Oprah and Dr. Oz Don’t Want You to Have Those Acai Berries Afterall

dietingaid_090105_mnAll things being equal you should probably know better, when you see those ads on the side bar of you Facebook page touting miracle weight loss berries “as seen on Oprah,” than to think Oprah is actually endorsing acai berries in a cheaply done ad on your Facebook. That said, seems like Oprah and her partner in all thing medicinal, Dr. Oz, have had enough with their name being thrown around willy-nilly by companies across the country. Reports THR:

Winfrey’s companies Harpo Inc. and OW Licensing Co. and Oz and his company Zo Co. sued the little-known firms located throughout America in a federal lawsuit in New York seeking to stop the “unauthorized and unlawful use” of their names, pictures, voices and trademarks.

“These defendants are willfully capitalizing on plaintiffs’ valuable reputation and intellectual property rights to lure consumers into ordering their infringing products on the false premise that they have been tested or recommended by Ms Winfrey and/or Dr. Oz when they have not,” the lawsuit said…The lawsuit said many of the offers made by the companies enticed consumers into “credit card scams or other fraudulent schemes.”

The products in the dispute include dietary supplements, cosmetics such as cellulite and anti-wrinkle creams and over-the-counter items such as tooth-whitening products.

That said, Oprah really does like acai.

Democracy At Its Finest: Two 50-Hottest Lists Compete For DC Facetime


Kelechi Kalu

Kelechi Kalu

Each summer The Hill, a small Washington political daily with circulation in the low five figures, comes out with a list of the 50 Most Beautiful people in Washington — a mix of aides, representatives, senators, lobbyists and even some service-industry folks.

After six years of list-making, The Hill has become known for its Most Beautiful feature, so much so that it would be safe to say that The Hill had this particular (-ly trivial) area of DC coverage cornered.

“We consider it a light feature, but we take it seriously when we put it together,” The Hill’s features editor Kris Kitto, who oversees the top-50 list each year, told us over the phone.

But this year, there’s a new hottest-on-the-Hill list in town — The 50 Most Fabulous People on the Hill— the brainchild of  two wet-behind-the-ears congressional aides, who think that there are some flaws with The Hill’s list.

But only in DC would there be cause for to 50-hottest lists (we thought Yale was the biggest circle jerk on the East coast for having one at all!) We spoke with Kelechi Kalu, 22, one of the lists founders to find out how Washington could possibly stomach another ranking of the city’s hottest young things.

“I do think there’s room for two lists — competition is one of the spirits of the Hill,” said Kalu. “It’s a fun little outlet amongst all this legislation that’s going on.”

Kalu and Brandon Andrews, who work in the offices of a Democrat and Republican senator respectively, decided to start their own list, “not because we weren’t on [The Hill's] list, but just because we wanted to be involved with the selection process as staffers on the Hill.”

Kalu and Andrews collected nominations using an anonymous email address and asked people to explain ‘why they were fabulous.’ After candidates who didn’t agree to participate were eliminated, the pair ranked them based on how many nominations the candidates received. Of course a little je ne sais quoi went into choosing the top ten, but only people who work on the Hill — who Kalu calls “The people who do the grunt work” —  were eligible for the list, no representatives, senators, lobbyists or other supporting characters.

The upstart list-makers swear that none of never worked on their pet project during working hours, and they have tried to keep their boss’s names out of all of this. “I’m not sure if my member has caught wind of it,” Kalu said, “but the senior staff in my office have and they’ve been really supportive.” We promised Kalu we wouldn’t say his bosses name, but anybody on the Internet could figure out pretty easily that he works for the only senator who has already constructed a mausoleum inscribed with his accomplishments to date. This whole vanity thing really has legs, huh.

Rep. Martin Heinrich, #1 on <em>The Hill</em>'s 50 Most Beautiful list

Rep. Martin Heinrich, #1 on The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful list

Kalu was adamant that his list was a more democratic version of The Hill’s list. ”We tried to include everyone, no matter race, religion, size, whatever; beauty is in the eye on the beholder, and everyone is fabulous in their own personal way.”

But how can a list that excludes more people than it includes be more democratic?

“We spend about three months on our list,” said Kitto of The Hill’s list. “We talk to a lot of people, we consider a lot of nominations when we’re putting it together.”

If the Fab 50 list didn’t add much to The Hill’s list, as far as democracy is concerned, it still made a sizable splash. Kalu and Andrews ultimately included themselves on the Fab Fifty list (because what’s more fabulous than compiling a list of fabulous people?), but not in the top ten. Their list was announced this weekend at a Bacardi-sponsored party, as advertised on the blog FamousDC.

And with the sponsorship came compromise: The ‘50 Most Fabulous’ became “Bacardi Flavor’s 50 Most Beautiful People on The Hill under 30.” Kalu posted party photos taken by Elite DC magazine on his blog, A Slice of Snob.

The invitation read:

This is a personal invitation to join DC’s tastemakers and socialites on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at Lounge 201. Ego on The HIlls will be hte first event of a 12-part monthly series branded as PARTYONTHEHILLS. The Hills is an eclectic blend of those who work hard and those that party weven harder. Join Kelechi Kalu and famousDC as we celebrate Bacardi Flavor’s “50 Most Beautiful People on the Hill under 30″ … Those in attendance will dress “Hollywood Chic” and “NYC Trendy.”

After all that, the complete list has not even been posted online yet (Kalu sent it to Mediaite in an Excel document).

“We didn’t do this to rival The Hill’s list,” said Kalu. “That wasn’t our goal.”

Conspiracy Alert: Fox News Secretly A Bunch of Flip-Flopping Liberals

Picture 18Here’s today’s summer news slump consipracy story revealed, courtesy Jon Stewart: Fox News is secretly Liberal. How does he know? Some very Liberal tendencies, as previously defined by Fox, have begun to find their way into the cable channel’s coverage: defending protesters, undermining the President (even in wartime). Liberal love to shove values down American’s throats. Open wide, people!

Looks Like Dancing Fool Tom DeLay Is Also A Birther

Picture 17Dancing With the Stars contestant Tom DeLay used his newfound reality show relevance to sidle his way onto Hardball this evening to weigh in on the crazy town halls sweeping the nation. “I think you missed the boat, congressman, the country is turning in your direction,” says Chris Matthews. Chuckle, chuckle. Unfortunate how indictments get in the way of a good political career.

As for DeLay’s upcoming DTWS appearance, the only downside in DeLay’s mind appears to be apparently insultingly “pomp” shoe, which his is required to wear and thoughtfully proffered for Matthews’ inspection. “Are you going to be a little light in that shoe, I think?” Matthews wanted to know. Apparently today is make offensive jokes about gay people day.

Also, turns out DeLay is a birther. He told Matthews he’s still waiting for President Obama to produce his original “gift certificate, I mean birth certificate.” DeLay, the gift that keeps regifting. Full video below.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Callous Washingtonians “Laughing” at Novak’s Death (UPDATED)

novakblurbNBC Washington has a nifty feature on their website that allows readers to respond to stories by voting on how they feel about them, a la Buzzfeed. Users can say a story makes them bored, furious, intrigued, laughing, sad, or thrilled, and the site will tally up their responses. Occasionally, the ratings make for an interesting barometer: apparently, 44% bored of the site’s readers are bored that Demi Lovato’s mom used to be a cheerleader, and 77% are furious about Governor Tim Kaine’s plans to slash Virginia’s budget.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to enable the feature for obituaries. As of this posting, 75% of readers are “laughing,” and 12% are “thrilled,” about Robert Novak’s death. By contrast, recently departed 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt’s death got a “100% sad” rating.

(UPDATE: IT APPEARS NBC WASHINGTON HAS DELETED THE OFFENDING PAGE, AND WITH IT NOVAK’S OBITUARY. THEY’VE ALSO DISABLED RESPONSE VOTING ON HEWITT’S OBITUARY)

Online polls like these should always be taken with a grain of salt: there’s a good chance that a minority of anti-Novak readers jerry-rigged the poll, either by manually voting a lot or by hacking it. And trashing anyone this shortly after their death, even if you disagreed with them in life, is always poor form.

But this goes to show that in D.C., political arguments go beyond the grave, however rudely:

novakdeath

hewitt death

Former Model Kills Internet For The Lonely, Angry, and Anonymous Everywhere

Picture 16Beware anonymous commenters and bloggers, your glory days may be numbered; a former model may have just killed the Internet as we know it. Liskula Cohen did not take too kindly to being called a skank on the anonymously run blog “Skanks in NYC.” Instead of rolling over and concluding that hey(!) slander is just the way of things in this new media world, she took it to the New York Supreme Court and demanded that Google hand over the identity of the person responsible for the site, which had been launched using Google’s Blogger platform. Yesterday Google complied.

Today on Good Morning America Diane Sawyer asked Cohen (video below) why didn’t she just let it go, it’s not like meanness on the Internet is all that unusual. Responded Cohen: Why should anyone let it go? Why indeed. And how come no one’s thought of this before. It’s also important to note that Cohen was responding to having her sexual behavior called into question by the anononymous blogger, something that happens to women on the Internet all the time. So good for Cohen. But what does this mean in the larger picture.

Is this the beginning of the end of anonymity on the web? And what happens if it is? Even major websites heavily depend on the traffic generated by commenters, anonymous commenters. And as anyone who has ever spent any time on sites like the Huffington Post already knows a lot of commenters are nuts. So what happens if everyone starts taking everyone who says something not nice about them on the Internet to court! Well, for one a lot of online entities would have to quit trucking in the sort of headlines and stories that attract the sort of crazy commenters that tend to use words like skank. And would that be such a bad thing really? People get away with a lot of crap on the Internet under the cloak of anonymity. Would you Imagine an internet where everyone had to stand behind their own words. Might that result in higher level of discourse? Dare to dream. Of course, it could also result in a clogged court system. But the seed had certainly been planted. One thing is for sure, we live in a litigious society and it’s just a matter of time before a far higher profile person decides they don’t like what someone is saying about them. So start thinking twice before you post.

Rush Limbaugh: Rep. Barney Frank “Spends Most Of His Time Living Around Uranus”

limbaugh_8-19You know that whole Rep. Barney Frank/angry town hall questioner situation from last night?

Rush Limbaugh, of course, weighed in today. And guess what – he thinks the Obama/Hitler comparisons are just “fantastic” and of course, makes an offensive gay joke about Frank.

“It’s fabulous and fantastic and hilarious that a woman shows up at a Barney Frank town hall meeting with an Obama as Hitler poster and the Nazi stuff in his district,” says Limbaugh, chortling to himself.

Then, in reference to Frank’s line, “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” Limbaugh had this to say:

Isn’t it an established fact that Barney Frank himself spends most of his time living around Uranus?

You get it? Oh what a comedian this guy is. “This is all so much fun to watch, and it’s all so much fun to analyze,” said Limbaugh. The ‘former leader’ of the Republican party, ladies and gentlemen! (via NewsPolitics):

• Also, here’s Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends this morning finding Frank “rude” but seemingly having no problem with the whole ‘Obama/Hitler’ thing.