News Round-Up: January 21, 2021

Dozens of Broadway performers took part in 'Seasons of Love' at the Biden Inaugural Concert
No presidential pardon for the Tiger King plus dozens of Broadway performers took part in 'Seasons of Love' at the Biden Inaugural Concert
Broadway at the Biden Inaugural Concert

Some news items you might have missed:

CNN: Out news anchor Shep Smith has broken his silence about his departure from Fox News. Now at CNBC, Smith says he stayed as long as he did in order to try and counterbalance the misinformation coming out of the right-leaning network.

Broadway at the Inaugural: I was thrilled to see this beautiful collaboration debut during last night’s Biden Inaugural Concert (above). I know several folks in this but five I have longtime ties with: Tony Award winners Betty Buckley, Chita Rivera, and Leslie Uggams, as well as Tony Award nominees Vanessa Williams and Charlotte d’Amboise.

Charlotte gives you LIFE dancing in the center during the last minute. #LovedIt

Outsports: 39 current NFL players on 22 teams say they have already had an out gay teammate, including six players with the Arizona Cardinals.

Instinct Magazine: Tiger King star Joe Maldonado-Passage (a.k.a Joe Exotic) truly believed Donald Trump would issue him a presidential pardon on his last day in office. The Tiger King was so sure the pardon was coming he had a limo standing by to pick him up at the prison.

HuffPost: An 18-year veteran police officer, most recently with the Houston Police Department, stormed the U.S. Capitol and then tried to cover his tracks by deleting photos from inside the rotunda and lying about his conduct.

Twitter: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden shares her first video message thanking service members, first responders, civil servants.

News Round-Up: December 25, 2020

International superstar Dolly Parton (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Dolly Parton wants Christian homophobes to quit shaming gays – “Judging is God’s job.”

Instinct Magazine: President-elect Joe Biden has tapped openly gay Gautam Raghavan, who previously served as a White House staffer in the Obama administration, to serve as Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel. Raghavan will be tasked with identifying, recruiting, and vetting more than 4,000 political appointments across the federal government.

Page Six: ‘Sex and the City’ will return to the small screen, with a limited series reboot coming to HBO Max, and would include all the original stars — except Kim Cattrall, who has repeatedly said she is not interested in returning.

KIT212: Racist uses the n-word and pays for it. I agree with Kenneth – the guy stopped punching too soon.

AP News: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week – 803,000 – is somber evidence that the job market remains under stress nine months after the coronavirus outbreak sent the U.S. economy into recession and caused millions of layoffs. Before the virus struck, jobless claims typically numbered around 225,000 a week before shooting up to 6.9 million in early spring when the virus — and efforts to contain it — flattened the economy.

• Washington Post: Donald Trump’s latest pardons are just the final steps taken to complete the coverup of the Russia scandal. Included are GOP lawmakers who admitted to breaking the law, and convicted Blackwater contractors who killed unarmed civilians in a 2007 massacre.

Law and Crime: Tiger King star Joe Exotic, is hoping to join the ranks of Paul Manafort and Roger Stone by landing himself a presidential pardon before Donald Trump leaves office next month. The self-described “gay, gun-toting redneck” and former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate has dropped his lawsuit against the DOJ, telling a federal judge that he believes the president has personally received his pardon petition.

Twitter: President-elect Joe Biden and soon-to-be First Lady Jill Biden wish everyone glad tidings on this festive holiday.

News Round-Up: September 9, 2020

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Brogan (above) shares some #BigDogEnergy from Los Angeles with his bestie Astrid.

WeHo Times: Rage Nightclub, located in the heart of West Hollywood’s LGBT Rainbow District), has announced it will permanently close after 37 years. According to sources, the restaurant/bar and multi-level nightclub did not renew their lease which was up in November. Former employees also blame the COVID-19 pandemic and high rent as factors in its closure.

• Gay Star News: Gay reality TV personality Joe Exotic (of Tiger King fame) has written to Donald Trump begging for a presidential pardon to get him out of jail. In January a court sentenced him to 22 years in prison over his plot to kill his rival Carol Baskin and for killing five tigers in his zoo.

Joe Exotic and friend (image via Netflix)

Fox News: Former ‘pool boy’ Giancarlo Granda claims Jerry Falwell Jr. has been ‘relentlessly harassing’ him since the sex scandal broke that brought an end to Falwell’s tenure at Liberty University. Granda is now sharing text messages, emails and photos with that appear to back up his allegations and, at the very least, show the Falwells breaking Liberty’s code of conduct on multiple occasions.

NY Daily News: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today indoor dining will be allowed to resume in New York City restaurants beginning September 30. Capacity will be limited to 25%, tables must be six feet apart, patrons will be required to have temperature checks, there will be no walk-up bar service, and customers will be required to leave contact information.

Election 2020: Joe Biden called out Donald Trump for lying to the American people about knowing the true severity of the coronavirus health threat – “He knew how deadly it was,” said Biden. “It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose! It was a life and death betrayal on the American people.”

‘Tiger King’ Celeb In Talks With ‘Dancing With The Stars?’

Carole Baskin (image via Instagram)

Tiger King reality celeb Carole Baskin is in talks to play in the Dancing with the Stars sandbox?

OMG, will she never go away???

From E!News:

Sources tell E! News exclusively that Carole Baskin, Chrishell Stause, Anne Heche, and AJ McLean are all in talks to compete for the mirrorball trophy this season, and are close to being confirmed.

Sources also say that Dr. Anthony Fauci, coronavirus expert, was asked, but declined to participate, which is really a shame. Just imagine Carole Baskin and Dr. Fauci standing on that stage together, awaiting the results of America’s vote.

The full cast will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 2 on Good Morning America. Until then, ABC won’t be confirming or commenting on any cast reports.

The True ‘Tiger King’ – Famed Magician Roy Horn Dies From COVID-19

L-R Roy Horn, Siegfried Fichbacher

Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn, whose collaboration with Siegfried Fischbacher created the world-renowned duo Siegfried & Roy, died of complications from COVID-19 today in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 75.

Together, Siegfried & Roy redefined live magic by combining remarkable stagecraft with rare and endangered animals. In doing so, the duo created the modern era for Las Vegas entertainment.

“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” said Siegfried. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”

“Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”

The duo never defined their relationship for the public but over time they became known as “former lovers and lifelong friends.”

Born October 3, 1944 in Germany, Roy developed a connectivity to animals from an early age, beginning with his beloved wolfdog Hexe and his pet cheetah, Chico, which he adopted from the Bremen Zoo.

While working as a steward on a cruise ship, Roy assisted in a performance of Siegfried’s magic act. After the show, Roy asked the question that changed both of their lives: “Siegfried, disappearing rabbits are ordinary, but can you make a cheetah disappear?”

After a pause, Siegfried said, “In magic, anything is possible.” Unbeknownst to him – and the ship’s captain – Roy had smuggled his pet cheetah aboard the cruise.

So began a 50-year entertainment odyssey that took Siegfried & Roy around the world, breaking box office records from Japan to Radio City Music Hall. But it was their four-decade-long run in Las Vegas that established them as global superstars.

Siegfried & Roy started in 1967 as a featured act in notable Las Vegas revues “Follies Bergère,” “Hallelujah Hollywood” and “Lido de Paris.” They grew to headliners in “Beyond Belief” at the New Frontier in 1981.

(promotional photo)

But the duo became a Las Vegas “destination” of international renown with their precedent-setting, 14-year run at The Mirage that began in 1989.

The $30-million production – unheard of at the time – sold out the then-largest theater in Las Vegas history nightly. The expectations for live entertainment, especially on all the stages of the Las Vegas Strip, were forever changed the moment the show opened.

In their good vs. evil spectacle of lights, sound, and never-before-seen spectacular magic, the duo introduced the world to their extensive animal family – more than 55 white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars — even an elephant – that appeared and vanished with mesmerizing speed and panache.

Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage became a must-see for all Las Vegas visitors and hundreds of notable personalities including Presidents, royalty, Hollywood and sports stars, and dignitaries from all walks of life.

Their creative vision ultimately grew to include film, television and books, and Siegfried & Roy continue to share their magical world with millions of visitors at the Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage.

On October 3, 2003, Roy’s performance career ended when one of his white tigers, Mantecore, reacted to what Roy believed was a stroke and dragged him off the stage.

Roy mystified all medical experts by surviving the incident, and its complications, to live a full and rewarding life after the show ended. He traveled the world, visited his animals daily and could be seen attending shows and philanthropic events in Las Vegas.

From that night on, Roy referred to Mantecore as “my lifesaver.”

“Roy’s whole life was about defying the odds,” added Siegfried. “He grew up with very little and became famous throughout the world for his showmanship, flair and his life-long commitment to animal conservation. He had a strength and will unlike anyone I have ever known.”

Roy is survived by his brother Werner Horn, his animal family, and of course, Siegfried.

(via press release)

Special Episode Of Netflix’s “Tiger King” To Air Easter Sunday

Joe Exotic and friend (image via Netflix)

Netflix has announced a new episode its wildly popular seven-episode docu-series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Joel McHale will host the postscript episode which is titled, “The Tiger King and I,” to be released on April 12.

Deadline Hollywood reports the new installment will “feature brand-new interviews with Tiger King‘s John Reinke, Joshua Dial, John Finlay, Saff, Erik Cowie, Rick Kirkham, and Jeff and Lauren Lowe, who will talk about their experiences since last month’s release of the docuseries.”

“It’s eye-opening and hopefully funny,” McHale said in announcing the followup. The show has become a pop culture phenomenon since its premiere on March 20, perhaps in part due to many folks staying home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

In case you haven’t been following the unbelievable popularity of the docu-series, check out the mini-feature below that chronicles how and why the Netflix series came to be.

McHale posted this quick video clip to the Netflix Twitter account announcing the additional episode.

News Round-Up: April 7, 2020

Mike Yerxa (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Who else is baking during this coronavirus thing? Toronto hottie Mike Yerxa (above – serious beard goals!!!) shows his pride in his newly-baked banana bread.

The Hill: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, whose net worth is estimated at $3.3 billion, announced Tuesday that he will donate $1 billion to the newly-founded Start Small Foundation to support “global COVID-19 relief” efforts. Dorsey ranks 168 on the Forbes 400 list, so there are 167 American billionaires with more money than him. Will they pony-up as well?

MSNBC: Donald Trump thinks mail-in voting is “horrible,” but he voted by mail in Florida’s election last month. “Because I’m allowed to.” In 2016, there were nearly 33 million absentee votes counted, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. More than 600,000 military and other overseas voters cast ballots in 2016.

Washington Blade: At a press conference last Friday, Donald Trump was asked about the FDA easing its outdated blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men from a 12-month wait to 3-months. The Donald, who frames himself as ‘good for the gays’ admitted he didn’t know anything or have anything to do with the new guidelines.

Variety: Netflix is releasing an extra episode of the hit docu-series Tiger King next week, according to zoo owner Jeff Lowe from the show. “Netflix is adding one more episode,” said Lowe in a video posted on Twitter by Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “It will be on next week. They’re filming here tomorrow.” #ItsNotOver

NewNowNext: Lady Gaga and advocacy group Global Citizen teamed up to raise $35 million in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and will celebrate with a talent-filled TV special honoring health care workers on April 18, starting at 8pm EST. In the United States, it will be shown simultaneously on CBS, NBC, and ABC. The special will include appearances by Elton John, Lizzo, John Legend, Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, David Beckham, Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Maluma, Idris Elba, and more.

Talking Points Memo: Clad in gloves, a mask and full-length gown, Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos (R) assured voters that it is “incredibly safe to go out” on Election Day despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Vos and his fellow Republicans were behind the push to keep Wisconsin’s elections as scheduled, in part, because there’s a state Supreme Court seat on the ballot and conservatives do better when fewer folks show up. Vos looks silly telling people “incredibly safe” wearing all his hospital gear…

News Round-Up: April 1, 2020

Ron Rich becomes the second Winter Party festival attendee to die from coronavirus.

Ron Rich becomes the second Winter Party festival attendee to die from coronavirus.

Some news items you might have missed:

National LGBTQ Task Force: Volunteer Ron Rich (above) is the second Winter Party attendee to succumb to the coronavirus. According to a Facebook post, he had served on the Task Force’s hospitality team for five years and also volunteered with the Outshine Film Festival and Lambda Legal. Israel Carreras was the first attendee to die from COVID-19.

The Gay UK: A woman found her husband’s Grindr account on his phone. She asked the “Dear Uncle” column in the UK for advice on what to do.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Wisconsin is still planning on holding its Democratic primary next Tuesday. But a lack of poll workers has led the governor to use members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard to man the polls during the April 7 election.

Out Music: Troye Sivan originally planned to release his latest single, “Take Yourself Home,” later this year but current events caused him to reconsider that plan. The track mixes acoustic guitar and club beats resulting in a winning mid-tempo groove.

Mediaite: In a message to his supporters, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) admits he has a very narrow path to the Democratic nomination but vows: “If I’m not the nominee, I will do everything I can to see that Joe Biden is elected president because Trump is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country, and we’re seeing just how dangerous he is with all of the misinformation that he is providing during this coronavirus pandemic.”

Washington Post: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 410 points, or 1.9 percent, to cap the most dismal first quarter of its 135-year history. The Dow ended Tuesday at 21,917.16 — a full 23 percent below its January start and 26 percent off the record high it set in February.

Tiger King: It’s interesting to learn that Saff, one of the few sympathetic characters on the Netflix series, is presented as a lesbian. It turns out he’s transgender and was misgendered repeatedly throughout each episode. Robert Moor, who produced a podcast chronicling the private zoo’s story prior to the Netflix docu-series, tweeted that Saff’s gender identity was virtually erased in the series.

News Round-Up: March 27, 2020

Ryan Worley (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Chippendales’ Ryan Worley (above) has the right idea for a Friday night. Man, this week kinda kicked my butt… How are you folks doing? Thinking best thoughts everyone’s way.

Fox News: Former Vice President Joe Biden bests President Donald Trump by nine points in a 2020 ballot test, in the first Fox News Poll since Biden became the de facto Democratic nominee. Notably, Biden has an eight-point edge in battleground states (48-40 percent). However, Biden’s advantage grows to 25 points, 57-32 percent, in close counties (where Hillary Clinton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016).

NewNowNext: Click over to read a deep dive into the many husbands of “Joe Exotic,” one of the stars of the bizarre docu-series Tiger King. I watched the first two episodes last night after seeing everyone talk about it. It’s quite the odd assortment of big cat ‘private zoo’ characters.

Out Music: Bounce into the weekend with this new cut from Bright Light Bright Light – “This Was My House,” a sugar-rush of dancefloor pop featuring Madonna’s longtime backing vocalist duo Niki Haris and Donna De Lory.

“The song is about how the safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community have been fractured of late with a palpable uprising of anti-LGBTQ+ and xenophobic rhetoric, which is scarily even more real now as these public spaces are closed for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the artist.

NY Daily News: New Yorkers should be prepared for the city to remain in “pause” due to coronavirus through May even as President Trump gives Americans “false hope” the country will reopen by Easter next month, Mayor de Blasio said Friday. “We have to be ready for that and I think it’s going to spread in the country,” de Blasio said when asked if the city would be closed through May. “This idea of Easter is, unfortunately, a false hope. It would be better for the president to be blunt with people that we’ve got a really tough battle ahead.”

KIT212: Kenneth rounds up the best of local gay rags in the U.S. and around the world including DNA Magazine featuring Nordic hottie Patrik Isoaho (below).