Entries in news (5)


6 Reasons Why Taco Bell Delivery is the Most Important News You’ve Ever Heard


Heaven is now home delivered, baby

BY DOUG MICHELS (REVIEWniverse guest contributor)

Waking up with a hangover, fumbling for your keys. Only two things are on your mind, “How did I get that taco last night? I was too drunk to drive?” and “I’m so late for work.” In your foggy state you stumble out the door. Walking toward your car you notice the bumper is hanging on by barely a thread. You come to the realization that you put not only yourself, but everyone else on the road, in danger last night. The image of your loved ones shaking their heads is held back only by the crushing disappointment that you will not be getting paid today, you will be paying a body shop.

Thankfully, this will all soon be a thing of the past. Taco Bell has recently announced plans to test a delivery system in 2015. You read that correctly, so forget about things like presidential candidate announcements or some fruit company’s watch. Sit down, and allow me to educate you on why this is bigger than anything you’ve ever bothered to take note of.

1. Public Safety

The numbers will never be in, but rest assured, lives will be saved. No longer will you and the bros risk a lost license, or other people’s lives to get your cheesy Gordita fix. In some ways Taco Bell is preventing you from getting a criminal record.

2.  Job Creation

Contrary to what politicians would have you believe, people are still out of work. Imagine the fleet required to service all of these Taco Bell orders. Going solely based on the amount of cars lined up at the drive-thru every night, I can only assume that it will cut unemployment by approximately 95%. Imagine a world, where you could be the one to bring the joy of tacos to people everywhere. People drunkenly staggering to the door, blindly handing you a chunk of money before digging into the mixed bag of cheesy goodness. Almost brings a tear to my eye.

3.  No Mas Pantalones

If you’re anything like me, the lower half of your body is only clothed when required by law. Putting on pants to drive to get Taco Bell, only to return home and remove them again is just so bothersome. With Taco Bell delivering to my door, I no longer have to worry about traumatizing multiple people on any given day.

4.  A Life Without Shame

How many times have you ordered $20 in Taco Bell just for you, only to have to add on another drink to make it seem like it's a shared meal? With Taco Bell delivery nobody knows how many people you are ordering for. Now you can create a secretive relationship with your local Taco Bell delivery driver. For an extra five dollars you can look him in his very soul, and whisper, “Tell no one.”

5.  Raising The Bar

With the Bell offering delivery, it is only natural that other fast food chains will have to follow suit. Imagine, you never have to cook again. You can spend that valuable time weeping at the various characters and logos imprinted on the paper bags that have consumed your once beautiful home.

6.  Live Mas

What Taco Bell is really doing is letting us all live a little bit mas. No longer will you sit in a drive-thru, waiting behind the dozens of other patrons, all craving the [hard/soft shell] filled with [chicken/beef/steak] and a healthy helping of [cheese/beans/rice]. You can now spend your time the way it was meant to be spent, impatiently waiting in your living room.

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Gawker, Denton and Daulerio Get Brian Williams/Lana Del Rey Fiasco All Wrong

REVIEWING THE NEWS: The gossip site and its founder, Nick Denton, draw line in the sand of journalistic ethics after posting Brian Williams' personal e-mail about Lana Del Rey.


By Kenny Herzog


Nick Denton's Gawker Media embodies the blogosphere's curious position as unfiltered aggregator of truth and unchecked court jester. REVIEWniverse has taken the company's principal domain, Gawker.com, to task in the past for the relatively victimless distinction of boasting less-than-credible musical taste. But yesterday, Denton and his new editor-in-chief, muckraking former Deadspin Editor A.J. Daulerio, imposed a substandard of poor journalism when they posted NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' personal e-mail to Denton without consent. 

By now, you've all read that Williams wrote Denton on Sunday to join the chorus of boos hurled at last weekend's maligned SNL performer, pixie chanteusse Lana Del Rey. It was an informal, clearly personal and off-the-record correspondence in which Williams lamented that Del Rey was "the least-experienced musical guest in the show's history" and good-naturedly bemoaned that "it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone [sic]." And you also know that Daulerio, after what we presume was much discussion with Denton and Gawker staff, posted the e-mail verbatim on their site the following afternoon. Lastly, you've heard or seen that NBC PR (no doubt unhappy about the cross-contimination within their brand) sent Gawker a stern but reasonable demand to remove the item, and Daulerio merely updated his original story by making that correspondence public as well.

Frankly, this reeks more of Daulerio's recklessness than Denton's salacious tendencies. Either way, the gauntlet has been laid. It's clear that for Gawker (and as they go, so do countless apers), no friendship or set of basic personal or journalistic principles will stand between them and a childish impulse to determine what qualifies as "news," deliver it with irresponsible whim and no discernable point of view, and let others sort out the consequences and implications while they calculate Web traffic and turn it into liquid ad-revenue gold.

For any of us who've ever worked in a real newsroom or, as consumers, are simply adapting to the digital information age with a bit of blind faith, it's impossible to fathom that Denton and Daulerio's story could be planted with total transparency from the inside. It's depressing to consider the breakdown of accountability within an organization that, like it or not, influences more readers on an average afternoon than most major newspapers even reach in a week.

Gawker may have caught Williams in an untenable position by putting him at odds with his employing network, but something tells us we haven't heard the final word on all this. In journalism and in life, corrupting privacy and closely held relationships can have short-term gains, but almost always precipitates an eventual collapse of relevance and character. Daulerio better realize he's playing with the big boys now, because Denton's just a careless schoolyard bully.


IN OTHER WORDS: There has to be some kind of bar before it can be lowered.





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Graphic Gadhafi Death Video Makes Dubious Rounds

REVIEWING THE NEWS: No one is arguing that longtime Libyan autocrat Moammar Gadhafi needed to go, but there should be discussion about American media's gleeful release of a cell-phone video capturing him dead and bloodied.

By Kenny Herzog

We know the face, we know he's dead. Not sure we need freeze frames of it covered in blood.


Earlier today, Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced that his nation's recently deposed former ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, had been killed, adding, "It's time to start a new Libya." Within a short time, all major American TV and online outlets were reporting the news, and is if to say, "What, you don't believe us?" commenced broadcasting a graphic, bloody cell-phone video that allegedly captured Gadhafi's dead, stripped body as Misrata locals trounced on it in celebration. 

Amateur recordings of the video taken from TV on other people's phones have made it to YouTube, where they have mere hundreds of views now, but should reach in the hundreds of thousands soon enough, or at least until CBS, NBC, CNN or whomever posts their own official clip to the site. It's an incredible illustration of just how content spreads in our new world, bouncing forward, laterally and in reverse from one source to another like a chaotic lateral play at the end of a football game.

The video itself is also disturbing, gross and, yes, fascinating. Although I don't think NBC needed to air it, full screen, at 11:45 a.m., and then linger on a single close-up frame, in order for me to grasp the weight of what had happened, or the sheer truth of it. And it's unlikely that Reuters.com needed to actually freeze their streaming embed at strategic, gratuitous moments for me to identify the body was Gadhafi, and it was in fact absent of life. CNN, meanwhile, has had some interesting correspondence with their foreign dispatches, in addition to Hilary Clinton reacting in real-time to the rumors of Gadhafi's death. Not sure cutting to the crude, gruesome 80 seconds of revellers stomping on the slaughtered tyrant's corpse left me feeling anything but unnerved. 

All the aforementioned entities disclaimed what they were about to show, or what you were about to click and stream, with warnings of graphic content. But then they also still showed it, or practically dared you not to look. Chances are, little kids who come across it won't be able to differentiate between those images and the cartoonish violence they've grown accustomed to. And teenagers will probably pass it around on their smartphones and leer with morbid interest. That's what teenagers do. As for any adults who've come of age through various crises and adapted to new-media's porousness, hardly anything is shocking. But journalistically speaking, I'm just not sure what purpose rushing to release a video like the one in question actually serves. In fact, it could get confused in peoples' memories with similar images of bin Laden's body, despite very different political circumstances having led up to the al-Qaeda leader's capture. 

For me, it's a no-brainer that Gadhafi's death is incredible news with global implications, and something I feel obliged to report on in the wake of its credible confirmation. But not even for a second would I feel enough burden of proof to include the already infamous cell-phone video along with my reporting. I'd probably watch it, yes, and did. Sometimes that's an ugly responsibility that comes along with publishing information as accurate record of fact. And for those watching in Libya, and to their family and friends around the world, there's probably a different imperative to see it with their own eyes. It's only my editorial judgment that, as a member of American media communicating the story to an American readership who are largely geographically and culturally removed from Gadhafi's reign, the video in question adds little to it, and risks simplifying a massively historical incident into a series of polarizing images.

If you want to see them, that's your right, and the majority of Western broadcast and Web journalists have made it nearly impossible to avoid because of insecurity in their own reporting and some fuzzy commitment to transparency. It's only my suggestion that, removed as most of us are from the impact of Gadhafi's death, it's not going to deepen your understanding of its significance or get you closer to the issue. In fact, it will probably only widen the disconnect.


IN OTHER WORDS: Good riddance to Gadhafi, and onward for Libya.






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Whitney Houston is Crazy.... For Movies Again, Starring in 'Sparkle' Remake


MOVIE-CASTING NEWS: Back from touring and developing scented candles (seriously), the eccentric diva is headed back to the big screen for a remake of a cult classic.

By Kenny Herzog

Oh, to remember the days when Whitney really did sparkle.


Before there was Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson and Dream Girls, director Sam O'Steen and a young screenwriter named Joel Schumacher gave us the 1976 R&B musical-drama Sparkle. Soon-to-be Fame star Irene Cara originated the titular role of a prodigious young singer in 1950s Harlem trying to overcome family turmoil and become a star. Mary Alice played her mother, Effie, and the iconic soundtrack was provided by none other than Curtis Mayfield (music fans of a certain generation may recall En Vogue's hit cover of "Something He Can Feel"), with vocals from no less than Aretha Franklin. 

A quarter-century later, shooting has begun on the inevtiable remake, with one-time American Idol victor Jordin Sparks (winning Idol is like an ex-presidency: You must always introduce them by title) taking over for Cara. But the real news is that Whitney Houston has been added to the cast as Effie, and will also receive an executive producer credit in recognition of she and longtime partner Debra Martin Chase's efforts to produce Sparkle a decade ago with late superstar Aaliyah in the lead (though it seems she was nominally involved at best in the development of this specific incarnation). Hard as it is to believe, the movie's TBD 2012 release will be Ms. Houston's first appearance in a major theatrical film in 16 years, since she starred alongside Denzel Washington in 1996's The Preacher's Wife.

Of course, it's been a bumpy period for Whitney since then. Amid sporadic recording and touring, she's largely been in the spotlight for a tumultous split with ex-husband Bobby Brown, admitted drug use, hysterical TV interviews, erratic live performances and marketing a line of scented candles with her sister-in-law. Chances are, tales of sensational diva-dom will soon emerge from the set of Sparkle, which may turn out to be more entertaining than the film itself, which is in the questionable hands of various by-the-numbers rom-com architect. (Although R. Kelly is a fitting and promising choice to oversee the soundtrack.)

In a statement of slightly misleading vanity, Whitney shared that, "Sparkle is a movie I have wanted to remake for a long time and I am so glad to finally see my wish come true and to be part of this stellar team of actors and producers." 


IN OTHER WORDS: Let the shitshow begin.





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Actress Tilda Swinton Admits She Tried To Kill Her Brother




REVIEWING THE NEWS: US magazine reports that in a revealing interview with Telegraph magazine, actress Tilda Swinton confessed a pretty awful almost-deed, trying to kill her baby brother, which had the opposite result. This is not to be confused with her previous menage-a-trois scandal.

By Robbie Woliver


Tilda Swinton, the world's best babysitter.

Inspired by the sensational murder of James Patrick Bulger, a 3-year-old from Kirkby, England who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1993, by two 10-year-old boys, Tilda Swinton began to remember a deep, dark secret from her own childhood. Now recalling her long repressed childhood secret and the evil that was within her around age 5, Swinton, the star of appropriately titled I Am Love and Limits of Control says, she tried to get rid of her newborn baby brother (she says she had too many brothers already). When she went into his nursery to kill him, she instead found him choking on ribbons, and she saved him, she says, by pulling the ribbons out of his mouth. She, since then, was regarded as his savior, she says, and fortunately not his murderer. 

IN OTHER WORDS: Weird story, right?


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