Week In Review

by by David Adler, Erica Schwiegershausen & Kate Welsh


What Are You Hungary For? 

Is it possible for bureaucracy to be sexy? The country of Hungary seems to think so. In a video that went viral on social networking sites Wednesday, a topless young woman clutches at her ample bosom as she answers the door for a census taker while wearing only red lace booty shorts, black stockings, and holding a whip. The offscreen, stammering census taker—who presumably wields a clipboard and wears socks with his Tevas—realizes that he has arrived at an inopportune moment, which she makes abundantly clear by periodically looking back into her apartment at what we can only imagine is her partner (bound and gagged? Spread eagled? Swinging on one of those complicated-looking sex contraptions awaiting his or her lover's return from this bureaucratic inconvenience?). The government worker conveniently offers the option of completing the census online. Imre Dobossy, a top communications official at the Central Statistics Office, told Reuters, "We want to reach the younger generation as well, and the internet is more for this generation, it uses their language."

Meanwhile, the creator of The Jerry Springer Show, Republican Bob Turner, just won Anthony Weiner's Congressional seat. —KW

Mel Gibson and the Jews (Reprise)

"They profaned his temple. They killed his father. In the face of great odds for something he believed in…” So begins Mel Gibson’s pitch in The Atlantic for his upcoming film, a biopic of the great Jewish warrior Judah MaccabeeFor those of you who don’t know, Judah Maccabee is the hero of the story of Hannukah, a guerrilla fighter who protected the Jewsagainst the vast Greek army in the second century B.C.E. Mel Gibson is the notoriously anti-Semitic filmmaker who once reported to a cop—while being issued a DUI—that the “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” The collaboration between Gibson and Maccabee may seem a bit ironic at first (or confusing or wrong or offensive), but don’t worry, Mel Gibson insists he is not a real anti-Semite. As he explained, his lawyers are Jewish and his publicist is Jewish, and everyone knows that once you fill the quota you cannot be accused of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, in his own words, “no Judah, no Jesus”—without Judah’s protection, Jesus Christ could never have been born, although, according to Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, he also would never have been killed.

The film, to be released by Warner Bros., has been in the works for over a decade. Gibson imagines the Maccabee story as a perfect parallel to the struggles of the modern church in today’s godless, secularized den of the devil. The casting for the film has not been finalized, and Gibson reports that“he has not ruled out the possibility that he could act in the film.” As you might imagine, the Anti-Defamation League has spoken out against the Maccabee film, claiming that “it would be a travesty to have his story told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views.” But, in the vein of Gibson’s logic, at least he’s circumcised. —DA

Twitter Gains Users, Loses Credibility

It’s been a rough week for the 16th most visited site of 2011. Just a day after Twitter issued an optimistic blog post claiming that the site now has 100 million active users—more than half of whom log in every day—hackers and careless fact-checkers wreaked havoc on the social media giant.

On Friday, The Twitterverse was temporarily rocked by a blatantly misinformed tweet announcing Steve Jobs’ death. Apparently CBS News’ weekly online news and chat show “What’s Trending” is to blame for the original tweet, which read: “Reports say that Steve Jobs has passed away. Stay tuned for more updates.” To their credit, the show realized the error and deleted the tweet within a minute, but unfortunately not before many of their 11,000 followers saw the bogus news and went nuts. In the ensuing moments, thousands of people re-tweeted the false report, in many cases attributing it to CBS news, creating a great deal of pandemonium and short-lived confusion.

In the humiliating aftermath, “What’s Trending” celebrity blogger host, Shira Lazar, has explained the tweet was the work of a “junior staffer” after some serious “miscommunication in the newsroom.” However, CBS was unforgiving, and has already severed its relationship with the show. It’s safe to say that @WhatsTrending’s hasty, misspelled tweet of contrition, which read: “Apologies – reports of Steve Jobs’ death completely unconfirmed. Live on,” didn’t help win any sympathy votes either. Shortly after the shameful affair CBS announced that it is no longer hosting “What’s Trending,” and has since removed all evidence of the show from the CBS website.

In other fake news, a hijacked civilian airliner crashed into Ground Zero last Friday, as seen on the NBC News Twitter feed. The feed sent out a handful of tweets around 6pm, claiming that Ground Zero had been attacked, ending the series with “NBCNEWS hacked by the Script Kiddies! Follow them at @s_kiddies!” The Script Kiddies, a group of cyber pranksters whose main hacking agenda seems to be infiltrating mainstream media outlets, also claimed responsibility for the prank tweets about the assassination of President Obama that appeared on the Fox News Twitter account this July. Twitter has banned the hackers’ account, and news anchor Brian Williams apologized on the “NBC Nightly News” for the scare that was caused by a “reckless and irresponsible act.” So folks, you heard it here first: you can’t believe everything you read on Twitter, even if it’s trending. —ES