October 2nd, 2013
05:24 PM ET

I sent my first ever email to Tom Clancy

By the time I hit college, I had been on the World Wide Web a grand total of two times. I was a fan of traditional books and magazines (I still am) and figured the Internet was some kind of fad (I still kinda do) and couldn't think of a single reason to "log on."

That changed in my second year.

While I was at a used bookstore, I happened upon Seth Godin's book "Email Addresses of the Rich & Famous." According to the author the slim volume contained contacts for hundreds of reporters, editors, programmers, actors, producers, directors, CIA ex-spies, millionaires and entrepreneurs.”
And, it turned out, Tom Clancy.

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Filed under: News • OutFront Staff
September 1st, 2013
10:00 AM ET

Fries on the side… of our enemies

Burger King launches a new item today - the French Fry Burger.

The $1 food mashup is a standard beef patty with four french fries stuffed in the bun.

Burger King hopes customers will be enticed by a new value option.

They also hope their customers hate America.

Okay, that's probably a little extreme. But ten years ago we would have never seen an American chain hawking something called the French Fry Burger.

In 2003, the U.S. Congress officially changed the name of french fries to "Freedom Fries" in response to France's opposition to a proposed invasion of Iraq.

All of the House cafeterias complied and many American restaurants followed suit, with some still listing "Freedom Fries" on menus today.

The fact that a popular American fast food restaurant, like Burger King, is now excitedly promoting a french fry burger says a lot about our country's current relationship with France… and Germany.

Because during World War I, there was a similar ban on German-sounding words like hamburger.

Hamburgers became "liberty sandwiches," sauerkraut was "liberty cabbage" and Americans learned to embrace the term "hot dog" instead of frankfurter.

That's why, historically speaking, Burger King's French Fry Burger just might be the most un-American fast food offering ever.

Of course, what else would you expect from a company – like Burger King – that gleefully embraces a monarchy we worked so hard to defeat.

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Filed under: Business • Food • OutFront Staff
August 1st, 2013
12:23 AM ET

Is the new Kate Middleton Untouchable?

It’s been just over one week since Prince George of Cambridge was presented to the world by his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in an iconic pop culture moment on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. It was like Rafiki presenting Simba in "The Lion King" for the first time. (Cue "Circle of Life.") Except this was the second time. Princess Diana showed off Prince William as a newborn at the very same hospital.

And the similarities don't stop there. It was 1982 when Princess Di surfaced from the hospital wearing a loose-fitting green and white polka dot dress. This time around, Kate Middleton wearing a custom Jenny Packham blue dress with white polka dots, proudly displayed her postpartum bump when she handed the baby to all-grown-up Prince William.

The other thing that hasn't changed much is the media's relentless coverage of the princesses. The paparazzi are as aggressive as ever, tracking down Middleton in France last September as she sunbathed topless. And the tabloids are all too ready to publish them with a cover line that is going to sell the most rags. In the U.S., for instance, the magazine industry raked in an estimated $31 million from the Royal Wedding in 2011.

In the case of the topless photos, though, Kate and Prince William took legal action against the photographer and the French magazine that published the photos. According to Hollywoodlife.com, both are now facing criminal charges. Did the royals scare the tabloids away?

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Filed under: OutFront Extra • OutFront Staff • Royal Baby
It took 41 years but we may have finally killed originality
July 22nd, 2013
01:34 PM ET

It took 41 years but we may have finally killed originality

Let's say you've written a terrific movie script.

It's an original story that's unlike anything that's ever been produced.

What do you do next?


Because, according to the numbers, original ideas just don’t sell.

Of the ten highest grossing films of the year (so far), 8 of them are sequels or remakes and one – “World War Z” – is based on a book.

That leaves the animated film “The Croods” as the only truly original movie that cracked the top ten this year.

And it's been like that for a long time.

In the past few decades the majority (by a large margin) of the highest grossing films have been sequels, prequels or remakes with series like “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” “Shrek” and “The Dark Knight” dominating at the box office.

In fact, we looked it up, and you have to go all the way back to 1972 to find the last year where there wasn't a single remake or sequel included in the ten highest grossing films of the year.

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Filed under: Entertainment • OutFront Extra • OutFront Staff
July 21st, 2013
07:29 PM ET

Painter of terror suspects discusses Rolling Stone cover

This week Rolling Stone magazine published an issue with suspected Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. There was an immediate backlash with the editors of the magazine accused of glamorizing a terrorist.

The criticism reminded us of the response to our March 2012 interview with Daisy Rockwell, a writer and artist who paints portraits of terror suspects in innocent poses.

OutFront reached out to Rockwell for her take on the Rolling Stone controversy.

OutFront: What do you think of the Tsarnaev cover?

Daisy Rockwell: At first when I heard about this controversy I thought it was some kind of joke. Mass killers of all stripes appear on magazine covers all the time. Similarly, Rolling Stone has long engaged in political reporting as well as entertainment reporting. The 'selfie' of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that they've used is available all over the internet and has even appeared in the New York Times. Rolling Stone has done nothing to the photograph, so one is forced to ask how exactly is the magazine glamorizing terrorism?


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