January 29, 2020

Don Lemon Did Trump a Huge Favor
A  video of CNN news anchor Don Lemon laughing hysterically as his guests mocked Donald Trump’s supporters went viral this week -- and it couldn’t have been a more effective campaign ad for the president.In the video, which was clipped from a live broadcast that aired on Saturday night, Lemon can be seen crying tears of laughter, and at one point even slamming his head on his desk, because he’s apparently so overwhelmed with joy and amusement.It all started after one guest, ex-GOP strategist Rick Wilson, joked that Trump would be too stupid to find Ukraine on a map, before calling Trump’s supporters the “credulous boomer rube demo.”Lemon laughed heartily, and so Wilson continued his mocking:“‘Donald Trump’s the smart one — and y’all elitists are dumb!’” Wilson said in a heavy, stereotypical southern accent.Then, the other guest (CNN contributor Wajahat Ali) chimed in, saying: “‘You elitists with your geography and your maps -- and your spelling!’”“‘Your math and your reading!’” Wilson added. “‘All those lines on the map!’”By Tuesday night, Lemon was receiving considerable backlash over the clip -- prompting him to address the controversy on his show:> Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you -- I don’t believe in belittling people, belittling anyone for who they are, what they believe. During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh. And while in the moment, I found that joke humorous. And I didn’t catch everything that was said.“Just to make it perfectly clear,” he added. “I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.”(Notice that Lemon stopped short of actually apologizing for his behavior.)First of all, it seems pretty clear to me that Lemon’s defense (that he simply “didn’t catch” everything the panelists were saying) is a blatant lie. He is laughing, consistently, while the guests are making their jokes, and then continuing to laugh after the guests make them. You don’t need to be a human-behavior expert to understand that, when someone is laughing during and after a joke, then the laughter is because of that joke.Lemon knew exactly what he was laughing at -- and, by refusing to apologize, he has made it clear that he doesn’t see anything wrong with that, either.The thing is, though, he should regret it -- for his own sake. After all, it’s clear that Lemon hates Trump, and his performance in that segment is going to be a way bigger help to the incumbent president than anything that Trump could ever do for himself.Make no mistake: Clips like this embolden Trump’s supporters. They don’t see this sort of mockery and start to question their beliefs -- rather, it just strengthens their view that it is them (and Trump) against the world. It makes them more loyal to the president, not less.If you don’t understand what I mean, just think about what happened after Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment. Did that turn people away from Trump? Far from it. In fact, it prompted countless Trump supporters to use the word in their names or handles on Twitter. It prompted the Trump campaign to sell “deplorable” T-shirts. It prompted Trump to use the comments for his own campaign’s fundraising, and to bring his supporters closer to him, as well as to present himself as the foil who would never demean them in that way. (“While my opponent slanders you as deplorable and irredeemable, I call you hardworking American patriots who love your country and want a better future for all of our people,” Trump said during a rally in Iowa shortly afterwards.)In other words? Rather than question their choice of alliance because of Clinton’s insult, Trump’s supporters embraced it -- clearly seeing it as evidence that the people who disagree with them, in fact, don’t just disagree with them; they hate them, too. They think that they’re stupid. Nobody wants to listen to anyone who just got done calling them dumb, and all Lemon did here was further solidify the narrative that “liberal media elites” like him think Trump supporters are fools, which, in turn, only makes them hate Trump’s opposition more.What’s more, in Lemon’s instance, his guests’ usage of stereotypical Southern accents -- clearly intended to signify “stupidity” -- could extend the consequences of this particular blunder to include turning off those voters in rural areas who are on the fence politically. Trump can point directly to this segment as evidence whenever he makes one of his favorite claims: that his opponents don’t respect his supporters or rural Americans.In fact, this clip actually also provides ammunition for another one of Trump’s favorite claims: the idea that CNN is “Fake News.” Looking at this clip -- and seeing a CNN news anchor laughing at Trump supporters this way -- makes it easier for Trump to tell his supporters that all the news coming from CNN is tainted with this same bias, and therefore not reliable. It makes it more likely that they will blindly believe Trump, who hasn’t insulted them, and less likely that they will believe that anyone affiliated with CNN could ever have a legitimate criticism.Lemon, I’m guessing, didn’t expect that any Trump supporters would ever see this clip of him laughing at them -- but, unfortunately for him, millions of them did. If he doesn’t want to apologize to the people he insulted, then that is perfectly fine. He might, however, want to consider apologizing to the people who are going to actually be hurt by it the most: the people who want Trump out of office, and the network he represents.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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