• Snopes: The venerable fact-checking site says there’s no truth to the rumors that a Trump supporter tasered himself in the balls causing a heart attack. Kevin Greeson (above) has been confirmed as one of the five people who died during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, but his wife said he did not have a taser.
• Deadline: The final show featuring longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek aired Friday, and a special tribute at the end of it captures everything that audiences loved about the man. In a video montage, Trebek jokes, banters with contestants, and generally delivers the same warm, naturally smooth, humble and reassuring presence that guided his performances through 36 years.
• Wall Street Journal: White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs because Donald Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s unproven claims of election fraud. A senior Justice Department official, at the behest of the White House, called Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak and told him he needed to step down because he wasn’t pursuing vote-fraud allegations to Mr. Trump’s satisfaction.
• Business Insider: Top aides have said Trump has been spiraling out of control for weeks, but now he’s directed much of his ire toward his heretofore loyal vice president. A source told The Wall Street Journal that the president was furious, telling Pence: “I don’t want to be your friend — I want you to be the vice president.”
• Billboard: Taylor Swift’s Folklore finishes 2020 as the top-selling album of the year in the U.S., and the only album to sell at least a million copies during the year, according to MRC Data. Plus, the superstar has now claimed the top-selling album of the year five times — becoming the first act to earn the honor.
Dancers dressed in colorful ensembles moved around the stage before the drag queens featured in the music video appeared next to Swift as she sang the anti-hate anthem. The first number concluded with the words “Equality Act” largely written behind the performers.
Swift has been an advocate for the Equality Act and has urged her followers to sign a petition in its favor on social media. The House of Representatives passed legislation in May that protects those living in states where it’s legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity when it comes to housing, employment and other services.
Taylor Swift dropped her awesome new music video for “You Need To Calm Down” and it’s packed to the gills with LGBTQ stars, celebs and personalities.
Featured in the video are Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan van Ness, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Ciara, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita, Billy Porter, Adam Lambert, Adam Rippon, Ryan Reynolds, Hayley Kiyoko, Todrick Hall, Chester Lockhart, Dexter Mayfield, Hannah Hart, and Katy Perry.
The song shows Taylor’s “all-in” support for the LGBTQ community as the video is full of plastic wading pools, crowns for queens, bouncy beats, glitter, and queer references like GLAAD and shade.
The music video’s release arrives just weeks after Swift shared an open letter to her Republican Tennessee U.S. senators calling for their support for the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
And Friday night, she surprised folks at the historic Stonewall Inn with an impromptu performance of her mega-hit “Shake It Off.”
The climax of the vid is an epic trailer park food fight followed by the message:
“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.
“Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.
After a rousing pair of songs from Sara Bareilles — including a version of “Brave” that had virtually all of the 100-odd lucky people inside singing along — Swift was greeted by the evening’s headliner, “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
She thanked him for inviting her and said, “I heard this is Jesse’s favorite song to do at karaoke — which is an incredible rumor, I really want to believe it’s true,” she laughed and then turned to him. “So if there’s anything you feel like you want to jump in on, a part that you’re really good at, just sing, dance and be yourself — this is a really safe space!”
Before Swift performed, AEG, which co-hosted the event, presented Stonewall with a $50,000 check to support its Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative’s (SIGBI) development of an LGBTQ+ anti-bias training standard in conjunction with anti-bias training experts.
The performance occurred on the same day she dropped her latest single, “You Need To Calm Down,” which name checks GLAAD and chastises homophobes.
I’m so happy I don’t have to keep this secret any longer. Look who came to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall at the Stonewall Inn. @taylorswift13, you are a gem. Thank you for everything you do for the LGBTQ community. We ❤️ you! 🌈 https://t.co/ICE2b3arxU
This is all just the latest in a string of actions by the 29-year-old artist in support of the LGBTQ community.
On May 31, Swift surprised folks by posting an open letter to her U.S. Senators asking them to support and pass The Equality Act, which would create federal protections against LGBTQ discrimination by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
During the 2018 midterm elections, she declared her opposition to virulently anti-LGBTQ U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). She also donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight several anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced in the state.
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate.
While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created this petition to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act.
Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable.
Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.
I love that Taylor is using her social media powers for good, and hope you will, too.
Please make sure you head to the petition (over 68,000 signatures at this time) and sign it as well.
Taylor Swift, country queen turned pop goddess, dropped the first track and video, “ME!” from her upcoming album, and it’s the most pro-LGBTQ vid from the artist yet.
Directed by Dave Meyers, the video features the Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco.
Brendon Urie and Taylor Swift
Opening with a slithering albino snake that explodes into colorful butterflies, the focus shifts to Taylor and Brandon arguing en Francais before the beat kicks in and we are off as Taylor dances with a rainbow of power-suited backups.
Already #1 on iTunes, “ME!” is also trending at #1 on YouTube.
International recording artist Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to aid in its attempts to stop state lawmakers from passing a slew of legislation that has been labeled as a “slate of hate.”
Chris Sanders, of Tennessee Equality Project, announced the donation.
“She sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people, including religious leaders, who are speaking out for love in the face of fear,” Sanders said on Facebook.