BANTER BLENDER #99: Ray Rice, Taylor Swift, Joan Rivers, and ‘Utopia’

Writer Jessica Ogilvie (Playboy) returns to the Banter Blender podcast to discuss the latest events in a summer of craziness. We start with Ray Rice and the larger question of can bad behavior ever be forgiven? This leads to discussion of Chris Brown and Michael Vick before eventually landing on the most pressing debate of our time: Team Taylor vs. Team Katy.

Yes, the Taylor Swift / Katy Perry feud is addressed with the gravitas it deserves, and then it’s on to Fox’s new reality experiment, “Utopia.” Trash TV or a disturbing look at our society?

Finally, we close out the podcast with talk of Joan Rivers and her career. Along the way, there are plenty of asides about Starbucks, puss caterpillars, ISIS, and even Ferguson.

Tackling the tough topics as always!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #68: Emmys Recap, Jon Gosselin, Nate Burleson, and Portland Adventures

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker ( and Lisa Timmons ( give pop culture a big bear hug. First, Ben discusses his recent trip to Portland and shares passages from an 1888 etiquette book he found at Powell’s Bookstore. Then the two talk about Nate Burleson of the Detroit Lions and his pizza-related injury. After that, it’s a mix of the Emmys, Jon Gosselin, and lessons about parquet floors. Come listen!

Also, remember to sign up with and use the promo code “banter” at checkout to get a .com for only $1.99! This is a cray cray deal, and you should really use it people. Two bucks for a dotcom? Amazing. Just click here!

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Taylor Lautner and a Handful of NFL Stars Envision ‘Field of Dreams 2’


If there’s no football this year, I’m going to cry. But at least Taylor Lautner shares my pain. And so do a whole bunch of football players too, who clearly have nothing better to do with their free lockout time than appear in the above Funny or Die video.

Team Jacob!

AND WHATNOT: How To Crash Fashion Week; Also, Chunky Shia LaBeouf, Bieber-Related Injury, and Mars!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best Week Ever: How To Sneak Into New York Fashion Week – def worth checking out
Socialite Life: Shia LaBeouf Sports A New Hairdo & A New Lady
Vulture: The Five Best Parts of the Oscars’ Class Picture
Zap2It: Bravo’s Tabatha Coffey: The botched plastic surgery that nearly killed her
Eyewitness News 10: Woman Allegedly Hit Man With Frozen Steak
Jam Technique: Scariest Football Picture Ever?
MSNBC: Simulation crew takes first steps on mock Mars (thanks jash)
92.3 NOW: Bieber’s Dancer Falls At the 2011 GRAMMYs (thanks LBucha!)

SUPER BOWL ADS: The Good, The Bad, and the FAIL

The dust has settled. Green Bay has won the Super Bowl, and football season has come to an end. I no longer have to check BetUS for Super Bowl Odds and can return to my normal life of pontificating about pop culture. This, of course, means weighing in on Super Bowl commercials. Overall, this year’s offerings were generally solid. Pepsi, Budweiser, and Doritos all offered up their usual mixed bag of fare — cheap animal jokes mixed with occasionally clever concepts — while stars such as Eminem and Justin Bieber popped up to shill for the likes of Lipton Iced Tea and Best Buy, among others.

After the jump, a list of many (but not all) the spots that made an impression on me for better or worse…

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Jets’ Bart Scott CAN’T WAIT To Play The Steelers

The playoff games this weekend were a bit hit and miss, with the NFC providing little by way of thrills. The AFC, however, brought the big guns, and it all culminated in an exciting, intense showdown between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. It only takes one look at the dejected state of to figure out who won that matchup. Yes, New York prevailed, and for linebacker Bart Scott, the victory elicited some intense emotions. In the clip above, watch as Scott screams his way through an interview, ending on perhaps the most angrily optimistic note of all time. I’m not posting this video to brag. I just think it’s really funny.

YEA OR NEIGH: Is Tom Brady The Worst?


We are in the thick of NFL playoffs, and with an epic Jets vs. Patriots showdown just around the corner, players from both teams are mouthing off. Getting the ball rolling was Antonio Cromartie of the Jets who accused Patriots QB Tom Brady of being an “asshole.” Why? He cited Tom’s questionable sportsmanship when he appeared to taunt the Jets’ defensive line after a late-game touchdown in a New England rout of New York. In response, Tom countered that he’s been called a lot worse (something I can attest to based on my own oft-colorful language). And so the epic rivalry has heated up even more. It all begs a question: is Tom Brady an asshole? We know he’s a great player (and yes, it kills me to see that the Betus Superbowl predictions have the Pats over the Jets by a wide, wide margin), but is he a jerk too? Or is this a case of anti-Patriots sentiment clouding the perception of a stellar human being?

What do you think?

Thanks to IndianJones for the heads up.

AND WHATNOT: Rachel Zoe Loses Brad! Also, Weatherman Doesn’t Realize He’s On TV, and Jersey Shore Silliness

Styleite: BREAKING: Brad Goreski And Rachel Zoe Part Ways! (thanks jash)
Yahoo! Sports: Despite resources, players reluctant to seek help
The Telegraph: Rare pink hippo spotted (thanks Caty!)
Slashfood: Burger Wars: In-N-Out vs Five Guys
TMZ: Comedian Greg Giraldo Is Dead
Gawker: How a College Kid Livestreamed His Roommate Having Gay Sex, Possibly Causing a Suicide
The Upshot: Swanky new Vegas hotel’s ‘death ray’ proves inconvenient for some guests
Newsweek: 10 Things That Changed the Way We Eat
Curbed LA: Architects Dreaming: Muscular Tower Would Keep Downtown Up All Night
D-Listed: Speaking Of Tiny Noodles…
D-Listed: Japan Should Name Everything
Best Week Ever: 12 Glee Theme Episodes We’d Like to See
Geekweek: Nintendo To Release Wii Remote Plus
Starcasm: PHOTO: Mariah Carey leaving LAX in a wheelchair

B-Side Blog Visits The Dallas Cowboys Training Camp!


Everything about the Dallas Cowboys seems to speak TEXAS, but what many people might not realize is that the team spends half its training camp period in Oxnard, CA. For the longest time, I’d intended to travel north to see the squad preparing for the regular season, but it wasn’t until this year that I got around to doing so. It also helped that my friend Mark (who famously snapped a photo of Jeff Schroeder holding a bottle of B-Side wine) has some NFL connections (he’s an agent) and managed to hook me up with a sweet VIP pass for the training camp. Clearly, I was destined for greatness.

Pics of my adventures to Oxnard after the jump…

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