Monday, December 23, 2013

Petition to rename street after Paul Walker bound for failure: Councilman

A petition to rename the street that actor Paul Walker -- as well as the driver, Roger Rodas -- died on in a fiery crash on Nov. 30, 2013 has thousands of signatures. However, on Monday, a city councilman told TMZ the plan was probably doomed to failure.

The petition can be found here, on At the time of this writing, it has reached 1,868 signatures -- hardly Phil Robertson level -- but still notable.

However, most residents are saying nay to the idea of renaming Hercules Avenue to Walker Rojas Memorial Way. Primarily, the report said, it's because Paul did nothing specific for the community itself. There is, of course, also the annoyance and expense for residents and the city changing street signs and those minor thing like contact info.

Thus, we have city councilman TimBen Boydston, who told the celebrity site on Monday that cannoty be renamed without the support of the community. That statement appears to have squashed the hopes of any such change.

Walker and Rodas both died on Nov. 30, 2013. After they left an event for Walker's charity Reach Out Worldwide for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT -- which Rodas was driving -- crashed into a light pole and tree on Hercules Avenue, a 45 mph speed zone near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia, Santa Clarita, Calif.

The car burst into flames. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department declared both victims dead at the scene.

Friday, December 20, 2013

After Robertson suspension, upcoming 'Duck Dynasty' marathons seen as hypocritical

TMZ asked a good question on Friday. The site asked its readersif the A&E network is hypocritical or simply running their business as just that, a business, based on their holiday TV schedule.

This question arises in the week of this week's "Duck Dynasty" news. A&E has suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson over his anti-gay comments to GQ, but it remains to be seen if that suspension will last. After all, "Duck Dynasty" is a money-maker for the network, and that is clear. A look at the upcoming marathons makes it not just clear, but crystal clear.

The marathons run on the days Dec. 22, Dec. 23, Dec. 24, and Christmas Day, Dec. 25. They are as follows:
  • Dec. 22 -- 5 p.m. - 4 a.m. EST
  • Dec. 23 -- 7 p.m. - 4 a.m. EST
  • Dec. 24 -- 6 p.m - 9 p.m. EST
  • Dec. 25 -- 3:30 p.m. - 4 a.m. EST
"Duck Dynasty" is the highest-rated cable network reality TV show in history.

For those not in the know, Robertson said this to GQ:
It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.

Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.
That was just the start. He also made statements regarding race that were offensive to some. Speaking of the Louisiana of his youth, he said:
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.
He also made statements that compared Shintoism, a form of Buddhism, with Nazism:
All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.
For those interested, however, the question remains: hypocritical or just business as usual, in terms of A&E's marathon broadcssts of "DD?" The answer is 79 percent hypocritical, 21 percent business as usual (among 60K+ votes).

'Duck Dynasty' cast says 'No Phil Robertson, no show, period'

No Phil, no show. That is what the family involved in "Duck Dynasty" said, in a statement released (via TMZ) on Friday.

The full statement is below:
We want to thank all of you (fans) for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible.

Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.

We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.
It is indeed his constitutionally protected right to express his feelings (via the First Amendment's protections for free Speech). However, nowhere in the Constitution does it say he cannot be fired for any statements he makes.

Earlier in the week, A&E indefinitely suspended the family's patriarch, Phil Robertson, over anti-gay statements he made in a GQ interview. Since then, it's been confirmed that Robertson has had these beliefs for a considerable time.

Many have come out in support of Robertson, including petitions that have risen above 100,000 signatures, posts on A&E's Facebook page, and people like Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin backing him up.

Reportedly, "Duck Dynasty" is the highest rated cable reality TV show in history, so we shall see if A&E blinks.

Unearthed video shows 'Duck Dynasty's' patriarch had long-standing opinions about the LGBT community

It's not clear whether or not A&E knew of "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson's opinion of the LGBT community prior to creating the series. That, however, is a theory posited by TMZ on Friday, when it discovered and posted an anti-gay rant captured on video, earlier.

The embedded video is from a 2010 sermon by Robertson at Berean Bible Church in Pennsylvania. "Duck Dynasty" did not hit the air until 2012. That could mean that A&E knew of his opinion of the gay community prior to the series, during their assumed vetting process, but it isn't solid evidence.

It does, however, mean that Robertson hasn't (recently) changed his tune on the matter.

A&E suspended Robertson from the popular reality series earlier this week. Since then, petitions have been raised, with one of them already past 100,000 signatures by early Friday morning.

Celebrities such as Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity have chimed in as well, calling the decision of A&E a violation of free speech. Others, though, have pointed out that A&E is not saying Robertson does not have the right to say what he did. Instead, the network is saying they have the right to fire him at any time.

If, in fact, such statements were free speech, then people who dissed their companies or clients or made similar comments and were fired could not be terminated either. Remember these three hosts, fired after mocking a former NFL player, now suffering from ALS.

The question as to whether or not Robertson remains suspended is still open.

Fake nude images of 'Duck Dynasty' star Korie Robertson shopped to the media

A set of (faux) nude photos of "Duck Dynasty" star Korie Robertson is reportedly being shopped to media outlets, TMZ reported on Friday. Robertson is the wife of Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson, the son of Phil Robertson, who was recently suspended by A&E after his anti-gay comments in a GQ interview.

The celebrity site has done some due diligence and research, and discovered that the images were Photoshopped, with Korie's face being superimposed on another woman's face. They have one of the original images here.

Looking at the images, it seems pretty obvious that they are altered.

Phil Robertson was suspended from "Duck Dynasty" -- indefinitely -- after his comments were published. Defenders, including sponsors, fans, and petitions have arisen en masse since then. For now, however, A&E's decision stands.

A&E said:
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series "Duck Dynasty."

His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.
While many are supporting Robertson, it appears this set of photos is being used to a) make a buck on the news, b) drag Korie through the mud, as well.

A slideshow is available here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Petitions, sponsors back 'Duck Dynasty' patriarch's return

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson was suspended indefinitely from the reality TV show a series of homophobic comments he made in a recent GQ interview. A&E announced the suspension (via Time) on Wednesday.

For those unaware, Robertson told GQ that a) a vagina should be more desirable to a man than an anus, and b) bestiality and homosexuality are on the same level:
It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.

Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.
A&E's reaction was swift. A network representative released a statement that included the following:
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series "Duck Dynasty."

His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.
Was A&E's swift suspension because they feared fan reprisal? If so, they should know the show's fans better. A petition was begun by Don Hall, and has over 57,000 signatures at the time of this writing. That is the most popular petition, mind you, as searching will find others.

Meanwhile, it appears the network needn't fear reprisal from at least one sponsor, either. A company called Skyjacker, which builds truck suspensions, told TMZ was solidly behind both the show and its currently ousted leader.

It remains to be seen if the suspension will stand.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One-armed and sans legs, Nick Santonastasso wants to be a 'Walker'

17-year-old Nick Santonastasso wants to be a "Walker" on AMC's "The Walking Dead." There's just one problem: He has no legs (and only one arm), so he won't be "walking" in his audition. Despite that, as TMZ reported on Tuesday, a petition to get him on the show has some solid numbers.

Santonastasso was born with only one arm and no legs. The petition is seeking 2,500 signatures before it is sent to comic book creator Robert Kirkman, who is also involved in the TV series. At the time of this writing, there are 1,777 signatures.

The petition, titled "Get Nick Santonastasso on Walking Dead: Please Robert Kirkman put Nick on Walking Dead," was started by Johnny Pope of Georgetown in South Carolina. It says:
Nick has made the best out of his physical sistuation (sic) and it would great if he could work as a zombie on up coming walking dead episode.
There is historical reason to believe such a walker would exist. Those who remember the show's first episode will recall that Rick came upon one zombie who was pretty much just a half person, with entrails streaming behind her and no lower part of her body.

Santonastasso has created his own audition "tape" of sorts. It can be seen, embedded below. If you think that he should get a shot on AMC's hit zombie series, surf over to the petition site linked above and hit it up with a signature.

Do you 'belieb' Justin is retiring?

Does anyone really believe that Justin Bieber would forgo the fame, fortune, and more importantly, based on his past behavior, the power of his singing career? That's what he told Los Angeles radio station Power 106 on Tuesday (per the Detroit Free Press).

Bieber, 19, said,
After the new album ("Journals"), I'm actually, I'm retiring man, I'm retiring.
“Journals” is set to arrive on Dec. 23 on iTunes. The album all of his "Music Monday" releases along with five other new tracks.

Twitter went wild over the possibility that Bieber was retiring.

@celebnellz: Retiring ? Justin Bieber I will slap you.

@DahBieberWorld: I actually wanna bloody cry in class cos am hearing that justin is retiring from music :'( @justinbieber is it true?:(

Not everyone is upset though.

@D_Martin90: Justin Bieber has retired! Christmas has come early!

Bieber fans needn't worry, though (and Bieber critics needn't crow). Sources have told TMZ the whole thing is a big joke. He just didn't save it for April Fool's Day, like Lilo did.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Brian Griffin returrns to 'Family Guy,' and did you ever doubt it?

In comic books, no one is ever dead. Sometimes a character is killed off and resurrected several times. Thus, why did folks watching the animated series "Family Guy" ever believe that Brian Griffin was gone forever? Sunday's Christmas special fixed that alternate past (it's a moving comic book, basically, after all) and he's back, all for a good holiday lesson, tweeted series creator Seth MacFarlane, on Sunday night.

For those not in the know, Brian Griffin was killed a few weeks ago when he was run over by a car. For those even less in the know, Brian is the family's bipedal walking and talking dog.

In the earlier episode, "Life of Brian," Stewie is unable to go back in time to save Brian because his time machine is kaput. In the latest episode, "Christmas Guy," Stewie is able to save Brian because (conveniently) another Stewie traveled back in time and he took the alternate Stewie's time machine to use himself.

Thus, this Stewie went back in time and saved Brian, again conveniently when the past Stewie goes into the Griffin house.

Fan rage was such that several online petitions were started to get Brian back. Meanwhile, Brian was replaced by Vinnie, voiced by Tony Sirico ("The Sopranos," Paulie Walnuts) with a decidedly different take on a Griffin family dog. He even replaced Brian in the opening credits, including Sunday.

However, after the episode aired, MacFarlane revealed it was all planned from the beginning, and that these petitions and outrage were unnecessary. He tweeted:
And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash.

I mean, you didn't really think we'd kill off Brian, did you? Jesus, we'd have to be f***ing high.

Oh and hey... thanks for caring so much about the canine Griffin. He is overcome with gratitude.
The "loss" of Brian Griffin might have given MacFarlane a little time to himself. He is one of the numerous characters that MacFarlane voices for the series.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tila Tequila's pro-Hitler Facebook posts churn up the Internet

Reality TV "star" Tila Tequila has set the Internet and Facebook aflame. In a series of Facebook posts starting over the weekend and continue to a Monday response to criticism, Tequila made statements including compassion for Adolf Hitler, and claiming that the deaths of Elisa Lam and Paul Walker were both "ritualistic murders."

Last weekend, Tequila wrote:
I know who killed Elisa Lam. The Mysterious Video of the Girl in Elevator who ended up 'mysteriously dead' at the bottom of a closed off water tank. I believe I am the only person on this entire planet who knows what happened. I knew it the first time news of the strange video started circulating the internet weeks ago. I have just kept my mouth shut because there is a lot more to it and of course ... cases like this ... I just did not want to draw any attention to myself but I know exactly why they did it and yes it was indeed a ritualistic murder. Just like Paul Walker's.

However, for Lam's case I have so much detail that it may blow your mind," she continued. "I know it blew my mind and that's why I was debating on [whether] or not I should blog about it as I did not want to have anything to do with it ... except for the fact that this ritual murder was directly linked to my ritual murder last year ... So ... kinda makes it hard for me to talk about, but ...
Lam was the 21-year-old Canadian woman who was found dead in the rooftop water tank of the Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel in February. Walker, on the other hand, a star of the multibillion-dollar “Fast and Furious” movie series, died in a car crash on Nov. 30, along with the driver, his friend, Roger Rodas.

Meanwhile, Tequila has recently posted a series of pro-Hitler statements on Facebook. She wrote:
Once upon a time in a land far away there was a special and sweet kid who had a dream to become a painter. He was a brilliant artist and was ahead of his time. He had hopes, and dreams just like we all do.

Unfortunately, the art schools did not feel the same as he and they rejected him. Fast forward a few years later he was roughed up and bullied on top of that by the same people he once loved. His Name was Hitler.
In response to a harsh online response, Tequila wrote the following -- again, on Facebook -- on Monday, Dec. 9:
I never said I hated anyone, but just because I fee sympathy, compassion, and forgiveness for others such as Hitler means I am now a monster? All for trying to open your eyes to the truth that Hitler was NOT as bad as he was painted out to be?
Tequila also posted a since-deleted (but seen above) image of herself in Nazi garb, superimposed on an image of Auschwitz.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Paul Walker first responders' audio released; occupants reported DOA

On Friday, audio of first responders' speaking to fire dispatch on Saturday as they arrived at the Paul Walker crash scene last Saturday was released (via TMZ). The recording shows that emergency personnel knew right away that there was no chance anyone survived the fiery wreck.

Firefighters, who reportedly responded to the scene of the accident in under three minutes after the 911 call was made, told dispatch that the "Fast and the Furious" actor, along and the driver, Roger Rodas, were "two fatalities" and "dead on arrival."

Death was near instantaneous, according to Los Angeles County Coroner spokesman Ed Winter, who said
We didn’t give exact time of death, but it was probably within a nanosecond, pretty much instantaneous, not a matter of a minute or more.
For those unaware, both Rodas and Walker were involved in a severe single-car accident in Santa Clarita, Calif., last Saturday.

Both were killed. Walker is perhaps best known for his role as Brian O'Conner in "The Fast and the Furious" film series. He was 40.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celebrity fitness blogger's post-pregnancy selfie raises hackles

A celebrity fitness blogger's selfie, taken -- she said -- four days after her daughter's birth, has engendered controversy, jealousy, and congratulations as well, as it has gone viral on the Internet, Yahoo reported Tuesday.

Caroline Berg Eriksen runs the biggest health and fitness blog in Norway. She is also married to Norwegian Premier League player Lars-Kristian Eriksen. The Instagram photo, shown above, had the following caption:
I feel so empty, and still not 4 days after birth
The image shos Eriksen with a toned stomach, seemingly enhanced breasts (which most breast-feeding moms can relate to), and little evidence of a recent childbirth.

While some comments on her Instagram post were complimentary, others were doubtful, or even critical.

One comments, baboforever, wrote:
Im not impressed by the body bc she was very fit before and worked out all through her pregnancy w personal trainer and I'm sure personal chef/nutritionist ... What amazes me is that after 4 days pp she has the energy (desire?) to get up, put on sexy lingerie, take a selfie and post it on IG!
On the other hand, juniord63 wrote:
Women in Hollywood do this all the time after giving birth... I thought keeping fit and healthy was a good thing... Girl keep doing the DAM THANG!!! Let the haters hate it don't matter what you do or how you do it there will always be haters...
Appearing on "Good Morning America," Eriksen said:
People kept telling me that my body would never be the same,” Berg Eriksen told ABC News. “I wanted to show everyone that’s not entirely true.

Right after birth – like three minutes after – I felt like myself again.
It's true, too, that Ericksen was exercising right up until the birth. Additionally, she never developed a very large baby bump. As tiana_bryant24 wrote:
its not suprising u look like that since u didnt gain much weight and u lose water weight quick after birth
Some though, felt that Eriksen's post gave some women a poor self-view. What do you readers think?

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