Online celebrity feuds becoming trendy: are they to save floundering careers?

Twitter battle ensues between Oprah Winfrey and Stacey Dash

Twitter battle ensues between Oprah Winfrey and Stacey Dash

When Twitter launched in 2006, it was launched with a singular purpose in mind; to keep users close to the information they care about. As of 2012, more than 500 million registered users were sharing everything from photos, to recipes, to status updates with their fan base. But recently, the tide of the Twitter-sphere has shifted, and gone the way of a tabloid publication.

Celebrity feuds are nothing new in the media, but here in the 21st century cyberspace has created a whole new place for celebs to vent their disdain for each other to a worldwide audience. For many of these celebs, it is a way to challenge more established stars to boost their sagging popularity. Case in point; Stacy Dash and Oprah Winfrey.

In a recent interview while shilling for her latest film work, Lee Daniel’s “The Butler,” media mogul Oprah compared the recent Florida case of Trayvon Martin trial to the murder and trial of Illinois teen Emmett Till in 1955 in Mississippi. In that case, Till was abducted from a relative’s home, taken to a barn where he was tortured and murdered by the husband and brother-in-law of a woman Till had spoken to earlier in a grocery store. The case made headlines due to the decision at the trial to acquit the men accused of the crime.

Apparently, Oprah’s words set off something in Dash, who took to the Twitter-sphere to lash out at Winfrey for her comparison.

If You aren’t careful, The newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed And loving the people who are doing the oppressing ~ Malcolm X Oprah Compares Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till; Says Obama is “Smart” for Not Appearing on Fox News http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/08/07/oprah-compares-trayvon-martin-emmett-till-says-obama-smart-not-appearing-fox-news via @foxnewsinsider Shame on you @oprah

Dash, the “star” of such films as “Clueless” and “Above the Top,” is an unwavering supporter of the Republican Party, and supported former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the most recent election calling him “the only hope for the future.”  She has tweeted on a number of hot-button political topics such as immigration reform, requiring voter ID’s and the military presence in Syria.

KK copy

Reality celeb Kim Kardashian and journalist turned talk show host Katie Courid

In a similar vein, “celebrity” Kim Kardashian recently fired back at journalist and talk show host Katie Couric on Twitter, and Couric made a statement recently to “In Style” magazine about her thoughts on the Kardashian family, and their contribution to the entertainment industry.

“I don’t understand … Why are they so famous,” Couric to the magazine. “I think it’s mostly teenage girls that are interested.”

Attempting to make a mea culpa to Kardashian after the recent birth of her first child with boyfriend Kanye West, Couric sent a gift to the couple with an enclosed note that read as follows:

Dear Kim and Kanye
Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl!
And may I humbly suggest you continue the K tradition for names
Fondly, Katie Couric

This “breach of etiquette” by Couric apparently unleashed something in Kardashian that could be likened to a post-partum hormonal imbalance, causing her to fire back on Instagram with the following hash tag laden dig:

#IHateFakeMediaFriends #MayIHumblySuggestYouNotSendGiftsThenTalkShit

The similarity between these two instances is simple; an unquenchable desire to remain relevant. Dash, who has had little media attention for her acting as of late has chosen to take to the web to share her political beliefs about the state of the country, challenging the current administration of President Barack Obama with Tweets like “This White House is like Lord Of The Flies. Someone please! Get the conch shell and lead us!”

Rapper Kanye West and celeb baby-momma Kim Kardashian

Rapper Kanye West and celeb baby-momma Kim Kardashian

Similar can be said for Kardashian. Since her “subsidized” wedding to basketballer Kris Humphreys, and their subsequent divorce, her “star” has been a bit on the decline. The pairing with rapper with West has done little to improve her popularity, as West is no stranger to media controversy.  West has repeatedly been at odds with reporters and paparazzi; just days ago the Los Angeles district attorney’s office chose not to pursue charges filed against the rapper by a reporter he allegedly got into a scuffle with at Los Angeles International Airport. The case is currently being reviewed by the Los Angeles city attorney for potential misdemeanor charges, which could pave the way for a civil suit.

Incidentally, sales of West’s most recent musical endeavor, “Yeesus,” dropped 80% in its second week of release, the 4th largest drop in history. Could his celeb status be in jeopardy as well?

So the question remains; is launching a “celebrity feud” on the internet the way to remain relevant? In the Dash vs. Winfrey battle, Oprah has taken the high road and remained mum on the topic. Couric did release a statement, taking the high road as one would expect saying:

“I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. The gift is genuine and I’m happy for Kim and Kanye.”

From the responses of some of their own followers, these two “battle-challenging celebrities,” should keep their thoughts to themselves and off the Twitter-sphere; #zipyourlips.

What are your thoughts on the celebrity cyber wars? Weigh in with your comments.

 

Is the NFL ready for its first openly gay player?

Out football kicker Alan Gendreau. Read more on his quest for the NFL by clicking the photo above.

The “good old boy” network that is professional football is poised for a wake up call..in the form of a mild-mannered kicker from the state of Florida. Alan Gendreau is a kicker from Middle Tennessee State University in conservative Murfreesboro. Gendreau is athletically talented, helping take the Blue Raiders to an impressive 8-4 record in the Sun Belt Conference, and has his sights set on the NFL. Gendreau is also openly gay.

Gendreau felt supported by his fellow players, having come out to the team in his freshman year. Teammate Josh Davis summed up the feelings of the  team to OutSports.

“Everyone just saw him as a football player. He was just one of the guys. The fact that he proved himself on the field, there was a respect for him.”

Still, the question remains if the NFL is ready to open its ranks to an openly gay player. Many NFL players have come out in support of gay players on the field. Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings is a vocal gay rights advocate, and feels that the time has come for gay athletes to take a stand and be accepted.

“It’s totally legit that (Gendreau) can get into the league,” says Kluwe. “Place-kicking is all about doing this one specific skill set. And if you can do that, you can make it whether you’ve been out of football for one year or 10 years.”

Another positive for Gendreau and other gay athletes; endorsements. The deals that could be available for gay athletes could be lucrative for not only the players but their teams as well.

Read more about Alan Gendreau here.

Homophobia is still rampant in professional sports…football is no exception. Do you think the time is right for out players in the sport, or any of the professional sports? Weigh in with your comments here.

Fox News personality creates controversy with statements on Muslims studying in the U.S.

Did Bob Beckel hang himself with comments made about Muslim students?

Fox News has not been a paragon of accurate reporting in recent years. Just last week, during the height of the Boston Marathon bombing media blitz, the network announced that there had indeed been an arrest in the case…well in advance of there actually being a named suspect. The network later backtracked on the story, but still the damage was done. Once it was said, it can’t be taken back. Which is another chink in the networks armor, especially in light of recent comments from one of its most liberal personalities.

Bob Beckel, co-host of Fox’s “The Five,” has stepped into a mine field by concluding that Muslim students should be “cut off” from coming to the United States. Beckel made the statement during a discussion of the Boston bombing suspects with his co-anchors on Tuesday’s show.

We know that in the Muslim communities around the world, they do not like us. They recruit people from poor areas and turn them into terrorists. I think we really have to consider…that we’re going to have to cut off Muslim students from coming to this country for some period of time so that we can at least absorb what we’ve got, look at what we’ve got and decide whether some of the people here should be sent back home or sent to prison. .” 

Beckel took this stand during a discussion on the Tsarnaev brothers, the alleged bombing suspects responsible for the attack in Boston last week. It was, however, difficult for  Beckel to quantify his argument considering the brothers had entered the country legally years ago. Still, Beckel seemed to realize that he may have spoken out of turn, and tried to explain his position further by asserting that young Muslims who were already in the country should be allowed to stay, but further restrictions should be implemented, and that Chinese students should be included as well. Beckel’s stance on Chinese students is that they are sent here to the U.S. to learn computers, only to return home to “hack us.”

What are your thoughts on Mr. Beckel’s comments? Offer your thoughts in our comments section.

 

ND news anchor’s career derailed by “Freaking Shoes” on the air

When your fired, you’re fired. Or are you…?

We’ve all been there. In a moment of stress, we utter something under our breath that may be a bit…racy. You know what I mean; expletive laden thoughts. Now imagine if that moment was caught on camera and broadcast to a television viewing audience. That is the case for one former news anchor in North Dakota.

AJ Clemente was fired from his job as an anchor for North Dakota NBC station KFYR after uttering what can most easily be translated into “freaking shoes,” unaware that his microphone was still live. The worst part of this story is that it was not only AJ’s first day on the air as anchor, it was also his last. The difficulty stemmed from  not only first day jitters, but the fact that the first words he was to utter on the air was a story about the winner of the Boston marathon, Tsegaye Kebede. Still, owning up to his on-air gaffe, Clemente took to the Twitter-sphere to give a decidedly light-hearted spin to his predicament.

“Tough day,Thanks for the support,We all make mistakes. I’m truly sorry for mine.
I’ll try my hardest to come back better and learn from this.”

Later, Clemente posted the news that no news anchor wants to get from his employer.

“Unfortunately KFYRTV has decided to let me go. Thank you to them and everyone in ND for the opportunity
and everyone for the support.”

But it is safe to say the the legend that is becoming AJ Clemente will not end soon. He is slated to appear as a guest on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday.

What do you think of AJ’s mistake? Should he have lost his job, or been given a second chance? Weigh in with your comments.

Greek soccer player banned for life for Nazi salute

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Greek soccer Player Giorgos Katidis

As difficult as it is to believe, racism still exists in the world. Even in places you wouldn’t believe so. Such is the case of Greece, and particularly of a Greek soccer player who has been banned for life for displaying a Nazi salute after scoring a goal during a match.

Player Giorgos Katidis was banned for life by the Greek Soccer Federation after scoring the game winning goal between his AEK Athens team and Veria. The 20-year old midfielder scored the goal bringing the score to 2-1. But it was his gesture of a Nazi salute that overshadowed his game winning goal, and got the player banned from the game for life.

Greece’s soccer federation said Sunday in a statement that Katidis’ gesture “is a deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality.”

In his defense, Katidis took to the Twitter-sphere and claimed that he was unaware of the implications his gesture represented. Since making that statement, his Twitter account has been removed from the site.

Learn more about the incident here. What are your thoughts on Katidis’ gesture, and the Greek soccer federation’s response to it? Weigh in with your comments.

 

Public ceremony scheduled for Gov. Hickenlooper to sign Civil Unions bill

Pen makes signatureAt long last, civil unions are going to be signed into law. On Thursday, March 21 2013, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will sign the bill making civil unions legal in the state of Colorado. The 39-26 vote was a cause for rejoicing for state Democrats, and a source of contention for Republicans. The primary reason for the opposition’s stance centers on how civil unions and religion interact. Which raises the question; what ever happened to separation of church and state in politics?

Republicans protested the bill because it does not offer religious exemptions which they say will cause the issue to wind up in court. Still, Republicans who came out in favor of the bill say voting in favor was not just good politics, but good for people.

“What this bill is about is personal freedom and individual liberties,” said Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, one of two Republicans supporting Senate Bill 11. “This is a good conservative bill.”

The long fought battle is particularly sweet for two lawmakers; State Senator Pat Steadman and Speaker of the State House of Representatives Mark Ferrandino. The two have been on the front lines of the issue since the beginning, and both felt the sting of defeat at the end of session last year. In that vote, then House Speaker Frank McNulty mired the bill in bureaucratic red tape causing it to die before a complete vote could be held. But this time, it was Democrats who had the last word, inspiring Senator Steadman to take to the Twitter-sphere with a poem he wrote in honor of the momentous occasion.

“11 is a prime number. Eleven is a lovely word.  It’s binary; a pair of ones. It’s two like things, bound together, to make a whole of ones.”

So, when Governor Hickenlooper puts pen to paper this week, he will not only be changing the lives of countless men and women in this state. He will also be striking a blow for all those who fought so hard on the front lines for equality under the law for all Coloradans  Representative Ferrandino summed it up best when asked what the vote meant to the state;

“This bill is about three simple things,” Ferrandino said. “It’s about love, it’s about family, and it’s about equality under the law.”

Governor Hickenlooper is slated to sign the bill this Thursday, March 21st in a public ceremony to be held at the Historic Colorado Center. Scheduled for 3:00pm, we will keep you posted as to any updates in this auspicious event.

National Coming Out Day…remember you are worthy!

National Coming Out Day means a lot of things to a lot of people. And don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that there is a day set aside as a day folks can stand up and finally be true to who they really are. For those of us who have made the choice to “come out,” it has to be one of the most courageous statements we can make in life. However, once we have chosen to emerge from our closets, the real work begins. The struggle to come out was hard, but often times the aftermath can seem much harder. Cliché as it may sound, the words are true; it does get better.

I was lucky. When I came out to my mom, she couldn’t have been more gracious and understanding. “Sweetheart, I knew that when you were eight,” was her only reply (I wish she had informed me of this little factoid a bit sooner, but I digress). That, and her sincere wish that I just be careful, take care of myself, and remember that I was worthy of love. That’s one of the components to our coming out process that we often forget; that we are worthy.

A fair cross-section of society would love to see us go back into the closet, and would gladly wield the hammer to nail the door shut. But the tide is changing slowly. There is more and more support from the “other side.” Still, in this election year, the cause of same-sex couples has been a topic up for discussion, but not a front burner issue. Why? Are we still considered “too hot to handle” in the volatility of today’s political arena? President Barack Obama, no pun intended, came out (finally) as an open supporter to the plight of gay marriage in this country. On the other side of the political coin, Presidential contender Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have campaigned to their conservative base a vow to add a ban on same-sex marriage to the U.S. Constitution. I think it’s safe to say that Msrs. Romney and Ryan are not celebrating this National Coming Out Day.

Our sexuality is such a minimal part of what makes up our humanity. And isn’t that our most important attribute; our humanity?  We are all here to love and be loved; regardless of the sex of the other person. And often when individuals come out, they forget that they are worthy of receiving love. Do not forget you are worthy….NEVER forget you are worthy. And if you have any religious stumbling blocks, keep in mind that God doesn’t make junk. Like my mom said all those years ago, we are all worthy of love. Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer…it doesn’t matter. We all deserve to love and be loved in return. Wait…there’s a song in that last line, I am sure of it…

So remember, not just today but every day, to love one another regardless of their sexuality. And if you are making the choice to come out today, welcome! You are already loved!

Here, courtesy of the Huffington Post, are some groundbreaking celebs that have made the choice to come out in the public eye. If they can do it, you can do it. As always we welcome your thoughts. Happy Coming Out!