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How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Entertainment

CIA Admits Role In 1985 Coup To Oust David Lee Roth

CIA agents reportedly seeded false information in Rolling Stone and other media outlets to convince the public that Roth was toppled solely by his bandmates in a bloodless revolt.
CIA agents reportedly seeded false information in Rolling Stone and other media outlets to convince the public that Roth was toppled solely by his bandmates in a bloodless revolt.

LANGLEY, VA—Shedding new light on a tumultuous period of upheaval that dominated international headlines nearly 30 years ago, the U.S. government declassified hundreds of documents Tuesday that confirm the CIA covertly organized and executed the coup that ousted lead singer David Lee Roth from Van Halen.

According to a preliminary analysis, the newly released information includes more than 1,600 pages of formerly top-secret material detailing the CIA’s clandestine plot to infiltrate the platinum-selling rock group and unseat the magnetic, impulsive musician from his leadership position in the spring of 1985. The documents reveal that the agency worked behind the scenes for years, beginning after the release of the disco-inflected “Push Comes To Shove” single in 1981, to foment the internal turmoil and unrest needed to destabilize the band and ultimately force Roth to step down from the American heavy metal act.

“As Van Halen’s creative direction became uncertain in the early 1980s, it became increasingly apparent that we would have to take the steps necessary to remove Roth from power,” said former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John N. McMahon, describing the covert process by which he and his colleagues quietly forced a schism between the vocalist and members of the band’s inner circle in order to disrupt the dangerous cult of personality that had taken hold around the hard-rock frontman. “Well before the commencement of the Hide Your Sheep Tour, Roth had become too unpredictable, too brazen, and he was preventing the band’s sound from moving toward synthesizer-driven, radio-friendly rock. So, we felt we needed to act, and quickly.”

“Quite simply, our office determined that Roth was no longer fit to exercise control over Van Halen, and that his aspirations for the band were not aligned with the best interests of the American people,” he continued.

Dubbed Operation Diamond Cutter by the select top-ranking CIA administrators who orchestrated the plot, the confidential initiative reportedly sought to quietly undermine Roth’s influence within Van Halen and replace him with Sammy Hagar, a charismatic but largely inert puppet leader who agency officials were confident would be easily manipulated once installed atop the iconic rock group.

The CIA confirmed that it was able to exploit preexisting strains in the band by capitalizing on internal concerns over Roth’s long-term musical ambitions following the release of his solo EP, as well as pent-up tensions that had simmered for years after the lukewarm commercial and critical reception of Van Halen’s Fair Warning album. Additionally, American intelligence operatives succeeded in enlisting Roth’s manager and utilizing the double agent to convince his client that relinquishing his position would allow him to pursue what was portrayed as a budding and potentially prosperous film career.

“Based on the things we heard coming out of Van Halen’s studio at the time, we were given authorization from the highest levels of government to seek every possible avenue to subvert Roth’s command,” said one CIA operative speaking on condition of anonymity, claiming that the agency recruited and trained numerous groupies and entourage members to ply longtime Roth ally Alex Van Halen with alcohol in order to ensure that he was in no state to oppose the takeover. “Had we not moved when we did, there’s no telling what kind of detrimental effect Roth would have had on the band’s move into more mainstream pop territory and the state of rock music as a whole. We saw the opportunity to remove this uncontrollable megalomaniac from power while safeguarding the American people from his potent influence, and we seized it.”

“The last thing we wanted was to have another ‘Panama’ on our hands,” he added.

As revealed by the CIA, prior to Roth’s successful ouster from the group, the agency also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in untraceable funds through intermediaries to bankroll the production and distribution of such incendiary works as VOA and the “I Can’t Drive 55” single in order to bolster Hagar’s profile in the eyes of the band’s supporters.

Despite the prevalence of critics who question the legitimacy of the post-Roth Van Halen regime, McMahon said that he has “no regrets whatsoever” about the agency’s false flag mission.

“Overthrowing Roth was a risky, highly controversial maneuver, but I believe that history will justify our actions,” McMahon said, acknowledging that the coup ultimately proved ineffectual, as the vocalist’s departure merely ushered in a series of decreasingly competent replacements, culminating in Roth reclaiming his seat of power long after the band had ceased to have an impact in the international community. “This was a self-aggrandizing degenerate who needed to be toppled in order to bring stability to the band’s direction. We did what needed to be done.”

“That being said, none of us could possibly have foreseen that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge would indirectly result from our actions,” he added, solemnly shaking his head.

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