THE MORNING BANTER: Iconic Photos, Crooked Olympic Judges, Dumb Frat Boys, and Empire Records

It’s Friday, so no matter what else is going on in your life there’s still that. Here are a couple of headlines and some assorted nonsense to help you pass the time while you wait to start your weekend.

1. Blood Shot

Of all the incredible and shocking pictures to come out of the Ukraine over the past few days, there’s one that sums up all that’s been happening there and may eventually wind up being the one of the most iconic news photograph of 2014. Here’s the story of how it came to be.

The Daily Dot: Behind the Most Powerful Protest Photo of the Year

2. Thin Ice

Well, the Wolf of Sochi turned out to be another Kimmel prank, but no one can deny there have been a lot of strange goings on over there during the current Winter Olympics. The latest: the question of whether Russian skating judges are purposely inflating the scores for Russian skaters and throwing the competition in their favor. Yesterday’s stunning upset by a young female skater from Russia isn’t likely to make the controversy go away.

USA Today: Skating Insiders Question Sochi Gold Judging

3. Brothers in Harm

As many have been attesting to, this story has single best lede paragraph you’re probably ever gonna read. And the whole thing just gets better from there.

The Atlantic: The Dark Power of Fraternities

4. Sympathy for the Douchebag

James Franco is coming to the defense of Shia LaBeouf in a New York Times op-ed. That’s an actual truthful statement you just read.

The New York Times: Why Actors Act Out

5. “We’re All Losers… Welcome To Music Town”

And finally, this movie was maligned all to hell when it first came out and to be honest there hasn’t been much critical reevaluation in the years and decades since. But if you grew up in the 90s, Empire Records still kind of speaks to you as a snapshot of the times. So let’s party like it’s Rex Manning Day, shall we?

Noisey: Mapping the Music and Style in Empire Records

Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.