Media Mayhem goes into the dark side of journalism this week with celebrity muckraker Mark Ebner. Having spent years digging in the dirt of the Church of Scientology, Mark comes to have a frank and rare discussion with Allison and Nick about the state of the media and finding the truth beyond the manicured Hollywood facade.
Mark goes into riveting detail about the Church of Scientology, as well as his own experiences as a true-crime investigator and occasional tabloid reporter. Mark is clearly an old-school journalist and he doesn’t hold his tongue about any thing–least of all Hollywood. From Tom Cruise, John Travolta and the real story behind Paris Hilton’s hacked cell phone, to the current crop of celebrity mishaps and the tide of “citizen journalists”, the world of fame and scandal is covered in full.
Mark Ebner is an investigative journalist who has covered celebrity and crime culture for such publications as Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details and Spy. Mark has investigated such controversial subjects as Scientology, dog fighting and the Ku Klux Klan. A published author, Mark co-wrote the New York Times bestseller “Hollywood, Interrupted” with Andrew Breitbart and Six Degrees of Paris Hilton. Most recently he co-authored We Have Your Husband, a story about a kidnapping in Mexico. In addition to writing, he has served as a commentator on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, NPR, Court TV and E! Entertainment Television to name a few. Mark was a consultant on the Emmy nominated episode of South Park’s “Trapped in the Closet” and also consulted for NBC/Dateline on the Paris Hilton Tapes report. Ebner runs a blog at hollywoodinterrupted.com where he reports on breaking news from Hollywood.
00:03 Welcome to Media Mayhem
00:33 Introducing Mark Ebner
03:11 “What was it like when you first wrote about Scientology?”
05:38 Consulting with South Park on Scientology: “The secret is out!”
07:53 “What were the secrets you uncovered and what was the response?”
09:47 Tom Cruise and the celebrity advocates of Scientology: “Blood on their hands.”
14:09 Legal harassment of journalists from Scientology.
15:54 The Huffington Post business model and “citizen journalists.”
22:47 Understanding the media that the public consumes.
25:32 Thoughts on “Inside Scientology.”
27:12 The insidious nature of Scientology auditing: “They’re in, but how are they going to get out?”
30:21 “We Have Your Husband,” and the true-crime story of a kidnapping in Mexico.
32:43 How journalists are co-opted by cartels in Mexico.
34:13 Using videos in the service of “stunt journalism.”
35:29 Freelance journalism vs. being embedded in a publication.
37:14 Video of Mark talking about Paris Hilton.
38:56 How Mark got to the intrigue beyond Paris Hilton.
40:17 The virtues of tabloid journalists.
43:18 Harold Smith and Ronnie Chasen and journalist relationships with private investigators.
48:15 The Mayhem round.
50:06 Oscar rumours and Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest (possible) stunt.
52:07 Mark presents a razzie for “Battlefield Earth,” (including Clip)
54:41 Thoughts on exposing 911 calls.
59:07 The bottom line on tabloid journalism.
1:01:27 “In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes.”
1:05:37 Wrapping up with Mark.