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'The Handmaid's Tale' is making SXSW 100 percent more unsettling

Published: Sunday, March 12, 2017 @ 7:22 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 12, 2017 @ 7:22 AM


            Cosplayers from the television series
Cosplayers from the television series "The Handmaid's Tale" are seen during 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 10, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (Hutton Supancic / Getty Images for SXSW)

One way to promote a TV show at South by Southwest: opening a pop-up chicken restaurant. Another way: terrifying people to death. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” went for option No. 2 this weekend in Austin, Texas.

As Statesman Shots co-hosts Omar Gallaga and Tolly Moseley explained in an episode of the podcast Saturday, they came across stoically marching ladies in red on their way to the Los Pollos Hermanos installation promoting AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” They were not the only people startled by the guerilla marketing for the dystopian drama.

>> For complete SXSW coverage, head to Statesman.comMyStatesman.com512tech.com and Austin360.com



>> Read more trending news


Happy nightmares, SXSW. 

PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid sexual misconduct investigation

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 7:04 PM

Talk show host Tavis Smiley speaks during the ‘Tavis Smiley’ panel at the PBS portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Talk show host Tavis Smiley speaks during the ‘Tavis Smiley’ panel at the PBS portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

PBS has suspended the “Tavis Smiley” show following allegations of sexual misconduct between Smiley and former production staffers.

>> Read more trending news

According to Variety, PBS hired a firm to oversee Smiley’s behavior after reports of misconduct. As many as 10 witnesses, both men and women, spoke to investigators.  

A PBS spokesperson released a statement on the suspension:

"Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision."

Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports confirm

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:08 PM

Who is Omarosa Manigault Newman

Omarosa Manigaul Newman, the “Apprentice” star turned White House aide, was removed from the White House Tuesday night,“physically dragged and escorted off the campus,” according to several news reports.

Manigault-Newman announced her resignation on Wednesday, effective next month.

>> Read more trending news

Related

Rosenstein defends Mueller probe, as Republicans express outrage over FBI texts

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:02 PM

Under fire from Republicans, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, warding off repeated questions from GOP lawmakers who charge that Mueller has assembled a group of senior officials who were pro-Hillary Clinton and anti-Donald Trump.

“This is unbelievable,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chastised Rosenstein just like the Ohio Republican demanded more information last week from the FBI Director, taking aim at several top FBI officials, whose private texts showed them with little respect for President Trump.

“How with a straight face that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased, and will give President Trump a fair shake?” asked Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH).

“I’m not aware of any impropriety,” Rosenstein said when asked about the Mueller probe, as he said he was confident that Mueller was not running a tainted investigation.

But Republicans weren’t backing off.

It was all part of the latest GOP push to undermine confidence in the the Special Counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 elections, and any links to President Trump’s campaign, which saw new momentum with the release of text messages from 2016 between certain senior Justice Department officials.

The texts detailed a series of verbal put downs of Mr. Trump during the campaign, using flowery language that some GOP lawmakers refused to read out loud at Wednesday’s hearing.

Some of the G-rated texts referred to Mr. Trump as “awful,” an “idiot,” and a “loathesome human being.”

“We recognize that we have employees with political opinions,” Rosenstein said at one point. “And it’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions.

Democrats played damage control for the Mueller investigation by leading Rosenstein through some more friendly questions about the Russia probe.

“Your testimony today is that you believe Bob Mueller is a person of high integrity?” asked Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

“Yes,” Rosenstein responded.

“You believe that investigation is being conducted fairly,” Swalwell asked.

“Yes,” said Rosenstein.

But Democrats also came after Rosenstein at times, as the Deputy Attorney General was repeatedly pressed to tell whether he had been called on the telephone by the President, and told to investigate certain people or issues – Rosenstein repeatedly warded off those questions as well.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vebGvdluzaI&w=640&h=390]

“You’re being very artful in jumping around and evading,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) told Rosenstein at one point, prompting Rosenstein to disagree.

“Are you afraid of President Trump firing you?”

“No, I’m not,” Rosenstein said, flashing a big grin at the witness table.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Al Franken's Senate seat

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 3:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:48 PM

WATCH: Senator Al Franken Resigns from Senate

Updated 1:02 p.m. ET Dec. 13: Sen. Al Franken said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith “will make an excellent United States Senator” after she was announced Wednesday as the Democratic congressman’s replacement.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Smith as Franken’s replacement after the senator announced his intention to resign. He has not set a date for his resignation. Dayton said Wednesday that Smith will serve a one-year term ending in January 2019.

Franken said Smith, who became lieutenant governor in 2015, will “be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota.”

“I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition,” he said.

Updated 11:07 a.m. ET Dec. 13: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that the state’s lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, will fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Al Franken.

Franken announced his intent to resign earlier this month after multiple women came forward to accuse the Democrat of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, officials said Smith will serve a one-year term in the Senate before Minnesotans go to the polls to chose Franken’s replacement.

Original story: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of fellow Democrat Al Franken, the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio are reporting.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Gov. Mark Dayton will announce Smith's appointment at a news conference Wednesday morning, the outlets reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the decision.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Both outlets reported that Smith, 59, also will vie for the seat in the November 2018 special election.

The news comes less than one week after Franken announced he'd be resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.

>> Read more trending news 

From 2003-2006, Smith, a New Mexico native who has lived in Minnesota since 1984, was vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also was chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Dayton before becoming lieutenant governor in 2015.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

What You Need To Know About Al Franken