Philipe Reines, Hillary Clinton Flack, and Reporter Michael Hastings Call Each Other Bad Names

A refreshingly honest exchange between a reporter and the PR guy for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took place Sunday, and really brightened up our day, because finally they were saying what they really think.

The context was Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines calling the CNN's handling of its discovery of the diary of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in the wreckage of the attack in Benghazi. Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings was pressing Reines on his description of CNN's behavior as "disgusting."

It all started out fairly normally. Questions from Hastings and answers from Reines. And then it got ugly. You can read the whole thing here, but here's our favorite part:

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City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez Fires Spokesman, Left to Handle Controversy Without Him

Sam Levin
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at a student rally earlier this year.
In response to reports of his spokesperson's controversial past, City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has fired staffer David Segal -- which seems to have only ignited further controversy.

And now the Councilman, who represents parts of upper Manhattan, is left to handle the fallout from the news without his top spokesman.

The drama for the Councilman unfolded Friday morning when the New York Post reported that Segal, when he was 19, had served time in federal prison for throwing a burning rag into an Army recruiting station in the Bronx in protest of the Iraq war. It's a part of his history that he had disclosed to the City Council when he was hired, and legally, it would be a violation of state law if the Council considered a criminal conviction in making an employment decision (unless the conviction directly related to the position he was seeking).

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'Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing' Billboard Is Not OK, Says Scott Stringer

If an offensive advertisement fails, and you apologize for the offensiveness of the ad, what's the next logical step for the ad company? For Wodka Vodka, the answer apparently is to try and offend someone else. IN VERY LARGE LETTERS.

The thinking behind the madness: If making fun of Jews doesn't work, choose a different victim.

How about, um, hookers? (And, y'know, everyone who would prefer not to read "HOOKER" on the drive home?)


In November, the company that runs ads for the Vodka business, put up a large billboard that read 'Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing.'

After wonderful feedback, they took it down.

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You Might Be Pregnant! Pfizer Recalls 1 Million Birth Control Packs

Time for Plan B?

Nearly 1 million packs of birth control pills are getting recalled by Pfizer in the U.S., because a packaging screwup boosts your chances of pregnancy (via Time). Oy.

The pharmaceutical giant says that women with these sketchy scripts -- such as Lo/Ovral-28 tabs and Norgestrel and Estradiol pills, sold as Akrimax Rx -- should probably start using backup contraception if they don't want a kid. The expiration dates are from Jul. 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

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Pro-Adultery Website Ashley Madison Endorses Newt Gingrich

Of course, you've heard of (but certainly never used!) the website Ashley Madison, tagline "Life is short. Have an affair." After all, it's "the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." And of course you've heard of Newt Gingrich, Republican presidential contender, man about town, notable extramarital-affair admitter. Some might call this a match made in, if not heaven, somewhere marketers go to die. Because now there's a giant billboard on Route 1 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, that says, along with a big ole picture of Gingrich making a "shush" sign: "Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband. Welcome to the Era."

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Woman Who Bragged About Using to Get Guys to Buy Her Dinner Brags Some More

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Remember Jessica Sporty? She is the enterprising Murray Hill twentysomething written about in November by Business Insider, which first published her name, after which it was picked up by various media outlets (us included); then changed it to another, similar name; and then changed it again, to the name of a Harry Potter character with the note "We have changed the name of the woman in the story because people were taking it waaaay too seriously." Because, briefly, the internet had been set aflame by Sporty, who confessed to using to get guys to buy her dinner, a financial plan that made her $1,200 a month. So sated by dinners provided by the funds of strangers that she had no interest in actually taking seriously as romantic propositions, this became a full-fledged gambit involving roommates and spreadsheets and other machinations. More »

Paypal Kills Christmas for Regretsy, Needy Families [Updated]

Just in time for the holidays, here's your Internet beef (it concerns charity this time): On one side, there's Paypal, your go-to method for paying for things online without using a credit card. On the other, there's Regretsy, the hilarious "fail blog of hand crafts." To get everyone up to speed: Regretsy set up a gift exchange where people could buy gifts for 200 needy kids. They raised more money than expected, and with the extra cash, planned to send a monetary gift to the families along with the presents. However, as Helen writes on Regretsy, they used the "Donate" button -- a no-no, apparently -- Paypal says it's only for nonprofits. So Paypal froze the account and is making her refund the donations.

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Should You Be Able to Trash-Talk Your Dentist on Yelp?

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There's an interesting case in the news today involving New York dentist Stacy Makhnevich, who is facing a class-action lawsuit from Robert Lee, a former patient. Makhnevich, who calls herself "the Classical Singer Dentist of New York," treated Lee for a toothache, but not before he signed a contract promising not to say anything bad about her online -- he claims he was in such pain he signed it in "a situation of duress" to get the treatment. Later, however, after he says she overcharged him $4,000, sent his records to the wrong insurance company, and refused to provide copies of records so he could submit them himself, he shared that wrongdoing on various sites, including Yelp. Makhnevich turned around and accused Lee of breaching the contract he'd signed and threatened to sue him.

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J.C. Penney Does Something Dumb Again

Have you seen this ad? Are you horribly offended by it? Or do you think it's corny, and not very good? Do you shop at J.C. Penney? J.C. Penney, if you'll remember, was recently put on trial by the Internet for selling a shirt for girls that said "I'm too pretty to do homework." People did not like that one bit and told them so, and the company pulled the shirt, and apologized, saying "This is not what we stand for." Flash-forward to this commercial, which was originally uploaded in June and Copyranter posted about today, asking "Have you seen this ridiculously sexist JC Penney commercial yet?"

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Topman Joins the Offensive T-Shirt Club With Woman-Hating Line

How offensive can a piece of cotton with some writing across it be? Let us count the ways. It can carry the message that girls are stupid. That looks are more important than anything. Or that math is hard. Or, it can carry the message that men think women are basically dogs and...have numerous, justifiable reasons for beating them. At least, it could be read that way. The latest in the most offensive T-shirt contest that seems to be going on these days among J.C. Penney, Forever 21, and, now, Topman, are two that say, respectively, "Nice new girlfriend. What breed is she?" and "I'm so sorry, but" -- "You provoked me," "I was drunk," "I was having a bad day," "I hate you," "I didn't mean it," "I couldn't help it." Isn't it fun to pick which one applies for that particular moment?

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