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CNN Films, HBO MAX Green Light Opioid Crime Documentary

The film will document the rise and fall of Chris and Jeff George, identical twins who are considered to be America’s most prominent opioid kingpins. 

Eduardo Razo

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CNN Films and HBO Max have announced that the two are backing a new true-crime story, “American Pain,” directed by Emmy® Award-winner Darren Foster. 

The film will document the rise and fall of Chris and Jeff George, identical twins who are considered to be America’s most prominent opioid kingpins. 

Over their run in the drug trade, the Georges operated a pill mill cartel that drew clients from around the country and generated a prescription drug trafficking network with an assessed street worth of more than $500-million. 

“The George brothers were early pioneers in Florida’s pill mill boom and kicked the door open for colorful imitators who together turned prescription painkillers into the greatest drug racket to hit the Sunshine State since the cocaine cowboys of the 1980s,” Foster said. 

“The big difference: this time, the suppliers weren’t some Colombian drug cartel; it was the U.S. pharmaceutical industry pumping out billions of powerful and addictive pills, unleashing the worst drug epidemic in American history. I couldn’t be more grateful to CNN Films, HBO Max, TIME Studios, and my talented partners at Motto Pictures for helping me realize this wild tale.”

The film will detail how the George’s took an opportunity to expand their steroid business into the bigger bucks of opioid pain clinics. The twins explain how they hired rogue physicians to prescribe disturbing amounts of opioid painkillers to the maximum number of patients through exclusive jailhouse interviews.

“American Pain” will premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in June and is currently expected for release in 2023.

News Television

Melissa Francis Details Fox News Exit to Megyn Kelly

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Former Fox News and Fox Business host Melissa Francis says she was fired seconds before she was supposed to go on the air. Francis appeared Friday with her attorney on The Megyn Kelly Show to talk about her 2020 departure from Fox. Francis, who joined Fox Business in 2012 and later became a host on Fox News, said she brought up the issue of pay disparity with the then-general counsel at Fox, Dianne Brandi.

“You have to understand that at the time there were two screeners from the Screen Actors Guild – Bombshell and The Loudest Voice – and they had actors playing Dianne Brandi behaving illegally towards women in the Roger Ailes situation,” said Francis.

“At the time I assumed she no longer worked at the company,” Francis continued. “When I said I wanted to do my own negotiation, [Fox] sent me an e-mail back saying ‘you’ll be meeting one-on-one with Dianne Brandi. I was shocked because I thought ‘wow, you’re gonna put her in a room alone with a woman to negotiate. I wasn’t even aware she was still here.’ We ended up having a voice conversation. I had actually scripted out exactly I wanted to say because my math and my points – I felt like I wanted to be crystal clear. I didn’t want to misspeak any portion of it at all.”

“We started to small talk. She’s very nice. ‘How are your kids? What’s going on?’  Then she segued right into ‘Are you going to hand this off to somebody else? It’s not common for talent to do this for themselves,’” Francis recalled in the conversation with Brandi. “I said look, there’s this disparity and basically I laid it out. [Dianne] said ‘whoa, I’m gonna stop you there. This is not the way you want to do this. You do not want to compare yourself to other people.’

“I said ‘no, I’m not comparing myself to other people.’ I’m saying that I’ve collected all this data —  basically how I just explained to you – I went through how I did all the comparisons I came up with and finally she broke in and said, and I wrote down verbatim, ‘that’s how the world works. Women make less than men. That’s just a fact.”

Months after her firing, Francis sued Fox for pay discrimination. It was settled in June. Fox paid Francis $15 million.

“It does seem impossible that a lawyer would say such a reckless thing,” Kelly responded before quoting a statement from a Fox News spokesperson. “Melissa Francis’ version of that conversation is untrue and patently absurd.”

“It is absurd,” Francis said. “I agree with that. It is totally absurd that she would say something like that. I 100% with the fact that it was absurd, and that’s how I felt at the time.”

Later, Francis said she learned of her dismissal from Fox during the pandemic when she was prepared to go on the air from her studio at home.

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NBC News Adds Sacramento, Washington D.C. Correspondents

On Thursday, NBC News announced the additions of two new correspondents as the network added Dana Griffin and Marissa Parra.

Eduardo Razo

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On Thursday, NBC News announced the additions of two new correspondents as the network added Dana Griffin and Marissa Parra.

Griffin will be based in Sacramento; meanwhile, Parra will be heading to Washington, D.C. As part of their new roles with the network, both will appear across NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

After spending time as a reporter and fill-in anchor for NBC7 in San Diego, Griffin heads to the national media stage, where she tweeted her excitement to start the new position. 

Griffin is familiar with the Northern California market as she spent nearly three years reporting for KCRA in Sacramento and was a weekend anchor and reporter for KIEM-TV up in Eureka.

Parra joins NBC News from CBS2 in Chicago after spending three years as a general assignment reporter. Parra will also be heading to a market she knows after spending three years as a freelance producer for ABC News’ Washington, D.C. bureau.

“A lifelong dream,” Parra tweeted on Thursday. “I’ll be an NBC Correspondent covering the same states I once called home. See you soon, East Coast!”

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Ari Melber Refers to Fox News as ‘MAGA Snowflake Bubble’

The MSNBC host had a guest to discuss the topic, but before he tossed it over to the attorney and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, Melber took a shot at the network.

Eduardo Razo

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MSNBC host Ari Melber went after Fox News and its contributor Lara Trump, appearing on the network criticizing a lawsuit by the New York attorney general against her family’s company.

On Wednesday, New York AG Letitia James publicized a $250 million suit against the Trump Organization, accusing them of overinflating assets to get low-interest loans.

The MSNBC host had a guest to discuss the topic, but before he tossed it over to the attorney and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, Melber took a shot at the network.

Melber referred to Fox News (h/t Mediaite) as a “MAGA snowflake bubble where you’re not going to be triggered. You’re not going to be pressed and shout out to anyone who needs a bubble. You know you can live in a snowflake bubble if you want.”

Neither side is immune to these types of criticisms when having people of Trump’s status where a rival network believes that the host isn’t asking the tough questions. 

Fox News has done this in the past when members of the Biden administration go on CNN or MSNBC. 

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