Tag Archives: Gossip

WiGWAG | Walker gets punked and more

Gov. Scott Walker was punked at a pizza restaurant while he was campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire. Two 20-somethings enthusiastically confronted Walker and asked him to pose with them behind a homemade sign that read, “Walker 4 president.” But as Walker put his arms around Tyler McFarland, 23, and Giselle Hart, 20, they flipped the sign. The new sign Walker posed with looked like a large fake check for $900 million from Charles and David Koch.

Location, location, location

In 1976, the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., received a tree from Japanese bonsai master Masaru Yamaki in celebration of the American bicentennial. It wasn’t until 2001, when Yamaki’s grandsons came to visit the tree, that the arboretum learned of its amazing history: The now 390-year-old tree was within a 4-mile radius of where the atomic bomb landed on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. “It was up against a wall,” Jack Sustic, the bonsai’s curator, told The Washington Post. “It must have been the wall that shielded it from the blast.”

Failed cover up

A New Jersey man wanted for stealing $21 worth of underwear led police on a two-hour car chase in two states. Robert Ritter, 54, was accused of stealing a pack of underwear as a well as a package of T-shirts and of shoving a security officer at a supermarket, according to police records. When officers ran Ritter’s license plate, they found two warrants for his arrest. Ritter hit two Philadelphia police vehicles in his attempt to evade police.

Less deadly, but are they silent?

Shreddies, the UK-based company that created fart-filtering underwear, is now applying its odor-absorbing Filtrex technology to jeans and pajamas. “You can wear your Shreddies Jeans and Pyjamas with your regular underwear, team them with a pair of Shreddies pants for double protection, or if you’re feeling brave, why not skip the underwear completely!? You’ll never have to worry about those moments again,” the company boasted in a press release. The jury’s out over whether the products can also muffle the sounds associated with passing gas.

Competitive Advantage

The Franklin County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Office has made two drug arrests since putting a ‘report your competition’ post on Facebook. Responders can remain anonymous while turning over rival drug dealers’ addresses, cell phone numbers and hours of operation. The strategy, which is bringing in information as well as national attention, has been adopted by other police jurisdictions. Millions of people saw the post after the rapper Ludacris put it up on Instagram.

Wrong number

A Wisconsin dentist is dealing with angry phone calls because he has the same last name as the Minnesota dentist accused of killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe. Mathew Palmer of Janesville says he has received dozens of calls since officials in Zimbabwe identified a Minnesota dentist — Walter Palmer — as the American hunter who killed the beloved lion. Someone even signed him up for a computer-automated messaging service that calls him every hour to recite cat facts. The 40-year-old says he’s since changed his phone number. He also emphasizes that he’s not a hunter.

Revising history

Texas recently changed its state academic guidelines, taking all mention of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws out of history books. This comes at a time when the political right has intimidated the College Board into adopting new history curriculum guidelines that minimize slavery, violence toward Native Americans and the growing influence of social conservatives. Instead, there is increased coverage of World War II battle victories.

Wrong victim

A gay-basher picked the wrong victim when he attacked Daniel Lennox-Choate at a Manhattan newsstand. After the basher sucker-punched the West Point grad, his husband Larry Lennox-Choate, also a West Point grad, threw him into the street and gave him a beat down. “He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs … like the coward loser he is,” Larry Lennox-Choate posted on Facebook. “This guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time,” he added. The Lennox-Choates were the first same-sex couple to be married at West Point.

Him Tarzan

A man who claimed to be Tarzan has been arrested after he allegedly climbed a tree and tried to get into the monkey exhibit at a Southern California zoo. A zookeeper called 911 to report that a shirtless man plastered in mud had climbed about 20 feet into a tree at the bird exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo. Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told City News Service that the man was high on methamphetamine. 

WiGWAG news with a twist | July 2

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating marriage equality with “I Dough, I Dough,” a flavor formerly known as “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.” The company renamed the flavor as a nod to the Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first companies to give partners benefits to employees regardless of their sexual orientation.

Flavor of the day

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating marriage equality with “I Dough, I Dough,” a flavor formerly known as “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.” The company renamed the flavor as a nod to the Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first companies to give partners benefits to employees regardless of their sexual orientation.

Not one of his fans

Donald Trump’s kick-off speech for the Republican presidential nomination was well received by the crowd, including a number of actors allegedly paid $50 to cheer. But the actors who were not paid had few kind words for The Donald.  “Donald Trump’s ego is so inflated, he might as well be the Hindenburg!” tweeted Cher, who also called the follicle-challenged billionaire an “obnoxious a**shole” and a “loudmouth bigot.”

NBC, Univision say no gracias to Trump

Trump’s kick-off speech, included some outrageous remarks about Mexicans, whom he accused of bringing drugs, crime and rape across the border with them. The Spanish-language broadcaster Univision promptly announced that it would no longer partner with Trump on the Miss Universe pageant or any of his other endeavors. NBC followed up several days later, severing all relationships with Trump, who vowed to sue both broadcasters. Macy’s dumped Trump on July 1.

Ever hear of birth control?

After becoming a millionaire promoting abstinence-only birth control, Bristol Palin is once again pregnant out of wedlock, she announced in a blog post.

The daughter of former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin became the face of unwed teenage mothers when she announced during the 2008 presidential campaign that she and her one-time fiance Levi Johnston — who later posed naked for Playgirl — were expecting a baby. Palin was 17. She later went to work as a teen pregnancy ambassador for The Candie’s Foundation, where she stirred controversy in 2009 when it was revealed that her take-home pay was several times what the charity actually brought in via donations. No word yet on the identity of her new baby daddy. 

Diamond in the rough

Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the 1990s TV show Saved by the Bell, was sentenced to four months in jail for a barroom stabbing in Sheboygan on Christmas Day 2014. Judge Paul Malloy also sentenced the actor, comedian, author and pornographer to 15 months’ probation. Malloy said the sentence “has to send a message to the community that we’re just not going to live like this.”

Damn Yankees

A North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer was fired after posting a picture of himself on Facebook dressed in boxer shorts emblazoned with the image of the Confederate flag. The stunt came days after Gov. Nikki Haley said Confederate flags should be removed from public property in the wake of a racist massacre.

Beefy eye-candy

Hooters and other so-called “breastraunts” now have competition from the guys. Tallywackers, which features scantily clad male hunks who love showing off their six packs, opened to overflow crowds in the Dallas area. 

Trompe l’oeil

CNN’s coverage of London’s gay Pride celebration included a segment devoted to an ISIS flag reportedly spotted in the crowd. But while the flag appeared to be covered in Arabic, it was actually tricked out with emblems of sex toys arranged to look like the ISIS flag. 

Mom confirms Kristen Stewart in same-sex relationship

“Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart is in a relationship with personal assistant Alicia Cargile, according to the actress’s mom and a report in the Sunday Mirror.

Jules Stewart told the Mirror she’s given her blessing to the relationship. Two years ago, Kristin Stewart broke up with actor Robert Pattinson.

The newspaper quoted mom as saying, “What’s not to be accepting about her now having a girlfriend? She’s happy. She’s my daughter. I’m just her mom so she knows I would accept her choices.”

Mom called Cargile “a lovely girl.”

WiGWAG: News with a twist | Dirty tricks and pretty in pink

Dirty tricks

A campaign worker for a New Hampshire legislative candidate faces a felony charge for sending out a fake news release saying his boss’ opponent dropped out of the race. Carl Gibson said he “probably had one too many beers” before he got to work on the news release. Now he’s charged with a misdemeanor count of distributing a false document and a felony count of voter suppression. Does the GOP know that’s a crime?

Dead or alive?

A Milwaukee man who was pronounced dead after collapsing at his apartment began moving en route to the morgue. Paramedics from the Milwaukee Fire Department said Thomas Sancomb was “cold to the touch and in rigor” and they did not attempt to resuscitate him. A transport team was taking him to the morgue when Sancomb began having “spontaneous respirations” and moving an arm and leg. So he was rushed instead to Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

Pretty in pink?

Real men — and women — could wear pink in Wisconsin’s woods if a group of lawmakers gets its way. The Legislature’s sportsmen’s caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who focus on outdoor issues, is working on a bill that would legalize blaze pink for deer hunters. Sen. Terry Moulton wrote in the Dunn County News that the blaze pink bill is designed to encourage women to become hunters and keep them involved in the sport.

3rd degree in D.C.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker met with dozens of GOP lawmakers at the party headquarters in Washington, D.C., and fielded questions about his background and qualifications to lead the United States of America. Texas Congressman Randy Neugebauer wanted to know about Walker’s failure to complete college. The governor, according to various accounts, said “70 percent of the country is with him,” meaning without college degrees. And that apparently satisfied the inquisitors. 

Crying foul

A resident of Pendleton, Oregon, has requested the city council ban the smell of farts in the community. The city has already banned the smell of marijuana, which becomes legal for recreational users in July.

DIY love

WiGWag apologizes for this tardy announcement but, as they say, never too late to celebrate. May was Masturbation Month. We received notice via LELO, an online “sensual products” store, which issued a “10 Weirdest Facts About Masturbation” news release. One of the 10: While Victorian doctors were famously helping women orgasm to cure hysteria, they also were advising methods to keep boys and men from masturbating. Practices included tying hands to bedposts and putting boys in pajamas that only opened in the back.

Green light

Vienna officials green-lighted new pedestrian traffic signals at 47 crossings to celebrate LGBT Pride month. The signals, instead of the usual single stick man, show couples — a man and a woman, two women or two men. The city planned to remove the lights at the end of June, but has now decided to keep them in place. Munich now plans to follow with 50 signals.

Blame it on the devil

Police chided a Tennessee pastor in December for having sex with another man in a church van. Six months latter, he was arrested for embezzling an estimated $60,000 from the Victory Apostolic Church’s coffers. When asked about the missing money, the Rev. Boyd Watson Holder Jr. told church members, “It’s none of your business.”

Kindler, gentler Congress

What did George W. Bush know with his “compassionate” conservatism? A new study links Congress’ low approval ratings — record low ratings — to a decline in the use of warm, agreeable language, like “cooperate” and “contribute,” but not in the context of campaign donations. The researchers analyzed 124 million words spoken in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1996 and 2014 and approval ratings. Warm, pro-social language was the strongest single predictor of public sentiment.

Mankinis? no more

Officials in Newquay, a seaside resort in England, say crime has fallen since they cracked down on parties with revelers wearing crack-revealing one-piece mankinis. Responding to residents’ complaints about excessive partying among vacationers, police said they clamped down on public drunkenness and the wearing of sling-style swimsuits. The result? Police say crime fell from 1,823 incidents in 2012–13 to 1,624 incidents in 2014–15.

WiGWAG: News with a twist | Calling Dr. Google?

Calling Dr. Google: When your back aches, your eyes itch, your knees go weak or your nose runs, do you go searching for a cause and treatment on the Web? You are not alone, because Google reports that one in 20 searches are for health-related information. However, an analysis by experts in technology information based in Brisbane and Vienna found major search engines provided irrelevant information leading to incorrect self-diagnosis and self-treatment. The result? A bad case of cyberchondria.

Another reason to come out: A Nebraska woman who claims to be an ambassador for God and Jesus Christ filed a federal lawsuit against all homosexuals in the world for breaking “religious and moral laws.” In a seven-page, handwritten petition delivered to the U.S. District Court in Omaha, Sylvia Ann Driskell contends that “homosexuality is a sin and that the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality,” according to the Lincoln Journal Star. “Why else would they have been hiding in the closet(?)”

Rainbow warriors: How do you keep a Russian submarine at bay? Swedish peace activists staged a stunt earlier this month, playfully launching an underwater defense installation: a gay-themed sonar system. In “Operation Singing Sailor,” the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society placed a sonar device in the Stockholm archipelago and sent a message in Morse code: “This way if you are gay.” The group was responding to calls for re-armament after a hunt in October for a suspected Russian sub.

Sprayed down: A man is in jail after authorities say he foiled his own robbery by accidentally pepper-spraying himself. Police allege the 43-year-old West Virginia entered a pharmacy wearing full camouflage and a paintball mask. He started spraying pepper spray in an effort to take down employees, but then walked into the cloud of pepper spray in front of him. Police say security footage shows him staggering out of the business. 

BBQ blunder: The owner of Rubbin’ Buttz BBQ and Country Cafe in Milliken, Colorado, placed a sign in his restaurant announcing, “White Appreciation Day! June 11th. Because all Americans should be celebrated!!” He planned to offer white customers discounts of 10 percent. Edgar Antillon thought, “least we could do is offer one day to appreciate white Americans.” Bad idea. He received a bomb threat and protests shut down the server for his website. Now he’s offering the deal to all.

Hungry man: Pennsylvania police cited a 47-year-old man for disorderly conduct after he became furious that a Roy Rogers restaurant on the turnpike was out of macaroni and cheese and potatoes. He was left with a choice of salad, baked apples, baked beans, a fruit cup or coleslaw. Police were called when the man began throwing condiments at employees. 

Ginsburg’s doppelganger: Natalie Portman recently signed on to play U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a biopic titled “On the Basis of Sex,” which focuses on Ginsburg’s support for women’s rights. The actress and the justice have a lot in common. Like Portman, Ginsburg is Jewish and was a great beauty in her youth. Portman left her acting career for several years to receive a degree from Harvard University. While there, Portman was research assistant to famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Strange bedmates

A city councilman in Bremerton, Washington, said he was surprised to learn his wife had filed to challenge him for the office he’s held for six years. Kim Faulkner said she decided to join the race after watching husband Roy Runyon on the council. “I just sat down and said I think the city of Bremerton, District 6, needs more qualified people to run for office,” Faulkner said.

Restroom research: Research published in Gender, Place & Culture exposes gender-based differences in bathroom graffiti. The researchers claim that in the private confines of a public bathroom, men and women stick to stereotypes. Women’s graffiti refers to love and relationships a. Men’s graffiti centers on sexual acts and sexual organs and is characterized as “crude,” “competitive” and “aggressive.”

Scandalous: Fox News is accustomed to ridicule, but usually it’s over factual errors. New York City’s local Fox affiliate, however, came under fire for covering the breasts of a nude woman in a cubist painting by Pablo Picasso. “We decided to blur the nude portions so that we could show it to you on air,” said anchor Dari Alexander before “Les Femmes d’Alger” appeared partially on screen. The painting recently fetched $179 million at auction, making it the world’s most expensive painting.

WiGWAG: News with a twist | May 7, 2015

No brats at Miller Park? No way, you say? But that was the embarrassing situation that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett found at the ballpark when he took visiting New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio to a recent Brewers game. That’s something like De Blasio inviting Barrett to his city only to find the theaters on Broadway closed.

Blue Bell blues

A series of listeria illnesses tied to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream prompted a massive recall. Concerned about their economic futures, residents of the company’s home town of Brenham, Texas, turned to God for help. The community came together for an hour-long prayer vigil. Xanna Young attended the event wearing a T-shirt that read, “I Get Cranky Without My Blue Bell.” She’d probably get cranky with a case of listeria, too. It causes nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Heart-melting story

A snowman in Massapequa Park, New York, who became world famous thanks to his Save the Snowman Facebook page and international news coverage, has died at the age of 3 — 3 months, that is — from complications of warming weather. Despite his popularity, many fans on the East Coast were no doubt glad to see him go.

Something to oink about

A prestigious award from the Brooklyn Museum honors women who have made outstanding contributions in their fields. This year’s surprise honoree is … Miss Piggy. The Muppets character joins a distinguished list of recipients, including theater director Julie Taymor and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, in being recognized by the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art award. “Moi is thrilled,” Miss Piggy quipped. Kermit the Frog, of course, will be among the attending celebrities.

Fetching outfit

An outfit Vivien Leigh wore when she played Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind has fetched $137,000 at auction. Heritage Auctions offered the gray jacket and skirt, featuring a black zigzag applique, plus other items from the Academy Award-winning film at auction in Beverly Hills, California. Heritage said more than 150 items from the movie were offered by James Tumblin, who began collecting pieces associated with the MGM film in the 1960s. He paid $20 for the Scarlett O’Hara outfit after spotting it at a costume company.

Safer-world sex

How can you help protect endangered species? The folks at the Center for Biological Diversity say one way is to control the population of people. CBD celebrated Earth Day by giving away 50,000 condoms in packages decorated with polar bears, whooping cranes, sea otters, horned lizards, hellbender salamanders and monarch butterflies. CBD’s campaign slogan? “Fumbling in the dark? Think of the monarch.”

Meanwhile, in Denmark

Meanwhile, animal welfare advocates in Denmark secured enough support among Danish lawmakers to outlaw bestiality. The country was a bit behind its European counterparts on the issue. As of July 1, any person found guilty of engaging in sexual relations with an animal faces fines and or prison.

Is the pope Jewish?

A New York City rabbi has received a papal knighthood. During a Manhattan ceremony, Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue was inducted into the Papal Order of St. Sylvester. Schneier was honored for his work on behalf of religious freedom and international peace. Others who have held the title include comedian Bob Hope and industrialist Oskar Schindler.

Caffeinated conservatives?

Apparently tea partiers aren’t drinking decaf. An analysis by the Pew Research Center found that conservatives are the most politically active Americans. Pew said its review of statistics found that 82 percent of conservative Republicans and Republican “leaners” are highly likely to vote in the next election. Conservatives also are the likeliest to follow government affairs  closely and far more likely to have given “some” or “quite a lot” of thought to the next election. Pew didn’t assess the quality of such thought.

Mating mindset

A recent Australian study found that straight dudes took bigger risks for money after being shown pictures of shirtless male Abercrombie & Fitch models. Researchers said the study demonstrates the “mating mindset,” characterized by men trying to one-up each other. In this case, looking at better-built guys spurred them to take greater risks to acquire more money and become more attractive to women. In other words, when their waistlines failed muster, they turned to their wallets.

WiGWAG news with a twist, April 23, 2015

At the seashore

Among the seashells, sandcastles and ocean waves at the Jersey Shore last year, beachcombers also sighted a whoopee cushion, a parking meter, human poop, an engagement announcement, a stun gun, a ski pole, a set of vampire teeth, a clay sculpture of the baby Jesus, 563 condoms, some bra padding and 3,200 tampon applicators, locally nicknamed “Jersey beach whistles” for the propensity of children to pick them up and use them that way. More than 315,000 items of such trash were picked up from New Jersey’s coastline in 2014.

Something to sing about?

There is no shortage of beards, camo, hunting and God in “Duck Commander Musical,” the stage version of the hit reality TV show “Duck Dynasty.” The 90-minute Las Vegas show, with Broadway backers and bonafides, features a high-kicking dance number complete with sequined camouflage costumes.

Trimming plan

A bill proposed by Nevada state Sen. Mo Denis has people looking in junk drawers for tape measurers. Denis wants to pass legislation requiring the state to report on obesity and efforts to slim the population. Her bill defines an obese person as a man with a waist size of 40 inches or more or a woman with a waistline of 35 inches or more.

Offensive to whom?

Officials at Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Batavia, Ohio, censored a picture of an eighth-grader who wore a T-shirt on class photo day with the word “FEMINIST.” The word was photoshopped out, because “some people might find it offensive,” said principal Kendra Young. 

No. 69

A Vietnam War vet sought to personalize his Utah license plate with the year he was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart. However, the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles denied Arnold Breitenbach’s application for a plate reading “CIB-69” — for “Combat Infrantyman’s Badge” and “1969.” The agency had a problem with “69,” because it has sexual connotations.

A Spotted Cow Speakeasy?

Everybody loves New Glarus’ wide variety of craft beers, but everyone also knows the biggest rule of New Glarus beer: you can’t buy it outside of Wisconsin. So patrons of the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove, Minnesota, should have known something was up when the bar put six barrels of the company’s signature brew, Spotted Cow, on tap — a felony offense. An anonymous tip led police to the Hudson, Wisconsin liquor store where the tavern’s owners bought the beer, and undercover officers confirmed it by walking right up and ordering one. Hopefully the cop left a good tip at least.

Express to space

Yesterday, they had Tang. And today? The space exploration team at Cape Canaveral, Florida, was struggling against bad weather to ship an Italian-made instant coffee espresso maker to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. ISS resident Samantha Cristoforretti has been going without since November.

A whopper of A wedding

Burger King is paying for the wedding of Joel Burger and Ashley King, who, according to the Springfield, Illinois State Journal-Register, have been known as “Burger-King” since about fifth grade. The couple announced their engagement earlier this spring, posing in a photograph beside a Burger King sign. 

Twisting history

Larry Kramer, you never change. The new (hopefully satirical?) book by the playwright and AIDS activist, “The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart,” presents George Washington as a “big queen” and describes Jamestown as a hotbed of gay sex before women arrived. Kramer also asserts that John Wilkes Booth was a gay man who gave Abraham Lincoln’s longtime friend Joshua Speed — a male hustler, according to Kramer — to the president as a “gift.”

Ice cream chugger

Ben & Jerry’s is partnering with New Belgium Brewing to release a beer this fall called “Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale.” Sales will benefit an organization called Protect Our Winters, which helps fight the effects of climate change on mountains. 

‘Like’ this

Ellanora Baidoo doesn’t need to have any facetime with her estranged husband to get a divorce. A New York judge authorized the woman to notify her husband of divorce proceedings through a Facebook message. Baidoo told the court her husband was hard to find, really hard to find — he’s only been in touch with his wife via phone and Facebook since the civil ceremony more than five years ago.

ABC keeps tight lid on Jenner interview to air April 24

The first on-air promo for the April 24 broadcast interview with Bruce Jenner didn’t even show his face, an illustration of the line ABC News is walking in trying to drum up interest for the program while saying virtually nothing about it.

The two-hour interview special with the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and estranged patriarch of television’s Kardashian clan is expected to touch on transgenderism and reports that Jenner may be transitioning.

ABC has released only a couple of non-specific quotes by Jenner and is not expected to reveal much more in advance of the Friday program, preferring to give Jenner the opportunity to address the topic in the full context of the interview.

Diane Sawyer has not spoken to outside media about the interview, which was conducted in February — one day in Los Angeles, another in New York. She’s scheduled to promote it on ABC properties Friday: “Good Morning America,” `’Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View.” ABC News executives also haven’t spoken about it, not even confirming publicly until April 6 that the interview had taken place, until this the airdate was set.

“In producing this special, one of our goals has been to respect Bruce’s story,” said ABC News spokesman Van Scott. “We want Bruce to speak for Bruce. We’ve had this top of mind throughout the process from the booking and interviews to the promotion and final product.”

The tight lid enables ABC to avoid the issue of potentially “outing” a public figure before the person has had a chance to publicly address the topic. Not everyone is waiting: The New York Daily News this week published a front-page picture of a person they said was Jenner wearing a dress.

“I respect the way that (ABC has) handled this,” said Brad Bessey, executive producer of “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider.” “You have to separate Bruce Jenner and Bruce’s story from the media circus that is the Kardashians.”

The approach has left his syndicated entertainment newsmagazines starved for news. Bessey said they’ve done stories on the three 15- or 30-second promos that ABC has released.

The first ABC promo showed two Jenner images — one from behind and the other from the side as he talked with Sawyer, his face obscured by shadows. In the other two, Jenner is heard more clearly, and with two soundbites. “My whole life has been getting ready for this,” he said. He also talks of the importance of not hurting his children.

ABC’s handling of the story so far has been respectful, said Nick Adams, program director of transgender media for GLAAD. The organization that represents gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders has spoken little about Jenner.

“Sharing one’s story is something a person should be allowed to do in their own time and in their own way,” Adams said. Media speculation about a public figure’s gender identity increases harmful scrutiny on other transgender people, he said.

The interview was conducted before Jenner was involved in an auto accident in which another motorist was killed. ABC is expected to address the topic, although the timing precludes it from being raised with Jenner.

Some of Jenner’s children, pictured in one of the promos, also are expected to be interviewed.

Bessey predicted big ratings for the special. ABC is airing it on a Friday night, when TV-watching is usually low. Two big interviews are among the top 100 most-watched telecasts of all time in the U.S.: Oprah Winfrey’s 1993 talk with Michael Jackson, seen in 36.6 million homes, and Barbara Walters’ 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky, seen in 33.2 million homes.

Friday’s interview likely won’t approach those numbers, but should certainly exceed the Friday “20/20” average of 6.2 million viewers this season.

“I think people will be watching,” Bessey said. “I hope they’ll be listening.”

WiGWAG: Who’s in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

ON PARADE

The lineup for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — in addition to the super-sized balloons — includes Sting, Idina Menzel, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, Nick Jonas, Romeo Santos, hockey players John LeClair and Pat LaFontaine, the cast of Sesame Street and KISS. Yes, KISS. But the stars of the show? Little League pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis and the Philadelphia Taney Dragons.

GRATEFUL GAMERS

The gaming community has rallied to help John Spinello, the 77-year-old creator of the board game Operation, after they learned he didn’t have the money to pay for an operation of his own. The Illinois man invented the game in the early 1960s, when he was a student at the University of Illinois. He sold the concept for $500 to a toy inventor, who licensed the game to Milton Bradley. A series of misfortunes left Spinello with outstanding bills for oral surgery, but a crowdfunded benefit has raised well over the $25,000 required for the operation. 

HERO WORSHIP

At his annual AIDS benefit earlier this fall in New York City, Elton John called Pope Francis a hero and said he ought to be a “St. Francis.” The music man had only praise for the pope: “Ten years ago, one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against AIDS was the Catholic Church. Today we have a pope that speaks out about it.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended the gala — offering a joke about being from Queens. Neil Patrick Harris, Matt Lauer, Anderson Cooper, Alec Baldwin and David Furnish also attended. A lunch date with Cooper and Lauer sold at auction for $45,000. 

HELLO, THIS IS HAL

A New York City worker was suspended for 20 days without pay because he answered a city information-technology help line in a “robotic voice.” Callers complained and one hung up because she wanted “to speak to a human.” The judge called the man a “disgruntled employee.”

PISTOL-PACKING WALKER FAN

A gun-toting Wisconsin man says his right to continuous self-defense was infringed upon when police escorted him from a Sun Prairie rally for Republican Scott Walker. Police made the man stow his pistol in his car while he attended the event because the business prohibits firearms. But the man complained there was no notice on the door.

SNIFF, SNIFF

Sneaking away for a smoke in the restroom could get more difficult. Researchers at Dartmouth College say they’ve created a sensor that can detect second- and third-hand tobacco smoke. The AirGuard can record the presence of nicotine vapor molecules in real time and measured in parts per billion. A wearable version of the device could reach the market by next spring.

D’OUGH!

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after a Wichita, Kansas, woman found him eating cookie dough from her freezer in the early-morning hours. According to the Wichita Eagle, the 52-year-old woman came out of her bedroom shortly before 3:30 a.m. to find the intruder, who told police he thought he was in his aunt’s house. That’s a late night snack he’ll regret for more than his waistline. 

WHEN BAMBIS ATTACK

A South Milwaukee dog is recovering after being mauled by an unlikely assailant: a deer. Ted Moss told WISN he was walking his dogs in Grant Park when he saw a buck and a doe come out of the woods. The doe ran off, but the buck attacked Moss’ dog Rowdy. Moss, carrying a permitted concealed pistol, says he fired the gun and took Rowdy to a veterinarian when the buck ran off. A spokesperson from the Milwaukee County Parks Department suggested the abnormal behavior was due to it being deer mating season. 

WHO’S THE REAL BAD APPLE?

In yet another startling display of Russian homophobia, residents of St. Petersburg recently tore down a memorial to deceased Apple founder Steve Jobs after current Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay. The 6-foot-tall memorial was erected in 2013, featuring a large screen that displayed moments from Jobs’ life and quotations from his speeches. The chairman of ZEFS, the company that originally funded the memorial, said he’d be willing to reinstall the memorial if it could be reprogrammed to include a message instructing Russians not to purchase Apple products. Which is sort of missing the point.

WiGWag: News with a twist, from Austria to Indiana

Gnome gate

The Socialist Party of Austria says about 400 garden gnomes placed ahead of elections in western Austria went missing. The figurines disappeared from lampposts used in the party’s campaign. The fingers were pointing at the People’s Party, which denied any involvement in the scandal. 

Love, American Style

A study of American singles from Indiana University-Bloomington shows that during sex with a familiar partner, men have the highest orgasm rates. On average, men experience orgasms 85.1 percent of the time, with their sexual orientation making little difference. Women on average experience orgasm 62.9 percent of the time. Lesbians experience orgasm more often — 74.7 percent of the time — than other women.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT…

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pulled a re-election campaign advertisement after learning that the man who endorses him in it was convicted of human smuggling, The Miami Herald reports. In the Spanish-language advertisement — devoted to Rick Scott’s success in creating jobs for Floridians — Maikel Duarte-Torres is seen hugging the governor and saying, “Four years ago, the economy was very bad. Rick Scott helped Florida’s economy and you can see the difference. …That’s why I support Rick Scott. I’m just like him.” Three years ago, Duarte-Torres was being held in a prison in St. Maartens after having been convicted of trying to smuggle two Cuban girls from the Caribbean country into Miami, and prosecutors believe he may have had a hand in organizing the transport of 10 other Cubans at the price of $12,500 per person.

QUITE THE SECRET INGREDIENT

File this under “ways not to smuggle drugs.” U.S. customs officers found about 7 ounces of cocaine stuffed inside some tamales while screening a passenger at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. According to the agency, the 46-year-old man was traveling from El Salvador to New York when officers found a box of 200 tamales hiding nine bags of cocaine inside his luggage. 

Nutty Nugent

Former rock star Ted Nugent continues to strike off-key chords with off-color remarks from the extreme right. After the police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Nugent said liberals should be held responsible because they keep “repeating the nonsense that more ‘reasonable’ gun control laws will stop street savages from getting their hands on guns and killing each other.” He also said Barack Obama “believes fanning the embers of racism will keep black Americans squarely in the corner of their big daddy Democratic Party.”

Long live the King, again

The Estate of Elvis
Presley and Pulse Evolution Corporation are working to raise the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll using state-of-the-art human animation technology. Elvis Presley will live again in the form of a holograph, appearing in live concerts, commercials and more. What would Elvis think about his high-tech resurrection? Presleyheads know that he owned one of the first mobile phones and watched a projector TV before well before the masses.

Class of 2018

Beloit College in late August released its annual College Mindset List for the new freshman class. Most of the new class of 2018 were born in 1996, have always had The Daily Show to set them straight and rarely have heard the term “bipartisan agreement.” What else? When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon. Also, their TVs have always been flooded with ads for prescription drugs, and their disturbing side effects.

SEND BACK THE CIGARS

It’s a soap opera plotline waiting to happen: A Chinese zoo canceled its planned livestreaming of a panda birth after it was discovered that the mother had been faking her pregnancy the whole time. Pandas at the Sichaun zoo’s breeding center are given specialized treatment, including private rooms and additional food, when they’re believed to be pregnant, and experts say particularly clever pandas learn to simulate pregnancies so they can keep their perks longer. No word yet if the panda father’s yet been told to cancel the child support payments.

FOUL PLAY

A South Carolina woman was arrested after allegedly hitting a man she said “passed gas” in her face. Jessica Cerney, 33, told police that 64-year-old Darrell McKnight came home drunk and farted on her visage while she was lying on the couch, according to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun. Furious about the blast, Cerney left the house, but when McKnight followed her outside, she allegedly punched him in the face three times.

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