Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen’s Captivating Audiobook Memoir


This week, the grueling wait for music fans worldwide will finally be over. Audible Inc., an Amazon Inc. subsidiary, will be releasing Bruce Springsteen’s highly anticipated audiobook memoir, Born to Run. The audiobook will quench the curiosity of fans everywhere by detailing his life’s entire journey – leaving out none of his personal trials and tribulations on the path to becoming am international music icon.

Audible has proven to be not only a personal favorite of mine, but for thousands of others as well. The company, with their freshly diverse and  entirely unmatched audiobook collection, boasts the truly unparalleled ability to meet your highest expectations and needs.

“Born to Run takes a deeper dive into everything that has gone into his music, and combined with his narration you feel a greater connection to this timeless artist. In addition to his vocal performance, Springsteen also played and recorded short instrumental versions of songs that serve as background and introductory music to his narration.” -Audible

Thankfully, in the holiday spirit, Audible has decided to provide the exclusive opportunity to extend a Free 30 Day Trial as well as a Free Download the the audiobook Born to Run to users. Be sure to check-out this captivating memoir while you can, as it will surely shed light on the experiences and achievements of one of history’s greatest performers and musicians.


The Free 30 Day Trial can be found here:

The Free Download of Born to Run can be found here:

Don’t miss out this holiday, sign-up for your free trial and be sure to take full advantage of this generous gift.

All of the above stated opinions and text are fully genuine and written/approved by me.

Jimmy Kimmel to Host 2016 Emmy Awards

 | News Editor, Variety


Jimmy Kimmel is officially hosting this year’s Emmy Awards.

“I am hosting the #Emmys on Sunday, Sept 18. Until then, have a great summer,” the host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” tweeted early Monday morning.

Variety exclusively reported last month that Kimmel was in talks with ABC to host the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards. – Read More Here

Donald Trump gets away with bullshit: The magical secrets that help him con the press

Trump simply isn’t concerned with the truth of anything he says. He’ll elude the media until they understand that

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz

Credit: AP/John Lochner

The reality of Donald Trump’s months-long dominance of the GOP primary race has suddenly started sinking in with political elites, as has a new willingness to openly talk about his pervasive lying.

After that, the willingness to start using the word “fascism” was not far behind. The phenomena are related, of course. GOP politics have been based on lies and authoritarianism since at least the time of Richard Nixon. But now it’s happening in a new key, in a higher register. The old system for managing the lies, manipulating their salience, directing and redirecting the anger and adoration they arose, that system has broken down badly in the last several years, and it now seems to have broken down irreparably.

Nate Silver makes a crucial point, however, tweeting, “One can coherently argue that Trump isn’t ‘lying’ so much as bullshitting, in the H.G. Frankfurt sense of the term.” Frankfurt’s book “On Bullshit” argues that bullshitting is a more radical attack on truth than lying is:

[B]ullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.

Bullshitting is anything but new to politics, of course. So the question really is: how is Trump’s bullshitting different? Although David Roberts doesn’t use the term “bullshit”, he does keenly see the problem in similar terms. The establishment media “don’t mind being properly lied to; it’s all part of the game,” Roberts writes. “What they cannot countenance is being rendered irrelevant. Trump is not kissing the ring.” Trump’s contempt for the media is all part of the proto-fascist package, of course, as well as being the natural outgrowth of decades of media-bashing.

More on Roberts in a moment, but first a nod to what the alternative might be. Jay Rosen has a sharp analysis of how this breakdown in gatekeeping function reflects institutional problems connected to a vapid notion of objectivity, which he’s elsewhere critiqued as “the view from nowhere,” a term he’s been using since 2003. If asked “What’s your agenda in covering the campaign?” they would all reply, “No agenda, just solid coverage.” But the one journalist who’s perhaps done the best job of accurately portraying Trump, Univision’s Jorge Ramos, clearly has an agenda — representing his audience’s intense concern for comprehensive immigration reform — and yet, Rosen notes, that doesn’t prevent him from accurate, incisive reporting; in fact, it helps guide him in that reporting, which has pressured politicians of both parties:

The example of Ramos shows that knowing what you’re for doesn’t have to mean joining the team or taking a party line. It’s possible to maintain your independence, win trust with your audience, and gain a clear sense of purpose when you’re out on the campaign trail. But you have to break with the pack.

Of course, every news organization can’t be Univision, but there other ways to find a different agenda, one that actually connects with what people care about. Rosen links back to 2010 proposal he made for a citizen’s agenda approach, one that would start by asking the public, “What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes in this year’s election?” and use that as the foundation to build on. Another approach could be built based on public interest polling of the sort developed by Alan Kay in the 1980s, which I wrote about in October. Alternatives exist. And they provide ways to reconnect media with the broader public they’re supposed to serve. But it takes real courage to pursue them.

That said, let’s return to the question of how things suddenly got so much worse this cycle with Trump. As Roberts points out, GOP truthiness long predated Trump, but the media’s power to restrain it has eroded precipitously. He notes that the right has long been working hard to erode the media’s critical power, with constant accusations of bias to stifle critical media judgments on the one hand, while on the other hand developing “a network of partisan think tanks, advocacy organizations and media outlets that provide a kind of full-spectrum alternative to the mainstream.”

The result, Roberts says, “has been a kind of fragile detente. A certain style of lying has become more or less acceptable, as long as it follows unspoken rules,” rules which Donald Trump is now breaking. Or, to rephrase it in Frankfurt’s terms, one framework of bullshit is being challenged by another. Roberts identifies three rules of lying that Trump has broken:

“1.) Lies about policy are fine; lies about trivial, personal or easily verifiable claims are not.” Trump, however, tells both kinds of lies with impunity.

“2.) Lies are fine as long as an ‘other side’ is provided.” But Trump doesn’t bother with this at all. “He rarely mentions studies or experts, other than occasionally name-dropping Carl Icahn. He rarely mounts anything that could even be characterized as an argument. He simply asserts.” Which leaves journalists fresh out of fig leaves. “He calls their bluff, forcing them to be with him or against him,” which clearly they can’t do using what Rosen calls the “view from nowhere” model they’ve lived within for so long.

“3.) Nine lies are fine as long as the tenth is retracted.” Call it the face-saving rule. In contrast to the constant flood of lies, “when a politician goes overboard and makes an obviously, verifiably false claim about a matter of recorded fact, the media will browbeat him or her into retracting it and apologizing.” It lets the press feel relevant, even powerful. “But Trump does not back down, retract or apologize, ever, not even for the most trivial thing. He refuses to allow journalists and pundits to validate their watchdog role.”

Roberts goes on to make additional significant points — that Trump is basically an opportunist beneficiary, “taking advantage of a faction of the electorate that has been primed to respond to someone like him,” over a period of decades, and that “the social and demographic trends driving the Trump phenomenon are far deeper than Trump himself. They will outlast him.” All that is true, and more. Both Roberts and Rosen deserve to be read and re-read in full.

But I believe that this list of ways that Trump breaks the rules is only a first approximation, primarily because it presents an even-handedness that never actually existed. For example, most of Bill Clinton’s presidency was plagued by ongoing rightwing conspiracist obsessions which filtered into the mainstream media. Most of the really wacky stuff (like the “Clinton body count”) never got through to the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post, but those two bastions of the “liberal media” did carry the torch for the Whitewater investigation, as Gene Lyons documented in Fools for Scandal: How The Media Invented Whitewater. They were instrumental in keeping the investigation alive, most notably by burying the results of the Pillsbury Report, commissioned by the Resolution Trust Corporation, which found the Clintons innocent of any wrongdoing in 1995.

So it’s not really true that the media polices “lies about trivial, personal or easily verifiable claims” whether on the left or the right. Indeed, the explosive growth of conspiracies in the 1990s helped to erode the distinction between such lies and lies about policy. Conspiracy narratives question, reinterpret or outright fabricate facts on the one hand and policies on the other. One hallmark of conspiracist thinking is its self-sealing nature: any evidence that appears to refute it is actually just evidence of an even-deeper conspiracy. The conservative embrace of global warming denialism is a major example of how such thinking has thrown the mainstream media into a semi-permanent state of disarray.

Still, the list Roberts offers is a decent first approximation. If not an iron law, it points to strengths and weaknesses of how the media has generally dealt with lies up till now. What’s more, it helps illuminate the way that Sarah Palin helped set the stage for Trump. In a broader sense, as David Neiwert touched on recently, Palin was a significant figure in the virulent growth of rightwing populism which Trump embodies today, and which is bringing dangerously close to outright fascism.

Perpetuating “lies about trivial, personal or easily verifiable claims” is hardly the worst or most central thing about a movement tending towards fascism, but it is an inescapable ingredient. The sense of grievance is a root sentiment such movements thrive on, and figures like Palin and Trump are master grievance collectors, who never let inconvenient facts stand in their ways: They simply invent new ones to serve their needs. Trump’s breaking of the second lie gets closer to the heart of the fascist direction he’s taking us in: the overthrow of all existing institutions, sweeping them aside as forms of weakness and disease.

With these thoughts in mind, we can look back at a scandal plaguing Sarah Palin as she stepped onto the national stage, and see it in a very different light — the Troopergate scandal. It concerned her abuse of office in pursing a vendetta against her former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, attempting to get him fired as state trooper and letting her husband run wild in the process.

There were two more deeply troubling stories about Palin that the press overlooked at the time. The first concerned her long history of involvement with secessionists in the Alaska Indepenence Party, an excellent account of which appeared here in Salon, by David Neiwert and Max Blumenthal. It’s certainly hard to square Palin’s self-identification as a “real American” with years of palling around with folks who want nothing more than to leave America forever, but that’s exactly what Palin did. The second concerned her life-long association with an extremist religious cult movement, known as the Third Wave movement, or the New Apostolic Reformation. It’s part of a wider dominionist movement which seeks to take “dominion” over secular society and government in the U.S. and throughout the world. The mainstream media wouldn’t touch reporting on Palin’s NAR involvement; for that you had to rely on researchers like Bruce Wilson and Rachel Tabachnick at


Written by  via SALON

Why it matters that Serena Williams is on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Updated by  via VOX


Since 1954, Sports Illustrated has declared the most groundbreaking, important person in sports each year, starting with British runner Roger Bannister, the first known person to ever run a mile in under four minutes. This year the magazine has named its ninth woman ever to the list: tennis champ Serena Williams. While it may not be a shock that this dominant female athlete was named Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year — she won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open, after all — it’s actually kind of rare, given the gender breakdown over the years.

While American Pharoah devotees shared their dismay over the choice Monday — the Triple Crown–winning horse won SI’s popular vote to get the title — writer S.L. Price recounted Williams’s tumultuous (and mostly victorious) year on the court.

Her major title bids came with plenty of health battles: an all-consuming flu, bruised bones, and busted knees, to name a few. She returned to Indian Wells Tennis Garden in March after a 14-year boycott following a matchup against Steffi Graf marred by jeering and racist comments. This year also included Williams’s disappointing loss at the US Open in September, when she lost to 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci, missing her shot at the calendar Grand Slam and the chance to beat Graf’s record 21 career major title wins.

Off the court, though, Williams is an outspoken, stylish, confident social media darling and sports mogul with devoted fans around the world. At 34, she’s also been able to compete longer than many of her peers have been able to. And that’s why her newest title should come as no surprise.

Serena Williams is the third solo woman to receive the honor

Since Sports Illustrated started awarding athletes and coaches with its top title, the few women who have won it also shared the honor with men. Williams is one of only three women with the title who did not share the moment with a man — and she’s also the first since Mary Decker in 1983 to have the solo title. Meanwhile, 24 individual men have been named Sportsman of the Year since 1983. Among women, the title has also evaded traditional team players aside from the collective 1999 titleholders, the US Women’s National Soccer Team, after their monumental World Cup win. Here’s how women have fared on the list since 1954:

  • 1972: Billie Jean King, tennis (shared with men’s college basketball coach John Wooden)
  • 1976: Chris Evert, tennis
  • 1983: Mary Decker, track and field
  • 1984: Mary Lou Retton, gymnastics (shared with Edwin Moses, track and field)
  • 1987: Judi Brown King, track & field, and Patty Sheehan, golf (shared with six other athletes)
  • 1994: Bonnie Blair, speed skating (shared with Norwegian speed skater Johann Olav Koss)
  • 1999: US Women’s National Soccer Team
  • 2011: Pat Summit, University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach (shared with Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University men’s basketball coach)
  • 2015: Serena Williams, tennis

Choosing outstanding women athletes isn’t a groundbreaking feat for another sports authority. Since 1931, the Associated Press has named one man and one woman each as athletes of the year (Williams was named to that list in 2002, 2009, and 2013).

It’s rare to see a woman on the cover of an issue of SI who isn’t a model

While the Associated Press started publishing a gender-equal list in the 1930s, things haven’t been quite as equal for Sports Illustrated. After 61 years of publishing, SI’s weekly issues rarely feature women athletes on its covers. A University of Louisville study of the magazine from 2000 to 2011 found that women appeared on 4.9 percent of all Sports Illustrated covers; about a third of those featured women of color.

“Of the 35 covers including a female, only 18 (or 2.5 percent of all covers) featured a female as the primary or sole image,” the researchers wrote in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport. “Three covers included females, but only as insets (small boxed image), or as part of a collage background of both male and female athletes.”

Interestingly, more female athletes appeared on the covers from 1954 to 1965 than they did from 2000 to 2011. After that period, the distribution spread. By 2011, the average rate at which women were featured on the cover was about one woman per year, not counting the magazine’s highly anticipated annual swimsuit issue, despite growing participation of women in sports. The researchers attributed this to the rising dependence on corporate sports leagues, mainly the big four: the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, Pacific Standard reports.

But SI has been slightly better in recent years

Considering 2015 was an incredible year for women in sports, at least in the United States, Sports Illustrated naming a woman to its annual title should be no surprise. With Williams’s big year in tennis, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey’s tough-talking near dominance, the US women’s national soccer team’s World Cup win, and the debut of professional women’s hockey, among many other landmark moments, you’d think we’ve reached a new level of respect for women athletes.

(SOURCE: Ronda Rousey on a 2015 cover of Sports Illustrated)

In some ways, we have. This year’s survey of SI covers shows an uptick in female presence: the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team’s uncanny national championship win, Rousey being called the “world’s most dominant athlete,” multiple covers on US soccer, and one on Serena Williams’s grand slam effort in August.

Last year’s SI covers featured one special Olympic preview with four covers — three of which featured women athletes — an issue with gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin, University of Connecticut women’s basketball star Breanna Stewart as one of six special March Madness covers, and Little League World Series phenom Mo’Ne Davis.

In 2013, there were no female athletes on the covers, and 2012 featured the US women’s Olympic gymnastics team, an all-text cover about Title IX, and Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, a judoka. Prior to that, as mentioned above, the rate was about one female athlete per year.

Overall coverage of female athletes in sports media is pretty bad

Naturally, sports coverage isn’t all about Sports Illustrated. Most televised sports coverage generally goes to men’s pro and college football, basketball, and baseball, according to a 2015 study published in Communication & Sport. The study, which evaluated 25 years of sports coverage among ESPN’s SportsCenter and Los Angeles’s broadcast network affiliates, showed 3 percent of all sports coverage was dedicated to women’s sports. To be male in sports is to be the default — for example, the term March Madness nearly always means the men’s college basketball tournament, even though the women’s tournament goes by the same name.

When it comes to the amount of coverage throughout this tournament, ESPN’sSportsCenter devoted 83 on-air stories to the men’s tournament in March 2014, versus eight about the women’s tournament that year. Researchers often found the coverage was simply blah when focus turned to women athletes.

“We found that men’s sports were presented with far more enthusiasm, and excitement, the commentators consistency deploying vocal inflections, high-volume excitement, and evocative descriptors,” the researchers wrote. “Listening to commentators describe a women’s sports event was usually like hearing someone deliver a boring after-thought, with an obvious lack of enthusiasm.”

With that, it’s probably no surprise that only 10.2 percent of overall sports coverage was produced by women, according to the Women’s Media Center’s annual report on women in the US media — and that’s a 7 percent drop from 2014’s figure.

Sportsman and sportswoman? Or sportsperson?

One significant factor this year is that Sports Illustrated has called Williams the Sportsperson of the Year, taking on a more gender-neutral term than sportswoman. Does this mean the next man named to the list will also be called a sportsperson, rather than a sportsman? Until sports loses all of its gendered divisions — and who knows when that’ll be? — I guess we’ll know whenever the publication names the next man (or horse, perhaps?) to the list.

Buzzing: James Corden remixes ‘Drag Me Down’ for One Direction Carpool Karaoke

James Corden remixes ‘Drag Me Down’ for One Direction Carpool Karaoke

James Corden is the gift to One Direction fandom that keeps on giving.

Though the band is officially on hiatus, the Late Late Show host recorded a Carpool Karaoke segment with the boys when they appeared on the show earlier this month. (You know, the time Harry Styles lost a game of Tattoo Roulette and got inked live on television.)

This latest edition of Carpool Karaoke contains a number of gems, including Liam Payne discovering that Louis Tomlinson kept turning his seat heater on (“My ass is on fire!”), the former blaming Styles for stealing his “seatbelt hole,” and Niall Horan saying he’d marry Selena Gomez in a game of Sleep With/Marry/Cruise.

Musically speaking, Corden treated fans to a makeshift music video for “No Control” when he choreographed the boys in coordinating denim jackets to create the ’90s boy band aesthetic they’ve always eschewed. (The track hails from their fourth album, Four, and was made a DIY single when fans aggressively campaigned to get it radio play.) Also, Corden remixed “Drag Me Down” with a rap verse interlude, and impressed his fellow carpoolees with a high note in “Best Song Ever” that rivaled Payne’s own. Check it out above, and see the music video in GIF form below.


Credit: Bret Hartman / CBS (One Direction with James Corden)

Published on December 16, 2015 at 08:30AM

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