Category Archives: entertainment news

DeNiro sinks to Trump’s level

They’re still chattering a bit about Robert DeNiro’s weird outburst against Donald John Trump.

DeNiro, the Oscar-winning actor, took the stage at the Tony Awards and then bellowed “f*** Trump!” He drew huge cheers, including a standing ovation from the crowd jammed into the theater.

No surprise there, right?

I have been stewing about it since Sunday night. Here’s my conclusion.

DeNiro sank to Donald J. Trump’s level of insult. At a time when we need to lift up the quality of discourse, we had an actor — and a noted one at that — decide to drop an f-bomb on national TV.

We need some nobility in our political discussion. We don’t need to answer Donald Trump’s frequently juvenile, puerile insults with profane rants. It lends not a single constructive element to anything other than to rouse cheers, hoots and hollering.

Not too clever, Mr. DeNiro

I always have thought the actor Robert DeNiro was more clever than what he demonstrated last night.

The one-time “Raging Bull” trooped to the microphone at the Tony Awards show and offered a pithy, profane “salute” to Donald J. Trump. I won’t repeat it here. The network cut the sound off as DeNiro blurted out an f-bomb before saying the president’s name.

OK, let me stipulate a couple of things here.

One is that I have thought what DeNiro said out loud many times since Trump was elected president. I might even have said it a time or two. Then again, I never have stood in front of millions of viewers around the world who tuned in to watch an awards show meant to salute theater performances.

The reaction of the theater crowd was so very predictable. They stood and cheered. I didn’t join them while watching the event in real time Sunday night. For starters, I didn’t know what DeNiro actually said until later in the evening.

The second point I want to make is that many of us could have predicted that someone would have delivered such an ultimate snark-filled epithet during the ceremony. The arts community’s feelings toward the president are well-known, thoroughly chronicled. ”

I guess I’m disappointed it came from an actor whose work I’ve enjoyed for years, perhaps dating back to “Godfather II” when he portrayed a young Vito Corleone.

Whatever. I share DeNiro’s sentiment. The forum and the manner he used to deliver it seemed so very boring. And, to be honest, it wasn’t terribly creative.

Suicide takes another celebrity

Kate Spade. Now it’s Anthony Bourdain.

Both of these individuals were huge in their respective spheres: Spade as a fashionista; Bourdain as a TV personality/storyteller/food critic.

They took their own lives. The entertainment world is in shock.

We are likely to hear expressions of profound grief and shock that Bourdain is now gone. He was working on a CNN special in France when a friend found him in his hotel room.

What are we to make of this?

After Spade’s tragic death, word came out about an increase in suicide in recent years. The response has been to stoke awareness among friends and loved ones of those who might harbor thoughts of suicide.

By all means we must maintain vigilance. We must be cognizant of those we know who are troubled by whatever pressures they are feeling in the moment.

I was not dialed in too intently to the work of either Spade or Bourdain. However, as a human being who knew someone who took his own life, my heart aches for the pain inflicted on the loved ones who are suffering today.

The advice we are receiving, to be alert to the pain of those closest to us, should serve as a serious wake-up call.

Trump makes uneven demand over use of foul slur

I don’t want there to be a hint of acceptance for what has been said recently about Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the president of the United States.

Comic Samantha Bee used a hideous, profane slur regarding Ivanka Trump. She should be condemned for using that kind of language against her. Bee has apologized for calling her the “c-word.” No word on whether Trump accepts the apology.

That said, Daddy Trump’s demand that Bee should be punished by the TV network that hired her is hideously hypocritical. Then again, hypocrisy is part of the president’s modus operandi.

Ted Nugent, the guitarist/NRA activist/Trump supporter used the same word when referring to former first lady/secretary of state/U.S. senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Trump’s reaction to the Motor City Madman’s foul mouth? He invited him to the White House to pose for pictures with him, along with Sarah Palin and Kid Rock.

My point is that Trump’s selective outrage is so very transparent — while being so astonishingly phony at the same time.

Samantha Bee said something she clearly should not have said about Ivanka Trump. To be honest, I know little about Bee — far less about her than most of us know, or think we know, about the president’s daughter. I’m not likely to take a single thing Bee says in the future with any degree of seriousness.

However, Ivanka’s father needs to calm down and reflect — although I doubt he is capable of serious self-reflection — about how he has treated other public figures’ use of that identical derogatory term.

Furthermore, the president himself has exhibited his own brand of rhetorical callousness.

Oh, I almost forgot: Donald Trump is “telling it like it is.”

POTUS keeps this story burning

A two-day story has been given more life by none other than the president of the United States.

Yep, Donald J. Trump has weighed in on ABC-TV’s decision to cancel “Roseanne” because of a stupid and blatantly racist tweet by the star of the show, Roseanne Barr.

She compared former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an “ape.” Oh, yes. Jarrett is African-American. Barr’s tweet also had a touch of Islamophobia, too, referring to the “Muslim Brotherhood.”

ABC canceled “Roseanne” on the spot.

Trump’s response was to fire off a tweet of his own wondering why ABC didn’t react to all the negative things that have been said about him on the network.

Good grief, Mr. President.

Your plate should be overflowing with important matters. You know, things like that on-off-again summit with Kim Jong Un, trade wars with China, keeping the Middle East from exploding in flames.

Instead, this tweet tyrant in chief brings more attention to Roseanne Barr, a noted fan of the president.

Should this story be on millions of Americans’ minds right now? No. It should be set aside. The head of state has bigger fish to fry. If only the president of the United States would butt the hell out.

‘Roseanne’ not too big to … cancel

Roseanne Barr now has managed to offend both ends of the wide political spectrum.

Years ago, she took the field at the start of an athletic event to offer a horrendous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Many of us have heard her “singing” of the anthem. We weren’t pleased. It wasn’t funny. Conservatives were outraged.

Ahh, but the comic wasn’t done. Today she posted a tweet in which she offered a racist reference to Valerie Jarrett, a former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama.

She wrote: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

Funny, huh? Nope. It isn’t. ABC Television promptly canceled the return of “Roseanne.”

Barr apologized. She took her tweet down. She deleted her Twitter account. Too late, Roseanne. The damage is done.

As for ABC’s decision to cancel the show, well, I don’t much care one way or the other. I didn’t watch the show 30 years ago; I didn’t watch its return. I had heard about Roseanne Barr’s pro-Donald Trump tilt and about her TV character’s similar leanings. Honest to goodness, that didn’t bother me in the least.

Racist rants from public figures? They bother me. A lot.

Good riddance, Roseanne.

MTV no longer is ‘MTV’

This item just recently came across my grid. I won’t comment at all on the subject of it, but it does bring to mind a question I’ve been pondering for years.

Someone named “Nev” Schulman has been accused of making sexual remarks to women on his show “Catfish,” an MTV series.

OK. I’m done with that.

Here’s the question: Why did MTV do away with its original mission, which was to televise “music videos”? Doesn’t MTV stand for “Music Video Television”? Yes, I believe it does.

I haven’t watched anything that MTV shows since it abandoned its signature premise. I used to watch it all the time. I don’t know “Catfish” from “Blowfish.”

I understand MTV went to a “reality television” format, which is laughable on its face, given that no “reality” situation on TV bears any resemblance to actual reality.

MTV won’t return to showing music videos. I guess the network has hit a home run with the audience it has sought. I’m too old to get into the young’ns’ “reality TV” fetish.

It’s just that MTV had a good thing when it debuted in August 1981. Then it tossed it aside.

They had me … then they lost me.

Margot Kidder finally finds her peace

Leave it to a most unusual source to provide poignancy to the death of a one-time film star who turned into a symbol for those who struggled as she did.

Margot Kidder has died at the age of 69. Film fans remember as Lois Lane in the “Superman” series of movies.

This is what David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s former political guru said about Kidder, via Twitter:

Margot Kidder should be remembered as much for courageously, candidly discussing her battles with mental illness as for any screen role. There are no Supermen— or women. It is not a character deficiency to acknowledge such struggles and get the help and treatment you need! RIP.

Indeed, Kidder’s life hit the skids after her film career ended. But she didn’t go into hiding entirely. She was open about her troubles. Kidder spoke of her mental illness and of her homelessness. She was destitute.

I suppose you could say she was a broken woman.

But she recovered, managing to get her bipolar disorder under control. Kidder became a political activist, supporting progressive causes and candidates. She turned her interest to environmental issues.

Now, though, the pain she suffered has been relieved for eternity. As David Axelrod noted, Margot Kidder demonstrated a strength of character by acknowledging the struggles she endured.

Now the Trumpsters are angry? At Wolf’s insults?

I have stated my piece about comedian Michelle Wolf’s hideous performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Her comments were not funny; they were tasteless; they were vulgar. I switched the channel after watching it for about 10 minutes the other evening.

OK, now for the critics of Wolf’s monologue.

Most of them are conservatives and archconservatives who for whatever reason seem all too willing to give Donald John Trump a pass for his own version of humorless tastelessness and vulgarity.

Yes, these folks need to look inward as well as at their guy, the president of the United States. They need to understand that what’s unacceptable for one individual should be equally unacceptable for a critic of that individual.

Wolf’s comments were in reality no worse than many of the things that have poured forth from the president’s mouth.

High Plains Blogger was critical of Trump when he:

  • Made fun of a reporter with a serious physical disability.
  • Referred to certain female celebrities as “fat pigs.”
  • Denigrated the sacrifice of a Gold Star Family because of their Muslim faith.
  • Suggested that Sen. John McCain was a Vietnam War hero “only because he was captured” by the North Vietnamese. “I like those who aren’t captured. OK?” Trump said.
  • Poked fun at the physical appearance of several of his Republican primary opponents in 2016.

On and on it goes. I just want to make the point that I am proud to exempt High Plains Blogger from the List of Hypocrites who are newly offended by the joke spewage of a comedian while looking the other way when such nastiness comes from the president of the United States.

There. I’m out.

She’s not funny, man!

Maybe I had a longer day than I thought. I might be more tired than I imagined.

I tried to watch a comedian yuk it up at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Then I turned to another channel on my TV.

Michelle Wolf was touted as a “hilarious” comic. She was going to bring the house down at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., as the headline act at the annual event.

Donald Trump wasn’t there. That’s fine. He likely won’t attend an event meant to honor the media. Or, as Trump has called them: The enemy of the American people.

This idiot, Michelle Wolf, rang hollow, cheap, tawdry and decidedly not funny to my ears.

Hey, there’s no accounting for taste. I’ll just say that I have no problem with off-color jokes. I like them as much as the next red-blooded American male.

But this clown, um, is not funny.

With that, you don’t have to take my word for it.

You can see Wolf’s monologue for yourself, probably as early as Sunday, on YouTube. You can look it up.

If you think Wolf is a hoot, well … good for you.