Tags: Obama | Wins | Grammy

Obama Beats Out Clinton and Carter to Win Grammy

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2008 10:40 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Suspension Coming for Keith Olbermann?
2. Rambo Banned in Burma
3. Obama Beats Out Clinton and Carter to Win Grammy
4. L.A. Officials Prepare to Enact 'Britney Law'
5. Clint Eastwood Chastises Conservative Celebrities

1. Suspension Coming for Keith Olbermann?

Howard Wolfson, communications director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, called it "disgusting" and "beneath contempt."

He characterized it as something that "should never be said on a national news network."

He also brought up the Chris Matthews apology, the one in which the "Hardball" host said he was sorry for suggesting that Hillary's political success was due to her spouse having had an affair with an intern.

"At some point," Wolfson said, "you have to question whether there is a pattern at this particular network."

What's the "it" that has Wolfson so exercised?

Well, Wolfson's remarks were about David Shuster and the comments the fill-in host made about Chelsea Clinton's campaign role. Shuster used the words "pimped out" in reference to the campaign's use of Chelsea to recruit Democratic Party super delegates in support of her mother.

Most would agree that the remarks were regrettable, but what about the "pattern" to which Wolfson referred?

The subject network here is none other than MSNBC. But the unnamed perpetrator of the "pattern" is one of its most outspoken and opinionated hosts, Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann is billed on NBC and MSNBC as a journalist. He has called one of his favorite targets, Fox News' "Factor" host Bill O'Reilly, a "passive-aggressive racist."

This is the same Olbermann who in narrating an NFL play described a punt return by Roscoe Parrish, a wide receiver who happens to be African-American, as "Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles at its finest."

Olbermann also described a supposed conversation between Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor of Hispanic descent, in which Clinton was "asking Richardson for an endorsement and then, 'would you please pass the guacamole?'"

The "Countdown" host also said that the Bush administration was an example of facism, claiming that it was similar to The Third Reich, and compared Fox News to the Nazis as well.

Meanwhile Shuster profusely apologized to the Clintons and in return was given a suspension.

The suspension was apparently not enough for Hillary. The senator and presidential candidate wrote a letter to president of NBC Steve Capus, which stated that "no temporary suspension or half-hearted apology is sufficient" for the language that Shuster used.

Hillary also asked Capus to "look at the pattern of behavior on your network that seems to repeatedly lead to this sort of degrading language."

As long as Capus is looking, maybe he ought to take a glance in Olbermann's direction.


2. Rambo Banned in Burma

While the Burmese authorities have attempted to ban the Sylvester Stallone's recently released, "Rambo 4," the sales of pirated copies of the movie are reportedly booming.

Reuters reports that the film, in which Burma's military junta is portrayed as the enemy, is "fast becoming a talking point among a population eager to shake off 45 years of military rule."

A line from the movie, "Live for nothing or die for something," has become a rallying cry within the country.

Buyers are willing to risk going to prison to watch Stallone's character take it to the Burmese junta.

In the movie sequel, John J. Rambo comes out of retirement to rescue some Christian missionaries who have been abducted by Burmese authorities.

Political activists love the movie for getting the truth out about the cruelty of the Burmese junta.

As many as 30 people were killed by troops and police in the fall of 2007, when tens of thousands of citizens, led by Buddhist monks, engaged in pro-democracy marches.

Amnesty International indicates that the government of Burma is holding at least 1,850 political prisoners, including 700 arrested during the junta's crackdown.

Stallone issued a challenge to the junta: "If they think this movie is a fantasy, I welcome the opportunity to let me come over there and walk around the country without armed guards following me every inch of the way."

So far, no takers.


3. Obama Beats Out Clinton and Carter to Win Grammy

Barack Obama not only swept the post-Super Tuesday primaries, he defeated two former presidents to take the Grammy gold in the spoken word category.

One hundred Grammys were handed out in the two-hour and 45-minute pre-telecast ceremony, and Obama won for his audio book reading of "The Audacity of Hope."

The Illinois senator and Dem presidential hopeful beat out Bill Clinton for his "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World" and bested Jimmy Carter for his "Sunday Mornings in Plains."

Clinton and Carter have each won Grammys in the past, and Hillary Clinton won in 1996 for her reading of "It Takes a Village."

With this kind of track record, maybe NARAS should change the category to "politically spoken word."


4. L.A. Officials Prepare to Enact 'Britney Law'

The city of Los Angeles may soon be affording special protection to its celebrity population.

The L.A. City Council is considering an ordinance that would impose a 20-yard "personal safety bubble" around those public figures in the city who are construed by the law to be "paparazzi targets."

L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine favors creating "public safety zones" around high-profile celebrities to protect them from the packs of paparazzi that continually pursue them.

The idea raises a host of thorny legal questions, most notably, the First Amendment right of the press to facilitate communication of information to the public.

Recent incidents surrounding Britney Spears served as a catalyst for the proposed law, particularly the manner in which Spears was treated prior to and following her hospitalization stay at UCLA. The singer's ambulance literally had to be enclosed by a barrier of police cars and helicopters in order to fend off the stalkarazzi.

Councilman Zine correctly pointed out that these types of scenarios pose "a hazard to both celebrities and ordinary people."

The fundamental question is: When can the public's right to know be set aside for the public's right to be secure?

Many celebrities are fed up with aggressive photographers, whose hyper-zealous conduct has escalated due to the huge amounts of cash at stake for select snapshots and video clips.

Society's preoccupation with celebrities has fueled an explosion of magazines, tabloid shows and Internet gossip sites.

The paparazzi profession, too, is a growth industry, with positions expanding into the freelance photog realm as well as the camera-armed militia arena.

If the proposed Britney Law is implemented, it will be the most stringent anti-paparazzi legislation of its kind to date. If a paparazzo crosses the 20-yard "personal safety bubble" without permission, the city will confiscate all profits from any resulting photograph.

In addition, the L.A. City Council is examining the idea of giving celebrities the opportunity to purchase licenses to obtain extra protection.

With so much money involved in the celebrity industry, it is difficult to say whether the proposed Britney Law, if enacted, would end up helping or harming celebrity circumstances. It is also difficult to predict whether it would ultimately be overturned by a court.

In classic legalese, that means "it all depends."


5. Clint Eastwood Chastises Conservative Celebrities

Clint Eastwood is known for playing tough talking characters.

In a revealing interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, the actor-director and former mayor waxed politically.

Regarding the presumptive G.O.P. nominee, Eastwood threw out an informal endorsement, saying, "I like John McCain, personally, very much."

The movie icon praised McCain because the Arizona senator "has talked about keeping down spending and we've got to do that."

When Cavuto brought up Ann Coulter's pledge that she would vote for Hillary Clinton over McCain, Eastwood said, "Conservatives, oftentimes, are very masochistic. They say, 'I'd rather not show up than have so-and-so. If it's not my guy then I won't show up.' You can't be that way."

Commenting on his political pet peeve, Eastwood momentarily morphed into his "Dirty Harry" character. On the subject of government spending, he said, "Both parties and both houses seem to be spending like drunken sailors."

He then quipped, "No offense to the Navy, of course."

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