Tag Archives: Oscars

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.

Afflicting the comfortable no longer in vogue?

There’s a saying that a free press’s¬†key mission is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

At the risk of sounding like a whiny baby who never got invited to one of these gigs, allow me now to say that the Washington Correspondents Dinner is a disgrace to the high-minded mission that the D.C. press corps is supposed to fulfill.

Check out this essay about what’s become of this annual event:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/white-house-correspondents-dinner-117287.html?ml=po#.VT2bCFJ0yt8

There’s something more than mildly offensive about seeing reporters and their dates parading along a red carpet, a la the Oscars, Tonys, Emmys and the ESPYs.

Those of us who toiled out here in the Heartland — aka Flyover Country — always have thought there ought to be a natural tension between the power brokers and those who cover them, reporting on their dealings to the “unwashed masses” who depend on journalists to tell them the truth.

Here’s how Patrick Gavin describes the event that occurred over the weekend: “What started off decades ago as a stately formal celebration of the best of presidential reporting has morphed into a four-day orgy of everything people outside the Beltway hate about life inside the Beltway‚ÄĒnow it’s not just one night of clubby backslapping, carousing and drinking between the press and the powerful, it’s four full days of signature cocktails and inside jokes that just underscore how out of step the Washington elite is with the rest of the country. It’s not us (journalists) versus them (government officials); it’s us (Washington) versus them (the rest of America).”

Boy, howdy. I couldn’t have said it better.

The D.C. press corps has become something of an echo chamber, where journalists parrot each other’s views and simply cannot wait to be seen in the company of the famous and the powerful. In their own minds, that seems to fit the description of the people who cover government.

I loved Gavin’s note that unlike some of the other dinners — such as the Gridiron — where presidents occasionally are absent, POTUS’s attendance at the correspondents dinner seems to be required. Gavin writes: ¬†“The last president to skip it was Ronald Reagan in 1981 and ‚ÄĒ let‚Äôs cut him some slack ‚ÄĒ he bailed because¬†he had¬†just been shot.”

The press’s mission to afflict the comfortable now seems almost quaint. How can it do so when the comfortable include the very journalists who keep slapping the backs and yukking it up with the folks they are sent to cover?

I much prefer the tension that is supposed to exist between the media and the government. It keeps everyone — reporters and their sources — a little more¬†honest.

 

Yep, I watched the Oscar show … all of it!

I can’t believe I watched the who-l-l-l-l-e thing.

The Oscars. All four hours of it. I wasn’t glued to the TV set. I got up from time to time — during the acceptance speeches by the winners of, say, Best Set Design.

The draw for me was whether Bradley Cooper would get the Best Actor statue for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” I was pulling for young Bradley. He didn’t get it, but the young man who won, Eddie Redmayne, for his portrayal of the¬†brilliant Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” is a deserving honoree. (Disclosure time: I haven’t seen “Theory,” but from what I’ve read about his portrayal, Redmayne earned the statue.)

But here’s the award highlight of the evening, for me at least: Julianne Moore’s Best Actress award for her title-role portrayal in “Still Alice,” a college professor battling early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. (More disclosure: I haven’t yet seen this one, either; it came to Amarillo, then left — in a hurry.)

My interest in the topic of this film has been noted on this blog. My family and I have intimate knowledge of the destruction that Alzheimer’s disease brings to human beings. My mother died 31 years ago of complications from the disease and another beloved member of my family is fighting it now.

I pray for him, his wife, children and grandchildren. Their journey is fraught with heartache.

My hope is that “Still Alice” will raise the Alzheimer’s awareness level to new heights and spur researchers to redouble their efforts to find therapies and — one must always hope — a cure¬†that eradicates this¬†merciless killer.