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4/20/2022: Johnny Depp Takes the Stand
PLUS: Libs of TikTok, Taylor Swift Millipede and Prince Harry Suggests Mediation
Today is Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
It is the 110th day of the year.
255 days remain.
#Masks was trending as Twitter users whined about the removal of masks while traveling. One user tweeted how unfair it is that passengers were able to remove their masks mid-flight, as it is “so unfair” to those who boarded the plane with “different expectations.”
#DarkMAGA was circulating on Twitter Tuesday. It’s a term created by stalwart Trump supporters who want him to take a warpath of revenge if he’s re-elected in 2024.
Johnny Depp was trending after taking the stand in his libel lawsuit. More in Court Cases.
Twitter users discussed the hypocrisy surrounding journalist Taylor Lorenz for calling out the user behind Twitter account Libs of TikTok. More in The Swamp.
You heard it here first: Expect everyone to quickly become an expert in “hostile tender offers,” as Elon Musk strategizes to take over Twitter.
While Musk is worth $270 billion, most of that is tied up in stock that he can’t just sell off without causing problems for his other companies. But he is liquid enough to put up $15 billion cash through a variety of maneuvers that rich people do, where they turn money into more money.
That leaves another $30 billion or so that would need to be raised. The New York Post reports that Musk is working with investment firm Morgan Stanley to raise $10 billion in cash, and looking to other zillionaires to put in another $20 billion.
This coalition of financiers would mean Musk wouldn’t own all the Twitter stock, but would once again be the single largest investor and have control of the company. In total, he would take this offer straight to Twitter shareholders, in what is called a hostile tender offer, which goes around a company’s management and instead appeals directly to shareholders.
The move makes a cryptic tweet he sent over the weekend make more sense, when he wrote the words “Love Me Tender” between music note emojis. Sources tell the Post this whole operation would start moving in the next two weeks.
MEANWHILE: Multiple private equity firms are angling to make competing offers to Twitter to acquire the social media company.
Far-left rioters in Sweden have set fire to at least four police cars in recent days – but it has nothing to do with covid.
Among the carnage, at least four officers and a private individual were also injured. The rioters say they’re just counterprotestors to a planned demonstration organized by free speech advocates, which Reuters characterizes as a “right-wing extremist demonstration.”
IN OTHER WORDS: An Antifa-like group threw rocks at cops and started their cars on fire because they’re so threatened by people gathering and demonstrating in favor of free speech.
At least 3,000 people have reported stomach illnesses after eating Lucky Charms cereal in recent weeks through the website iwaspoisoned.com, where individuals can freely report such sickness.
But General Mills, which produces the cereal, says they haven’t found any source of contamination. So far, the FDA hasn’t ordered a recall, either.
Burger King has apologized for a blasphemous ad campaign that ran in Spain during Holy Week.
BK was looking to promote its meatless hamburger offerings while Catholics abstained from red meat.
In a copy mocking the words of Jesus Christ during the Last Supper, the ad said, “Take all of you and eat of it. Which doesn’t have meat. 100% vegetarian. 100% flavor. Big King Vegetable.”
In a statement, reps for BK said, “Our intention has never been to offend anyone and the immediate withdrawal of the campaign has already been requested.”
WORTH NOTING: Christians have not declared a holy war of violence in response to this mockery of their faith.
The Dow closed up nearly 500 points, bolstered in part by airline stocks and general optimism for the future as the travel mask mandate was struck down on Monday.
Amid the gains, Netflix took an enormous hit during after hours trading on Tuesday, losing as much as a quarter of its value, as it reported not just missing subscriber growth targets, but actually losing 200,000 paying customers.
IT GETS WORSE: The company said Tuesday it expects to lose 2 million subscribers in Q2.
Top 5 Fiction & Nonfiction Books Currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List:
"It Ends With Us," Colleen Hoover
“Where The Crawdads Sing,” Delia Owens
“Sea of Tranquility,” Emily St. John Mandel
“Verity,” Colleen Hoover
“Run, Rose, Run,” James Patterson
“Bittersweet,” Susan Cain
“Recessional,” David Mamet
“The Body Keeps The Score,” Bessel van der Kolk
“Nowhere For Very Long,” Brianna Madia
“Between Two Kingdoms,” Suleika Jaouad
RODERICK “Pooh” CLARK has died.
The singer, who was an original member of the ‘90s R&B boy band Hi-Five, passed away Sunday. A cause of death was not shared.
He was 49.
CHRISTOPHER COOVER has died.
The longtime “Antiques Roadshow” appraiser passed away April 3 at a hospital in New Jersey. His cause of death was pneumonia complicated by Parkinson’s disease, according to his son.
He was 72.
EWAN MCGREGOR, 51, is set to tie the knot with his “Fargo” co-star MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD, 37, this week.
According to Page Six, the pair are set to get married in Los Angeles on Friday.
They have been dating since meeting on the FX TV series in 2016.
The Hill reports that President JOE BIDEN told his former boss BARACK OBAMA he’s running again in 2024, because he’s still the only democrat who stands a chance at defeating potential challenger DONALD TRUMP.
Two sources corroborated the story, but no details on when Biden broke the news.
The development comes amid news that Biden shook hands with an invisible person, was being handled by the Easter Bunny over the weekend, and faces average approval numbers in the 30s.
Libs of TikTok is a popular Twitter account that does little more than re-post TikTok videos of lefty extremists espousing their views. Lately, the account has amplified videos of teachers doubling down on their efforts to groom school kids and encourage them to come out as gay or trans.
WORTH NOTING: The account reposts existing videos, sometimes with commentary. It’s not creating parodies or creating its own content.
So now the Washington Post is getting to the bottom of this account. It mobilized a reporter to track down the account’s manager, and reportedly went to the homes of the account manager’s family members. In an article published Tuesday, the Post reporter details the Libs of TikTok owner’s name, profession, and even linked to some personal contact information that was later removed.
That video isn’t the owner of the account describing what’s happened to her.
It’s TAYLOR LORENZ, the 30-something journalist who wrote the story. In the video, which was part of an interview just a few weeks ago, she’s complaining about the power and effect of what happens when the internet comes after you, apparently without any self-awareness of the dripping hypocrisy.
But she went after someone whose political beliefs oppose those of the owner of the Washington Post – billionaire JEFF BEZOS.
Here’s President JOE BIDEN telling a crowd how proud he is to have been listed as one of the poorest members of Congress for years:
WORTH NOTING: When he left the vice presidency in 2017, Biden bought a house on the ocean in Rehoboth Beach in Delaware for $2.74 million.
ALSO WORTH NOTING: This is in addition to the 6,850 square foot main home worth nearly $1 million.
WORTH ASKING: How does the brokest member of congress, who at best earned low-six figures, afford these?
No winner for Monday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $370 million jackpot or a $222.8 million cash payout.
A millipede found in the Appalachian Mountains has been named after TAYLOR SWIFT.
Nannaria swiftae is one of 17 new species of millipede discovered in the region.
It was named after the singer by Virginia Tech entomologist Derek Hennen who told the New York Post that Swift’s music helped him get through the “highs and lows of graduate school,” so naming the insect in her honor is his way of “saying thanks.”
Swift has not responded to the…honor.
SPEAKING OF TAYLOR: There was much speculation Tuesday that a possible collaboration was happening between DRAKE and T-Swift, but insiders say “it ain't so.”
After Drake shared a photo of the two on social media, fans assumed the two must be working on some new music together, but sources told TMZ the post was just a throwback, with no hidden meaning attached.
Officers were busy during the first weekend of Coachella.
A total of 112 arrests were made over the weekend — up 13% from the 99 arrests made during Weekend 1 in 2019.
Citations were also up, with the Indio Police Department issuing 72 of them — a 41% increase compared to what they handed out in 2019.
To break it down even further, the IPD reports that for arrests, there were 85 for drug/alcohol/intoxication, 15 for fake IDs, 3 cases of people possessing drugs and 9 regarding property crime.
For citations, 54 were written for people using fake handicap cards and 18 for those parked in handicap spots.
Producers for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have launched a new line of canned cocktails and mocktails, called House of Love.
The drinks come in four alcoholic flavors, pomegranate lime vodka, watermelon vodka, tangerine margarita and strawberry daiquiri. Each contains 7-12% alcohol content.
The virgin flavor options are ginger mule and colada.
The drinks will be available this Friday, which is also the Season 14 finale of the VH1 show.
Lucasfilm has teamed up with Skydance New Media to create a new “Star Wars” game.
The game will be a “richly cinematic action-adventure featuring an original story in the legendary Star Wars galaxy,” according to a press release.
Gaming is nothing new for the franchise, which has also created “Lego Star Wars,” “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” and “Star Wars Battlefront,” among others.
A Marvel fan set a Guinness World Record for the second time.
RAMIRO ALANIS broke the record for most cinema productions attended of the same film after watching “Spider-Man: No Way Home” 292 times — a total runtime of 720 hours, or 30 days.
In 2019, Alanis set a record in the same category after watching “Avengers: Endgame” 191 times in the theater.
Production on the fourth season of “Yellowstone” brought in big bucks for western Montana.
After moving to the area in 2020 to take advantage of a new $10 million film tax credit, the Paramount Network brought in over $70 million in additional spending to the state.
During five months of filming in and around Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, production added 527 permanent jobs in the state; an additional 624 residents were hired as extras on set for a combined total payout of $300,000.
WORTH NOTING: The first three seasons of the show were filmed mostly in Utah.
ALSO: Last week, producers put out a casting call of extras for filming the fifth season in the same area.
MEGAN THEE STALLION, LATTO and RAUW ALEJANDRO will perform at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
Also taking the stage for the event at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena will be RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and BURNA BOY.
The awards show is set for May 15.
Netflix has renewed its series “Big Mouth” for a seventh season.
“Big Mouth” is a potty-mouthed adult cartoon that delves into the wonders and horrors of puberty for boys and girls, and how it affects their lives and friendships.
Series regulars include NICK KROLL, JOHN MULANEY, MAYA RUDOLPH, JASON MANTZOUKAS, JORDAN PEELE, FRED ARMISEN, AYO EDEBIRI and JESSI KLEIN.
The roster of musicians for CBS’ new musical game show, “Superfan,” has been set.
KELSEA BALLERINI, GLORIA ESTEFAN, LITTLE BIG TOWN, LL COOL J, PITBULL and SHANIA TWAIN will participate in the upcoming six-episode series that sees one musical superfan trying to prove they are a certain artist’s ultimate supporter.
KELTIE KNIGHT and NATE BURLESON will co-host the show.
A premiere date has not yet been set.
HELENA BONHAM CARTER will narrate a natural history series about the secret world of baby animals in the wild for Netflix.
The show will launch on May 5.
JASON MOMOA is in talks to star in a live-action movie based on the popular Minecraft video game.
In the game, players create their own 3D worlds using colorful blocks by mining materials and crafting items.
WORTH NOTING: Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, with more than 238 million copies sold since it was released in 2011.
MIKE TIRICO is taking over play-by-play coverage for “Sunday Night Football.”
He will join CRIS COLLINSWORTH in the booth, while MELISSA STARK covers the sidelines.
Tirico replaces AL MICHAELS, who is leaving NBC after 15 years to join Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football.”
“The Talk” has been renewed for a 13th season at CBS.
Returning are series moderator NATALIE MORALES and co-hosts SHERYL UNDERWOOD, AMANDA KLOOTS, AKBAR GBAJABIAMILA and JERRY O’CONNELL.
JOHNNY DEPP took the stand Tuesday in his libel suit against his ex-wife, actress AMBER HEARD.
The 58-year-old actor claimed Heard “devastated” his career after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post calling herself a domestic violence survivor.
“Truth is the only thing I'm interested in,” Depp told the court room, before denying all allegations of abuse.
Depp did admit to getting hooked on Oxy after suffering a back injury while filming a Pirates movie in 2011, but says he kicked the habit for good, even after slicing off part of his finger on accident while filming a movie in 2015.
As previously reported, Depp is suing Heard for $50 million. She is counter-suing him for $100 million. Both are claiming defamation against the other.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
KID CUDI announced on Twitter that a track on PUSHA T’s upcoming album, “It’s Almost Dry,” will be his last song with KANYE WEST.
The pair had a falling out in recent weeks after Ye removed Cudi’s contributions on his album “Donda 2.”
Also, Cudi is close with “SNL” star PETE DAVIDSON, who is dating Ye’s ex, KIM KARDASHIAN.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE HARRY reportedly wants to use a mediator to mend his relationship with PRINCE WILLIAM.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that Harry first suggested the idea to his father PRINCE CHARLES during their brief meeting last Thursday. It is unknown whether Charles was receptive to the idea or not.
Nicholl explained that Harry would like to return to his homeland in June for QUEEN ELIZABETH’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but wants his relationship with his brother improved before then.
WORTH NOTING: When Harry and MEGHAN MARKLE made a pitstop in the UK on their way to the Netherlands last week, William, KATE MIDDLETON and their kids were away on a holiday skiing trip.
ROB GRONKOWSKI wants to face off against, or alongside, DWAYNE “The Rock” JOHNSON at WrestleMania.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Gronk extended the challenge to headline a marquee match with The Rock
As previously reported, Gronk signed a contract with the WWE during his short retirement from the NFL, slated for multiple events, until he was released due to the pandemic.
WORTH NOTING: Gronk has not yet decided whether he will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his final contract year. Should he skip it, it sounds like he has a backup plan all set to go.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Cheddar Fries Day
National Lima Bean Respect Day
National Look Alike Day
National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day
National Banana Day
ON THIS DATE
1841 – The first formulaic detective story is published.
Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," which appeared in "Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine."
His protagonist was Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, who lived and operated in Paris.
Interestingly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used a similar narrative when he wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories, in that it was told from the point of view of the detective's confidant and roommate.
1861 – Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the U.S. Army.
He was a colonel at the time. His resignation came 2 days after being offered total command of the American army, and just 3 days after his home state of Virginia seceded.
Though Lee opposed secession, he was loyal to his home state.
Two days later he was appointed the commander of Virginia's army.
1980 – Fidel Castro announces a brief window during which anyone wishing to leave Cuba is allowed.
125,000 Cubans eventually gathered at Mariel port. Meanwhile, Cuban expatriates living in the US gathered resources to arrange for their friends and family to travel to Florida.
1700 boats participated in the boat lift, many of which were packed to the gills.
27 died in all.
1986 – Michael Jordan scores a record-setting 63 points in a single NBA postseason game.
The feat came while he played for the Bulls, in a game against the Celtics.
Ultimately, the Bulls lost the game 135-131. Boston swept the series and would win the NBA championship.
1999 – It's the Columbine massacre anniversary today. It's a grim story, but worth remembering those who lost their lives.
2008 – Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to win an Indy race.
The race was in Japan, though, but it's a noteworthy accomplishment nonetheless.
In 2009, she placed 3rd in the Indy 500.
2020 - Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina announce an end to some COVID-19 restrictions.
The decision came after much discussion about public safety versus the economy.
Before states could ease back restrictions, President Trump asked that they demonstrate a two-week downward trend in new cases, insure hospitals have enough beds and have adequate testing measures in place.
Felix Mallard - actor, “Ginny & Georgia” - 24
Luke Kuechly - football player - 31
Carlos Valdes - actor, “Arrow” & “The Flash” - 33
Tyson Griffin - MMA fighter - 38
Miranda Kerr - model - 39
Tan France - fashion designer - 39
Terrence J - TV host, “106 and Park” - 40
Joey Lawrence - actor, “Brotherly Love” & “Blossom” - 46
Carmen Electra - actress, “Baywatch” & “Epic Movie” - 50
Shemar Moore - actor, “Criminal Minds” - 52
Andy Serkis - actor, “King Kong” & “Black Panther” - 58
Wim Hof - Dutch daredevil - 63
Jessica Lange - actress, “Tootsie” & “Feud: Bette and Joan” - 73
George Takei - actor, “Star Trek” - 85
Born On This Date
Luther Vandross - R&B singer - 1951 (d. 2005)
Betty Lou Gerson - voice actress, “Cinderella” - 1914 (d. 1999)
Adolf Hitler - German dictator - 1889 (d. 1945)