Celebrity News

Can Bob Dylan save Detroit?

Detroit is a hidden jewel with an American legacy that awakened the world to soul music, modernist architecture, advanced models of industrialization and imagination. Detroit’s premise was always that there were things that could happen here in America that could only happen here, and Dylan effectively still makes that case for today.

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Favorite DC escort of advice columnist Ann Landers back in the news

In 2002, when I was writing a profile of Eppie Lederer (aka Ann Landers), I tracked down and interviewed just about every handsome, usually younger, man who escorted the famous Chicagoan and internationally renowned advice columnist to her many social events. I was told repeatedly how much Landers, who died in her co-op on one of Chicago’s most prestigious streets (East Lake Shore Drive) earlier that year, loved being in the company of charismatic men — Bill Clinton, although not an escort, was at the top of her chart of mesmerizing men. She did not like navigating her dizzyingly full social life without leaning on the arm of a gentleman. (She was divorced from her husband Jules, he left her for a younger woman, in 1975.)  

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A-Rat (A-Rod) dished the dirt about dope, says '60 Minutes'

In my column this week I praised Hollywood star Matt Damon for his principled progressive politics. 

Damon is a model for what celebrities can contribute to public life. On the other hand, we have the example of Alex Rodriguez, known as A-Rod, the Yankees star who has been suspended for more than 200 games for allegedly using performance enhancing drugs.

Now, "60 Minutes" on CBS is reporting that the flacks for A-Rod have been leaking allegations that other baseball players, including one of his Yankees teammates, have used performance enhancing drugs.

I should note that A-Rod denies (more or less) that he ever used performance enhancing drugs, though his denial is carefully hedged. And he denies that his flacks have been dishing the dirt about dope regarding other baseball players.

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James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini will be remembered for one very good thing: Making the art of the small screen, for the first time, better than the art of the big screen.

The richness of "The Sopranos" was almost limitless in dramatic scope, starting at the beginning of the first season, when Tony Soprano reflects on a goose cavorting in his swimming pool. And when she gives birth, he dotes on her and her goslings as he would his own children.

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Ed Schultz will be sorely missed on prime time

The news that Ed Schultz will be leaving prime time weekday television on MSNBC and move to the weekend is not welcome news in this quarter. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Hayes, who will be moving into prime, is first-rate and will do a great job. But Ed is one of a kind, and he is the kind we need on television because on the single greatest issue of our age, the Les Miserables economy with too many jobless people and too much social injustice, Ed Schultz fights like hell for the people who need more voices fighting for them.

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Andy Griffith: An American icon

Andy Griffith, an iconic American figure, passed away at the age of 86 Tuesday. He may have disappeared, but hopefully what he represented is still alive and well through the legacy he leaves behind.

Both the character he portrayed on the “Andy Griffith Show,” Sheriff Andy Taylor, and who he was, personally, reminded Americans what the country was like at its best and showed that a simpler, more rural lifestyle could bring out the best in the American people.

The show itself portrayed a simpler time to its viewers amid the roller-coaster decade of the 1960s. Griffith’s show, and his tough-but-fair-minded sheriff of small-town Mayberry, gave viewers a sense of calm and peace in age marked by violence and war.

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Arnold's love-children

How about we respect the privacy and dignity of Maria Shiver and her children and focus instead on the 15.9 percent of Americans who are looking for work?

Nobody in Washington seems to give a damn about the jobless.

The Democrats offer minor proposals that will create a few jobs. Republicans offer major proposals that will destroy many jobs. The media treats the American people like salacious idiots, treats the jobless as though they don't exist and treats the Arnold love-child issue as important to the nation and worthy of our time, when it is none of our business and not important in our lives.

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Culture of casual sex to blame?

It’s a shame the Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger scandals erupted the same week. One was an attempted rape, and the perpetrator ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent. The other, a consensual affair, was the more common of today’s scandals and deserves a closer look.

Frankly, I could care less about the sordid details of Schwarzenegger’s personal relationships. But the frequency with which scandals like this erupt — Bill Clinton, John Ensign, John Edwards, Mark Sanford, David Letterman and Roman Polanski, to name a few — makes it hard not to acknowledge that a cultural shift may be, in part, to blame for such widespread dishonesty and infidelity.

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Please, no humor in the House

As if Democrats running the House of Representatives don't have enough on their legislative agenda, they now intend to hold a hearing today on immigration and undocumented farm workers and hear from expert witness Stephen Colbert? Yes, Mr. and Mrs. America, the Comedy Central host will appear in character, allegedly, and testify of his own experiences working in the hot sun on a farm. What a joke. What an insult to the congressional process of holding hearings to inform lawmakers on what laws are necessary.

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