to her after the ball dropped and she explained that everyone was now focused on trying to find a bathroom. Also, she was dancing even when there was no music. I guess it’s impossible not to be cheerful when your name is Poppy. Also cheerful: John Zarella in Florida with Sushi the drag queen, who descends at midnight in a giant shoe. You GO for including that, CNN! But Kathy Griffin was definitely the glue. I love how she hushed Anderson as the ball dropped. The solution to CNN’s ratings issues have been staring us all in the face the whole time. I am just saying.

Since I’m on the West Coast I had plenty of time to enjoy background-TV New Year’s festivities, so I also enjoyed Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly on Fox (Kelly could not have looked more glamorous in that white coat with those white gloves, btw. Wow). This is the third anniversary of the Hemmer-Kelly pairing — like Cooper and Griffin — and they make a fresh-faced and cheerful couple efficiently shepherding the various New Year’s events through the night — their show included pre-taped wishes from various FNC personalities like Sean Hannity, Gretchen Carlson and her Fox n’ Friends, the super-nice-seeming Brett Baier with a sincere message for the troops, Jane Skinner with Jon Scott, who donned a military ball cap in honor of the troops (Scott’s son is at West Point – read his affecting essay about it here). There was a message from Bill O’Reilly, and then of course there was a maudlin, half-sense-making rambling from Glenn Beck, who wants us all to get shirts that say “I Survived 2009.” Jill Dobson was in the crowd in the Poppy Harlow position — I guess they’re easier to pick out because theyr’e blonde. Dobson highlighted a couple getting engaged – very sweet. Actually, both Fox and CNN made it look rather fun to be in Times Square, despite the freezing, sleeting rain. It’s always nice to be able to peek in — especially from amidst the palm trees. Happy New Yecade!


J. Lo’s Skimpy, Sexy New Year’s Outfit a Fitting End to Her Amazing Decade

jennifer-lopez-skintight-bodysuit-new-years-eve-07Aw. It’s nice that in 2010 we can still get excited about a female singer whose entire body is covered from the neck down. Well, except that the singer is Jennifer Lopez and her body was covered in a sparkly skintight semi-see-through bodysuit that clung to her every famous curve. So 2010 — and so 2000, and so everything in between.

Last night on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” J.Lo sang her back-to-back decade closers “Louboutins” and “Waiting For Tonight,” but what people are talking about today is the bodysuit, so much so that it’s trending on Google as “jennifer lopez new years outfit” and “j lo new years eve outfit.” Well, good. Let ‘em notice, she’s 40 and just had twins and practically invented the stunt outfit. Like today’s trending Google topics are an accident. This is J.Lo — a mother, a wife, and laying low these past few years but come on: she knows what she’s doing.

(Okay, props to Cher on the stunt outfit thing, but still — J. Lo’s Grammy 2000 dress is still a high-water mark. No doubt Lady Gaga was watching as a 13-year-old kid somewhere and thinking, hmmmm).)

So ten years later, don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, because she’s still she’s still Jenny from the Block, and also, where would she hide those rocks anywhere? On that famous booty? (Say thank you, Kim Kardashian.) Clearly, er, not.

jennifer-lopez-skintight-bodysuit-new-years-eve-01There are others to say “thank you” to J.Lo after her truly astonishing decade. She’s receded quite a bit from view in the last few years, but wow has her influence been felt over the past ten years. People forget that talk of an upcoming Jennifer Lopez album was largely met with lukewarm not-really-caring (what? The chick from Anaconda?) and that Out of Sight had been her career high-water mark, in a completely different area. Then came “On The 6″ — and that cover shot, which right away made headlines itself, followed by a few perfectly danceable songs with videos that wouldn’t look out of place today. (When I think of Y2K-era videos, I think of her — remember her as a sultry cyber-seductress in “If You Had My Love?” Yes, I know “On The Six” came out in 1999, but the set-up was all 2000s.) Then she one-upped it by being in the news every single day with Puffy (back when Sean Combs slash P. Diddy was Puff Daddy) and wearing that Grammy dress — and that was before she became J.Lo and invented a whole new nomenclature for nicknames (say thank you, BriWi). Then she worked with a Rolodex of rappers and released an album entirely of remixes and somewhere in there launched a fragrance called “Glow” that was marketed based on her shimmering naked body. She had the number-one album and the number-one movie in the same week. She was officially J. Lo, Inc.

Then she dated Ben Affleck and was on the cover of Us Weekly pretty much weekly. The Onion ran a story: “No Jennifer Lopez News Today.” (Also, remember that “Bennifer” predated “Brangelina”). She also did all of it entirely while in her 30s — and was part of a pretty crucial generation of women who refused to phase out of being hotties (I wrote about this phenomenon back in 2003). So she did Gigli. Big deal. They’re still talking about that, too. (And her scenes with Affleck in Jersey Girl were genuinely affecting.)

Thinking back on J.Lo this decade — and to be honest, this is the first time I have, which is maybe another reason why she brought it so fiercely last night, or maybe she just wanted you to forget that fall at the AMAs — I really realized what a trailblazer she was for those who came after her. Beyonc&@##, Miley, Gaga, any actress who’s ever released an album — they are all standing on the shoulders of J.Lo. She was a true triple threat — actress, singer, dancer — who brought it all and brought it all over the place, and packaged it sometimes outrageously but always sexily (redoing that iconic Flashdance scene – genius). She was also a fashion icon, and made the velour sweatsuit look ridiculously hot (say thank you, Juicy). I may have seen the ridiculous Wedding Planner on a plane, but I did watch it (and I wasn’t on a plane for Maid In Manhattan, what can I say). But in the background, there was always Out of Sight. I’m still trying to think of someone hotter with George Clooney.

So yeah. Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo. It took a decade for me to realize it, but I sort of love her.

p.s. “Fitting end” was a wholly unintentional pun. Video below.


Jennifer Lopez: Skintight Sexy on New Year’s Eve [Just Jared]
Jennifer Lopez’ New Year’s outfit; singer stalks into 2010 in a glimmering skin tight catsuit [NYDN]

(Pics via Just Jared; there’s a photogallery there, too.)


Mediaite’s Online Editor Of The Year: It’s A Tie!

computerNewspapers are dying, magazines are dying: this is the story of 2009 where the media is concerned. However, the future of media, such as it is, does not look quite so dim. Or dim at all, really. Obviously, the brave new media world that we are slowly moving into (some at a quicker pace than others!) will look entirely different in twelve months’ time; something that will likely be in large part due to the efforts of the folks we listed on our online editors of the year poll. So who gets the final nod as our online editor of the year? Our picks below: feel free to add yours in the comments section.

Online Editors of the Year: Harvey Levin/TMZ.com; Choire Sicha & Alex Balk/TheAwl.com

Picture 6I am calling tie on online editor of the year this year between two extremely different sites for very different reasons. First Harvey Levin at TMZ.com. Despite a well-publicized misstep earlier this week when the site published what was supposed to be a picture of then-senator John F. Kennedy lounging on a yacht filled with naked women but turned out to be a re-worked version of a magazine spread (Levin mea culpa’d fairly quickly) the site has owned the big news stories of the year. Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, Rihanna and Chris Brown, and more recently (and sad but less media-shattering) Brittany Murphy. When they first broke the story of Jackson’s death back in June the mainstream press was slow to jump on it primarily because it was TMZ reporting. Less so with Tiger Woods. Now we have to assume people in newsrooms are probably being paid to figure out who TMZ is getting their info from. The ‘how’ is less a mystery: they frequently pay for tips. It may be considered a dirty practice in old-school journalism circles but it’s also one those same circles are edging towards, story by headline-making story. You know what else pays? Traffic. Something that is becoming more important as more old school news operations ease their way into the online world. Want to know what the future of journalism looks like, for the next little while at least? Harvey Levin has spent the last year showing us. He may spend the next year showing us what sports journalism is going to look like (we’re already part way there). Now if only he’d send a team to the Middle East we may not need to overhaul national security entirely.

On the flip side of the coin (different currency altogether?) is The Awl, which was launched earlier this year by Gawker alums Choire Sicha and Alex Balk . If you already read it, you probably read it a lot (it’s that kind of site) meaning you don’t need me to tell you about it. If you’re not a regular clicker, their ‘End of the 00’s‘ series, which has been running since last week and is comprised of submissions from well known (and less well-known in some circles) writers looking back on the decade from any number of standpoints, is a great place to begin. Point is, launching a website devoted to smart, sometimes long, not necessarily newsy, hit and miss SEO-y content is maybe not a business plan anyone with a working knowledge of what is currently working on the Internet money-wise would have recommended, but judging from the quick response of their readers to vote them up in our little poll they have a devoted readership and a site offering content that is tough to find elsewhere. Fingers crossed less tough this year. Now they just have to start making some money.

Runner-Up: A.J. Daulerio/Deadspin

daulerioWhat other website out there has the nerve and the ability and the power to take on a media conglomerate and ostensibly win? Because that’s what Deadspin managing editor A.J. Daulerio did when he spent a day publishing every tip he had every gotten about people working at ESPN after being mislead by the company into thinking a lead on Steve Phillips was cold before reading it shortly thereafter on the front page of the New York Post. Needles to say, Deadspin is a serious power player in the sports journalism field. And will likely be increasingly so as they are forced to up their game with the upcoming addition of TMZsports.com to the sports journalism pantheon.

Reader’s Choice: Ray Wert/Jalopnik

ray_wert_x200This is how much readers love Jalopnik: Ray Wert received 70 times the amount of votes in our poll than the number of people who actually clicked on the post! If building a voting bot for your favorite online editor is not love and devotion in the brave new media world, than really, what is? Of course, one imagines that a good chunk of those votes actually came directly from the same people responsible for the 27 million page views Jalopnik will get this month. People love cars! Especially when they are made fun and smart, and are talked, and written and Twittered about by knowledgeable people who understand how to turn that love into smart content and stellar traffic. (Also, sometimes boobs.) The future of media is niche, they say, and you need look no farther than Jalopnik for evidence of how that works at its best.

Related: Poll: Who Is The Top Online Editor Of 2009?


Mediaite’s Most Popular Posts Of 2009

Picture 2Technically speaking we could also title this ‘Our Most Popular Posts Ever!’ or alternately ‘Our Most Popular Posts Of The 2nd Half Of 2009′ since Mediaite actually didn’t come into existence until July of this year. Regardless, either or any way you slice it these were our most popular posts in 2009 reposted here with their original excerpts and links.

Before you dive in a few fun things that aren’t reflected here: Glenn Beck (how that is possible, all things considered, is a really a traffic mystery) (Glenn Beck’s vagina: less of a mystery); Megan Fox (boobs and otherwise); Twilight; and Tiger Woods(!). Go figure. With that said, we had a great year here at Mediaite (all six months of it!) And we’re looking forward to the one ahead. So, happy New Year to you and may we present our most popular posts (again).

NEXT>>>> Bill Maher’s Medical Meltdown


“Meet The Prensa” Columnist José Simián Talks To Singer Amanda Martinez

Mediaite’s “Meet The Prensa” columnist Jose Simian is not only a producer at NY1 Noticias, but a huge music fan — obvious on this site in English and at NY1 in Spanish in his ongoing series of interviews with Latin luminaries of literature and music. In this installment, he speaks with Latin-Canadian singer Amanda Martinez about her new album, “Amor,” which debuted to a strong reception (#6 on World Music on the Canadian charts, #1 on iTunes in the same category. Here she talks about, how she found her musical identity, and why she prefers to attack the Latin American classics with the sheer charm of her voice” (according to José; I have to trust him on the Spanish). Watch here:


Happy New Year 2010! Watch The Ball Drop In Times Square

Woo! Happy New Year — and Happy New Decade! Even if you’re not in New York — or in the same time zone, for that matter — it’s a tradition to watch the ball drop live in Times Square, especially if you’re somewhere warm and the weather there is crap, as it was tonight. No matter. It’s a sacred tradition and one that, for the few minutes or so before Midnight EST, is shared by millions of people around the world, who all count down in unison as the ball drops and we ring in another New Year. It’s nice. Watch it below:



p.s. Here at Mediaite we like to be efficient, so in the spirit of saying adieu to The Aughts and Hello to the Twenty-Tens we’d like to wish you a very Happy New Yecade. Because it’s not only a new year, and it’s not only a new decade. It’s a New Yecade.
p.p.s. Apparently the ball is a 12-foot geodesic sphere and descends down a 60-foot pole. Anderson Cooper said so.

Related:

Kathy Griffin Drops F-Bomb Live On CNN New Year’s Eve Special (VIDEO)


Kathy Griffin Drops F-Bomb Live On CNN New Year’s Eve Special (VIDEO)

Kathy Griffin Anderson CooperDoes saying the F-word on live TV even matter anymore? Maybe not if you’re Kathy Griffin and expected to say outrageous things that will make Anderson Cooper look adorably abashed on CNN’s live New Year’s Eve special — because they both ignored it so smoothly. F-word? Live TV? Yawn.

WATCH THE BALL DROP LIVE IN TIMES SQUARE

Griffin and Cooper, whose New Year’s Eve pairing on CNN has become an annual tradition, were doing their usual jokey banter, discussing various moments of infamy from the past year, and particularly the saga of Balloon Boy (how hard is it gonna be for that kid to get a date in a few years, eh?). Cooper and Griffin were at their post in Times Square discussing Balloon Boy Perè, Richard Heene, and then the little one himself, Falcon Heene. Here’s how it went:

COOPER: Falcon Heene.
GRIFFIN: Fal — Fuckin? Falcon? How do you say it?
COOPER: (shaking head, eyes downcast) You’re terrible. Really terrible.

And that was it! F-bomb on CNN live, New Year’s Eve. No biggie. Welcome to 2010. Or is there more to it? It should be noted that Griffin was famously unprintable before — last year she shot down a heckler by saying, again on live TV, “I don’t go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth.” This year, she promised to forfeit her salary if she said anything naughty. So maybe it’s only naughty if Anderson Cooper acts shocked. Or maybe it’s 2010 and EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT. Or maybe we’re just used to the F-bomb on live TV by now. Or maybe we should all just lighten up, it’s a new Yecade, after all. Watch below:



Update: The clip was not edited for broadcast on the West Coast, perhaps in support of the “open to interpretation” argument (as opposed to the “we know it when we hear it” argument). But either way, looks like Kathy’s gonna take home her salary — well earned, we say.
Update to the Update: Griffin joked on air about the New York Times calling to confirm that she swore, which she said she did not, and which Anderson Cooper, too, swore up and down did not happen. The NYT’s Brian Stelter said on Twitter that he did not actually, call, but she did actually swear. He listened three times.

> Update on Friday night: CNN has a comment about the incident: “CNN regrets that profanity was used during our New Years Eve coverage.” As for whether Griffin will forfeit her salary, like she had said, “We do not discuss contractual issues.” -SK

This article has been edited since publication to add the word “Yecade.” We really think it’ll catch on.