March 26, 2019

There's only one path to total collusion delusion glory, and Sean Hannity is leading the way.

The Fox News host launched what he's calling a "collusion delusion bracket challenge," best described as his quest to find out which President Trump opponents committed the biggest media blunders since Inauguration Day, Hannity staffers wrote on his website. "The worst" blunderer will be determined in a "championship game played in a DC martini bar officiated by Wolf Blitzer" — and you can play along.

The bracket itself was actually created by the New York Post, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a distorted picture of it Monday night. It compiles 32 "media blunderers" from network TV, cable TV, Twitterati, and print conferences — though Hannity isn't actually letting you imagine a Rachel Maddow-Kathy Griffin faceoff.

Instead of choosing a winner by votes or some other unbiased election format, Hannity just wants you to guess how he filled out his mystery bracket. Match the most picks with Hannity, and you could win such epic prizes as T-shirts, polo shirts, or survival bands (bracelets).

You'll probably need to use Sanders' squished copy of the bracket, seeing as the downloadable version Hannity shared on his website is approximately 50 pixels wide. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 15, 2016

What do you do when the president-elect attacks you on Twitter? Fight back? Apologize? Change your name and enter the witness protection program? Or totally own it?

Vanity Fair has decided to go with the latter:

(Vanity Fair)

Trump tore into Vanity Fair on Thursday morning after the publication gave his restaurant, Trump Grill, a blisteringly negative review. "Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine," Trump asked. "Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!"

Vanity Fair clearly doesn't seem too concerned — and it now gets to boast a pretty edgy new tagline to boot. Jeva Lange

September 13, 2016

Donald Trump's rebound in the polls is beginning to make quite a lot of people feel unexpectedly nervous — even ones who are supposed to be on his side. With Hillary Clinton's campaign suddenly unsteady on its feet following the disastrous attempt to cover up the fact that the candidate is suffering from pneumonia, some conservatives are suddenly wondering what will happen if, seemingly against all odds, they actually win.

"I've heard a lot of conservatives voicing frustration, like, 'How f---ing hard is this, Hillary?' That's the only reason I'm panicked these days … I'm losing faith in Hillary's ability to win this easy-ass election," conservative ad-maker Ben Howe told BuzzFeed.

Other Republicans suddenly feel like they need to donate to Trump even though they'd prefer Clinton in the White House:

"A lot of these guys are really pissed," said a conservative donor adviser. Over the summer, when Trump's campaign was foundering, "they thought they'd gotten a pass — but now that Clinton is going off the rails, they're like, 'D--- it, now am I gonna have to give this guy money?'"

The adviser added that most Republican donors will hedge their bets and contribute to Trump if the race is close, but he said they are generally less wary of a Clinton White House. "If she wins, they aren't going to love it, but they're not going to be facing the apocalypse either — and by apocalypse, I mean actual nuclear warfare." [BuzzFeed]

Another Republican, after watching the Clinton campaign's weekend stumble, summed it up for BuzzFeed: "I'm curled up in the fetal position watching The West Wing and drinking a basketful of deplorable liquor." Read more quotes from panicking Republicans at BuzzFeed. Jeva Lange

February 22, 2016

Charlie Sheen's November announcement that he is HIV-positive may be helping people save lives by prompting them to research prevention, a JAMA International Medicine study published Monday suggests.

The researchers found that media coverage of HIV the day Sheen made his Today announcement ranked in the top 1 percent of coverage of the last seven years. They also saw a sharp spike in the number of Google searches pertaining to HIV in the weeks after his disclosure. Many of the searches pertained to prevention methods, including terms like "condoms" and "HIV testing."

"Sheen's disclosure is the most significant domestic HIV-prevention event in the last decade, even though it was unplanned and was not framed as a public-health event," lead study author Dr. John W. Ayers told New York.

There's precedent for the so-called Sheen effect. Katie Couric's live colonoscopy screening prompted an increase in screenings and awareness of colon cancer, and Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy had a similar effect on breast cancer awareness. Julie Kliegman

October 21, 2015

It might be the most famous baseball of the 2015 MLB season: In Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, the Toronto Blue Jays' José Bautista hit a game-clinching three-run homer into the stands. Before running the bases, a super-pumped Bautista watched the ball sail out of the park, and then executed one of the most glorious bat flips of all time.

"I would have loved to see where it landed. I thought it was hilarious. I laughed at it," Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain marveled afterward. There are, of course, many people who would want to own a piece of that moment forever (at least one fan has it tattooed on his body). The jersey Bautista was wearing when he hit the home run, for example, has reportedly sold for $27,606. But what of the ball itself?

Well, the ball is in the hands of a very lucky Blue Jays fan: Jeff Byma, 31, who was attending the game with his girlfriend. Byma nabbed the ball after it bounced off the second deck at the Rogers Centre. "It didn't hit me until the drive home how important a baseball I have," Byma said. Fans have offered him everything from $8,500 to a pick-up truck for the ball, The Toronto Star reports.

In fact, Byma does wants to get rid of the ball — but not for a price. He wants to return it to Bautista, who he believes is the rightful owner.

"I would be shocked if he doesn't want it back," Byma, whose been trying to reach Bautista over Twitter, told The Star. "It hasn't crossed my mind to sell it one day. I just got to get it back to José." Jeva Lange

October 20, 2015

At what point is a fad no longer a fad? As of Monday, Donald Trump has been the GOP frontrunner in the primary polls for longer than any other "fad" candidate since at least 2004, according to numbers crunched by Bruce Mehlman at Mehlman Castagnetti for the quarterly Washington Update. Howard Dean, who was governor of Vermont during the 2004 election, is the next longest-lasting "fad" candidate, having been the frontrunner for the Democratic primary for 90 days in 2004. Donald Trump broke that record on Monday with 91 days — over three months in the lead.

Other memorable primary fads have had much shorter runs in first place, including Herman Cain's 22 days in 2012, Mike Huckabee's 37 days in 2008, and Dick Gephardt's 11 days in 2004. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been rising in the polls since late September, holding first-choice support of 25 percent of GOP primary voters, The Wall Street Journal reports. Jeva Lange

September 22, 2015

For most people, just living to 100 is the feat of a lifetime. But one 100-year-old didn't make it all the way to 100 just to lie around.

Don Pellmann, born in 1915, was a gymnast and high jumper before the Great Depression required him to get a job. Pellman appeared at the San Diego Senior Olympics last weekend to crush multiple athletic world records, The New York Times reports. In just a few hours, he broke the records in his age group for the 100-meter dash, shot-put, discus, high jump, and became the first centenarian to clear an official height in the high jump.

His secret? Depends whom you ask:

While kneading the muscles in Pellmann's legs, [athletic trainer Ardy] Riego said, "All I can say is his body is still functioning like a normal person's body, which is amazing."

Pellmann has not had either knee replaced, and he cannot remember his last injury. "I guess I have pretty good genes," he said.

Gary MacDonald, the track and field commissioner of the San Diego Senior Olympics, suspects that there is more to Pellmann's athletic longevity than that. MacDonald poked his head into the training room to check on Pellmann and offer him a bottle of water, which Pellmann waved off.

"Now I know how he got to be 100," MacDonald said, laughing. "Because he has an attitude." [The New York Times]

Read the entire story of Pellmann's incredible day at The New York Times. Jeva Lange

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