News Round-Up: March 15, 2021

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: Lady Gaga (above) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow were among the LGBTQ folks who scored Grammy Awards Sunday night. Check out the list of artists honored at the intimate (but live) event last night.

The Advocate: A group of local merchants have proposed changing the name of Montreal’s historic Gay Village to simply “The Village” or “Montreal’s Village” in an effort to be more inclusive of the entire 2SLGBTQ community. The 2S stands for two spirit. Not all residents are on board with the proposed change, however.

The Gaily Grind: A disgruntled Trump supporter, Michael Challans, is playing the victim after he was caught on tape shouting homophobic slurs at his gay neighbor for flying a flag on his front porch celebrating Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. After yelling phrases like “faggot ass flag,” “f*cking fag” and “mother f*cking queer,” Challans told police he “has no problems with gay people.”

HuffPost: Amazon announced plans last week to stop selling all books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illness, a decision it reached after four Republican senators complained to CEO Jeff Bezos last month when the company pulled a single book on the subject from its virtual shelves.

Mediaite: A new poll shows 57% of Republicans believe the COVID-19 pandemic is “exaggerated.” Plus, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows 49% of Republican men have no plans to get vaccinated.

Outsports: Conor McDermott-Mostowy just won 2 US Championships in speed skating. Now he’s coming out as gay.


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Must-See TV: Powerful New DocuSeries ‘Visible: Out On Television’

Ellen DeGeneres (screen capture)

Apple TV+ will debut a powerful, new five-part documentary-series titled Visible: Out On Television on February 14 that will explore how the LGBTQ movement made its way onto the television landscape.

Executive produced by out actors Wanda Sykes and Wilson Cruz, the docu-series will feature archival footage as well as interviews with prominent players from the screen and LGBTQ movement.

Each hour-long episode will focus on a specific theme such as coming out in Hollywood, homophobia, invisibility and the evolution of LGBTQ characters on TV.

Wilson Cruz, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Cohen

Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Waithe, Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, and Asia Kate Dillon, Visible: Out On Television will also feature interviews with out actors and television personalities including Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Billy Porter, Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, Andy Cohen and more.

The trailer opens with DeGeneres explaining how she wanted to come out on her 1990s sitcom and the effect that had on so many lives: “It became bigger than any of us ever anticipated.”

“The earliest representations were always people to be mocked,” recalls Cooper.

Andy Cohen adds, “The truth is there was no LGBT presence on TV that I can remember.”

On the importance of seeing LGBTQ people on TV, iconic talk show queen Oprah Winfrey drops, “When you see images that are reflective of your own life, it is a reminder that your own life matters.”

And Lena Waithe shares this compelling epiphany, “I didn’t realize that I was the revolution that I was waiting for.”


Visible: Out On Television premieres February 14 on Apple TV+.

Mayor Pete Shares With Rachel Maddow His Coming Out Process

In a revealing one-on-one interview on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow spoke with Democratic presidential contender Mayor Pete Buttigieg about a range of topics, including being closeted and coming out.

In a revealing one-on-one interview on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow spoke with Democratic presidential contender Mayor Pete Buttigieg about a range of topics, including being closeted and coming out.

It was a particularly candid exchange as Maddow pointed out the two had both been Rhodes scholars. Even though Maddow had gone through the Rhodes scholarship process 10 years before Buttigieg, she noted that she had been the first out American Rhodes Scholar.

But Buttigieg didn’t come out until he was 33-years-old – after his college days, his Rhodes Scholar days, serving in the military and becoming mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

“I think it would have killed me to be closeted for that long,” said Maddow without coloring the statement. “Not coming out until your early 30s, I just wonder if that was hurtful to you? If it hurt you to do it?”

“It was hard,” Buttigieg replied. “It was really hard.”

“Coming out is hard, but being in the closet is harder,” Maddow pointed out.

The 37-year-old mayor continued, sounding much like many people who wrestle with their closet demons.

“There were certainly plenty of indications by the time I was 15 or so that I could point back [and say] ‘yeah, this kid’s gay.’ I guess I just really needed to not be. There’s this war that breaks out inside a lot of people when they realize that they might be something they’re afraid of. It took me a very long time to resolve that.”

It was his deployment in Afghanistan that led Buttigieg to his personal epiphany.

“I realized that you only get to be one person; you don’t know how long you have on this earth,” he shared. “And by the time I came back, I realized, ‘I gotta do something.’”

That ‘something’ would be publicly coming out via an op-ed published in the South Bend Tribune in 2015 as he was running for reelection. He would go on to win in a landslide with 80% of the vote.

Today, as the first openly gay Democratic candidate for president, Buttigieg acknowledges the world seems more accepting.

“One thing that gives me a lot of encouragement – don’t get me wrong, as you know there’s plenty of ugliness that comes in from all over the place – most people, I think, are either supportive or even enthusiastic about the idea of the first out person going this far,” he said. “Or, they find a way to let me know they don’t care – and that’s historic, too.”

“One day, the way this will work, when the mayor is trying to figure out how to come out, you go to the next rubber chicken you’re going to and your date’s the same sex. And that’s that,” he said. “People shrug, figure it out, and get on with the evening.”

“It didn’t feel that way in Indiana in 2015.”

I’ll note it’s interesting to watch Mayor Pete listen. He’s not just waiting to repeat a talking point, but really listening, hearing, and considering his response.

Watch the exchange below.

News Round-Up: September 19, 2018

Stuart Reardon (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Stuart Reardon is giving his best “Clark Kent.” I’m willing to bet there’s a Superman under that shirt. I hear there’s an opening for the role, btw…

• Out lesbian Rachel Maddow not only has the top-rated show on her network, MSNBC, but she had the number one news show of all cable networks last week beating Fox News and CNN.

•  Cody Wilson, who owns a business that distributes blueprints for untraceable 3-D printed guns, has been charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl in Texas. Clearly proving his innocence, Wilson fled the country for Taiwan.

• A Florida father was arrested for driving his son to a park so he could have sex with his girlfriend.

American Idol alum and current The Voice judge, Kelly Clarkson, is getting her own talk show. According to reports, she’ll be the lead-in for Ellen in many markets.

• A new, mature version of Batman, titled “Batman: Damned,” depicts the caped crusader naked. And by naked, I mean full-frontal.

I won’t post here, but I can share a glimpse of bat-butt. The new series is for the DC Black Label division.

Rachel Maddow Breaks Down Reporting On Separated Children At The Border

At the end of her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow was handed breaking news by the Associate Press about the Trump administration operating “tender age” shelters for migrant babies and toddlers.

As has been widely reported, journalists who have toured the facilities have described the experience being similar to “visiting an animal shelter.”

Coming after an hour of reporting on the “zero tolerance” policy, Maddow tried to read the report live on air she kept choking up while speaking.

“This has just come out from the Associated Press,” she began, then paused, as her emotions were clearly taking hold.

She attempted to continue reading, but her voice broke.

Trying to get the camera off of her, Maddow asked producers to put up a graphic, but it’s not ready.

There was a final attempt before shaking her head, saying: “I think I’m gonna have to hand this off.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Thankfully Lawrence O’Donnell was at the ready for the handoff into the next hour.

Maddow later apologized via Twitter to her viewers:

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Beats Fox News’ Hannity As “Most Watched Cable News Host”

The cable news wars are heating up as MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show beat Fox News’s Hannity with a best-ever 3.058 million viewers compared to Hannity’s 3 million.

Even better news for MSNBC – Maddow scored an average 671K viewers in the much-prized 25-54 demographic in the 9PM ET slot. Hannity averaged only 616K viewers.

Third place CNN garnered only 382K viewers in the 25-54 demo.

MSNBC was the only cable news network to increase viewership over the same period in 2017. MSNBC saw a 30% increase while both CNN and Fox News saw declines in their audience.

MSNBC’s prime lineup was up 8% from March 2017 numbers, while both Fox (down 18%) and CNN (down 16%) saw big drop-offs when accounting for year-over-year.

I think it’s undeniable that “The Resistance” remains strong since Trump’s inauguration and that accounts for much of the increased appetite for MSNBC’s programming.


News Round-Up: June 15, 2017

Some news items you might have missed:

• RuPaul stars as cover girl on Entertainment Weekly this week for the LGBTQ issue. Speaking of his 8 year hiatus from his glamorous alter-ego: “I thought, ‘Could it be that this is not meant for me?’ It was this horrible existence. One day, my friend Larry Tee called me and said, ‘Ru, what the f—k are you doing? You are a star. Get your ass back to New York and get your s—t together.’ And I did…I’m going to go back to New York and give those bitches exactly what they want from me.”

• The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia while simultaneously blocking the president from lifting those penalties.

• Homocon journalist says gays only care about “pop music and going to the beach,” adding “they probably don’t know what the Second Amendment is.”

The Washington Post has had record readership thanks in great part to exceptional reporting on the Trump administration.

Queerty reviews the best day pool parties in Las Vegas. Who wants to get wet and wild?

• MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow covers Rolling Stone Magazine: “We have a mantra when it comes to this administration: ‘Don’t pay attention to what they say, focus on what they do.’ And that is very helpful, because it’s easier to cover a fast-moving story when you’re not distracted by whatever the White House denials are.”

MSNBC Wins Cable News War For First Time Ever

The Rachel Maddow Show wins cable news race as #1 show in primetime on basic cable

Via The Hill:

MSNBC finished first in the key 25-54 demographic and in total viewers against its cable news rivals last week for the first time in its 21-year existence, according to Nielsen Research.

Overall, MSNBC finished second in all of basic cable, only falling to TNT, which aired several NBA playoff games.

Fox News finished third in primetime for the first time in nearly 17 years.

For the week of May 15, MSNBC’s weekday prime averaged 2.440 million total viewers, with Fox second with 2.405 million and CNN third with 1.649 million.

For adults aged 25-54, MSNBC averaged 611,000 viewers. CNN finished second with 589,000 and Fox third with 497,000.

The big winners?

“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9PM was #1 most-watched nonsports program for the week in all of basic cable.

The 8PM time slot was won by CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The third place winner for the week was Lawrence O’Donnell at 10PM with “The Last Word.” Even with his strong ratings, though, O’Donnell’s contract is set to expire June 4 and is rumored to be on the chopping block.

The last time Fox News finished in 3rd place for the week (Monday-Friday) goes all the way back to June of 2000.

The Late Show Spoofs Rachel Maddow’s Preamble Technique

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert nails this parody of Rachel Maddow’s tendency to go on at length in introducing a topic before finally getting to the actual topic.

Some folks were a bit disappointed Tuesday night after Maddow’s much-hyped reveal of Donald Trump’s taxes turned out to be only two pages from 12 years ago.

The episode attracted 4.13 million viewers, her biggest audience ever.

While some compared the moment with Geraldo Rivera’s infamous unearthing of Al Capone’s vault, others thought it masterful by drawing in the viewers (including Trump supporters) and using the preamble to review her recent investigation into Trump’s Russian ties.

With my short attention span, I do sometimes find her openings too long, but she always has a point she’s heading to.

Watch Colbert demonstrate the “Maddow method” below:

Rachel Maddow Talks Trump Tax Returns, Trump Pretends No One Has Heard Of Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

Last night, Rachel Maddow almost blew up Twitter with the news that she had in her possession “Donald Trump’s tax returns.”

In truth, it was two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax returns. The pages were sent anonymously to Pulitzer Prize winning, New York Times best selling author David Cay Johnston, who sat down with Maddow to discuss what the return could tell American voters about their new president.

The White House actually put out a statement in advance of Maddow’s show which confirmed the information.

The very short version is that Trump paid $36 million in taxes on $153 million adjusted gross income. So, about 25% tax rate. About what most middle class folks pay percentage-wise.

Reminder – Trump is the first President in four decades to refuse to release his returns, even though he promised on many occasions to do so.

For the full breakdown of the tax returns by Johnston, click here.

Watch below as Maddow and Johnston discuss the documents:

Folks are wondering where the tax return came from, and it’s been considered by a lot of folks that Trump himself, or an aide, sent the pages as a distraction from his current White House woes. As we all know, Trump used to “leak” info on himself to New York City newspapers under an assumed name often back in the 80s and 90s.

This morning, the Donald at least feigned anger tweeting, “Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, “went to his mailbox” and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!”

Reminder: Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize winning author with New York Times best-sellers to his credit. A LOT of folks have heard of him.

Johnston replied to the tweet thusly:

Johnston also shared last night that his family was allegedly threatened by Trump supporters:

Now. Can we get back to Trump’s allegations of wire tapping and the American Health Care Act which won’t be passing in it’s present form?