In the wake of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, a new debate opened up, about the mundane, everyday ways that wealthy people buy their way into elite institutions: from hiring, poorer, smarter kids to write their kids' essays, to surrendering custody of your kids in order to misappropriate low-income tuition grants, to simply "donating" shit-tons of money to the school.
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Thanks to the college admissions scandal the issue of inequality and access to postsecondary education is now in our national conversation, but despite the glitz of the bribery scandal, the real issue is a much more mundane form of reverse affirmative action that allows wealthy Americans to dominate college admissions, muscling out better candidates from poorer backgrounds, especially Black students.
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There are some mysteries in the court documents related to the college admissions scandal: a pair of mystery students whose parents paid $1.2m and $6.5m in bribes to get them into top US educational institutions.
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They put the hype in hyperbole. They put the tat in overstatement. They put the mountain in molehill.
This week's tabloids put the retch in stretching the truth, with sickening disregard for the facts.
What is “Destroying Hollywood?” According to the Globe, it’s the Michael Jackson child molestation scandal, in which superstars Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross both expressed support for the late pop idol, only to buckle under savage criticism and emphasized their sympathy for any victims of pedophilia. Or, as the Globe puts it: “Hollywood A-listers at each other’s throats over kiddie scandal.” Despite the fact that no A-listers (or B-, C-, or D-listers) have publicly attacked them. Evidently it’s the end of Hollywood as we know it. Tragic.
“My Life in Scientology Hell!” is the “explosive” exclusive dominating the cover of the National Enquirer, claiming that Tom Cruise’s daughter Bella is “breaking her silence for [the] first time.” Bella actually spoke out in official Scientology promotional materials about her joy at completing training to become an auditor, which would be really useful at tax time if only it meant she’d studied accountancy, rather than the Scientology version of "auditing," which enables her to help "train" new recruits.
I’m not one to carry water for this divisive cult, but it’s depressing to see the Enquirer twist Bella's words so egregiously. She wrote of her training, including “hard work . . . a lot of effort . . . meltdowns and running to the bathroom to have . Read the rest
Do tabloid editors even read what their reporters write? It’s hard to imagine, given the disconnect between headlines and the barely-detectable trace elements of facts contained in the stories beneath them.
“Alex Trebek — Lung & Liver Surgery” reports the cover story of this week’s National Enquirer. But he’s had neither surgery according to the story on the inside pages about the beloved host of TV’s Jeopardy, who recently admitted having stage four pancreatic cancer. Is Trebek even poised to undergo such surgeries? Not according to the Enquirer, which says he “may be considering” such measures. Or maybe he isn’t considering them at all?
“Monster Moms Tell All,” screams the front cover of Us magazine, promising the inside scoop on Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman’s role in the college cheating scandal. But neither actress says a single word. About anything. The mag reports: “Now both women are trying to explain away their involvement.” Evidently they’re not trying to explain it to Us.
"R. Kelly Flunks Lie Test!” yells a spread in the Globe. A super-scientific what-could-possibly-go-wrong voice stress analysis of the beleaguered singer's appearance on TV with Gayle King shows that Kelly was stressed and therefore must have been lying. Why else would anyone be stressed appearing on national TV being accused of pedophilia? It boggles the mind why voice analysis isn’t used in criminal courts nationwide. Tom Cruise could have really used one in Minority Report instead of relying on those flaky precogs.
Sometimes you just wish that celebrities read their own press, so that they’re on the same page of the script as the tabloids. Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH News of the Times reports on Hollingsworth Hound's illegal bribe to get his son into an elite university
There's buying school buildings, making million-dollar "donations," photoshopping your kid's head onto a real athlete's body, hiring a grown man to take your child's SAT test, and then there's an admissions tactic that hasn't yet come up in the college admissions scandal – screwing the head of the school. Here's a hilarious – and tragic – clip from Forrest Gump to show us how it's done.
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Yesterday, news broke out that the Feds had uncovered the biggest college admissions scandal in US history. This involved over 30 families, including the families of actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. But now, it looks like the scandal has blown up into something much much bigger. According to NBC, the ringleader of the admissions scam, William Rick Singer, says he helped 761 families cheat their way into college. Or, as he slyly put it, he helped these families get into college "side doors."
William Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Boston federal court to racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges, said in a phone conversation recorded by the FBI that he helps "the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school."
Singer said he facilitated 761 "side doors" to admission.
"They want guarantees, they want this thing done. They don't want me messing around with this thing," he said, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. "And so they want in at certain schools."
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Yesterday, federal authorities announced 50 indictments of college personnel, wealthy parents, and fixers who ran a multi-million-dollar bribery ring that ensured that the slow, plodding, undeserving fruit of wealthy grifters' loins could be admitted to the top universities in America.
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