The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parkers Heralded Film, Is Now Cloaked in Controversy
It was supposed to be a corrective to #OscarsSoWhite. The blistering story of a slave revolt that was directed and written by a black artist, Nate Parker, who also stars in the lead role, The Birth of a Nation had been positioned as a balm for an industry long criticized for sidelining minorities.
Instead, the film has become clouded by the disclosure of tragic details in a nearly two-decade-old case in which Mr. Parker was accused and later acquitted of raping a fellow student while at Penn State. The episode was already known, including by the studio backing the film, but on Tuesday Variety gave it new life by revealing that Mr. Parkers accuser committed suicide in 2012 at the age of 30.
That disclosure, combined with the revelation of explicit details from the case and a Facebook post by Mr. Parker saying that he had not known about the suicide and was filled with sorrow, prompted a torrent of vitriol against Mr. Parker on social media. It also sent Fox Searchlight, which paid a record $17.5 million to acquire The Birth of a Nation, into battle position. There were calls to boycott the film, and in Los Angeles a smattering of posters for The Birth of a Nation, depicting Mr. Parker as the rebellion leader Nat Turner, were altered to read Rapist? by a street artist. Meanwhile, prominent figures like Spike Lee who had championed the film went silent, speaking volumes.
Mr. Parker and his roommate, Jean McGianni Celestin, were brought to trial in 2001. In testimony, the woman said that in August 1999 she passed out at Mr. Parkers apartment after a night of drinking they had had consensual oral sex the day before and awoke intermittently to find first Mr. Parker having intercourse with her, and then Mr. Celestins penis in her mouth. The next day, she testified: I was in too much pain. I couldnt walk. In written statements read in court, both Mr. Parker and Mr. Celestin said that the young woman was lucid and consenting throughout the encounter.
A friend of the two men, Tamerlane Kangas, who was visiting them the night of the incident, testified that Mr. Parker beckoned for Mr. Kangas and Mr. Celestin to join him with the woman in sex. After Mr. Celestin did, Mr. Kangas watched them switch positions with her Mr. Kangas testified that he did not see her move and left.
It's like he's broadcasting, "I may go down, but I'm taking everything and everyone who slighted or opposed me, along for the hellacious trip".
First the unholy triad will attempt to destroy HRC however they can. If defeat looks inevitable, they'll continue with that and turn their wrath on establishment republicans.
It's a vile 84 days we're entering. Viler.
That is why I find the attempts to shut down any and all criticism of democrats, including President Obama or Hillary Clinton or anyone else, anathema.
I'm not talking about bashing or hating. I'm talking about criticism of policies, criticism of appointments, etc.
Attempting to shut down criticism is simply undemocratic.
It's not heresy to criticize. It doesn't automatically make one a "hater".
Opposing policies one thinks are bad policy, simply because they may come from the blue side of the aisle, doesn't make one a traitor to Democratic ideals.
You have to say this for the crooked demagogues and reactionary populists of the American past: they may have stirred the bitter soup of nativist resentment with as much zeal as Donald J. Trump, but their family counselors did not take time out from politics to cruise the Aegean on a plutocrats yacht; their rhetorical counselors did not attempt, for decades, to instill fear in their employees through the most squalid sort of sexual terror; and their political counselors never worked in the interest of Slavic autocrats. Oh, Father Coughlin, we hardly knew ye!
Day by day, news bulletin by news bulletin, the Trump campaign spirals to new depths of strategic confusion and moral chaos. On the escalators at Trump Tower, the direction is always down, down, down.
At the center of the campaign is Trump himself, and, summoning the spirit of Sinatras most irritating song, he has made it clear that he will win or lose by doing it his way, by refusing to pivot or blandify his message and language. There is a kind of cracked integrity in this. No matter what the polls and cable gasbags say, he is going to be himself. I am who I am. Its me. I dont want to change, he told a local-television interviewer, in Wisconsin. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, youre not being honest with people.
The people closest to Trump are his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. Like the children of populist reactionaries the world over, they spent last week vacationing aboard David Geffens two-hundred-million-dollar collapsible dinghy, the Rising Sun, along with Rupert Murdochs former wife Wendi Deng. They Jet Skied and toured the old town of Dubrovnik. It is clearboth from legal documents and from Lizzie Widdicombes reportingthat Ivanka Trump and Kushner have occasionally been alarmed by the candidates public statements (particularly on Mexican rapists), but they are, despite their gestures toward feminism and social liberalism, completely committed to Trump and Trumpism. As their friend Reed Cordish put it, Theyre believers. They are all in. They have been all in from the get-go, without hesitation.
With the polls suggesting a potential electoral wipeout in November, Kushner returned from Croatia and took part in meetings this past weekend that kicked Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, either upstairs or to the side of the road, depending on your reading of the spin. This announcement came shortly after the Associated Press broke the story that Manafort helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political partys efforts to influence U.S. policy. Under federal law, it is a felony if American lobbyists fail to report their ties to foreign political parties or leaders.
The presidential hopeful has insulted reporter Katy Tur on national TV, called her names during interviews, and made his campaign seemingly impossible to cover. Here, her no-holds-barred account of trailing the most unlikely candidate in GOP history.
In a speech carried live from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on at least three TV networks last December, soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump was telling the world he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. "It's temporary," he later tried to soften. And then I heard my name.
"She's back there. Little Katy. She's back there."
I was six months into covering the Trump campaign for MSNBC and NBC News, and there I was, in the belly of a World War II battleship, in a press pen made out of bicycle racks, surrounded by thousands of whipped-up Trump supporters.
A few days earlier, at another Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, I'd tweeted live as wave after wave of protestors stood up during his speech. "Now 10," I wrote from the scene, counting the interruptions. "Trump ends speech abruptly and leaves stage."
Trump thought my tweets were "disgraceful" and "not nice!" according to a chastising note from his 26-year-old press secretary, Hope Hicks. In the hours that followed, Trump took his complaints public, trashing me and CBS News reporter Sopan Deb for the coverage.
"@KatyTurNBC & @DebSopan [sic] should be fired for dishonest reporting," he tweeted. "@KatyTurNBC, 3rd rate reporter & @SopanDeb @CBS lied."
He demanded I apologize.
I didn't, so Trump decided to go further in Mount Pleasant, pointing his finger squarely at me and launching a personal attack as millions of Americans watched at home.
"What a lie it was," Trump said, referring to the claim that he had left the stage abruptly. "What a lie. Katy Tur. What a lie it was. Third. Rate. Reporter. Remember that." The crowd's boos ricocheted off the iron hull of the USS Yorktown.
THE BIG IDEA: Shaking up his campaign once again, Donald Trump has decided to let Trump be Trump.
The Republican nominee knows hes losing. Congenitally unable to take personal responsibility, he blames his slide in the polls on the people who have prodded him to act presidential and wage a more traditional campaign.
<snip, snip, snip>
This is another proof point that Trump is not trying to run the kind of serious campaign that can actually win the presidency. Thats why it will frighten the GOP establishment, scare off some mainstream donors who have been playing footsie with the billionaire and push congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell a little closer to cutting Trump loose maybe even before Labor Day. (Bannons site single-mindedly went after Paul Ryan in the run-up to his primary.)
Trump is cozying up to Ailes and Bannon after months of being unable to hire A-level talent. The smartest and most ambitious operatives know that having his name on their resume will probably become a scarlet letter that may doom their future prospects. Politicos Katie Glueck writes that top Republicans in several critical battleground states say, at best, they've never heard of Trump's state directors or have only limited familiarity with them and at worst, they know them, and question their ability to do the job. Three telling examples from Katies piece
Nevada state director Charles Munoz, a graduate of the University of Las Vegas-Nevada, is in his mid-twenties and has no meaningful experience. (Clintons is Jorge Neri, who was Obamas 2012 Nevada field director and then held a White House job focused on Latino outreach.)
New Hampshire state director Matt Ciepielowski previously worked as a field director at Americans for Prosperity and a Youth for Ron Paul regional coordinator in Louisiana. Matt who? asked New Hampshire state Sen. Andy Sanborn. (Clintons point guy, Mike Vlacich, managed Sen. Jeanne Shaheens reelection campaign in 2014.)
Virginia state director Thomas Midanek was until July managing the congressional campaign of Carl Domino in Florida, who in 2014 lost the Republican-leaning district by 20 points. (Clintons is Brian Zuzenak, who previously ran Gov. Terry McAuliffes political operation.)
donnybrook ? plural donnybrooks)
1.A brawl or fracas; a scene of chaos. ?
It will be much worse after she's elected is the gist of the article. Please don't alert because the author used the word bitch. It's an excellent piece and very PRO HRC.
A Hillary Clinton presidential victory promises to usher in a new age of public misogyny.
Get ready for the era of The Bitch.
If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November, it will be a historic moment, the smashing of the preeminent glass ceiling in American public life. A mere 240 years after this nations founding, a woman will occupy its top office. Americas daughters will at last have living, breathing, pantsuit-wearing proof that they too can grow up to be president.
A Clinton victory also promises to usher in four-to-eight years of the kind of down-and-dirty public misogyny you might expect from a stag party at Roger Ailess house.
You know its coming. As hyperpartisanship, grievance politics, and garden-variety rage shift from Americas first black commander-in-chief onto its first female one, so too will the focus of political bigotry. Some of it will be driven by genuine gender grievance or discomfort among some at being led by a woman. But in plenty of other cases, slamming Hillary as a bitch, a c**t (Thanks, Scott Baio!), or a menopausal nut-job (an enduringly popular theme on Twitter) will simply be an easy-peasy shortcut for dismissing her and delegitimizing her presidency.
Either way, itll be best to brace for some in-your-face sexist drivel in the coming years. Despite progress in the business world, women as top executives still prompt an extra shot of public scrutiny. (Just ask Marissa Mayer or Sheryl Sandberg or Carly Fiorina.) And just as Barack Obamas election did not herald a shiny, new post-racial America, Clintons would not deliver one of gender equality and enlightenment. So goes progress: Two steps forward, one step back(lash). As the culture changes, people resent that change start freaking out, others look to exploit their fear, and things can turn really, really nasty on their way to getting better.
We know what Trump won't do when he loses/drops out.
Though NBC was once home to Donald Trump, the GOP candidate's warmly welcomed days at the network are gone, according to chairman Bob Greenblatt.
Two weeks after the executive publicly told a group of reporters at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills that Trump "would never be back on Celebrity Apprentice, as long as I'm here," he is slamming the reality starturnedpolitician as "toxic" and "demented."
"The sad state of affairs thanks to a pompous businessman turned reality TV star (whose show consistently ran LAST in its time period, by the way) who thinks speaking his mind is refreshing," the chairman penned in a Facebook post in response to a New York Times op-ed titled "Donald Trump is Making America Meaner."
"It's actually corrosive and toxic because his 'mind' is so demented; and his effect will unfortunately linger long after he's been told to get off the stage," he continued, Page Six first reported.
A source confirms to PEOPLE that the post was a personal post on Greenblatt's private page, which is not open to the public.
Ugh. This Toensing creep again. Victoria's brother, works with her in D.C. if you don't know who she is:
Victoria Toensing (born c. 1940) is a lawyer, and partner with her husband, Joseph DiGenova, in the Washington law firm DiGenova and Toensing. Her practice specializes in white-collar criminal defense, regulatory inquiries, and legislative advocacy. She has appeared as a legal commentator on several networks including CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
2 Involvement in Monica Lewinsky scandal
3 Involvement in Valerie Plame scandal
4 Electoral politics
A Republican attorney is asking for an investigation into Sen. Bernie Sanders' endorsement of a Vermont state senate candidate in the recent Democratic primary elections.
Brady Toensing of Charlotte complains that on May 24, Sanders sent an email asking supporters to donate to Christopher Pearson, whom Sanders had endorsed.
The use of this email list, Toensing contends, was an in-kind campaign contribution to Pearson's campaign that exceeded legal limits. He also suggested Pearson would be beholden to Sanders as a result of the endorsement.
Toensing, an attorney who works in Washington, D.C., and serves as vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, addressed the letter to the Attorney General's Office and shared it with news reporters Tuesday. State buildings were closed for Bennington Battle Day, and Attorney General William Sorrell said his staff would respond to the lawsuit after returning to the office.
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders, dismissed the allegations as part of a "string of wild and discredited political attacks by Brady Toensing."
"The senator is obviously well within his rights to endorse candidates and recommend to his supporters that they contribute to other candidates," Briggs wrote in an email. "This is common fundraising approach which is done by Democrats and Republicans every day all over the country."
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