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Crush of the Week

We usually avoid crushes on firemen and lead singers and other obvious sex symbols. But when it comes to baseball players, we are hopelessly pedestrian. We love their uniforms, the way they spit and the way they absentmindedly kick at dirt. We totally identifed with that ditzy girl who slept with a whole minor-league team in Bull Durham.
   Our latest infatuation is the White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who in spite of two herniated discs and a broken finger is making all kinds of amazing plays and getting all kinds of important hits this World Series.
   They call third base “the hot corner,” and we knew why when we saw Crede effortlessly nab a ball right on the foul line (Crede’s not the kind of guy to leave anything up to the umpire, the announcer suggested) and throw the guy out with one of those “I’m twenty-seven and own the world” baseball player smirks. And for that, he is our crush of the week. — Ada Calhoun


Quotes of the Week

“It’s your first wedding. I can imagine it’s going to be the biggest wedding ever.” — Correct us if we’re wrong, but doesn’t referring to a wedding as “your first wedding,” as this interviewer on MSNBC does when speaking to Katie Holmes, imply there will be others?

“It’s like putting ninety-five blogs out there.” — Joe Carter, author of, compares blogs to the ninety-five theses posted by Martin Luther to launch the Protestant Reformation.
“I cannot help but cringe at this yet another attempt at glamorizing prostitution (for women, of course, last time we read about a male prostitute we found out he was in fact ruined and crazy.” — From feedback on Lisa Carver’s brilliant personal essay “I Was a Teenage Prostitute (And it was kind of great).” Next on our editorial calendar: a totally fresh take that portrays a female prostitute as ruined and crazy.
“Other students actually found the penis costume funny — not offensive.” — You be the judge.
“Group Condemns Chicken Choking Toy.” — Headline of the week.
“Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the First Amendment.” — Ann Coulter.
“I would very much like to meet with you about any freelance film reviewing opportunities at Nerve . . . Nerve consistently delivers superior writing stripped of everything but the bare essentials; hence, its copy is as eye-catching as the rest of its content.” — Are we imagining it, or is this freelance writer a little passive-aggressive?
Photos of the Week

Charlize Theron kissed Shirley MacLaine‘s ass, literally, while MacLaine was being honored at the Premiere Women in Hollywood party. MacLaine said “That’s the best I’ve had all year!” Theron said she was on painkillers for a neck problem.

Later the same week, Dane Cook kissed Charlize Theron’s ass on the Tonight Show. One more, and it’s a trend story.

Meet the Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement. Maybe this is why the Democratic Party’s in trouble: no blond tween spokespeople? And speaking of politics, when you get a chance, go to Google, type in “failure,” no quotes, and hit “I’m feeling lucky.”

We love to see phallic symbols on the cover of the Times.

We wonder what year this German how-babies-are-made book was published. Because it would totally explain Fassbinder.
From Our Inbox

Just like we were blindsided by someone in the office putting on a Cat Stevens CD the other day, we always get mail about stuff we don’t expect. This week, it was a dozen emails about a throwaway comment we made about some news item that said a lot more girls were practicing safe sex than boys.
   Let’s let U.K. reader Pete stand in for all the other angry mathematicians we heard from: “Let’s say three British lads are sexually active, one of which (Rory) doesn’t use a condom. Also, lets say four birds were sexually active, two of which (Penny and Gertrude) did not use a condom. Now if it was Rory who rogered both Penny and Gertrude sans-prophylactic, while our other two lads had safe and monogamous sex exclusively with the other two birds, then that would mean that 33% of the lads had sex without a condom, while 50% of the birds did.”
   A-ha. We suck at statistics. It took us like four years to figure out the Monty Hall Problem. But we learn something new every day, like that we have readers who find statistical ignorance “unsexy,” and Cat Stevens fans mere feet from our desk!

From Our Inbox II: Clueless Publicist Section

“It seems that everywhere you turn today, people are dating online. More and more American singles use the web to find love, friendship or simply an online friend. is a Web site designed specifically to help singles of all ages, religions and sexual orientations who share a sophisticated lifestyle and passion for wine to find exactly what they’re looking for: superior quality wine and superior quality people. I hope you’ll agree that your readers will find the of interest.”

“Some of my clients are searching online for things related to paternity testing (supplies, locations and so forth). My job is to find one place to send them to for specific markets. I’d like to discuss an arrangement with you about this.”

“We just released a book on sex dolls and the relationships their owners have with them. It is a very beautiful volume with text by a frequent contributor to French Marie Claire.”

“Showering is sometimes more than routine! For many of the 1,000 guy and girl respondents, showering is much more than just getting in and out — some like to get it on. Sure, only about fifteen percent admit to having been “caught doing something personal to themselves,” but that number doesn’t reflect the guys and girls who haven’t been caught.” [From the publicist for AXE body spray.]

Trend Alert: Anderson Cooper Worship

Everyone loves Anderson Cooper! And by “everyone,” we mean…

Fortune, October 17: The 25 People We Envy the Most. "He’s at once comforting, confrontational, and — oh, who are we kidding? — he’s better-looking than Bob Scheiffer!"

October 12: Anderson Cooper lands a $1 million book deal.
From the Anderson’s Angels fansite: Sunshine: “I am in love with his nose and a few other body parts on the man, I love the rest of him too.”
Oprah, October 12: "You are a new breed of reporter"

Entertainment Weekly Mail, October 7: I never realized how much I love Anderson Cooper until I saw him jump into the fetid water submerging New Orleans in an attempt to get fresh water to a stranded dog. — Lacey Mullins. Norfolk, Va.

New York Times, September 12: “An Anchor Who Reports Disaster News With a Heart On His Sleeve” quotes Joe Klein of CNN: "He is the anchorperson of the future. He’s young and healthy, he can go forever."

Miami Herald Letters, September 29: Anderson Cooper for president! — Lajuan Marke, Big Pine Key

Rolling Stone, September 28: Cooper morphs from a goofy, disaster-chasing, watch-me-stand-in-a-storm talking head into a fearless truth teller.

New York magazine, September 19: "He is a stew of emotion: dejection, regret, sadness, anger… Beyond the fact that his mother is Gloria Vanderbilt, that his sleek good looks and boyish charm inspire an awful lot of I-love-Anderson mania on the Internet, and that his sexuality is regularly discussed just under the radar, there was a sense that Cooper seemed to be on the cusp of some sort of career breakthrough… It was his honest humanity; he comes off as genuine because he is."

L.A. Times, September 9: “To watch him on Anderson Cooper 360 these days is to sense a reporter nearing existential crisis.”

New York Times, September 5: “Mr. Cooper’s well-shaded outrage — he stopped just this short of editorializing — elicited the kind of anger that has been mostly missing from a toothless press.”

Gawker, September 2: “Was it possible for us to love Anderson Cooper more than we already did?”

September Maxim: Fashion photo spread.
And, finally, do a Google image search for something to illustrate this column with, and you’ll immediately turn up this photo of Cooper, named, simply, “God.” — Sarah Harrison
In the News

Starbucks will put religious quotes on its cups come spring.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state can’t punish underage sex more severely if it involves gay sex.
The Parents Television Council released its annual list of the ten best and worst shows for family viewing. Fox had six shows on the “worst” list.
Maintaining its classy image, Fox bought Ashton Kutcher’s idea for a comedy series called 30-Year-Old Grandpa.
Product Placement

Okay, this is totally what we want for Christmas: the PopShotz Dart Gun. The write-up: “Spotted someone picking their nose in the office? Grab the Popshotz Dartgun, aim, and fire. You will not be disappointed. The foam torpedo ammunition, in particular, will leave your victim jerking involuntarily, a lesson well learned. Avoid the eyes, though, as this powerful weapon is not for the faint hearted.” We have a pretty good shot at the CD player from here if John in customer service puts on Best of R.E.M one more time.

The game Rez, described as “Tron on Ecstacy,” comes with a vibrator.

Kinda makes us nostalgic for innocent retro games like “Bang Box.”
Tabloid Fodder: The Religion Issue

Religion: Pure-Land Buddhism, summed up as “The world is suffering . . . and yet.”
Practice: Ashlee Simpson’s I Am Me is suffering, and yet . . . isn’t it nice that Jennifer Aniston’s found love?

Us Weekly
Religion: Catholicism, post-Vatican II.
Practice: Jennifer Garner is the Virgin Mary. The men of the TV show Lost are so many archangels.

In Touch
Religion: Hinduism, a tenet of which is reincarnation.
Practice: “Amazing New Bodies!” Britney’s started to lose the baby weight, y’all!
Religion: The Church of Latter-Day Saints, wherein you have to get married during your life or they’ll marry you off afterwards.
Practice: Vince and Jen are racing Brad and Angelina to the altar. Jen and Nick are clinging to their sham marriage. Liz Hurley’s in a hurry to get married, too. Woe betide the single!

Scanner appears every Tuesday.
Research assistants: Gwynne Watkins, Sarah Harrison,
Melaina Mace, Adam Kaufman and Marie Bernard.
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