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.

 

Embattled Paula Deen finally makes delayed “Today” appearance, but no direct apology

Embattled lifestyle guru Paula Deen makes “Today” show appearance

Lifestyle guru Paula Deen has been on more of a defensive than an apology tour this week. Her most recent stop was on NBC’s “Today” show. During the interview, Deen spoke a great deal about how the scandal has affected her personally, but didn’t utter a direct apology.

“I have been overwhelmed and in a state of shock,” said Deen. “There have been some very hurtful lies said about me.”

Lauer came out of the chute by grilling Deen on how the loss of sponsors and endorsement deals have affect her, and her business empire.

“Let me say this Matt,” Deen said, “what I am here today to talk about is what I believe, and how I live my life. I believe that every creature on this Earth, every one of God’s creatures was created equal.”

Lauer pushed the financial issue by quoting a headline that touted there were millions of dollars at stake tied to the “Today” show interview.

“Are you here to stop the financial bleeding,” Lauer asked.

“I am here today because I want people to really know who I am,” replied Deen once again deflecting the question.

The scandal stems from testimony offered in a deposition by Deen about her use of the derogatory “n” word with employees at her restaurants. Deen’s use of the word was also brought up in relation to a plantation themed wedding her restaurant catered for a private client.

“I am so grateful for the (business) partners that have stood by me,” was Deen’s only response to the number of sponsors who have dropped her brand or were considering doing so.

Lauer followed up by asking the burning hot-button question…is Paula Deen a racist?

“No, I am not a racist,” replied Deen. “I was raised in a house hold with a father who would tolerate bad grades or a broken curfew, but told me ‘girl if I ever find out that you have behaved in a way like you are better than anyone else your butt is mine.”

Lauer later asked Deen about her alleged use of the “n” word in the past. He cited that Deen admitted to using the word in her sworn deposition, and included an excerpt from her testimony regarding whether using the “n” word when telling a joke was acceptable.

Deen’s response was as follows:

“I don’t know. Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…I didn’t make up the jokes. They usually target, though, a group…I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.”

“Do you have any doubt that African Americans are offended by the ‘n’ word,” asked Lauer.

“I don’t know Matt,” responded Deen. “I have asked myself that so many times because it’s so distressing to go into my kitchens and I hear what these young people are calling each other. It’s very, very distressing.”

“You never joined in on that language,” asked Lauer.

“No,” said Deen emphatically, “absolutely not!”

Later, Lauer asked Deen if upon reflection she wished that she had fudged the truth a bit.

“No,” she replied. “I am only prejudiced against two types of people; thieves and liars.”

Deen became quite emotional at the end of the interview, and while never offering an actual apology, alluded to the fact that she has apologized on previous occasions, and spoke about how the hurtful words and speculation had been damaging to not just Deen and her business but to family and friends as well.

“The people that know me, they are angry,” she said.

At the end of the interview, Deen evoked the words in the Bible regarding sin, and chalked up much of what has happened to a case of professional jealousy.

“If there is a person out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me, please. I want to meet you. I is what I is, and I’m not changing. And, there’s someone evil out there that saw what I had worked for and they wanted it.”

What do you think of Paula’s interview on the “Today” show? Weigh in with comments.

“Desperate Housewives” actor part of celebrity coming out train

W Actor Tuc Watkins comes out

Super-hunk Tuc Watkins, co-star of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and daytime drama “One Life to Live” has admitted to what until his admission was only speculation; he is indeed gay. The uber-handsome Watkins made the admission while appearing on the daytime talk show “Marie” with Marie Osmond.

Watkins also revealed that he is a proud single parents to twins via surrogate.

“I played a gay man who was married to his husband, who was trying to adopt a kid,” he says, “And in real life, at the same time, I’m a gay single man who was trying to have a kid through surrogacy.”

Watkins was a guest on the talk-fest promoting the relaunch of “One Life to Live” as an online show. Read more, and see a clip from the show, by following this link.

What do you think of the timing of Tuc’s admission? Think it’s a good idea? Weigh in with your comments.

NBA player Jason Collins comes out

On the heels of an article about an openly gay college football kicker wanting to break into the NFL comes the admission from 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins that he is indeed a gay man. The gifted center who is a veteran of nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons and is now a free agent, makes the admission in a self-penned article in the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.

“I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

Read the SI article on Jason Collins by clicking here. What do you think of his decision to come out now? Do you think the NBA is ready for it? Offer your thoughts in our comments section.

UPDATE: Shortly after the release of this story, the first of what will undoubtedly be a homophobic backlash comes from  Miami Dolphins “wide receiver” Mike Wallace. From TMZ, read his comments here.

Is Eva Longoria “Ready for Love” after NBC cancels her show?

Eva and ErnestoIs it real, or just a coy denial, or is Latina beauty Eva Longoria really dating show bachelor, entrepreneur Ernesto Arguello? Numerous news agencies reported recently that Longoria and Arguello, a bachelor on the show “Ready for Love,” were a couple after spotting the duo on a few outings such as riding through Hollywood in Longoria’s Bentley convertible, and dining with celebri-chef Bobby Flay and stylist Robert Verdi in New York City. Some reports even have Arguello spending the night at Longoria’s  L.A. home.

On Tuesday NBC announced that it was pulling the plug on “Ready for Love,” a dating show loosely based on The Bachelor with 3 matchmakers doing the legwork for three über hot bachelors that included Arguello, Dallas-based financier Ben Patton and “Plain White T’s” band member Tim Lopez. Longoria served as executive producer for the show.

So what do you thin…does it matter if Longoria found love while helping others find love? Weigh in…

AP Twitter account hacked; messages regarding the White House send panic through cyberspace

A screen shot from the AP Twitter page. Click on image to link to accompanying article from The New York Times

News wire service the Associated Press had their Twitter account hacked. In a series of tweets, rumor spread that the White House had been attacked, and that President Barack Obama had been injured. The President, and the White House were quick to respond that all was well, and that neither rumor was true.

Through a Twitter account, a group called the Syrian Electronic Army took credit for the attack.

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.