It’s another Wednesday, and 69 days until we can elect this motherfucker out of office. NICE.
There’s a massive hurricane bearing down on my fellow Texans and our neighbors in Louisiana. I don’t have much more to say about this, except please keep Lake Charles in your thoughts: they are about to go through it.
And before we get to all the rest of the terrible news — and it’s all pretty terrible, I hate to report — here are two gorillas respectfully observing a caterpillar:
The good news: we are halfway through the Republican National Convention. The bad news: we are only halfway through the Republican National Convention.
Last night featured a whole nest of Trumps; Pam Bondi, the Florida A.G. whose campaign PAC received a $25,000 gift from the Trump Foundation a month before her office announced it would not be looking into fraud claims against Trump University; the Covington Catholic school kid; the Attorney General who refuses to charge Breonna Taylor’s murderers; and a whole lot of broken norms and laws.
So, Pam Bondi came out and spewed a bunch of lies about Hunter Biden and laughably railed against nepotism.
This was a speech against nepotism. pic.twitter.com/Kgdqwv2mTF
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) August 26, 2020
Then there was Nicolas Sandman, the MAGA hat kid who became famous after smirking in a Native American protestor’s face:
Nicholas Sandmann said he was "cancelled" while addressing the country on primetime TV in a coveted speaking slot during an event that only occurs every four years.
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) August 26, 2020
Eric and Tiffany gave completely unmemorable speeches. This is what happens when your brother and his girlfriend use up the week’s allotment of cocaine in one night.
Eric and Tiffany Trump. pic.twitter.com/dlkOr3SIHs
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 26, 2020
And then there was Melania. The First Lady was one of the only people in this God-forsaken circus who expressed sympathy to those who have lost so much during the pandemic, and she tried to paint her troll of a husband as not THAT much of a monster. And some in the media were ready to eat it all up with a spoon because they will never learn their lesson.
Melania Trump pushed for racial unity during her keynote on the second night of the #RNCConvention, offering a far more unifying address than others speakers who used their lecterns to bombastically promote the president https://t.co/VbJJL9fSKu
— POLITICO (@politico) August 26, 2020
"The first lady has one trait that her husband lacks: empathy."https://t.co/j3cHE7BD8c
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 26, 2020
FUN FACTS: Melania is an unrepentant birther and racist who wore an “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” jacket to a child concentration camp that her husband built and who renegotiated her prenup before coming to the White House to play the role of First Lady at a higher price. SHE IS NOT A GOOD PERSON.
She had good words. pic.twitter.com/HI5K94tX0I
— Blue Heron Farm (@BlueHeronFarmTX) August 26, 2020
And then there’s the part where she delivered her speech in front of a maskless, not socially distanced and non-tested audience in the Rose Garden, violating The Hatch Act, a law that, among other things, says that federal employees and property can not be used for campaign purposes.
Also violating the Hatch Act: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who flew to Jerusalem where he gave a speech — which is also in violation of State Department policy.
But for my money, the most galling violation of the Hatch Act was when Acting Homeland Security Chad Wolf took part in a small naturalization ceremony in the White House and overseen by President Shut Down the Borders. Offensive, cynical and obvious, it was absolutely sickening to watch.
Do NOT forget who this President is:
New Ad: Miles Taylor reveals that Trump offered pardons to DHS staff in exchange for implementing his illegal immigration policies at the border.
Airing in swing states on Fox News Channel. pic.twitter.com/D9ilRT497h
— Republican Voters Against Trump (@RVAT2020) August 25, 2020
When it came to the border wall, Trump would dream up “sickening” medieval plots “to pierce the flesh” of migrants, rip all the families apart, “maim,” and gas them, Taylor claims. “This was a man with no humanity whatsoever,” Taylor says. “He says, we got to do this, this, this, and this, all of which are probably impossible, illegal unethical,” Taylor recalls, but he was writing them down as the president spoke. “And he looks over me and he goes, ‘you fucking taking notes?'”
The Hatch Act was the wall standing between the government’s might and candidates. Tonight a candidate tore down that wall and wielded power for his own campaign. Citizen Trump is no longer presenting himself as a candidate. Now your government is telling you who should rule you.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 26, 2020
Black Lives Matter
It’s been a rough week in Wisconsin. On Sunday in Kenosha, a White police officer shot a Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, in the back seven times as he was getting into his car as his three young children watched. The video is out there, but if you have somehow managed to avoid seeing it, I highly recommend you do not seek it out. Blake has been in and out of surgery for the past three days and will probably be paralyzed for life.
David Beth, sheriff of Kenosha, said this in 2018… pic.twitter.com/NHRE2ING57
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 26, 2020
So … yeah.
There have been protests over Blake’s shooting for the past three nights, and, horrifically, last night a 17-year-old counter-protestor from a different state, Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three protestors, killing two of them. There’s also video of this incident and not only does it show the murders — it shows the police arriving, the shooter walking towards them with his hands up, and the cops RUNNING PAST HIM and towards the scene, ignoring THE GUY WITH THE GUN.
Again: Jacob Blake was unarmed and he was shot in the back seven times, while a white guy with a long gun is completely overlooked by the cops at the scene of a deadly shooting. But go ahead and tell me with a straight face that this isn’t a racist country, Republicans.
As Doc Rivers, the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers explained in an emotional statement: Black folks are the ones who are being killed, yet the Republicans are trying to tell White suburban women that they are the ones who should be afraid?
“All you hear, from Donald Trump and all of them, is talking about fear,” Rivers says. “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones who are denied from living in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot.
“And all you keep hearing about is fear,” Rivers said, choking up. “It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country. And this country does not love us back.
“My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund them and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else.
“How dare Republicans talk about fear. We’re the ones who need to be scared. We’re the ones having to talk to every Black child. What white father has to have a talk with his son about what to do if you’re pulled over?”
And speaking of basketball, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted today’s playoff game in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
It’s been 166 days since police murdered Breonna Taylor — and the Attorney General of Kentucky, who could press charges against those cops, was at the RNC last night. Meanwhile, Portia Williams was arrested again in a protest for Taylor.
The Kansas City Chiefs will ban face paint and headdresses. I mean, it’s a start, I guess.
Lake Tahoe ski resort Squaw Valley is going to change its name to something not racist.
Jasika Nicole, Astrid on Fringe, opened up about the on-going joke about her character’s name on the show and how it hurt her as a Black woman with an “unusual name.” John Noble has apologized for his role in perpetuating the joke. I have to be honest: I blogged Fringe, and never thought the joke was meant to be racist, but more about Walter being a mad scientist who was too crazy to keep things as simple as someone’s — even someone very close to him — name straight, but I can totally understand Nicole’s point here and respect her feelings.
John Boyega is done with racist asshole fans.
Toxic Star Wars fans still find their way to my mentions. Lord. Must I be blunt? I don’t fuck with you no more 🤷🏾♂️
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) August 21, 2020
I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power during the uncertainty of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) August 20, 2020
Ten more films by Black filmmakers that should be added to the Criterion Collection is hardly enough, but it’s a start.
Haven’t been able to address my old jokes from 2010 until now. Posting this with only love in my heart and my sincerest apologies. ♥️https://t.co/H3G2vOoOVG
— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) August 20, 2020
A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official close to the process tells CNN.
“It’s coming from the top down,” the official said of the new directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new guidelines raise the bar on who should get tested, advising that some people without symptoms probably don’t need it — even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.
Previously, the CDC said viral testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they were asymptomatic.
Forty percent of people with coronavirus infections are asymptomatic and the chance of transmission from people with no symptoms is 75%, according to … the CDC last month. https://t.co/RyGtVTXjnN https://t.co/atVAhulFol
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) August 26, 2020
And then there is the part where President Quakery came out on Sunday and gave emergency authorization to use blood plasma from recovered patients as a therapeutic, with the head of the FDA, Dr. Stephen Hahn, making some bold claims about its effectiveness.
EXCEPT, the next day, Hahn tweeted some … regrets:
I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction.
— Dr. Stephen M. Hahn (@SteveFDA) August 25, 2020
So, for those keeping score, President Pseudoscience is destroying the credibility of both the CDC and the FDA so he can be reelected. What could possibly go wrong? (I mean, aside from this administration also possibly pushing out an unproven vaccine in the next month that leads to illnesses, skepticism or unwarranted optimism that in turn leads to more death. I’M SURE IT WILL ALL BE JUST FINE.)
Tom Cruise made a video about going to see Tenet in a theater and it has nothing at all to do with the fact that Scientology is dismissing the severity of COVID-19 since it’s cutting into their profits.
Big Movie. Big Screen. Loved it. pic.twitter.com/DrAY5tRg5P
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) August 25, 2020
And just as I predicted/suggested: CBS is turning to its CBS All Access content to bolster its fall schedule after all. Star Trek: Discovery; One Day at a Time; and something called Manhunt: Deadly Games have all been added to their fall lineup.
Live with Kelly and Ryan! is returning to its studio on September 8. It’s interesting, only because I wonder how this will impact American Idol‘s taping, if at all.
replace Betsy DeVos with this guy on day one pic.twitter.com/rwYvPgTDXB
— Matt Negrin, HOST OF HARDBALL AT 7PM ON MSNBC (@MattNegrin) August 19, 2020
All Other TV News
News broke yesterday that Dorinda “Make it Nice” Medley is leaving The Real Housewives of New York — which is a damn shame because she’s some amazing television. And it sounds like she was fired, not that she quit. According to what clues people can find, Bravo appears to want to make the cast more diverse, and there’s some rumbling that Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer could be leaving (fired) too. I appreciate they want to diversify an all-white show, but getting rid of Sonja AND Dorinda? HUGE MISTAKE. A Bravo “source” claims that Dorinda could show up in some capacity next season. OK.
Right now most TV stories are just actors and showrunners doing press ahead of the Emmys, angling to get one of those trophies, and I ignore them to the best of my ability. This story about Moira’s most amazing costumes on Schitt’s Creek is definitely one of those sorts of stories, but I can’t resist including it here.
Young people are killing live TV. (As someone who lives with two teens, I can confirm this 100%.)
- I’m Sorry has been canceled by TruTV due to rising COVID costs and I’M FURIOUS.
- Altered Carbon has been canceled after two seasons and an anime special on Netflix.
- Joe Exotic, the limited series starring Kate McKinnon, has been bought by Peacock.
- The first installment of the Fox anthology series Icon is going to be about the Judds.
- Wanderers by Chuck Wendig is going to be turned into a series and Glen Mazzara is going to be the showrunner.
- Delilah, a drama from the Greenleaf folks, has been ordered at OWN.
- Skywatch, based on the short film of the same name, is being developed at Peacock.
- The Dark and the Wicked has been picked up at Shudder.
- Bloodlands has been picked up by Acorn.
- Idris Elba’s Fight School and The Premiership: A Whole New Ball Game have been picked up by BBC Two.
- Robin Thede has signed an overall deal with Warner Brothers Television.
- Buzzfeed has signed a first-look deal with Universal Television.
- Amazon is no longer going forward with the adaptation of Consider Phlebas.
- This isn’t about TV but MYBLOGIDOWHATIWANT: the kids behind Shudder’s Zoom horror movie Host, have scored a deal for their next horror film. I know not many people are Shudder subscribers, but if you happen to be one, I HIGHLY recommend Host — it’s clever, innovative, genuinely scary, and maybe best of all, clocks in under an hour.
- Mary McCormack is joining the cast of the Starz wrestling series, Heels.
- Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Rapp, Shannon Purser, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Clayton, Isis King, Samira Wiley, Gale Harold, and many others will be starring in Equal on HBO Max.
- Nathan Stewart-Jarrett has joined the cast of Generation on HBO Max.
- Trevor Tordjman is joining the cast of Bunk’d on Disney.
- Greg Davies will star in The Cleaner on BBC One.
Mark Your Calendars
- Julie and the Phantoms will premiere on Netflix on September 10.
- Uncensored will return on TV One on September 6.
- They Call Me Dad will debut on OWN on September 15.
- A March for Action will air on BET on August 28.
- Tiny World will premiere on Apple TV+ on October 2; Becoming You will debut on November 13; Earth at Night in Color will premiere on December 4.
- Life Below Zero will return on National Geographic on September 7.
- Road to Halloween Wars and Halloween Wars will return to Food Network on September 13; Halloween Wars: Legends will debut on October 25; Outrageous Pumpkins premieres on September 13; Halloween Baking Championship returns on September 14; Worst Cooks in America: Halloween Redemption premieres on October 11; Halloween Freakshow Cakes premieres on October 18.
Dan Parise, Emmy- and Grammy-nominated producer
Arnold Spielberg, Father of Steven Spielberg
Gail Sheehy, Author
Riley Gale, Lead singer of Texas thrash metal band Power Trip
Landon Clifford, YouTube star
Republican National Convention: Vice President Mike Pence 7 p.m., PBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News 9 p.m., ABC, CBS, NBC
The Women in Film Presents: Make It Work!: “The one-hour variety special, a combination of music, comedy and fun celebrity testimonials, explores the issues and solutions for getting women back to work.” Uhhh … what? 7 p.m., The CW
Rising Phoenix: A documentary about the Paralympic Games which would have been excellent timing if they hadn’t been postponed until next year. Netflix
Corporate: Kate and John make a power grab in the series finale. 9:30 p.m., Comedy Central
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Rep. Nancy Pelosi
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Rep. Nancy Pelosi
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Madison Beer
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Guest host Jason Derulo
- The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
|ABC||United We Fall
|Republican National Convention|
|Tough As Nails
|Republican National Convention|
|CW||Women in Film: Make it Work!||Coroner
|NBC||America’s Got Talent
|Ellen’s Game of Games
|Republican National Convention|