Gross
September 5, 2019

Joe Biden had a terrible performance at CNN's town hall on the climate crisis, and he has the battle scars to prove it.

The former vice president joined other 2020 candidates Wednesday night to discuss their promised answers to climate change and, naturally, some questions left a few contenders stuck. But Andrew Yang's non-answer to quantifying carbon reduction was nothing compared to the whammy Biden suffered when asked about an upcoming fundraiser hosted by a founder of a fossil fuel company.

Early in Biden's time onstage, he was hit with what The New York Times called "probably the toughest question of the night:" How can Biden take on the fossil fuel industry when he's holding a Thursday fundraiser hosted by Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of liquefied natural gas production company? Biden first insisted Goldman is "not a fossil fuel executive," then seemed not so sure, and then recentered the blame on his staff.

The rest of Biden's time onstage didn't go so well either. He constantly fought off questions about whether his climate plan was "aggressive enough," and, as usual, leaned on his time working with former President Barack Obama. And then, adding injury to insultingly bad answers, Biden finished the night with a mysteriously bloody eye. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 11, 2019

In unearthed audio released Monday night by Media Matters for America, Fox News host Tucker Carlson is heard calling Iraqis "semiliterate primitive monkeys," saying Afghanistan is "never going to be a civilized country because the people aren't civilized," and declaring that the Congressional Black Caucus "exists to blame the white man for everything."

Carlson made the remarks during calls to "The Bubba the Love Sponge Show"; he was a regular guest between 2006 and 2011. On the April 16, 2008, show, Carlson said Michelle Obama "is going to be problem" for then-candidate Barack Obama because she "turns into a sister," Media Matters says, and on August 5, 2008, he said it was "ridiculous" for Barack Obama to think people would attack him for being black, adding, "everybody knows that Barack Obama would still be in the state Senate in Illinois if he were white."

On March 11, 2008, Carlson said the situation in Iraq could turn around if "the Iraqis decided to behave like human beings or something," and on Sept. 3, 2008, he declared that "white men" deserve credit for "creating civilization." Over the weekend, Media Matters for America released audio from several 2009 appearances on the show, where Carlson made sexist remarks and, while discussing convicted sex offender Warren Jeffs, said the charges were "bulls--t" because "arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old is not the same as pulling a stranger off the street and raping her."

On his show Monday night, Carlson said "the great American outrage machine is a remarkable thing," adding that it can be "pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest, or taken out of context, or in any case bear no resemblance to what you actually think, or would want for the country." In Carlson's opinion, "the left's main goal, in case you haven't noticed, is controlling what you think," and his show "will never bow to the mob." Catherine Garcia

August 1, 2018

A spokesman for Corey Stewart, Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia, had a lot to say on Facebook and Twitter about Democratic Rep. John Lewis ("#PompousAss"), civil rights icon Rosa Parks ("give me a effing break"), and black leaders (they are afraid of "being labeled an #UncleTom #Oreo #HouseNegro"), CNN reports.

CNN's KFile found these inflammatory social media posts by Rick Shaftan, who did not respond to a request for comment, dating back to 2014. In October of that year, Shaftan tweeted, "There are a lot of parallels between the 'House Negro' and the GOP Establishment." In September 2017, KFile reports, Shaftan wrote on Facebook that "Black 'leaders' are working overtime to isolate 'the community' from everyone who isn't Black. And almost no black people will say anything for fear of being labeled an #UncleTom #Oreo #HouseNegro."

Shaftan also reportedly took shots at Parks and Lewis, tweeting in September 2015: "Rosa Parks. Give me a effing break. How about PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY?" Schlafly was a (white) conservative activist. In January 2017, he asked, "So what has John Lewis done besides get beat up 50+ years ago. #PompousAss." In 1965, Lewis was beaten while marching for voting rights in Alabama. You can read more of Shaftan's posts at CNN. Catherine Garcia

September 30, 2016

Donald Trump's campaign has been trying to come up with an effective way to defuse the flare-up that followed Monday night's presidential debate over Trump's decade-old belittling of a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado. After Hillary Clinton mentioned Machado at the debate, her campaign put out an ad featuring the Venezuelan-Cuban actress, two magazine profiles came out, and Machado went on TV to talk about how Trump had publicly called her fat, alleging he used the terms "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."

The Trump pushback has included arguing that Machado was overweight and difficult, alleging that she was the getaway driver in an attempted murder, that she was allegedly filmed having sex with a costar on the reality TV show La Granja (like MTV's The Real World), and posed topless in Mexican Playboy — you can see all iterations of that in supporter Scottie Nell Hughes's appearance on CNN. Media outlets that support Trump, like Alex Jones' InfoWars, Rush Limbaugh, and The Daily Caller, went dirtier, saying Machado became a porn star (Snopes says she did not).

Trump adviser Mike Flynn, the former DIA chief, made the tame version of this argument on Thursday night's Kelly File. "You look at some of the things that have come out about this young lady in the last 24 hours," he said, and Kelly — who has already criticized Trump's response — stepped in. "Even though this woman had some troubles, even though this Miss Universe had some troubles," she said, "his comments about her weight are on camera," including from earlier this week.

Early Friday morning, Trump apparently decided that his supporters weren't doing a good enough job pressing the case that the Machado "cookie is going to crumble really quickly" for Clinton, as Hughes said, or "blow up in her face," as Newt Gingrich said on Sean Hannity's show, so he took to Twitter to press the case himself.

Because obviously the story is not that Trump publicly humiliated a 19-year-old woman over her weight, as captured on video, but that the woman went on to star in a reality TV show and pose for Playboy. Peter Weber

September 1, 2016

Disgraced Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, now serving 15 and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with two underage girls and receiving images of child abuse from a former employee, is suing the parents of one of his victims, saying they are at least partially responsible for her abuse, TMZ reports.

TMZ obtained a copy of Fogle's suit against the parents of "Jane Doe," which says the parents often fought and drank alcohol in front of their daughter. The suit claims that their actions caused her to engage in "destructive behaviors," including drug and alcohol abuse and self-mutilation, which ultimately resulted in her abuse. Jane Doe said Fogle and Russell Taylor, the former head of The Jared Foundation, shared nude photos and videos of her, and earlier this year, her parents sued the pair. After he was convicted, Fogle was ordered to pay $100,000 to each of his 14 victims. Catherine Garcia

May 10, 2016

Donald Trump is trying to backpedal on being associated with the licentious, playboy lifestyle he once boasted about. Understandably — the guy is running for president of the United States.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Trump "acknowledged he would not have said certain things had he known that he would eventually be running for office." Those "certain things" presumably include his quotes on The Howard Stern Show, including (but hardly limited to):

  • "A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10"
  • "Nice tits, no brains" — in regards to ex-wife Marla Maples
  • "Would you go out with Marcia Cross or would you turn gay, Howard?"
  • That he needs "anti-Viagra, something with the opposite effect"
  • That he would have a "hard time [getting it up]" for Madonna

You get the picture.

Trump, though, defended his past by telling The Washington Post that, "I never anticipated running for office or being a politician, so I could have fun with Howard on the radio and everyone would love it. People do love it." Trump added he is "much less" obsessed with women's looks "than people would think."

"I greatly respect women," Trump said. Well then, it's settled. Jeva Lange

March 5, 2016

When Gwyneth Paltrow brought her skincare line, Goop, on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon was the first to admit he doesn't know much about beauty products. But that doesn't mean he can't try them.

After learning that all the ingredients are organic and the preservatives are food-grade, Fallon whipped out some McDonald's French fries and dipped right in. Paltrow joined him.

The verdict?

"Somewhere between ranch and bath soap," Paltrow said. Watch below. Julie Kliegman

October 22, 2015

An estimated two million rats dwell in New York City, and their human neighbors have lodged a record number of complaints about them to the city's 311 hotline.

"The rats are taking over," New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer told Reuters. "I'm a lifelong New Yorker and I've never seen it this bad... I see them on my way home, they're standing upright, they say, 'Good morning, Mr. Comptroller.'" Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokeswoman, Natalie Grybauskas, said that 24,375 complaints have been made about rats that are above ground — anyone reporting rat-related issues in the subway are sent to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A rodent expert from the city Health Department told Reuters that the influx in complaints is partly due to a new 311 smartphone app, making it much easier to report rat troubles. Stringer doesn't buy that explanation. "As if no one knew this before the app — it's just not true," he said. "It's a lack of taking care of business by the city's health department." New York City is expanding a pilot program tasked with getting rid of (shudder) "rat reservoirs," going after them in the colonies they set up in sewers, parks, and subways. Carolyn Bragdon with the Health Department said they know from the pilot that "we have the ability to crash a rat population by 80 to 90 percent," and they also educate residents about how to prevent attracting rats in the future. Catherine Garcia

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