Annie Leibovitz: The Controversial Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photographs

Vanity Fair Magazine: Miley Cyrus

Photography by: Annie Leibovitz

The Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Magazine Photoshoot

Slide Show: The Miley Cyrus Photoshoot

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

You can read a roundup of reactions to the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photographs here.

And a commentary on the controversy from Germaine Greer in The Guardian here.

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Barack Obama Unequivocably Cuts Ties to Ex-Pastor

Earlier this morning, Barack Obama closely reviewed excerpts from Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s reckless and freewheeling speech that was given at The National Press Club breakfast on Monday morning in Washington. Deeply and visibly angry, Obama insisted upon holding a second press conference about Wright today in Winston-Salem (NC) in order to unequivocally denounce Rev. Wright’s conduct, as well as to to completely sever himself from his ex-pastor’s tirades. I have waited to post about this matter. In the meantime, mainstream and blogger pundits already have rushed to fill the print and internet media with clairvoyant mind-readings and armchair psychobabble about Obama’s comments today. As for myself, this ongoing affair has bolstered my own conviction that it is not a matter of simple antiquarianism that we should always be mindful of our Founders concern for a separation of Church and State, and of the dangers inherent in allowing that distinction to become more and more obscure.

Marc Ambinder provided an accurate summary of Obama’s Winston-Salem comments this afternoon in The Atlantic Magazine:

The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” Obama said. “His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church. They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs… If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either.”

I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church,” he said. “But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.”

It is antithetical to my campaign. It is antithetical to what I’m about. It is not what I think America stands for,” he said.

Ambinder concluded his summary by noting that, “Obama has denounced Wright’s remarks before. But in the past, Obama gave Wright “the benefit of the doubt“–i.e., said he considered such remarks aberrations, outliers, deviations not in keeping with the sermons that he himself had heard over his two decades at Trinity. Now, according to Obama, Wright’s willingness to repeat such “ridiculous propositions”–in effect, “caricaturing himself”–has led him to the conclusion that either Wright has changed or that he was wrong about the minister all along. “Based on his remarks yesterday,” said Obama. “I may not know him as well as I thought.” By acting nutty in public, in other words, Wright gave Obama the license to openly say in public, “I now see why all of you think he’s nutty.”

Barack Obama Renounces Ex-Pastor Wright

I strongly encourage viewers to read an article by Peggy Noonan about her overall impressions of the current state of the presidential race, which was published last Friday in The Wall Street Journal and can be accessed here.

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Photo of the Day: And Now She Got Pearls

Yesteryear’s New York: The Belly of the Beast

Jill Freedman: Love Kills (1979)

Jill Freedman: Tiffany

During the 1970s and 80s, an adventurous blonde named Jill Freedman with a quick eye for the unusual and bizarre focussed her camera upon the spirited characters and gritty sidewalks of a now-bygone era in New York City life. This modernist documentarian was a self-taught photographer who captured raw, intimate images in black and white, transforming urban scenes into theatrical dramas.

Freedman’s portrait of New York reflected a fallen city that was strewn with piles of garbage. Prostitutes and bag ladies walked the streets, while junkies staked out abandoned tenements next to children playing in vacant lots. For reasons involving both a shift in photographic styles and her own declining personal circumstances, Ms. Freedman faded from the popular scene in the late 1980s. But today, at a moment when much of Manhattan is awash in money and glamour, Freedman’s photographic legacy offers us a vivid portrait of a metropolis once defined by violence, poverty and disarray, a New York that once was.

Jill Freedman’s New York: Poverty, Violence and Disarray

Read more about Jill Freedman’s photography in The New York Times here.

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Comical Canine Capers

Just Some Very Silly Poochies

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Dr. Phil Reportedly Named a Top Hillary Campaign Adviser

Yes indeedy, allegedly well-placed Washington sources are whispering rumors that the infamous, publicity mongering Dr.Phil has just been named to a top advisory position in Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. He’ll join the likes of Ragin’ Bill Clinton, Howard “Hoodwink ‘Em” Wolfson, Magpie Williams, and Mark “I Run This Show” Penn in helping to determine our political destiny during the next few weeks.

And just coincidentally, it’s ratings sweeps time again in television land!! Since Dr. Phil can’t exploit Britney Spears again right now (since her own family is doing a good job of that) or the teenage girl accused of being the ringleader of a high school smackdown, Dr. Phil has turned to ripping off a sick, but popular popular reality show: The Moment of Truth. it’s been exposed how the good non-doc’s using a polygraph, a child molestation victim, and fancy graphics all in the name of ratings. It’s being rumored that Hillary might make a special appearance as one of the very first guests on Dr. Phil’s version of Moment of Truth, just to prove that all of her notorious “misspokens” were actually true!!

Dr. Phil’s Moment of Truth

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