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James Murdoch rejects ‘mafia boss’ comparison

James Murdoch angrily rejected claims Thursday that he was like a “mafia boss” and denied misleading MPs about the extent of his knowledge of phone-hacking at the News of the World. In heated exchanges with MPs who were grilling him for a second time about the now-defunct tabloid, the News…

Billy Crystal steps in to host Oscars after gay slur row

LOS ANGELES — Oscars veteran Billy Crystal stepped in Thursday to host this year’s Academy Awards show, after actor Eddie Murphy pulled out following a row over a producer’s anti-gay comments. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hailed Crystal — who has hosted the top Hollywood awards eight…

Jay-Z cashes in on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement with merchandise

Hip hop artist Jay-Z has joined a slew of other companies looking to profit off the energy behind the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. His Rocawear clothing label plans to begin selling “Occupy All Streets” shirts on Friday, which Jay-Z donned during a backstage appearance with hip hop pioneer and “Occupy”…

James O’Keefe laughed out of journalism school

Right-wing media darling James O’Keefe, whose deceptive pranks have caused serious harm to organizations such as ACORN and National Public Radio, found himself on the other side of the stick this week during a visit to Columbia University’s school of journalism. O’Keefe was ostensibly pursuing his latest project: trying to…

FBI: Hackers manipulated Internet ads, generating millions in payments

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said this week that hackers in Estonia have been arrested for using malware to replace legitimate Web advertising with their own ads, generating millions in revenue that would have instead gone to publishers. Overall, some 4 million computers were affected by the scheme, which…

James Murdoch turns on other execs in hacking probe

LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – James Murdoch blamed other senior News Corp executives on Thursday for not telling him more about potential evidence of widespread phone-hacking at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid that he oversaw. In a second questioning by British parliamentarians, Murdoch, who is fighting to keep…

Biographer discusses the life of Kurt Vonnegut, ‘a disenchanted American’

(Reuters Life!) – Kurt Vonnegut liked to show visitors the dictionary. “Look me up,” he would say. “Nothing. Now look up Jack Kerouac.” The author of “Cat’s Cradle,” “Slaughterhouse 5,” and “Breakfast of Champions,” who died in 2007, was frustrated by his standing in American letters and felt he was…

GOP debate audience boos CNBC anchor over sexual harassment question

Throughout the campaign season the audiences at Republican presidential debates haven’t been shy about making their opinions known — and Wednesday’s CNBC debate was no exception. CNBC moderator Maria Bartiromo immediately felt the crowd’s wrath as soon as she asked Herman Cain about the sexual harassments allegations against him. “Mr.…

Americans for Prosperity refuse to retract ‘demonstrably false’ blog post

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has refused to retract an article accusing Think Progress reporter Lee Fang of lying to media staff, despite an audio recording that indicates he did not. In an anonymously published blog titled “Lee Fang Lies“, the group said the reporter misrepresented himself at…

Eddie Murphy bows out as Oscar host

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian Eddie Murphy bowed out on Wednesday as host of the upcoming Oscars, one day after producer Brett Ratner who had lured Murphy into the role also exited following an uproar over his use of a gay slur. “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett…

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