Being a celebrity opens one’s life up to public scrutiny, warranted or not. The truth is, we love our celebrity culture. Gossip magazines and websites thrive on it. Whether it’s TMZGawkerThe Smoking Gun, or BuzzFeed, we as a culture can’t get enough celebrity gossip. Much like the adage “if it bleeds, it leads”—if a celebrity shits in the woods—the media go berserk. Sometimes deservedly so, other times not.

Here is my list of four celebrities that the media need to leave alone, but won’t.  


  #1 Mark Zuckerberg:

I’m tired of the world beating up on Mark Zuckerberg. I’ve said this before, and I will say again. He is not evil, and despite opinions to the contrary, he is not a close personal friend of Satan.

It’s easy to hate on Zuckerberg. He’s young, and rich. He’s built an empire that has made him extremely successful and he did so all without a college degree. With success comes its pitfalls, including those who frown upon the success of others simply because they themselves are not.

Zuckerberg gave us Facebook. He created the world’s most successful social network helping us connect with friends and family in addition to helping us forge new friendships along the way. Even as Facebook celebrates its ninth birthday, Zuckerberg continues to offer it without charging users financially. (Data collection is another discussion entirely.) That may not seem like much of a consolation, but for all the flack Zuckerberg gets about ongoing privacy concerns (something that his sister knows all too well, unfortunately) and for all the users whining about sudden unwanted changes, the masses act entitled. As I’ve advocated before, if you don’t like it, leave. Understandably, many have, myself included. My decision to quit last year however was based heavily on my perceived value from the site and growing concerns over privacy. At no point did the thought enter my mind that Zuckerberg himself was, as some have coined him, an “evil genius.”

His motives are unfairly questioned at every turn. When Facebook went public and investors lost money many felt conned by an inflated IPO and placed blame squarely on Zuckerberg. When he donated a $100 million to Newark Public schools in 2010 critics dismissed it as nothing more than a cleverly timed PR stunt to soften his image ahead of the release of The Social Network. Now, after penning an op-ed in the Washington Post Wednesday announcing the launch of a new political group, (pronounced “forward us”) aimed at promoting new immigration policy, detractors are already voicing concerns that his efforts are redundant arguing the tech lobby is well represented within Washington especially given many members of are involved in other tech lobbies and have been for years. They say his presence merely crowds. I disagree. How many of those people have Zuckerberg’s notoriety and/or influence? Some, perhaps, but his presence only helps bring about change and awareness to an understandably divisive issue. Prior to Zuckerberg, how many of them were showing a passionate concern for immigration reform? A seasoned politician he is not, but he is a big voice in an even bigger industry and just maybe if it’s done right people will listen. So instead of once again shooting him down, can we all just pause and consider once again that maybe his motives here are genuine?


  #2 Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is the celebrity that the media loves to hate. Her behavior makes her an extremely easy target, which she herself admits. Whether it’s drunk drivingtheftskipping out on her bill or, making a mockery of the justice system, Lohan seems to have done it all. She’s not just a celebrity – she is a celebrity on a downward spiral, a train wreck, and nothing satiates the public’s hunger pangs for gossip more than that.

Part of me believes that if the media left her alone for five minutes she might actually flourish. Naive? Perhaps. Then again, maybe not. What would happen if the well-being of the individual was placed ahead of the need to spin a story out of their latest meltdown? There are plenty of celebrities out there whom the paparazzi can chase and the media can take jabs at who aren’t simultaneously trying to reorder their life. Attempting to do it as Letterman did Tuesday night overstepped the boundaries. Letterman’s show, or any variety of late-night for that matter, is not meant to be hard-hitting journalism. Lohan was there to keep it light, fun, and promote a movie, which she was mostly able to do despite Letterman’s insistence on discussing her troubled past. If she truly believes that this latest stint in rehab – set to begin May 2 – will be the beginning of her road to recovery, this should be welcomed news. If she wants to keep her thoughts on that to herself and not talk about it, that’s her right.

To her credit, Lohan was calm, cool and collected during her 15-minute interview with Letterman showing a great sense of humor throughout. At times however, she was visibly uncomfortable and even teared up after Letterman praised her for having, “enough spine, enough sense of [herself], and enough poise” to come on the show despite all the jokes he’s made at her expense. Lohan alluded to a walk-on gag that saw her entering the stage with tags still on her dress and being chastised by Letterman, but the bit she said, didn’t get cleared in enough time.

This isn’t the first time that Lohan has demonstrated a sense of humor regarding her life either. She's lampooned herself on Saturday Night Live and most recently appeared as a guest star on Charlie Sheen’s FX series, Anger Management. Sheen, no stranger to public ridicule himself, has proven to be an ally and friend to Lohan offering her mentorship and guidance (to the extent he can) and jumping to her defense with recurring regularity, most recently during a chat with Leno Wednesday night amid rumors Lohan’s behavior on the set of Anger Management was disruptive and that she was once again caught red-handed with jewelry that wasn’t hers.

“It’s true but it’s not true. Nothing further your honor. She borrowed some stuff and then was told they would take it out of her paycheck, and she said fine and that’s all it was,” Sheen told Leno.

“I have a kinship with somebody who clearly needs a mentor, whether she wants one or not,” Sheen told TMZ last month. “She can continue to hang out with her dress-shredding club buddies, or turn to me for some advice from a guy who’s been down the road as well as every other side trail on the journey.

“If she listens, she’ll win,” Sheen said. “If she doesn’t, that’s on her.”

In fairness to Sheen, he’s demonstrated what a difference a year can make and if Sheen can do it, Lohan is certainly capable. The media just needs to leave her alone. Hopefully she’ll get that opportunity in rehab.

  #3 Jay Leno


Full disclaimer: I am firmly with Team Coco. I don’t agree with what Jay Leno did to Conan O’Brien at all. Perhaps the fact that his hand is now forced and he is passing off the baton to Jimmy Fallon in 2014 is merely the result of karmic debt that’s finally being paid. That being said, we need to cut Jay Leno a break. Life moves on and his legacy should not be based entirely on his handling of this particular situation. It happened, it’s done, and O’Brien is arguably achieving more success now than if the status quo remained.

Leno is 62, Fallon, 38. Yet, The Tonight Show remains at the top of the ratings despite claims by NBC brass that their selection of Fallon as Leno’s successor was driven by a desire to engage more directly with their audience by bringing what Variety called, “a generational shift in tone and content” to the show, namely through social media which Fallon uses avidly. But in the end, none of that is Leno’s fault. The landscape  changed, just as it did when he inherited the show from Carson in 1992. Yes, Carson walked away on his own terms and Leno doesn’t have that luxury, but the show remains a late-night juggernaut because of Leno, not in spite of him. While his reign as host of The Tonight Show may be over, the network should at least help him make as graceful an exit as possible after 20 years at the helm. (Yes, I said it.) I genuinely believe Leno deserves to be remembered for more than his late-night war with O’Brien over the fate of Tonight. Consider his charity work, or that he took a 50% voluntary pay cut ensuring fewer layoffs of his staff when NBC slashed the show’s budget. He doesn’t need the money, and he famously doesn’t spend a dime of his paychecks from NBC, but that’s hardly the point. That’s still his money to do with as he sees fit, and he chose to be selfless.

  #4 Barack Obama

I realize this one is an extremely tough sell, (that’s why he’s last).

As Leader of the Free World, there are politics both big and small at play with every decision he makes. We should absolutely pay attention to him. I would not have put him on this list at all were it not for his public relations nightmare related to his recent comments about California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris. Those calling Obama’s remarks sexist are stretching it. His remarks  should be viewed as the afterthought that they were—not the centerpiece and foundation for his overall opinion of her as a person and the things she’s achieved—which he also noted. We’ve all seen the dangers of what happens when politicians get too comfortable at fundraisers, but even so, equating his remarks with sexism? That’s little too far. He apologized, she accepted. Let’s move on.

Some are also criticizing Obama’s latest push for gun control legislation claiming he’s exploiting the families of Newtown which is completely misguided. His critics argue gun control legislation has nothing to do with the families of the Newtown tragedy when in fact they were the last straw helping push this debate to the forefront of our country’s legislative agenda. Telling a story, crafting a narrative, helping people understand what shapes the rationale behind why we think the way we do—that’s context. Not exploitation. The families of Newtown are no doubt relieved and simultaneously thankful to know that in the midst of their grief something good will come from it, and they’re assured those they loved didn’t die in vain. The same same can be said for the victims of the Aurora Colorado shooting and the countless other acts of gun violence that have plagued our nation and catapulted this legislation into the national spotlight.

We live in a culture so driven by celebrity gossip that it can kill. The public’s insatiable thirst seems never to be quenched, but please, go pick on other more deserving people and leave these four alone.

Who else deserves to be on this list? Leave your thoughts.



Tonight, for the first time in several years, I attempted to watch the Oscars. Unfortunately, 10 minutes into Seth MacFarlane’s opening monologue, (and that’s being generous) I already regretted my decision. Still, because I can’t ever seem to walk away from a train wreck, I kept watching. Save for a few good moments, that’s 3 ½ hours of my life that I will never ever get back.

Mr. MacFarlane, you made the Oscars extremely uncomfortable to watch. Seriously, that was beyond painful. I suspect the Academy knew you were going to be a horrible host which is why they tried to beat all the journalists to the punch with that headline bit starring William Shatner, or as my dad so affectionately refers to him, “The Shat.” I ran across a blog that posted a drinking game. It said simply, “Take a shot every time Seth MacFarlane doesn’t make you laugh. Also, don’t do this. You will die.” Well, glad to know I wasn’t alone in my misery.

As Olivia pointed out to me tonight, where are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler when you need them? Daniel Day-Lewis even proved he would have been a more effective host and he was only on stage for three minutes.

Continuing a string of awkward moments: I’m not sure whose brilliant idea it was to suggest the theme to Jaws as the play off music – that wasn’t only mean and unoriginal – but totally wrong. I have no plans on ever winning an Oscar, (sorry, mom) but Olivia did promise me an award for not being Seth MacFarlane which I think is far more kick ass. Sufficed to say that if anyone ever used the theme to Jaws to play me off the stage, I would be beyond livid.

Other awkward moments included: 

1). A seemingly drunk (or high) Kristen Stewart

2) Robert DeNiro caught on camera falling asleep

3). Ben Affleck’s acceptance speech for Argo taking a not-so-subtle dig at the Academy by saying that, “It’s hard, but you can’t hold grudges,“ detailing what has led to much of his success in Hollywood since winning his first Oscar for Goodwill hunting in 1998.

As someone who is a big fan of cinema, it’s a sad thing for me to admit that the Academy has become something to parody as of late.

All I can say is, next year, anybody would be better than Seth MacFarlane. Anybody.



All week long, watching the RNC provided no shortage of entertainment. I watched it gleefully expecting as much. Last night however, was perfection. Wine+Clint Eastwood+wooden chair - Barack Obama. Yup. Truly, My Chateau

More on that in a minute.

Short of the upcoming general election which I’m certain will be hilariously terrifying to watch unfold, I think the RNC gave much of America, or at least those of us with a sense of humor, a good laugh. 

Ann Romney appealing to middle class women by pretending to understand their struggles? Oh, look over there, is that her dressage horse competing in the Olympics? There’s also standard issue Romney freely admitting during one of the earlier Republican debates late last year that he never grew up poor. Which of course explained his lackadaisical $10,000 bet with then-rival Rick Perry. He can feel free to flip-flop on that one though and nobody will blink. No doubt about it, the Romneys understand the middle class.

There was Wednesday night and VP candidate Paul Ryan who, when you strip away his P90X body, well there just isn’t that much left. From his misleading statements on Obamacare, to the S&P credit rating downgrade and the debt commission, which Ryan conveniently neglected to mention he was not only a part of, but even voted against.

I expected the most comically absurd moments from the convention would be credited to Romney himself. I was wrong.

Billed as a “mystery speaker” in the hours leading up to his endorsement speech of the GOP candidate, the pinnacle of insanity instead went to writer-director Clint Eastwood, whose performance last night was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The disastrous speech quickly became an Internet meme spawning various spinoffs, like this one, and a new verb, “Eastwooding.” As Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012 Twitter feed pointed out, “That empty chair was less wooden than Mitt Romney.” So they have that going for them, that’s a plus.

In case you haven’t yet seen this gem

Now, I don’t know. That may have done Mitt Romney more harm than good in the long run. Though if you ask him, he enjoyed it. I guess the question on everybody’s mind is; Do you feel lucky, Mitt? Well, do ya?

Can’t wait to see how the DNC and Joe Biden top this.


This morning, I awoke to news of the shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. 

The gunmen, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, a former PhD student at last count injured 58 people and killed 12. The more we learn from listening to news anchors, reporters, and press conferences held by local police, the more bizarre the events of the day become. Local authorities and bomb squad experts are currently at his apartment contemplating how they will disarm a series of explosives, and other “incendiary devices” noting that doing so could take days.

Understandably today’s event is a senseless tragedy. What shocks me even more, however, is that it is being publicized for political gain simply because it is an election year.

At approximately 10:45 A.M. Eastern time, President Obama made his first public remarks on the incident during what was originally billed as a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida.

 He made two statements that I find particularly troubling.

“We are still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora. What we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody, and the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.” 

I’m not entirely sure what about this incident facilitates the involvement of the FBI and the federal government on any level. Law enforcement have said they believe Holmes acted alone and they do not believe this to be an incident connected to any terrorist organization.

President Obama goes on to say:

“I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater? As so many of our kids do everyday. Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I am sure you will do the same with your children.”

I take issue with this statement for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is extremely disconnected from reality. Let’s examine just how many things are wrong with that statement.

1). The White House has its own movie theater and receives movies often ahead of their public release.

2). If the First Family were in a public movie theater, the place would be secured and cleared out entirely.

3). The First Family gets a well trained security detail.

Not exactly the same thing.

Watch the president’s full remarks here.

It’s a sad day in this country when the possibility of having to go through a metal detector to attend a two-hour movie becomes a frighteningly real possibility.


I was taught never to bury the lead. So without further ado:

And now; Romney’s reaction.

Watching this unfold internally was amazing.

SCOTUSblog was really the first to break the news correctly. The biggest decision since Bush V. Gore, and similarly, major news networks (I’m looking at you CNN, and FOX news) jumped the gun. Let Roberts read past the first page of the opinion before displaying misinformation as breaking news. 

Perhaps nobody had more fun reporting on the day’s chaos than The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.

Chief Justice Roberts the swing vote? Nobody saw that one coming. Romney is regretting his pledge to nominate justices “in the mold” of John Roberts right now. Conservatives are in such disbelief over the supposed betrayal there’s already a movement calling for his impeachment

If today doesn’t provide you with a stark enough contrast for who you want leading our country come November, nothing will. 


So the other day when I wrote my open letter to Luke Burbank about Neil Hamburger, I received a very comical and sobering reply about the reality of his persona. Today on Episode #1056 “Secrets Revealed”, Luke read the e-mail on air and was kind enough not to call me out by name. I was more surprised than anything else that he chose to read it. But I can tell you that I thank him and Andrew for being so good-natured about the whole thing. Thank you, Luke and Andrew for giving me my moment of TBTL immortality.