Arianna Huffington calls Hillary Clinton president jokes ‘sophomoric,’ Katie Couric says she doesn’t follow morning show drama at Time 100 Gala

Arianna Huffington has had enough with the juvenile Hillary Clinton quips. "I hope the media stops focusing on things like Chipotle and I hope the jokes get better," The Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief told the Daily News' [email protected] column at the Time 100 Gala Tuesday. "The Hillary jokes are getting worse and worse. They are so sophomoric," she added of the negative attention surrounding Clinton entering the race for president. Former "Today" show host Katie Couric also walked the carpet at the star-studded event and the journalism vet insisted she doesn't keep track of any drama in the world of morning television. "I mean I have friends on all the shows and I just try to focus on their work and what they're doing," she said. "There's so much written that's completely untrue by a lot of different publications so I don't really believe everything I read, unfortunately that's the way journalism has gone." Couric stressed she doesn't dial up her TV personality pals to get the dirt. “Arrested Development” producer Brian Grazer gabbed to reporters at the festivities honoring Time's Most Influential people about his formula for success. "I like the movies and television shows that I do to always have some edge," he said. "Never be predictable but always have redemption so it's this interesting combination." Grazer dished on his celebrity wish list of who he wants to take a meeting with but admitted they don't always agree to a face-to-face. "I'm hoping to do one with Tom Brady, I'm hoping someday Vladimir Putin," he said. "I've gotten a chance to know many athletes including this whole cadre of boxers but just recently Floyd Mayweather. He's a different style from everybody else and I just wanted to see what he was all about." Huffington, Couric and Grazer rubbed shoulders with many famous faces at Continue Reading

Piers Morgan questioned by police over phone-hacking allegations for second time

British journalist Piers Morgan has undergone a second round of police interviews about the U.K.'s phone-hacking scandal, he confirmed Tuesday. The former CNN host and Daily Mirror editor has denied ever having a role in the illegal hacking of celebrities, politicians and royals' phones by journalists. In a statement to the Guardian he acknowledged his cooperation with police but called it voluntary. "Some time ago I was asked to attend an interview with officers from Operation Golding when I was next in the UK," he stated while referencing the codename for the ongoing investigation into alleged hacking by Mirror Group Newspapers — specifically the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mirror where Morgan served as editor from 1995 until 2004. "This was further to a previous voluntary interview I provided in December 2013," he continued. "I attended that interview today. "As this is an ongoing investigation, I am unable to comment further until its conclusion." In a Twitter message aimed at squashing apparent rumors of his arrest, he added: "No, I wasn't arrested. Sorry to disappoint everyone." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Bruce Jenner speaks out for the first time in new Diane Sawyer interview promo

Bruce Jenner is about to show a side of himself he's not revealed before. A second promo of the much anticipated 20/20 interview with the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" dad has just been released and although it doesn't reveal much about what will be discussed it does finally show him speaking. "My whole life has been getting me ready for this," the 65-year-old reality star says to Diane Sawyer in the video. The former Olympian has been making headlines for changes in his appearance including longer hair and painted fingernails. It has been reported that Jenner is going through a gender transition to become a woman. When his step-daughter Kim Kardashian was asked about the changes in January, she explained that it's "his journey to talk about." "He's our dad so we support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk about whatever he wants to talk about," she said. "I guess I'll kind of let everyone be curious and I feel like that's his journey to talk about." The big interview will air April 24 on ABC. Continue Reading

FIFTH TIME LUCKY? Broadway producer Tracy Aron relists Upper West Side townhouse for $7M

Talk about a series of unfortunate events.  A stunning Upper West Side townhouse is about go on the market for the fifth time in seven years, after a series of unfortunate events resulted in the epic implosion of four separate deals, the Daily News has learned. Broadway producer Tracy Aron first inked a deal to sell her glamorous old world townhouse at 627 West End Ave. in 2008 for $7 million. She spent weeks boxing up her belongings, rented a loft downtown until she could find a new place and said goodbye to the home she’d lived in since 1998 and which she'd shared with her son Danny before he’d gone off to college. But, as the two giant moving trucks rolled down West End Ave., Aron recieved a phone call from her broker, who said the buyer had an emergency and couldn’t close on the property that week. It was the beginning of a six-month nightmare, during which the buyer created one excuse after another to get out of closing, ultimately trying to negotiate down the price by $1 million and then suing her to get his deposit back. “It stole a year of my life in days and much more than that emotionally,” Aron told the Daily News. And it wasn’t the first time “Spring Awakening” producer Aron, who is now relisting the property for the same price, would come close to a deal, only to have it be thwarted at the last possible moment. “This is not an ugly duckling. This is a beautiful girl that has not had her chance to get to the prom,” listing broker Karen Kelley of the Corcoran Group told the Daily News. “She just hasn’t found the right suitor, yet.” Aron accepted another offer on the property in 2012 and then another two in 2014 but none of the deals ultimately closed. In the first case, the buyer disappeared without explanation. In the second, they wouldn’t agree to let Aron hold off on moving out Continue Reading

Cops hunt man who shouted homophobic slurs at men before Times Square attack

Cops are hunting a hateful suspect who spouted homophobic slurs at two men before attacking them in Times Square, police said Thursday. The assault started when the suspect spotted a 27-year-old man and a 32-year-old man walking near Broadway and W. 48th St. and started shouting at them on April 12 at about 2:30 a.m., authorities said. He then lashed out and assaulted the victims before fleeing, cops said. Both men refused medical attention. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Taxi of Never: Time to scrap Mike Bloomberg’s misbegotten plan to replace all yellow cabs with a Nissan van

The Taxi of Tomorrow was supposed to be the mandatory cab of today starting this morning, Monday, April 20, 2015. Didn’t happen. Not going to happen. Let’s call the whole thing off. For reasons that have largely been incomprehensible, Michael Bloomberg decided as mayor that every new taxi that hits the road should be a Nissan NV200 van, capable of modifications for wheelchair accessibility. The Taxi and Limousine Commission so ordered, with this being the effective date. A lawsuit challenging the commission’s authority has put the directive on hold, now pending a ruling by the state’s highest court. In the meantime, advocates for people with disabilities have called for scrapping the van because its wheelchair entrance would be through the vehicle’s rear door — forcing passengers to enter by rolling into the street and then to ride like luggage. Additionally, at a time when the Internet-based car-for-hire service Uber has weakened yellow-cab economics, taxi medallion owners have overwhelmingly turned thumbs down on buying the Nissan van. The NV200 debuted on Oct. 28, 2013. Since then, the medallion owners have bought 5,675 replacement yellow cabs — including only 657 of the tall, boxy vans with lots of windows. That purchase rate of less than 12% puts the lie to the arguments city lawyers have been making as they try to persuade the Court of Appeals to uphold the TLC’s Taxi of Tomorrow diktat. In court papers, the attorneys effusively praise the NV200 as the absolute bestest cab ever designed. They also claim that the vans are a real steal for owners because they come ready-made with yellow paint, partitions and roof lights. Those are costly add-ons when buying other cabs. To explain why owners have failed to flock to the NV200 despite the opportunity to save thousands of dollars, the TLC says that many are instead choosing hybrid-energy vehicles because the city offers a Continue Reading

Modern-day Forrest Gump finishes cross-country run in Times Square

He made it! A Michigan man finished a punishing 100-day, 2,900-mile cross-country run from California to Times Square on Friday, and the Daily News caught up with him for the final mile. “That was awesome!” crowed Wendell, 33, as he broke through the finish line tape set up before the TKTS steps. “I just ran 100 marathons. There’s nothing more exciting than this.” He began at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles on New Year’s Day, and has been hoofing it across the country ever since, much like Tom Hanks’ titular 1994 “Forrest Gump” character. A crowd that had been followign his adventure on social media cheered him into the heart of the city with chants of, “Run, Daren, run!” - although his mother and aunt held a banner reading “Stop Daren Stop” once he finally finished. “I’m relieved it’s over, and that he’s in one piece,” said his mom Joy Wendell. “But I’m so proud.” The endurance athlete ran 29.9 miles - that’s almost four miles longer than a marathon - every single day during his transcontinental trek. He lost three toenails, ran through 10 pairs of sneakers and bounded across 14 states while shuffling across the scorching Mojave Desert, the frozen Missouri countryside, and past herds of Pennsylvania buffalo. The big toe on his right foot was also threatening to come off, so Wendell actually cut a hole in his shoe for the final leg of his journey. "I don't want to deal with that tomorrow," he said. He also ran with a Stryker T2 Tibia Nail in his right leg that is the length of his shin, as the result of a 2006 soccer injury. “I’m feeling surprisingly better than most people think,” he said. “My body has conditioned itself to run 30 miles a day and be OK.” Wendell, a professional fundraiser, Continue Reading

Justin Verlander headed to DL for first time in Tigers pitcher’s major-league career

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is headed to the disabled list for the first time in his major league career. The Tigers said Thursday the 32-year-old right-hander won’t be on the active roster for Monday’s opener against Minnesota because of tightness in his right triceps. He was scratched from his Thursday start and no timetable has been announced for when he will pitch again. “I think they used the word strain,” Verlander said. “It felt like just a little cramp but, obviously, with it taking a little longer to heal, it’s probably a little bit more than that — just take it day by day.” Verlander has been throwing lightly in an attempt to work out the tightness. MADDEN: WINDOW FOR A DETROIT TIGERS TITLE IS CLOSING “I don’t think this is going to be a long-term issue,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “After throwing yesterday, he said he felt as good or better today.” Detroit will make his DL stint retroactive, making it possible the six-time All-Star could start the sixth game of the season, on April 12 at Cleveland. “If he does start on that Sunday, essentially he doesn’t miss a start,” Ausmus said. “Obviously it’s a little more of a story because I’ve never been on the DL,” said Verlander, who has started 30 or more games in each of the last nine seasons. “At least I can take solace in the fact that I’m going on the DL to help the team. Even if tomorrow it’s fine and I feel great, I wouldn’t be able to start until Sunday (April 12), so I’d still go on the DL because we get that extra guy and it benefits the club.” Verlander is 28-24 in two seasons since starting a $180 million, seven-year contract, slowed by core muscle surgery before the 2014 season. Winner of the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Awards, Verlander was 124-65 before the deal. Continue Reading

News about Bruce Jenner puts Time 100 event’s spotlight on ‘Transparent’s’ Jill Soloway & Jeffrey Tambor

Time magazine celebrated its “Time 100” issue at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, and celebs came out in droves to celebrate. Though Bruce Jenner wasn’t on the list, his “journey” was on people’s minds — particularly that of “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, whose Amazon program revolves around a transgender characters’ relationship with his family. “There’s a movement going on, a civil rights movement, and we happen to have found ourselves at the forefront of this movement,” said Soloway, whose own father went through a gender transition. “I found myself with this mantle, which is a great responsibility. I want to get it right. We get a lot of guidance from the trans people in our world.” Soloway says Jeffrey Tambor, the star of her show, brings to mind her own trans-parent. “He reminds me so much of my parent, pretransition,” she said. “My parent had a lot in common with Jeffrey; there was never anybody else.” Tambor said he was 15 minutes into the “Transparent” script when he started begging his agent to make the deal. He agrees that the transgender rights movement’s time has come. “It’s in the zeitgeist and it’s very empowering,” he told us. “It’s in the conversation. It’s in the culture. The civil rights movement is now.” Transgender actress Laverne Cox was also on hand, and told us she was there to see two performers she’s always admired. “I want to meet Misty Copeland and Audra McDonald,” she told [email protected] In the “Time 100” issue, 14-year-old author and LGBTQ rights activist Jazz Jennings penned a tribute to Cox, saying, “She’s done so many amazing things — not just acting on ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ but also loving herself enough to share her story with the world. Continue Reading

Sarah Thomas hired by NFL as first full-time female official

Sarah Thomas will make history this season as the NFL’s first full-time female official, but she is much more concerned about doing her job as a field judge than breaking down barriers. “I’m a female and I can’t change that just because I love the game of football and officiating,” she said Wednesday after she was one of nine new officials the NFL announced for the 2015 season. “I do honor the fact that a lot of people consider me a trail blazer. . . . I don’t feel that way. I’m doing it truly because I love it. When you’re out there officiating, the guys don’t think of me being a female, they want me to be just like them, being an official. That’s what I’ve always set out to do.” Thomas, a married mother of a three, is a pharmaceutical representative in her full-time job. At the suggestion of Conference USA officiating boss Gerry Austin, a former NFL referee who hired Thomas to work college games, she wears her blond ponytail under her cap so she could just blend in and avoid stereotypes. She joked that she rejected his request not to wear makeup on the field. “I told him he was crossing the line there,” she said. Thomas doesn’t anticipate any problems with coaches or players. She has been a line judge for NFL preseason games the last two seasons and has worked minicamp or training camp for the Browns, Colts and Saints. “I know I will probably stand out being the first,” she said. “As far as the players and coaches, I’ve been around for a good little while. I think they know who I am and they just want to make sure I can do the job as an official.” Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, was asked if hiring a woman was done as part of the league’s reaction to the Ray Rice domestic violence issue last year. “If you look at Sarah’s background and her journey to get here, Continue Reading