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PLANE LUNACY

CNN Asks: 'Is It Really News?'

CNN

The disappearance of MA Flight 370 has proved a ratings bonanza, particularly for CNN. But with no new developments, and wild conjecture filling the void, even CNN's own journalists are questioning its coverage.

It has been nearly two weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with 239 people on board, vanished without trace, minutes after the young co-pilot radioed “All right, good night.” In the days since March 8, when the Boeing 777 lost contact with ground control en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, few facts about the disappearance have emerged.Yet that hasn’t stopped America’s cable news networks from going all in on the mystery, especially ratings-challenged CNN, which has scored big numbers with round-the-clock coverage that offers a tantalizing mix of informed and uninformed speculation, high emotion, conspiracy-theorizing, and fantastical ruminations, sprinkled with just a pinch of news.

Bates Motel

When Crime Scenes Go On Sale

Wikimedia Commons

The Colorado home of JonBenet Ramsey is on the market again. From Amanda Knox's Perugia house to Jeffery Dahmer's childhood home, some murder houses are perpetually on sale—while others have made a real estate killing.

For $1.9 million, you could be the proud owner of a 7,240-square-foot, five-bedroom renovated 1920s home in one of Boulder, Colorado’s most desirable neighborhoods. The catch? The basement of this dream home is where six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in 1996. Still interested?Despite the Bernardi Real Estate Group’s efforts to promote its “grand rooms, great light” and “elegance of past generations combined with modern updates,” the Ramsey estate clearly seems to be suffering from a textbook case of Haunted House Syndrome.

HARD SELL

America’s Next Top Escort

Rentboy.com

This weekend, Duncan Black is up for two major awards at the escort industry’s Oscars. But when you pay him $400 an hour, you’re getting more than just his body. “I think there’s a social service involved in the work as well,” he says.

An hour-long lunch with Duncan Black costs most people $400. Even if you’re not paying, you very nearly want to at the end of it. His reviews, rightly, call him “sweet,” “demure,”  “easygoing.” “Total boyfriend material,” one gushes. “He’s almost too cute.” Clients love his soft laugh, his feet, his “Minnesota Nice”-ness, his… well, you know.Black is a male escort: according to his satisfied customers, a really good one. He’s also a contortionist, an aerial acrobat, a gamer, and a porn actor with a devoted Twitter following.

Broken System

ER’s Are Failing Mentally Ill Kids

Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty

A new study shows that one in 10 hospitalized kids suffer from mental-health conditions—and many never make it past the emergency waiting room.

Excruciating emergency-room wait times and prison-like boarding conditions for adults dealing with mental-health crises are well known. Yet we rarely hear about the kids who have to endure such squalid treatment.When you think of hospitalized children, you think of emergencies like broken arms and asthma attacks. But young, mentally-ill inpatients are tragically common. In fact, one in ten hospitalized kids are admitted due to a mental health condition, according to a new study to be published in the journal Pediatrics next month.

Calling All Angels

The Hero in Lenny Kravitz’s Family

Larry Downing/Reuters

The musician and actor isn’t the only celebrated member of his family—and an old Brooklyn pal made it his mission to see the original Lenny, who served in the Korean War, honored for the brave soldier and good friend that he was.

Among the 24 Jewish and Hispanic soldiers who received a belated Medal of Honor at the White House on Tuesday was the uncle and namesake of rock musician turned actor Lenny Kravitz. The two dozen awards were the result of a tireless investigation that spanned half a century led by a childhood pal of Army private first class Leonard M. Kravitz to have him posthumously honored.This superhumanly determined friend is 83 year-old Mitch Libman and his quest demonstrated what friendship meant in a Brooklyn long before hipsters and Girls.

Highest Honor

Military Heroes Past and Future

Mike McGregor/Contour by Getty

On Tuesday President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans of past wars. Later this year an Afghanistan veteran will join them in receiving the nation’s highest honor.

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to twenty-four veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam in a ceremony at the White House today. These veterans of past American wars, only three among them still living to receive their medals in person, will be joined later this year by the newest recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor, marine veteran Kyle Carpenter.   The Marine Corps Times first reported that retired U.S. Marine Corporal William Kyle Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor in a ceremony to be held later this year.

Candid Camera

Miss Teen's 'Sextortionist' Jailed

AP

The California computer hack that threatened women, including Miss Teen USA, will get jail time for his sneaky sexploits.

It’s more pernicious than revenge porn—and it only takes one malware-infected email, instant message, or download to ruin lives.Twenty-year-old Jared James Abrahams of Temecula, California was sentenced on Monday to 18 months in prison for “sextortion”—hacking into the computers of dozens of women, furtively snapping nude photos of them and threatening to leak the images if they didn’t send him more naked pics or strip down during Skype sessions.

PICK A WINNER

Tips from ESPN’s Bracket Champ

Scott Cunningham/Getty

40-year-old Virginia hoops nut discloses his strategies for picking a winning bracket. (Hint: Start with your winner, go with your gut and don’t overanalyze.)

The man who’s better at picking a March Madness bracket than anyone else in America is not Nate Silver, President Obama, or Dick Vitale. It’s Craig Gilmore, a 40-year-old business analyst from Amissville, Virginia who likes a pint (or four) of Guinness and Pac-12 college hoops.Last year, Gilmore won ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, beating out 8.15 million other entries with a bracket named after Lennay Kekua, Manti Te’o’s nonexistent girlfriend.

The Law

Darren Sharper’s Kobe Defense

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Claiming sex with accusers was consensual worked for other athletes, but the ex-football star may not be so lucky.

Last week a Los Angeles County judge revoked the $1 million dollar bail that was tied to the release of Darren Sharper while he awaits trial on a slew of felony charges.  The charges against Sharper include two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance (morphine and zolpidem/Ambien) and one count of possession of a controlled substance. The revocation is a direct result of Sharper’s most recent criminal indictment.

ME, ME, ME

Why I Heart Generation Selfie

@justinbieber

There is suddenly much panic about the rise of the “selfie” generation. But millennials are simply rejecting the worn-out trappings and organizations of the Establishment—and quite right too.

That discomfort you’re sensing all around you? It’s the American Establishment loading its Depends diapers over the prospect of a younger generation that is turning its back on political parties and other zombified artifacts of our glorious past.On the heels of the Pew Research report titled “Millennials in Adulthood,” two leading New York Times columnists have penned anxious articles sweating it out over the “The Self(ie) Generation” and “The Age of Individualism.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

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THE LATEST

The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP

The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP

It’s a tiny religion featuring fembots, creationists, and a leader who says his ‘Holocaust Deception’ book was a mistake. Why are so many in the GOP appearing on its TV network?

Forebearance

Rand Paul and the Welfare Rancher

Complex History

Can HRC Count on Women This Time?

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Legal Authority

Go It Alone, Obama, for Democracy