Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Dec 10, 2014
December 10, 2014
Political Racket /Dirty Tricks:
No surprise that many current and former heads of U.S. spy agencies are criticizing a Senate report released yesterday claiming that the CIA tortured detainees and misled the public about its "enhanced interrogation" techniques. GEORGE TENET --CIA director through much of the BUSH administration-- called the report is "biased, inaccurate, and destructive" and said it "does damage to U.S. national security, to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency, and most of all to the truth."
He added, "It is indeed a dark day for congressional oversight."
Current CIA Director JOHN BRENNAN also pushed back, saying, "While we made mistakes, the record does not support the study's inference that the agency systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program." (Pacelli)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
"South Park" is on the edge again --it's upcoming holiday special will stick it to BILL COSBY, and also have other stars making appearances, including TAYLOR SWIFT, IGGY AZALEA, MILEY CYRUS, AL PACINO, U2, ANGELINA JOLIE, LADY GAGA and the "holograms" of late music stars KURT COBAIN and MICHAEL JACKSON.
The NY Daily News reports in one scene Taylor and Cosby are shown sitting on a couch with Cosby holding a glass of wine. The alcoholic beverage is obviously a reference to the various accusations that Cosby drugged and raped women over the past three decades.
Ugly Christmas sweater parties aren't cool any more. The "ugly" holiday trend peaked last year, when American retailers discovered that people would pay big bucks to get the worst sweaters out there. New York magazine's The Cut says the fun combination of irony and nostalgia that came with finding a genuinely ugly sweater in a thrift shop or grandma's closet is now just "a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know." That racket includes ugly NBA sweaters selling for up to $65 bucks and Nordstrom's $30-dollar make-your-own ugly sweater kits.
The lesson here, kids: If everybody's doing it, it's no longer a trend. (Bartha)
AVRIL LAVIGNE wants you to pray for her. A Twitter fan account posted a Direct Message conversation between the singer and a follower. When Avril was asked if she's working on any new music, she answered (quote), "I feel bad because I haven't been able to say anything to the fans to let them no [sic] why I've been absent. I'm torn as I'm quite private.... I'm not feeling well. I'm having some health issues. So please keep me in your prayers." Billboard.com said yesterday that the exchange was real but would not say what's wrong with Avril. However, a rep for the singer confirmed that Avril is not pregnant. (Marino)
Tampering with Mother Nature:
Reindeer populations are declining worldwide. And fewer reindeer won't just ruin Christmas... if they disappear, it could also impact the world's climate. Researchers in China have I-D'd multiple reasons for their decline in Asia's Arctic regions. Climate change is shrinking their habitats. Herders and breeders are removing the reindeer from their natural environments and bringing them closer to tourist areas. They are also being poached by hunters for their antlers, and hunted by predators like bears and wolves. Discovery News says the researchers hope to update the reindeers' status on endangered species lists like the "Red List" for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Reindeer are currently listed as being of "Least Concern" for the internationally recognized conservation group. (Bartha)
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