Since its inception in 1999, Blender magazine has tried to distinguish itself as an alternative to the Rolling Stone establishment of rock journalism.Now it appears to be following Rolling Stone in blurring the advertising-editorial line.In its January-February issue, Blender published the “2008 Rock & Roll User’s Guide,” a 16-page new music preview sponsored by Sync, Microsoft’s in-car voice-activated technology. In it, a small logo that reads “Presented by Sync/Powered by Microsoft” appears on five of the section’s 10 editorial pages, with the other six pages devoted to Sync-related ads. Four of those logos ask readers to log onto fordvehicles.com/sync for free MP3 downloads. “I would say that this is a clear violation of our guidelines,” American Society of Magazine Editors executive director Marlene Kahan told FOLIO: on Monday. According to the American Society of Magazine Editors, “sponsorship language (ie, “sponsored by,” “presented by,” etc.) should not appear in connection with regularly occurring editorial features” unless the editorial content “is labeled ‘Advertisement’ or ‘Promotion’ in a type size as prominent as the magazine’s normal body type.” [SEE: ASME Guidelines.]A spokesperson for Blender said the section was purely editorial and that the preview was written prior to selling the sponsorship. A spokesperson for the Alpha Media Group, the owner of Blender and Maxim, declined to comment on the details of the sponsorship, and said that the company is commited to adhering to the guidelines set forth by ASME.The Blender feature comes on the heels of a class action lawsuit filed by 185 indie rock bands in December against Rolling Stone over a sponsored nine-page pull-out spread that the bands said used their names without permission.Five of those bands represented in the class action suit appear in the Blender preview. Representatives for My Morning Jacket, one of the bands appearing in both, declined to comment.The Rolling Stone suit followed a separate lawsuit filed by attorney generals in eight states against R.J. Reynolds—the section’s sponsor—claiming the company illegally used cartoons in an advertorial to sell cigarettes. Rolling Stone said the cartoons were part of its editorial treatment—and not R.J. Reynolds’ idea.RELATED DISCUSSION: Does Anyone Care About ASME Guidelines?
Share your voice Tags Now playing: Watch this: Originally published Feb. 26 at 10:36 p.m. PT.Updated Feb. 27 at 6:54 a.m. PT: Added response from WikiLeaks. At 8:18 a.m.: Added details from Cohen’s hearings on WikiLeaks. At 8:33 a.m.: Added Cohen’s remarks on the Twitter persona “Women for Cohen.” At 9:16 a.m.: Added Cohen comments on Trump’s Twitter account. At 9:44 a.m.: Added comments from lawmakers on WikiLeaks. At 11:16 a.m.: With details on Trump’s campaign involvement with RedFinch Solutions. “A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes,” Cohen said in his opening remarks.In the prepared testimony, Cohen recalled a time when Stone told Trump he had spoken with Assange days before “there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”Cohen added that Trump responded, “Wouldn’t that be great.”WikiLeaks pushed back against the allegations on Twitter, writing that it has “always denied speaking to Roger Stone.”In a statement to multiple news outlets, including Newsweek, Stone refuted the account. “Mr. Cohen’s statement is not true,” he said.Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland and the Oversight and Reform Committee chair, said the hearing originally wouldn’t take questions on the subject. However, he said the committee wouldn’t restrict questions about WikiLeaks after the prepared remarks. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was chair of the DNC during the hack, questioned Cohen about details indicating Russian involvement with Trump’s campaign. “He had advanced notice that there was going to be a dump of emails, but at no time did I hear the specificity of what those emails were going to be,” Cohen told lawmakers, referring to the president.Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, questioned Cohen on his credibility, pointing to a Twitter account, “Women For Cohen,” that the former attorney paid to tweet about his attractiveness. In response to the false persona on Twitter, Cohen laughed and smiled. He told Jordan, “We were having fun,” and said the Twitter account was a joke.The account was created by the IT firm RedFinch Solutions, which Cohen originally hired to rig results in online polls on Trump’s popularity. The firm used bots and algorithms to manipulate poll results for CNBC and Drudge at Trump’s direction, Cohen said.Cohen told lawmakers he feared for his family’s safety because of Trump’s immense influence on Twitter. Noting the president’s huge following — he has more than 58 million followers on the social network — Cohen said he was worried about Trump influencing people on social media to go after his loved ones. “When he goes on Twitter, and he starts bringing in my in-laws, my parents, my wife, what does he think is going to happen?” Cohen said. “He’s sending out the same message, that he can do whatever he wants.”On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted to describe Cohen as a liar, and he isn’t the only politician attacking Cohen on the social network. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, tweeted at Cohen on Tuesday, threatening to blackmail him over infidelity. Gaetz has since deleted the tweet and apologized.Cohen said when Trump tweeted that he was a “rat” on Dec. 16, he was suddenly bombarded with hate messages on Twitter and Facebook.”I’ve had to turn over these messages to Secret Service because they are the most vile, disgusting statements that anyone can receive,” Cohen said.’Not fake news. Old news’Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, backed WikiLeaks’ argument that Assange had publicly announced the email leaks before Trump’s campaign learned about it. He held up a printout of an article from The Guardian, in which Assange said WikiLeaks had upcoming leaks regarding Clinton. “Mr. Assange reported to the media on June 12 that those emails would be leaked,” Massie said. “I’m not saying you have fake news, I’m saying you have old news.”The flood of Clinton campaign emails played a significant role in the election, both as headline news and the basis for internet conspiracy theories later on. The US government has since said those emails were given to WikiLeaks by Russian hackers attempting to sway the election in Trump’s favor.The testimony marks the first time someone from the president’s inner circle has testified that Trump had knowledge of the emails before they were released. Previously, Stone — who has been indicted for allegedly lying to Congress — denied those connections.The White House, in a statement to CNN, Newsweek and other publications, noted that Cohen is going to prison for lying. “Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. “It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”Representatives for the White House, Cohen and Stone didn’t immediately responded to requests for comment.Russian hackers stole hundreds of thousands of emails from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The stolen emails were posted on WikiLeaks, as well as DCLeaks, a page Russian hackers created posing as Americans. The same day that Trump encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, Russian hackers made their first attempt to spear-phish email accounts from Clinton’s campaign.Below is the opening statement that Cohen submitted to the committee before his hearing. Hacking WikiLeaks Donald Trump 9 4:39 Comments Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, is set to publicly testify to Congress Wednesday. Getty Images President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testified that his boss had been aware of an adviser’s communications with WikiLeaks ahead of the release of damaging information about opponent Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.In prepared testimony posted to the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s website, Cohen said that Roger Stone, Trump’s now-indicted adviser, had told the president about his communications with Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks. Cohen is testifying publicly on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The hearing is being streamed live on CBS News. Politics Tech Industry Cohen says Trump knew about WikiLeaks’ dump
Share ALEX SMITH / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSMore than two weeks after the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, questions remain about how he and a fellow agent were seriously injured while on patrol around Van Horn in west Texas.After the incident, prominent politicians wasted no time weighing in, saying the officers had been attacked. Sen.Ted Cruz called it a “stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities.” President Donald Trump tweeted “We will, and must, build the wall!”The investigation was quickly taken over by the FBI, which steps in whenever there’s a potential assault on a federal officer. Since then, they’ve released few details on the case.Because this is a sensitive story, few people are willing talk about it on tape. But I did catch Rush Carter, who is with the Big Bend Border Patrol sector, where Martinez worked.“The lack of answers makes it really tough…as we move forward and have to take care of our jobs and mourn the loss of Agent Martinez all at the same time,” Carter says.He says agents are eager to hear exactly what happened that night. They’re patrolling as usual, albeit…”with a little bit of sadness in our heart… We still are waiting on the FBI to fill in the blanks because everything else is gonna be speculation.”And here’s been a lot of speculation. Almost immediately after Martinez died, politicians started tweeting condolences, and stating he’d been attacked. Governor Abbott said the agent was murdered and offered a reward to help catch the killer. Cruz and Trump also said Martinez was killed. Trump tweeted “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible.”Around the same time, I talked to Chris Cabrera with the border patrol union.“What we understand from our agents that responded is Agent Martinez and his partner were struck repeatedly in the head and face with a rock or rocks by either one or a number of individuals,” Cabrera says.Here’s the thing: None of this has been confirmed by the FBI…nothing beyond Martinez and his partner having head injuries.At a press conference a few days after the incident, FBI Agent Emerson Buie chose his words carefully.“We are investigating this matter as a potential assault on a federal officer. And we’re trying to gather the facts. And if the facts support that then we will pursue it legally. If they support that the incident was caused by something else, then we’ll present that,” Buie said.The FBI representatives wouldn’t talk on tape for this story. But they did tell me they’re continuing to follow up on all tips from the public.The surviving agent working with Martinez that night hasn’t been named. Reportedly, he’s suffering from memory loss.And officials are raising doubts about those early claims that this was an attack. The Culberson County sheriff was one of the first responders on the scene. He’s said the evidence doesn’t point to violence – and that Martinez might have fallen to his death.So why, more than two weeks later, are there still so few answers? According to Victor Manjarrez, it’s not totally unusual. Manjarrez is a retired border patrol chief, now with the Center for Law and Human Behavior at UT El Paso.“What makes it so difficult in cases of border patrol agents and in this particular case in Van Horn is they’re so remote areas,” Manjarrez says.Plus, there weren’t any witnesses. Manjarrez says it’s also possible the scene was disturbed as first responders rushed in to help.“You come in and your first mindset’s…where’s that agent or officer that’s down? How can I render assistance?” he says, rather than thinking about preserving evidence for a future investigation.But what is more unusual about Agent Martinez’s death are those immediate statements from top politicians. Alfredo Corchado is covering this story for the Dallas Morning News. Corchado’s been reporting on the border for decades and says he’s never seen anything like this.“Where there’s a real rush to judgment. I think what shocked me from day one, from the moment it happened, was sense of certainty that this had happened, this was the way it happened…without any real factual information,” Corchado says.And that could explain why the FBI is being so cautious.“How do you come back after you have the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, you have the senator Ted Cruz, you have President Trump, you know, with such certainty that this is what happened. I mean how do you contradict them? And I think the best way, at least from what I’m told, is you have to be 120 percent accurate. I mean you have to get to the truth,” Corchado says.One other possibility Corchado has heard from sources is that Agent Martinez and his partner might have been sideswiped by a tractor trailer. It’s a theory more people are considering, especially since the FBI announced late last week that they’re expanding their investigation. The FBI is now running digital billboards in four border states, seeking out drivers who passed through the Van Horn area the night both agents were injured. FBI officials say could take weeks or even months before they can issue a full report.
Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Snap generated revenue of $297.7 million in Q3 of 2018, compared with $207.9 million during the same quarter last year. The company’s net losses for the quarter were $325.15 million, which translated to a net loss of $0.25 per share. Last year around, Snap’s losses came in at $0.36 per share.Analysts had expected revenue of $283 million, and losses of $0.27 per share.These results mirror last quarter’s numbers, when the company disclosed that it had lost 3 million daily active users, while at the same time posting better-than-expected revenue and earnings numbers.Snap CEO Evan Spiegel blamed the user decline on problems with Snapchat’s Android app, something that the company has frequently pointed to as one of its pain points in the past. Snap is already testing a rebuilt Android app in a couple of markets, but Spiegel said Thursday that the company wasn’t ready to be released widely. “We still have a bunch of work to do there,” he said.The same seems to be true for one of Snap’s other goal: becoming a profitable company. Neither Spiegel nor CFO Tim Stone wanted to commit to reaching profitability in 2019, something that Spiegel laid out as a goal in a recently leaked email to employees. “Internal goals are just that,” Stone said. “They are internal goals.”This also sums up pretty well why investors are a lot more forgiving to Twitter than to Snapchat. Twitter has become a profitable company, raking in $0.21 per share in Q3. Snap, on the other, hand is still in growth mode, spending heavily to build out its products and attract new users, to the tune of $1.3 billion for research and development during the first 9 months of this year. Thus far, it looks like those investments don’t pay off.Spiegel, nonetheless, ended his prepared remarks on Thursday’s earnings call with a positive outlook for 2019:“We are in this for the long term and we are just getting started. We offer a uniquely different user experience and we are excited about the many opportunities we have to drive growth.”Other notable tidbits from the earnings report:This past quarter, 21 unique shows on Snapchat Discover reached a monthly active audience of over 10 million viewers.NBCUniversal extended its content-production commitments through 2019; Viacom committed to creating 10 new Snap Original Shows as well as syndicating at least 500 episodes of its networks’ shows on Snapchat.Snapchat users have saved more than 200 billion Snaps to date.Over 60% of Snapchat’s daily active users create Snaps every day.Snapchat’s Tic-Tac-Toe AR game attracted over 80 million unique users in Q3.Countries outside of North America now represent 30 percent of Snap’s total revenue. Snapchat corporate parent Snap seems to be following Twitter’s example: The company continues to bleed users, but it is getting a lot better at monetizing its existing user base.During its most recent quarter, Snap lost 2 million daily active users compared with the previous quarter, the company disclosed as part of its Q3 earnings report Thursday. However, it handily beat analyst expectations on revenue and earnings, approaching $300 million in revenue for the quarter.Investors responded by sending Snap’s stock up sharply in after-hours trading, only to send it back into negative territory soon after, with share prices down more than 10% in after-hours trading.That’s in contrast to Twitter, whose stock price was up more than 15% Thursday after reporting a similar combination of declining user numbers and better-than-expected earnings earlier in the day.