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BuzzFeed nabs political writer in growth push

WASHINGTON — BuzzFeed, a website which has built a cult following with links to oddball videos and offbeat stories, is hiring a star political reporter in a bid to produce more original content and send it viral. Ben Smith, who has been a senior political writer at Politico.com, a site…

Posthumous Winehouse album hits number one

Soul singer Amy Winehouse topped the album charts more than four months after her death, with music lovers buying almost 200,000 copies of the record “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.” The posthumous collection of alternative versions of classics, unreleased tracks and covers hit the number one spot after being released last Monday.…

Frum: Fox News creates an ‘alternative knowledge system’

Conservative columnist David Frum, who was speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, blasted Fox News on Sunday for creating an “alternative knowledge system.” In an article published by New York Magazine in late November, Frum had argued that conservative media like Fox News and talk radio “immerse their audience…

Christian Bale denies his Chinese film is propaganda

BEIJING — Oscar winning actor Christian Bale defended Sunday the upcoming Nanjing Massacre film “The Flowers of War,” by China’s most famous director, Zhang Yimou, as more than an anti-Japanese propaganda film. In the film, the Wales-born star plays an American drifter who becomes the unwitting protector of a group…

Murdoch paper’s hacking victims total 800: police

The police said Saturday the final number of victims of phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World will be around 800 people, far fewer than originally thought. The Scotland Yard officer leading the investigation into the scandal at the now-defunct tabloid said police had been in touch with…

Trump might cancel GOP debate after Bachmann snub

A pouting Donald Trump said Friday that he may cancel his Republican presidential debate altogether after all but two candidates refused to participate. “You know who I’m very disappointed [in]?” Trump asked Fox Business News’s Don Imus. “Michele Bachmann. She came up to see me four times. Four times! She’d…

Hannity: Osama bin Laden is dead ‘thanks to George Bush’

In Sean Hannity’s world, President George W. Bush succeeded in killing terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The Fox News host on Thursday noted that bin Laden was dead “thanks to George Bush.” During a segment on Time magazine’s top 10 news stories of 2011, Democratic consultant Joe Trippi lamented that…

Director makes first smartphone movie, starring Gena Rowlands

An independent US filmmaker has made what is believed to be the first feature-length movie shot with a smartphone, to be released next week — with actress Gena Rowlands in the starring role. “Olive,” about “a little girl who transforms the lives of three people without speaking one word,” was…

Yahoo! launches online comedy channel

Yahoo! is adding a comedy channel to its online line-up, kicking it off with a “CrazyStupidPolitics” show starring Bill Maher live in Silicon Valley in February. “Bill Maher’s special is a groundbreaking event, not only for Yahoo! and Bill but for the Internet as the first ever, live, free broadcast…

Barbara Walters calls Syrian dictator a ‘mild-mannered ophthalmologist’

ABC News personality Barbara Walters went to Syria this week to interview dictator Bashar al-Assad about his deadly crackdown on protesters and came back to report that he was “not a wild, crazy man.” “Bashar al-Assad is a dictator by accident, a mild-manner ophthalmologist,” Walters told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Wednesday.…

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