Virtual reality, for all its hype and hope, hasn’t exactly taken the entertainment world by storm. Now a new venture is looking to deliver on VR’s promise of virtually transporting you to another time and place — but without the awkward headset, so you can have a shared, communal experience. The company, Illuminarium Experiences, is […]
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The CEO of a reality TV production company has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding a lender out of $2 million, prosecutors said Tuesday. Jonathan Lee Smith, CEO of Hoplite Entertainment, is expected to face a sentence of 33 to 41 months in prison. According to the criminal complaint, Smith used fraudulent license agreements to […]
CNN senior political analyst and self-proclaimed “reality checker” John Avlon joined CNN Newsroom hosts Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Tuesday to allege that democracy is in great peril because Republicans are terrible and the election laws they are trying to pass in places like Texas are similar to literal race massacres.
Speaking of H.R. 1 and the filibuster, Sciutto, who also claims to have no opinion on the matter, asked, “are those measures DOA in the Senate as a practical matter or can Biden and Democrats make a turn here?”
Avlon, sounding more like a Democratic spokesman than a fact checker claimed, “after the filibuster killed a bipartisan commission to investigate the attacks of January 6th on our Capitol and our democracy, you got to wonder what — why any reasonable person would believe that there’s room to reason together in good faith on issues like voting rights.”
After hoping that Sens. Sinema and Manchin will at least agree to filibuster “reform,” he warned, “because whether it’s H.R. 1, the For The People Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which is more targeted and tailored, there’s no question we’re witnessing a sustained assault on our democracy, on voting rights in many states, Texas just being the latest example.”
The “Reality Check” guy then put up a map on the screen that showed all the places where voting rights are allegedly under attack. The graphic was so disingenuous that it included Kentucky, whose new law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, signed by a Democratic governor, and was previously described by CNN as one “that expanded voting access.”
Avlon then repeated himself, “So this is a sustained assault on our democracy going on right now, and it demands defense of our democracy at this time. So Democrats got to figure a way to get this through.”
Harlow then escalated the rhetoric, beating Chris Cuomo to the punch on comparing these bills to the Tulsa massacre. “I keep thinking about this fight in Texas happening on the same day that we as a nation mark and recognize the massacre in Tulsa. And all of the civil rights and constitutional rights that the people of Greenwood were stripped of over that two days and what is happening now in terms of access to the ballot.”
Historical estimates vary, but some historians estimate that nearly 300 people may have died during the Tulsa Race Massacre that resulted when a resentful white mob attacked the prosperous neighborhood of Greenwood. Nobody was ever prosecuted.
Massacres of prosperous communities in Tulsa, that were effectively written out of our history, show that structural racism is real. That we need a broader reckoning of our history that’s fundamentally more inclusive and when there are attempts to shut down voting rights, we need to understand is not just in terms of the partisan politics of the moment, but the larger themes of American political history and how that is intersected with race throughout our history. We cannot hide from that. We need to confront it wide eyed and ideally together, finally.
CNN considers it “more inclusive” to blur today’s voting bills into being comparable to a massacre of blacks. Naturally, the reality checker never provided evidence that these laws end up restricting voter turnout.
This comparison of Republican voting bills to historical race massacres was brought to you by CarShield.
The Discovery Channel is creating a reality TV show where the winner will receive an all-inclusive trip to the International Space Station.
The show is called “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” and as the name might suggest, it will be about putting contestants through the ranks of what astronauts go through on their journey to space, as reported by The New York Times. It will center around tests and trials that challenge the contestants’ problem solving skills, teamwork, and more.
“If these are the qualities that astronauts need to have, then we can model challenges that test qualities,” BoomTown Content Company founder, Paul Ricci, who is involved with the show, said. “Things like problem solving, teamwork, precision and focus, grace under pressure, handling the unexpected.”
The Discovery Channel is looking for applicants to round out a cast of about 10 amateur would-be astronauts for its eight-episode run set to air next year. The winner will receive a seat aboard a SpaceX rocket flight to the International Space Station.
“We’d like a diverse group of people that each have their own story, why they want to go to space, why they’re worthy of going to space, what their back story is,” Jay Peterson, president of Boat Rocker Studios, Unscripted, which is one of the production companies behind the show, said.
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The winning contestant is expected to rocket into space aboard Axiom Space’s second mission to the International Space Station, according to NYT. Axiom is a Houston-based space company and its first flight to the station is expected to happen next January aboard a SpaceX rocket. That first flight will carry three passengers – each a private citizen – who paid $55 million for their space trip that will see them orbit for about eight days.
Former NASA astronaut and current Axiom vice president, Michael López-Alegría, will join those three citizens aboard the flight as the commander for the mission. The second rocket, which is the flight that the winner of “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” is expected to take to space, is set to launch six or seven months after the first Axiom flight, according to NYT.
“For now, an agreement between the Discovery team and Axiom has not been finalized, and NASA has yet to choose Axiom to conduct the second private space tourism flight,” the NYT report reads.
While waiting to watch “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?”, check out this story about Ultima Online creator, Richard Garriott, becoming the first and only person to have travelled to space, the Mariana Trench, and both poles of the Earth.
Read this story about how Elon Musk’s SpaceX is building NASA’s new Lunar Lander after that, and then check out this story about how SpaceX’s prototype rocket for the Moon and Mars made its first successful landing earlier this month.
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.
Now that streamer-buys-legacy studio has become a reality, it begs the question, ‘Who will be next?
Hugo Barra, who has served as VP of Facebook Reality Labs for the past four years — overseeing the social giant’s Oculus team and its VR and augmented reality development projects — is exiting his post. Barra announced his departure in a Facebook post Monday, saying May 17 is his last day at the company. […]
“No Limite,” the Brazilian version of Banijay’s hit reality format “Survivor,” will return to Brazil after a 12-year break. Brazilian network Globo and Endemol Shine Brasil will co-produce the show, which has been commissioned for 11 episodes and will be hosted by André Marques. It will feature a cast of previous contestants from “Big Brother […]
A Russian man who was “trapped” on a Chinese reality TV show for nearly three months has finally been voted out by the viewing public.
According to The Guardian, Vladislav Ivanov, a 27-year-old from Vladivostok, quickly realized that the devil works hard but the public works harder after he signed up to be a contestant on Produce Camp 2021, a Chinese boy group survival show, and almost instantly regretted his decision. He implored viewers to let him leave the show but instead, they supported him right the way through to the final.
While most of the contestants sang for survival each week, hoping to make it into the 11-member international boy group left standing at the end of the series, Ivanov was crooning to be cut loose, having originally joined the show as a Chinese translator before being persuaded by directors to shoot for stardom. “They asked if I’d like to try a new life,” Ivanov reportedly revealed during the series.
“Becoming a member of a boy band is not my dream as I can’t sing and dance,” Ivanov, who performed under the stage name Lelush, stated clearly to viewers after he reluctantly accepted a place on the show, according to SCMP. “I hope the judges won’t support me. While the others want to get an A, I want to get an F as it stands for freedom.”
Ivanov was unable to quit due to the contractual agreement that he had signed, so he put as little effort as possible into his performances but this backfired in the most spectacular way, as viewers were seemingly attracted to his anti-hero persona, keeping him in the show week after week. The unaspiring singer spent three months on the show before being voted out during the grand finale.
With his refound freedom, Ivanov posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo, expressing his relief at the fact that he was “finally getting off work.” A hashtag related to his exit was apparently viewed more than 180 million times and reposted more than 59,000 times, including by the Russian embassy, who congratulated Ivanov on his departure from the series and told him to “have a good rest.”
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Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.