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R.I.P. Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna and 7 Others

Really shocking and sad news today that basketball legend Kobe Bryant, age 41, and his 13 year old daughter Gianna, as well as a teammate of Gianna's and her parent, a pilot, a baseball coach for a community college and others were killed in a helicopter crash today in Los Angeles. The New York Times has updates here.

You don't have to be a basketball fan to be stunned and saddened by this news. Heartfelt condolences to his wife Vanessa and their other children, Kobe's parents, former teammates, Gianna's friends and teammates and everyone who felt a special connection to them. As well as to the families of the pilot and other passengers on the plane.

May they all Rest in Peace. [More...]

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Golden Globe Awards 2020

The Golden Globe awards are live. Here's their Twitter Feed. Unfortunately, Ricky Gervais is hosting again. The New York Times is keeping track here.

The NY Times critics didn't think much of Gervais' opening. With lines like this, I'm not suprised:

"I came here in a limo and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman."

Check out Tom Hank's reaction. [More...]

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Sunday Night Music Thread

Congratulations to Sir Rod Stewart for becoming the oldest male solo artis to have a number one album in the UK. He is about to turn 75. Who had the distinction until now? Paul Simon.

Sir Rod, who is 74 years and 11 months old, has taken the accolade from American singer Paul Simon. He beat Simon by three months, the Official Charts Company said.


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Shepard Smith Leaves Fox News

I have liked Shepard Smith and his reporting since the mid-nineties when I used to appear on Fox News shows he hosted. I always found him "fair and balanced." The last time I saw him was in 2007 at the bar in the Des Moines hotel where the media (from every network) as well as the Clintons and a few bloggers were staying during the primaries. Whenever I channel surf on Sirius in the car, if he's on, I listen to his show. Between the hint of his southern drawl and the stories he chooses to focus on, I'm never disappointed.

Yesterday, he unexpectedly ended his show with the news it would be his last show. He asked to be let of his contract, and after some negotiating (which likely cost him millions), Fox agreed.

Due to a non-compete clause in his contract, we won't be seeing him reporting anywhere else for a while. That's too bad, as I really enjoy listening to him. But hopefully he'll be back as soon as he can.

Good Luck, Shep, in whatever venture you choose next.

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Tuesday Night TV and Open Thread

We already have a debate thread up, so I'm moving on to other TV topics. The Bachelorette's ratings have been gold this season and last's night first half of the finale reached 7.1 million viewers. Telemundo is really happy with the ratings for La Reina del Sur, which had its finale last night. In fact, Telemundo has crowned the show the Queen of Primetime.

I loved this season of La Reina del Sur and watched every one of the 60 episodes, most of them twice. There were so many plot twists, many of which I did not see coming, and the action was non-stop. Kate del Castillo and the entire cast went all in -- terrific performances by all. The only thing I didn't care for was the ending. It was a cliff-hanger. Considering it took 8 years to film the second season, does this mean we have to wait to 2027 for the next one? [More...]

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RIP Beth Chapman

Bump and Update: (6/26/19, 10:52 a.m. M.T)

RIP Beth Chapman, and our deepest condolences to Duane ("Dog the Bounty Hunter") and their family. There really aren't enough positive adjectives in the dictionary to describe this incredibly unique, forceful, talented, loyal, generous, beautiful, protective and socially committed woman. This is a huge loss. To her family: I hope the memories of your good times together get you through this difficult time.

From Dog's twitter feed an hour ago:

It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.


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The Grammy's: So Many Awards, So Little Time

The Grammy's won't be live on CBS for another hour or so, but you can watch what's happened so far at the Grammy site here. The Red Carpet pix are up there as well. Expect a big commotion when Korea's uber-popular boy bandBTS presents. They are the first Korean group to be nominated for a Grammy and to present an award. Here's some good photos of them.

Alicia Keys is hosting. I will miss James Corden, who hosted the show the past two years.

Here is the New York Times "cheat sheet" . The Staple Center has a lot of photos here.

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Megyn Kelly and NBC Reportedly Part Ways

Megyn Kelly's tearful apology about growing up in a different time when "blackface" was a character, worked about as well as Harvey Weinstein's apology for sexual harassment saying that's how life was in the 70's. She reportedly has been axed at N.B.C. From the Daily Mail:

This move comes just 48 hours after the embattled host made remarks in which she defended blackface on Today. Kelly tried to deal with the scandal by delivering a tearful apology on-air and welcoming two black panelists to discuss the fraught and horrifying history of the practice, but it did no good.

'Megyn Kelly is done. She is not ever coming back,' said an NBC executive with knowledge of the situation. 'We are just working out timing of the announcement but mark my word – she is gone and will never be seen on NBC live again.'

She's also parted ways with her talent agency, and may find it difficult to get another one. The Mail reports she may return to Fox News. [More...]

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Finale Night for El Señor de los Cielos

It's that time of year again. Tonight is the finale of the sixth season of El Señor de los Cielos (ESDLC 6). The show has been somewhat of a rudderless ship this season, due to the disappearance of lead actor Rafael Amaya midway through filming. Amaya plays Aurelio Casillas, loosely based on deceased trafficker Amado Carrillo-Fuentes. Some reports say Amaya contracted an illness in a bat cave while filming an episode of the show in Turkey and he's still gravely ill. Other reports speculate there were contractual disputes with Telemundo and he's out of the show permanently. Telemundo has said nothing and the show just keeps on trucking.

Until this week, there have been no sightings, even on social media. He wasn't at the wrap party for the show in August. But here he is, at an event with a Mexican political consultant for the new President, posted on her FB page on Sept. 19. So we know he's alive.

To cover Amaya's absence, Telemundo's writers put Aurelio in a coma at the end of July, so all we see is someone lying immobile in bed with a head swathed in bandages. Then they brought in an actor to play his half-brother that no one ever knew he had. [More...]

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CBS Puts $120 Million in Trust for Moonves Settlement

CBS announced today it will put $120 million in trust for Leslie Moonves in the event he is not terminated for cause. You can read the document filed with the SEC today here.

Moonves' 75 page employment agreement from May, 2017 specifies what constitutes termination for cause in Paragraph 10 (a): [More...]

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Omarosa and the Tapes

The only thing that's changed about Omarosa since her days on the Apprentice is she's learned how to modulate her voice a bit, so she isn't always screaming at the top of her lungs.

Here's a smither of her taped call with Trump and another with John Kelly.

As for the big taped call no one has heard that she now claims she has heard (since her book was printed), it's a tape that has been talked about for years. I remember an Apprentice employee claimed to have heard many of them on seasons I and 2. Mark Burnett threatened to sue any employee for $5 million if any Apprentice tapes were released. Media Matters offered to pay the $5 million in damages if he'd release it to MM, but he got no takers. [More..]

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James Corden for Mayor of the World

James Corden for Mayor of the World.

During one of the worst and most shameful weeks in recent American history, evoking nothing but disgust for the vulgarian in the oval office and his wife who is either beyond tone deaf or truly doesn't give a sh*t (as evident from the jacket she wore to board a plane taking her to the border for her photo op and unsuccessful attempt at damage control), James Corden got to escape to London, where he put on joyful shows all week.

The highlight of the week was Thursday night and the carpool karaoke with Paul McCartney. It began traditionally, and then broke the mold. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but it was an absolute joy to watch. [More...]

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Hannity and Cohen

I'm actually watching Sean Hannity tonight. He says he is going to address his relationship with Michael Cohen. Alan Dershowitz, who was Hannity's guest along with Joe DiGenova, in a segment trashing James Comey, answered a question about Comey with a light rasp on Hannity's knuckles by volunteering that Hannity should have disclosed his relationship with Cohen when he had Cohen on the show. Hannity responded that his and Cohen's relationship was so minimal -- it was about real estate.

As for diGenova, he had nothing to say other than Comey should be charged with crimes and Hillary should have been made to have pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor before the election over the emails. What planet do these people live on? [more...]

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60 Minutes and Stormy Daniels

Stormy Daniels is interviewed by CBS "60 Minutes" tonight.

Daniels talks to Anderson Cooper about the relationship she says she had with Mr. Trump in 2006 and 2007, revealing details that bring her story up to the present.

Trump has denied the affair. From the CBS description, it sounds like the line of questioning will concern the payment. Her lawyer seems as much her fanboy as her lawyer on his twitter feed. The accolades for her go on and on.

Here is a February, 2018 interview with Stormy in which she "tells all" and says she can describe "Trump's junk" perfectly. What more do we need to know? The sad truth is that Trump's supporters don't care about his alleged past infidelity. They didn't care about the Billy Bush tape and they won't care about this.

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Sam Nunberg's Late Night Rant to NY Magazine

Sam Nunberg wasn't done when he got off TV Monday night. At 11:30 pm, he called New York Magazine. Here's a transcript.

He thinks Jared stole money from the pile that Brad Parscale got from the campaign for his digital marketing work. He admits he has no evidence of this.

He claims he and Roger Stone were responsible for Trump's win. He hates Lewandowski and Hope Hicks (who he basically said rode Lewandowski's coattails to inch her way up.)

Here's the list of people whose communications he says were sought by Mueller. I wonder why Jared and Parscale weren't on it.

Nunberg has been stewing in resentment for a long time. I read a similar interview with him days before his meltdown. (Haven't found it again yet, I'll update if I do.)

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