Karen McDougal was the 1998 Playmate of the Year.

In the past two years, she has been in the news as part of the Michael Cohen case. The National Enquirer paid to acquire the rights to a story about her 2006 affair with Donald Trump, but the tabloid never printed the story. The Enquirer gained the exclusive right to it so that McDougal could not sell it elsewhere (ABC news was hot in the trail), thus assuring it could not become public unless they printed it, which they had no intention of doing. (David Pecker, the CEO of the Enquirer’s parent company, is a friend of the president.) Cohen said that he reimbursed The National Enquirer for the $150,000 that they paid McDougal for her story, and he in turn was reimbursed by Donald Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty to this, which amounted to an illegal campaign contribution. He said that he had made the payment at Trump’s behest, and had recorded the conversation in which Trump ordered the payment. Cohen’s attorney released the recording to CNN, which played it on the air. Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing how to make a payment for “all of that info regarding our friend David,” referring to David Pecker. Trump is heard asking if “one-fifty” needed to be paid, which Cohen confirms. McDougal had been paid $150,000 by the Enquirer. In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws, admitting paying that $150,000 as hush money “at the direction of a candidate for federal office with the purpose of influencing the election.” (He also admitted to another incident involving Stormy Daniels.)

The reporters informed him that Markle “wasn’t so nice to” Trump during the 2016 campaign, and that she said she would have moved to Canada if Trump was elected.

“I didn’t know that, no. So, what can I say? No, I didn’t know that she was nasty.”

Not only did he deny saying something he said on tape, but what’s more, he demanded an apology from the sources that reported it! Ya gotta love the cojones on the guy, but you have to think about something else. Nixon had to resign because he was recorded committing a crime. If that happened to Trump, he’d just deny that it happened. He’d claim it was “fake news,” and life would go on.

By the way, in an interview which will air tomorrow, Trump was asked about the incident and called her nasty again! “That’s okay for her to be nasty,” Trump told Piers Morgan.

6 Iconic Movies And Shows That Were Outright Ripoffs

One of the examples they give is The Ghost Busters, a low-brow Saturday morning kiddie show from the 70s. In a short-lived mid-70s phenomenon, several live-action shows competed with the cartoons on Saturday morning. They frequently involved sci-fi premises or comic book heroes of some kind, but usually handled the story lines in a jokey way, ala the TV version of Batman. Some of the mid-70s entries, like The Ghost Busters series featured in this link, were less than memorable, while others attained some measure of popularity and endured in reruns on networks like Nickelodeon.

Because it featured a beautiful woman, horndogs like me remember The Secrets of Isis, which was created by Filmation, the same company which produced The Ghost Busters. A competing group in this era, Sid and Marty Krofft, produced another live-action show with beautiful female stars, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. So at least some of us dads were entertained while we watched with the kids.

The popularity of these shows seemed to come crashing down after 1976, and none of them really seemed to create original episodes very long. There are only 15 episodes of The Ghost Busters, 16 of Electra Woman, 22 of Isis. The grandfather of the genre, Shazam!, which was based on the original Captain Marvel from the 30s and 40s, lasted a bit longer (28 shows over three seasons). Isis was actually a spinoff of Shazam!. They were aired as a combo offering called The Shazam/Isis Hour, and the two shows occasionally did crossover episodes.

While some of the shows occasionally got serious and/or incorporated some kind of moral lesson into the storylines, The Ghost Busters was pure slapstick. It starred the two main stars of F-Troop, Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch, plus a guy in a homemade gorilla suit, as the original ghost-busting threesome. Their names were Spencer, Tracy and Kong, with the twist that the gorilla was actually Tracy, not Kong. Pretty wacky, eh?

I wouldn’t call the Ghostbusters movie a “ripoff,” any more than Marvel movies are a ripoff of Marvel comics. The original series wasn’t exactly a big-time success. It lasted only 15 very cheesy weeks in 1975, and was already forgotten a decade later, but Columbia Pictures forked over a half a million dollars for the rights to the name and concept, which was probably about $499,000 more than those rights were worth.

UPDATE from the comments:

Sad aside about Dyna Girl: the woman who played her (Judy Strangis) attracted a stalker who drove her out of the public eye, and her career afterward was mainly offscreen voice acting.

Fun aside about Dyna Girl: her uncle was Spike Jones.

The bad news: The lake is a little closer than you hoped.

I have a friend who bought a similar place on Lake Ontario. In fact the pictured situation looks nearly identical to what he will face in his future. He’s now about 20-25 feet from the shore, but his lakefront lawn is diminishing every year from erosion, some years a little, some years a lot. Just like the place in the picture, his property is maybe 20-30 feet above the level of the lake.

We thought he was a fool for buying a doomed property, but here is his logic:

What he knows is that in 30 years his cottage almost certainly will not be there. He doesn’t know what will happen in 10 years or 20, and he’s already 71 years old and has no heirs, so he felt that the low price of the large cottage was worth it. A young family would not have bought the place, even at the rock-bottom asking price, knowing it will eventually be part of Lake Ontario, but he gambled that the cottage would hold out longer than he will.

But this picture reminded me that his place will look almost exactly like this someday!