Everyone knows President Ronald Reagan ignored the AIDS epidemic, but few know his press secretary publicly chuckled about it; Hillary Clinton hasn’t weighed in on the Iran deal, prompting some to wonder whether there are neocon forces pulling her strings; meanwhile, a $40,000 TV went on sale on Amazon, leading to hilarious comments mocking the uber-rich. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Reagan’s Press Secretary Repeatedly Laughed At AIDS One of the blackest stains on former President Ronald Reagan’s soiled legacy is his administration’s years-long silence in the face of perhaps the greatest public health crisis of the 20th century: HIV/AIDS.

Net Effects: The Past, Present & Future Impact of Our Networks – History, Challenges and Opportunities Reading history has reinforced the central importance networks play and revealed the common themes in successive periods of network-driven change for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Does Hillary’s Silence on Iran Deal Show Neocon Pull on Her Presidential Run? People have noticed the silence of former secretary of state and widely presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.

Johnny Weir Says Gay Protestors Are ‘Idiots’ Former Olympic skater Johnny Weir was picketed by Queer Nation outside his talk at Barnard College December 2 for his position that “the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement” about Russia’s anti-gay laws and “you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.”

Shipping: The ‘Invisible Industry’ That Clothes And Feeds You Imagine a ship carrying goods in containers that, if lined up, would stretch around 11,000 miles long, or nearly halfway around the planet.

Samsung’s $40,000 HDTV Sparks Hilarious Amazon Reviews Who would pay $40,000 for an HD television?

Israel’s New Strategic Position Israel has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program.

Black Friday and the Race to the Bottom Black Friday began on Thanksgiving Thursday this year, and continued into Shopaholic Saturday and Sunday.

Tar Sands’ Next Frontier: Shipments on the Great Lakes The Great Lakes, drinking water source for over 40 million North Americans, could be the next target on tar sands marketers’ bullseye according to a major new report out by the Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Fund Helps Student Start-Up Test ‘Blue Books’ of the Future If all good ideas start with a problem, Alex Rattray had only to look as far as his hands for inspiration.

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