1/24/2023: Another “Fyre” Fiasco?
PLUS: Biden Slings Mud; Time’s Up Times Out; and “Keeping Up With the Sussexes?”
Today is Tuesday January 24, 2023.
It is the 24th day of the year.
341 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
ELON MUSK takes the stand in court and BILLY MCFARLAND appears to be onto his next grift. More in HIT LIST.
President JOE BIDEN’s Twitter weasels make some audacious claims while VP KAMALA HARRIS flubs the Declaration of Independence. More in THE SWAMP.
TIM ALLEN denies flashing PAMELA ANDERSON and an activist group wants one of ARETHA FRANKLIN’s hit songs banned. More in SHOWBIZ.
The colorful M&M’s spokescandies are being replaced by MAYA RUDOLPH and actress ZOE SALDANA hits a big movie milestone. More in CASTING CALL.
Is KHLOE KARDASHIAN giving her relationship with TRISTAN THOMPSON another shot? More in KARDASHOPUS.
BILLY MCFARLAND is out of prison and on the prowl for his next venture, NBC News reports.
WORTH REMEMBERING: McFarland rose to infamy after the Fyre Festival catastrophe in 2017, when he fraudulently oversold an island music festival experience that turned out to be a total sham; he was sentenced to six years on various fraud convictions.
Now, he has a new venture, called “PYRT” – sounds like “pirate.” The project is sparse on details, but promises some kind of virtual reality experience where participants control what’s happening on the island – whatever that means.
WORTH NOTING: McFarland is technically a fugitive from the Bahamian government, so he’ll have that to plan around, too.
ALSO WORTH NOTING: As part of his sentence, McFarland owes more than $25 million in restitution. [via NBC News]
ELON MUSK said in court testimony Monday that he “unequivocally wanted to take Tesla private,” as a jury weighs whether he intentionally misled investors in 2018 when he tweeted about plans to do exactly that.
While taking the electric car company private never happened.
BUT WAIT: Musk does say he was actively engaged with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to fund the buyout, but that papers were never signed to close a deal.
Layoffs have hit streaming giant SPOTIFY, which announced Monday it is laying off around 600 staff around the globe. However, the company is offering five months severance and maintaining health benefits during the severance period as well. [via The Verge]
Nearly the entire nation of Pakistan endured a power outage Monday, which officials have blamed on a “voltage surge.”
Sudden loss of power is a daily concern for people there, but not usually on such a widespread scale. These outages also kill running water, which can’t flow without pumps operating. [via Reuters]
The soaring cost of eggs has led to an increase in egg seizures at the southern border, as people try smuggling in cheaper offerings from Mexico.
The San Diego Customs and Border Protection Office tweeted last week a reminder that failing to declare certain agriculture items carry penalties up to $10,000 in fines.
WORTH NOTING: One of the biggest reasons for the increased cost of eggs is a brutal bird flu season – and regulating the import of eggs from other countries is meant to prevent the spread of such diseases.
MEANWHILE: The California Strawberry Commission reports that strawberry growers could face $200 million in losses following the torrential flooding season.
However, the Commission is optimistic that things will dry out well enough for the spring and summer harvest seasons.
Top 5 Songs on iTunes:
Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
Sam Smith & Kim Petras, “Unholy”
HARDY & Lainey Wilson, “wait in the truck”
Plain White T’s, “Hey There Delilah”
Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero”
Top 5 Songs on Spotify:
Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
SZA, “Kill Bill”
Metro Boomin, The Weeknd & 21 Savage, “Creepin’”
Metro Boomin, Future, Chris Brown, “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)”
Drake & 21 Savage, “Rich Flex”
YOSHIO YODA, known best for his role as Fuji Kobiaji on “McHale’s Navy,” has died.
He passed away on January 13 in Fullerton, California, according to an online obituary. No other details were shared.
Yoda appeared on all 138 episodes of the ABC comedy.
He was 88.
Model JEREMY RUEHLEMANN has died.
He passed away over the weekend, according to a post from his friend, designer CHRISTIAN SIRIANO. No cause of death was shared.
He was only 27.
As House Republicans and President JOE BIDEN square off over a deal to increase the debt ceiling, the White House is starting to sling some mud – in the strangest of ways.
In a tweet, the official account for Biden complains, “House Republicans have proposed a 23% national sales tax on American families, increasing the prices of everything from groceries and gas to food and medicine.”
WORTH NOTING: Biden – or whatever intern dork writes for his social media accounts – leaves out that this consumption tax would entirely replace all the other income taxes people pay and loopholes enjoyed by the very wealthy who can afford tax lawyers and accounting teams.
WORTH REMEMBERING: Biden campaigned on being a unifier who brings people together. Is lying about and misrepresenting your political opponents’ views the work of someone committed to unity?
A well-read fourth grader should be able to tell you that the Declaration of Independence promised a country that protects the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Someone should tell Vice President KAMALA HARRIS.
At a speech Sunday, Harris said that “America is a promise…It is a promise of freedom and liberty. A promise we made in the Declaration of Independence, that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
WORTH NOTING: Maybe she left out the “life” part because she was giving a speech about abortion access… on the 50th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW added 254 points (0.76%) on Monday to close at 33,629. The S&P added 47 points (1.19%) to close at 4,019 and the NASDAQ added 223 points (2.01%) to close at 11,364.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $81; BRENT CRUDE at $88.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.42 on Monday.
₿ BITCOIN ticked up Monday, adding around $200 and trading just over $22,900.
🛩 There were more than 3,540 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Monday and more than 360 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $31 million jackpot or a $16.5 million cash payout.
TIM ALLEN says he never flashed PAMELA ANDERSON.
He issued the denial in response to the claim made by Anderson in her new memoir, “Love, Pamela.”
Per the excerpt, Anderson says Allen “opened his robe and flashed me quickly” outside of her dressing room on the set of “Home Improvement.” He then said “it was only fair because he had seen me naked” -- likely referring to her appearance in Playboy.
As previously reported, Anderson starred as “Tool Time Girl” Lisa opposite Allen in the sitcom from 1991 to 1997.
“Love, Pamela” hits shelves on January 31. Also on that day, a Netflix documentary, titled “Pamela, a love story,” is set to air. [via USA Today]
A fan fell from a second-story balcony at DRAKE’s recent show at the Apollo in Harlem.
The rapper was told about the fall by some crew members, at which point he stopped the show to make sure everyone was okay.
The 26-year-old man, who is believed to have been intoxicated, was reportedly uncooperative with officials before being taken to a local hospital. Neither he, nor any concert goers he may have landed on, suffered any major injuries.
The show was paused for about 15 minutes after the incident because the guy had damaged some lighting on his way down. [via TMZ]
The Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance is calling on Apple Music and Spotify to remove ARETHA FRANKLIN’s hit song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” because they say it is offensive.
The song “perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes. There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ woman,” the organization tweeted. They also blamed the song for inspiring “acts of harm against transgender women.”
Many on Twitter thought the statement was a joke, but the organization doubled down, saying they are not joking around. [via NY Post]
Actress-singer RITA ORA says the rumors that she and her husband, director TAIKA WAITITI were in a “throuple” with actress TESSA THOMPSON are “ridiculous.”
Speaking to British GQ, Ora said that she had avoided speaking on the headlines hoping they would go away, but since that is not what happened she is providing insight now.
Many may recall that the rumors began in May 2021 after photos surfaced of the three friends snuggling up together. At the time, Waititi said the pics were “no big deal,” while Ora chose not to address it.
Despite all the drama, Ora did note that one positive came out of it; her LGBTQIA+ fans applauded her for normalizing same-sex PDA. [via British GQ]
“White Lotus” fans were thrilled to find out that JENNIFER COOLIDGE has joined TikTok.
The actress made her debut on the video-sharing app by reading a “poem,” alongside her “Shotgun Wedding” co-star JENNIFER LOPEZ.
Check it out:
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JEFF BEZOS is not selling the Washington Post to buy the NFL team, the Washington Commanders, despite multiple reports saying he was.
On Monday, a source close to Bezos confirmed the reports were untrue, telling People Magazine that while Bezos has long been interested in buying a team -- because football is his favorite sport -- he is not going to sell the publication to do so. [via People]
Time’s Up, the organization created during the early days of the #MeToo movement in 2018, is halting operations and passing along what’s left of its resources to its legal defense fund.
Remaining board members, including actress ASHLEY JUDD, said the decision was “not easy,” but was “unanimous.”
Financial exec for Time’s Up, Gabrielle Sulzberger, told the Associated Press that there are $1.7 million in funds that will go to the legal fund. [via Associated Press]
WORTH REMEMBERING: The organization was created during the height of sexual abuse allegations against movie mogul HARVEY WEINSTEIN. Judd was one of the biggest advocates behind the cause.
ALSO: It took over the Golden Globes that year, with many celebs donning black attire and “Time’s Up” pins. Over $24 million was raised in the days that followed -- most of which went into the legal defense fund, according to Sulzberger.
MAYA RUDOLPH will appear in an M&M’s commercial, set to air during the Super Bowl.
According to a statement from the candy company, the comedic actress will replace the beloved “spokescandies,” acting as the brand’s “Chief of Fun.” [via People]
WORTH REMEMBERING: Earlier this month, M&M’s debuted “all-female” packaging to celebrate female empowerment and appear more progressive.
WORTH ASKING: Did that backfire and now the company is trying an alternative route to still appear “woke”?
WORTH NOTING: It’s candy.
Actress ZOE SALDANA, 44, is the first actor to appear in four movies that have earned more than $2 billion each.
The four flicks include, current box office hit “Avatar: The Way of Water,” 2009’s “Avatar,” 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.”
Saldana plays Neytiri in the “Avatar” films, and Gamora in “Avengers” -- both of which have more movies on the way. [via People]
The first project from BEN AFFLECK and MATT DAMON’s Artists Equity production company is set to debut this spring.
“Air,” which details the birth of the Air Jordan brand and partnership between Nike and Michael Jordan, will hit theaters on April 5.
The film stars Damon as Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro, Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, JASON BATEMAN as Rob Strasser, CHRIS MESSINA as David Falk, MATTHEW MAHER as Peter Moore, MARLON WAYANS as George Raveling, CHRIS TUCKER as Howard White, VIOLA DAVIS as Deloris Jordan and JULIUS TANNON as James Jordan.
Following its theatrical debut, “Air” will land on Prime Video.
WORTH NOTING: If someone playing the basketball icon himself is part of the movie, he’s not yet listed on IMDB.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
Rumors have been swirling the past week that KHLOE KARDASHIAN has decided to give her relationship with TRISTAN THOMPSON another shot after the death of his mom, ANDREA THOMPSON.
A source told Hollywood Life last week that “is not going to happen.”
“Khloe knows her friends and some family members think that she will reconcile with Tristan again and give it another try, but there is no truth to this,” the insider explained. [via Hollywood Life]
Khloe ended the relationship in 2021 after Tristan got caught cheating on her for the third time. Despite the split, the two have been able to form a healthy co-parenting relationship for their two kids.
KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN and TRAVIS BARKER are being slammed online over what many are calling “messy and entitled” behavior they exhibited during a recent night out.
The couple were spotted walking around the Beyond the Streets Beastie Boys art exhibit with their wine glasses in hand. Critics felt it was very “entitled” of them to assume they could leave the establishment with wine in hand.
One user wrote, “the rules don’t apply to rich people,” while another added that while drinking outside may have been allowed, drinking the beverage “in a glass” was surely not. [via The Sun]
IN OTHER KRAVIS NEWS: Travis recently showed off his new ink…a massive tattoo of Kourtney’s eyes on his thigh. He has other tattoos in honor of his wife, including her name and “I love you” written in her handwriting. [via Page Six]
SPEAKING OF TATTOOS: Comedian PETE DAVIDSON has reportedly removed or covered up all of the ink he got in honor of his former girlfriend KIM KARDASHIAN. The tattoos included, one that read “My girl is a lawyer,” one that featured Disney characters Jasmine and Aladdin, an ode to their first kiss on “SNL,” and the initials of Kim and her four kids “KNSCP.” Davidson also had “KIM” branded on his chest, which appears to have been covered up by a dog tattoo.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s next Netflix project may already be in the works.
A source from the streamer told The Sun that executives “raised eyebrows” at the personal tidbits shared in Harry’s book “Spare” that were not mentioned in their recent docuseries. They are now looking into pushing a reality series featuring the couple and their two kids, the insider explained.
No word on whether Harry and Meg would be onboard opening up their lives and the doors of their Montecito mansion to the public. [via The Sun]
WORTH REMEMBERING: The Sussexes’ docuseries, “Harry & Meghan,” was a hit for Netflix, drawing in more than 81.5 million hours worldwide in its first four days.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Lobster Thermidor Day
Macintosh Computer Day
National Just Do It Day
National Peanut Butter Day
Global Belly Laugh Day
National Beer Can Appreciation Day
National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day
ON THIS DATE
1781 – Brigadier General Francis Marion rallies a militia force to raid Georgetown, South Carolina.
The crew took three officers captive, and later used their uniforms to infiltrate a British camp.
Marion's story helped to inspire “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson.
1908 – Lord Robert Baden-Powell publishes "Scouting for Boys" in England.
The book created buzz around Britain and informal troupes of interested young gents popped up around the country.
By the end of the year there were 60,000 scouts. Some girls were interested, and Baden-Powell formed the Girl Guides to be a separate organization.
The program crossed the pond to the U.S. in 1910.
1935 – The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivers 2,000 sealed cans of beer to a test group of loyal drinkers in Richmond, Virginia.
91 percent liked the taste and convenience – and the canned beer was born.
The cans were a product of the American Can Company. The drinks were pressurized, and the tin was chemically coated so the carbonated beer would not react with it.
1972 – Farmers living on Guam discover a Japanese man who had been surviving off the land for 28 years.
Shiochi Yokoi was a Japanese sergeant. When Americans invaded, he went into hiding rather than surrender. In the meantime, he wasn't aware the war had ended, and was waiting for the Japanese to return.
Obviously, he was misinformed.
When he got married back in Japan, he chose a tropical place for his honeymoon: back to Guam.
1984 - Apple Computer Inc unveils its revolutionary Macintosh personal computer.
It sold for around $2,500. It had 128 kilobytes of RAM and a 9 inch display with 512x342 resolution, weighing in at more than 16 pounds.
Computers today have – literally – millions of times the computing power and memory.
2006 – Pixar is sold to Walt Disney.
Pixar is the production company behind movies like “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles.” Disney had always been their distributor.
The deal went through for more than $7 billion.
2010 – Olympian Nancy Kerrigan’s father dies under bizarre circumstances.
It was initially alleged that Kerrigan’s brother Mark choked their father in a drunken rage, triggering heart failure.
The family unilaterally argued that their father died of a heart attack and sought to keep Mark out of trouble.
After the trial, Mark Kerrigan was found not guilty of manslaughter but was on the hook for assault and battery. His sentence was two and a half years.
He was released from jail after 13 months.
2018 - Former US Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, who was found guilty of molesting and abusing over 150 girls, is sentenced to 40 to 175 years in a Michigan state prison.
That is in addition to the 60 years he received on federal child pornography charges from the previous year.
Henry Ruggs - football star - 24
James Kennedy - music producer & reality star, “Vanderpump Rules” - 31
Tyler Hagen - rock singer - 31
Rege-Jean Page - actor, “Bridgerton” - 35
Luis Suarez - soccer player - 36
Mischa Barton - actress, “The O.C.” - 37
Justin Baldoni - actor, “Jane the Virgin” & “Single Ladies” - 39
Frankie Grande - YouTuber & brother of Ariana - 40
Daveed Diggs - rapper - 41
Tatyana Ali - actress, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” - 44
Ed Helms - actor, “The Hangover” & “The Office” - 49
Kenya Moore - reality star, “Real Housewives” - 52
Matthew Lillard - actor, “Scooby-Doo” & “Without a Paddle” - 53
Neil Diamond - rock singer - 82
Born On This Date
Sharon Tate - actress, “Valley of the Dolls” & Manson victim - 1943 (d. 1969)
Maria Tallchief - prima ballerina, “The Nutcracker” - 1925 (d. 2013)
Edith Wharton - novelist, “House of Mirth” - 1862 (d. 1937)
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