New York’s Stunning Cosby Cover

Cosby Cover

The cover of New York magazine this week features pictures of 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Excerpts from interviews with the three dozen women are inside the magazine.

“There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York,” the magazine says in an accompanying essay. “The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.” Read more »

Bucks County Township Declares “State of Emergency” for Pope’s Visit

The pope’s appearance in Philadelphia iis expected to have a major impact on Middletown’s Woodbourne SEPTA train station. | Google Maps

The pope’s appearance in Philadelphia is expected to have a major impact on Middletown’s Woodbourne SEPTA train station. | Google Maps

A Bucks County township has declared a “state of emergency” for the pope’s September visit to Philadelphia, saying the designation will help officials seek federal disaster money to recoup costs associated with the visit.

The declaration came at the recommendation of Middletown Township Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla. “He said one advantage of declaring a state of emergency is that it makes it more likely the township will be eligible for reimbursement from the federal government for police overtime and other expenses incurred resulting from” the pope’s visit, the Bucks County Courier Times reports. Read more »

Cole Hamels Throws a No-Hitter: Social Media Reaction

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

If that was the last time Cole Hamels pitched for the Phillies, it was a hell of a way to go out.

The longtime Phillies pitcher — the 2008 World Series MVP — has been on the trade block all season long. On Saturday afternoon, he pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, winning the game 5-0. It was the 13th no-hitter in team history.

Oh, and he hit a double to help his own cause.

Phillies fans — who have suffered mightily this awful season — celebrated on social media. (And they speculated about the future, too.) Read more »

Why Pope Francis’ Visit Might Be Philly’s Biggest Challenge Ever

Pope Benedict celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 2008. He did it the easy way.| Shutterstock.com

Pope Benedict celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 2008. He did it the easy way.| Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

This week, it seems, Philly reached a tipping point.

We’ve known for a while now that Pope Francis will visit in September, that it’ll bring a lot of people to town, and that it’s going to make everything just a bit crazy. This week, though, is when it all seemed like it might be too much — like a backlash might be settling in.

It might’ve been talk of a perimeter fence. It might’ve been the proposal to shut down the Ben Franklin Bridge. Perhaps it was the notion of shutting down I-95. Whatever the trigger point, it’s all starting to seem a bit much.

The question is why?

Other cities have hosted the pope. Other cities have hosted the World Meeting of Families. And other cities have put on big events in a post-9/11 security environment. So why does it seem like we’re the ones being overwhelmed by the task?

Here’s the answer: What we’re doing is unprecedented.

Other cities have hosted the pope. But they’ve not invited the whole world into the heart of their city while trying to maintain War on Terror standards of security at the same time. Nobody has attempted this scale at this degree of difficulty. So maybe we need to give ourselves a collective break.

To get a sense, compare what’s happening in Philly to three other papal trips: Pope Benedict to New York in 2008, Pope John Paul II to Denver in 1993 and Pope Benedict to Milan in 2012.
Read more »

Meisha Johnson Might Already Be Philly’s Favorite TV Personality

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Even before she started her job this week as CBS3’s morning traffic reporter, Meisha Johnson was a hit in Philadelphia — at least judging by the some of the delirious Twitter reaction after the station announced her hiring. And then there was the delirious Twitter reaction to her debut. (A savvy social media user, Johnson cultivated her fandom by tweeting at and retweeting seemingly everybody who mentions her on the social media platform — all the Tweets in this post come from her feed.) That reaction has only gained momentum: Her morning appearances this week set off spikes in Philadelphia Google traffic for her name. It’s the reaction CBS3 execs must’ve hoped for when they hired her amidst a big shakeup that followed low ratings at the station.

The Minnesota native brings a trace of her accent to the job, as well as an intriguing history: Her dad was a boxer, her mother a ballerina, and Johnson herself was named after famed ballet dancer Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov.

Philly Mag talked with Johnson this week about her welcome to Philly, the differences between her new and old hometowns, and her favorite sports. Read more »

Police Respond to Viral Video of Officer Punching Suspect

On Thursday, Mediatakeout.com posted this video to its website and Facebook page:

DISTURBING VIDEO: Philly Police Officers PUNCH A Handcuffed Man TWICE In The Face . . . While Calling Him a P*SSY!! (They Don’t Even CARE . . . That They Are Being VIDEO’D)

Posted by Mediatakeout on Thursday, July 23, 2015

It appears to show a Philly police officer punching a cuffed suspect in the face while shouting a sexist slur at the man, then taunting the person taking the video. The video went viral — as of Friday morning, it had been shared 68,000 times from the Facebook page.

Only one problem? It’s old. A copy of the video was published on YouTube in 2010 — five years ago. Still, the quick spread of the video compelled Philly police to respond on Thursday evening: Read more »

Chris Christie Forsakes Bruce Springsteen

Christie 2016 campaign video

Et tu, Bruce?

Chris Christie is a Bruce Springsteen fan. This has been one of the more charming parts of the Jersey governor’s prickly personality for the last few years, even if it sometimes seemed to discomfit The Boss himself.

But now Christie has committed what The Daily Beast calls his “biggest flip-flop” ever: He told a website he prefers Bon Jovi to Bruce.

“In an interview with Lifezette, right-wing radio darling Laura Ingraham’s website, Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, confessed they now favor Bon Jovi. ‘This is a hard one,’ Mary Pat said when the interviewer asked her to choose. She ultimately decided ‘Bon Jovi.’ Christie, sitting next to Mary Pat, paused and smirked. ‘Bon Jovi,’ he answered.”

We’d already noted the surprising answer on our entertainment blog, Ticket, but the media is treating the revelation like a big deal: Read more »

Report: Court Could Remove Kane From Office

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has vowed to stay in her job even if — as is expected — she is indicted on charges she leaked secret grand jury information. But a new report suggests that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could choose to remove her from office if charges are filed.

TribLive’s Brad Bumsted reports: “A little-known emergency valve in rules governing attorney conduct would allow the state Supreme Court, upon request, to suspend the license of a lawyer suspected of ‘egregious conduct.’ That could remove Kane from office because the state constitution says the attorney general must be an attorney, said Ernie Preate, former attorney general from Kane’s hometown of Scranton.” Read more »

On Eve of Philly Visit, Pope’s Poll Numbers Decline

Pope Francis’s polling numbers among Americans are at their lowest since he became pontiff two years ago — but what that mostly means is that he’s super-popular instead of stratospherically popular.

A new Gallup poll shows that 59 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the pope — down sharply from 76 percent during the last poll taken in February 2014.

While Pope Francis remains very popular with American Catholics — a 71 percent approval rating — there is one group with whom his popularity decline has been most precipitous: American Conservatives. Just 45 percent of conservatives say they view the pope favorably. Read more »

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