Happy Wednesday: Conan O’Brien Is Now On Twitter

We’ll probably have more to say about this (ok, we definitely will), but for now, just go and follow: Conan O’Brien is now on Twitter.

Bio: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.” And he just had his first tweet:

First tweet: Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.

(via @BigBley – former Tonight Show staffer and behind-the-scenes blogger Aaron Bleyaert):

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» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter


Scott Brown Once Made $1000 A Day As A Male Model

Apparently, just about everyone is out there uncovering the inconvenient truth that Scott Brown may not be exactly as he seems! This weekend’s New York Times Magazine features a long profile on Brown penned by former Times food critic Frank Bruni that reveals a number of things about Brown that, as Rachel Maddow notes (video below), Martha Coakley probably wished she’d known sometime in early January. Namely, he used to make $1000 a day modeling, he showed up for his first date with his wife in pink leather shorts, and he only bought the infamous pickup truck in order to cart his daughter Arianna back and forth to her equestrian events. But why read the whole article when Rachel Maddow is willing to sum it up for you!

Actually, you should read the article because it’s rather charming, as is Scott Brown. I mean, try and read stuff like this and not be charmed. I think Maddow may be lacking at little bit of her usual sense of ‘wit‘ this time around. Maddow video below.

During college, Brown excelled on the basketball court, majored in history and graduated in four years. “He wasn’t a scholar,” says Michael Quinn, one of his best friends since junior high, adding that Brown was practical in his approach to school. “It was his ticket to a better life.” So was modeling, which helped him sock away money for law school and beyond. An acquaintance with whom he was painting houses­ one summer suggested it as a way to earn a quick buck, and the Cosmo spread gave him momentum. Without his knowledge, he said, his half-sister had sent his picture to the magazine for consideration in the “sexiest man” contest. He said he thought the subsequent call from someone identifying herself as Helen Gurley Brown was a prank — until he received a plane ticket to fly to New York.

“You know what?” she said after briefly meeting him, as he remembered it. “You’re our guy.”

“But you haven’t seen me, like, naked,” he recalled answering, because he’d been told that a nude photo session was part of the deal.

“This is Cosmo,” she said. “Don’t worry about it.” They had him position one hand so that it covered up what a racier magazine wouldn’t. And they gave him $1,000, which he cites as the reason he went ahead with it — that and the doors it opened in New York, where he spent two years as a model, represented by the Wilhelmina agency, while taking classes at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.


Sarah Palin Takes To Facebook (Again) To Explain Health Care Debate


Besides keeping track of the Olympics and chastising Seth MacFarlane, Sarah Palin has found a new subject for her Facebook Notes section: talking about Barack Obama’s health care plan.

In a note sent out several minutes ago, Palin wrote to her almost 1,500,000 fans:

The President’s proposal doesn’t include pro-free market ideas like allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, giving individual buyers the same tax benefits as those who get insurance through their employers, or instituting real medical liability reform. Despite the “kumbaya” rhetoric, Democrats are making plans to ram this bill through the Senate using a partisan procedural maneuver that will bypass the normal bipartisan debate process.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty of Palin’s argument against the President’s Proposal, it’s the medium vs. message issue that we find so interesting in the former governor’s outlet. Sarah Palin has always billed herself as being just a regular salt of the earth American, so a social-networking site (and we mean this unironically) is a natural choice to reach a populous, as opposed to a press conference or an editorial in The New York Times.

At the same time, Palin’s rhetoric has gotten increasingly less folksy and more analytical…she’s actually starting to sound like a politician, or at least someone who isn’t going to slow down and explain to an average Facebook user what issues our current health care reform is facing. It’s interesting: Sarah’s doing her best to maintain her image as an “aw shucks” mom even as she’s begun to speak like someone with a good grasp on our political system.


This Exists: The Chuck Norris-Backed Tea Party Picture Book

It might just be the book to knock that pesky Fox News liberal’s Arguing with Idiots off the best-seller list once and for all. The Tea Party enthusiasts over at World Net Daily are announcing the release of the literary milestone Don’t Tread on Us! Signs of a 21st Century Political Awakening, a photo book chronicling the adventures of the Tea Party movement as it spread across the nation fighting socialism and creating some of the most unintentionally hilarious political posters in American history. The best part? The book comes with a foreword from Chuck Norris, the George Washington of American martial arts films.

From the WND announcement:

“It is with great pride that WND Books introduces ‘Don’t Tread on US!’ It’s complete with 192 full-color pages of pictures devoted to the stirring, inspiring and spot-on signs witnessed at the tea-party rallies erupting around the nation,” said Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily.com. “The spirit of the patriot – so integral and unique to America’s DNA – is alive on the pages of this beautiful book.”

The previews the leaders of this project offer us promise a collection of some amazing grassroots art – posters with an array of messages, from “ACORN crusher: time to bust up these nuts!” to “1984 is not an instruction manual!” And every great American Tea Party philosophy in between. Here is an inspiring, though sadly Norris-less, patriotic montage of what to expect from Don’t Tread on Us:




Did Fox & Friends Guest Blame Obama For Rise In Domestic Violence?

Earlier this week, Senator Harry Reid suggested that unemployment leads men to domestic violence during a Senate debate over the job creation package. This morning, Fox & Friends aired Reid’s comment, then had on two guests to discuss whether his statement was harmful or truthful. Radio Talk Show host James Harris delivered exactly what producers were hoping for – a strong opinion that appeared to blame Obama for the rise in domestic violence.


Shep Smith Reports On Killing Of Female Trainer By Shamu

This is not a nice story. Fox News is reporting that a trainer at Sea World in Florida was pulled into a tank by Shamu (a killer whale) and killed. Shep Smith reported the breaking story during his Studio B hour – dare I say as only Shep can — and interviewed a man whose family was one of many to witness the accident.

Apparently, the trainer for Shamu, or whatever they call Shamu now, got yanked into Shamu’s tank and killed. And sadly there was a whole group of people there watching, including women and children…And whales, I don’t know a lot about temperament of whales, the whale was upset about something, I don’t guess they were clear about what it was.

Video below.





Time Out New York Pits Brooklyn Against Manhattan. Wut, Wut!!

Lately, angry Manhattanites have sent a barrage of letters to Time Out New York, bemoaning a prolific focus on Brooklyn in a magazine clearly about New York:

“The best restaurants are in Brooklyn, the best drinks are in Brooklyn, the sun is in Brooklyn, the moon is in Brooklyn…Either create a separate damned Brooklyn magazine already or keep annoying the crap out of your longtime readers.”

That is an actual quote.

Rather than get their panties in a wad, TONY decided to address the issue head-on with with a series of 11 articles aptly titled Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. There’s a quiz, an editor debate, a hypothetical tome on what would happen if every bridge was destroyed, highlights from each hood, statistics and even a slide-show that lets you judge where people are from based on the way they look. Judgers unite.

As most of TONY’s work, the feature is sometimes incredibly obvious and sometimes also incredibly comprehensive, filled with a slew of interesting facts that did, actually, sway my decision on where I should live (did you know BK has almost twice the number of street trees than Manhattan?)

The apex is, by far, the editor debate between Billie Cohen (a recent West Village-BK transplant) and Kate Lowenstein (East Village). Unfortunately, Lowenstein flubbers, fizzles and ultimately fails. Other than her horrifying facts on commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan, her defense of the central borough was reactionary and empty. Even she admitted it:

there’s nothing edgy or interesting about being a supporter, especially now that it’s been overrun by rich people and chain stores. Lately, though, as my Brooklynite friends have started chiding me for “still” living across the river, I’ve felt moved to stick up for my mainstream home. I was born and raised in midtown; I love living in the East Village now. I’m going to come right out and say it: Manhattan is better than Brooklyn.

Where’s the meat?!

Cohen, meanwhile, spouted off facts on community, happiness, price, trees and the cultural innovation that ultimately fuels and fills Manhattan’s art scene. But it is the end of her thesis that encompasses the whole of this series. “The best thing about Brooklyn,” she writes, “is that it’s next to Manhattan.”

She goes on to peg Manhattan elitism as the root of Brooklyn’s rage, but her first point holds the lesson of TONY’s article: one borough cannot exist without the other. Brooklyn needs Manhattan, and Manhattan needs Brooklyn, like clownfish need sea anemone. Or something like that.

Overall, it’s an interesting piece and one that, I’m afraid, may not be over. Check out this comment from “George:”

The debate being exclusively over Brooklyn & Manhattan is almost as elitist as saying Manhattan is better than Brooklyn simply because it is Manhattan! This thread runs through everything TONY does. What about Queens?