News Round-Up: September 18, 2019

InstaHunk Jeff Ferreira

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Hump Day inspiration from fitness guy Jeff Ferreira (above) who looks like he’s auditioning for the next poolside X-Men movie.

Human Rights Campaign: International pop star and actor Ricky Martin will be honored with the HRC National Visibility Award at HRC’s 23rd Annual National Dinner in Washington, D.C. on September 28, 2019.

BBC: Rugby legend Gareth Thomas recently made headlines as he came out as HIV positive. Taking part in a new documentary for the BBC, watch the UK athlete become emotional as HIV expert Chloe Orkin explains that an undetectable viral load means the virus cannot be transmitted to others and can expect to live as long as those without HIV:

Variety: According to reports, SNL hired now-fired comedian Shane Gillis in an attempt to attract more conservative viewers. His stand-up act jokes were fine, but then producers became aware of hours and hours of off-the-cuff, off-color comments on his podcast. And that was that.

Instinct Magazine: My colleague Mickey Keating over at IM has been reporting on prominent West Hollywood resident, Ed Buck, who was arrested from his residence and charged with operating a drug house. Buck is now being called a violent, sexual predator who seeks men struggling with addictions and who are homeless.

New Music: Céline Dion dropped three new singles – “Lying Down,” “Imperfections,” and “Courage” – in advance of her upcoming album set for release on November 15.

“Lying Down,” penned by David Guetta, Giorgio Tuinfort, and Sia (who you can easily imagine recording the song) plays right into Dion’s sonic super powers.

Devastating ‘Back To School’ PSA From Parents Of Sandy Hook Shooting

Devastating new PSA from the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting

Devastating new PSA from the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting

I can’t let the day end without sharing this new PSA from Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit founded by parents of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

Beginning with a lighthearted tone about back-to-school supplies like new sneakers and headphones, the one-minute video shifts tone to devastating effect.

The Washington Post reports:

In the PSA, “Back to School Essentials,” young students breezily show off their new school supplies before the tone veers into something much darker: A boy marveling over his new sneakers is running down the hallway not to dodge a hall monitor but a gunman.

“Back to School” debuted on NBC during the Wednesday morning broadcast of the “Today” show alongside an interview with Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Nicole Hockley. Hockley’s 6-year-old son, Dylan, was among the 20 children and six adults who were killed in the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month With CNN’s Javier Morgado

CNN executive producer Javier Morgado

CNN executive producer Javier Morgado

I’m always so proud of my friend, Javi Morgado.

As the executive producer of CNN’s New Day, he just kills it every day. Such a pro.

But that’s just part of his story.

I’ve known Javi for years as a leader among LGBTQ journalists where, as a longtime member of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association, he’s given back time and time again.

And throughout his career, he’s returned to Miami – where he began his professional journey – to give back to aspiring journalists.

In one of the rare moments Javi has stepped in front of the camera, he shares some thoughts on his pride for Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Proud to share my family’s story & represent CNN in AT&T’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration,” says Javi.

News Round-Up: September 17, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

KIT212: Kenneth-in-the-212’s ‘Tennis Tuesday‘ serves up some serious booty workout tips from hunky Australian trainer, Coach Clayton (above). Definitely worth the click here.

NewNowNext: The 5th season of the acclaimed sitcom Schitt’s Creek will debut on Netflix on October 10, with the sixth and final installment to drop in January. The series, heralded for its positive portrayal of LGBTQ life, is nominated for 3 Emmy Awards this weekend. It is the first Canadian sitcom to receive an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Series.

Variety: After snagging another Emmy Award this past weekend (for her guest appearance on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) Jane Lynch told reporters she and Cyndi Lauper are set to co-star in a new Netflix series that will be “a Golden Girls for today.”

The Sun: Nicole Scherzinger has accepted a reported ‘multi-million pound’ offer to rejoin her former Pussycat Dolls band mates for a 10th anniversary reunion/world tour.

Merriam-Webster: The venerable dictionary has announced a new definition for the word ‘they’ in referencing the gender identity of nonbinary people.

PBS: Longtime ABC News political reporter Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75 from complications due to breast cancer. She was NPR’s congressional correspondent for more than a decade beginning in 1978, and co-anchored ABC’s “This Week” from 1996 to 2002.

•  Roll Call: 13 House Republicans have announced they will not be running for reelection in 2020.

TVLine: Shortly after comedian Shane Gillis was announced to join the cast of Saturday Night Live this season, footage of racist and homophobic ‘jokes’ by Gillis surfaced and SNL reversed their casting decision. Gillis initially issued one of those ‘I apologize if anyone was actually offended’ statements, but then followed up with a bitter little tweet saying he was “always a MADtv kind of guy” anyway.

p.s. MADtv got cancelled, too, so…maybe he is that kind of guy.

U.S. Deficit Surpasses $1 Trillion In 11 Months

The U.S. budget gap widened to more than $1 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, according to the Treasury Department, the first time deficits have topped that amount in seven years.

Remember how the Trump tax cuts were going to ‘pay for themselves?’

From The Hill:

The U.S. government deficit surpassed $1 trillion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, over $100 billion more than the same period last year, according to official Treasury figures released Thursday.

Last week, data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the 11-month deficit had surpassed $1 trillion, but it was expected to fall back under that threshold after an expected spike in tax payments in September.

The Treasury data, however, offered no such assurances, estimating that the fiscal year would close $69 billion above the $1 trillion mark.

The growing deficit, which adds to the nation’s debt burden, raises concerns about the nation’s fiscal health. Interest on the debt has cost the U.S. $379 billion this year, more than spending on veterans benefits, education and transportation.

Ohio Cafeteria Worker ‘Lunch Shames’ Fourth Grader Over $9

Because children already living with ‘less’ need to be humiliated in front of their friends?

From CNN:

A boy from Ohio had the “worst birthday ever” after his school lunch was taken away because of an unpaid balance on his account.

Jefferson Sharpnack told his grandmother, Diane Bailey, that he was denied his lunch tray when he went to check out. Instead of getting the cheesy breadsticks he had picked out, he was given a piece of cheese and bread by the lunch staff at Green Primary School in Uniontown, Ohio.

It all happened on his ninth birthday, in front of other students in the lunch line, because of a $9 debt, according to Bailey.

Green Local Schools confirmed to CNN the incident occurred and that Jefferson received an alternative lunch that is given to students with deficit accounts. The lunch consisted of a cheese sandwich, side item and milk.

In the report below, Jefferson explains, “I got my cheesy breadsticks and put in my number, and when I was going to check out, the lunch lady didn’t say anything, took away my cheesy breadsticks and sauce, put them over there, and took out bread on cheese from the fridge and put it on my tray.”

Seriously?

Behind-The-Scenes Of The Upcoming Garland Biopic ‘JUDY’

In advance of the upcoming September 27 release of JUDY, starring Oscar winner Renée Zellweger as the legendary Judy Garland, the producers share this behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the film.

“There are a lot of reasons I wanted to make this picture—to look into the human side of this icon,” Zellweger says. “There’s a reason why we’re telling her story 40 years after her passing. That combination of spirit and beauty and humility and grace and empathy is so rare.”

The official synopsis:

Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown.

As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”

(lead image courtesy Roadside Attractions – photo credit: David Hindley)

News Round-Up: September 6, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Dan Tai is heading to America next on his travels – presumably to put in place a Randy Report restraining order. 🙂

The Guardian: Vice President Mike Pence was greeted by several rainbow flag displays this week as he landed in Reykjavik to meet with President Guðni Jóhannesson of Iceland.

KIT212: Click here for a round-up of what’s making news in LGBTQ publications around the country.

CNN: Major retailers have announced this week that they will respectfully ask customers not to openly carry guns into their stores in states where open carry is legal. Walgreens, CVS, and Wegmans announced the new policy Thursday afternoon, following announcements from Walmart and Kroger on Wednesday.

 

Washington Post: State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses, which have caused two deaths and over 200 serious illnesses, linked to vaping. A chemical derived from vitamin E was found in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country. In short – stop vaping, people are dying.

Politico: Four states are poised to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses, a move that would cut off oxygen to Donald Trump’s long-shot primary challengers. Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are expected to finalize the cancellations in meetings this weekend.

Towleroad: After recording a video for the virulently anti-LGBTQ group Focus on the Family, New Orleans’ Saints quarterback Drew Brees became defensive when called out for working with the organization which has opposed marriage equality, called transgender people ‘mentally ill,’ and advocates legalizing discrimination against gays. Brees eventually apologized claiming ignorance of the group’s anti-LGBTQ lobbying efforts.

The Daily Beast: Influential progressive news site ThinkProgress, which rose to prominence during the Bush administration and helped define progressivism during the Obama years, is shutting down. #SadDay

New Music: Randy Report favorite Mika drops his latest single, “Sanremo,” from his upcoming album My Name Is Michael Holbrook due out October 4.

The breezy, sunbaked groove is perfect for that chill, end of summer vibe. Smooth. Hit play below.

The #SharpieGate Memes Are Everything You Could Wish For

Earlier this week, Donald Trump created yet another mess for himself when he tweeted that the state of Alabama was in danger of being hit by Hurricane Dorian.

 

Turns out that was not the case. In fact, the National Weather Service immediately followed Trump’s tweet with its own rebuking the idea that Alabama would be affected by the storm:

 

Five maps and nine tweets later, the Trumpster still cannot let it go.

CNN reported yesterday that Trump called Fox News reporter John Roberts into the Oval Office to make clear he was ‘right’ from the beginning.

Jesus, man, let it go.

Today, the Washington Post reports that it was Trump who marked up the map with a Sharpie marker.

Did anyone ever doubt otherwise?

With all of that in mind, on to the memes:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2EsCtXF6VB/

 

CNN To Air Democratic LGBTQ Town Hall

Democratic White House candidates will take part in a presidential town hall focusing entirely on LGBTQ issues on October 10 at The Novo in Los Angeles.

Hosted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the televised event will air live on CNN and CNN en Español, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android.

Organizers expect to draw the largest-ever audience for an LGBTQ Democratic town hall. Plus, the event will be the first-ever LGBTQ presidential event aired by a major cable news network.

The historic town hall event, titled Power of Our Pride, is scheduled to take place the night before the 31st National Coming Out Day. Since 1988, NCOD has celebrated the power, and empowerment, of coming out.

The HRC says all candidates who qualify for the October round of Democratic primary debates will be allowed to participate.

The list of Democratic candidates (so far) who have confirmed their attendance include former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Expect to hear much from the candidates on the catastrophic effects the Trump/Pence administration has had on the LGBTQ community like banning transgender Americans from serving in the military, rolling back Obama-era nondiscrimination protections, prohibiting embassies from flying rainbow flags during Pride Month and more.

All of the current Democratic contenders have announced their support for The Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil rights laws.

`“For nearly 40 years, the Human Rights Campaign has fought to realize a world in which LGBTQ people are safe, equal and free in every aspect of our lives,” said HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Today, at a time when our most basic civil rights and democratic values are under attack, our work has never been more urgent.”

“We are eager to hear from this field of Democratic presidential candidates about how they plan to win full federal equality, defend the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people, and protect the most vulnerable among us — both here in the United States and around the globe — from stigma, institutional inequality, discrimination, and violence,” he added.

For more information, click over to the HRC here.

In related news, GLAAD has partnered with One Iowa, The Gazette and The Advocate for an upcoming presidential candidate forum on LGBTQ issues to take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 20. That event will be live-streamed through GLAAD’s social media and digital channels.

Confirmed participating candidates include Former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, former Pennsylvania representative Joe Sestak, author Marianne Williamson and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).