Nicolas Cage · Gary Busey · Waco
Also: How Prince Charles was scammer by a forger
|Best Evidence||May 5, 2020||3||2|
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Today in Tiger King news: There’s so much stuff out there on Tiger King that this could honestly become a Tiger King newsletter and I still wouldn’t get it all. Most is (god bless ’em) clickbait, but here are three things that are actually a little bit interesting:
Nicolas Cage to Play Tiger King’s Joe Exotic in Scripted Series From American Vandal Showrunner [Variety] The eight-episode series is based on Leif Reigstad’s 2019 Texas Monthly piece on Exotic, and is, Variety reports, the first time Cage has signed to a regular television role, unless you count “direct to streaming movie” as TV, in which case it is his 77070170730277625th.
“What Tiger King Gets Wrong About Tigers” [Cat People] The podcast about “the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild” has dropped a special bonus episode that walks listeners “through exactly how Tiger King misleads its viewers, and what the show’s massive popularity means for big cats.”
Inspired by Tiger King, Hollywood stars take big-cat conservation to Congress [LA Times] A petition penned by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and backed by folks like Joaquin Phoenix, Glenn Close, Olivia Wilde and Sarah Silverman has made its way to Congress. The show’s creators weren’t involved, but co-producer Rebecca Chaiklin has previously said that “it is a bummer if [Tiger King viewers] don’t come away understanding that this is not the right way to treat these animals.” — EB
Gary Busey will be a judge on an Amazon version of the standard daytime courtroom show, but with pets. As I noted to Sarah in the Best Evidence/Blotter Presents Slack, the premise of Gary Busey: Pet Judge sounds an awful lot like a recent SNL sketch (see above), but weirder, given the Busey factor. Rolling Stone reports that the six-episode show will drop on Prime on May 25th (that’s Memorial Day, do with that detail what you will), and in it Busey will mediate between angry guardians of animals including “monkeys, goats, birds, dogs, meerkats, turtles, robot raccoons and more” WAIT WHAT ABOUT CATS.
“Is Gary Busey a real judge? Absolutely not. Does he know anything about pet law? Probably not. Can he look into your soul and suss out your spirit animal while delivering a verdict with a trademark Buseyism? You bet your sweet ass (the donkey kind),” reads the slightly-too-sassy-for-my taste press release from Amazon. The provided clip makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m intended to be snickering at someone who is maybe not doing so well? Watch it below and let me know what you think. — EB
If you’re debating about watching the dramatic adaptation of the Branch Davidian case that recently dropped on Netflix, The Blotter Presents had you covered in 2018. That’s when Waco aired on — get this — The Paramount Network, but it just dropped on Netflix last month.
As NBC claimed in a 1990s-era summer programming promo, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you,” so here we are, and people are talking about the “liberty taking,” Taylor Kitsch-starring, six-episode show. Sarah and Toby Ball took a look at the show back in January of 2018, so if you’re contemplating a Waco watch — or just want to know what the new fuss is about — that episode might be worth a re-listen. — EB
A new podcast takes on the potential skullduggery behind a 1990 hair metal classic. “Winds of Change” isn’t just an international smash by West German band Scorpions, it’s the name of a new podcast from New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, Deadline reports. The idea Winds of Change (the podcast) explores is that “Winds of Change” (the song) was a CIA-planted piece of propaganda, a story that Keefe says he’s been investigating for the past decade. Here’s a trailer for the podcast, which will be released on May 11. — EB
Like Sarah, I’ve been trying to lull myself into a sense of accomplishment by plowing through back issues of my magazines. “Cancel New Yorker” is something I’ve had on my mental health to-do list, but I haven’t gotten to it quite yet. In the meantime, here are three great stories I read this weekend that you might like, too.
Indian-born chef and restaurant owner Garima Kothar owned an innovative Jersey City restaurant called Nukkad. She was killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the hands of her partner, Man Mohan Mall, on April 26 — but her slaying barely made waves in the food world, perhaps because her restaurant didn’t make headlines in life, due to, writer Mayukh Sen says, “the inherent bias of a food media whose narrative gaze skews towards white, materially advantaged, cis male chefs, who also tend to have aggressive public relations teams that help to guarantee media saturation.”
Tom Hagen, one of Norway's richest men, was arrested for murder 18 months after his wife disappeared. I don’t know why I’ve been obsessed with this case; it’s not like the world has a shortage of rich (and middle class, and poor) guys who allegedly killed their wives. Maybe because it’s Norway, where crimes like that are fairly unusual? Or maybe because it was first believed to be a kidnapping for ransom, and now the cops say it wasn’t. CNN has the latest.
Wednesday on Best Evidence: It’s The Blotter Presents Episode 142, with guest Piper Weiss, plus Kevin Smokler interviews Criminal’s Phoebe Judge. Some show notes for your delectation:
Stolen Babies on YouTube
Variety's review of Stolen Babies
Criminal's 2019 episode on Georgia Tann, "Baby Snatcher"
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