Saturday, February 25, 2017

Magazines go over the top with President Trump covers

It’s been a little over a month since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20. Since then some magazine covers have declared that the end of the world is at hand.
Magazine covers have depicted Trump as an overgrown child, a buffoon, a fascist, a puppet of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and a violent psychopath.
The most controversial cover (from Ireland’s political and cultural magazine Village) suggested that a sniper assassinate Trump.
After the Nov. 8 election, the magazine covers that drew the most criticism were those that presented the Trump presidency as legitimate.
What follows is a sampling of magazine covers from the U.S. and Europe since Trump’s inauguration.

Related articles:

The best Donald Trump magazine covers of the 2016 election. (Oct. 16, 2016)

Media reaction to Trump’s election based on magazine covers (Nov. 20, 2016)

The 15 most controversial magazine covers of 2016 (Jan. 18, 2017)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fake airplane photos and other lying clickbait

Content promotion services like Taboola and Outbrain often get away with using fake or incorrect photos with articles because the pictures they use are so small. They use eye-catching thumbnail images that exploit the “curiosity gap.”
If the pictures were larger, more people could tell they were obviously fake or wrong.
For instance, recent clickbait articles on “stunning private jets” and strange-looking aircraft have been using Photoshopped images. Digital artists created images of crazy-looking airplanes in the mode of the recent “face swap” picture trend. They swapped the jet engines with the front of the planes for their wacky images. You can more easily see they are fake if you look at a larger image.

A Taboola article on exotic creatures used a Photoshopped image of a wet koala made to look like the mythical drop bear. See articles by the Museum of Hoaxes and Gizmodo.

An Outbrain article titled “The early days in Vegas left us speechless” used a photo from the science-fiction TV series “The Bionic Woman.” The scene in question is from the 1977 episode titled “Fembots in Las Vegas.”

Taboola recently ran an article titled “After losing 220 pounds Rebel Wilson is gorgeous now.” The Australian actress is estimated to have weighed as much as 291 pounds, but has lost weight recently. Still, I doubt she weighs just 70 pounds now.
The Taboola article pairs a photo of Wilson on the left with a body shot of California model Mikayla Carr on the right.
As President Trump would say, “Fake news! Sad.”

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Anastasia Kvitko is the cover girl for lying clickbait

Previously I’ve noted that French actress Brigitte Bardot is a favorite photo subject for lying clickbait articles. That’s because she was a strikingly attractive woman in the 1950s and 1960s when she was active in movies and young people don’t know who she is now.
The latest cover girl for lying clickbait articles is Russian glamour model Anastasia Kvitko, who has been called the Russian Kim Kardashian for her curvy figure.
Lately her Instagram photos have been used to promote a series of articles about what Olympic athletes look like today. But Kvitko was never an Olympian. Unless that sport is mountain climbing or motorboating, I guess.
I mentioned Kvitko in articles on lying clickbait on Jan. 30 and Feb. 12.
Here are some recent examples of lying clickbait articles that have used pictures of the stunning model.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Female reboot trend says more about Hollywood’s lack of creativity than feminism

The current trend in Hollywood of remaking popular movies that starred men using women started with last year’s “Ghostbusters” film.
Despite the fact that “Ghostbusters” (2016) was a costly flop (the studio reportedly lost more than $70 million on the flick), the female reboot trend has spread like the flu.
Currently in production is a female reboot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” The new movie, “Ocean’s Eight,” stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Rihanna. It’s set for release in June 2018.
Hathaway also is slated to star with Rebel Wilson in a remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (1988). The new movie is currently titled “Nasty Women.”
ABC is developing a sequel to “Magnum P.I.” that will revolve around Thomas Magnum’s daughter.
The Bill Murray comedy “What about Bob?” (1991) is being recast with a female lead for an NBC series titled “What about Barb?”
Meanwhile, some other movies that have been discussed for female reboots include “21 Jump Street,” “The Expendables,” “The Rocketeer” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
This trend isn’t so much about giving more starring roles to actresses. It’s a lazy way of rehashing old entertainment properties in a presumably fresh way. But this technique has become a cliché.
Changing the gender of the lead roles is usually a technique reserved for remaking public domain stories. Check out my article “How Hollywood remakes public domain stories and characters.”

Photo: The cast of “Ocean’s Eight.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lying clickbait: Pretty women as the honeypot

I’ve documented many times how online content promotion services like to use photos of pretty women to attract visitors.
Sometimes they use a vaguely misleading headline with a picture of a sexy woman. Other times they misidentify the woman in the photo.
In one recent example on Yahoo, they used a photo of busty English glamour model Keeley Hazell with an article titled “McKayla Maroney looks completely unrecognizable.”
Yeah, she’s unrecognizable because that’s not her.

Here’s what Olympic gymnast Maroney looks like today.

In another example on Yahoo, a content promotion service used a photo of curvaceous Russian model Anastasia Kvitko with an article titled “These Olympians are completely jaw-dropping now.” Kvitko was never an Olympic athlete. (Is motor-boating an Olympic sport?)

A Taboola article titled “Michael Jackson’s daughter is absolutely gorgeous” used a photo of actress Brooke Shields, who is definitely not Jackson’s daughter. It is inexplicable why Taboola didn’t use a photo of Paris Jackson here. She is quite attractive and actually is Jackson’s daughter.

As I’ve noted before, photos of gorgeous French actress Brigitte Bardot are often used to advertise articles unrelated to her. (See “Lying clickbait: Brigitte Bardot photos were never ‘classified.’”)
Here are two more recent examples. Bardot’s image was used to promote Taboola articles titled “Rare photos not suitable for history books” and “Long-lost mobster photos that will make your skin crawl.”

Another Taboola article titled “12 mysterious photos that cannot be explained” used a photo of actress Penelope Cruz. It is a magazine cover – done, explained.

Finally, here’s a lying clickbait article titled “Celebs who got their start in porn” that used a photo of actress Cameron Diaz. Normally I don’t click on these clickbait articles, but I had to check this one out. The list includes actresses like Diaz who have posed for nude photos, but have not done pornography. There’s a big difference.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lying clickbait: Radical celebrity transformations

One type of lying clickbait often used by content promotion services involves pairing a celebrity with a photo of a freaky-looking person. The clickbait uses text alleging that the weird-looking person is either the celebrity today or their offspring.
The first photo is the recognizable celebrity and the second photo is a mug shot or portrait of a drug user or an oddball.
Examples I’ve previously highlighted involved Kellie Williams, Steve Zahn, Anna Chlumsky and Lisa Bonet.
Here’s a fresh example involving Alison Arngrim, a child actress from “Little House on the Prairie.”
A picture of her from that classic show is paired with a mug shot of a drug user for a clickbait article titled “43 stars who’ve grown into being horrible looking creatures.”
The woman in the red shirt is believed to be a meth user. Her picture is featured in the internet meme “Maybe she’s born with it … maybe it’s methamphetamine,” a takeoff on the ad slogan for cosmetics firm Maybelline.

Here’s what the adult Arngrim really looks like.

A Revcontent article titled “Harrison Ford has pretty much given up on his son” uses a photo of Ford next to a man who’s not his son. The other man, Jason Walter Barnum, has scary face and head tattoos.