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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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Caravan reaches Mexican border, breaks through fence on Guatemalan side

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The migrant caravan reached the southern border of Mexico Thursday night and NBC News reports some have already crossed the border. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal described the situation along the Mexican border as tense:

Tension was palpable in Ciudad Hidalgo, a tiny tropical village in Mexico surrounded by rain forest and banana plantations that borders Tecun Uman in Guatemala, with the two towns separated by a muddy river. Late Thursday, some 300 Mexican federal police officers equipped with antiriot gear were deployed to the border crossing ahead of the caravan’s expected arrival…

Many migrants marched along the river banks on Thursday afternoon. “Let them know that we are going to cross to Mexico!” shouted a man clad with a cap in front of the crowd.

The border between Mexico and Guatemala (at this location) is the Suchiate River. Here’s what that looks like from the bridge spanning the river:

There are gates on both sides of the bridge to control traffic. Buzzfeed’s Karla Zabs is there covering developments this morning. A short time ago the caravan began massing at the Guatemalan gate:

And that led to a standoff. The AP reports that “young men” eventually tore open the barricade and swarmed onto the bridge:

Migrants in a caravan traveling through Central America have broken down gates at a border crossing and are streaming toward a bridge to Mexico.

After arriving at the tall, yellow metal fence Friday, some clambered atop it and on U.S.-donated military jeeps.

Young men began violently tugging on the barrier and finally succeeded in tearing it down.

Men, women and children then rushed through toward the bridge, about 150 yards (137 meters) away.

This tweet translates as “Bombshell! Thousands of Hondurans manage to enter Mexican territory!”

The Noticias video below helps explain the sequence of events. This is a live stream but you can scroll back. First people were massed at the yellow gates on the Guatemalan side of the bridge. Then they broke through those gates and streamed onto the bridge as seen in that clip above. The migrants made their way to the Mexican side of the bridge and, at first, it appeared the gates were open, but they were pushed closed by police with riot shields.

A shoving match ensued between the police and the migrants trying to re-open the gates. Some migrants are throwing things at the police and the police appear to be using batons to keep people’s hands off the gates. Finally, when the gate is shut, you see some men jumping off the bridge into the water where they swim to a nearby raft.

Stalemate, at least for the moment:

I’ll update this post when the situation changes.

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BREAKING: Nellie Ohr Invokes Marital Privilege Preventing Her From Answering Questions About Talks With Her Husband Bruce Ohr

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Nellie Ohr, wife of twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr appeared on Capitol Hill Friday to face lawmakers in a closed-door grilling.

Mrs. Ohr was supposed to appear for a deposition last month but she was refusing to cooperate with lawmakers.

Now this…

Nellie Ohr invoked marital privilege on Friday preventing her from answering questions about her husband Bruce Ohr.

MANU RAJU: Very rare bipartisan agreement: Both sides say Nellie Ohr interview has been led to nothing. She invoked marital privilege preventing her from answering qs about talks with her husband. @MarkMeadows sees no reason to bring her back. @CongressmanRaja calls it a “nothing burger”

Rep. Mark Meadows confirmed Nellie Ohr invoked spousal privilege. 

The House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees sought to question Nellie Ohr after her husband Bruce Ohr gave an explosive testimony to Congress.


The former Associate Deputy Attorney General told Congress the FBI knew his wife, Nellie Ohr worked for oppo research firm Fusion GPS yet failed to disclose that information to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court].

Nellie Ohr was paid multiple large payments by Fusion GPS, the oppo research firm that commissioned dossier author Christopher Steele.

Mrs. Ohr also previously worked for the CIA and was a corrupt Communist sympathizer who spoke fluent Russian.

This story is still developing…please check back for updates.

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Disney Princess movies are now problematic

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This week there have been stories about two different Hollywood actresses who both find Disney Princess movies to be problematic in some way. Once celebrities are talking about it, it’s sure to become a trend if it wasn’t one already. First up is actress Keira Knightley who told Ellen Degeneres that she doesn’t allow her daughters to watch Cinderella or the Little Mermaid. From the BBC:

Knightley told Ellen DeGeneres that 1950’s Cinderella “waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t! Rescue yourself. Obviously!”

She said of Little Mermaid: “I mean, the songs are great, but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello!”

The actress added: “And this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film. I love The Little Mermaid! That one’s a little tricky – but I’m keeping to it.”

I realize there’s probably no upside to arguing about something like this but I guess I expect a bit more from people who actually work in the film industry telling stories for a living. Cinderella is not about a woman waiting around to be rescued by a rich man. That’s missing the real emotional core of the story. Cinderella is about a woman who has been unfairly abused her whole life by her family but whose good qualities are finally recognized and given the respect they are due. The point of the story isn’t that she marries a rich dude, though that does happen. The point is that Cinderella is elevated after years of oppression and her family is punished (violently in some version of the story) for their wicked behavior.

As for the Little Mermaid, I have daughters and I’ve seen this more times than I can count. So I can say with certainty that Knightley gets this one wrong too. In the film, Ariel is obsessed with living life on land and after rescuing a drowning prince she agrees to trade her voice for a chance at happiness (largely because her father refuses to help her pursue her dreams). When Ariel asks how she can win the prince without her voice, the villain suggests she use her looks and pretty face.

But it doesn’t work. Under the villain’s spell, the prince is going to marry the villain until Ariel’s friends intervene and help her get her voice back. It’s only at that moment that the prince realizes Ariel is the one he loves. So, even if you woke-analyze this thing to death, the message isn’t ‘give up your voice for a man and rely on your looks.’ Only the evil villainess recommends that and it doesn’t work. The message here is that a prince will love your voice first and foremost and, in fact, probably won’t love you without it. That seems like a pretty decent message for girls.

Actress Kristen Bell, who starred in Disney’s megahit Frozen, also has problems with at least one of Disney’s princess films. During a recent interview with Parents magazine, she said she talks to her kids about elements of Snow White that bother her, including the kiss:

“Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right.’”

The apple question is not the only one that Bell—a Disney Princess herself as the voice of Anna in Frozen—has after reading the tale. “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell says she has asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”

I guess her kids won’t be trick or treating this Halloween since that would also be taking food from strangers. The kiss thing is especially silly. Snow White wasn’t taking a nap, she was all but dead. The dwarves were mourning her. Also, the prince isn’t some random guy. He fell in love with her at the beginning of the film and has been searching for her ever since. The whole point of the kiss is that it’s symbolic of his “true love” not some pervert taking advantage of an unconscious woman. And even when he kisses her he clearly believes she’s dead. The prince is surprised when she sits up, alive. Snow White then falls into his arms and rides off into the sunset with him. She loves him too. She’s happy. There is nothing creepy about it.

I wouldn’t expect your average woke-feminist to care about any of these details but, again, these women tell stories for a living. The details and the symbolism ought to matter a bit more than making some political point. Instead of taking a second look, Bell is now claiming to be the victim of misplaced internet outrage:

Here’s Keira Knightley on Ellen:

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