Showtime gives us a macho Olivia Pope and a new TV archetype
Ray Donovan; Olivia Pope; Michael Clayton. Why is pop culture so fixated on the professional fixer?
And the rise of the penultimate episode
The big guns now come out in the penultimate episode.
The show has spent its final season dismembering its fourth wall piece by piece.
Plus, two other compelling details from my last few weeks of reading
*/ A new three-episode Bravo reality series, "The People’s Couch," consists of regular Joes in their houses watching and commenting on television from the previous week. — Deadline The Budget, the most popular Amish newspaper, doesn’t run crime stories and cuts out mentions of elderly women who live alone lest it put them in danger. One thing it has in common with more modern media companies? Contributors are unpaid. — The Wall Street Journal NASA is looking for volunteers to lie in bed for several days. Participants will be paid $18,000.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Newt surge is that the man’s past has yet to catch up with him. At first glance, Newt Gingrich seems like God’s gift to opposition researchers. There’s the $1.6 million fee he collected from Freddie Mac, the $500,000 line of credit he holds at Tiffany’s, and the climate-change ad he filmed with Nancy Pelosi. Like Herman Cain, he has a history of sexual improprieties. Like Mitt Romney, he has a less-than-perfect pro-life record. Most damningly in today’s Republican climate, he is the ultimate Beltway insider—and has been for nearly two decades.
Every politician needs a base. Mitt Romney has the business establishment. Ron Paul has libertarians. Rick Santorum has social conservatives. Michele Bachmann had Tea Partiers for a while, before Herman Cain won them over. But who’s behind Newt Gingrich? ’90s nostalgics? People with a penchant for shoddily researched history? His rise in the polls—from about 6 percent to 12 percent—has only made the question more intriguing.
Back in May, five veteran protesters hatched a plan: The tenth anniversary of the deployment of American troops in Afghanistan was approaching, and they wanted to demonstrate their discontent. They’d start with a concert and a rally, and then the more hard-core protesters would stick around in tents through the winter. The protest would take place in Freedom Plaza, a rectangular, concrete park in downtown Washington. They designed a logo, ordered signs and t-shirts, and raised more than $30,000.
Last fall, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed decided to use vacation days he had saved up in his eight years as a regional compliance specialist in the Buffalo office of the New York Department of Transportation. He told his co-workers he would be traveling to Mogadishu—the city he was born in, but had not seen since 1985—and that he would return in three weeks. What he didn’t reveal was the purpose of the trip: to interview to become prime minister of Somalia. Mohamed, who is known among Somalis by the nickname Farmaajo, got the job.
With Hurricane Irene and the nameless earthquake behind us, most on the East Coast would agree it’s been a busy week. For Michele Bachmann, though, these two plagues portend something more—a divine warning to Washington. At least that’s what she told a rally of supporters in Florida yesterday, asking when politicians would get the message. That message, which sounds suspiciously similar to Bachmann’s own platform, is to reduce government spending.
Twenty-nine thousand children under the age of five have died in Somalia in the past 90 days. Nearly 3.6 million people are at risk of starvation. While the crisis has a number of causes—drought, livestock deaths, rising food prices—blame for the worst of the famine lies with the militant Islamist group Al Shabab, which has denied the existence of the famine, diverted water from poor villages, and kept food away from the people who need it most. What is Al Shabab—and what does it want? The answer to that question lies in Somalia’s recent turbulent history.