I Just Can’t Even With Jezebel Anymore

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I remember back in the olden days when I first met Jezebel, the distaff online blog of the mighty Gawker empire. It was like stumbling into the best party ever. The women who wrote for it — Anna Holmes, Anna North, Tracie Egan Morrissey, Moe Tkacik (who worked with me at Philly Mag for a while) — were like the coolest girls ever, except they weren’t mean to other girls, only to the rest of the world. I loved their writing, and I loved what they wrote about (even, a couple of times, when they were writing angry stuff about me). Jezebel felt like home in a way no other website I knew of did.

That was then. This is now — last Saturday, to be specific, when I clicked on a story on the site that was headlined, “Indiana Man Raped and Tortured His Wife Under Forced ‘Slave Contract.’” Who reads stories like that on a lovely weekend afternoon? The sort of people who love Law & Order: SVU, which would be me. My excuse is that I’m interested in the human mind and criminal behavior and emotions and love and hate. Anyway, the write-up, by Isha Aran, was pretty much what the headline described — just your average Midwestern rape-and-torture-ordeal tale. What got to me — what made me send myself an email with a link and the all-caps subject line PLEASE WRITE ABOUT THIS — were the comments following the piece. Read more »

Actor from Tom Wolf Ad Was In Torture Porn Called Breeding Farm

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This is a screenshot from a Tom Wolf for Governor television commercial that was removed from YouTube on Monday afternoon. The man seen here is Alan Benyak, a Pennsylvania actor who is also an attorney. And his previous screen credits include a torture porn called Breeding Farm.

BuzzFeed reported on the unfortunate work history on Monday. In the Tom Wolf commercial, Benyak was seen talking about Wolf’s past in the Peace Corps.

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Corbett Denies Knowledge of Racy Emails

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, right, along with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, left; hold a news conference in his chambers addressing the state budget-spending plan for the new fiscal year that starts in less than 40 hours, Sunday, June 29, 2014 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, right, along with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, left; hold a news conference in his chambers addressing the state budget-spending plan for the new fiscal year, Sunday, June 29, 2014 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

Gov. Tom Corbett says he had no knowledge of the “racy” emails being sent around by staffers in his office when he was attorney general, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The paper reported earlier this week that the attorney general’s office had paid out a $15,000 discrimination settlement to a female agent because of the emails. Several news organizations are trying to obtain the documents under state right-to-know laws, but so far have been denied by a judge.
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Former Aide to Chaka Fattah Admits Role in Diverting Campaign Funds

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

Here’s what we know: Gregory Naylor, the former chief of staff to Congressman Chaka Fattah, today in federal court admitted diverting federal campaign funds to help the son of an unidentified elected official.

But authorities are, so far, being tight-lipped about who that official might be. And who the son might be.

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Groups to Share $65,000 in Swim Club Settlement

Can’t believe it’s been five years already: You might remember the once-infamous story of The Valley Swim Club, which in 2009 canceled the swimming privileges of a nearby day care center whose clients were mostly black  — sparking charges and denials of racism, and drawing national attention.

The club is now defunct, but the fallout continues. Officials announced this week that a half-dozen area youth groups will share in a $65,000 settlement stemming from a Justice Department investigation that concluded the club had been racially hostile to minority children in the incident.

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