Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Tonys, Carol Burnett

I write about PLUTO from time to time.  I watch THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW on it (and on STIRR).  Sometimes I watch THE NANNY on there.  They also have other channels.  It's a free streamer.  PLUTO may be about to get a little more attention.  DEADLINE reports:

CBS and Pluto TV will partner to present The Tony Awards: Act One, a pre-show of live, exclusive content leading into the 76th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11.

Hosts and further details about the pre-show will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Tony Awards: Act One airs at 6:30-8 PM, ET/3:30-5 PM PT on Sunday, June 11. A first round of Tony Awards will be presented on the Pluto TV special.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Pluto TV to kick off this year’s Tony Awards celebration,” said Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music, live events and alternative programming at CBS. “This cross-company partnership allows us to utilize the breadth of the Paramount Global family to bring the best of Broadway into homes of more viewers than ever before.”




The celebration commences on Sunday, June 11, at 6:30-8:00 PM, ET/3:30-5:00 PM PT, when the first round of Tony Awards is presented to audiences on Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service (FAST). Viewers can access the show on their smart TV, streaming device, mobile app or online by going to Pluto TV and clicking on the "Pluto TV Celebrity" channel (no payment, registration or sign-in required).

Immediately following the presentation on Pluto TV, THE 76TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS will air from 8:00-11:00 PM, LIVE ET/5:00-8:00 PM, LIVE PT on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+*. Academy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose returns to host the awards show live from the historic United Palace in New York City's Washington Heights.


Okay, Carol Burnett herself will be on NBC tomorrow night.  It's her 90th birthday celebration and participants will include Cher and Lily Tomlin.   This is from the NBC press release:

The incredible Carol Burnett is turning 90! In honor of her prolific career in entertainment, NBC will host Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love, a retrospective special to celebrate one of America's favorite talents. 

What is Carol Burnett's 90th birthday special on NBC?

“It’s hard to imagine anyone in television more beloved than Carol Burnett,” said Jen Neal, executive vice president of live events and specials at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a press release. “To throw this wonderful birthday celebration is clearly our honor, and we can’t wait to share the love that we all have for her with all her adoring fans.”

It's only right that we take a look back at Burnett's groundbreaking career and contributions to the film, TV, and theatre industries with the help of an impressive roster of special guests. 

“This special is going to be the best party ever," executive producer Mark Bracco said. "It will be an evening of music, comedy, and dozens of big stars paying tribute to the one, the only, Carol Burnett. We cannot wait for everyone at home to celebrate right along with us."

"It was fantastic," Carol Burnett told NBC's Mark Barger about the special. "As I have said before, I didn't want a birthday party with a cake and balloons and confetti. And I didn't want it to be a roast. I wanted it to be kind of an old time variety show with live entertainment. We had a 90-piece orchestra. We had funny clips and wonderful guests who came on and were funny."

What celebrities will appear on Carol Burnett's 90th birthday special?

The show features an all-star lineup, including live musical performances from Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, and others.

Other special guest stars on hand to honor Burnett include Aileen Quinn, Allison Janney, Amy Adams, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Lily Tomlin, Lisa Kudrow, Marisa Tomei, Sofia Vergara, Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and many more.

"I was thrilled to have my chum Julie Andrews [there]," Burnett told Barger. "She flew out and she was with me the whole evening by my side. We’ve got a 62-year friendship! That was lovely. And so many wonderful performers: Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth and Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry. Kristen Wiig and Allison Janney and Laura Dern were hysterical when they got up to pay tribute. I don't want to spoil it. I'm not gonna give it away. But they were funny."

[. . .]


In addition to the many celebrity guests, musical tributes will recreate some of Burnett's most iconic performances, including: "Old Friends," from the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, as a tribute to her long friendship with Andrews (with whom Burnett performed it, alongside Christine Baranski, in 2017); and "Only an Octave Apart," saluting the moment that she joined opera legend Beverly Sills on stage in the 1976 television special Sills and Burnett at The Met. 

"I was pretty gobsmacked by the whole thing," Burnett says about the special. "It was almost surreal at times. I was thrilled with some of the videos. I can't even quote all of them, but it was a thrill to see."

It will also feature some of Burnett’s best-known songs, including ones from the movie Annie (she played the dastardly Miss Hannigan) and The Carol Burnett Show theme song "I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together."

"I can't wrap my head around it," Burnett says about the special celebrating her decade-spanning career. "I keep feeling like I'm 11…I feel very fortunate, and I've said this before: I'm happy. I've got all my parts. My hips, I've got my knees, my brain. So far, so good."

Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love airs Wednesday, April 26 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock.



Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, April 25, 2023.  Ding! Dong! The Wicket Witch is dead.  Tucker's gone where the goblins go, below . . . 

Well let Joan Walsh (THE NATION) get the first words in:

I hate to find happiness in the misfortune of others… oh, screw that. The news that Fox fired racist misognyist authoritarian Tucker Carlson, its top-rated host, makes me very happy indeed. I know they’ll replace him with someone comparably monstrous. But Carlson is a uniquely awful monster, and his departure is good news for truth, democracy—and women.

The immediate reaction to the news: This must be another shoe falling in the wake of the network’s massive $787 million settlement of the lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems. Pretrial discovery featured a ton of incriminating, embarrassing texts from Tucker, which swung wildly between trashing Donald Trump—“I hate him passionately”—and trying to get Fox colleagues fired for telling the truth about Trump’s stolen-election lies. The Washington Post reported that his texts included harsh criticism of Fox management. Probably in his favor, at least to Rupert Murdoch, were texts showing that he was worried about the fall in the company’s stock price after it declared Biden the legitimate election winner and (occasionally) debunked Trump lies.

Yes, that Mother Tucker is gone.  At LGBTQ NATION, Daniel Villarreal reminds you of what a bigot and general piece of filth Tucker is. Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) rounds up some quotes.   At FAIR, Ari Paul notes:

The discovery process of the Dominion case revealed numerous texts from Carlson—whose entire persona at Fox News rests on the wave of the Make America Great Again movement—showing his intense dislike of Donald Trump (New York Times, 3/8/23). “What [Trump is] good at is destroying things” was among one of the key texts, but everyone’s favorite, of course, is Carlson saying of Trump, “I hate him passionately.”

No, Carlson’s on-air racism (Independent, 4/13/21; ADL, 4/22/21), transphobia (New York Post, 12/28/22), xenophobia (Washington Post, 12/15/18), admiration for authoritarians (FAIR.org, 8/3/21, 10/20/21) and flirtations with antisemitism (Daily Beast, 10/11/22, 12/23/22) were never the problem for Fox News. If the Washington Post’s report that the Dominion texts were definitive is true, it’s poetic justice: The texts exposed Carlson for who he is, a pompous, rich media elitist who gives not one single damn about MAGA voters and hates their king, only cynically using Trump’s political popularity for his own media grift. That lifting of the veil, the end of the conceit for a corporation whose entire modus operandi is disguising its ruling-class politics to sell faux populism to its viewers, is a major outcome of the Dominion settlement.

Ava and I covered it last night in "TV: The media circus" and we'd covered it before.  Which is why I laugh at Brian Selter using a ton of words to say nothing at VANITY FAIR.  Say nothing, because he knows nothing.  It wasn't a difficult decision for Rupert Murdoch.  They were paying Tucker a ton of money and he wasn't delivering.  It became our story because no one wanted to do the work on FOX NATION -- a streamer in serious trouble.  Tucker was supposed to boost it and he didn't.  B-b-b-but he gets good ratings!  He's not paid for what he did, he's paid for what he will do.  And the ratings weren't that great when they got better ratings -- and better demographics -- for less money -- see THE FIVE which has a real return on the dollars FOX "NEWS" invests into the program.  Tucker is a crater.  They keep throwing money down there.  Yes, he was number one but advertisers didn't want him.  And he wasn't the future.  While no one was paying attention, FOX "NEWS" was trying to branch out into streaming and convinced this would be a huge success.  People who pay for streamers weren't impressed with Tucker.  His content was only streamed if it was Roseanne Barr.  Otherwise, they ignored him and they loathed him.  Some people thought he was cruel and mean, yes.  But he even lost the right wingers many of whom referred to him as a "vicious queen" and a "closet case" which makes me laugh to this day to think that he preached so much homophobia but to some on the right that was just an indicator that he himself was gay.

Those surveys -- and I'm sure the press can get them -- probably without paying for them -- I paid for them -- made clear that FOX "NEWS" had to rethink because it's not the 20th century anymore and they're being left behind.

Due to advertising, Tucker didn't generate a return on the investment.  It was a business decision.  If you can't grasp it, he was KNOTS LANDING.  KNOTS LANDING ran for years and when it got the axe it was a still a top-rated program.  But it was now to expensive to make.  People were being paid too much to continue the show.  Tucker Carlson was paid a huge amount of money but he couldn't deliver on it.  He couldn't bring in big money in advertising and his ratings that seemed so huge didn't justify the amount of money being spent.  

Has no one noticed how the audience for THE FIVE has grown?  I feel like I'm pitching the show here, and I'm not.  But FOX "NEWS" invests far less money in that show.  It turns a better profit and they're hopeful that shows like that -- built around groups of people -- are the future for FOX "NEWS."

As for Tucker?  He's "a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot."


Some videos on his departure (and that of Don Lemon).

Not a comedy video but Glenn Greenwald went on Megyn Kelly's show as they wept over Tucker.  I'd post but Megyn's been 'freshened up' again and looks even less like a human being while the left side of Glenneth's face continues to dip like he had a stroke or, more likely, bad botox.  First the bad hair dye out of a box to save a few pennies and now Glenneth's going to third-rate dermatologists for cheap botox? 

And then there's Max Blumenthal.  It's just like when MSNBC fired Phil Donahue!!!!

Except . . . it's not.  Phil was fired as the US was moving to war on Iraq.  And, more importantly, idiot, Tucker Carlson cheerleaded the Iraq War.  I guess you were too busy inspecting your newly sprouted hairs to grasp that, Junior.  I really don't have time for idiots, Max, try growing the hell up.  It takes a lot of nerve, with the Iraqi blood on Tucker's hands, to compare him to Phil Donahue -- that's so insulting to Phil.

People are dead in Iraq because of Tucker Carlson.  That's the reality you and Glenneth and Aaron will never cop to.  You pretend you're honest, but you're not.  You're honest about A but dishonest about B and then turn around and whine about others without ever grasping how much you are part of the problem.

I'm looking at idiotic Tweets (including Jimmy Dore's) and I'm just not in the mood to write something new, Ava and I already covered it:

Mildly amused is how Tucker Carlson always came across -- mildly amused and slightly off.  The boy with the bowl cut grew up to be the man with no clue.  After failing on CNN's THE SPIN ROOM, he got a job on CNN's CROSSFIRE where he degraded the nation's intelligence and when Jon Stewart pointed out what a mockery of news the garbage was, the Mother Tucker was out of a job.  He tried to spin it, insisting that he had resigned from CROSSFIRE in April of 2004 -- guess he just forgot his resignation as, week after week, he continued to do the show until January of 2005.  TUCKER CARLSON UNFILTERED lasted a year at PBS.  Onto MSNBC at a time when it was already featuring garbage like Michael Savage and had plenty of room in the toilet for Tucker. TUCKER lasted a little less than 3 years on MSNBC.  

Not being a journalist, talk show host Tucker took time to do what many did in recent years, take a spin around the floor on DANCING WITH THE STARS.  That he was the first celebrity eliminated should have told him something about how beloved he wasn't.

When Melissa Gates gave then-husband Bill the ultimatum, all the hate merchants were kicked off MSNBC and Tucker landed eventually at FOX "NEWS." He was a panelist, kind of the 21st century version of Kitty Carlisle Hart.  By toadying and creating many mini-'controversies' passed off as news, Mother Tucker eventually worked himself up to a weekend co-host on FOX & FRIENDS   Finally, he was ready, he thought, once again for prime time.  TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT debuted in 2016 and got cancelled last week.

Tucker is homeless yet again.

It's greatly upset his friends -- racists and transphobes like the Great Glenneth Greenwald:

One reason there's so much hatred among left-liberal media types toward Tucker is petty jealously: that goes without saying. They always hate most those who succeed in journalism. But he's also hated by that crowd because he holds up a mirror to the failures of their heroes.

The mirror Tucker held up was to his own ass.  Is that what Glenneth found interesting?

Glenneth and Tara wanted you to know that Tucker hosted plenty of lefties.  Tucker brought on lefties who played his game or served up the red meat his deluded audience wolfed down.  The same way Bill O'Reilly had done a decade prior with, for example, Susara Taylor.  Mother Tucker didn't invent anything, he was just the new Bill O'Reilly.

And now he's fired.

And Glenneth tries to spin this as a good thing:

A major irony is that Tucker's separation from Fox may be the best thing that could happen to him in terms of his influence and impact. The sector of media growing most explosively are independent platforms. Joe Rogan is vastly more influential than every MSNBC and CNN host.

Yeah, but Joe Rogan has charisma.  Tucker doesn't.  Tucker is not Joe Rogan who makes people laugh intentionally.  Tucker is an uptight prig.  That's not going to play well in 'new media.'  It didn't play well for Bill O'Reilly when he tried to survive being fired from FOX "NEWS."  And Tucker already failed as a podcaster.

And there are the internals.  As the ones -- and only ones -- who have reported the realities about FOX "NEWS" finances, we can tell you he was not worth his salary.  His podcast for FOX was a failure and then came FOX NATION and TUCKER CARLSON TODAY. 

And since some of them are whining about AOC, let's include this section too:

FOX "NEWS" has to do more than tighten its belt.  There are no friends on Wall Street willing to bail it out -- NEWS MAX and other similar outlets can continue even if FOX "NEWS" falters.  And they're sinking in debt.  Tucker Carlson became an ugly face for the network -- an admitted liar (in texts, he not only admitted to hating Donald, he also admitted that despite making 'stolen election' claims on air, he didn't actually believe them).  This is a problem because AOC rightly noted the FTC when she was on Jen Psaki's talk show over the weekend.

Glenneth and others didn't understand what AOC was talking about because they're not real smart.  Oh, censorship! - they cried.


She mentioned the FTC which handles issues like fraud and consumer protection.  Viewers are consumers.  A TV host telling them that an election was stolen when the host admits privately that he didn't believe it was stolen?  That's fraud.  And eliminating that type of fraud is why the FTC exists.  This had nothing to do with The First Amendment.

I would think even the idiots on Twitter could grasp that.  Not the FCC, the FTC.  Remember, that's what did in Pat Boone -- the sanctimonious liar who sold a pimple 'cure' that wasn't.  The FTC came down on his ass.  And it could have come down on FOX "NEWS" because, as the texts revealed, this wasn't an opinion that Tucker held, he was just lying to viewers.  That's fraud, it's not a free speech issue.  Again, FTC, not FCC.  

Let's wind down with this from IAVA:

April 21, 2023
CONTACT: press@iava.org

Washington, DC- Following is a statement from the CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Allison Jaslow, on the current proposal to address the need to raise the debt limit and cut spending before the House of Representatives: 

“Earlier this week, in a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, America was assured that our veterans would be taken care of as Washington politicians prepared to address the upcoming need to raise our country’s debt ceiling. Then veterans saw what was in their proposal and whether the words spoken on a stage also translated to the words on the pages of the bill that was unveiled on Capitol Hill.”

“There are zero guarantees that veterans care is protected in the bill that will soon be before the House of Representatives to raise the debt limit in exchange for spending cuts. And worse, it specifically targets unspent COVID aid that news reports indicate is currently planned to be spent to support veterans’ medical care.”

“This is unacceptable. The Limit, Save Grow Act of 2023 should explicitly protect benefits and care for veterans. As this debate continues, America needs to also know that veterans and their families get support from programs like SNAP and Medicaid, so efforts to target those areas of the federal budget could also have an adverse effect on members of our community.”

“Politicians can say they support our veterans, troops, and their families until they’re blue in the face, but what matters is what happens when they take action. Thankfully, the action to introduce a bill is only one step in the process. The next step is a vote. IAVA urges any member that is thinking of supporting the Limit, Save and Grow Act of 2023 to ask for a written guarantee that veterans will be protected. We should prioritize the needs of our nation’s veterans as spending cuts are considered in this plan. No Congressmember should give their blessing to the bill otherwise.”

IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at quickreactionforce.org or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at iava.org/membership.


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