Terrible news from the UK: terrorist attack on Westminster

Here is the story from the BBC of the terrible events today at Westminster in the U.K., with five people reported dead so far, including the attacker who tried to storm Parliament. 

Reminds people of what happened when Parliament was attacked in Ottawa not too long ago. What awful times we are living in, folks.

Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry dies, and other News from Nowhere

Welcome to News from Nowhere and the big news from the weekend is that 2017 is proving to be another big year of celebrity deaths. The latest is musical legend Chuck Berry, who basically invented rock and roll in the Fifties with hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland, Berry was the first inductee.

Now, he’s dead, age 90. It almost feels like rock and roll, too, has died right along with him.

And that is not the only big loss from the weekend: we also got word that journalist Jimmy Breslin, too, is dead. Age 88.

What else is going on? Well, there was James Comey testifying today about how the FBI was investigating collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians.

Also, the trial of an ex-MMA fighter called “War Machine” has ended, and the jury handed him 29 out of 34 possible convictions for his role in assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

In political news from western Canada — namely Alberta — Jason Kenney has won the leadership of the PCs and is now moving full steam ahead on his main platform: uniting the province’s right into one party.

In other important news, Tom Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl LI has been recovered.

I notice that the list of the world’s happiest countries is out and Norway is Number One — it always seems like Norway is always at or near the top of surveys like this, for some reason. 

Quite honestly, I question this list’s credibility. For instance, it ranked Finland in the top five, but that makes no sense at all because everyone knows the Finnish are notorious for being absolutely miserable. Even 60 Minutes did a piece years ago on how melancholy they are. So this list is completely suspect.

Also conspicuous by their absence from this list: Latin American and Caribbean countries. You would think there would be at least three or four but only Costa Rica made this list, even though the weather is sunny and a lot of people move to Latin America and the Caribbean to escape their depressing, awful lives in the “Uptight States of America”. 

Speaking of Latin America, the PokerStars Championship from Panama is playing to a winner tonight. Updates here. See, life in Central America can actually be pretty good. Proves my point.

That is it from here for tonight.

Beauty and the Beast scores March box office record opening of $174.8 million!

Long-awaited box office news: from all accounts it was going to be a “monster” opening, and that was exactly the case. Disney’s highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast raked in $174.8 million this weekend, easily winning the weekend and eclipsing the previous $166 million March record set by Batman V. Superman. It’s also the top pre-summer (meaning: May) box office of all time.

Beauty and the Beast is also doing so well overseas that it looks like its entire worldwide haul could ultimately top a billion dollars.

You can do a lot with a billion dollars, folks.

My TV is inundated with March Madness games!


I am burnt out and exhausted after the last couple of weeks of running around working, and now I have three days off. I think I am going to pause the posting at this blog for the weekend while I tune in to the NCAA basketball coverage that is littering CBS, and also TSN here in thawing-out Canada. Updates here. The live bracket here.

The real reason this tournament exists is so bored American sports fans can keep their sanity while waiting for baseball season to arrive. Shouldn’t be long now. 

Mayweather v. McGregor. Dana White thinks it will happen!


Well, the rumors have been flying for a while about a potential multimillion dollar boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the UFC’s star, Conor McGregor (pictured). 

This could turn out to be the next big superfight on the horizon, after that last sorry borefest of a superfight in which Mayweather spent the entire night running laps around Manny Pacquiao. Lately, though, there have been rumors UFC boss Dana White might block the fight and that it may never happen. The problem is McGregor is contractually bound to UFC and would need their clearance to go ahead with the superfight — something White has expressed reluctance about doing.

Things may have changed in that regard. White went on Conan last night and he said he believed a deal would get done. So that has got the Twitterati and social media people all excited, with this news that White won’t block such a superfight. White is trending on Twitter and Facebook! 

Now, the question is how to actually get this fight deal done, where and when would it be, etc. etc. Of course, the deal for Mayweather’s superfight with Pacquiao took years to transpire and looked for a while like it might never happen.

It would be a heck of a spectacle, let me tell you that. Mayweather vs. McGregor. We shall see if it happens.

Update: Stephen A. Smith thinks it will happen, too.

The usual Trump mayhem, and Dutch election results, top the News from Nowhere


Welcome to another Donald Trump-dominated News from Nowhere, but before we talk about the President and his usual antics, we need to talk about today’s Dutch general election. 

This was a vote closely watched out of fear that the latest EU-hating, right-nationalist Islamophobe, Geert Wilders, might take power. 

Fortunately, all that talk in the media about his ascension to power in the Netherlands just proved to be more “fake news,” because he LOST. Instead, incumbent PM Mark Rutte is set to retain power. Anyway, good. 

In other election news I notice the Francois Fillon presidential campaign in France continues to circle the drain as he is now placed under formal investigation over the Penelopegate fake jobs scandal. As an aside, what a gong show that presidential race has become, it seems like all the major contenders are tainted by one accusation or another.

In the wake of the British parliament’s backing of Brexit, now I see First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants yet another Scottish independence referendum. Oh, great, this is exactly what the UK needs right now. Another referendum! Good grief.

On to the USA:

  • The latest news involving President Trump is Rachel Maddow’s big scoop about his taxes from 2005. Ho, hum. So Trump is a millionaire who paid a lot of money in taxes. Not much to see here.
  • Other news, there was an uproar over Trump’s removal of 46 US attorneys with one in particular, Preet Bharara, being fired after he refused to resign.  Of course, this sucks for the people involved, but again there is nothing new about this sort of activity; it happens all the time when a new party takes over the White House. The only reason this is controversial now is because Trump is doing it, so now everyone’s automatically offended.
  • Regarding Trump’s claims of wiretapping at Trump Tower, the House Intel committee says it finds no evidence of it.
  • Then, of course, you have this revised travel ban that has ended up blocked in court again
  • Also, WikiLeaks leaked a lot of CIA secrets last week and I agree with Bill O’Reilly on this one: whoever did this are traitors who ought to be tried for treason. 

On top of all this nonsense is North Korea. The world is justifiably freaking out over their missile tests, and now the US is so concerned about Kim Jong Un that they’re building up near the Korean Peninsula. Quite honestly, I am getting really worried about this. We are used to this rogue regime in North Korea being an absolute nuisance, but now this state is starting to be a danger to the whole wide world.

Meanwhile, down in South Korea, and after months of fighting the decision, the impeachment of their President Park Geun-hye finally was upheld in the Constitutional Court. So she’s officially done. 

She finally was forced to vacate the Presidential palace, and left a bunch of her dogs behind. A new President must now be elected within 60 days. Exciting times in Korea.

I guess that’s it for today. 

Kong: Skull Island wins weekend battle with $61 million haul!

The story from this weekend at the box office is the battle between Kong: Skull Island and its competition Logan. That latter movie is the last one in the Wolverine role for Hugh Jackman, and also the reigning box office champ from last week. Despite some predictions of a close race, it was King Kong who decisively prevailed with a domestic haul of $61 million, compared to $37.9 million for Logan. Internationally in 65 territories, the haul for the big gorilla topped $81 million. 

I’m happy to hear this news because, to be honest, I have a soft spot for monster movies — the bigger the monster, the better. Plus, I have fond memories of our family’s trip to Universal Studios in 1988, in which our tour carriage was attacked by none other than King Kong. (Sadly, this attraction fell victim to the massive 2008 fire on the lot.) 

But I’m also partial to green lizards. So I wonder, which of these cinematic monsters do I like better? King Kong, or Godzilla? No doubt about it, there ought to be a movie to settle the question. 

King Kong vs. Godzilla. I’d see it.

Major winter storm about to hit northeast USA/eastern Canada!! 

The news is that a major winter storm, which the Weather Channel has dubbed Stella, is going to produce a major blizzard and snow dump for the northeast USA including the New York area. Southern Ontario will also get the brunt of it! Meanwhile, out on the Canadian prairie it’s been freaking cold the past few days! 

When is winter going to be over? Aaargh! 

Meanwhile in other weather news, today it was sunny and 84 C in Las Vegas, sunny and 31 C in Phoenix, sunny and 28 C in Cancun and sunny and 30 C in Havana. I guess some people don’t need to put up with winter.

Update (Monday): here is the latest forecast about the big blizzard. The biggest snow dump is happening Tuesday in the Northeast. Incidentally, it is probably now too late to escape to any of the warm places I just mentioned, because there have been thousands of flight cancellations.

The best part of NASCAR is the fights!! Seriously. 

Here’s the story on the NASCAR race in Las Vegas which ended with Kyle Busch getting into a scrap with Joey Logano’s crew on pit road at the end of the race.

As an aside, it should be interesting for visitors to the M&M’s store on the Strip this week to see Busch’s beat-up No. 18 race car in there. Just kidding, folks.

Auto racing: Las Vegas getting second NASCAR race, and Indycar begins in St. Pete


I am spending NCAA Selection Sunday watching auto racing. On today is the Kobalt 400, the only Las Vegas stop of the season for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series.

But not for long. It was announced this week that Las Vegas will be getting a second Cup series weekend in the fall, starting in 2018. It will be replacing one of the two New Hampshire races on the schedule. Helping ease the move is that Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns both tracks. The move makes sense, since attendance in Las Vegas is better anyway.

All in all, it’s more great pro sports news for Vegas with the arrival of its new NHL team the Vegas Golden Knights, the announcement UFC will hold four events a year at T-Mobile Arena, and news the Raiders-to-Vegas move is back on track. Now, honestly, I have been of the opinion for a while that Las Vegas doesn’t need the NFL. What they have there now in terms of sports options is more than enough; any city that has an NHL team plus major NASCAR and UFC events on a regular basis would be doing quite well, thanks. Heck, they even have Sevens Rugby every year. But if they really want the NFL there, fine.

The other news is that this is the opening weekend for Indycar and they held their race earlier today in St. Petersburg, Florida, won by Sebastien Bourdais. Of course, whenever I see these races going in places like St. Petersburg, and Las Vegas, not to mention these golf tournaments from Florida, I get all jealous about the weather conditions compared to here, in frozen Canada. (I guess it’s supposed to warm up.) See, this is why I tune in, to get my mind off of the cold.

Also, I read an article in the New York Times about how Indycar was no longer spinning its wheels and how interest is up. You could have fooled me, though, because my own personal interest is down, and the reason is all because I live nowhere near any IndyCar races anymore. Of course, there used to be a race in Edmonton that I would go to regularly, but now it’s just Toronto on the schedule. 

If Indycar is serious about getting fans back in Canada, they need another race here in western Canada where people can go and watch the race live. There have been rumors that may actually happen, though; there has been talk of IndyCar expanding their schedule and rumor is one of those additions could be a street race in Calgary, Alberta.

Well, if that were to happen I’d be interested in going to it, assuming I still live somewhere within driving distance of Calgary, Alberta by then. Right now, the IndyCar race which is the closest proximity to where I live now is the one in Newton, Iowa!!

Not only that, the closest Major League Baseball and NBA teams are in Minneapolis, the closest MLS team is in Vancouver, and the closest NHL team is in Edmonton!! Man, I miss big city life, when these sports were only a subway ride away.

Links to columns on the Oscars, fast food joints, etc.


I don’t feel like writing much here today. Instead, here are links to some columns of mine that ran this week:

First, my News Watch column on fast food joints, which recounted a notorious trip to a Carl’s Jr. in Los Angeles years ago that went so badly that it was comical. 

(Pictured above: a typical Carl’s Jr. ad.)

Second, my cinema column The Last Word on the Oscars, recounting an Oscar telecast that went about as well as our trip to Carl’s Jr. did. The end of the show was such a train wreck that it was comical.

Finally, my legislature column John Cairns’ Leg Watch, in which I focus on the first day of the legislature’s return earlier this week. Not quite as comical.

Maybe tomorrow I will get around to talking about the WikiLeaks’ CIA leak and other major news of the week, but not right now.

Make Saskatchewan Great Again! QB Vince Young joins the ‘Riders.

The big news from Saskatchewan is that former Heisman runner-up and ex-NFL quarterback Vince Young has signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. TSN broke the story Wednesday and it was all made official at a news conference today. This is not only big news up here in Canada, but also down there in the USA. Heck, even agent Leigh Steinberg was up here today. The locals are impressed.

Will this succeed? The Riders are taking a risk here. Young hasn’t played for years, yet he does not see this as a comeback — instead, he calls it an “opportunity”. 

All I know is that when I was watching the feed from 7 News Miami and their Sports Xtra show a few weeks ago, when all this Young comeback talk was happening, superagent Drew Rosenhaus was saying he didn’t think much of it and thought a return to football was a bad idea. 

Personally, I say, why not? For one thing, anyone who could handle the fishbowl atmosphere at the U. of Texas and with the Tennessee Titans in the NFL should have no difficulties at all in Saskatchewan. Moreover, the Roughriders are such a total mess at the quarterback position that coach/GM Chris Jones might as well give Young a shot. Really, the Riders have nothing to lose. 

As for Jones: boy, does he ever look more and more like the Donald Trump of the Canadian Football League. 

He is anti-establishment all the way in getting rid of popular players like Darian Durant, Weston Dressler and John Chick, in thumbing his nose at the Commissioner and the league office with all his rule violations, and by making unconventional moves like this. 

Just like Trump, Jones is crazy, all right. Crazy like a fox. We’ll see if this works, and if Vince Young makes good on his pledge to Make Vince Great Again.

ESPN is getting ready to whack a lot of on-air talent!!


These are tough times for the sports channels in the USA. Now, the word is that ESPN is about to get rid of a lot of on-air talent. They have already made a ton of cuts behind the scenes, with a mass layoff in 2015; now it is hitting the front of the camera. No doubt, the people that fans most want to see gone will stick around (ie. Stephen A. Smith, Tony Kornheiser), while a lot of others will be tossed. A few are going to get buyouts. It would not surprise me if Chris Berman is among the people who get booted, now that he’s been “retired” from the NFL coverage. In all, sad times.

Predictably, fans are not happy to hear this. Looking at the comments on these websites, this news is a jumping-off point for people to trash what ESPN has become, with people particularly trashing its increasingly liberal politically-correct agenda. Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage has been particularly going after ESPN for this

Honestly, a lot of people want to tune in sports channels for one reason: to see the sports. But ESPN isn’t even giving the fans that! They’re giving fans liberal politics and loud talking heads. As for coverage, ESPN really devotes its attention to only a few sports that they’ve paid big money for, namely the NFL, NCAA, the NBA, and baseball. And maybe tennis. But that is about it. Good luck if you are a fan of any other sport!

NHL? NASCAR? Formula 1? UFC? Boxing? Horse racingForget ESPN. Now that Tiger Woods‘ golf game is in the toilet, they seem to have lost interest in golf, too. Basically, ESPN focuses on the same few sports and teams (ie. the “glamour” teams) and the same old usual suspects/athletes, ie. LeBron. And this is true on radio as well as TV. It’s tiresome.

Anyway, I am just ranting now. Suffice it to say that the glory days for ESPN are definitely in the past. 

Sad news for film buffs: TCM host Robert Osborne is dead at 84

Advice for Trump: it’s time to quit Twitter, now.


Message for President Donald Trump: your Twitter use is causing you no end of trouble. It’s time to get off of Twitter right away, Mr. President, because it is making you look like this (pictured).

That rant done, here is a story on the latest Twitter-induced controversy for the so-called “Leader of the Free World”: all this wiretapping nonsense.

Georges St-Pierre to make comeback against Michael Bisping, and more UFC news


The coverage of tonight’s UFC 209 is starting on TV so I am going to need to be quick with the news from UFC this week:

I guess the big news is that Canadian UFC money train Georges St-Pierre is coming back and will be fighting for the middleweight title against Michael Bisping later this year, likely in Las Vegas. The press conference the other day was something else. 

Also, the UFC announced they are going to be an anchor tenant at T-Mobile Arena, with at least four events a year.

As well, tonight is UFC 209 in Las Vegas with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson fighting for the welterweight title again, but yet again we have seen fight card chaos with an MMA promotion, because Khabib Nurmagomedov had to pull out of his co-main event fight with Tony Ferguson at the last minute.

That will have to be it for now.

To sports fans still in football withdrawal: MLS returns tonight!


Ahem, Major League Soccer is back. Portland hosts expansion team Minnesota United tonight and there is a big slate of games tomorrow. That’s good, this league ought to be good “NFL replacement programming” to keep me occupied until the major league baseball season starts.

Also, I suppose Canadians should be excited about the prospects of their local MLS teams, given how well they did last postseason, but fans in this godforsaken country of ours are too interested in following curling, as well as the National Hockey League. Who cares about a real sport that is popular the world over? Oh, well, that’s life in Canada. 

LawNewz is live and on the air! Just in time for Aaron Hernandez.


I noticed this week that LawNewz has now launched their new online live-streaming channel, where they will be streaming major trials live. Of course, the LawNewz site has been around for a while, and has been streaming trials for a while, but now they have a channel going throughout the day with all the analysis and the rest of it. You can find it here.

It’s harkening back to the old CourtTV glory days on cable, before it closed down. The guy behind this new effort is Dan Abrams, and he was with CourtTV back in the day as well. Some other anchors and reporters have also been hired, including Beth Karas who’s been everywhere already (CourtTV, HLN, etc.).

As a trial junkie myself, I’m glad to see this venture up and running, but I don’t know how much I’ll be tuning into. The main problem is I work for a living, so I’m never able to watch these trials! 

The channel launched Monday and is up and running just in time for the Aaron Hernandez trial. Opening statements took place in court today. Wait a minute, you’re thinking: hadn’t Hernandez (pictured), the former New England Patriots NFL player, already been on trial? Yes, he was, in fact, and he was convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd. So he’s already serving time in the clink for that. 

This is a different charge, however, from an earlier incident in which he’s accused of killing two other people. So Hernandez is on trial for this one, too, and I notice Jose Baez, of Casey Anthony trial fame, has been taken on as his defence lawyer. Based on what I am reading, this could be a tougher case for the prosecutors to prove than the last one, so we shall see. Still, I don’t know why I bother to follow this case, because this guy Hernandez is already in jail and he’s not getting out, no matter what happens!

Anyway, this live streaming channel sounds good, so I’m going to try and tune in as much as I can.

It’s official: Jay and Dan returning to TSN!


Why am I not surprised? I just knew TSN would do some cheap stunt like this. Today, during their annual NHL TradeCentre trade deadline coverage (which in recent years has been notorious for nothing happening), they take the opportunity to announce that Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole are returning to TSN.

This, I think, is the very definition of “fake news”.

Tories debate in Edmonton tonight, but without Kevin O’Leary


This week, my News Watch column is about the Conservative leadership race.

Unfortunately, I wrote it before I learned that Kevin O’Leary decided to chicken out of appearing at tonight’s leadership debate in Edmonton, happening now. I guess he’s staging his own event, similar to what we saw last year from Donald Trump

This is the big problem with his campaign. O’Leary needs to show people he is not some dilettante, and that he can be taken seriously as a campaigner and as a candidate. He needs to show the party he has the right stuff to go up against someone like Justin Trudeau. Because you can be darned sure that Trudeau will be showing up for the debates when the election happens.

With O’Leary a no-show tonight, I suppose the coast is clear to watch Donald Trump address the joint session of Congress. That should be at least as entertaining as the Oscars show was.

The accountants take the blame for the biggest gaffe in Oscars history!!

Well, the finger pointing has been on full-blast over the epic screwup last night at the Academy Awards seen by millions of people, in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as Best Picture, when it was Moonlight that was the actual winner. It turned out they got the wrong envelope: instead, they opened a duplicate one pulled out of the wrong pile that announced Emma Stone, La La Land, as the Best Actress winner instead. 

Frankly, when I witnessed all this confusion on the Oscar stage erupting on TV, I thought this had to be some stunt, some joke — that maybe they were making fun of Steve Harvey’s infamous announcement of the wrong winner at the Miss Universe pageant last year. Then, when I realized this was no prank, and that they really had screwed it up, I was going “holy crap, it’s happened again!!” This was Steve Harvey, all over again! 

The accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, responsible for overseeing the results, has admitted responsibility for the messup, saying what happened was their fault. They have apologized, and they should apologize because this messup ruined what seemed like a good show, with Jimmy Kimmel particularly on fire all night. His fine hosting effort went head-first into the trashcan.

As for all the heat Warren Beatty has taken for that botched Best Picture announcement, I think the real reason he is taking heat is because he’s Warren Beatty and not for anything he particularly did wrong. I mean, he was doing his job! When Beatty opened the envelope he looked at the card and had a totally confused look on his face. Then, after he showed the card to Faye Dunaway, it was actually Dunaway who announced the winner. 

Honestly, folks, the blame here is all on the people who gave these two the wrong card! So this has nothing to do with Beatty. Give him a break!

This goes down as one of the most infamous moments in live-TV history, down there with Steve Harvey botching Miss Universe, Janet Jackson exposing herself at halftime in the Super Bowl, and the streaker who ran on stage during the Oscars years ago. Remember that? Some naked guy was actually shown on TV running onstage while David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor back in 1974.

Here is a look at some of the crazy moments of the Academy Awards telecast over the years. Obviously, this sort of nonsense is nothing new for the Oscars, but Richard Roeper does declare it a new low for the Academy.

Oh, and as an aside, this was not the only gaffe during the Oscar show. The In Memoriam segment, which has become infamous over the years for its gaffes, did it again when they paid tribute to late costume designer Janet Patterson, but put up the wrong picture.

Well, at least the show wasn’t boring, for a change. Better luck next year, folks.

Update (Wednesday): it’s official, the two accountants responsible for this screwup have been permanently booted from the Oscars. 

I still cannot believe what I saw at the end of the Academy Awards!!

It is late where I am, so I will save my thoughts until later on this jaw-dropping mixup at the end of the Oscar show, in which Best Picture was mistakenly announced for La La Land when it turns out that Moonlight is the actual winner. 

I guess my real surprise is that such a mixup happened again, after the Miss Universe announcement debacle a year ago. What an insane Oscar night, folks. More soon.

Boogity Boogity Boogity! Kurt Busch wins the crash-fest known as Daytona

More proof we are getting old; Judge Wapner from The People’s Court, dead at 97.


Yes, the news is that Judge Joseph Wapner, the TV judge who presided over the original “judge-TV” show The People’s Court, and who paved the way for Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown and the rest of these other famous TV judges, has died

I know, I know: you thought he was already dead. Still, it is sad news for TV fans who remember watching this show in afternoon syndication.

What are you most excited about today? Daytona 500, or the Oscars?


As usual, the great American tradition of Oscar Night is colliding the same day as another great American event: NASCAR. Boogity Boogity Boogity

It seems like this happens every year, except this time the Oscars are up against the Great American Race, the Daytona 500! I guess the good news is this year they won’t be going head-to-head: the 500 is in the afternoon while the Academy Awards goes later in the evening. The only way there will be a conflict is if there is a rain delay or a lot of crashes and car-pileups. Right now, though, there is rain in the forecast — in LA.

Here’s something that just occurred to me: does anyone think the Daytona 500 might have influenced the slogan of Donald Trump’s campaign for President?

The Great American Race?” “Make America Great Again?” (Another thing to think about: Trump’s second home is in Florida.)

Of course, these two events are going to have completely different sets of audiences. The Daytona crowd is about God, country, and country music: rabid Republican, rapidly populist, and therefore, rabid Trump. 

The Oscar crowd, though, is totally socially and culturally liberal and international in its outlook. And it couldn’t be less populistic, because it’s rich celebrities and industry people there. They’re also probably pro-Globalization there, too, because Hollywood does its business all over the world. In short, they’re Democrats

This piece in Fox News sums up the cultural divide for these two events. To me it really is a stark elitist-vs.-populist divide, and has been for years. And it kind of makes no sense, either, because lots of NASCAR fans love going to movies, too. But this isn’t about the movies; it’s about the Oscars. There is this general knee-jerk reaction to this awards show in particular, because most of these nominees are just too darned pretentious for the general population.

Anyway, I must be one of the few people interested in both these things. I will admit this: of these events today, I am far more excited about NASCAR being back. I gotta admit it, it’s more my scene than the Oscars with all their fashions and political speeches. Seriously, can’t we give the politics a rest, for a change? You can be darned sure there won’t be political speeches at Daytona, these folks will be too busy racing.

Also, at least with the Daytona 500 it’s guaranteed to be exciting and entertaining — something the Oscars usually are not. Oh, well, maybe with Jimmy Kimmel hosting it will be a livelier show. 

Update: Actually, based on the Twitter reaction from Saskatchewan, most people from around here were interested in the freaking Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling! To heck with that!!

Honestly, at what point is Trump’s media feuding going to get boring for people?


Now President Donald Trump’s administration is kicking media organizations out of White House briefings. (I guess they called this particular one a “gaggle”. Whatever.)

Honestly, this is getting to be a broken record. Trump thinks he has a good thing going by taking on the media and being at war with them, but seriously, man, when is enough enough? 

This is getting tiresome. Time to change the channel, Mr. President.

Classless move: Leicester City fires Premier League-winning manager Claudio Ranieri!


In a move widely seen as cruel, heartless, a disgrace, and so on and so forth, Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked Thursday

This comes less than a year after leading this lousy excuse of a football organization to the Premier League title! They won the effing title, a 5000-to-1 shot, up against all these wealthier top-spending clubs in the biggest cities in England! Most clubs in Leicester’s position would be pleased. Yet now, just because this team is only a point above the relegation cut-line, they decide to fire him. This is a panic move by a panicked Thai-based ownership, who are panicking out of fear that their meal ticket, membership in the Barclays Premier League, could potentially go right down the drain — and with it, all the gobs of TV money that flow into the club. 

Well, guess what, folks, firing the one guy who helped the team win in the first place isn’t going to save the day. The thing is, Leicester City isn’t going to do much better without Ranieri. He led them to the title, so he’d probably be the best hope to turn around this situation they are in now anyway. Now, morale on the club is surely in the sink after this, and the clubs just below Leicester City in the standings will be looking at this and licking their chops, thinking they can overtake these guys. 

All that has been accomplished with this classless move is a lot of needless drama. If the club was going to fire Ranieri, they should have waited until the end of the season, and spared themselves all this chaos. The club has surely sealed their doom into next season’s Sky Bet Championship. But look on the bright side: if Leicester City wins the title there, it will be two titles in three years.

Enjoy the Barclays Premier League (logo above) while you can, Leicester City fans, because as of today Cinderella’s carriage has turned right back into a pumpkin.

Jay and Dan are done at Fox Sports 1. Next gig… Canada?!

  

It is over for Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole at Fox Sports 1. Their show Fox Sports Live has been cancelled and their contracts have not been renewed. So Jay and Dan, who both got their starts in Canada, are finished in LA. The rumour is they will soon be heading back home to Canada and to TSN. 

There’s a couple of reasons why this happened and honestly, they have very little to do with Jay or Dan or their talents.

(1) This is Fox Sports 1. Nobody’s watching, anyway.

(2) It is not Jay and Dan’s fault that they arrived right when sports highlight shows suddenly went out of vogue in the United States. People don’t need highlight shows anymore, they get their baseball and hoops highlights just by looking at their iPhone and iPad apps! So all these sports channels, ESPN included, have been moving away from these highlight shows and switching to more talk and analysis, and more screaming talking heads yelling at one another. As for Jay and Dan, their own show has gone through a lot of changes, and there has been a lot of chaos and layoffs behind the scenes there at Fox Sports 1. In fact, Jay and Dan went in there thinking they were going to do one type of sports show, and it ended up morphing into something totally different.

Of course, Jay and Dan’s biggest problem was that their biggest fans couldn’t get to watch them anyway, because we were all stuck in Canada where we don’t get Fox Sports 1! Anyway, the sooner they both come back to Canada and get back on TV up here, the better for all of us.

Brenda Buttner of Fox News/Fox Business fame dead at 55

Oh, no, not again. Neil Cavuto went on the air today to announce the death of Brenda Buttner, Fox News business reporter and host of Bulls and Bears. If you get déjà vu watching this, it’s because it wasn’t so long ago that Cavuto has gone on TV to announce the passing of Terry Keenan, who also died at a young age. Sad business.

Update: And in more sad news for Fox News their resident liberal Alan Colmes has died, age 66.

The WWE were in Saskatchewan last night with a SmackDown Live show!

There have been a few stories from Sask. sports this weekend: the Regina Pats winning their bid to host the 2018 Memorial Cup; the Sask. Rush beating Colorado 8-7 in NLL lacrosse action, etc. etc.

But it was the biggest weekend of all for wrestling fans, who were most enthused about the WWE returning to SaskTel Centre! It was a SmackDown Live show, featuring the stars from that brand as part of the “Road to WrestleMania” tour. Here is a story about that event, which took place on Sunday night. Also, here is a story on an epic WWE event in Saskatoon years earlier in which the legendary Bret Hart took the title. 

So I guess it wasn’t such a boring weekend after all. See, this is why this blog is still here: to link you to the real news going on that the other Sask. blogs and websites ignore. 

Also, as a total aside: when I was a lowly intern at a major all-sports TV network years ago here in Canada, everyone in the building was a big WWE fan. They couldn’t get enough news about it. I don’t know whether this is still the case at these sports networks, but there are still lots of wrestling fans out there. Anyway, that’s that.

Watching NBC’s 90th Anniversary special is making me feel 90 years old!

I am currently watching The Paley Center Salutes NBC 90th Anniversary special (in between UFC Fight Night fights), and for me the nostalgia has been at a premium in this production tonight. This review sums it up — it sure seems like there’s hardly any footage pre-1975. There’s been a few, I guess, but it seems like most of the clips are for the last 20 or so years, including even these SNL clips they were showing earlier.

But you know what? The young generation probably thinks Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld and the rest of these Nineties shows are already ancient stuff! By their standards, Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law are old as the hills! And I can’t blame them. I remember when I was a kid watching some of these network TV retrospective shows that aired at the time, and back then “20 years” seemed like a long, long time ago. 

For me, the true “classic” NBC shows include Star TrekGet Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and I Dream of Jeannie. We’re talking “fifty years” for those episodes! Heck, there were even variety shows starring the likes of Bob Hope or Dean Martin that I remember, too. 

I am really showing my age mentioning this. The fact that I can even remember these shows that aired so long ago is depressing — or perhaps this is good, because I haven’t lost my memory yet.

Now they are showing some clips from old cop shows now like Dragnet and The Rockford Files. Man, do I feel old watching this.

Update: they just showed clips from The Facts of Life and Miami Vice. I really feel old.

The Great Wall hits the wall at the President’s Day weekend domestic box office

 

This weekend is utterly boring here, so I will liven up this blog with news of how lousy The Great Wall did at the domestic box office.

The four-day President’s Day weekend haul for this latest Matt Damon-headlined effort is a projected $21 million, way behind estimates for The LEGO Batman Movie ($43 mil), and Fifty Shades Darker ($24 mil). Honestly, I’m not shocked; people have been telling me for a while that this movie looks depressing. But it’s not doing poorly everywhere; I understand it is getting much better business in, surprise surprise, China.

Instead of going to The Great Wall, I might take the opportunity to fire up the old DVD player to watch Rounders, plus maybe a few gift-card movies I purchased from the big HMV closing fire sale going on. It’s either that, or watching the “NFL replacement programming” we’ve all come to expect on sports TV (ie. the NBA All-Star Game). Life in February is dull! That is all.

The big Bellator 172 fight tonight featuring Fedor vs. Mitrione — CANCELLED!!


With football season over I am really struggling for sports to care about. But there is MMA, and I was all psyched to check out the Twitter feed for news of tonight’s much-hyped Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione main event of Bellator 172 happening now in San Jose. This was going to be Fedor’s first fight on American soil since 2011.

Except now the whole night is in the sink after Mitrione pulled out of the fight due to ill health. So the fight has been cancelled. Instead, tonight’s main event will be Josh Thomson vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.

I dunno about you, but if I had paid good money for tickets for this Bellator 172, I’d be pretty choked.

Trump does it again; declares media “the enemy of the American People”

You know, I believe President Donald Trump really does think he has a good thing going with his constant bashing of the “dishonest” media. Every time he trashes the press, like he did the other day at his now-infamous news conference, his popularity ratings go up — with his own supporters. With the media, though, it’s a different story. 

Anyway, today Trump let loose again on Twitter to declare all the usual suspect news organizations to be “the enemy of the American People.” Story here.

Also, I notice Fox News’ Shepard Smith was blasting Trump on the air for his criticism and belittling of the media and for all the untrue things Trump was saying the other day, and that has gotten Smith in trouble now with these Trump dittoheads who think the media ought to all just sit back and let the White House push them around. They want Smith off the air.

Good luck with that attempt. Worst case scenario is Smith resurfaces on CNN, but Fox News won’t fire him anyway because they love this stuff. Ratings are going through the roof, thanks to Trump and all his fights with the press.

Incidentally, though … Trump’s right. The media are dishonest, and most of them are biased and out to get him, but that’s still no excuse to not give straight answers to their questions about Russia, or to mock them or present “alternative facts,” or declare them to be “enemies of the American people.” I mean really, man, dial it back.

Pres. Trump trashes the media, says he “inherited a mess”, at WH press conference

After a chaotic week of resignations, gaffes and Russia scandals at the White House, we got an epic, jaw-dropping Donald Trump presidential press conference today in which he (a) went after the dishonest media, and (b) went after the former Obama administration, saying he inherited a mess

The WWE sure looks downright boring, folks, compared to this.

Story from CNN here. The full transcript of the news conference from CNBC is here. Appalled reaction from NBC News’ Chuck Todd is here. Appalled reaction from CNN’s Jake Tapper is here. As for Rush Limbaugh, he thought it was great, thinks the American public will eat it up. “Donald Trump eats the press.” Well, that’s what it was.

The LEGO Batman Movie beats up Fifty Shades Darker at the weekend box office

It was quite a race this weekend at the domestic box office, and it was The LEGO Batman Movie that prevailed, beating the overhyped Fifty Shades Darker by a final score of $55.6 million to $46.6 million. The action movie John Wick: Chapter 2 starring Keanu Reeves finished third with $30 million.

And quite honestly, I’m surprised Fifty Shades Darker did as well as it did given all the horrific reviews out there for it. Its Rotten Tomatoes score was nine per cent

I guess the female segment of the audience didn’t care about the film critics. The ladies wanted their erotic S&M entertainment violence, no matter what. It sure as heck wasn’t the male segment of the audience who were lining up to see this Christian Grey character. I said it the last time and I will say it again: guys are not responsible for making this lousy Fifty Shades series a hit. We stayed away, in droves!

In fact, I’m sure many more guys were at The LEGO Batman Movie which, based on the trailer, actually looks like lots of fun — certainly much better than the last LEGO movie. And there were definitely more guys at the John Wick sequel; definitely our kind of entertainment. 

I guess guys will never understand females’ tastes in entertainment. Anyway, I’d better shut up now before I get in any more trouble.

Michael Flynn resigns over Russia controversy

The big, exciting news of earlier today is that PM Trudeau met with Pres. Trump

Yes, indeed, the top story in frozen, snowed-under Canada today was the big meeting in Washington between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the fearless leader of the free world President Donald Trump.

Much to the world’s surprise and shock, it actually turned out to be a pretty boring meeting. The full transcript of the news conference is here.

Playboy back to ‘normal’; naked women are back as of the March/April issue

One of the dumbest experiments in magazine publishing history is now over. After a year of its new “non-nude” format and rebranding, a change which was absolutely slammed by most of the magazine’s long-time readers, Playboy is back to showing naked women starting with the March/April issue. 

No, this is not the result of a Donald Trump executive order. This came from Cooper Hefner (the recently-installed “chief creative officer” at Playboy).

The general reaction of readers is summed up by the words “thank God.” Cooper is also reversing several of the other stupid decisions made over the last year, by reviving the “party jokes” page and reinstating the Playboy Philosophy column. 

Of course, Cooper Hefner was never on board with the previous changes, anyway. He had even done a big interview with Business Insider to denounce the new format when it happened last year. This whole non-nude direction was conjured up by former CEO Scott Flanders and his underlings, all of whom are now out the door. They had taken everything that was ever good about Playboy Magazine throughout its history, including the jokes, the cartoons, the whole thing, and threw it all into the trash. It was akin to Cigar Aficionado removing all mention of cigars from its pages, or National Review deciding to go all-liberal, or Time or Newsweek deciding to go non-news. It was terrible.

The bottom line is Playboy is back to being Playboy again. And not a moment too soon. If this publication had kept this same nonsense going for another year, it would surely be in the grave.

Spending a relaxing evening watching N. Korea missile test coverage