Is There A John Edwards And Rielle Hunter Sex Tape?

This is probably not what Time had in mind: Gawker is reporting that John Edwards and Rielle Hunter made a sex tape that was found by Andrew Young, one-time Edwards aide and author of The Politician, a new book whose released pushed Edwards to admit his paternity of Hunter’s daughter. But couldn’t this just be another publicity push for Young’s book? Sourced only by anonymous parties leaking info to Gawker, it all seems like too perfect of a storm. Young’s book comes out February 2nd.

Via the Gawker report:

Sources have told us that, in the throes of their affair, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter made a sex tape that contains “several sex acts.” And that his aide, Andrew Young found it on an unmarked DVD.

The tape, say both our sources, is explicit and reveals that Edwards “is physically very striking, in a certain area. Everyone who sees it says ‘whoa’. She’s behind the camera at first.”

Typical sex tape rumor fare — just ask Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and every other celebrity ever.

According to this version of the story, Young’s “disillusionment with the 2004 vice presidential candidate and 2008 candidate came one day as he went through a stack of DVDs at Rielle Hunter’s house.” The former aide has a 20/20 appearance scheduled to air Friday, but something tells us John Edwards’ private parts will only come up in vague ways.

Gawker is, of course, asking for a copy of the tape, and will likely shell out some big briefcases of cash to get their hands on it. Thank god Gawker exists to get to the bottom of something like this, but in the meantime, let’s all enjoy the frenzy of speculation and finish our copies of Game Change.

Jersey Shore PORN Parody Coming Soon!

See what I did there?

Hot off the Youtubes comes the trailer for “Jersey Shore XXX,” a porn spoof of MTV’s already-self-parodying “Jersey Shore,” and featuring the adventures of characters like “The Predicament.”

I’m too tired to dish out double entendres about stiff competition or how the shoot was hard on the cast, but I do have one observation to make after you watch the nudity-free, but profanity-laced, trailer:

For better or worse, last year’s hot porn topic was politics, in the form of “Nailin’ Paylin.” The film’s star even made it into an Eminem video.

The film didn’t just feature a Sarah Palin lookalike, but a whole cast of DC doppelgangers as well. While not strictly the cinematic equivalent of a position paper, “Nailn’ Paylin” at least showed that the political fever that gripped the nation in 2008 had penetrated every layer of our culture.

“Jersey Shore XXX” could be a bad sign, then, that interest in politics is waning in favor of more pop-y trainwrecks. When you lose the perverts, can the Heartland be far behind?

The Only Person More Popular Than Glenn Beck Is Oprah

Hang on to your chalkboards folks. According to the latest Harris poll, Glenn Beck is the second most popular television personality in America….second only to Oprah Winfrey. This marks Beck’s debut on the list, a list on which Bill O’Reilly has never reached higher than third spot. This year Beck beat out Jay Leno (the poll was conducted pre the Team Coco wars), Ellen DeGeneres, Hugh Laurie, Jon Stewart, Charlie Sheen, Mark Harmon, David Letterman, and Bill O’Reilly. In that order.

There are a couple of things worth noting here I think. Number one, this is an enormously mainstream list, meaning Beck has managed to launch himself out of the political fringe and into the mainstream consciousness. I speculated back in November that between his focus on books, and his 9/12 movement, and his re-founding Beck was positioning himself as the next Oprah, and it looks like the country may agree! Further proof: according to the breakdown “Glenn Beck is the favorite for both Republicans and for Conservatives, but, interestingly, also for Independents. Oprah Winfrey is number one for Democrats and Moderates, while Jon Stewart is the favorite for Liberals.”

Also for Independents. That’s the kicker. I’m not sure whether this is a measure of how politicized the country has become over the past year, or merely of Beck’s appeal…I would imagine a combination of the two. It should also be noted that, unlike past polls Beck has ‘ranked’ well on despite receiving a small number of votes, this poll does give percentage breakdowns. Meaning that we don’t know whether 98% of the population likes Oprah and the remaining two percent is split on the other nine. Regardless, Beck is still beating out everyone else making one thing very certain: he is a side show no more, by any stretch.

Confidential Magazine Was Gossip’s Proto-Page Six, Gawker And TMZ

In the mid-1950s Confidential was ruining the marriage of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball — at least in the eyes of the American people. “‘I knew Desi was inviting me for more than a drink,’ said the babe,” according to the damning story. Thing is, the “babe” was a prostitute, paid by Confidential, one of the nation’s first gossip magazines and the subject of the new book Shocking True Story, reviewed today in the New York Times.

But it was especially telling when Gawker overlord Nick Denton tweeted last week, “Decades before Gawker and TMZ, there was Confidential, the original gossip rag,” before linking to an excerpt of the book, published, appropriately, on Gawker.

The aforementioned Lucy anecdote, from a story entitled “Does Desi Really Love Lucy?”, is just one of a handful of salacious early gossip bits pulled from the mag’s past and Shocking True Story for Janet Maslin’s Times article today. The rest include nuggets about the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe and Adlai Stevenson. Or, yesteryear’s Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and John Edwards.

In short, Confidential beget not only today’s gossip pages and glossy celeb weeklies, but a large swath of the most popular pages on the internet, from Gawker to TMZ and Perez Hilton. It’s a connection that is interestingly left out of Maslin’s write-up about the book detailing Confidential’s existence, but for pop culture news consumers the parallels are clear. Denton’s site in particular has been especially savvy at bringing the ruthless, pot-stirring irreverence of Confidential-era reporting, paying for sex tapes and scoops on Balloon Boy alike.

Ostensibly, today’s Maslin piece is a book review, but along with Shocking True Story, it doubles as an excavation of a magazine long since forgotten by many, but knowingly or not, used as a bible by a handful of influencers.

The New Yorker Arrives Too Late To The ‘Tea Party’

A couple of weeks ago (the equivalent of a lifetime in this month’s news cycle) I noted that “defending and/or warning against the prevalence the Tea Partiers” looked to be the media’s newest “parlor game.” To that end The New Yorker has jumped in to the Tea Party fray with a longish piece by Ben McGrath, which explores “the social movement that helped take Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat away from the Democrats, and may have derailed the President’s chief domestic initiative, occurred last fall.”

The article, a standard New Yorker treatment as these profiles go, goes to some length to explain the movement, describe the players: Rick Santelli is cast as the “Paul Revere figure of this Second American Revolution,” Dick Armey and Glenn Beck are also name-checked a number of times, as are any number of “Party” participants from across the nation. All in all a fair-ish take on a movement that has been dominating media coverage for some months now. But too little, too late?

What the piece does not address (and I imagine this has mostly to do with print deadlines) is Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on how much corporations can spend on elections. One of the most striking fall outs from this decision (which was roundly critisized on both the left and the right ) is that it ostensibly removes the influence of everyday voters. Said Rachel Maddow the other day: “What’s the point in individual people trying to influence politics with their donations if Exxon or some other company can quite literally match and therefore cancel out the combined donations of every single individual donor in the nation whenever it wants?” Said leading Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg: “the political party as we know it is threatened with extinction.”

Know who else is probably “threatened with extinction”? The Tea Partiers. That is unless some corporation decides to take up the Tea Party mantel. Something which thus far has appeared to backfire. (The Founders weren’t too hot on corporations either, by the way) By the midterms we may be more concerned about the “Goldman Sach” effect than that of what’ left of the Tea Partiers.

[Pic above is via The New Yorker]

Related (sort of): What a corporate sponsored Senate might look like courtesy of the people at Funny or Die:

Geekosystem Launches, Making The Internet Fitter… Happier

With the introduction of new geek culture website Geekosystem, the newest site launched by Mediaite founder Dan Abrams, the Internet just became both geekier and cooler at the same time. Edited by long-time Mediaite contributor Robert Quigley, Geekosystem aims to celebrate and cover everything from technology and science fiction to video games and comics. The site launched with a Power Grid ranking of 30 Greatest Living Web Geeks, a post on the steady sales of Tiger Woods’ video games, and a smart piece on fighting email spam with…spam-like botnets.

As we said last week, Geekosystem will delve into geek culture with reports and analysis on the myriad aspects of geekdom: from gadgets and video games to comic books and science fiction. The site will merge the content aggregation of popular web culture destinations with the editorial voice of the post-Web 2.0 generation of geek luminaries.

Editor Robert Quigley introduces the site and describes its mission:

As of this morning, Geekosystem is live. The servers are serving, the URLs are uniformly locating their resources, the arcology is under its neat little dome and stocked with birds, fish, and fresh water, and there are a bunch of well-oiled, steampunky gears and clocks spinning around and doing something cool. But what does this machine do?

Our goal is nothing less than to unite all of the tribes of geekdom under one common banner. The truth of the matter is, there’s a lot of overlap between the different families of geekery. The geeks who are into gadgets and computers are often the same as the geeks who are into comics and sci-fi are often the same as the geeks who are fueling the culture of the Web, one forum or imageboard at a time. As the site’s name suggests, Geekosystem recognizes and celebrates these interconnections and the often-overlooked personalities who hold it all together. Live together, die alone!

If you’re like us, you probably already have a go-to gadget site. You might get your social news fix at a Reddit or a Digg or a Hacker News. You certainly know where you can find lulz-inducing videos and pictures and flowcharts. Geekosystem is not here to disrupt your diet of information, though we think you will find us a worthy and nutritious supplement.

In addition to our spiffy weekly Power Grid, which you can read more about via this FAQ, Geekosystem seeks to give you a unique kind of home and refuge. But we’ll need your help. Above all, we want this to be a discussion and not a talking-down-to, and we want you to talk back, share your expertise, call us out when you think we are being dumb. We will be in the trenches of the comment sections with you. This is the stuff we love and obsess about, and we hope you will come along for the journey.

The Skynet’s the limit.

The Skynet’s the limit indeed. As TechCrunch points out “The site is already getting a vote of confidence from one of the biggest players in the tech space, Microsoft. The tech giant is going to be the exclusive advertiser (for Bing) on Geekosystem for a full two weeks”.

Mediaite wishes only best of luck to our newest member of our growing family. Now go and check out the site.