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While Hilaria Baldwin’s rapid downfall is incredibly funny, it also offers a more serious lesson in the consequences of media corruption.

One under-appreciated element of that corruption involves entertainment journalism, an industry that enriches corrupt elites by burnishing undeserving reputations and normalizing radical cultural leftism. Baldwin’s delayed date with destiny hillustrates this well. (The h is silent, as in “Hilaria.”)

After Baldwin, the yoga-instructor-turned-wife of Alec Baldwin, started beefing with Amy Schumer, social media sleuths unraveled Hilaria’s personal narrative in short order. Within a few literal hours, she went from influencer to laughing stock—and rightfully so.

Baldwin was raised in Boston. She went by Hillary Hayward-Thomas. Her parents are not Spanish. In public appearances, however, she frequently spoke with a heavy Spanish accent, implied she grew up in Spain, and clearly claimed Spanish heritage.

This landed her multiple features on the cover of “Hola” magazine. In one infamous TV interview, she pretended to briefly flail to find the English word for “cucumber.” The real story seems to be that she visited Spain occasionally as a child and her family lives there now. It’s all very funny.

But a lot of Baldwin’s background never added up. This information was all accessible with very basic Google searches and 20 minutes of time. Nevertheless, she was covered over and over again by entertainment journalists who apparently never pieced these strange claims together, despite glaring red flags like her fluctuating accent. It took social media users all of 12 hours to strip the emperor of her sustainably sourced clothes. Why?

In the aughts, bloggers like Perez Hilton earned a lot of money and a lot of backlash for harsh coverage of celebrities. Some of that backlash was warranted. But now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Rather than treating celebrities neutrally, the entertainment media treats them reflexively as protagonists. (See: the early coverage of Jussie Smollett’s hoax.)

Sometimes this is because they do something vaguely woke. Sometimes it’s because outlets don’t want to deal with stan mobs

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, or want to capitalize on their enthusiasm. Sometimes it’s for access. Sometimes it’s because of what they believe about consumer demand.

Look at this post about Baldwin from E!, which is representative of how the press covered her until this low point in her public life.


“Passionate response.” “Unique upbringing.” Those terms may technically be accurate, but this sympathetic framing is a garbage way of covering an entitled lying elite who burnished her image by misleading the public for years.

A celebrity like Baldwin’s value is her reputation. She’s famous for her marriage, not her talent as an actress, model, or singer. For the most part, even celebrities whose fame is predicated on talent are only as valuable as their reputations. Friendly media coverage helps people like Baldwin get endorsement deals and other business opportunities.

The point is that entertainment media is acting more as a machine to enrich elites than the Fourth Estate—and in the midst of a populist reckoning over elite corruption illustrated by people like Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves. On the other hand, this second wave of celebrity bloggers is sharpening its knives, learning from the successes and failures of the aughts, and using this new generation of self-publishing platforms to expose the rich and famous.



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Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

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Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

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Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

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“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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