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Barry Humphries ‘retires’ Dame Edna Everage

Australian comedian Barry Humphries said on Sunday he would retire iconic character Dame Edna Everage, a gaudy lilac-haired parody of suburbia, because he felt a “bit senior” and was ready to move on. Everage, along with the lecherous and boorish Sir Les Patterson, are Humphries’ best-known characters, but the veteran…

New York revels in the return of Mad Men

After 17 months, the gripping TV drama is back – and New York is celebrating with themed parties and special viewings Jace Lacob is one of a rare breed of people in the US. He is the television critic at the Daily Beast and therefore has already seen the two-hour…

No room for Don Draper in the age of digital advertising?

In post-recession America the role of traditional ad executives on Madison Avenue may soon be a thing of the past The iconic image of Don Draper in a sleek suit, martini in one hand, ad campaign in the other, will return to TV screens around the world when the fifth…

Revealed: Murdoch got secret go-ahead from Thatcher to buy The Times

Alan Travis, The Guardian A secret meeting between Rupert Murdoch and Margaret Thatcher cleared the way for News International to buy the Times and Sunday Times in 1981, Thatcher’s private files reveal. A long note – marked by her press secretary, Bernard Ingham, as “commercial in confidence” – of the…

Punk rockers defy the world’s most repressive regimes

John Harris, The Guardian Punk rock is ancient history here, but elsewhere disaffected young people are discovering its anarchic energy – despite the enormous risks they face from their oppressive regimes, writes John Harris It’s been a long time since the term “punk rock” could strike fear into the British…

‘This American Life’ retracts Apple-Foxconn story

Earlier this year, the Public Radio International programs This American Life and Marketplace broadcast stories centered around excerpts from “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” a one-man show by writer and performer Mike Daisey. Today, This American Life has issued a retraction saying that Daisey’s work contained “numerous…

Westboro releases ‘You Might Be a Slut’ ad for Limbaugh’s show

Note: This report has been updated with remarks from the Westboro Baptist Church. A church in Topeka, Kansas famous for its “God Hates Fags” protests is hoping to take their message to millions of dittoheads across the U.S. The Westboro Baptist Church on Friday released two advertisements that they hope…

U.S. newspaper ad revenue down 7.3% in 2011

WASHINGTON — US newspaper advertising revenue fell 7.3 percent last year to $23.94 billion, according to figures released Thursday by the Newspaper Association of American, continuing a six-year slide. Print advertising revenue fell 9.2 percent to $20.69 billion compared with the previous year while online advertising revenue rose 6.8 percent…

Bill Maher decries ‘false equivalency’: Limbaugh went after a civilian

Comedian Bill Maher said Thursday it was ridiculous to equate offensive language he used to describe Sarah Palin with the offensive language Rush Limbaugh used to describe Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke. “He went after a civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a party…

Colbert: GOP primary like 2008 minus women and black people

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday said that he was thrilled that the Republican presidential primary had been extended after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney failed to win Alabama and Mississippi. “Long, slow and painful!” Colbert exclaimed. “Thank you, Jesus!” “The Democrats had the same situation last time when…

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