On today’s list: Behind the Vatican’s blame-the-gays strategy, how much you owe for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most corporate band and nine myths about socialism in the U.S.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that 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.

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Age gap between men and women on TV is closing, research finds According to the research, which was carried out by The Radio Times, the average age of a woman appearing on television today is 40.22 years, compared with 32.62 years in 1950.

The shock of the old: Welcome to the elderly age USHI OKUSHIMA is the oldest resident of Ogimi, the most elderly community in Japan — the country where the average age is higher than anywhere else in the world.

Expensive iPad Stand:

How One Man Fooled the Modern Art Establishment It’s extraordinary that John Myatt, an impoverished part-time art teacher and failed songwriter from Staffordshire, managed to get away with it for so long – producing more than 200 paintings over 10 years, which were sold around the world for a total of about £2m.

Mr. Slatkin learns a lesson about Internet blabbing Marquee conductor Leonard Slatkin was driven from the pit of the Metropolitan Opera last week, pelted by brutal reviews of his baton work in the Verdi workhorse “La Traviata.”

The Most Corporate Band In the music business these days, it’s not about selling the most CDs, it’s having the best sponsors. How the Black Eyed Peas became the face of Samsung, Apple, BlackBerry, Bacardi …

Media Matters offers assistance with Rupert Murdoch’s investigation Today, Media Matters for America’s Ari Rabin-Havt sent a letter to News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch noting Fox News’ role in regularly promoting the Tea Party movement. When Rabin-Havt asked Murdoch about that topic at the National Press Club on Tuesday night, Murdoch said he didn’t think Fox News “should be supporting the Tea Party” but would like to “investigate” “before condemning anyone.”

Tax Day and America’s Wars If you’re an average American taxpayer, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, since 2001, cost you personally $7,334, according to the “cost of war” counter created by the National Priorities Project (NPP).

Of War and Videos It’s all the talk, the WikiLeaks video. And every web site with a comment section has a long list of opinions and verdicts. Righteously judged by all. Simple. But it’s not that simple. I know it. And you know it. We all know it and that should scare the hell out of us.

What you missed or still miss [depending on age]

New Vatican defense strategy: blame the gays The Vatican’s second-highest authority says the sex scandals haunting the Roman Catholic Church are linked to homosexuality and not celibacy among priests.

Nine Myths About Socialism in the U.S. Glenn Beck and other far right multi-millionaires are claiming that the US is hot on the path towards socialism. Part of their claim is that the US is much more generous and supportive of our working and poor people than other countries. People may wish it was so, but it is not.


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