Category Archives: entertainment news

Celebrities’ comments have this way of reverberating

Johnny Depp has joined a list of celebrities with big mouths.

Depp, the movie actor, mused out loud the other day about the last time an actor assassinated a president. He seemed to suggest that’s what he wants to do, follow in the footsteps of another actor, John Wilkes Booth, who shot President Lincoln to death in April 1865.

Bad call, Johnny.

I guess what these folks need to grasp is the notion that their celebrity status not only acquires loyal followings for them, it also magnifies their idiotic statements or actions. For the record, I am not a fan of Johnny Depp.

The “comedian” Kathy Griffin? She was video recorded holding up the image of a severed head depicting that of Donald J. Trump.

The over-the-hill rocker/guitarist Ted Nugent has said a multitude of hideous things about Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Now we have Depp popping off, trying to be clever. Instead he sounds stupid.

Donald Trump’s son, Don Jr., has slammed Depp. You’d expect a son to come to the defense of his father.

Depp has apologized for his idiocy. It doesn’t erase it, sad to say.

These folks are entitled to their political opinions, just as you are entitled to yours and I am to mine. I don’t know about you, but I express my opinions freely on this blog.

The difference, though, between us and those who have some kind of celebrity status is that — in my case, at least — I can sound like a dumba** and relatively few people are going to pay attention. When someone such as Johnny Depp says something stupid, then many others’ ears perk up.

That includes the Secret Service.

A word to wise ought to go to Johnny Depp and other celebs with strongly held political opinions: be circumspect.

Happy Trails, Part 24

Retirement has allowed us to become reacquainted with elements of our individual and collective upbringing.

That’s not as strange as it might sound.

We travel in a 28-foot fifth wheel. We hook up at RV campgrounds usually looking at least for water and electric hookups; if we get sewer connections, that’s all the better.

Television reception depends on a couple of variables: Do we have cable or do we rely on our antenna? Most of the time, it’s antenna use.

Here is where the past meets the present.

We extend our antenna, program our “auto channel tuner” setting. Bingo! We get a plethora of channels. Many of them feature old-time TV.

We get to watch some of the programs we grew up watching. These old-timer networks broadcast programs such as “The Lone Ranger,” “Lassie,” “My Three Sons,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Perry Mason,” well … you get the idea. Then we get the cheesy game shows with those whopping $500 payouts to the winners.

The most entertaining aspect of watching this television programming is its innocence. The Lone Ranger, for instance, knows how to solve every situation that he and Tonto encounter. I find myself feeling a bit sorry for Tonto, who is portrayed as a know-nothing who has to ask Kemo Sabe for advice on how to solve every single crisis they encounter.

There’s a certain irony, if you think about it, in watching this flashback television. The older we have become, more exposure we get to the experiences of our youth.

‘Comedian’ reaps what she has sown

I just watched a brief TV news video of “comedian” Kathy Griffin blubbering about the future of her career.

I’m not sure what her future holds in store, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she needs a good bit of time to “rehabilitate” her image — or perhaps she could start over — from scratch.

Griffin recently took part in a hideous video depicting her holding a “severed head” that supposedly belonged to Donald Trump.
The outrage was immediate and forceful.

It was just the kind of response that Griffin should have expected to receive from what she called “an artsy fartsy statement.”

It was nothing of the kind.

I get that entertainers are entitled to their own political points of view, just like, oh, bloggers. However, when entertainers are as well-known as Kathy Griffin, then they risk the kind of blowback that has exploded all over her.

Lest we forget: Kathy Griffin built her career on raunchy “humor.” She went too far. Now she is paying the price for stepping way beyond the bounds of good taste.

Griffin says she’s sorry for hideous prank

I am no fan of Kathy Griffin, the bawdy, often-gauche comedian known for her raunchy shtick.

So, when he begs for forgiveness from her fans for a hideous prank she pulled, well, she’s not talking to me.

Griffin took part in a ghastly video that shows her lifting what looks like a decapitated head — which was depicted as belonging to Donald J. Trump.

She says she intended it as an “artsy fartsy statement.”

It ain’t funny, toots.

She meant to poke fun at the commander in chief.

Griffin has apologized fully. At least she avoided one of those phony “If I offended anyone … ” non-apologies. I’ll give her props for that.

I’ll suggest, though, that she’s going to be remembered for a long time as the alleged funnywoman who went way too far with a joke that reeks of sheer stupidity.

Billy Bush is ba-a-a-a-ck … sort of

Billy Bush is trying to wiggle his way back into the media limelight.

I never thought I’d be commenting on him ever again. You know who this guy is, right? He was the other guy in an infamous 2005 video talking to a reality TV celebrity/real estate mogul about certain aspects of his private life.

The fellow to whom he was talking that day now is the president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Bush is now 45 years of age. He got fired from the “Today” show after the video surfaced. Many Americans — yours truly included — thought for certain that Trump’s presidential campaign would go down in flames after the video surfaced. It had some audio with it in which Trump joked about how he grabbed women by their private parts.

Yep, the man who would be elected president actually admitted to committing sexual assault.

Ahh, but then we have Bush, the fellow who yukked it up with Trump as he regaled “Access Hollywood” listeners about his boorish behavior.

Does this guy deserve to return to the public spotlight? Not if I had any pull over his future. Then again, I am just one individual.

Pop culture being what it is, however, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see this clown re-enter the entertainment world. I’ll just have to make a point to look the other way.

Former congressional loudmouth pops off

Joe Walsh once was known as a loudmouth politician from Illinois.

Now he’s just a former loudmouth pol, who has entered the discussion about health care reform in a most undignified and ironic manner.

Late-night TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel went on the air Monday night and revealed that his newborn son was born with a heart ailment. Nurses detected a problem with the baby, a renowned cardiac surgeon was summoned and he repaired the infant’s heart.

Kimmel gave a heartfelt and tearful testimony that saluted the medical staff at the hospital where little Billy was born — and argued on behalf of efforts to guarantee health insurance for all Americans.

Then came Joe Walsh, who tweeted, “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.”

Social media erupted with outrage at Walsh’s insensitive reaction. Walsh is a former Republican lawmaker who once popped off with remarks about Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama that some folks had interpreted as a threat. Walsh, who’s now a TEA Party activist and a talk-radio host (imagine that), was defeated for re-election.

There’s more — of course.

Walsh also once was caught failing to pay child support for his own children; he reportedly owed about $117,000 in support payments.

Tsk, tsk, tsk …

For this clown to interject himself into a heartwarming story involving an entertainment personality and his family speaks pretty graphically about this individual’s profound lack of character and compassion.

The word “hypocrite” also comes to mind.

POTUS takes on Snoop Dogg? What … the … ?

The president of the United States of America is now going after — gulp! — a rapper in yet another Twitter tirade?

Do I read that correctly?

Donald J. Trump vs. Snoop Dogg? In a battle of tweets?

The president is — or should be — concerned with, oh, international terrorism, bringing in more jobs for Americans, Russia, wiretapping of his offices in New York, the Islamic State, health care overhaul, a new federal budget, frayed relations with members of Congress, North Korea’s missile launches … and this guy is now engaging in a Twitter tempest with a rapper?

Are you bleeping kidding me?

A video has Trump all lathered up. Snoop Dogg put something out there that includes the firing of a confetti gun. The Trumpkins say it simulates an “assassination attempt.”

And then the president of the United States weighs in. On this?

My head just exploded.

Oprah in 2020? Please … no!

I have nothing against Oprah Winfrey as a person, as a media celebrity/mogul, as a highly successful businesswoman.

But this notion making the social media rounds about whether she might run for president of the United States of America in 2020 is driving me a bit nuts.

Oprah apparently said out loud recently that if Donald John Trump can be elected president, then damn near anybody can be elected.

I happen to agree with that assessment.

However, the presidency should not become a playground for the rich and powerful. Oprah has as much public service exposure as Trump. That would be, um, none!

I’m a bit old-fashioned in that regard. I kind of prefer heads of state and heads of government to at least have run for something, anything, that demonstrates a commitment to public service.

Oprah is a celebrity. She’s a star, in fact. She’s made some fine films and has been an eloquent spokeswoman for the causes she deems worth espousing. She’s made Dr. Phil McGraw a star. She faced down some angry Texas Panhandle cattlemen who sued her for defamation because she said on the air that she didn’t think beef was safe to eat.

That’s all fine and dandy.

She ain’t presidential material.

I hope this little mini-tempest settles down quickly.

Oops! Warren Beatty steals the show

What are we talking about this morning? Donald Trump? North Korea? Climate change?

Oh, no. None of that. Many of us are talking about Warren Beatty and his “Steve Harvey moment” at last night’s Oscar ceremony.

Reluctant as I am to comment on entertainment news, this is kind of a big deal if you follow this sort of thing.

Beatty mistakenly blurted out “La La Land” as the winner of the best film Oscar — except that the real winner is “Moonlight.” The “La La Land” cast and staff poured onstage to accept the honor, only to learn that Beatty goofed.

It reminded everyone in the Hollywood, Calif., hall of what happened this past year when Steve Harvey announced the wrong name as the winner of the Miss Universe pageant. Harvey hasn’t lived that one down … yet.

My own view? Hey, crap happens, man! It ain’t the end of the world.

I am quite sure, though, that Harvey has sent Beatty a note — via some form of social media — thanking him, in a manner of speaking, for proving once again that human beings indeed are fallible creatures.

Now, let’s all get back to the big stuff.

HPPR set to deepen its news footprint

I came home this evening from work and found a nice surprise that had come in today’s mail.

It was an invitation to the launch of High Plains Public Radio’s brand new all-news programming that begins March 6.

This is a big deal, folks, one that makes me happy in the extreme about the quality of news that will be available to public radio listeners in Amarillo and much of the rest of the High Plains.

It will be at 94.9 FM on the radio dial.

Here’s what I understand about it.

HPPR, which broadcasts news from National Public Radio, will continue with its regular morning and early-evening news content, with features such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” being broadcast daily.

But when the HPPR broadcast at 105.7 FM turns to music in the morning at the end of “Morning Edition,” the 94.9 FM channel will continue to offer news, features, commentary and assorted items from throughout the region and, oh yes, the rest of the world.

I spoke with Wayne Hughes of Amarillo, the former head of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association — and a longtime contributor to HPPR — about this several months ago. He told me of the fundraising effort that was underway in the region to pay for the new operation.

Given that public radio doesn’t broadcast “radio advertising” in the fashion that privately owned stations do, it must rely on listeners to donate; yes, public radio has its share of corporate sponsors, too.

Why am I so excited about this?

Well, I am not much of a classical music fan. My taste in music is limited basically to classic rock ‘n roll. Our classic rock offerings in Amarillo are a bit limited.

However, I am a news junkie. I like getting my news via public radio when I have the radio nearby — and have it turned on.

The all-news station is going to fulfill my craving for news.

I’ve written before about public radio and the value I believe it has brought to the region since it started in the 1980s. The late Levi Bivins, along with his brother Mark, and Jay O’Brien all were instrumental in launching HPPR in the first place.

I am indebted to all of them for the hard work they performed in assuring quality public radio listening to those of us who aren’t all that nuts about morning drive-time blather on many of the commercial stations.

HPPR is now set to take the next big step in its evolution.

I am one listener who is mighty excited to welcome it.