Reverends! All reverends look alike. Jesse Jackson was on MSNBC today to help poor people, and Contessa Brewer introduced him as "the Rev. Al Sharpton." If Fox News did this, there would be sit-ins.
Actor (and Michael Bloomberg supporter) Matt Damon turns 39 today. Soon-Yi Previn, or Mrs. Woody Allen, is turning 39, too. Chevy Chase is 66. Rev. Jesse Jackson is turning 68. Sigourney Weaver turns 60. Former presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich is turning 63. Director Ed Zwick is 57. Children's author R.L. Stine is turning 66. Netflix founder Reed Hastings is 49. Comic book writer Harvey Pekar turns 70. Nick Cannon is 29. Jeremy Davies is 40. And actor Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame turns 70.
Certainly you're sitting at home tonight thinking, "I wonder where Michael Jackson's corpse is right now?" Well, luckily for you, CNN is on it baby!
Rod Blagojevich wanted to sell an Illinois Senate seat. Who's in the market for such a thing? Apparently, Blagojevich figured either Obama would pay up (with a cabinet post or something) for the right to pick his own successor, or he would go ahead sell it to "Candidate 5"—someone who was publicly reported to want it. Logic dictates that Candidate 5 is probably Jesse Jackson, Jr [UPDATE: Or is it? Alternate theory added below]. Which puts this corrupt, white governor in the interesting position of trying to play the old vanguard of Black American leadership against its new version. And failing miserably.
Matt Damon turns 38 today. Woody Allen's bride, Soon-Yi, is celebrating her 38th, too. Chevy Chase turns 68 today. Jesse Jackson is 67. Dennis Kucinich is 62. Sigourney Weaver is turning 59. Children's author R.L. Stine is 65. Director Ed Zwick is 56. Comic book legend Harvey Pekar is 69 today, as is Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame. Netflix founder Reed Hastings turns 48. And Angus T. Jones, the little boy in Two and a Half Men, is 15.
Every four years, the Democrats have Jesse Jackson come speak at their convention to remind black people that even though the party has nominated yet another old white guy, they are still the party of civil rights and not being racist all the time. This year, though, the Dems have gone and nominated an African-American! So, Jesse, your services will not be needed. "Ronald Walters, a former Jackson aide who is the director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland, said he does not think Jackson will be asked to speak at the convention," The Hill Reports. Sad. Al Sharpton isn't coming either! All because Jackson said he wanted to cut Barack's nuts off on television that one time. You whisper one castration threat, suddenly you're not welcome at prom. Hey, guess who else isn't invited-black Congressman Charlie Rangel! Rangel-as a New York politician-vocally supported Hillary Clinton throughout the primaries. But it's not like he's done anything to stab Obama in the back since then! Still, he will not be speaking in Denver. The Hill says there might be some black politicians allowed to speak, though. Like Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty! Who is much younger and less, uh, riled up than Jackson, Sharpton, or Rangel. He's also way more boring. But this is the face the Democrats would like to present to the nation: the party of calm, cool, young black guys. (Colin Powell, by the way, is not showing. Bill Kristol is a buffoon.)
The Fox News Channel is now admitting that civil rights leader Jesse Jackson used the word "n—-er" in comments about Barack Obama in front of cameras in Fox News' Chicago bureau. Fox told AP tonight that Jackson said the Democratic presidential candidate was "talking down to black people ... telling n——rs how to behave" (that sentence fragment having first appeared on TVNewser earlier today). A Fox News Channel insider told Gawker nearly a week ago that Jackson had used the n-word, although it's not true, as we were told at the time, that the remarks were directed at Obama. Still, there's no small amount of hypocrisy at work on Jackson's part: He once called for a ban on any use of the slur. Fox's confirmation that Jackson used it himseld comes after Fox spent yesterday issuing carefully-calibrated denials about the incident.
O'Reilly Factor executive producer David Tabacoff shot down the rumor floated here last week (via Fox News insider) that Jesse Jackson called Barack Obama the n-word in unaired portions of his infamous "cut his nuts off" comments about Barack Obama. Tabacoff told TVNewser that Jackson never uttered the slur, nor did he use an even more incendiary phrase, "half-breed n——r," surfaced on Daily Kos and Hybrid Nation this week. OK, nice way to clear Jackson's name, but the denial is also going to kick up a fresh round of chatter about Jackson's comments, since the question now becomes what other than the n-word was so awful that host Bill O'Reilly saw fit to call it "more damaging" than talking about tearing off someone's testicles. Apparently, Fox won't be showing any more footage "in the immediate future." Right. You have to save this stuff for the convention! [TVNewser] UPDATE: Fox News chief Roger Ailes also denies the "half-breed n——r" slur.
Controversy! Did Jesse Jackson want to rip Barack Obama's nuts "off" or "out"? No big deal, you say? Tell it to the Post! "Veterinarians and doctors talk about cutting nuts 'off.' Only a thug or a gangster cuts a man's nuts 'out.'" Jeff Johnson makes the importance of the distinction a little clearer: "Maybe Jackson simply does not understand human anatomy. Perhaps he tells women, in the throes of passion, that he'd like to chew on their breasts, rather than suckle them. Maybe he puts his shoes on, then his socks. Maybe he thinks that hearts don't beat, that they 'squeeze.'" [Fitted Sweats]
So while we're on the subject of Radar and who owns them and what they won't cover, let's all read this fun story about the Jesse Jackson family from last February's New Republic! It's about Barack Obama the Jackson kids. First: the younger Jacksons like Barry Obama a lot more than Jesse Sr. This has been amply demonstrated recently. But the Obama family and the Jackson family are totally intertwined! Let's learn about that, shall we?
It's not even been 24 hours since Bill O'Reilly told Fox News viewers the cable channel was not airing footage of Jesse Jackson's "more damaging" comments (beyond wanting to "rip [Barack Obama's] nuts off") "because we didn't feel it had any relevance to the conversation this evening" and also because "we're not out to get Jesse Jackson." Now, with rumors swirling inside Fox News (and on this site) that Jackson used a racial slur, the network may be having a change of heart. Fox News VP Bill Shine told the LA Times for tomorrow's paper that "news executives were in discussions about whether to air more of the tape." Could it air on O'Reilly's show tonight? If it does, lord knows how anyone in the news media will manage to cover Jackson saying the "n-word," given how tongue-tied everyone got about a simple testicle-removal threat. After the jump, a very funny 23/6 compilation of cable news correspondents making like the Times and getting all tongue-tied about the first bad thing Jackson said.