Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.
Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.
Joan Rivers carved a niche for herself in stand-up at a time when it wasn’t just difficult-it was unheard of. It was still pretty brutal for women in the business by the time I got to it decades later so I can’t even imagine what it was like when there weren’t any other women doing it.
I remember watching her guest-host on The Tonight Show back in the halcyon days before her legendary falling out with Johnny Carson. She was fearless on stage. In fact, were she starting out today doing the same kind of humor, being female wouldn’t be as much of an obstacle but the PC Speech Police would be apoplectic about her material (she frequently did “Liz Taylor is so fat…” jokes when subbing for Carson).
She had killer timing, which was still on display when doing her fashion critiques of red carpet celebs in recent years. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the genre, I would still watch on occasion to hear the old girl being effortlessly, humorously and brilliantly caustic.
Some of my closest friends after thirty years in stand-up are female comics I’ve worked with. I know I would never had met them if it weren’t for Joan Rivers.
Rest in peace, dear lady.
And say hi to Liz Taylor.
Well, that didn’t take long. The St. Louis Rams cut defensive end Michael Sam over the weekend. Sam is, or would have been, the NFL’s first openly gay player.
He was drafted late, seventh round. Homophobia was suggested. Now that he has been cut, homophobia has been blamed, by Michelangelo Signorile at the Huffington Post.
Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams over the weekend. Over the following 24 hours, no other team had decided to claim the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL. Then came the news that the Rams didn’t choose him for its practice squad. And though he could be picked for a practice squad for another team this week, NFL watchers believe his options are dim.
There have already been lots of arguments on social media, and it will continue this week, over whether or not this represented homophobia in the NFL. Frankly, I’m astounded that anyone can even debate this. One person on my Facebook page said that if Michael Sam were good enough he’d be playing. I don’t know how this person could possibly justify such a statement since the NFL’s record — of giving slaps on the wrist for ugly homophobic incidents and hiring known haters — suggests otherwise, and no openly gay player had been drafted before.
And none of that bears on Sam’s performance in pre-season or whether he is what the Rams or any other team needs. He had a decent pre-season. The Rams cut him because he wasn’t what they believe they need. No other team took him on.
That’s what happens in pre-season football. Some rookies make it, many rookies don’t.
The Rams also cut Sam from their practice squad, and explained why.
They already have five defensive ends on their 53-man roster and have depth needs at too many other positions to cover injuries, and they need players for the scout team to run the plays of opposing teams in practice now that the regular season is here.
As of Sunday night, the Post-Dispatch had confirmed the names of six players the Rams will sign for their 10-man practice squad. But they still had needs to address at quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback – which would soak up the final four spots.
They’re too deep at defensive end and too thin elsewhere.
Signorile devotes the rest of the article to bashing the NFL for being “homophobic,” a smear that halts any discussion dead in its tracks. He bashes the Giants for hiring David Tyree for player development, because Tyree opposes gay marriage.
What that has to do with whether Tyree will make a good player development director or not is not explained.
Bashing Tyree’s hiring is telling. Tyree is the former Giant wide receiver whose insane helmet catch led to the Giants defeating the Perfect Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Tyree might know how to spot and develop players for the Giants. Or not. But his stand on gay marriage has nothing to do with that at all. Signorile wants Tyree banished over something that has nothing to do with his job. He wants Sam captured by an NFL team for reasons that have nothing to do with the job.
Do you want to know why I tend not to post the Hero of the Day story that everyone else on the Internet runs with? Because these days, they usually fall apart within 48 to 72 hours. I just skip their arc from fame to infamy to the dustbin of pop culture history.
USC football player Josh Shaw admitted to USC officials that his story about heroically rescuing his nephew is a lie.
In a statement, USC says … “Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) and admitted that he had lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend.”
“He said that the story he told of rescuing his nephew in a pool in Palmdale, Calif., was a complete fabrication. He apologized for misleading his coaches, teammates, athletic department officials and the public.”
I guess we’ll get one of these cynicism-building college football scandals every year or two from now on. Last year it was Manti Te’o and the fake dead girlfriend. This year it’s a guy who lies about saving his drowning nephew. Plus the usual assorted shoplifting and alumni gift stories.
Anyway, Miley Cyrus stunned America, with her touching tribute to homelessness. But it turns out that “Jesse” is a wanted man. His choices led to his being domicile challenged.
Tuesday, the world learned a little about “Jesse” and how he ended up on the streets of Los Angeles. Here’s a synopsis via Billboard:
Not long after the VMAs, his mother confirmed to The Oregonian that Miley’s Jesse was her son, Jesse Helt, a native of Salem, Oregon. And on Tuesday, Inside Edition spoke with an Oregon court official who revealed that Jesse Helt was arrested for attempting to break into an apartment four years ago. Billboard contacted the Salem police department and confirmed the 2010 incident.
Courts documents obtained by Inside Edition and shared with Billboard detail Helt’s attempt to break into a Salem apartment in Oct. 2010. Helt was charged with criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. According to the AP, a warrant is currently out for his arrest.
Months later, Helt’s probation officer filed documents stating that Helt skipped a probation check-in appointment and failed a drug test. Helt admitted to smoking marijuana, writing and signing a statement in March 2011 concerning his probation violation. The statement ended with the following promise: “For the sake of my freedom I have chosen to stop smoking weed and from now on I will not violate my probation.”
Since then, Spin reports that he briefly attended community college and worked at the Oregon State Fair. While attempting to start a modeling career in Los Angeles, the AP reports that Helt lived on the streets.
So Jesse has a criminal record, an open warrant for his arrest, a drug problem, and is homeless because he took the brilliant career path into the safe and secure world of modeling.
The intended lesson of Miley’s charity, there but for the grace of God goes you, eh, isn’t all that.
Want another lie exposed? Another downer for the day? Ok, try this: Hello Kitty isn’t even a cat.
Or, if it’s a cat, since it owns a pet cat, Hello Kitty is really Hello Slavery. But it’s not a cat.
According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty — whom you have seen on literally every consumer product at an increasing rate over the past 40 years — is in fact a human child.
“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”
Thank goodness that Hello Kitty is not in fact a cat. Because that would be awk-ward.
Let’s end on something a little less shocking, a little more predictable.
Remember the Boston bomber brothers? Their sister got picked up for…prepare not to be shocked…making a bomb threat.
The conservative right wing has risen to the defense of actress Sofia Vergara’s Emmys pun. I’m pretty sure they’re only doing this to annoy liberal feminists, which is a stupid reason to defend anyone’s bad joke. What conservatives fail to realize is that, by defending Vergara’s vapid display of beauty on the altar, they’re putting themselves in the same camp as those feminist liberals they claim to hate.
What made Vergara’s 360 on prime time acceptable? Her beauty and the fact that she was fairly modest in her presentation. Vergara’s is the safe, 1940′s glamour style that conservatives love, equal parts nostalgic, respectable, and most importantly, tantalizing tease for those strapping young American boys in bluchers and madras ties. Beyonce, villified by conservatives for her lascivious performance at the VMA’s, is everything right wing men loathe, despise and even fear from the feminist left. She is dangerous, grotesquely sexual, and lusts after deviance. Instead of addressing this, conservatives simply sought an alternative goddess to fit their metaphorical and sexual needs. In truth, there is nothing different from Beyonce and Vergara’s respective performances, except for the fact that Vergara kept her legs closed, abiding by that age-old Bible belt bit of advice: Who’s going to buy the cow when you give the milk away for free?
Even the strongest of conservative analyses of the Beyonce/Vergara dispute includes:
As for the examples being set for young women: if you have a choice between wearing a tasteful, expensive dress and standing on a turntable to make a joke, or doing whatever Beyonce is singing about, I believe most American mothers would join me in strongly urging their daughters to choose the turntable.
Actor Matt Damon accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge from his friends Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon this week, but admitted he was conflicted about wasting water. ”It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in a YouTube video, “but because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”
Damon, who said he plans to pay the “fine” since it took him more than 24 hours to respond to the challenge, decided that using toilet water would be a good way to assuage his conscience about wasting water and, at the same time, raise awareness about his own charity.
Damon then co-opted the ALS challenge and asked viewers to support his clean water initiative. “I thought a good thing to do to try to tie those things together would be to take some toilet water,” Damon said. “And now, for those of you like my wife, who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the West is actually cleaner than the water that most people in the developing world have access to. So, as disgusting as this may seem, hopefully it will highlight the fact that this is a big problem and together we can do something about it.”
Damon, sounding like Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA awards (I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish”), gave a quick shout out to the ALS cause, but then went right back to promoting his own charity before dumping the bucket of toilet water on himself. “So, I’m happy to take the challenge and knock out ALS — I’m all for that. For more information about the clean water crisis and sanitation crisis please visit us at Water.org,” he said. Damon then nominated George Clooney, Bono and NFL quarterback Tom Brady to take the challenge.
I didn’t watch the Emmy Awards last night. Honestly I can’t remember the last time I did watch the Emmys. It was probably when I was producing Laura Ingraham, and had to watch all the awards shows to edit the most ridiculous bits for the show. That was a couple of jobs ago now.
The Emmys, the Oscars, MTV’s awards show for videos that MTV doesn’t even air anymore…it’s all about the 1% televising their self-congratulation. I caught up with DVR’d Falling Skies while the Emmys were on.
So last night during the Emmys, Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara did a cute little bit where a bore from the awards show droned on while she stood on a rotating platform looking like, well, herself, so everyone would pay attention.
In case you don’t know who Sofia Vergara is, well, here.
I’ll probably get in trouble if I post any more, but you get the idea. She’d catch the eye of a drone circling overhead at 15,000 feet. And she’s out of your league.
So she does this little bit on the Emmys, which makes fun of herself and also makes a little fun of TV, the medium that the Emmys are all about. Not a ROFL funny bit, but harmless. Anyone who doesn’t think that TV is more about appearance than anything else is kidding themselves. Even on Falling Skies, Noah Wyle’s Tom Mason character is complex and great, and Wyle plays him well. But the producers wouldn’t have hired a homely man for the lead in that series. They didn’t hire an average woman to play his wife, either, they hired Moon Bloodgood. Who looks like this.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s a fine actress.
Vergara’s pedestal joke was self-referential and harmless. Unless you’re the left’s scolds. These people are incapable of getting through a day without getting outrageously outraged about something.
The gag was immediately slammed on Twitter and some news sites: “A very troubling turn,” wrote HuffPo. “She was treated like a literal object,” fumed Jezebel. “A bizarre, objectifying Emmy moment,” headlined Salon.
Yet when asked whether the stunt was sexist and demeaning, Vergara shot back: “I think its absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it’s ridiculous that somebody started this—I know who she was—who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a little bit.”
The same people cheer when entertainers go out of their way to slam America or offend, say, Christians. So, you know, they’re just being babies.
As Mollie Hemingway and Ace point out, the same people who are blasting Vergara for her charming and harmless little joke are all about the “empowerment” of Beyonce strutting around on stage wearing barely anything in a sexualized stage performance that’s ultimately aimed at teenage girls.
Both Beyonce and Sofia Vergara have become very powerful women in entertainment, in similar ways: They’re both scorching hot and have talents beyond their looks. Did Beyonce have any more or any less say in her act, than Sofia Vergara had in hers? That’s unlikely. They both know what they’re doing.
It would be nice if the scolds of the left could at least be consistent. But that would take away the advantage of surprise, I guess.
Matti Friedman, a former AP Correspondent, has written a brilliant, must-read analysis of why the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel is skewed, biased, and downright reprehensible:
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.
The 3 page story explains a number of popular misnomers that are the result of mainstream media reporting techniques, including:
- In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
- The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
- Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story. In addition, reporters are under deadline and often at risk, and many don’t speak the language and have only the most tenuous grip on what is going on. They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both. Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.
Concluding with, “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality,” the story is a must read for anyone willing to confront the mess of mainstream media and the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East.
Discovery Channel’s lone remaining science series, MythBusters, has lost 60% of its cast. The show announced Thursday night that that episode would be the last to feature Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.
MythBusters started out with just the two main cast members, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, special effects gurus who used their science knowledge and engineering chops to test common pop culture myths. The show was fine in those early days, but MythBusters really took off when it grew to the current cast. The trio joined the full cast of MythBusters 10 years ago. They brought a new chemistry to the show, and Byron brought a little nerd sex appeal too.
Now the era of five hosts busting multiple myths per show is over. And it sounds like money is at the root.
“I guess you guys are finding out the news right about now. After a decade of theMythBusters, we are no longer with the show,” Kari said in a series of tweets. “Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”
Chances are, budget cuts are to blame. Discovery Channel has all but dropped science programming in favor of reality shows about gold and cars, bogus documentaries about sharks, along with its survival hit Naked and Afraid. The reduced MythBusters probably isn’t going to last long now.
The phrase “union thugs” was invented for people like the Teamsters, who have been threatening TV star Padma Lakshmi and her Top Chef crew.
The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!”
“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident, which occurred in June while filming an episode for the upcoming 12th season of Bravo’s popular skein, which premieres October 15. “He was screaming at her aggressively and violently.”
“As any employee of our show walked on or off set, the picketers verbally attacked us, calling the gays ‘fags,’ the blacks ‘niggers’ and most of the women ‘sluts and whores,’ ” the crewmember said. “It got worse as the day went on. They chased us down the sidewalk when we had to run from one end of the location to the next in the middle of our busy work day. They threatened to kill us, beat us, and said that they would find us and force us out of the city. Needless to say, we were terrified. I’m a strong person, but being called names and yelled at and harassed for 12 hours while working, I started to crumble. I was scared and worried for my safety.”
More at the link.
One obvious solution to all this presents itself. Ms. Lakshmi should move production to a right-to-work state, like, just spitballin’ here, Texas. She and the jobs the show brings would be more than welcome here, and the Teamsters…not so much.
Let’s push the pause button on politics, to note the decline and fall of what was a great civilization.
Have you seen this show, Dating Naked? It follows similar cable fare such as Discovery’s Naked and Afraid. These shows have “naked” in the title, which is a dead giveaway of what they’re about.
They’re about regular people getting naked for basic cable. Duh. That ought to be clear. It’s censored but still R rated stuff.
Dating Naked is a twist on earlier highbrow fare like Love Connection. Only, the daters are naked together on the first date. And they have a full crew around them shooting every word and every move in every contrived situation. And there are editors who will go over every frame of footage to condense hours of nakedness into a 30-minute show, with the naughty bits blurred out to keep the show’s maturity rating below the Hustler level.
When a person signs on to appear on Dating Naked, they’re taking enormous risks. But those risks are pretty obvious.
For one, a whole lotta people are gonna see you naked. If there’s even one mistake, one innocent error, a whole lot more people are gonna see you naked.
And what if any of the raw footage leaks onto the forever Internet? Game over for whatever might be left of your privacy and dignity.
The risks weren’t obvious to Jessie Nizewitz, 28. Her naughty bits weren’t blurred for a couple of seconds that aired. So she wants an apology, and by the way, millions of dollars. Because of all the hurt it caused her.
Jessie Nizewitz, 28, says she was repeatedly promised by the producers that her private parts would be “blurred out” during the show’s third episode in May.
So she stripped down to her birthday suit with wet beach sand covering parts of her body and performed a WWE-style wrestling move on her date while the producers egged her on, according to the $10 million suit filed in Manhattan by her high- powered lawyer, Matthew Blit.
“I felt lied to, manipulated and used. I was horrified,” Nizewitz told The Post, explaining that she was brought to tears.
When the episode aired on July 31, Nizewitz became the butt of jokes on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr, the papers state.
“…butt of jokes…” We see what you did there, New York Post.
Even the runway model’s family caught an eyeful.
“My grandma saw it. I saw her this week and she didn’t have much to say to me. She’s probably mad. My parents are just annoyed,” Nizewitz lamented.
She says that the seconds of accidental clarity cost her a budding relationship with a boyfriend. Seeing her prancing around butt naked but mostly blurred on national TV — not a problem!
“He never called me again after the show aired. I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship. He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,” Nizewitz said.
You know what’s not ideal? Starting off a relationship with a lovely young woman who you really like, only to turn on the TV and see that she’s willing to romp around naked in front of her grandma and your family and everyone else, for a few thousand bucks.
To some people — horrible prudes stuck in the Victorian era, no doubt — that might even be a deal-breaker.
Via Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a report from the UN News Centre:
Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.
…“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said.
“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery….
While Iraqi women jump from cliffs to avoid becoming the next sex slaves of the Islamic State, American feminist publications spent their time focusing on male celebrities who’ve embraced the feminist demand that biology doesn’t matter:
This week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pretty much nailed the definition of feminism…“What [feminism] means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever,” Gordon-Levitt said.
And complaining about university sexual harassment policies that still aren’t strict enough, even if they include the following caveat:
The school has also adopted an affirmative consent standard, defining consent as requiring “unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging” and noting that “silence or absence of resistance is not the same as consent.”
Which leaves one to wonder if ISIS would be totally legitimized in their use of sex slaves if said slaves signed a waver of consent and mutual agreement beforehand. Feminists don’t believe in being defined by gender, so it’s not like those women jumping off the mountain in Iraq were due any unique respect for their biology. Not that American feminists would stop to notice the crisis of Iraqi women fleeing radical Islam’s sex trade, anyway: Lena Dunham got a new haircut and that’s taking up, like, all of their time.
While American feminists, by and large, do absolutely nothing to advocate for the sex slaves of ISIS, said slaves have done something amazing for the American feminist movement. Every time an Iraqi Christian woman jumps to her death to avoid becoming a sex slave of the Islamic State, she testifies to the fact that western feminism is nothing more than nihilism in a pretty dress.
The same article that praised Gordon Levitt for his anti-biology views also praised a myriad of actors for their pro-choice stance. How ironic that feminists who rail against absentee fathers praise an actor for saying, “It’s not about abortion being right or wrong. It’s about having that choice to decide what a person should do with their own body.” In their demand that biology be ignored, these women pursue the very behavior they claim to hate in the opposite sex: The right to irresponsibility.
Over 40 years ago feminists chose to walk away from their unborn babies. It should come as no surprise, then, that they are just as willing to walk away from their fellow women suffering now under ISIS. Because when you’re a nihilist, things like biology, sisterhood, and responsibility just don’t matter.
That was quick.
Some Montana-based Jeff Bridges fans recently launched a petition to get the Big Lebowski star to run for the U.S. Senate. But Bridges doesn’t think he’s the man for the job—or at least, his wife doesn’t think he is.
“I look down and I see this thing, ‘Jeff Bridges for Senate,’ and I say, ‘What?’” Bridges told Howard Stern on Monday. “Evidently, there’s a group of people that have called in and want me to run for senator of Montana, like 1,000 people, and so I say, ‘Sue?’ And she looks at me and goes, ‘Don’t even think about it.’”
Heh. The ads could’ve been fun.
Bridges stars in The Giver, which I’m hearing interesting things about, coming out this weekend.
The fiancee of the world’s former most eligible bachelor has said that she will not run a United Nations probe into alleged war crimes in the Israel-Gaza war. Which, by the way, is still going on.
GENEVA (AP) — The British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to George Clooney, on Monday pulled out of an appointment to serve on a U.N. commission on possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.
The president of the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council announced in a statement Monday that Alamuddin had been appointed on the commission, but the increasingly high-profile British-Lebanese lawyer later said she could not accept the role.
“I was contacted by the UN about this for the first time this morning,” she said. “I am honoured to have received the offer, but given existing commitments — including eight ongoing cases — unfortunately could not accept this role.”
Teasing out which way Alamuddin leans politically isn’t a straightforward thing. She is apparently Druze, which is an offshoot of Islam, or a re-interpretation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Druze are not associated with Islamism or terrorism. In Israel, they are defined as Arab but have been known to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. They don’t proselytize.
The United Nations has no business probing the Israel-Gaza war for war crimes at any rate. Hamas started the war, but the UN has played its usual role of pestering Israel while it defends itself from terrorists who are, by definition, war criminals.
UNRWA facilities have been used by Hamas to store rockets, which Hamas launches at Israeli citizens. UNRWA supplies have been found inside Hamas’ terror tunnels. If the UN must investigate, it should start by allowing an outside investigation of its own activities.
The Islamic State is omnipresent on Twitter these days, so it was curious to see the jihadists weighing in on the death of Robin Williams just as the rest of the world was last night.
However, they weren’t as kind to the kafir, heavily citing the above hilarious sketch he did about jihad and the whole idea of getting 72 virgins upon martyrdom.
— Abu Bakr Al-Janabi (@Alansarialjanab) August 12, 2014
— Abdullah (@mujahid4life) August 12, 2014
“Jumanjihadi”? It’s kinda catchy.
— Abdullah (@mujahid4life) August 12, 2014
Robin williams is non muslim No RIP
— ShahNawaz (@4ndly) August 12, 2014
Robin Williams did not become a muslim therefore it is haram to say RIP
— Abul Hassan (@HamzaSarar) August 12, 2014
@Alansarialjanab he committed suicide, cross dressed for a living and defames our religion may Allah give him what he deserves in the akhira
— Abu Hamzah AlNabilsi (@abuhamzah1948) August 12, 2014
The death of comedian Robin Williams drew tributes from the secretaries of State and Defense, with the latter praising the late actor for consistently supporting our troops.
Williams was found dead Monday at age 63 from an apparent suicide. His publicist said the Good Morning Vietnam star had been battling depression.
“The entire of Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams. Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops,” Hagel said in a statement Monday night. “From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform.”
“He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD – so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”
John Kerry issued his own statement this morning, stressing “there wasn’t anybody Robin Williams couldn’t touch.”
“His humor was just that expansive. He was an absolute genius, with an extraordinary zest for his profession. It’s safe to say that there was more going on in him in one minute than most people in a week,” Kerry said. “He loved people and he committed himself to any issue that concerned him. Robin wasn’t just a huge creative genius, but a caring, involved citizen. I’ll always be grateful for his personal friendship and his support for the causes that we both cared about deeply.”
“We will all miss Robin’s uncanny impressions, zany observations, and cutting-edge quips that found the truth as well as the humor. Teresa and I join the millions he inspired around the world in offering our deepest condolences to his family at this immensely difficult moment.”
— USO (@the_USO) August 12, 2014
I once asked Robin Williams to offer advice for my son, who would soon turn 18. “Follow your heart,” he said. “The head is sometimes wrong.”
— Rear Adm. John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 12, 2014
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office has just reported that actor Robin Williams is dead. The full press release from the coroner’s office:
On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.
An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00 pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1 call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.
According to IMDb, Williams had wrapped up filming on a Night at the Museum sequel.
Williams’ publicist, Mara Buxbaum, released a statement saying the comedian “has been battling severe depression as of late.”
“This is a tragic and sudden loss,” Buxbaum said. “The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: President Obama issued a statement: “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”
It should come as no surprise that the Generals who created the War on Women (and play it the way teenage nerds rock a good game of Dungeons and Dragons) are courting single women in advance of the upcoming election season. In response, Peter Wehner offered up some otherwise yawn-inducing advice on how Republicans can attract women, albeit for one substantial suggestion:
…giving more prominent public roles to responsible women in the party (for example, Kelly Ayotte and Cathy McMorris Rodgers).
The two names were also mentioned in the Real Clear Politics commentary on the Republican struggle with women:
Two governors, in particular — New Mexico’s Susana Martinez and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley — are frequently mentioned as vice-presidential material. Additionally, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers — who delivered the Republican response to the president’s 2014 State of the Union address — have also been singled out as solid national prospects.
But none of these women has begun to build the kind of fundraising network and political operation required to mount a serious bid for the Oval Office.
“I think there’s a high likelihood that issues women care about are going to be perceived as under-addressed by the Republican Party, but I don’t think we actually need female candidates to address issues that women care about,” said Hoover Institute fellow Kori Schake, who was a senior policy adviser on the McCain/Palin campaign. “We as a party don’t do a very good job of talking about the issues that are predominant for most women, and we don’t talk about it in a language that’s inviting.”
Far be it for a woman to correct your lousy verbiage. If anyone needed a chick for a wing man right now, it’s the Republican Party. But, as my PJ colleague Scott Ott was quick to point out, it’s not like the realm of politics has a real societal impact, anyway. Not like entertainment, a medium where Republican women like Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin flourish as goddesses of the big and small screens. Ineffectual as the medium may be where enacting policy and law are concerned, “entertainment holds more promise for inclining the hearts of a people toward liberty.” That’s why Obama’s been able to enact fundamental changes to our healthcare and financial systems in less than 8 years, despite the fact that Rush Limbaugh’s been broadcasting for 26.
Perhaps Kelly, Cathy, Susana, and Nikki ought to take the tip, follow Palin’s lead, and give up trying to succeed on the wrong side of the camera. Or, perhaps not.
PJ Media’s Susan Goldberg is dead wrong about Sarah Palin’s new project.
Sarah Palin has officially given up on her political career. Launching the Sarah Palin Channel, the former Alaskan governor has apparently decided to follow in Oprah’s footsteps and impact the voters where it counts: paid Internet TV. Palin isn’t the first conservative to move into the media subscription fray (Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh both beat her to it) and, thank God, unlike Kim Kardashian she isn’t establishing her solo career on a sex tape. But, at the very moment when Obama’s presidency is taking a nosedive off of the cliff of no return, do conservatives really need just another pretty face?
Au contraire, ma soeur!
Beyond Goldberg’s ribald remarks treating the former governor like a piece of meat (moose, no doubt), she needs to consider who holds more influence in the country: Beck or Boehner? Rush or Ryan (not Seacrest, Rep. Paul)? Katy Perry or Rick Perry? Palin pioneers a path I pray others will pursue. (And as a PJTV.com personality, I welcome Sarah Palin to the subscriber-based internet realm.)
Picking up where TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska left off, the Sarah Palin Channel will feature videos of the Palin family enjoying the bounties of the Alaskan wilderness. It was charming for a season, but really, is anyone going to pay ten bucks a month to watch even more reality TV?
We’ll find out. I wouldn’t bet a nickel against Palin’s channel. And this move does not mean she’s “given up on her political career,” for the following reasons…
Sarah Palin has officially given up on her political career. Launching The Sarah Palin Channel, the former Alaskan Governor has apparently decided to follow in Oprah’s footsteps and impact the voters where it counts: paid Internet TV. Palin isn’t the first conservative to move into the media subscription fray (Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh both beat her to it) and, thank God, unlike Kim Kardashian she isn’t establishing her solo career on a sex tape. But, at the very moment when Obama’s presidency is taking a nosedive off of the cliff of no return, do conservatives really need just another pretty face?
In truth, the blame for Palin’s turn from politics to niche media darling should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton managed to make it to Secretary of State despite being the Liberal’s whipping post. In hindsight it would seem that the Republican establishment only “allowed” Palin to come on the scene so they could make it clear to the public that RINOs and conservatives are two very different animals, indeed. In a sense their strategy backfired; Palin became the face of the Tea Party movement and, for a while anyway, appeared to be one of the few female Republican politicians with serious career potential.
Now, it appears as if she’s squandering her fame on a mixture of political rants and human interest. Her premiere video was a late-in-the-game demand to impeach Obama. As if that would matter, anyway, RINOs chide. Impeachment means nothing, just ask Bill Clinton. To Palin, impeachment would mean something if Americans knew exactly what it was, just like America would mean something if we saw it the way Sarah did, a concept at the core of her programming. Picking up where TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska left off, the Sarah Palin Channel will feature videos of the Palin family enjoying the bounties of the Alaskan wilderness. It was charming for a season, but really, is anyone going to pay ten bucks a month to watch even more reality TV?
Ronald Reagan transitioned from actor to politician. Today, those who admire him the most are leaving politics for the media spotlight. Palin and her counterparts hook their audience with equal parts nostalgia and outrage. Whether they’re looking to fuel grassroots political activism or line their own coffers is up for serious debate. In the end, they wind up becoming a series of Oprahs, creating armchair revolutionaries with no real power beyond walking into a voting booth. The right wing doesn’t need another pretty face, it needs women in places of real political power. By creating her Internet TV channel, Sarah Palin gave the RINOs exactly what they wanted: Another conservative woman barefoot with children behind a television screen.
They’re not coming back to TV, though, to extend the series from its original 14-episode run. And they’re not making a movie sequel to Serenity. Which is too bad, because that movie was one of the best sci-fi films of the century so far.
The cast — Captain Mal, Inara, River Tam, Jane, the whole gang — are reuniting for Firefly Online, the long-promised MMORPG that carries the ‘verse to PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Even characters who were killed off in the movie have come back for the game set in the Firefly ‘verse.
The news seems to have crashed the game’s site.
Getting the cast together for a full series might be impossible, since most of the originals have gone on to have longer running hit series or promising new series including Homeland (Morena Baccarin), Castle (Nathan Fillion) and The Last Ship (Adam Baldwin). Baldwin also has a solid gaming career going, with voiceover work in major titles including Injustice: Gods Among Us and Batman: Arkham Origins.
Firefly Online will let players captain and outfit their own ships, hire crews, run from Alliance heavies, smuggle stuff, explore worlds and aim to misbehave. With the entire cast reprising their roles, FO is about as close as we’re ever likely to get to more true content. If it follows the lead of other MMORPGs like Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online, the series characters will turn up in downloadable content including new storylines.
The Reason Foundation just released a survey proving the failure of the American public education system. But, according to Derek Thompson in The Atlantic, we might as well just laugh at it:
3. Far less important, but entertaining nonetheless: Millennials don’t know what socialism is, but they think it sounds nice.
I predict that any readers over the age of 30 will absolutely love this fact about voters under the age of 29. Forty-two percent of Millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism, but only 16 percent of Millennials could accurately define socialism in the survey.
Say what you want about the tenets of national socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos that young people can define in an Internet survey.
A number of my PJMedia colleagues jumped on the survey with the usual complaint that “kids these days” want everything handed to them on a silver platter. Conservatives in general fail to address the far more creepy comedic love affair with socialism because we fail to understand the media that informs the Millennial generation.
Case in point: The “Jon Stewart takes on Gaza” debacle. Times of Israel editor David Horovitz did an excellent job ripping the comedian to shreds for his stereotypical, biased account of the meanie Israelis versus the poor Palestinians. Conservative media proceeded to join in the dissection 15 years too late. From the day he took the anchor’s chair on the set of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has attempted to be the court jester of the hipster elite. An admitted leftist, he was a psych major turned stand-up comedian who makes no bones about being a professional satirist – nothing more. Yet, the bulk of the millennial news audience share goes to Stewart and his former Daily Show co-star, Colbert Report comic actor Stephen Colbert. Knowing this, why should we be the least bit surprised that Millennials are laughing about the real issues facing the world and our country today, including socialism?
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded on Facebook to a True Blood episode that featured a storyline with a massacre at a fundraiser for Ted Cruz at the George W. Bush Presidential Library. In the episode, a pair of left-leaning vampires show up at the Republican fundraiser to search for the parents of their enemy. Pam, the female vampire, catches a glimpse of herself in a mirror with a sparkly dress and big hair and exclaims, “I’m a Republican!” Except instead of “Republican” she invents a sexually crude word that’s not worth repeating here because it’s juvenile and debauched. After Pam recovers from her shock at looking like a Republican, a bloody massacre ensues at the gala.
On his personal Facebook page, Cruz said he never expected to turn up on the “misogynist and profanity-ridden” show. “I’m sorry to have lost the vampire vote,” Cruz wrote, “but am astonished (and amused) that HBO is suggesting that hard-core leftists are blood-sucking fiends.”
But in retrospect, Cruz acknowledged that he probably never had a chance with the hard-core leftist blood suckers:
Then again, I guess I never had a chance w/ the vampire vote since the dead tend to vote overwhelmingly for Dems: https://t.co/U6uCqsRpuS
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 22, 2014
Cruz’s senior communications advisor (and frequent tag-team Twitter partner) Amanda Carpenter agreed:
True Blood plot showing vampires crashing Cruz fundraiser clearly false. Everyone knows dead people vote Democrat.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) July 22, 2014
If venerable film and theater actor Sir Ian McKellen has proven anything over the course of his remarkable career, he has proven that it is never too late to catch your big break. McKellen worked steadily throughout his life, achieving renown (and an Oscar) for his role as an aging Nazi war criminal in 1998’s Apt Pupil. But it wasn’t until two years later, when he reunited with director Bryan Singer to play Magneto in the first X-Men film and became Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings franchise, that McKellen became an American superstar at the age of 61.
Plenty of actors have “made it” well into their middle age. Despite playing roles in several Hollywood films, including a significant supporting bit in Jurassic Park, Samuel L. Jackson didn’t become a star until his role in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46. Another Quentin Tarantino film catapulted Christoph Waltz to fame at the age of 53.
Such success, like most all success, emerges from a commitment to develop a craft and persist through setbacks while relentlessly pursuing an individually-defined happiness. No one handed it to McKellen, Jackson, or Waltz. They earned it.
Nevertheless, McKellen recently shared his belief with Radio Times that struggling actors should be lifted up through wage controls. From The Independent:
A recent report found just one actor in 50 earned more than £20,000 a year.
“Most actors are not rich – they are very poor indeed. What keeps them going is that they just love the job,” Sir Ian told Radio Times.
He said: “I know actors who have had to turn down good roles because they just don’t pay enough. It’s hard. The one thing you can ask, I think, is that actors get paid a living wage. I would like it if all the repertory theatres that currently exist could do that. It would make a huge difference.”
The reason one actor in 50 earns more than £20,000 a year is because only one actor in 50 produces that much value. Forcing wage mandates on the industry will not change the amount of value produced. It will only increase the cost of giving struggling actors a chance, which means they will get fewer chances.
It’s precisely the same dynamic created by any minimum wage. Opportunities for those with low or developing skill dry up as they are priced out of the market. If McKellen truly cares about the struggling actors rising up in his wake, he should reconsider his position on wage controls.
Apparently, it takes the declaration of a culture war for most human beings to acknowledge how dreadfully sad liberalism truly is.
Not classical liberalism, of course. The political philosophy guiding America’s founding fathers espouses an incredibly positive attitude built on, above all things, faith in the success of the individual against all odds. The liberalism I am referring to is the darker ethos that currently masquerades as Liberal, despite the fact that it is anything but. One need look no further for proof of this truth than Adam Kirsch’s response to Adam Bellow‘s call for a counterculture conservative establishment via Liberty Island.
…why does Adam Bellow continue to believe that conservative writers are a persecuted minority? The reason may have something to do with the description of the kind of work he seeks at his Liberty Island website: “At Liberty Island, good still triumphs over evil, hope still overcomes despair, and America is still a noble experiment and a beacon to the rest of the world.” The problem is not that these are conservative ideas, but that they are simpleminded ideological dogmas, and so by their very nature hostile to literature, which lives or dies by its sense of reality. If you are not allowed to say that life in America can be bad, that Americans can be guilty as well as innocent, that good sometimes (most of the time?) loses out to evil—in short, that life in America is like human life in any other time or place—then you cannot be a literary writer, because you have censored your impressions of reality in advance.
In this one paragraph Kirsch clearly defines the Liberal view of reality. According to Kirsch, Liberals view America as a “bad” place where good is defeated ”most of the time” by evil. Bellow’s desire to publish positive, hopeful literature illustrates his biased impression of reality, an implied trait among conservatives. According to Kirsch, Bellow is both deficient and needy: “…he wants reassurance, the certainty that reality—of which literature is the perceiver and guardian—is always on the side of his political beliefs.” He accuses Bellow of seeking succor through “Tea Party”-esque revenge tactics.
These accusations stand in stark contradiction to Kirsch’s conclusion in which he blatantly accepts the fact that Liberals have abused the arts, turning what used to be pleasurable cultural outlets into forums for intense, almost religious levels of political brainwashing. According to Kirsch, true writers understand that politics “must be corrected by literature” and not vice-versa. Hence, so many writers are Liberals. Liberals who busy themselves using their screeds to “correct” the political landscape. Thus, is his own grand conclusion he ends up convicting Liberals for Bellow’s supposed crimes.
In creating Liberty Island, Adam Bellow did one better than scare the Liberal literary establishment: He annoyed them. In his conservative counterculture manifesto Bellow named the sins that have turned the world of American fiction into nothing more than a finely written dystopia. It is what Bellow proposes, marketing hope to the hopeless, that is the greatest cause for alarm. Kirsch and his ilk can attempt to disinform the public by accusing conservative writers of being “out of touch” with reality. This has and will only continue to act as a public airing of their own hopeless despair. When challenged with a positive alternative, Liberal literati will ultimately fail, because in a world rife with rockets and bomb shelters, riots and dictators, wars and rumors of wars, there is nothing the public craves more than a future and a hope.
Four years ago this week, workers tore down the iconic, 10-story-tall Lebron James Nike mural that had graced the side of the Landmark Office Tower in downtown Cleveland for most of the Cavaliers star’s tenure with the team. The transparent mural covered the window of my husband’s office in the building and he watched as a part of Cleveland history fell to the ground in heaps that day, along with the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Northeast Ohioans. A handful of diehard fans stood on the sidewalk below that day, snapping pictures of what they thought was the last glimpse of their hero on Cleveland soil. It was a terrible day after a terrible week. In the hours following James’ announcement that he was “taking his talents” to the Miami Heat, angry fans hurled rocks at the mural, which featured a triumphant James with his head thrown back and “We Are All Witnesses” emblazoned on it.
It’s an indisputable fact that James handled his departure poorly, sticking a thumb in the eyes of fans — who had supported him since he was a standout at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School — by turning “The Decision” into a national media event. It was tantamount to a high-profile Cleveland-shaming in the eyes of many fans, who burned #23 (and #6) jerseys in response, knowing that their hopes of a Cavaliers championship had just defected to Florida. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing, emotional letter to Cavs fans that week (which was still on the team’s website until last week) calling James a “former hero” who had “betrayed” the team. Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and a major partner in several Ohio casinos, told fans at the time that they didn’t deserve James’ “cowardly betrayal.”
It was a painful episode in a long history of Cleveland sports disappointments. No Cleveland team has won a championship in half a century, not since the 1964 Browns won a (pre-Super Bowl) NFL title. The last time the Indians won a World Series was 1948 and the city has never won an NBA title. So perhaps it’s not difficult to understand, just a little, why LeBron found himself the repository of fifty years’ worth of pent-up frustration.
For the last two weeks Northeast Ohio has been on “LeBron Watch,” waiting for “The Next Decision.” On Thursday reporters and fans were camped outside his Bath Township mansion (just outside Akron, where LeBron has maintained a residence) after the media reported that an announcement was imminent. Fans and pundits speculated about factors the NBA star might be considering as he pondered his decision: money, family, roots, championship, legacy.
Secretary of State John Kerry was in Beijing today for a visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and a little strumming…
President Obama visits Austin, Texas today for a Democratic Party fundraiser with some of entertainment’s top names.
The president will not visit the Texas-Mexico border, despite the fact that it is currently in a state of crisis. An estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children have been caught at the border since October 1, 2013, a number that has overwhelmed the Border Patrol’s ability to process and care for them. That number could reach 100,000 by the end of the fiscal year.
The children are being shipped to camps at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, which is just a little over an hour’s drive from Austin, and to many other camps around the country.
Obama’s fundraiser stop has brought Austin’s already tight traffic to a grinding halt. Interstate 35, the main north-south artery through Austin, was shut down as the president’s motorcade made its way from Bergstrom International Airport into Austin proper. Residents couldn’t get to work or anywhere else.
Texas Democratic candidates and officials have elected not to allow themselves to be photographed with the unpopular president, even in deep blue Austin.
Movie director Robert Rodriguez hosts the president’s Austin fundraiser.
Rodriguez stirred massive controversy in 2010 when he directed the hyper-violent pro-illegal immigration movie, Machete.
Machete depicts the grindhouse tale of a Mexican Federale who gets caught up in a plot to assassinate a cartoonish, pro-border security Texas senator. Danny Trejo plays the role of the Federale. Robert DeNiro portrays the hick senator. Jessica Alba also stars as a US Border Patrol agent who switches sides and becomes a violent pro-illegal immigration advocate. Machete features a glittering cast of stars, including Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan. Machete calls illegal aliens “illegal Americans” and sends an unmistakable pro-illegal immigration message.
Rodriguez originally used incentives from the Texas Film Commission to fund the production of Machete, but once its contents became widely known, the Commission rescinded those credits and incentives. He proceeded to produce the film in Texas anyway. It cost over $10,500,000 to make, and grossed $26,593,646 according to Box Office Mojo. Its sequel, 2013′s Machete Kills, did even worse, despite its amazing cast that includes Trejo, Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara (who wears a metal bra machine gun), Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amber Heard, Bruce Campbell and other Hollywood stars.
Since the president refuses to visit the border, and clearly leans on the side of encouraging rather than stopping illegal immigration, and he enjoys his entertainment to the point of bragging that he gets advanced episodes Game of Thrones before they even air on HBO, perhaps Rodriguez will screen the film for him at today’s fundraiser. There’s nothing like watching a film when you have the director right there next to you to add his background commentary.
Maybe they’ll make it a double feature.
Machete don’t tweet, but Barack Obama does, so maybe he’ll live tweet the film fantastic for us.
Another soccer post. Give in to your anger, soccer h8terz. Let the hate flow through you.
If you don’t really care one way or another, bear with me. Or bare with me if your grasp on language is a little loose or you’re into that sort of thing.
Landon Donovan is the leading scorer in US soccer World Cup history. He has scored more World Cup goals than Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi. If you know much about soccer, you know that that’s a big deal.
Donovan is 32 years old, not in his prime but still has a lot of gas in the tank, but was left off the US roster for this year’s World Cup. He isn’t shy and does have an arrogant streak. He is a player who already has a coach’s view of the game. He’s also probably the best that the United States has ever produced. So he has some credibility. I’ve seen him play in person once. He’s exceptional. He knows what he’s talking about, as long as he’s talking about soccer.
After the US crashed out by losing to Belgium, Donovan gave up some quotes that Yahoo! Sports is describing as a “bitter slam” on coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I think we’re all disappointed in what happened yesterday, Donovan told MLS Soccer on Wednesday. “I think the most disappointing is we didn’t seem like we gave it a real effort, from a tactical standpoint. I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them, but I don’t think we were set up to succeed yesterday, and that was tough to watch.”
Cut from the World Cup squad in late May in a surprise move that prevented him from playing in his fourth World Cup, Donovan has never been one to mince words, but his detailed assault on the U.S. World Cup team’s flaws, and Klinsmann’s role in the developing of those flaws, was still pretty shocking.
“If you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys. As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed,” Donovan said. “They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking — trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know.”
“Michael was put in the wrong position,” Donovan said. “He was put in a position that he’s not used to playing. He does a better job, as you saw with Julian Green‘s goal, being in a deeper position. And having someone in a front of him, someone to help Clint also, makes him that much better because he’s got more opportunity to pick out different passes, more attacking options ahead of him. I think that was clearly an error.”
Whether driven by anger at seeing his friends, and his national team, miss a golden opportunity to make a deep World Cup run, or driven by continued resentment at being denied his chance at playing in a fourth World Cup, and playing on the sport’s biggest stage one final time, Donovan decided to join the folks bashing Klinsmann rather than taking the high road and letting the court of public opinion cast a verdict on Klinsmann’s performance as coach.
it may have felt like something Donovan had to do, but in the end it smacked of petulance and bitterness and not the actions of someone who once said that he would be the U.S. team’s biggest fan even if he were left off the World Cup team.
I can’t agree with that. Donovan was asked questions and he answered them. He’s a soccer player, not a politician. If you don’t want his actual opinion, don’t ask for it.
A little perspective is in order. The USA looked great in qualifying but drew the worst group at the World Cup — Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Hardly anyone expected them to get out of that group. I didn’t expect them to get out of that group, with or without Donovan. Germany and Portugal were the favorites, but the latter got hammered by the former and never recovered.
The US did get out of that ghastly group, and that was a huge achievement, and Klinsmann deserves huge credit for that. His tactics mostly worked, even against Belgium. Very few defenses have been able to stop Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku even when they’re not tired. He came on when the US defense was already haggard and had stopped Belgium’s talented group, and he made the difference. That’s what great players do, and Lukaku is on track to become great.
Klinsmann rolled the dice by taking only one real big-body striker to Brazil, Jozy Altidore. Altidore has had a very off year at Sunderland. His selection was a bit of a surprise given how poorly he has played over the last year, when Eddie Johnson was available and they’re very similar players. Johnson was not selected for Brazil either. So the USA went into Brazil too thin at a very important position.
Altidore’s hamstring injury in the first game versus Ghana forced Klinsmann’s hand. He had to refigure the team. He had to push Dempsey into more of a lone striker role, and he chose to push Bradley, who is usually more of a deep-lying midfielder, farther forward into more of a center attacking role. Bradley is a very good player and has experience in Europe, but that position shift didn’t suit Bradley, and it showed — he was the guy giving the ball away all the time. His giveaway in the closing seconds against Portugal led directly to the tying goal, which cost the US two points and sent it into the knockout round against a tougher opponent. That’s what Donovan observes in the quotes above. He’s right.
Had Donovan been available — had Klinsmann taken him to Brazil, that is — Altidore’s injury probably would have hurt less. Donovan is not the same kind of player as Jozy Altidore. Altidore is a big, bullying striker. He’s a wrecking ball. Donovan is a creative midfielder who can score from just about anywhere. He pulls the strings. He unlocks defenses. He has loads of experience. He can change a game at any moment with the killer pass or an unexpected shot. He can carry a team that is struggling. He can be the creative outlet for a team under siege, as the US was for most of its games, because the US still isn’t a world power in soccer. But we’re getting there.
Klinsmann left Donovan out of Brazil. That had to hurt.
It’s hard not to have some sympathy for Donovan. He is better than almost every player that Klinsmann ended up taking to Brazil. Dempsey can claim to be better, maybe, on his best days. He is certainly very good. Tim Howard is definitely a world class keeper, but you can’t really compare a keeper to a creative midfielder like Donovan. Howard just seems to get better every year. But Donovan is a unique talent, not terribly big, not the fastest man out there, but he is extremely skilled, very elusive, and hyper aware of the game around him. He makes any team a little better, and sometimes a lot better. I mentioned his arrogance, which is real, but there is a selflessness about him too. He is a team player. Donovan could have played in Europe, and has at times, but he has chosen to play most of his career in the US to help grow soccer here by being the face of the sport. Playing in Europe pays more and offers the big trophies and endorsements. Donovan basically left those opportunities on the table to keep playing here.
And Klinsmann left him out of Brazil.
So I don’t read Donovan’s comments as bitter. They’re honest. He’s an athlete, not a politician.
Klinsmann probably won’t like them, mostly because they’re coming from Landon Donovan. But Klinsmann knows better than anyone else that Donovan is right, and he also knows why Donovan is right. He knows that not all of that has to do with Donovan, but some of it does.
Jurgen Klinsmann is a great coach and he’ll be great for American soccer. He’ll learn from this and build a better team for the next cup. And he will build it without Landon Donovan, unfortunately. It’s a shame that two of America’s top soccer brains will probably never end up working together again.
We all know by now that actor Gary Oldman denounced political correctness in his recent interview with Playboy magazine. However, if you’re only a reader of conservative news sources, you most likely aren’t aware of the fact that Oldman dropped the n-word repeatedly, used a grotesque and derogatory slang word for the female anatomy, and included one of the oldest and most offensive Jewish American stereotypes in his rant:
Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f***ing kraut” or “F*** those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?”
Conservative news readers couldn’t possibly be aware of these immoral platitudes because the story was covered in right-wing media with the following headlines:
Conservative Star Gary Oldman Denounces Liberal Hollywood, Hillary Clinton
Scott Whitlock, the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center, published a report in NewsBusters that focused on Oldman’s anti-Hillary comments and criticism of Obama. Whitlock prefaced Oldman’s quote about Pelosi being a “c**t” with the statement, “In the Playboy interview, Oldman used offensive and vulgar language to complain about political correctness.” The article was promoted on Facebook with the following statement: “What this Hollywood Star Just Said About Liberals Will Make You Stand and Cheer.”
Gary Oldman Rails Against PC “Crap,” Liberal Double Standards in Hollywood
Josh Feldman at Mediaite made Oldman’s grotesque comment regarding Nancy Pelosi the centerpiece of his short coverage of the now infamous Playboy interview. But when it came to the Hollywood Jews, he summarized Oldman’s antisemitic rant down to, “He said so many ‘f***ing hypocrites’ condemned Gibson, but they privately use words like he did.”
Gary Oldman Attacks Outrage Culture in Playboy, Gets Outraged Response
Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist crowed about reading “the entire interview” and quoted several excerpts, except for the ones about the Jews who run Hollywood, n*****s, and f*gs. Because those wouldn’t really help support her point that “people lost their everliving minds” over Oldman’s belief that “political correctness is crap,” a belief Hemingway and her editors at the Federalist wholeheartedly share.
Famous Actor’s Fiery Rant Against “Political Correctness,” Hollywood Double Standards — and His Theoretical Nancy Pelosi Joke Will Make Jaws Drop
Jason Howerton’s story from The Blaze did not originally include the comments. It was later “updated with additional comments from Oldman’s interview,” including the Hollywood comment that every other conservative-leaning news outlet I’ve found so far has failed to print.
When I confronted conservative friends over their defense of Oldman’s commentary, I was told that I was “getting my panties in a bunch” over being “noogie’d” for the greater good of the anti-PC campaign. When I asked what the dividing line was between being anti-PC and pro-antisemitism, I was told that I was insinuating that my friends were antisemitic, and therefore I should issue them an apology. Again, I pressed the question and, again, I received the same response: In essence, I was being a touchy, oversensitive Jew.
Let’s work three trending celebrities into one post.
Shia LeBeouf is a giant idiot.
Actor Shia LaBeouf has been arrested for criminal trespass and misconduct after causing a disruption at a New York City theater, police reported.
As of shortly before 1 a.m. ET, LaBeouf, 28, had been processed and released, New York police officer Adam Navarro said.
LaBeouf was smoking inside the theater, Studio 54, during a performance of the Broadway show Cabaret, and also slapping random strangers on the rear end, according to ABC News and The New York Post. The Post also reported LaBeouf threatened police with some colorful words.
Russell Brand thinks he’s smart but he is an even more giant idiot.
Russell Brand has responded to Fox News legal analyst Jeanine Pirro, who delivered an unlettered rant about the Iraq War on Saturday by calling Rupert Murdoch’s network a “fanatical terrorist propagandist organization”.
Delivering his verdict via his YouTube channel, Brand took Issue with Pirro’s comment that ISIS is a “fanatical terrorist propagandist organisation”, accusing the news-entertainment channel of being exactly that.
“So is Fox News,” he said. “It’s a fanatical terrorist propagandist organisation.”
Brand concluded: “I’m not being just sensational. That is more dangerous than ISIS – that attitude. That’s far-reaching. That’s affecting millions and millions of people.”
But Amy Adams…she’s alright. More than alright.
Amy Adams made one American soldier’s flight to L.A. much nicer.
Before her plane from Detroit took off, the Oscar-nominated actress, who was booked for a first-class seat, noticed a man in uniform at the gate. She then privately asked to switch seats with the soldier, who had been ticketed for coach.
“I noticed Ms. Adams was in first class and as I was getting seated, I saw the flight attendant guide the soldier to Ms. Adams’ seat. She was no longer in it, but it was pretty clear that she’d given up her seat for him,” fellow passenger Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN2′s “Numbers Never Lie,” told ABC News. “I was incredibly impressed, and I’m not even sure if the soldier knew who gave him that seat. I guess he will now!”
Adams’ father served in the military.
Those tweets we published yesterday were all too real. They explain a lot.
You see, Barack Obama may be the President of the United States. But that doesn’t mean that he watches the news.
Do you see what he did there? The president who depends on low-information voters more than any previous president is telling his voters to go on ahead stewing in their lack of information. Don’t watch the news.
That’s convenient for him, with the polls turning against him and the networks climbing into the IRS scandal. Shorter Obama: “I’m news-stupid. You can be too!”
When he does watch TV news, Barack Obama learns about all the problems in his own government. That’s how he supposedly learned about the VA scandal. And the IRS scandal. And the scandal of his own Justice Department spying on the Associated Press. And Fast and Furious.
If Barack Obama was The Most Interesting Man In the World, the line might say “I don’t always watch the news, but when I do, I learn how bad a president I am.”
That’s not to say that this president doesn’t watch some TV. He let ABC’s George Stephanopoulos tweet out that pic of him watching the World Cup so he could present himself as just one of the folks.
He has bragged that he gets to watch Game of Thrones before you do.
And he’s a Mad Men guy too. But when he watches that, he’s a big pander bore.
They arrived in various states of blond, portly and pinstriped to the basement audition suites of the Second City training centre.
At least 40 candidates for Toronto’s next top mayor, the fictional variety, auditioned for a role in the upcoming production Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of a Ford Nation, which is slated to have a two-week run in September.
The casting call attracted serious actors, neophytes, fans of the Rob Ford spectacle and even one man who briefly played a part in the ongoing, non-fiction version of the political drama as it began to play out last year.
If this guy were an American he would either have been born a Kennedy or they would have adopted him by now.
You’ll be JIDDY after seeing this! (h/t The Truth Revolt)
Two more Smart cars were tipped overnight in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks and Cole Valley neighborhoods, according to police.
The latest tippings of the small two-seat cars were reported at 3:41 a.m. at Clayton Street and Parnassus Avenue and at 5:38 a.m. in the 1300 block of Clayton Street, near 17th Street, according to police.
These incident follow a series of tippings reported about two months ago.
Three Smart cars were tipped early one morning in April within a 10-block radius near Bernal Heights.
The prank is considered felony vandalism, according to police.
“Felony vandalism” seems a bit arbitrary. If graffiti is now “street art” couldn’t Smart Car tipping be considered “street sculpture”?
Off to work on my business proposal for my new Smart Car anchor manufacturing company…