A recently leaked ABC “hot mic” moment has “Good Morning America” co-host, Amy Robach, seriously spilling the beans that she and her team broke the Epstein sex trafficking news three years ago, but executives at the network killed the story. (Editor’s note: That link goes to the same video linked to the front page).
Anchor Robach goes on to say that their news story “had everyone,” and specifically name drops Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew then claimed that Buckingham Palace threatened them a “million different ways,” and that the network was worried they would never have access to Kate Middleton or Prince William and so bowed to pressure from the palace (and from others) to kill the story. Robach says she tried to get it aired for three years to “no avail.”
Well, that was indeed three years ago and now the story is everywhere. Epstein was not in jail at the time Robach claims to have had the story. He was a free man, still trafficking underage girls to extremely rich and powerful men via his private plane, private island and exclusive Manhattan apartment.
Robach claims that she interviewed Virginia Roberts Giuffre three years ago and that the woman had pictures, names, she had everything and gave it all to ABC. Robach’s quote, “It’s unbelievable what we had.”
Epstein was arrested July 6th, 2019 on sex trafficking charges, which led to the media frenzy surrounding him and the coming out of several woman reporting decades worth of allegations against him. Robach is kind of like, “Man! I’m so angry! We could have done something about this years ago! I could have run this story years ago! And now everyone has it!” (Not an exact quote from her, more of like me, interpreting her comments).
The Epstein allegations, for those who are not quite clear on the matter, are this: That he (Epstein) and his “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell, recruited and trained under age girls to be a personal sex slave for Epstein, then passed Epstein in turn passed the girls around to other powerful men including Prince Edwards and Bill Clinton. And we’re not talking the “legal shady area” when a girl is 17, but will be 18 tomorrow, and if you have sex with her today it’s illegal, but if you have sex with her tomorrow it won’t be. That’s a little weird.
No, we’re talking about girls as young as 14 years old who are recruited and trained for sex up to and including brutal sadomasochistic dungeon sessions.
Obviously, after the allegations hit and names dropped, the accused came out and said the same thing, their oft repeated quote was that the allegations were “categorically false!” But, I mean, what else are they going to say?
Epstein, as we all know by now, died via strangulation while in jail awaiting trial in which he was about to name drop really powerful, influential rich men, who frequented his under age girls and again, it wasn’t just sex, some of the women claim the men used them as slaves in brutal S&M sex dungeon rooms. Now, Epstein is dead, so he won’t be naming any names.
The first coroner says, Epstein died by “suicide,” the second coroner says, “Nope. Homicide.” Robach had an opinion on this too. From the leaked video:
“So, do I think he was killed? A hundred percent! Because, do you want it? He made his whole living blackmailing people. There were a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment.”
Okay. This seems clear. Robach is claiming that Epstein invited powerful men to have sex with his underage sex slaves and then, Epstein may have pictures and / or video of these men in order to blackmail them.
Finally, Robach talks about Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman who was Epstein’s long time friend, associate and “madam.” Maxwell was the woman who found and trained the under ages girls for Epstein to use. Robach says:
“Ghislaine Maxwell. I had all sorts of stuff on her too. I love it. I really, I’m like, it’s so funny to hear everyone say her name. Excellent. Like, I had all of that. And everyone’s like, “Who’s that?” “Who cares?” I kept getting that. Um, she knows everything!”
And that would make sense. The madam who found and trained the girls clearly knows all about it. ABC did respond to the leaked video and basically said, “Yeah, we didn’t publish the story then because it didn’t meet our editorial standards but we’ve never stopped investigating Epstein and no one ever pressured us to drop the story.”
No one pressured you to drop the story? You think that’s a believable response? You can read their lame response here.
Anyway. Epstein was arrested for underage sex trafficking. He’s dead. Maxwell, a British citizen, knows all about it. She hasn’t been charged with any crimes.
In one of those, “no one would believe this if it was in a movie,” stories we bring you “Wholesale Hitman!” Over a real estate dispute gone sour & a lawsuit in China, mogul Tan Youhui hired a hitman to kill a rival developer.
You see, in 2013 Tan Youhui hired Xi Guangan for $2m Yuan (approx. $275,000 with all further money being translated into US dollars) to kill his business rival. But, um … well, Guangan kind of … didn’t do it. He hired a second man to do the job for him!
Xi Guangan hired Mo Tianxiang for half the sum he had received up front. Now we have a second hitman on the job! Only, um … the second hitman didn’t do it, either. He paid a third hitman to kill the developer and that’s how Yang Kangsheng got the contract. Kangsheng, the third hitman was offered about $38,000 up front and promised an additional $71,000 upon contract completion.
But, plot twist (that you probably saw coming from a mile away)! The following year, which brings us to 2014 - Yang contracted Yang Guangsheng, a fourth hitman and offered him $28,000 up front and a promise of an additional $71,000 upon completion of the contract. So, by now Yang Kangsheng (the 3rd hitman) was anticipating the $38,000 up front and the additional $71,000 which all would go to the fourth hitman leaving the third hitman with only a $10,000 profit. Okay. I guess it’s still $10,000 right? Nothing to shake a stick at.
Well, as the fates would have it, the fourth hitman - also didn’t want to go through with it. Several months later, the second Yang hired Ling Xiansi for $14,000 to, you guessed it - kill the developer!
Ling finally spilled the beans to the actual target about the assassination plot and then, in another bizaarre plot twist the two of them faked his murder up to and including staged photos attempted to collect the cash and, presumably evenly split it.
Which didn’t work. So, the developer, who was the target, finally went to the police and reported the plot. As one hitman led to the next, each spilled the beans on the person that hired them and soon enough, all of them, including the original man who hired the first hitman, had been arrested.
The initial developer who started the plot, received five years in jail. All the hitmen involved received between two and four years in jail.
Seriously, though. Can you imagine sitting in a movie theater watching this plot unfold? By the fourth hitman hired I’m sure most audience members would be like, “Really, he hired a fourth hitman! This is starting to get a bit much!” By the time that fifth hitman was hired audience members would be eye rolling their disbelief in movie theaters everywhere!
But, as they always says, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
Well, the Hillary “Lock her up!” Clinton email conspiracy has finally come to an end. I hope. I hope it’s finally come to an end. In a multi year investigation by the State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, run by Republicans and led by President Trump just what did they uncover? Well, are you guys old enough to remember when Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s vault? It was hilarious! You know why? Spoiler Alert: Because it was empty.
So what did the investigation into Hillary’s emails find? Well, I’ll let the report speak for itself, “ … there were some instances of classified information being inappropriately introduced into an unclassified system in furtherance of expedience, by and large, the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them in their operations … there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by (Clinton) or department employees.”
That’s it. That's the entirety of it.
And this isn’t the first time an investigations said all this. Remember, the FBI came up with the same conclusion two years ago. Not that facts and investigations seem to matter these days.
I mean, there are people living in 2019 that argue the earth is flat. We literally have pictures, from space - disproving them. We also have science, common sense and reason to disprove them, but they ignore all that, so, you would think … actual pictures of the Earth being round would persuade them. Right?
But, nope. They just pretend the pictures are fake.
Just like this email investigation! It was clearly nothing. Multiple investigations have now said, ‘It’s nothing. No, seriously. It’s nothing.” But too many people are just going to pretend that the investigations are all fake and that Hillary Clinton, once again, got away with another devious scheme!
You can dislike H. Clinton as much as you want. I’m not a huge fan of hers, either. But, I can’t help but notice the stony silence from the WH about the investigation findings. I mean, if they had found anything … and I mean any dirt on Hillary at all … don’t you think they would have screamed it from the rooftops, by now?
Instead … crickets.
For better or worse, it seems clear that Senator Elizabeth Warren is the frontrunner to become the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election against President Trump. It’s not just me saying it. Pretty much every website that covers politics says it too. And the other candidates certainly believe it, because on Tuesday evening (the 15th of October) at the CNN debate they all went after Warren the way you do when there is an obvious front runner. Most of it didn’t stick, although I do think Warren needs to answer some specific questions about her Medicare plan as in, who’s paying for it? Because lots of folks ask her and so far, she kind of dodges.
Other than that, I think she’s a fine candidate. Warren does not have the negative baggage that Hilary Clinton had and conservatives seem to be overly, “meh” about Warren. It’s not like the targeted conservative rage that men seem to have for AOC or Representative Omar. It's more of a dismissive dislike against Warren and they seem to regard her as nothing special outside of being another “stupid libtard.”
But Liberals love her. They really do. But, can Warren win over undecideds and moderates? Well, that there is the winning ticket, ain’t it? And … well … I don’t know. Again, she doesn’t have the Clinton baggage, I mean, there were lots of folks that hated Hilary! Some of the reasons to dislike Hilary Clinton were warranted, most were not. I think Warren is generally going to be recognized as a much more likable Hillary. If you’ve heard any of Warren’s speeches she actually just comes off as honest and good natured. That’s a huge plus.
Moody’s doesn’t seem to think it matters much, though. Their analytical department has been fairly accurate predicting presidential races since 1980 and they see Trump winning in all scenarios except for one - extremely high voter turnout. (On the other hand, it should be noted that they had Hillary Clinton winning against Trump. So, there’s that). But that’s interesting. Their fairly accurate analytics department is pretty sure Trump is going to win, unless, of course, a HUGE number of people turn out to vote, and then they’re pretty sure the Democratic nominee will win.
I’ve been hearing this my entire adult life. If more voters turned out, it becomes less likely that modern Republicans would win. I am making no judgement one way or another I’m just saying that I think that’s interesting. And it’s nothing new.
So far I don’t see the fear mongering against Warren that usually happens in elections. You know what I mean, attack ads with scary music that say things like, “She’s the most liberal nominee ever and she’s coming for your guns, your bibles and your dinosaurs!” =)
Of course, she’s not the nominee yet. She’s just the front runner, which may or may not change. Once the actual nominee is in, I’m sure the fear mongering attack ads will come.
But they really don’t need to because, here’s the thing, the fear mongering ads, on both sides of the aisle - very, very rarely, if ever - come true! I hesitate to say never but in all honestly it’s probably a lot closer to never than rarely. They do seem to scare folks though. They just never come true. (Hardly, ever).
Look, Warren is smart. She’s an academic, she’s a former professor and she’s been in the Senate for several years. In the same way that McCain defended Obama at one of the republican rallies from a voter who said she couldn’t trust Obama because he’s an “Arab,” conservatives should be pretty okay with the idea of an incredibly smart, academic politician in the oval office. She’s not some Lex Luthor-esq super villain looking to turn the U.S. into 1970’s communist Russia.
No one, and I mean NO ONE wants to turn the entire country into a communist socialist regime. There are people that want some socialized programs. Considering we already have a bunch of them - the police department, emergency rooms, the fire department, the DMV, public libraries and even, get this … the NFL.
That’s right, except for the Dallas Cowboys who bought themselves out in the 1970’s, all the other teams evenly split money that goes into the NFL, so that no single team has a money advantage over any other team. Which, is kind of like socialism and it’s not scary. It actually makes sense to do it that way.
I mean, it’s not exactly socialism, but close enough that any reasonable person who watches the NFL but rages against any kind of government program being socialized, should at least go, “Hmmm. Maybe a couple government programs could be socialized without the country going to hell in a handbasket.”
Here’s a fun thought, how many republican NFL fans do you think will actually stop watching the NFL, if they were to find out that NFL is pretty socialist?
Probably, not many. Mostly likely, none. But that’s just a guess.
Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that Elizabeth Warren is not some scary socialist loon that’s going to strip away all your private rights and hand them over to the government. Keep in mind that there was a time when Democrats said things like, “We should try out Social Security & a G.I. Bill” and Republicans lost their minds and said the country would fall apart if you did either of those treasonous, libtard socialist programs!
Looks like they were wrong. While it's true that the Baby Boomer generation is putting social security at risk, can you honestly tell me that it’s been a bad idea and /or that the G.I. Bill is a crazy socialist plot? I mean, think about that, there were once Republicans that raged against the idea of FDR’s G.I. Bill.
If universal health care passes in the United States, I have almost no doubt that fifty years from now, when most of us are gone, the vast, overwhelming majority of the country will be like, “Can you imagine that people used to rage against the idea of universal health care? I mean, if you tried to take my universal health care from me or my family, they would have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.”
I know that everyone is endlessly reporting Impeachment news and we weighed in on it too here at GCN. We have an “impeachment is reasonable” moderate blue take, and an “impeachment is unreasonable” conservative red take. But I’m already sick of reading Ukrainian connected impeachment news and that story has only been around for a few weeks. So, instead - let’s talk about comic book movies!
Joker. Directed by Todd Phillips. Screenplay by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver. Starring Joaquin Phoenix.
According to some, mainly liberals, Joker is an incel friendly, dangerous film that humanizes the most infamous psychotic lunatic mass murderer in all comic book history. In fact, it’s so dangerous that, again - according to liberals - it will incite incels to armed violence everywhere! (Editor’s note. Incels are men who are “involuntarily celibate,” as in “women won't have sex with them but it’s not their fault that women don’t want to have sex with them - it’s society’s fault. And women’s fault, too. But not theirs at all.”) All over the country, for the realese of Joker, security was beefed up in preparation for the inevitable armed incel rise up!
An excerpt from Stephanize Zacharek’s Joker review from Time:
“In America, there’s a mass shooting or attempted act of violence by a guy like Arthur practically every other week … And yet we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Arthur, the troubled lamb; he just hasn’t had enough love … the movie lionizes and glamorizes Arthur even as it shakes its head, faux-sorrowfully, over his violent behavior.”
Fair enough. I do agree that the character of Joker should not be presented as a heroic figure because … well, he’s not. He’s a lunatic mass murderer. The comics really attempt to clinically explain Joker’s behavior and, to be honest, they shouldn’t. He’s a comic book villain. And that’s one of the reasons I generally feel that some things do not cross over well from comic books to live action film. Being lonely, unloved and mentally ill does not realistically create an unkillable, ever escaping from prison comic book super villain. But in live action film, depending on the tone of your story being a ridiculously over the top super villain does not exactly make a realistic looking lonely, unloved, mentally ill human being.
I mean, if you added up the comic book deaths caused by Joker it wouldn’t make sense that he would ever escape any kind of prison. After murdering hundreds of people, well, the fourth, or fifth, or sixth time he was captured, Joker would be over medicated into comatose form and locked away in a deep, dark hole - and no one would ever hear from him again!
But, that’s not exactly drama. And comic books don’t need to live in the real world and they shouldn’t have to. The medium that comic books exist in allow Joker to escape over and over so Batman can heroically triumph or occasionally, tragically fail against the antagonist. That’s drama.
And so now we have the new film, Joker. Which attempts to give reason to the “why” of the Joker's mass murdering madness. While I find the film compelling and Joaquin Phoenix is quite good in the lead role I keep going back to the “But, Joker isn’t a realistic super villain - he doesn’t need a realistic … ohh, never mind!”
The tone of Joker is dead serious. Sure, the film perhaps pays a bit too much homage to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy (especially with that DeNiro casting) but, so what? General audiences would probably be shocked to realize how often film directors steal from each other. Paying homage to other film sources is not exactly the cinematic crime that cinephiles are pretending it is. It’s a film that drips with believable pathos and realistic character motivation but I’m not exactly sure I bought the societal folk hero angle as Gothamites embraced the crimes of Joker. I mean, IF something like that happened in a city it could very well be a realistic motivation for a Batman figure to rise up to fight that level of city wide injustice. But, as told in Joker, city folk rise up in riot for Joker I just didn’t find it very plausible. On the other hand, the Joker is a very unreliable narrator and much of the movie, especially the last fifteen minutes or so are wide open to multiple interpretations. My personal interpretation is clearly more accurate than most others, obviously. =)
BUT - I don’t really want to go into further detail about it because, spoilers. I guess I’ll just say that Joker is worth seeing; and lots of folks feel that way too as it broke box office records around the world. It received an eight minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival where it won the top award even though critical opinion is mixed landing currently at 68% on Rottentomatoes.com. Joker is neither as dangerous or as dull as critics are portraying it. And, I guess I didn’t find it to be the masterpiece a few are claiming.
As for the armed, violent incel revolt? Meh. Probably won’t happen. Don’t get me wrong. Some self absorbed lunatic somewhere might pick up a gun and go on a murder spree but, as we all know, they would have done it without Joker ever getting involved.
And now, I will leave you with the greatest Batman / Joker knock-knock joke, maybe - ever.
Joker: Knock knock.
Batman: Who’s there.
Joker: Not your parents.
AOC was holding a town hall meeting in Queens, when a woman stood up and … well … ranted crazy person stuff. The video (linked on the front page) captures the entire thing. The woman acts agitated because no one is taking climate control seriously but then she quickly switches gears to throw out these oddities:
“I’m happy that you are really supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough … we don’t have enough time … we have to get rid of the babies … even if we were to bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution. So we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies is not enough. We need to eat the babies.”
She even had a t-shirt that said, “Save the Planet. Eat the Children.” At first it appears the woman is mentally ill and you feel kind of sorry for her. AOC keeps her cool through the rant, ignoring the crazy stuff and repeats to the woman a few times, “it’s okay,” in an effort to try and calm her down. AOC clearly assumed what we all did - this woman is ill! Alas, by the end of the crazy rant you can tell she’s trolling AOC.
I mean, “eat the babies?” My spider sense exploded. There is no way this woman is legit.
Turns out, she isn’t! The woman was posing as an AOC supporter but was actually a member of LaRouchePAC, a far right climate change denying group that supports Donald Trump. Thursday evening they posted the video on Twitter and wrote “It was us. Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathan Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.” (Editor’s note: Malthusianism is the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply is linear and in theory cause massive food shortages and starvation.)
Lyndon Larouche Jr, who died in February, co-founded the LaRouche group sometime in the mid 70’s so he could, well - troll politicians. He was kind of a kooky guy who was a cult leader and convicted fraudster, and filled to the brim with conspiracy theories and shady connections. He was paranoid and was super convinced that everyone from the CIA, the FBI, the KBG up to and including the Queen of England wanted to have him killed. Despite that, he was a fringe political activist for many decades and died at the age of 96.
I give the LaRouche team points for the trolling effort but AOC was unflappable during the event so I’m calling this one a tie.
Well, we know how most of this story plays out in the media. Liberals laugh at anything conservatives say. Conservatives laugh at anything liberals say. And none of that gets us closer to the truth. So, I thought I would try and round up simple facts. The who, what, when and where. As to the “why,” well - we don’t know exactly why some of these things happened. I’ll let you speculate.
More than a week before the infamous Trump / Ukraine phone call in question, the U.S. President froze almost $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine. The reason? The White House claims they were reviewing where the military aid goes, as there have been concerns about corruption within the Ukraine government; and questioning the level of support from other countries. As in, “If no one else is giving Ukraine military aid, why should we?”
Okay. Fair enough. The problem is that, despite pressure from the Ukraine asking the reasonable, “Why are you delaying military aid? We seriously need it,” the WH did not respond to Ukraine.
Which leads to the phone call. At this point, Trump has cut off military aid to Ukraine and has not given the Ukrainian government an explanation for doing so. This is the first time the two Presidents have spoken and the first time the President, or any from the State Department, has discussed military aid with Ukraine - since the freeze.
In an unclassified rough transcript of the call, the two Presidents, on speaker phone with approx. 30 other people in the oval office listening in, exchange pleasantries for a while. Then President Trump says:
“... I will say that we do ·a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should ·really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks (about?) Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the. same way, so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”
Then Zelensky says:
“I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to cooperate for the next steps … ready to buy more Javelin (missiles) from the United States for defense purposes.”
And Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor, though …”
At that point President Trump asks Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his chief political rival, Joe Biden. You see, Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of directors for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company while the company was under investigation for some undisclosed reason.
Trump says about that:
"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. ... It sounds horrible to me."
So, to be clear and from my understanding of “the investigation,” it seems as if there was an investigation into Burisma for - something. And the prosecutor in charge of the investigation was removed and replaced with another prosecutor. Which is what President Trump is referring to when he says, “Biden (Joe) stopped the persecution…” Implying the first prosecutor was on to something ... and Joe Biden used his power and influence and had him removed in order to protect his son, Hunter.
The phone call ends with the President of Ukraine basically saying that yes, we’ll help you in any way we can.
Then, according to multiple White House aids, and per the Whistleblowers allegations, WH lawyers “directed” aids to remove the transcript from the computer system and place it into a separate system designed for “sensitive intelligence.” This would seal the transcript and prevent it from getting out to the public.
Enter the Whistleblower. After hearing about the phone call from multiple sources the Whistleblower wrote to the chairman of Senate Committees on August 12th, expressing “concern over Mr. Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President,” calling it an abuse of power and broke down a detailed analysis of the subsequent cover up / lock down of phone call / transcripts because - everyone in the room knew what the President of the U.S. had just said and done was illegal.
President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudi Giuliani at first denied the story, but then confessed on camera that both did indeed pressure the Ukrainian President to investigate the son of Trump’s chief political rival. So, it’s clearly a true story.
Then, the transcript of the phone call in question was released confirming the vast majority of the Whistleblower's initial testimony.
Then, Nancy Pelosi said, “We’re moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
Then, no one has been able to find any wrong doing with Hunter Biden during his tenure with the gas company in question and even the Ukrainian prosecutor himself, the one who was investigating Hunter Biden’s gas company came out and said, “We investigated Hunter Biden and he didn’t violate any laws.”
And now we’re finding out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also on the July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President which is not exactly what WH officials have told the media. Pompeo is now being subpoenaed for not turning over information and documents pertaining to the call. As are many, many others including AG William Barr and Rudy Guilianni.
Okay. So what does this all mean?
Well, first of all, if you’re the President of the U.S. and you withhold aid to a foreign power and use those frozen assets as leverage to pressure said foreign power to investigate a political rival of yours then … you’ve probably just broken multiple federal law. Which would make it an impeachable offence.
Now, you can say, “But what the President did wasn’t THAT big of a deal - so I don’t care if it’s illegal.”
Fair enough. You are entitled to that opinion.
But … despite that opinion, it very well might be illegal and it might be a gross misuse of power. Either way, an investigation into the matter is - a totally reasonable way to handle this!
Remember, “impeachment” does not mean “remove from office.” Impeachment means, “put the President on trial.” Perhaps the President will be removed from office, perhaps not. Bill Clinton was impeached, as in - he was put on trial. As you know, he was not removed from office despite Ken Starr running the most costly federal trial in history costing American taxpayers $70 million.
So, the impeachment inquiry is moving forward.
A new poll from CNN shows Republican support for Impeachment Inquiry is climbing. Even Hilary Clinton weighed in. (Which, please, Hilary - for the love of God - please shut up and go away before you lose the Democrats another election that you won’t even be in!).
Like it or hate it, the impeachment inquiry is rapidly moving forward for legitimate reasons. But, that doesn’t really mean that anything will come of it. Or, even if it does go to an impeachment trial, that doesn’t mean much will come of that, either.
It’s only just the beginning.
Last week parent company Helios and Matheson hammered the final nails into the MoviePass coffin. For those who do not know, briefly - MoviePass was a monthly subscription plan that offered users to see one movie per day for approx. $10 per month. That means you could see up to 31 movies per month - for $10. Now, it was like a Mastercard backed debit card with MoviePass loading money onto your card in order to pay full price for your ticket. But since you’ve already paid the monthly or yearly subscription cost - you don’t owe any more money. You pay approx. $10 per month to see, let’s say - six movies. But MoviePass loaded FULL PRICE cost on your card to cover the ticket. So, while MoviePass paid approx. $70+ to cover the cost of your six movies, it only recouped $10 from you. Which, as we all like to say, “Sounds too good to be true.”
But, it wasn’t. It wasn’t sustainable … but it was true! I bought the yearly MoviePass subscription for about $85 plus a one time sign up free for $20. And in the year I used Movie Pass I saw forty two movies. Which means I paid about $2.5 per movie. So, I happen to know that MoviePass was legit.
That being said, the deal was too good to be sustainable without additional revenue support because, as you can see, MoviePass lost a lot of money on me alone. You multiply that by the 3 million subscribers they had and you can understand why MoviePass was posting $170 million losses per quarter.
But they had a plan to make money - try to get the theater chains to give them a very, very small percentage of the box office but mainly - the concessions. Theater chains make the majority of their money selling you popcorn and soda. MoviePass was trying to show the chains, “Look, about ten percent of moviegoers come to your theater chain and use MoviePass. Don’t you see how important that is? We could just tell them to take their business to another chain. Don’t you think you should give us say, 1% of your concession sales?”
It was a fine plan. But all the theater chains said, “Nope.”
But MoviePass had more plans. Produce their own movies and profit off them. But they disastrously chose Gotti, a John Travolta nightmare of a film which has, um - a 0% rating on rotten tomatoes. I’ve never seen a movie get worse ratings. MoviePass lost a ton of money on that film.
So that plan didn’t work for MoviePass either. But hey, they still had three million subscribers - they must be able to do something with them, right?
Well, MoviePass made wrong choice after wrong choice when, in an attempt to lower the amount of money they were burning each month put all sorts of minor restrictions on subscribers - restricting repeat views, ticket verification, blocking out some new blockbusters, then only offering a few movies to choose from each week. Then reverting all of those changes and going back to “See whatever movie you want whenever you want” but … we’re raising the price.
Basically, their subscribers lost all faith in MoviePass and bailed en’ mass. I stayed until the end of my one year contract but, to be honest, I was only able to see a single movie in the last two months of my subscription because of the restrictions MoviePass put on accounts.
So, I didn’t renew. And they didn’t ask me to. We parted company about six months ago. And now they’re gone. MoviePass certainly was a bold plan and people certainly liked their initial idea so much that lots of other folks noticed and now there are all sorts of rival plans out there, but they are usually restricted to a specific theater chain. So, for example: the AMC card only works at … well, AMC chains. And that’s what made MoviePass unique. It was a Mastercard that you could use anywhere that accepted Mastercard which means it was highly accessible.
In the end though, MoviePass was just managed poorly. Too many poor choices, too many subscription changes, too many partnerships with other companies that always felt more like a “get rich quick with this partnership” scheme and not an actual legitimate partnership that was going to help MoviePass in the long run. I’ve also recently found out that the guy who took over Helios and Matheson, and therefore MoviePass, was a man named Ted Farnsworth. And, Mr. Farnsworth has lawsuits and failed companies trailing behind him a mile long.
“Mr. Farnsworth … been sued numerous times, according to the Miami Herald, and he found his way into a chief executive role after years spent racking up legal disputes in Florida, related in some cases to real estate investments and other inscrutable financial dealings. The Herald reports that Farnsworth has registered more than 50 companies over the last 30 years, a majority of which have shuttered.”
MoviePass may have been doomed before it even had a chance to thrive. But still, it was a great nine month run for MoviePass ... and then it wasn't.
This really does need to be seen to be fully appreciated. The Performing Arts Crew Dance Team (PAC) at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Ariz., have struck dancing viral gold (again) with their Avengers themed homecoming pep rally dance which they performed Friday Sept. 6th. (Video linked to the front page and at the bottom of this page).
I had never heard of these kids until today when I saw the Avengers video. Immediately after I finished I was thinking, “Hmmm. What else have these kids done?” I was not disappointed because as it turns out, this is not their first rodeo. In 2018 PAC recreated the entire Harry Potter story through dance. And of course, their super charming 2016 homage to Pixar. I guess they even made it to the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent. Clearly, their dance program has their finger on the pulse of what high schoolers dig.
Back to their current Avengers routine. Their dance covers the entire storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and it’s pretty detailed. It goes without saying that it’s also epic and awesome! Many, many times specific dancers are choreographed to dance the way their Marvel character reacts in combat. For example, the multiple “bow pulling” dance moves that the Hawkeye dancer recreates. It’s all very well thought out and lovely.
Kristi Lopez is one of the school’s coaches and choreographer of the routines told Yahoo Entertainment none of the students are trained dancers, but they practiced several hours a day, seven days a week for a few months. And while most of their videos have gone viral, the new Avengers dance has really exploded, amassing three million views in one week.
It’s totally worth the seven minute watch.
Weird, but delightful news! Buck’s T-4 Lodge in Big Sky, Montana (about 45 minutes from Yellowstone National Park) had an uninvited guest wander into the motel and take a nap. A young black bear made his way into the ladies bathroom, climbed up on the sink and hung out for a while. In this case, “hung out” means, “took a huge dump.” Which is kind of hilarious.
Staff tried their best to coax the bear out but the little bear that could was unfazed and opted to climb onto the sink and chill. Apparently, staff had heard the bear banging around outside and one even saw him through the window but no one actually expected the bear to climb up an outside wall and slip through a window into the building - which is precisely what the crafty little guy did. Which is how he ended up in the bathroom - and that’s how he was stuck. He was unable to climb back out and obviously didn’t understand how to open a door. So he pretty much decided to just take a nap on the sink.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officers were called in and had to tranquilize the bear but it sounds like the little guy was unharmed in the process and so officers picked up the sleeping bear and removed him from the hotel. Officers then checked his vitals and released him in a remote area of Montana.
Talk about "smarter than the average, bear!"