Drew Friedman's amazing portrait of Jared Kushner for Netflix's "Dirty Money"

Drew Friedman says:

The Netflix documentary series Dirty Money, season two, debuted with a profile of Jared Kushner (titled “Slumlord Millionaire”) directed by Morgan Pehme and Dan DiMauro (who also made the Roger Stone documentary).

The filmmakers filmed me for the episode, sent cameras up to my my home studio to interview me about Kushner, (who I did 50 covers for back when he published the NY Observer), and also filmed me over a course of three days creating an illustration of Jared channeling Dorian Gray, with the exposed picture being his father-in-law).

A bit more on the genesis of the drawing: I had thought that Jared looked like the young, handsome, and emotionless actor, Hurd Hatfield, who played Dorian Gray in the 1946 MGM film version, and I was toying for awhile with the idea of drawing Jared Kushner posed as Dorian but couldn’t figure out a twist. One of the filmmakers suggested that Trump himself be the horrible visage seen in the aging painting hidden away in Dorian’s attic, perhaps an analogy to what his soul might someday evolve into. That clicked with me, thus the drawing.

Read the rest

As coronavirus spreads, Melania Trump defends new White House tennis pavilion

...paid for with your tax dollars

Fake news network stole from legit sites, flooded Google News and Alerts. Report blames NASDAQ & Thomson Reuters ex-employees.

“As they stole stories from real newspapers, these sites baffled scientists, activists, and journalists. Until now.”

The answer to the Clearview AI scandal is better privacy laws, not anti-scraping laws

Clearview AI (previously) is a grifty facial recognition company that sells untested, secretive tools to police departments, claiming that they can identify people from security camera footage by matching the pictures those scraped from big social media sites. Read the rest

Warner claims ownership over the numbers 36 and 50, and demonetizes Youtube videos that incorporate them

Warner subsidiary Otter Media has a division called Fullscreen ("a social content company for talent and brands") that has been demonetizing Youtubers' videos that use the numbers 36 and 50 (and possibly other numbers, for all we know), claiming that their use of these integers is a copyright violation. Doing so allows Warner to steal the money that these Youtubers' videos would otherwise earn. Read the rest

Youtube's Content ID has become the tool of choice for grifty copyfraudsters who steal from artists

Last year's EU Copyright Directive will require online services to install upload filters similar to Youtube's Content ID system, a $100m, voluntary tool that allows rightsholders to claim video and audio and either censor or earn money from any user videos that matches their claims. Read the rest

NYC paid McKinsey $27.5m to reduce violence at Riker's, producing useless recommendations backed by junk evidence

Consulting giant McKinsey -- notorious price-gougers and architects of ICE's gulags -- took on a contract to help reduce violence at Riker's Island, and, $27.5m later, produced nothing but a set of trite and pointless recommendations that were largely ignored, backed by "research" that both McKinsey personnel and Riker's guards helped to falsify. Read the rest

Cops and spooks all over the world rely on a junk-science "walking polygraph" method to steer their investigation

SCAN (Scientific Content Analysis) is a lie-detecting method invented by Avinoam Sapir, a former Israeli spook turned polygraph examiner that involves picking out small textual details from writing samples to determine when someone is lying. Sapir has used his method to determine the veracity of the Book of Genesis, and to conclude that Anita Hill might be a secret lesbian and that James Comey was likely sexually assaulted as a child. Read the rest

George Zimmerman is suing Trayvon Martin's mother for $100M in order to promote a movie

It takes a special kind of person to randomly assault a black teenager, murder him, and claim it's self-defense, and then continuously find ways to be even more heinous after your acquitted for that crime. But George Zimmerman has a truly remarkable skill for being the grossest kind of grifter when he's not otherwise engaged in domestic violence, road rage, or other acts of aggression that clearly demonstrate an unstable of behavior.

Now, after selling off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, he's suing Martin's family as well as the prosecuting attorneys—who, recall, lost the case—for civil damages, alleging defamation, abuse of civil process and conspiracy.

But somehow, it gets worse.

Zimmerman's attorney in this case is Larry Klayman, a right-wing activist who helped found Judicial Watch. And their case is largely based on "new evidence" that has "been exposed" in a new documentary that was conveniently scheduled for a promotional screening in Florida this week, during which Zimmerman and Klayman planned to hold a press conference.

That documentary is called the "The Trayvon Hoax," and it accompanies a book of the same name, both of which were created by noted conspiracy theory grifter and frequent InfoWars guest Joel Gilbert. Like Gilbert's previous documentary film efforts — which include exposés on the "real" Paul McCartney who died in 1966, and Barack Obama's "real" father who was actually a famous American Communist (which even pissed off right-wingers because it undermined their Birther bullshit) — "The Trayvon Hoax" claims to uncover some incredible evidence about Trayvon's phone records, and his girlfriend, who was apparently hired as part of some epic false flag operation to spark a race war in America. Read the rest

A San Diego Republican operator ran a massive, multimillion-dollar Facebook scam that targeted boomers

Asher Burke died in March after a helicopter he'd chartered to visit the Kenyan ranch he'd invested in as an "entrepreneur playground" crashed in high winds; his stateside obits called the 27-year-old deputy political director of the Republican Party of San Diego as an entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of Ads, Inc, "on a mission to disrupt the lifestyle industry with our advanced approach to product creation and marketing." Read the rest

Trump's "China muse" advisor has been citing a made-up economist for years

Another one of Trump's close cabinet has been revealed as a lying con artist, surprising absolutely no one.

This time, it's Peter Navarro, a Harvard-educated economist and policy advisor who currently serves in the White House as the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy (OTMP). He's basically served as Trump's right-hand man for all things regarding Chinese trade, despite, erm, having very little experience with China to begin with.

Trump's legion of born-into-privilege cronies is of course full of people who lack lived experience and/or have a knack for exploiting people in their most vulnerable moments. But Navarro is still a pretty remarkable example. For more than a decade, he's been backing up his bullshit arguments by citing the expertise of a Harvard-educated economist named Ron Vara, the self-proclaimed "Dark Prince of Disaster," who made his money off stocks from companies profiting off of international crises.

"Ron Vara" is also an anagram for "Navarro." Which is convenient, because he is, in fact, Navarro, as the Chronicle uncovered:

Navarro has quoted Vara a dozen or so times in six books, usually as an epigraph before a chapter. In Death by China, published in 2011, Vara offers this sweeping assessment of the country's roughly 1.4 billion people: "Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel."

[…]

Those who know Navarro well, Autry says, were fully aware that Ron Vara was a phony source who often popped up in his books.

Read the rest

Whistleblowers out Falwell's Liberty University as a grifty, multibillion-dollar personality cult

Jerry Falwell, Sr founded the Moral Majority, brought evangelicals into the voting booth, elected Ronald Reagan, and changed the face of American politics forever; his son, Jerry Jr now commands the Falwell empire, including Liberty University, which now has $3b in assets. Read the rest

Debullshitifying Trump's get-out-of-jail statement for Medicaid scammer Ted Suhl

Ted Suhl was serving his third year of a seven-year sentence for bribery and Medicaid fraud when Trump commuted his sentence and sprung him, at the request of Mike Huckabee; the White House released a statement explaining Trump's reasoning for the commutation, and, as Propublica documents, it is full of "half-truths and omissions" about Trump's new grifter pal. Propublica did the hard work of annotating the Trump statement to remove the bullshit and tell the true tale. Read the rest

Schadenfreude watch: Porno copyright trolls' investors sue, say the grifters they backed stole their money (the grifters say their lawyer stole the money from them first!)

Malibu Media (previously) is the nom-de-lawsuit for Colette Pelissier and Brigham Feld, notorious copyright troll pornographers who send "speculative invoices" to people whom they accuse of downloading the pornography and B-movies they claim copyright over in the hopes that the people they ding will just send them a check rather than going to court. Read the rest

The NRA spent $70,000 on a consultant to help Wayne LaPierre choose which mansion to purchase

The NRA's internal finances have come under close scrutiny this past year, after Oliver North launched a failed coup intended to unseat longtime CEO/cult leader Wayne LaPierre, triggering so much internal strife that the organization's dirtiest laundry ended up getting aired in retaliatory strategic leaks by each camp. Read the rest

Billionaire who gave Jeffrey Epstein power of attorney in order to manage his finances says Epstein stole "vast sums of money"

One of the enduring mysteries of the super-wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is where, exactly, he got his money: a former math teacher, he styled himself a personal financial manager catering exclusively to billionaires, but had few-to-no clients, and did not own or trade assets that anyone could locate. Read the rest

Leaks reveal that disgraced, hacked surveillance company wrote Republican Congressman's border security talking-points

Remember Perceptics, the Border Patrol contractor whose facial recognition database was hacked, along with hundreds of gigs' worth of internal files? Read the rest

More posts