Social network tarot cards

Illustrator Jacopo Rosati of Venice, Italy has designed tarot cards based on internet culture instead of the occult. His Social Network Tarots' "major arcana" includes The Russian Hacker, Dick Pics, and Fake News, not the usuals like The Fool, Lovers, and Death.

The cards are not meant to be played it seems, as the artist only presents them as beautifully silkscreened posters. It's unclear whether Rosati is selling them but if you were interested in getting one, you could try reaching out to him through his site. (Dangerous Minds) Read the rest

KGB killed JFK, celebrity weight battles, and Bigfoot sightings in this week’s tabloids

The release of 2,800 previously classified documents on the killing of president John F. Kennedy has prompted this week’s tabloids to fresh heights of fantasy.

JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald “worked for CIA!” screams this week's National Enquirer cover, claiming a “world exclusive” revealing details of a shocking memo. There’s only one small problem: this document, purportedly from CIA director John McCone to Secret Service chief James Rowley, has been circulating since the 1990s has been long discredited as a forgery, and is scorned even by most conspiracy theorists. It’s a “world exclusive” nobody else would touch.

Sister magazine the Globe also ignores the newly-released documents, instead claiming that “Secret KGB Files Reveal Russian Spy Killed JFK!” Kennedy was reportedly assassinated “by a Soviet spy surgically enhanced to be a dead ringer for Lee Harvey Oswald.” Setting aside the question as to why the Kremlin wouldn’t surgically alter an agent to look like someone who actually had access to the president, the Globe story admits to highly dubious sourcing: the information purportedly comes from secret Russian files seen by an unnamed KGB agent in the 1980s or 1990s, who relayed this information to unnamed sources, who eventually told the Globe. What more proof could you ask for?

“The real Oswald was in Russia when Kennedy was killed in Dallas in 1963,” claims the mag. “He was murdered soon afterward.” Well, that explains everything.

The Globe is hardly on firmer ground with its exclusive exposing “Kim Jong-Un’s Plot to Snatch Jennifer Aniston.” Evidently the North Korean leader plotted to kidnap the Friends star during her visit to Paris, “and keep her as his Hollywood bride,” according to an unnamed source. Read the rest

Hollywood sex scandal predators go unnamed and unashamed in this week’s tabloids

More than 30 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of rape or sexual abuse, another 200+ women have claimed sexual assault by writer-director James Toback, but only the National Enquirer, following a “12-month investigation” into Hollywood sex crimes, can reveal that Halle Berry “walked arm in arm” with an unnamed alleged sex harasser.

Arm in arm? Is that seriously the worst abuse the Enquirer could dig up? Apparently. Sandra Bullock “was pursued” by a predatory director, Jessica Alba “was cast” in an alleged sex abuser’s movie, and Jennifer Aniston “enjoyed success with a powerful executive.”

Wow. How’s that for blowing the lid off Hollywood sleaze?

The Enquirer cover headline screams “New Sex Abuse Scandal Rocks Hollywood,” but you know it’s going to be a disappointment when they can’t even be bothered to add the usually-mandatory exclamation mark at the end.

Are we supposed to assume that these stars were victims of far worse indignities than the Enquirer coyly reveals? That seems unlikely, coming from a publication that has never shied away from describing sordid sexual encounters in loving detail.

“Three movie moguls exposed inside!” adds the cover. “The Predators Unmasked!” And their identities are ... never revealed. "The three movie moguls remain in the shadows, but the Enquirer is aware of their identities . . ." the rag reports, presumably happy for these "unmasked" predators to continue inflicting their sleazy atrocities. No wonder Donald Trump once said that the Enquirer deserves a Pulitzer prize.

The tabloids continue grabbing the moral low ground this week, led by the Globe cover proclaiming: “Michael J. Read the rest

Las Vegas gunman’s hooker, Hillary Clinton’s lies, and Jerry Lewis’s forged will in this week’s tabloids

With its impeccable military intelligence contacts and team of White House insiders, the National Enquirer has scooped the world by obtaining “ISIS’s Map of Terror!” – revealing the jihadist group's “top secret” targets across America. Then again, it could be the route map of any retired couple planning to tour the States in an RV: targets include Mount Rushmore, Hoover Dam, Disney World, Dollywood, The Grand Ole Opry, the Statue of Liberty, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It’s only surprising that they didn’t include Wrigley Field. Oh wait – they did.

How the Enquirer gets such amazingly detailed inside information, I’ll never know.

The Enquirer also “blows the lid off Hollywood’s casting couch scandal,” if “blowing the lid” means regurgitating actress’s allegations made over the past two weeks while adding nothing new.

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis’s $75 million will was “forged,” claims a handwriting expert, who found that a dying 91-year-old’s signature doesn’t precisely match his signature when he was younger. Because at the age of 91 what could possibly make it harder to hold a pen or make one’s hand shake? Hard to imagine.

Tom Cruise has obtained the level of Operating Thetan VI within the Church of Scientology, which the Enquirer claims means that he has the ability to heal with the touch of a finger. This could be good news for every starlet he beds in the future, who could wake up in the morning a born-again virgin.

Would you consider yourself broke if you had $250,000 in cash? Read the rest

Ghostwatch, the greatest TV Halloween hoax of all time

When I was a kid, home alone in 1993, I turned on the TV to find one of those live call-in shows. "Ghostwatch" was presented as light-hearted Halloween fun from the BBC, jumping between phone calls from the public, panel discussion and an on-location "real life" paranormal investigation.

In the studio was the trusted greybeard and sceptic Michael Parkinson, talking to an expert on the paranormal. In the house, engaging with a mother and two young girls, was the Children’s BBC darling Sarah Greene. Greene’s husband, Mike Smith, manned a bank of phones in a Crimewatch-style set up, with a number flashing at the bottom of the screen. If you called the number, as thousands of people did, you got through to a bank of real parapsychologists. ... Craig Charles, then at the height of his fame with Red Dwarf, was the reporter on the ground, mocking the entire enterprise...

But it was really a movie, a novel and realistic hoax. Ghostwatch (available now on DVD) headed an inch at a time from its convincing, deliberately boring reality show framing into a demonic nightmare. This was stunningly original work in 1993 and the nation was savaged by it. The over-the-top ending, intended to make it all look like hokey fun, seemed to have the opposite effect: they killed the key presenter of Children's BBC on "live" television, at the hands of a dead child molester's spirit, while knowing that the children would be watching! Or, worse, sent to bed by their parents as they realized where the show was going. Read the rest

Stevie Wonder’s vision restored, O.J. Simpson’s hookers, and Hugh Hefner didn’t have to die, in this week’s tabloids

Stevie Wonder can see again, the Las Vegas killer joined a cult before the massacre, and Tom Petty could have been saved, according to this week’s fact-distanced tabloids.

How wrong can the tabloids get?

Having killed off country music star Loretta Lynn months ago, the Globe now reports “Loretta Lynn is back from dead!” Less than five months after a supposedly fatal stroke, she was back on stage this month and “showed no ill effects from the stroke.” Or maybe reports of her death were premature?

Robert Redford, who beat polio at the age of 11, is suffering a “relapse fear” claims the Globe - because at 81, he “was seen struggling to get out of a vehicle.” Sure, that couldn’t possibly be the result of old age, rheumatism or arthritis, having overdone it in the gym, or soreness after a long horse ride. It’s polio, naturally.

“Sex-starved O.J. heading right for hookers!” reports the National Enquirer, which claims to have followed the recently-paroled ex-con O.J. Simpson for a week. And after seven days, how many hookers did he visit? None. It’s just the owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel saying vaguely: “It’s going to happen . . . the BunnyRanch girls are anxious for O.J.’s visit.” Right.

“Hugh Hefner didn’t have to die!” claims the Enquirer, citing a “toxic cloud of black mold” in the Playboy mansion for hastening the Lothario publisher’s demise. “Everything in the mansion felt old and stale,” says Hef’s former girlfriend Izabella St James. Read the rest

Hitler found alive after WWII, and how Donald Trump is misunderstood, in this week’s tabloids

Did celebrities take last week off?

It seems that way, as so many of the stories in this week’s tabloids relate to events that happened years, even decades ago, though naturally they are presented as “news” complete with the mandatory exclamation points.

Tom Cruise “self destructs over cancer diagnosis!” would seem to be a shocking new story in the National Enquirer, but of course it isn’t Tom who was diagnosed with cancer, but his father, who died . . . wait for it . . . 33 years ago. Tom was well aware of his father’s cancer, since he was at his dying dad’s bedside, so his father’s cancer diagnosis could hardly come as a shock, or news, to the actor.

Demi Moore "cheats death in cocaine overdose," screams the Enquirer headline. When did this supposedly happen? In 1985 – 32 years ago, barely a year after Tom Cruise’s father’s cancer diagnosis.

Continuing its streak of hot breaking news, the Enquirer reveals Sandra Bullock’s “cheating hunk hit her!” When was she allegedly assaulted by a boyfriend? In high school - 35 years ago.

Globe joins in the fun with its story "Diana Ross put in mental ward!" This must seem like it happened only yesterday – back in 2001, a mere 16 years ago. "Rabid Rambo disembowels reality queen!” screams another Globe headline above a lurid true crime story that seems fresh by comparison – this only occurred in 2015.

Is there nothing new happening in the tabloids? Of course there is, if you count slain Nicole Brown Simpson’s ghost haunting O.J. Read the rest

YouTube "actively promoting" Vegas conspiracy theory videos

"It's an algorithm" was never a good excuse, but YouTube's had plenty of time to fix this one, and they don't even pretend to care anymore, even after media began to set quotes from anguished victims against those of smugly indifferent anonymous spokespeople.

The Guardian:

YouTube is promoting conspiracy theory videos claiming that the Las Vegas mass shooting was a hoax, outraging survivors and victims’ families, in the latest case of tech companies spreading offensive propaganda. ... YouTube told the Guardian that this footage and other specific conspiracy videos that appeared after a generic search did not violate its standards.

It is a sewer, the search results a fatberg of fake news and fury.

We can only suppose why Google (and Facebook, for that matter) refuse to deal with the problem, but it looks like they want their tracking and interaction-optimizing bullshit to do its work with the absolute minimum of dataset-polluting editorial moderation. They will only interrupt it when force--legal, regulatory, media, and public protest--is applied. And, frankly, the first three aren't working. Which leaves it to... you?

UPDATE: YouTube "tweaked" the search results to remove the high-ranking conspiracy videos, reports the WSJ. Read the rest

Republican Senator caught making up fake news about fake news doubles down

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford (@SenatorLankford; (405) 231-4941) sounded the alarm about Russian trolls spreading discord about NFL athletes kneeling for the national anthem, citing as evidence a Twitter account called "Boston Antifa" whose "location" field had been filled in "Vladivostok, Russia." Read the rest

Inside Kim Jong-Un’s bunker, the plot to kidnap Prince George, and other fabrications in this week’s tabloids

It’s a throw-back to the good ole days of aliens in the White House, Bat Boy and Sasquatch sightings in this week’s facts-be-damned tabloids.

A “bloodthirsty devil boy intent on murder has crossed over into the land of the living – again,” reports the Globe. This “demon child’s ghost is trying to murder me!” claims New York designer Adam Ellis, who admits that the “evil entity” came to him in a dream, but left his arm bruised. Because nobody has ever knocked their arm during the day and woken the next morning to find a bruise that seemed to magically appear overnight. The ghost, which only appears in his dreams, is “wreaking havoc in his home” – meaning that his cats jump over something invisible. “I sort of feel like I’m losing my mind,” says Ellis. So are the editors of the Globe, apparently.

“Selena Gomez Stole My Kidney!” claims a National Enquirer report claiming that patients on the transplant list are angered that the pop singer “used her celeb status to push her way to a life-saving kidney.” Except she didn’t jump any list – her close friend, actress Francia Raisa, donated a kidney to Gomez. Of course, no irate patients are identified, though the Enquirer attributes the story to “one righteously disgruntled angry person [who] posted on social media.” Right.

The Enquirer also brings us “The Psychic Picasso,” a Brazilian “psychic painter” who channels dead artists including Renoir, Picasso, Manet and Modigliani to paint masterpieces with his eyes tightly closed – except the art looks like the work of an art school drop-out. Read the rest

Trump tweets about recent Iranian missile launch, then US assessment deems it false

US officials say intelligence efforts found no evidence of an Iranian ballistic missile launch after President Donald Trump tweeted about a launch reported from an Iranian-run news broadcast, according to CNN.

Trump — who has said he likes to “know the facts” before making a statement — referenced the questionable report, while seemingly criticizing the Iran nuclear deal. "Iran just test fired a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel,” he tweeted. “They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!"

The report is likely to have shown footage of a previous Iranian launch. “As far as we can see, it did not happen,” a Trump official — who did know if the president received an intelligence briefing before the tweet — told CNN. Read the rest

Sexbots, Nostradamus and Donald Trump, in this week’s tabloids

Nostradamus “predicted hurricanes and North Korea missile crisis,” claims this week’s Globe magazine, which promises to reveal the 16th-century French seer’s predictions for “what’s next!”

It’s about as plausible and fact-based as anything else in this week’s dubious tabloids. “The false trumpet concealing madness will cause Byzantium to change its laws,” wrote the ancient prognosticator. “The false trumpet is an obvious reference to America’s president,” Nostradamus analyst Louis Lefrevre tells Globe. Wait a second – the Trump-loving Globe is calling the President a “false trumpet”? Sure, he makes a lot of noise and blows a lot of hot air, but then who is the true trumpet? Hillary? Bernie?

The ancient writings continue: “The trumpet shakes with great discord. An agreement broken . . .”

Lefrevre explains: “The broken agreement is Kim’s refusal to stop nuclear testing despite his former promises.” Well, that seems obvious once you explain it.

So, what comes next?

“The next war,” says Lefrevre, pointing to this Nostradamus verse: “Pestilences extinguished, the world becomes smaller, for a long time the lands will be inhabited peacefully.” What could be clearer than that? And should I be surprised that a Google search for what the Globe terms “University of Paris expert Louis Lefrevre” turns up zero matches?

How about the Globe story that Jennifer Aniston and husband Justin Theroux are having a “trial separation”? Except she’s actually filming in Georgia, and he’s at home in New York. That’s not a marital split, it’s a working couple. How about the Globe finding “proof” that the coroner had Natalie Wood’s “autopsy faked!” Its proof? Read the rest

America’s killer volcano, Angelina Jolie’s collapsing face, and Prince Charles’ murder confession, in this week’s tabs

Has Angelina Jolie’s face collapsed or is it preternaturally super-smooth? Have Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell split or are they living together? Does Hillary Clinton tell all in her new memoir, or reveal nothing?

It’s an Alice Through the Looking Glass kind of week in the tabloids, where little is as it seems, and we’re all plunging down a rabbit hole where logic disappears.

Let’s start with Angelina. The ‘National Enquirer’ reports that “Angie’s face collapses” as the magazine “learns" she is suffering from Bell’s palsy. They’re discovering this rather late, however, since Jolie publicly announced her medical condition back in July, but perhaps the ‘Enquirer’ has only now belatedly looked up “Bell’s palsy” in a medical dictionary.

In the mirror world of stable-mate the ‘Globe,’ however, Jolie is on a “botox binge” making her face “smooth,” while a cosmetic surgeon comments on every aspect of her facial features without once mentioning its collapse. If a cosmetic surgeon can’t spot a disfiguring case of Bell’s palsy, how bad can it really be?

“Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell Split!” screams the ‘Enquirer’ cover, repeating a story it’s told for months. But the report inside explains that the couple are actually still living in the same home - a new house they recently built and moved into. That’s an unusual split, to be sure.

And the tabloids can’t agree on what Hillary Clinton reveals in her coming new memoir, ‘What Happened.’ The ‘Enquirer,’ having obtained an advance copy of her book, reports that Hillary believes that she was the best candidate for the presidency, that the email scandal was “not her fault,” and that FBI director James Comey stabbed her in the back. Read the rest

Priscilla Presley killed Elvis, Michael Jackson’s tomb is empty, and the Queen quits!

This week’s tabloids may not be entirely divorced from reality, but they are permanently estranged and consulting lawyers.

Many celebrities are horse lovers, but not Star Trek’s William Shatner. He has a “bizarre horse obsession” according to the ‘Globe.’ He rides and breeds horses, but the ‘Globe’ has found an “expert” who warns: “equine lovers get sexy kicks out of dominating powerful animals!” Don’t we all?

The ‘Globe’ also airs its “Ryan O’Neal Cancer Fears!” In other words, he’s lost weight lately.

Ellen DeGeneres is suffering a “mental health crisis,” reports the ‘Globe.’ Its evidence? She admitted suffering depression back in 1998 when her TV series was axed. So she’s still depressed?

Clint Eastwood has given “Bride No. 3 wedding ring” claims the ‘National Enquirer.’ Or maybe his girlfriend Christina Sandera is just wearing a ring?

Jack Nicholson is battling an “Alzheimer’s Nightmare!” alleges the ‘Globe.” At least, that’s what unnamed “friends fear,” because the 80-year-old is occasionally forgetful. "The rumor is he has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease,” a “pal” says. Because that’s what pals are for. And where’s the fun in owning a tabloid if you can’t publish rumors?

“I killed Elvis!” states Priscilla Presley’s “shocking confession!” in the ‘Globe.’ As if. Priscilla supposedly “blames herself” for The King’s death “because she rejected his plea to get married again.”

Just like I blame myself for Michael Jackson’s death because I planned to attend his concert appearances and made him work himself to death. My bad.

And now Jacko’s “tomb is empty” according to the ‘Globe.’ Not taken by body-snatchers, but secretly cremated by his family, it seems. Read the rest

Earth faces comet catastrophe, in this week’s tabloids

J. Edgar Hoover killed President Kennedy, O.J. Simpson aims to murder Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, and JonBenet Ramsey’s babysitter tells all, in this week’s reality-divorced tabloids.

JonBenet’s babysitter Kristine Griffin tells the ‘Globe': “The parents didn’t do it - but I know who did.” But she refuses to identify the killer. So much for telling all.

O.J., weeks from going free on parole, is “hell-bent on revenge,” claims the ‘National Enquirer,’ which is a step back from recent tabloid stories that claimed Simpson plans to murder everyone who ever doubted his innocence. Incapable of inventing a motive for O.J.’s murderous rage, a dubiously unnamed source muses: “O.J. blames Kris for everything. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s all her fault.”

Why would FBI director Hoover put a hit out on JFK? “He was being fired for blackmailing prez,” reports the ‘Globe,’ helpfully adding: “Lee Harvey Oswald was on his payroll!” How did they slip that conspiracy past the Warren Commission? Hoover blackmailed the Commissioners with dirt on every one of the investigators. It sounds obvious once it’s explained, doesn’t it?

You have to admire the ‘National Examiner’ for its story on actress Betty White explaining why, at 95, “I’ll never get plastic surgery.” Presumably it’s because the chance to look 20 years younger doesn’t sound that appealing. Why would she want to compete with a bunch of 75-year-old actors when she has the 95-year-old market locked up?

The ‘Examiner’ has come late to the tabloid realization that the British Royal family rarely sue, no matter how egregious the story, and this week devotes its cover to “William Catches Camilla Cheating!” Naturally, the Queen “has demanded Charles get an immediate divorce from his power-hungry wife - and banish her from the kingdom forever.” As if it’s an episode of 'Game of Thrones.’ It’s a shame that this same affair claim appeared in May, 2015, in the ‘Globe,’ which alleged that Charles and Camilla had an explosive fight over her fling with an unnamed British actor. Read the rest

FBI traced a 'fake news' disinfo attack on Election Day from Russia, CNN reports

The FBI monitored social media on Election Day 2016 to try and trace the source of a suspected Russian disinformation campaign that used "fake news," CNN reports.

Read the rest

Putin’s love slave, White House rocked by sex scandal, and what Sharknado 5 star Cassie Scarbo carries in her purse, in this week’s tabloids

Vladimir Putin’s "American love slave tells all,” President Trump “can foil Mueller’s dark mission," and “sex romps rock White House,” in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids.

Politics has always been show-business with consequences, and this week’s tabloids are no exception. The ‘National Enquirer,’ which brings us its “Political Sex Scandal Hall of Shame” - All Stars include Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and the irrepressible Anthony Weiner - reports that “President Donald Trump has been rocked by a sleazy sex scandal after a top aide was caught cheating on his wife - with a hottie younger than his own daughters!”

While trying to fathom how the term “hottie” was exhumed from 1950s porn magazines, what’s most remarkable is that the Trump-loving ‘Enquirer’ would expend an ounce of ink criticizing their beloved Commander in Chief. But of course, that’s not what they’re doing. This “shocking revelation” is allegedly about former election campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who Trump is desperately trying to put in his rear view mirror, having been exposed for links to Russia, and attending Donald Trump Jr's infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, hoping to find dirt on Hillary Clinton. It’s clearly another indication of how Trump can turn on his former aides, that Manafort’s alleged infidelity “romping with his 33-year-old mistress in the bedroom he shares with his wife” can become fodder for celebrity-hungry ‘Enquirer’ readers.

‘Enquirer’ political columnist Dick Morris claims that special counselor Robert Mueller “has shown he is determined to bring Trump down, and will stop at nothing.” No hyperbole there, Dick? Read the rest

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