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The television event of a lifetime: The Avenatti & Scaramucci Show

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“I have no interest in television right now,” tweeted the guy who’s on television 22-23 hours a day in response to this story.

Nothing against either of them but what’s the supposed appeal of this show?

The prominent television agent Jay Sures discussed with executives at CNN and MSNBC the concept of a program where the two men would square off, according to three people briefed on the issue. Both have become frequent cable network guests — Mr. Avenatti as one of Mr. Trump’s greatest antagonists, and Mr. Scaramucci as a loyalist to the president even after flaming out after less than two weeks at the White House…

Mr. Avenatti has not yet hired Mr. Sures, according to two of the people, but it is not unusual for Hollywood agents to work informally with potential clients. Mr. Sures, who is based primarily out of California, has represented Dr. Phil; the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd; and the co-host of “CBS This Morning,” Norah O’Donnell. Both Mr. Avenatti and Mr. Scaramucci attended a party thrown by Mr. Sures during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend last month in Washington.

“One’s a Trump crony, the other’s suing the pants off of him! Together, they’re The Mooch and Michael!” Meh. Avenatti’s on TV ’round the clock not because he’s particularly witty or insightful but because he’s a newsmaker. He’s rolling out dirt on the president’s lawyer day by day. Eventually that well will run dry (although, given the extent of Cohen’s shadiness, maybe not for a year or two). What then? He’s shown a knack for throwing elbows at his political enemies, which is useful in a cable news host, but whether he’d be interesting opining on the news of the day is an open question. Probably he would be. How high is the bar set for “interesting” on cable news, after all? The question is, has Avenatti built such a fan base among the hashtag-Resistance that they’d watch a show he’s hosting even when he’s spending most of his time farting out opinions about the North Korea summit, say, instead of his Quest To Take Down Drumpf?

I’m not sure about Scaramucci’s appeal on TV either. He’s fine but a bit dull in his cable hits, often surprisingly soft-spoken and more establishment in his opinions than POTUS is despite his Trumpist loyalties. Where Scaramucci really shines is in print interviews, when he doesn’t need to worry about network censors bleeping him and can indulge the profane Pesci-esque character that lives within him. If The Mooch and Michael landed on pay cable, like HBO, it might be worth watching to see Scaramucci do his “one F-bomb every 15 seconds” thing. But on MSNBC? Who cares? If the only hook here is taking a Trump booster and a Trump antagonist and having them co-host a show, you could do that with a thousand different other combinations, many of them more entertaining. Here, off the top of my head: Sloppy Hour with Steve Bannon and Rosie O’Donnell. I’d watch the fark out of that.

Another thing. Why would either Avenatti or Scaramucci want the daily grind of doing a show? Can’t both of them earn more in their current jobs than on cable? Avenatti’s won some big judgments and Scaramucci is a Wall Street guy. They’re not going to get Hannity money for a new show whose prospects are uncertain, and meanwhile they’d be putting in long-ish hours preparing to tape every night. And it’s not like either one is hurting for TV opportunities. Avenatti probably logs about as much airtime nowadays as he would if he had his own show and Mooch is sufficiently “colorful” and tapped in that he can get himself booked anywhere at will on short notice. I don’t get it. Although I do agree with Josh Barro that an Avenatti/Scaracmucci show in which they had to make elaborate wedding cakes together while a clock ticked down would be must-see TV.

Exit question: If you’re going to do this concept, isn’t an Avenatti/Giuliani show a much, much more appealing possibility? They hate each other! Conflict is the essence of good drama. Make it happen.

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Previously Deported Illegal Alien Charged with Brutal Murder of Shakopee, MN Woman

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Minnesota officials charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal from Mexico with the brutal murder of his former girlfriend in Shakopee, Minnesota earlier this month.

Fraider Diaz-Carbajal had been previously deported but told the court he has lived in the are for 18 years.
Fraider does not speak English and needed a translator.

He stabbed his former girlfriend several times before cutting his own neck.

SW News Media reported:

A 27-year-old woman who was killed in Shakopee on Aug. 12 has been identified as Enedelia Perez Garcia, 27, and today prosecutors charged Fraider Diaz-Carbajal, 35, 1279 Taylor St. Unit 6, with second-degree murder (not premeditated) in her death. Police say he was in the country illegally after being deported in 2014.

At about 4:02 p.m. on Aug. 12, Shakopee police were dispatched to a fight call involving a knife at 1279 Taylor St., No. 6., and while on the way to the Taylor Ridge Towhomes, they were told a male had a knife and a female was possibly dead.

According to the charging documents, officers found a bloody scene in the upstairs bedroom: Diaz-Carbajal was lying with his head resting on the stomach and chest of a woman who was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall and did not appear to be breathing. Diaz-Carbajal’s throat was cut with a 6 to 8-inch-long laceration and there were several stab wounds in his abdomen. He was “taking occasional breaths and moving” and a large, bloody knife was at his left side.

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Can AI produce fine art?

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We don’t normally cover the fine art beat here for obvious reasons, but there was a sale of a painting to a French collector in February which drew some attention. Another work by the same artist is going on sale at Christie’s presently. They works are going for some impressive amounts of money, but that’s not what makes the story interesting. The artist is an Artificial Intelligence program from a company named Obvious. (Time)

Hanging inside a gold frame on a pristine white wall in Christie’s Central London Gallery is a dark, moody portrait of a man in Puritan-style black clothes—the work, it seems, of some Old Master. But scrawled in the bottom right corner, there’s an unexpected signature: a mathematical equation.

This is Edmond de Belamy by French art collective Obvious—or, more accurately, by an algorithm designed by Obvious.

“The whole process is about humans having as little input as possible in the finished piece,” says Gauthier Vernier, one of three 25 year-old French men who started Obvious in April 2017 out of their apartment in Paris. Since then, by teaching a computer about art history and showing it how to make its own work, Obvious have produced 11 artworks with the help of artificial intelligence.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the technical particulars behind this since you can read them all at the article and at the Obvious Art website if you wish. The short version is that they developed an algorithm that scanned a vast number of paintings taken from classical art. It uses something called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) which randomly generate images meeting certain criteria (a face has two eyes, one nose, one mouth, etc.) and the program “tests” each image itself to see if it can tell whether it’s original art or a computer generation. The results do indeed resemble portraits.

Here’s the real question: Is this art? Allow me to offer the definitive answers (plural) because it works both ways.

First… Yes. This is art.

But that answer comes with a caveat. Anything can be art because art is in the eye of the beholder. You can walk down the beach, find a particularly interesting looking piece of driftwood, take it home, clean it up and mount it on a wooden base. If you find it attractive, if it brings you pleasure, if your friends come over and compliment you on it… it’s art. And that’s only good art I’m talking about. Some of the crap put out by human beings as “modern art” is total garbage. If a crucifix in a jar of urine or three basketballs shoved into a broken fish tank (I actually saw that one in a gallery in New York City some years ago) qualify as art, then anything this robot spits out can certainly bear the name.

Second… No. This is definitely not art.

What they are presenting is a painting. But it didn’t come from an original thought or moment of inspiration in a mind, human or otherwise. They fed a bunch of examples into a program and had it randomly place zeros and ones corresponding to random colors until it generated something which matched certain test criteria that the programmers defined as being “art.” There was no feeling, no intent nor even any knowledge in the “mind” of the program of what it was doing. It was solving a math problem by randomly guessing combinations until it arrived at some solutions which met those design criteria.

It also wasn’t “painted” in any way that requires effort, training or involves risk of messing up a brush stroke. I had to search for a while to find out how the actual, physical paintings are created, but the AI only generates an image file. It’s then fed into a fancy laserjet printer which is set up to print on canvas instead of paper. Then a human being took it out and mounted it in a frame. An artist could never reproduce one of their painting precisely by hand. There would always be at least minute differences. Obvious could crank out the same portrait a thousand times and they would all be the same.

This isn’t even artificial intelligence as near as I can see. And it’s certainly not fine art. You could switch out the canvas for paper and it would be making interesting posters. If some rich collector wants to go to Christie’s and lay out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for one of these creations, that’s up to them. But save up your money, because Obvious can produce thousands more for you in no time at all.

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President Trump Responds to Manafort Conviction “Nothing to do With Russian Collusion” (VIDEO)

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“NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIAN COLLUSION” – President Trump

President Trump responded Tuesday afternoon after a jury found his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on 8 felony counts.

The President spoke to the press shortly after he landed in Charleston, West Virginia as he headed to his rally.

“It doesn’t involve me but I still feel really sad…you know it’s a very sad thing that happened. This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion…this has absolutely nothing to do…this is a witch hunt and it’s a disgrace,” Trump said.

President Trump also said that he feels very bad for Paul Manafort. “He worked for Bob Dole, he worked for Ronald Reagan…” Trump continued.

The President didn’t answer any questions about his former lawyer Michael Cohen who just pleaded guilty to 8 counts; his plea deal includes 3-5 years jail time.

VIDEO:


After four days of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict on 8 counts and could not make a decision on 10 counts in the tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort.

Judge Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 counts. The jury found Manafort guilty on 8 counts.

Both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort were hunted down by Mueller and his thugs because of their association with Donald Trump.

We currently have a two-tiered justice system because AG Sessions is AWOL.

One set of laws for Trump and his supporters and another set of laws for Democrats and Clinton-Deep State cronies.

H/T: Zero Hedge

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