Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Super-Hot Rachel Sklar Super-Mad at New York Observer

I created this video-blog for two reasons: first, because my friend Rachel Sklar  (well, friend in online media from my Huffington Post vlog submission days,  but have yet to meet) wrote a stinging column at the news website Mediaite where she's Editor-at-Large; second, because her take seemed to focus on the ridiculous perspective that at 37-year-old (as of next week) she was unattractive.

Before I continue, Rachel Sklar, you're just plain hot.

Rachel's angry with the New York Observer's Spencer Morgan, who wrote a rather mean-toned column entitled "Rrrowl! Beware Cougar's Young Niece, the Cheetah", about what he observes is a particular kind of woman younger than the hated "Cougar" but who is equally sexually-aggressive.

I don't know Spencer Morgan and I noticed that he's married, but my experience is such that men who have to place that kind of label on a woman hate women. What I mean is they have to categorize a woman for the general purpose of making a negative statement about them.

Think about it. When was the last time you saw the term "Cougar" used in a positive light, except when some guy says he escaped the paws of one, female or feline? That's not nice at all. By extension, it's not cool to call a woman a Cheetah, either, regardless of age.

The message I took from Spencer Morgan's ranting story about drunken exploits in Manhattan was that aggressive women are to be feared, loathed, and avoided at all costs.

I can't help but wonder if that view applies to women who are aggressive in the workplace or on the playing field? While Elizabeth Lambert has become the poster child for dirty play, I've got to admit I applauded the fact that it was a woman doing the punching instead of a man. Negative aspects aside, aggressive and assertive women are the kind most likely to stop a potential criminal in his or her tracks. It's about time.

I for one find such a woman extremely hot, and I'm proud to say I know a lot of them. Spencer cracks on women who sleep with a man then leave in the morning as if nothing happened; that's the fun story of my sex life. We call it "no strings" and Morgan's complaining? In my book, it's called a good screw and real men don't run around whining about women who start them.

Rachel, I'm not implying that you're such a woman; I'm just attacking the message of Morgan's work from my personal view. As the only male member of the San Francisco Chapter of WISE - Women in Sports and Events - I can't tell you how many men are just plain scared of attending a mostly-female networking event. But what's even harder to understand is this: aggressive women like men who fear and hate them.

I think this has to do with some women not being able to get beyond a message that they have to have a certain type of guy: black women have to have a black man where white women have to have a white guy, and so on. Fortunately a number of forces have come together such that the Millennial generation between 21 and 31 is almost devoid of such a concern; in my experience as of this writing, interracial dating for Millennial women is far more the standard than for women over 30.

Another set of forces has impacted the mating scene: the emergence of gay culture. In San Francisco (I live in both Oakland and suburban Atlanta) I've talked to a number of white women over the years who complained that the white men they were interested in turned out to be Gay. In fact this happens so frequently many white women assume a white man may be Gay if he's attractive and of means.

It's so much a part of our American urban culture, the concern found its way into Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives, when Judy Roth (Mia Farrow) observes that Michael Gates (Liam Neeson) is "single and not Gay" and that was in 1992; 18 years later, it's part of our cultural DNA.

So all of that spells confusion for a lot of women, especially older women. But it spells an America where it's easier to get a hook up, but harder to find a mate. So older women are just trying to make it as best they can.

Many women are adjusting to the new World around them by going after what who they think will accept them regardless of color, which is a fantastic development. Black women date white men; white women with black men, and all points connect in between. Cool. Very cool.

Some women get so frustrated with older men who don't grow with the culture or with them and fear aggressive women, they turn to....women. Look at Meridith Baxter.

So while all this is going on, some mean guy has to go and put a term on older women just trying to cope, calling them Cougars. I hate the term and it certainly does not apply to Rachel Sklar.

Rachel, this is for you: you're just plain hot. OK. There's nothing about you that is even remotely undesirable. You've got a great smile, lovely eyes and a playful way that just comes shining through, and your damn smart. Stop picking out or being drawn to men who can't see this (or who fit in a certain "box") and would even think of a woman of any age in a negative light such that he has to use a derisive term. Kick them to the curb.

Rachel Skalar, you're awesome and your best days are ahead of you. I hope this blog rant of mine makes your birthday that much happier. And when I'm in New York, let's catch dinner at 21!

Happy Birthday!

Did Obama's West Point speech make the case?

Guessing at the response of the audience on hand -- some of which will likely end up fighting in Afghanistan or Pakistan -- based on a few selected shots of cadets that have been prepping for finals and were there near the end of their day after an evening meal is fairly difficult. I think it’s safe to assume the range of reactions at West Point was broad, but there certainly were many cadets who seemed very eager indeed to shake the President’s hand and have their picture taken with him afterward.

I’d say the President laid out supporting evidence for the decisions he’s made, and articulated the goals and mission scope rather succinctly given it’s a distillation down from months of meetings and briefings with countless military and civilian advisors and other world leaders or their emissaries.

Nonetheless, those with an ax to grind were quick to fill the airwaves and the internet with every negative angle they could remotely connect, from comparisons to Viet Nam (which Obama had already effectively rebutted during the speech) to the dollar cost relative to enacting health care (a valid point, which utterly fails to address the reality that neither NATO nor the U.S. is prepared for the chaos that would ensue if we simply recalled every allied soldier as quickly as is logistically feasible.)

There’s no, “deadline that guarantees the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters will hide their weapons until the coast is clear,” as some have suggested There’s a target for turning over control to a sovereign government that nonetheless includes the potential that they can’t be entirely ready that promptly. A Jihad-oriented, radical branch of Islam calling itself Al Qaeda and/or the Taliban is as bent on controlling the world as Hitler was, and the choices are clear: deal with them there, now, or they will export terror around the world at the time of their choosing.

The bottom line is that after nearly a year of consultation President Obama made a very difficult decision to commit more American lives to help ensure a NATO success, thereby limiting the probability of Al Qaeda mounting an effective strike against countries not enamored of this radicalized, extremist interpretation of Islamic law. Naturally audience reaction is mixed, and the emotionally charged nature of this decision means that even among those who watched him speak many weren't listening to what the speech said, but for what they expected to hear.

That effect will only be magnified as the echoes of supposedly informed opinion rebound on the talk shows and websites which depend on ratings to generate ad revenues. The President was organized and thorough, the rest is up to the listeners. If you didn't get it, "raw and unfiltered," and/or you don't track down transcript you're likely to be hearing what you expect, too.

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Tiger Woods jokes from The Wanda Sykes Show

The Tiger Woods scandal's already produced jokes courtesy of comedian Wanda Sykes. On her new program The Wanda Sykes Show, she released a totally hilarious, if not politically-correct, take on Tiger Woods.

Of course it hits home with brother like me who don't drive Cadillacs, but maybe after this whole deal I'll reconsider! Skyes managed to skillfully weave together Tiger's African American side and Asian side with funny results:

The Wanda Sykes Show
airs Saturday nights at 11 PM / 10 PM CST on Fox.

Transgressions of Tiger Woods, jaimee grubbs, kalika moquin, dominate search

To look at Google Trends as of this writing, you'd have no idea President Obama gave a speech committing 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. It proves what I've said to many for years: people search for information about other people first.

It's a fact that escapes marketers who claim not to understand how to use the Internet to promote their products. People follow people more than products. It also escapes many in mainstream media, like Rupert Murdock, who's under the ego-fueled impression that removing his content from Google will make Google suffer. Murdock forgets that content is king, not his publications. Ha. Google's got Tiger Woods; who needs Rupert Murdock.

Is Rupert Murdock paying attention?

As of now, Tiger Woods-related search terms dominate Google Trends. Eight of the top ten searches are connected to the Tiger Woods issue, so much that the only way to compete in this environment is to write multiple posts about some aspect of the Tiger Woods story. Here's the top search terms as of 10:26 PST; 1:26 EST:

Today's Hot Trends (USA)
1. transgressions
2. jaimee grubbs pics
3. kalika moquin pictures
4. tiger woods voicemail
5. transgression definition
6. meredith baxter
7. jamie grubbs pictures
8. nancy locke
9. tiger woods cheated on wife
10. tiger woods text messages

The sixth term is related to Meredith Baxter's announcement that she's lesbian. My prediction is that will last for another three hours, then diminish and fade away by Thursday under the sheer weight of interest in the Tiger Woods story and the additional content released whenever Woods, or anyone connected with his drama, talks.

(As a closing note of advice, if you want to be a good professional blogger, you've got to blog about news that doesn't interest you from time to time.)

Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods voicemail to Jaimie Grubbs, Kalika Moquin new girl

Jaimie Grubbs has released a voicemail she claims has the voice of Tiger Woods on it. Meanwhile, Kalika Moquin has surfaced as the third woman other than Rachel Uchitel that Tiger Woods allegedly had an affair with, placing his statement of "transgressions" (plural) into a new light and makes me wonder about Elin Nordegren and that golf club. 

 Tiger Woods, Jaimie Grubbs, Rachel Uchitel, and Kalika Moquin 

US Magazine / USWeekly has provided exclusive audio content that Jaimie Grubbs received the call from Tiger Woods. USWeekly posted the voicemail as a video here:

In it a voice that sounds like Tiger Woods says:

"Hey. It's , uh, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um. Can you please take your name off my phone? My wife went through my phone and may uh, may be calling you. If you can, take your name off that, and if you can just have it has a number on the voicemail. Just have it as your number. Do me a huge favor. Okay?"

In light of Tiger Woods statement on "transgressions" that have hurt his family, also just released this morning, it seems Jaimie Grubbs is telling the truth. The only action left is for Tiger Woods to confirm that the voice on the voicemail is indeed him. I've got to admit, it sounds like him.

And what about Kalika Moquin? Who is she?

Kalika Moquin, like Rachel Uchitel, is another nightclub executive, this time a marketing manager with the The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio in Las Vegas. But unlike Jaimie Grubbs, she's not talking about everything that happened. The New York Daily News, which created the photo you see here, has Moquin as saying "It's not appropriate for me to comment one way or the other," by way of the source, Life and Style Magazine.

Life and Style reports:

Life & Style can exclusively reveal the identity of a woman who has quietly been seeing golf star Tiger Woods for months -- as recently as late October.

Kalika Moquin, left, a marketing manager for The The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio in Las Vegas, hooked up with Tiger more than once at his Las Vegas hotel during the weekend of Oct. 23, an insider tells Life & Style. Kalika is the third woman to be publicly linked to Tiger. Club promoter Rachel Uchitel and Los Angeles cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs have also been named in shocking reports as women with whom Tiger has cheated on his wife of five years, Elin Nordegren.

Life and Style's source is an "insider" who claims that Tiger said to Kalika Moquin that he was not happy in his marriage and that married life isn't all it's built up to me.

Man, for a guy like me who wants to get married, why do I keep hearing that all the time? Still, I believe in marriage and hope Tiger gets it together.

Tiger Woods statement today gives all of these reports, from Jaimie Grubbs and from Kalika Moquin, new light. But it also makes me wonder if Rachel Uchitel's not holding something back. If she is, it's certainly her choice but I wonder if she now feels compelled to speak more freely.

Stay tuned. Wow.

Tiger Woods appologizes for transgressions that let his family down

Still more questions about Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren than I raised here:

In a blockbuster new post on his website,, Tiger Woods made a statement that's sure to cause even more questions to be raised than answers. Woods said he appologizes for "transgressions" that let his family down. But with who? Jaimee Grubbs? Rachel Uchitel (who denies this)? Or the to-be-named third woman?

Here's what Tiger Woods posted:

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.

Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

I will have my video commentary later today. My view is that while a little confession is good for the soul, in this case David Letterman's example is still one Tiger Woods should follow. Letterman explained exactly what happened and made a joke of certain details in the process. It humanized Letterman.

In the same way Tiger Woods can both bring sympathy and support for himself, and reduce the chatter, by explaining exactly what happened. What he's done is open the door a little bit, which only encourages people to look in through the gap.

For example, just what does Woods mean when he refers to his "behavior and personal failings"? That's the question of the day.

Stay tuned.