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- The Daily Beast
Paramount PlusOver the past six weeks or so, late-night shows have been struggling to figure out how to make comedy out of our collective post-Trump reprieve.Mostly, they have either found excuses to keep joking about Donald Trump or attacked new conservative targets like QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Cancun Senator Ted Cruz. More recently, on the latest episodes of Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, finally started taking some heat.But one political figure who has mostly evaded comedic scrutiny—much to Fox News’ frustration—is the current president of the United States, Joe Biden. Now that’s about to change on the new season of Tooning Out the News.In the exclusive clip below from this Thursday’s premiere of the Stephen Colbert-produced animated news show, which is joining the Paramount Plus lineup for its second season, a new fake news program called The Establishment with Tory Hughes goes hard at the 46th president for both giving Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a pass on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and for picking up where Trump left off in bombing Syria.Tory Hughes, voiced by Tooning’s writing supervisor Naima Pearce, describes herself as a “good Republican” who “stands up for the center-right value of politely making things worse alongside an elite panel of Washington termites.”As Pearce added via email to The Daily Beast, Hughes is a “healthy amalgamation of right-leaning pundits who had their political sensibilities formed during the Bush administration and then positively reinforced, in the last few years, simply because a regime with a more sinister façade took the Oval Office.” Ultimately, she said, the character is “driven by a moral compass whose true north points toward an open timeslot she can fill in a cable lineup.”In the premiere, her panel includes a handful of fictional pundits along with the very real CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe. Jumping directly into the Khashoggi report, Hughes jokes, “Biden made clear that if you kill an American journalist, he will tell on you to your dad” before disclosing that she is the founder of “The Establishment Ideas Festival: Policy and Pipelines” based in Riyadh. “And let me just say, MBS continues to show me that he values a future where I own a Lamborghini.”How Colbert’s ‘Tooning Out the News’ Ensnared Rudy Giuliani“I don’t think our audience has an impervious allegiance to any particular politician,” Pearce tells me of the show’s pivot to hold the new president accountable. “And there’s a sincere hunger for pointing out hypocrisy and highlighting where robust government mechanisms can harm people actively and passively. If that completely vanished under the Biden Administration, I think we’d happily announce The Establishment’s cancellation.”Later, the cartoon host introduces a new segment called “Who Did We Just Kill?” that breaks down the details of recent airstrikes in Syria while jaunty music plays in the background. “Who authorized this strike?” Hughes asks, mocking the “polite imperialism” of Biden who is “looking more presidential than ever” with his flashy military debut.When one of the panelists excitedly remarks how much he loved the segment and reveals that he’s “already forgotten about what happened,” Hughes replies, “That means we’ve done our jobs.”For more, listen and subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
The Tower Of The Koutoubia Mosque, owned by the actress, is sold to an unidentified buyer.
- Reuters Videos
In October of 2020, a 10-second piece of video art - of what appears to be a giant Donald Trump collapsed on the ground and covered in slogans amid an otherwise idyllic setting - was purchased by Miami-based art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile for $67,000.Last week, he sold it for $6.6 million.The video by digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, was authenticated by blockchain, which serves as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is the original work.It’s a new type of digital asset - known as a non-fungible token, or NFT - that has exploded in popularity as enthusiasts and investors scramble to spend enormous sums of money on items that only exist online.Rodriguez-Fraile explained what he thinks set this piece of digital content apart and made it worth its hefty price tag: “You can go into the Louvre and take a picture of the Mona Lisa and you can have it there, but it doesn't have any value because you don't have the provenance or the history or the work. Again, the reality here is that this is very, very valuable because of who is behind [it]. It's a full career of a multi-generational, like a generational career in this space of being the best of the best."Examples of NFTs range from digital artworks and sports cards to pieces of land in virtual environments.The start of the rush for NFTs has been linked with the launch of the NBA’s Top Shot website, which allows users to buy and trade NFTs in the form of video highlights of games.Five months after its launch, the platform says it has over 100,000 buyers and nearly $250 million in sales. The majority of sales take place in the site’s peer-to-peer marketplace, with the NBA getting a royalty on every transaction.Nate Hart is Nashville-based NFT investor who says he bought a LeBron James Cosmic NFT on NBA Top Shot for $40,000 in January, then sold it for $125,000 in February."The hype is extremely high right now. I've used the analogy a couple of times that early NFT guys are, in a way, have kind of been presented with the same opportunity as maybe people who found Bitcoin early.”Investors caution, however, that while big money is flowing into NFTs, the market could represent a price bubble.Like many new niche investment areas, there is the risk of major losses if the hype dies down, while there could be prime opportunities for fraudsters in a market where many participants operate under pseudonyms.Still, auction house Christie’s has just launched its first-ever sale of digital art – a collage of 5,000 pictures, also by Beeple – which exists solely as an NFT.Noah Davis is a contemporary art expert at Christie’s.“We were at $1 million dollars in 10 minutes with a starting bid at $100. And that just truly is, we've never seen anything even remotely close to that kind of activity."Bids for the work have hit $3 million, with the sale due to close on March 11.
Government ministers and officials were following Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead by opting on Tuesday for an Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine approved without late-stage efficacy data, instead of the AstraZeneca one. India's health, foreign and law ministers, and state governors, all flocked to Twitter to express support for the much-criticised Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN vaccine, after it was administered to Modi on Monday.
- The Daily Beast
via CBSIf you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.When Prince Harry and Megan Markle officially stepped back from their royal duties right around this time last year, the internet lost a favorite pastime: the scrupulous over-analyzation of what Meghan wore.Luckily, the famous couple has returned to the spotlight in what promises to be an explosive, tell-all attack on the royal family via a weekend primetime interview with Oprah Winfrey. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things,” Winfrey says in a promo. And such drama requires an outfit to match—one Meghan absolutely nails in Armani.As reported by Town & Country, Meghan wore a black silk Armani midi dress, belted with a full skirt and lotus embellishment on the shoulder. (It’s still on sale and costs $4,700, for anyone who might be interested in purchasing a very accurate, and expensive, Meghan Markle Halloween costume.)Town & Country noted, “Meghan specifically chose a dress with a lotus flower for her landmark interview with Oprah because of the symbolism behind the bloom... it is associated with rebirth and spiritual enlightenment.”And so Meghan will dish about how she found life as a royal, and the painful media attention that surrounded it, “almost unsurvivable,” while wearing a dress that screams: I made it out. It’s a carefully-crafted statement of resilience. Given Meghan’s tendency to speak her values through her clothing, it’s hard to not read into the message.Harry and Meghan Are Begged to Delay Oprah Broadcast While Prince Philip Is Gravely IllBut do not think there was a threshold for sparkle: Along with the shiny lotus, Meghan also wore a diamond bracelet that belonged to Princess Diana, whose legacy, and tragic death, are also evoked in the promo.Harry tells Oprah he wanted to leave the royal family because “I was afraid history would repeat itself.” Meghan sits next to him, holding his hand, her wrist adorned with Diana’s bracelet. So Harry’s mother is there, both in spirit and through a tangible relic.This is, of course, not the first time that Meghan has used her clothes as an extension of her talking points. When the couple announced they are expecting their second child last month, Meghan posed for the photo in a Carolina Herrera dress she “recycled” from her first pregnancy with son Archie. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Misan Harriman (@misanharriman) So there are plenty of symbolic little Easter eggs in Meghan’s Oprah look. But it also just oozes glamour. It’s a little vintage in its silhouette, and slightly incongruous from the interview backdrop: a decidedly low-key, very California backyard patio.Meghan has often been praised for her “relatability;” she’s worn affordable-ish Everlane flats, Aritzia dresses, and J. Crew. This dress does not follow that they’re-just-like-us tradition. For a serious confessional, Meghan wanted serious fashion. It is very black tie, and much fancier than Harry’s tech-bro-at-a-wedding gray suit with an open collar. It’s almost as if they got dressed for two different occasions that day. This dichotomy could be another example of the unfair reality of how famous women are expected to look compared to men, or it’s just indicative of something we already know: Meghan is the main event. The dress makes sure of it. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Raleigh News and Observer
NC’s Republican chair urges the GOP to lawyer up
Season five of "The Masked Singer" will premiere on March 10 - here's who you will see competing for the crown.
I received my first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in New York City and had to battle a flawed booking system
An Insider reporter struggled to book an appointment and had to wait in line for hours to get the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
If Daryl had to choose between his long-term friend, Maggie, and the man who killed her husband, Negan, Norman Reedus says he's #TeamMaggie.
- Associated Press
When Eddie Murphy made the original “Coming to America,” he was, almost indisputably, the funniest man in America. Murphy was at the very height of his fame, coming off “Beverly Hills Cop II” and the stand-up special “Raw.” Arsenio Hall, Murphy’s longtime friend and co-star in “Coming to America,” remembers them sneaking out during the shoot to a Hollywood nightclub while still dressed as Prince Akeem and his loyal aide Semmi.
Last September, in the arid hills of northern Nevada, a cluster of flowers found nowhere else on earth died mysteriously overnight. Conservationists were quick to suspect ioneer Ltd, an Australian firm that wants to mine the lithium that lies beneath the flowers for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. One conservation group alleged in a lawsuit that the flowers, known as Tiehm's buckwheat, were "dug up and destroyed."
- Miami Herald
All three COVID-19 vaccines were 100% effective at preventing deaths and hospitalizations in clinical trials.
- Business Insider
Rep. Adam Kinzinger tore into Sen. Josh Hawley for his 'smug' CPAC speech, saying 5 people died because of 'what you did'
"Like, there are five people dead, two that took their own life on top of that, as a result of what you did," Kinzinger said of Hawley.
James Charles faced his first major backlash in 2017 when he joked about contracting the Ebola virus before visiting South Africa.
- The Independent
The trial is one of the biggest civil rights cases in a generation
- Associated Press
An Israeli military court has sentenced a prominent Palestinian lawmaker to two years in prison in a plea bargain that convicted her of belonging to an outlawed group. Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held without charge since October 2019. Israel, along with the U.S. and other Western allies, considers the PFLP a terror group.
- Business Insider
The White House says it never wants an assassination like Khashoggi's again, but won't punish MBS for ordering the killing
Biden's White House has essentially leaned on the importance of the diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia in defense of its actions.
The comic legends told Jimmy Kimmel that Louie Anderson was cast in the classic 1980s comedy because he was one of three names given to them.
- Associated Press
The Philippine president has dismissed his former ambassador to Brazil after she was seen on video physically abusing a Filipino member of her household staff. President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday night he had approved a recommendation to fire Marichu Mauro, revoke her retirement benefits and disqualify her from public office for life. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said at the time that the unidentified victim had returned to Philippines and that it was trying to reach her amid an investigation.