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Welcome Back Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo returns to our televisions every weeknight, at 8pm ET and again at 11 pm ET, on News Nation. Here's how to watch without cable.

I completely stopped watching cable news when his show went off the air. Taking his job away for defending his brother just seemed really unfair to me.

Who else has shows on News Nation? Legal analyst and now media scion Dan Abrams (who I suspect may own the channel, or a big chunk of it) and Ashley Banfield (whose reporting I have always liked since she was with MSNBC.)

I wish them all well and I intend to make time to watch.

Also on a media note, I'm sending good thoughts to Katie Couric, who recently announced she finished radiation treatment for breast cancer. (She's going to be fine).

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Johnny Depp Finally Clears His Name

(Not yet proofed for spelling and grammer, but I promised this post and here it is. I'll correct later tonight).

Last week, actor and musician Johnny Depp finally won his 6 year battle to clear his name of accusations that he physically abused his ex-wife Amber Heard during their relatively brief but very toxic marriage. You can watch the court deliver the verdict here.

Here is Johnny's post-verdict statement of gratitude, issued by his publicist as he remains in Europe touring with Jeff Beck at performances where he is treated by fans to standing ovations.

The jury gave Johnny a home run on all three statements he claimed were false, defaming and made with malice. For each statement, the jury had to answer 6 questions. [More...]

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James Corden Moving On In a Year

James Corden announced this will be his final year on CBS' Late Late Show. It's hard to believe he has been hosting for 7 years. He says he always intended the show to be an adventure and a journey, but not a final destination. Also, he and his wife are homesick for England. [More...]

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Johnny Depp Takes the Stand This Afternoon

Actor Johnny Depp will be taking the witness stand in his defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in about 15 minutes. You can watch live for free here or here. They are on lunch now and replaying earlier testimony.

So far it seems to me the witnesses are saying Amber instigated and perpetrated the violence, but I'm not there. NPR has this description of the case so far.

Depp says, his own career was severely damaged by the essay. Days after Heard's op-ed was published, his complaint says, Disney announced it would remove Depp "from his leading role as Captain Jack Sparrow — a role that he created — in the multi-billion-dollar-earning Pirates of the Caribbean franchise."

Depp accused Heard of making false claims against him, motivated by malice. His complaint also says Heard is not a victim of abuse, but a perpetrator, accusing her of physically abusing him during their relationship."

Court TV has commentators during it, I'm not sure if anyone is just airing the proceeding by itself.

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Aphasia and Singing

There have been a lot of news stories last week and this week about Bruce Willis who has developed aphasia. Aphasia usually happens after a stroke but can be caused by other things. Language and communication, which are controlled by the left side of the brain, are usually affected. Here is the New York Times explanation.

I was surprised that the Times didn't mention that many aphasic individuals, while they can't speak, can sing. (Singing is controlled by the right side of the brain).

In 2015, I wrote about aphasia and singing, describing a woman I represented in the 1970's. Following a brain aneurysm in her early 30's, she was a quadriplegic and she couldn't talk. It's one of my favorite client stories. I am reprinting it below:

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2022 Grammy Awards -- Why Las Vegas?

I'm more interested in the Grammys telecast tonight than I was in the Oscars. People already has 125 red carpet photos up. Variety has this list of (in their view) the best dressed of them.

I really don't get why they are being held in Las Vegas -- seems like an odd pairing. But I'm looking forward to watching BTS, who are all recovered from their bouts with COVID-19, which several of them were diagnosed with after their arrival last week in Las Vegas. Here they are on the Red Carpet: [More...]

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Will Smith Resigns from Motion Picture Academy

Will Smith has responded to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors notice that it had launched an investigation into his slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, by resigning from the Organization. His statement begins with:

I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.


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2021 Oscars

The Academy Awards are live on ABC TV.

I just tuned in to hear the moving acceptance speech of Troy Kostur in CODA.

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R.I.P. Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector has died after a brief bout with cancer at age 78.

Ronnie Spector’s influence was felt far and wide. Brian Wilson became obsessed with “Be My Baby” and Billy Joel wrote “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in Spector’s honor. Amy Winehouse frequently cited Spector as an idol.

Martin Scorsese used “Be My Baby” to open his 1973 film “Mean Streets” and the song appears in the title sequence of “Dirty Dancing” and the closing credits of “Baby Mama.” It also appeared on TV in “Moonlighting” and “The Wonder Years.”

When the Ronettes were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones remembered opening for the trio in England in the mid-1960s. “They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound,” Richards said. “They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still.”


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Some Much Needed Normalcy

CNN is featuring a concert with James Taylor and Carole King. It's not only a great performance but for an hour I tuned out everything else going on in the world. If you can, catch the re-run. [More....]

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Alec Baldwin: He Didn't Pull Trigger, Gun Went Off On Its Own

From the first I heard about the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the Rust movie set, I suspected that the gun Alec Baldwin was holding in the "church pew" discharged on its own as he was practicing the "cross-body move" he was supposed to make with it. Many news accounts were pretty sketchy on whether he pulled the trigger or intended to pull the trigger.

In an interview to be broadcast on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin gives his first detailed interview on the shooting.

Asked .... how a real bullet got on the "Rust" set, Alec Baldwin says: “I have no idea. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”

He also says the scene he was practicing didn't call for the shooting of the weapon. There would be no reason for him to practice shooting with it, and he would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger.

There is new evidence in the case. Yesterday, the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office executed its fourth search warrant, this time on the business of Seth Kenney, who supplied the ammunition for the movie. You can read the Affidavit for the warrant here. [More...]

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CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo Indefinitely for Advising Brother

CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo indefinitely, after a report was released this week with thousands of pages from the NYS Attorney General's investigation of sexual harrassment allegations against his brother, Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. CNN released a statement saying it had given him a pass in August when the topic came up, but after the documents were released, it appears he had a greater role advising his brother than previously dislosed.

Chris' 348 page deposition is here. I'm on page 131 and haven't found anything objectionable yet.

I like watching Chris Cuomo. He's comfortable, like a favorite pair of slippers. He's polite to his guests, and he wears his feelings on his sleeve. He doesn't sound phony. Why wouldn't he give his brother the benefit of his thoughts? [More...]

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2021 Emmys -- Scaled Down

The Emmys Awards are on. There is something very different about this year's production. It is so scaled down, and many of the nominees are celebrating and appearing from London.

I'm watching on my desktop and there seems to be a time delay of a few seconds during which you get to see the exact moment the nominee hears their name and their entire expression changes. I like that.

The London room seems like an intimate bar, with just a handful or two of tables. It's a more intimate setting than even the Golden Globes.

So far, the awards are going to a handful of shows like The Crown, Ted Lasso, The Handsmaid's Tale, Pose, Ted Lasso to name a few.[More...]

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Bob Dylan Turns 80

Wow. Just wow. Bob Dylan is 80 years old.

Happy birthday Bob Dylan. I know all the readers here will join me in wishing him many, many more.

His work is too extensive for me to pick a favorite. But I'll go with the one that has been the tagline for Talkleft's front page (bottom middle right column)for 19 years: Subterranean Homesick Blues.

The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles


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Oscar Night 2020

Update: Parasite is the night's big winner, four awards, including best picture, best director, best international feature and one other. I'm looking foward to watching it.

Random quiz: Which male actor has been nominated the most in the Academy's 92 year history? Jack Nicholson with 12 nominations (Laurence Olivier only had ten). He's tied with Katherine Hepburn. And the most nominated actor/acress of all time? Meryl Streep with 21 nominations. [More...]

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