Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

Is ultra-conservative right-wing Tea Party leader Mark Williams wearing an earring?

Posted by andreaitis on September 15, 2009

We’re a small team here at True/Slant, and like most startups that means everyone has a couple of jobs (at least).  For example, you’re looking at the entire help desk.   Now, most help desk emails have a question about the site, how something works or (ack) isn’t working.  Last night, though, I got an email with a clear and plaintive cry for help:

I saw Mark Williams on MSNBC tonight and I swear he was wearing an earring.  I’ve exhausted all online searches and I’m begging you to please help me.  I MUST know if this douche bag wears an earring.  I don’t know why this is important but it is!!!

Mark Williams is a familiar face on the cable news circuit, appearing regularly on MSNBC, CNN and Fox.   He is Vice Chairman of Our Country Deserves Better Political Action Committee, and can politely be described as a rabid ultra-conservative Obama-hater.  Or, as he would say, “right.”

Not someone you’d expect to show up with an earring.   But, ever the helpful help desk, I poked around for some evidence to properly answer Vicki’s question.

MarkWilliamsHeadshot2I first looked at Mark’s bio picture on  First thing I noticed was that the picture’s cropped so you can’t see his left earlobe.  That’s odd, I thought.  Odd and curious.  He’s Vice Chairman of this PAC and a) chooses a picture that shows him on an MSNBC talk show, and 2) we can’t see his left ear.  I have to assume when he actually appeared on MSNBC that they did, in fact, include his left ear in the shot.  So it’s even more unusual that I can’t see it here.

Next, I looked at Mark’s bio pic on his own site  This picture’s smaller and the mark williams marktalk 9-15-2009 12-05-52 PMangle isn’t ideal but you can pretty much see his left earlobe.  Nothing  glinting, sparkling or dangling, though.  His earlobe appears to be unadorned.  But, with the size and the angle and the possibility of photoshopping I’m not completely confident I have Vicki’s answer.

mark williams cnn 9-15-2009 11-23-35 AMI then pulled up video of Mark’s CNN appearance on Anderson Cooper’s AC360 last night (when they had their memorable war of words).

Stop. the. presses.  There it is!  A clear shot of his left ear, and lo and behold there’s something on it.   This is a shot from CNN, though, and we know the left will stop at nothing to bury the right.  I must maintain my objective perspective, even in light of this earlobe evidence.  I need another source to verify.

That takes me to Google (of course).  Google Images, to be specific.  After digging thromark williams 2 9-15-2009 11-59-08 AMugh pics of other people named  Mark Williams, I found it.  A second source.   A clear image, the right angle, and confirmation that there is, in fact, something that looks like an earring on this ultra-conservative’s left ear.

Could it be?

Mark Williams describes himself on his own website as “a long time ‘activist’ radio talk show host, TV news personality and writer.”   The quote marks around activist are his own.  Is that some kind of secret hippie code?  Could it simply be a birthmark?  Or, um, birthermark?

Vicki, I can tell you that you did indeed see something on Mark Williams’ ear.  I can’t yet tell you what it is.  For that, I’ve gone to the source.  I’ve just sent Mark Williams a Facebook message asking him: earring or birthmark?

I’ll let you know when I hear back.

helpfully yours,

andrea @ the true/slant help desk

Mark Williams responds to the earring controversy via Facebook


Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Larry King or Ashton Kutcher: The Million Fan March

Posted by andreaitis on April 16, 2009

Larry King via Wikipedia; Ashton Kutcher via Flickr

Larry King via Wikipedia; Ashton Kutcher via Flickr

Really, all I have to do is put up these two pictures and you can imagine the thousand words.  Still, it’s worth repeating the battle that is surely creating warped pay-per-view visions in Vince McMahon’s mind.   Dreamy Ashton Kutcher and rickety-crickety CNN are each racing to get 1 million followers on Twitter.  I’m not really sure why or how this started (and I can’t say I care enough to bother looking it up) but there you have it.

But — as if this wasn’t dramatic enough — enter a NEW challenger.  A challenger, in fact, with a secret past that can rival stories of Larry and his Seven Wives, proving once again that it’s not necessarily who you are, but who other people think you might be.   We’ll just see who gets the last punk’d.

While Ashton Kutcher and CNN are trying to be the first to hit 1 million followers on Twitter, Joseph Frieschel, an inconspicuous Australian MD, is quickly catching up. Frieschel only opened his Twitter account last night, but he already has over 200,000 followers. How can this be? Well, it looks like the anonymous members of the infamous 4chan imageboard didn’t like the idea of either Kutcher or CNN breaking the 1 million follower barrier before they got a chance to make their presence felt.

4Chan Takes on Twitter

The choice of the fake user’s “real” name, username, avatar, and bio are typical examples of the kind of crass and often tasteless humor that runs rampant on anonymous forums like 4chan. The new Twitter account clearly refers to Joseph Fritzl, the Austrian who, unknown to the rest of his family, imprisoned his daughter in his house’s basement for 24 years until his double life finally unraveled last year.

Not all of the humor on 4chan is this crass, however. The site, after all, was also the breeding ground for popular Internet memes like Rickrolling and lolcats.

Operation Basement Dad: How 4Chan Could Beat CNN & Ashton Kutcher

Posted in social media, technology, twitter | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »