News Round-Up: June 18, 2021

Norm Lewis
Norm Lewis
Norm Lewis (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

YouTube: Music theater fans – somehow I missed (but caught up on) this terrific virtual gala concert benefiting the Lyric Opera of Chicago starring Broadway stars including Gavin Creel, Nikki Renée Daniels, Norm Lewis (above) and more. Click on the link, watch and enjoy 🙂

Instinct Magazine: Fashion designer Michael Costello (a Project Runway alumn), added fuel to the Chrissy Teigen fire this week when he alleged the model and TV personality cyber bullied him with hate speech and had him blackballed in the industry. And then, folks came out with their own accusations about Costello.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Make sure you click over to Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like Get Out Magazine:

The cover of Get Out Magazine

NBC News: LGBTQ civil servants and service members were systematically fired or forced to resign due to their sexual orientation or gender identity over the past seven decades, and a proposed bill is seeking to have the federal government issue an official apology acknowledging its past discriminatory policies.

Media Matters: Nearly a dozen of the Fox News guests the network has presented as concerned parents or educators who oppose the teaching of so-called “critical race theory” in schools also have day jobs as Republican strategists, conservative think-tankers, or right-wing media personalities.

Out Music: Out singer/songwriter Paul Bellantoni, drops his first solo release since 2013, “Illusions.”

“’Illusions’ is about how what we perceive out of life and the people in our life aren’t always what they seem; they’re false realities. I began writing the song because I was hurt by someone close to me. It was a situation that made me feel insignificant, while around me the entire world was grasping for straws to see which way is up or down. It became my therapy.”

“It’s a lesson in learning how to be present in your own heart and forgive yourself, the ones that hurt you, and the circumstances that weigh you down.”

News Round-Up: May 28, 2021

Chuck Norris models 'Action Pants'
Chuck Norris models 'Action Pants'
Chuck Norris models ‘Action Pants’

Some news items you might have missed:

BrandedInThe80s: I have no idea what “action pants” are. The above image is apparently photoshopped, but Chuck Norris did reportedly front a line of stretch jeans back in the 80s.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Hit the link to check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like the latest issue of DNA Magazine featuring cover guy Airon Mallars.

Airon Mallars covers DNA Magazine (photo: Antony Kozz)

Edge Media: A new poll from Gallup shows that 66 percent of people favor allowing openly transgender people to serve in the military. However, 62 percent of Americans say trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

The Advocate: Internet sensation and renaissance man Leslie Jordan made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry last weekend sporting a custom-made electric blue suit with fringe and hand embroidery. The appearance was in support of his gospel album Company’s Comin’. Said Jordan, “I grew up in the shadow of the Grand Ole Opry. So you know, it’s like a mecca to me. To be invited and to get to do three songs, it’s a big deal.”

OUT: In a video clip that went viral, a 13-year-old trans teen was viciously attacked in the hallway of her middle school in South Florida by a bully. Equally disturbing, other students circled around the teen laughing and kicking at her while she struggled to stand up. The school and police say they are investigating, but a week later no disciplinary action has been announced.

JoeMyGod: The last on-air liberal has left Fox News as former DNC chair Donna Brazile and Juan Williams of “The Five” have both departed the right-leaning network. The New York Times reports that “Fox News has adapted to the post-Trump era by moving in a single direction: Trumpward.”

Pink News: A furious ‘Karen’ demanded to speak to the manager of the entire airport and got the response she deserves. The woman went from “I’m a women in a dress” to “You F’off” in a nano second.

Class Is In Session: Buttigieg Explains ‘Infrastructure’ To Fox News Hosts

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Fox News
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Fox News
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox News this morning to help shed light on President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill dubbed the American Jobs Plan.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer noted that in running through some numbers about the bill he found “5.6 percent of the $2 trillion proposal is only dedicate to roads and bridges. Why is that?”

Buttigieg then calmly and politely explained to Hemmer that “infrastructure” isn’t merely “roads and bridges.”

“Well, we’re talking about roads and bridges, we’re talking about rails and transit, we’re talking about airports and ports,” Buttigieg began. “As you mentioned, we’re talking about things like the grid. I don’t know why anybody would say that it’s a mistake to invest in the grid after what we just witness in Texas.”

“We saw U.S. citizens, living in Texas, melting snow in their bathtubs to be able to flush their toilets,” continued Buttigieg. “In the United States of America that is unacceptable. So yes, infrastructure includes energy infrastructure.”

As the country is now well-aware, Texas learned the hard way in February about how ignoring the state of energy infrastructure can come back to bite folks in the butt.

Buttigieg added that in Biden’s proposal, infrastructure also includes broadband internet which is woefully absent in many rural areas.

“Good infrastructure planning is always about looking to the future,” said the transportation secretary. “You know, railroads were not a part of infrastructure until we built them. And I’m sure in the Eisenhower era they weren’t thinking about things like broadband, they were still working on electrification which would have sounded newfangled in its time. Now it’s time to prepare for the future.”

Buttigieg has made a name for himself being able to handle himself over at Fox News and he demonstrated that skill again today.

By the way, note the video footage Fox News runs as Buttigieg explains the bill – money being printed and printed and printed…

Chris Wallace On Fox News: ‘The Best Inaugural Address I Ever Heard’

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace calls Biden speech the best inaugural address
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace

Following President Biden’s inaugural speech, I’m sure it shook the Fox News audience to hear anchor Chris Wallace declare, “I thought it was a great speech. I have been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961. John F. Kennedy’s ‘ask not’. I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard.”

I don’t know about “the best,” as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are all excellent orators. But I thought Biden’s speech was perfect in tone and balance.

Many on Twitter think his comments today could foreshadow Wallace’s departure from Fox News.

Wallace also noted a passage in Biden’s speech that seemed to address the power of truth and lies in the media.

“He said that there is truth and there are lies, lies that are told for power and lies that are told for profit. And I think it was a call to all of us, whether it’s us on the air, on cable or broadcast, whether it’s us in social media, on our Twitter accounts, understanding that we have to deal from facts, from the truth, to hear each other out, as he said.”

Fox News Poll: 42% Say Trump ‘One Of The Worst Presidents’ In History

Donald Trump (image via Flickr/WhiteHouse – public domain)

A new poll from Fox News Channel (of all places!) does not reflect well on Donald Trump and his presidency.

Some of the results of the new survey:

• 55% of respondents say the U.S. is worse off now than four years ago compared with 32% who say things are better

• A majority (52%) disapprove of the job Trump has done versus 47% who give the Donald a thumbs-up

• Trump’s best marks come on his handling of the economy which 52% approve of, but he’s underwater when it comes to foreign policy, the pandemic, immigration or health care

• 42% of those polled say Trump will be viewed as one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history, only 22% believe he’s one of the best

(graphic via Fox News)

Click over to Fox News for a full rundown of the results.

Trump Rages On Twitter ‘Fox News Is Dead!’

Donald Trump
Donald Trump on 60 Minutes (screen capture)

With basically no options to exploit further in regard to his failed reelection campaign, Donald Trump is now raging at his former media ally, Fox News Channel.

“Can’t believe how badly @FoxNews is doing in the ratings,” wrote the Trumpster on Twitter. “They played right into the hands of the Radical Left Democrats, & now are floating in limboland. Hiring fired @donnabraziIe, and far worse, allowing endless negative and unedited commercials. @FoxNews is dead. Really Sad!”

Fox News Anchor Calls Out ‘Baseless’ Voter Conspiracy Theories

Fox News anchor Eric Shawn (screen capture)

Fox News anchor Eric Shawn had had enough of the disinformation being spread by Team Trump about the 2020 election.

Watch below as he dispels myth after myth about “baseless and false” voter fraud and conspiracy theories about software being used to change votes. He also gave a shoutout to the election officials who have worked to make sure the process was fair and honest.

Mind you, this followed his colleague Maria Bartiromo giving an hour of air-time to the baseless, inflammatory allegations.

He aired his interview with Ben Hovland, the Trump-appointed chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, who said that the 2020 election was the most secure in history and among the best-run.

Pete Buttigieg On Trump Refusing Virtual Debate: ‘Probably A Reflection Of Weakness Of His Campaign’

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Fox News (screen capture)

Donald Trump announced that he wouldn’t “waste his time” on the upcoming October 15 presidential debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates determined it would be handled in a virtual manner due to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

Fox News invited former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to discuss Trump’s refusal to debate.

Buttigieg told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, “Well, it’s too bad, I don’t know why the president’s afraid to participate in a debate.”

“All of us have had to get used to a virtual format. Parents are having to deal with e-learning, which is not what we’re used to,” continued Buttigieg. “We’re having to take meetings over Zoom. It’s not something I think most of us enjoy, but it’s a safety measure.”

“I think part of why the US is badly behind the rest of the developed world on dealing with the pandemic is because every time there’s been a choice between doing something in a way that’s more safe or less safe, this president seems to push for less safe.”

“I think it’s also probably a reflection of the weakness of his campaign… and it’s too bad because I think the more the American people can hear two candidates side by side, even if it’s virtual, the better,” he added.

“Of course, the only reason we’re here in the first place is that the president of the United States is still contagious with a deadly disease.”

#BAM

Report: Kimberly Guilfoyle Left Fox News After Asst Accused Her Of Sexual Harassment

Kimberly Guilfoyle (screen capture)

According to The New Yorker, Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend to Donald Trump Jr., didn’t leave Fox News Channel in July 2018 under what you might call “good circumstances.”

In fact, the New Yorker is reporting tonight that a former assistant to Guilfoyle sent company executives “a 42-page draft complaint that accused Guilfoyle of repeated sexual harassment, and demanded monetary relief.”

The woman was hired in 2015, just out of college, to work as an assistant for Guilfoyle and another former Fox host, Eric Bolling.

According to a dozen well-informed sources familiar with her complaints, the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior; among other things, she said that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle’s New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations.

The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable.

Apparently, the accusations are tied into the departure of Guilfoyle’s former co-host at Fox News, Eric Bolling, who left the cable news channel due to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Good grief.

Multiple sources tell the New Yorker  the female assistant agreed to a $4 million settlement. Guilfoyle denied the accusations through her lawyer.

The rumors that Guilfoyle was forced out of her position at Fox News years before her contract ended were first reported by HuffPost in 2018.

Fox News Poll: Voters Trust Biden To Handle COVID-19 Over Trump Bigly

L-R President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden

The latest polling from Fox News will not be putting a smile on Donald Trump’s face.

The survey of 1,104 registered voters shows the coronavirus is the number one issue on the minds of voters and that factors in when asked who Americans want to see in charge of handling the COVID-19 threat.

While 51 percent trust former Vice President Joe Biden to handle the pandemic, only 34 percent believe Trump has the stuff to end the health threat.

Biden also leads on questions of traits needed to be an effective president like compassion (Biden 56% – Trump 36%), intelligence (Biden 51% – Trump 41%), and judgement (Biden 52% – Trump 40%).

Even on the issue of ‘mental soundness,’ which the Trump campaign has tried to characterize Biden as being mentally deficient, the public sees Biden as more in control of his mental faculties than Trump (47% – 43% respectively).

That said, with the 2016 presidential election still fresh in our minds, voters know anything can happen. When asked if Trump will be reelected the results were a tie – 45% each side with 10% answering ‘Unsure.’

It’s worth noting, however, that tie is bad news for Trump. Back in February, the Fox News poll found 56% believed Trump would score a second term while only 43% were non-believers.

I’m not a ‘national poll’ fan, but since this data comes from Fox News, I will note when asked if the election were held today, 49% said they would cast their ballot for Joe Biden while only 41% would vote Trump. Even with the 3% margin of error that is not good news for the Donald.