Tag Archives: Trevor Noah

The U.S. is now a “problematic” place to be a journalist, says world safety organization, and it’s getting worse and worse. Trevor Noah makes laugh, on the Democratic Town Halls. And the “Jeopardy” legend of James Holzhauer grows ever bigger

At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, while most of us were either sleeping, getting ready for work, or getting off a graveyard shift somewhere (dudes working the 7-11 at that hour, I feel you), the President of the United States was wide awake and Tweeting.

I try really, really hard to ignore the ravings of this madman, because he’s just so awful, so psychologically damaged, but he’s so dangerous to the world.

So sometimes, I can’t ignore it, despite my best instincts. Sometimes, he says something so awful that if offends me as a human, and also as a journalist, which I still consider myself, even though I’m not a full-time journalist anymore.

This is what the President of the United States wrote on Twitter:

I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!

Yes, the President of our free democratic nation is saying the largest, most reputable and most legendary newspaper in America should get down on their knees and apologize to him, and that they, the New York Times, are the Enemy of the People.

The Enemy of the People.

A newspaper full of journalists, exposing wrongdoing all over the world, reporting on war and famine, afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, is the enemy of the people.

Disgusting and outrageous doesn’t begin to express how I feel. He’s said this before, I know, and it’s disgusted me then, too. We are barely a year past the massacre at the Capital-Gazette newspaper in Maryland (the names of the deceased are in the above photo), and it has never been more dangerous to be a reporter in the U.S.

Trump’s Tweet came just a few days after this story caught my attention, that the international group Reporters Without Borders has dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its World Press Freedom Index, downgrading America to “problematic” for reporters in its rankings.

“Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection,” the report stated.

Ten journalists have been physically attacked this year, and 46 since 2017. In January, one reporter was punched in the face and her phone stolen, while interviewing voters in California.”

As you know, I take this shit VERY seriously. People in my beloved profession having to live in fear, and being treated like this, is unconscionable. And our fearless leader stoking the embers of this fire makes me want to vomit.

“The phrase “enemy of the people” is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information,” New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger said in response to Trump’s attacks on the paper in February.

He’s a dictator and a tyrant, and it’s enough.

Be safe out there, reporters, and keep doing the people’s work. You are far from the enemy.

**Next up today, I don’t watch Trevor Noah and “The Daily Show” as much as I should, and I say that because every time I take the time to watch one of his clips on Twitter, I laugh pretty hard.

Here’s Noah from Tuesday talking about the five CNN Town Halls Monday with Democratic Presidential candidates (I didn’t watch them all, but quickly, I still love Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren is brilliant and amazing, and I’m just not quite buying the hype over Mayor Pete yet, I think he may prove to be a flash in the pan).

Anyway, Noah is fabulous here, especially with the “white guy advantage” stuff at the end.

**Finally tonight, not sure if any of you are as big “Jeopardy” fans as we are in our house, but have you seen the last few weeks of utter and complete domination by James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler? Dude hasn’t just been winning, he’s been obliterating the competition, making cartoonishly large bets on Daily Doubles, and just garnering obscene amounts of money.

He’s been breaking the one-day money record like it’s nothing, and Tuesday night he continued his tremendous winning streak, getting his 14th straight win, winning $118,816 total and now up to a grand total of $1,061, 554.

The guy is a machine, and we absolutely need to get him in the Tournament of Champions against weird-dude Austin and Ken Jennings immediately.

I am in awe of this dude. And he doesn’t seem like a jerk, either!

 

Another mass shooting, and we should all be disgusted and angry at our government. Chance the Rapper with a pretty incredible new performance. And remembering Tom Petty, whose music made my life happier

It’s happened again. Because, of COURSE it happened again.
Every. Single. Goddamn. Time. Every time there’s a mass shooting in America, the same, tired, ridiculous arguments get trotted out. Congressmen and women who are bought, sold and paid for by the gun lobby offer “thoughts and prayers.”
What they actually are saying, and doing by their votes, is making it EASIER for mass shootings to happen. Because they pass laws making it simpler for people with mental illnesses to get guns. And they make sure suspected terrorists on the U.S. “no-fly list” can still get guns.

And the same, tired, ridiculous arguments get trotted out by the NRA, who continue to be the single most powerful force in American politics.

Nothing ever changes. Ever. It is the issue I feel strongest about that will take the longest to change, because we have weak, spineless leaders (in BOTH parties) who refuse to stop the massacring of fellow Americans.

Nothing happened, no laws were changed to protect Americans after CHILDREN WERE MURDERED in an elementary school in Connecticut in 2012. You think 59 adults (and counting) and hundreds of injured at a music concert in Las Vegas is going to change things?

Not a chance. I’m tired of being disgusted, tired of being outraged, tired of living in the type of country where our political leaders don’t seem to give one damn about protecting its citizens from fellow citizens wielding enormously dangerous weapons.

The Onion runs the same headline after every mass shooting that it first ran years ago: “No Way to Prevent This, Says only Nation where this Regularly Happens.”

I’m nauseous, once again, from yet another preventable and unspeakable tragedy.

Three pieces of media I want to share on the Las Vegas shooting. One, Jimmy Kimmel, who is becoming quite the eloquent statesman lately, with an emotional discussion of the massacre in his hometown.

— Two, an unbelievable piece of writing and reporting from the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery, on two strangers, Kody Robertson and Michelle Vo (pictured above), who became fast friends at the music festival in Las Vegas, and the dedication of one to the other after the tragedy. One of the most heartbreaking and beautiful stories you’ll ever read.

— And three, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show,” bringing it home and speaking the truth. Again, this doesn’t have to happen. Except it keeps happening.

**Next up, a message of hope, or at least something uplifting. Chance the Rapper is someone who seems to keep cropping up everywhere these days; the Chicago native has become a major voice speaking out against the awful violence and murders that plague the Windy City. He’s a wildly talented writer and musician, and honestly seems like he’s trying hard to be positive, and uplifting.

Chance was on Stephen Colbert last week performing a new song he’d just written, but I just saw this the other day and thought it was outstanding. I hope you find it uplifting, too. (The song is called “First World Problems.”)

**And finally today, a few words about Tom Petty, a musician who I’d say ranks in my all-time Top 10 in terms of “number of times I’ve listened to his songs and instantly felt happy.”

I “discovered” this amazing musician in 1989, when his album “Full Moon Fever” came out and I first heard the song “Free Fallin'” on MTV. Within a few months I was going down to our local record and cassette store and trying to find as much as possible by Petty, this Floridian with the scratchy voice and the kick-ass guitar sound.

Soon I discovered classic songs like “American Girl,” “Refugee,” and “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

One of the best concerts I ever saw live was in 1996 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, when my best friend (and fellow Petty lover) Clay and I saw Petty and the Heartbreakers. We sang along, we danced, we may have inhaled a substance that rhymes with “farajuana,” and we just enjoyed watching a master musician at his craft.

Petty died way too young, on Monday, at age 66. But his musical legacy will live on.

Here, listen to “American Girl” and try not to sing along. It’s darn near impossible.

“The Daily Show” will be just fine with Trevor Noah. An amazing profile of Joe Biden, unfiltered, from 1974. And the catch of the year in major league baseball

I have to admit I felt a little bit like a nervous parent watching a Little Leaguer I loved taking his first at-bat on Monday night, when “The Daily Show” with someone other than Jon Stewart debuted.

I loved the show so much with Stewart, and I really, really hoped that Trevor Noah, the new South African host, would carry on the tradition of biting satire and brilliant, take-no-prisoners coverage of news events.

You can’t judge too much off two shows so far, but what I’ve seen, I’ve really liked. Noah is smart, appealing and quick with a one-liner, and as expected with almost the whole writing team remaining from the Jon Stewart version of the show, the writing was still damn funny.

Any concerns Noah wouldn’t push the envelope were erased, oh, four minutes into Monday’s show, when he said “bullshit” and moments later made a dick joke while talking about Pope Francis.

Noah wisely started the show thanking and paying tribute to Stewart, who gave him his break, and then cracking some great jokes … “once more a job Americans rejected, is now being done by an immigrant.”

Noah’s interviewing skills definitely need work; the “interview” with Kevin Hart Monday was awful, but Tuesday’s was better.

In short, give the kid a try if you’re worried about a “Daily Show” without Stewart not being worth it.

So far, Noah’s definitely got the chops to keep this great show going.

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**Next up, once more the magic of the Internet is affirmed: This 1974 profile of young Senator Joseph R. Biden from The Washingtonian newspaper somehow rocketed around Twitter over the weekend.

It was written by Kitty Kelley, who then was a reputable journalist, but now is known for writing trashy books about the Royal Family and many other celebrities.

The profile is astonishing in so many ways: Biden’s candor about his wife’s recent death and his political aspirations; Kelley’s complete breezy style about serious matters, and the absolute certainty expressed by all that Biden would be president someday.

Check out this passage: “It was awful in the beginning,” says Chazy Dowaliby, a press aide. “A few weeks after Neilia’s (Biden’s wife) death we got a call from Sally Quinn of the Post. She wanted to do a story on the Senator as Washington’s most eligible bachelor. Naturally we said no but it wasn’t easy because she kept calling all the time. She wasn’t the only one. Women’s Wear Daily ca lled morning, noon, and night. And so did every female magazine in the country.

Ah, Sally Quinn, always empathetic.

Just take a look at some of these quotes from Biden, things NO politician would ever say in 2015:

— “Let me show you my favorite picture of her,” he says, holding up a snapshot of Neilia in a bikini. “She had the best body of any woman I ever saw. She looks better than a Playboy bunny, doesn’t she?

— “At first she stayed at home with the kids while I campaigned but that didn’t work out because I’d come back too tired to talk to her. I might satisfy her in bed but I didn’t have much time for anything else. That’s when she started campaigning with me and that’s when I started winning.”

-Biden defines politics as power. “And, whether you like it or not, young lady,” he says, leaning over his desk to shake a finger at me, “us cruddy politicians can take away that First Amendment of yours if we want to.”

There’s a whole lot more of that in the story; really, the whole thing is an incredible read. It explains a lot about Biden’s hubris and his mistakes he’s made while running for President twice before.
Take a few minutes and check out Joe Biden, circa 1974, while we wait for the 2015 version to decide if he’ll run for President, yet again.

**Finally today, I hate the Red Sox but have to admit this is the best catch of the year in baseball: Mookie Betts, a superstar in the making, climbs the fence at Fenway to rob the White Sox of a homer. And also, it was the last out of the game.

Very cool…