Tag Archives: BuzzFeed

Creep show: The terrifying candidacy of Donald Trump

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NBCUniversal launching online comedy service for $4 a month

NBCUniversal’s latest effort to target millennials is coming: An online video service focused on comedy that costs $4 a month.

The service, Seeso, will have original content and NBC shows like 30 Rock and The Office, Saturday Night Live, standup and the Monty Python movies. It will be available for most people in January.

NBCUniversal and its owner, cable and Internet giant Comcast, have been trying different ways to get young people’s attention as live TV viewing declines. If Seeso had been born 15 years ago, it would have launched as a cable channel, said Evan Shapiro, executive vice president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. But online viewing today is “clearly part of the mainstream,” and to reach comedy nerds, Comcast is launching Seeso as an online subscription service.

Comcast has also launched a YouTube-like video service, Watchable; is trying out an Internet-based basic cable TV alternative that doesn’t require a cable box in some markets; and invested in new media outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox.

But Seeso will have to compete for attention in a crowded market.

“In the past year we keep seeing more and more services coming up, more niche services,” said Glenn Hower, an analyst with market research firm Parks Associates.

There’s Netflix, which has been streaming video for years and has a library with diverse choices, and newer competitors like HBO’s online channel and Dish Network’s Sling, which shows live TV. There are also specialty services such as anime-focused Crunchyroll.

Seeso won’t have ads and viewers can watch about 10 to 15 percent of the available content for free.

What will Jesus do? | Anti-gay Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses did issue one for transgender man and his wife

A transgender man and his pansexual wife say that embattled anti-gay Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis signed off on their marriage in March after failing to notice that the groom’s birth certificate identified his birth gender as female.

Davis has been in the crosshairs of marriage equality advocates ever since she ordered her staff to stop issuing all marriage licenses following June’s Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality. Davis, who has been married four times, said she objects to having her name appear on same-sex marriage licenses due to her deeply felt religious convictions about the sanctity of marriage.

But on March 2 she signed a marriage certificate for Alexis and Camryn Colen. The couple believes that she was unaware that Camryn is a transgender male, according to BuzzFeed news, which spoke to the couple and was provided with a copy of their marriage certificate.

The certificate reads: “I, Kim Davis, Clerk of the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Marriage Certificate as recorded.”

Camryn told BuzzFeed that he and his wife went public with their gender and sexual identities in order to push Davis to begin recognizing same-sex marriages.

That’s something Davis has vowed she will never do, despite multiple court rulings against her stance. Most recently, she filed an “emergency” appeal directly to Supreme Court Justice Elana Kagan, who has jurisdiction over her region and voted to strike down laws banning same-sex marriage. Kagan is expected to turn down Davis’ appeal on Monday.

After that, it’s unclear what Davis will do.

Like Hitler, only without the genocide

Davis’ attorney Jonathan D. Christman, with the Christian-right law firm Liberty Counsel, wrote the court that forcing Davis to abandon what she claims to be her “Christian principles” by issuing “licenses could never be undone” and would “would forever, and irreversibly, echo in her conscience — and, “if it happened, there is no absolution or correction that any earthly court can provide to rectify it.”

It’s unknown whether Jesus will provide her with absolution for the license she signed marrying a transgender man and pansexual woman, although opinions from clerics who regularly communicate with the Almighty are certain to surface in the coming days.

Christman compared Davis’ situation to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield or forcing a person who opposes capital punishment to carry out an execution.

The Rowan County Clerk’s office is somewhat of a hotbed of nepotism. Davis’ mother previously held her position as clerk, and several family members, including her son and a cousin, work — or have worked — there.

Davis contends that if gay couples want to get married, they could easily drive to a nearby county to get a marriage license. But the couples counter that they have a right to get a marriage license in the county where they live, work and pay taxes.

Davis has said she will not resign from her $80,000-a-year job nor will she ever license a same-sex marriage.

Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official. The Legislature could impeach her, but that is unlikely given that many state lawmakers in the largely fundamentalist Christian state share her belief that Jesus will forgive anything except issuing a same-sex marriage license.

The Republican president of the state Senate spoke at a rally last week in support of Davis, whose case is increasingly becoming a cause celebre on Fox News and among religious and anti-government fanatics. They claim that the federal government has degenerated into fascism by ordering government officials to carry out laws they don’t like. Many compare Davis’ plight to that of Jews living in Nazi Germany, only without the concentration camps and genocide.

Obama disputes former aide’s take on marriage equality

President Barack Obama is disputing a longtime aide’s view that Obama feigned opposition to gay marriage, compromising his true beliefs out of concern it could hurt him with voters.

Former Obama strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book that Obama modified his public position to say he supported civil unions but not gay marriage. Axelrod says that was because his political advisers told him supporting gay marriages could hurt him politically.

But Obama told BuzzFeed News in an interview posted this week that Axelrod is “mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue.”

Axelrod wrote that Obama begrudgingly followed his advice that he would face strong opposition from African-American religious leaders and others if he let it be known he supported gay marriage.

“Having prided himself on forthrightness, though, Obama never felt comfortable with his compromise and, no doubt, compromised position,” Axelrod wrote in the memoir “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” released on Feb. 10.

Axelrod’s disclosure affirmed what was widely suspected for years: that Obama’s May 2012 announcement that he supported gay marriage came long after the president had personally come to that conclusion. The year earlier, Obama and the White House had started saying his position was “evolving,” leading many to believe he was holding off on a public embrace of gay marriage for fear it could damage his re-election prospects.

“If Obama’s views were `evolving’ publicly, they were fully evolved behind closed doors,” Axelrod wrote.

Obama told BuzzFeed News that “I always felt that same-sex couples should be able to enjoy the same rights, legally, as anybody else and so it was frustrating to me not to, I think, be able to square that with what were a whole bunch of religious sensitivities out there.” He added that he thought civil unions were “a sufficient way of squaring the circle,” but that “the pain and the sense of stigma that was being placed on same-sex couples who are friends of mine” changed his mind.

“I think the notion that somehow I was always in favor of marriage per se isn’t quite accurate,” Obama said, apparently referring to gay marriage.

He indicated his support for gay marriage in a 1996 questionnaire before backtracking years later. The president called that questionnaire “an example of struggling with what was a real issue at the time, which is, how do you make sure that people’s rights are enjoyed and these religious sensitivities were taken into account?”

When he finally said as president that he felt gay marriage should be legal, it was only after Vice President Joe Biden declared his support for it during an interview, upping the pressure on Obama to make his current views clear ahead of the election. Axelrod said Obama’s advisers told him it could cost him a few key states including North Carolina, but that Obama was “champing at the bit to announce his support.”

Christian group sent Michele Bachmann a vibrator

A conservative Christian political consulting group accidentally sent a vibrator to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office, according to BuzzFeed.

The Columbus-based Strategy Group for Media, which has represented such right-wing luminaries as Bachmann, Rand Paul and Newt Gringich, had the item delivered to the congresswoman’s office. The mishap began when CEO Rex Elsass decided to give Bachmann a vibrating head massager to help alleviate her well-known migraines, according to emails made public in a lawsuit between Strategy Group and its former president Nick Everhart. But the employee who Elsass sent to Brookstone to purchase the item mistakenly bought what was described in an internal email as a “female pleasure” machine.

A person familiar with the incident told BuzzFeed that the firm successfully retrieved the vibrator before Bachmann had the chance to open it.

Brookstone has been selling sex aides since 2011.