Daily Dose: 5/30/17
The man who killed Tamir Rice loses his job
1:25 PMWhile y’all were enjoying your holiday weekend, your boy was working. May 26, I filled in for Bomani Jones. Sunday, The Morning Roast was in full swing. And Monday, Aaron Dodson joined me for The Dan Le Batard Show.
If the White House were the Titanic, the lifeboats would all be long gone by now. I’ve never seen that movie, btw, but from what I understand, the band played on while the boat crashed and all the old white guys swindled everyone else out of a chance to save their lives. Now, President Donald Trump’s communications director is bailing out, a guy named Mike Dubke. Mind you, last week the administration made clear that they’re basically operating for the sole purpose of preventing Trump from getting bored. Also, there’s this. Yikes.
When Tamir Rice was killed in Cleveland, it was tragic. A 12-year-old boy playing with a toy gun was looked at as a violent criminal, and police pulled up and shot him so quickly that you could barely blink before it happened. He died the next day. In an unfortunately not shocking development, the officers involved were not even so much as indicted by a grand jury, but the city did settle with the victim’s family for $6 million. Mind you, this was three years ago. The officer who actually shot Rice was finally fired. But it wasn’t for the shooting.
Commitments in the workplace are a tricky wicket. Meaning, if it’s a known fact that you aren’t married or are childless in a newsroom, the expectations on your time and energy are drastically different from those who might be otherwise involved. Basically, the assumption is that because you don’t specifically have a spouse or a kid to tend to, then you should otherwise be devoting every waking hour of your life to work and thus pick up the slack for others who aren’t so “free.” Well, guess what? They’re fighting back with hot-take think pieces.
There are good players and there are famous players. Typically, the two overlap each other, but sometimes that’s not remotely the case. Tim Tebow comes to mind in this discussion. The question of how each athlete gains notoriety and the metrics for how fame is achieved are interesting things to study. What if your endorsement game is more prevalent than the TV exposure for your sport? Or vice versa? Which one counts more? Check out ESPN’s ranking of the Top 100 most famous players in the world.
Coffee Break: When it comes to all these legacy biopics, you’re forced to ask yourself, do I *really* care about this group or artist? Well, if I were to mention the name Salt-N-Pepa, I think the answer would be yes. Now they’re saying that Ava DuVernay might be the one to direct their story.
Snack Time: You think you’ve got it bad in your marriage? There are places in the world where spouses are quite literally slaves, which is terrifying. It’s happening regularly in Hong Kong. This story is worth your time.
Dessert: It looks like Melo and Lala might not be fully broken up. I really hope they stay together.
Daily Dose: 5/26/17
The Bronx salutes Khalif Browder on his birthday
1:14 PMOK, so y’all know I’ll be on #TheRightTime on Friday afternoon. By now, you also know about #TheMorningRoast on Sunday mornings. But, on Memorial Day, Aaron Dodson and I will be co-hosting The Dan Le Batard Show. Yay!
Thursday was a public relations disaster, again, for the White House. President Donald Trump managed to create fiascos on, like, four different fronts after getting into a handshake battle with France, pushing aside Montenegro‘s prime minister and calling Germany a bad country. Then, at the end of the day, we found out that Trump’s son-in-law is part of the focus of an FBI investigation. Oh, and on top of that, Trump decided to bad-mouth NATO, all of which ended in what many people are calling a completely disrespectful speech.
Thursday would have been Khalif Browder’s 24th birthday. If you don’t remember, he was the kid who was locked up at Rikers Island for years with no charges and eventually killed himself after he was released. His life and death are an example of the worst-case scenarios involving the penal system in this country. Jay Z ended up making a documentary about his life. Thursday in New York, the Bronx renamed a street after Browder with a ceremony that included his family. I get angry every single time I think about how he had his life stolen from him by the New York Police Department.
When I was a kid, sick days from school meant watching The Price Is Right. Yet, while it’s not the greatest American game show of all time — that’s Family Feud — it is in the top five. And within that show, the single greatest prize game in TV history is obvious. That would be Plinko. And earlier this week, some guy broke the all-time scoring record for the pegboard contest that everyone loves. The guy who did it couldn’t be more adorable, and his 15 minutes of fame have been quite fun.
If you’ve heard me on the radio recently, you know how I feel about LaVar Ball. His dustup with Kristine Leahy was a bad look, not to mention his insensitive comments about Kyrie Irving’s mother. But he is a man about his business. And as I’ve said many times, his Kardashian business model is one that I love in theory and like in practice. Can’t wait for the Balldashians. Magic Johnson agrees with me. Now, there’s a separate question about whether these two families can even coexist within the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
Coffee Break: Some people think Lil’ Yachty is everything that’s wrong with hip-hop, from his moniker to his mumble rap style to his lack of concern for the old school. Frankly, that’s all nonsense, IMO. I like the young man. He’s got a new album out called Teenage Emotions.
Snack Time: Um, there’s a new collaboration between Drake’s OVO and the Clarks shoe company that you can go ahead and buy if you’re trying to get your pimp wizard game on this summer.
— Highsnobiety (@highsnobiety) May 26, 2017
Dessert: Need a summer plan? Try Zac Efron’s Baywatch diet. Apparently, it works.
Daily Dose: 5/25/17
Ben Carson is still wilin
12:56 PMAnother reminder: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday, so be sure to tune in to ESPN Radio from 4-7 p.m. EST. Really looking forward to it, kiddos!
I don’t know what Ben Carson’s problem is. He is one of the worst types of people when it comes to being in power. He blames poor people for their own problems, as if systemic income inequality isn’t a real thing, and it’s infuriating. Not everyone can just make it out of bad situations because they want to. There are very real obstacles to upward mobility in this nation, so his arbitrary declaration that poverty is a state of mind is ignorant and harmful. Ugh.
At this point, every time Barack Obama speaks, it’s a blessing. The 44th U.S. president is such a far cry from who we have in the Oval Office now, and it’s almost weird to see a politician talking with a measured calm. Everything from Capitol Hill and the White House seems so hectic and harried that you have to wonder who’s in control at all. Earlier Thursday, during an appearance in Germany, Obama said a wall on the Mexico border is straight up not the answer.
The NFL is shortening overtime. Why? They say that 15 minutes is just too long and increases risk of injury. Sure. But presumably this situation will lead to more ties, which are always supremely weird in the league. Totally unsatisfying. It’s the second semi-major overtime modification that the shield has put in place in the past five seasons, but if you do the math, will it really lead to more ties? The answer is likely yes. Awesome.
The Lonzo Ball situation is not improving. He’s decided that he’s only working out for the Los Angeles Lakers, which is something that could eventually crush his draft stock. Sure, he’s a good player, but these kinds of shenanigans are starting to look bad. He clearly wants to play in Los Angeles. Yet, by basically boxing out every other team in the league, he might be screwed if the Lakers don’t actually decide to pick him. You live, you learn.
Coffee Break: One of the best things about California is the driving. But one of the scarier things about the state is the weather and climate situation. So when you read that a mudslide took out a large part of the Pacific Coast Highway, that is not a good omen.
Snack Time: Podcasts are all the rage right now, in all forms. It’s basically the premier form of personal entertainment. But could they possibly lead to the mainstreaming of audiobooks?
Dessert: Need some new music? Here you go.
‘Hood Adjacent’ is the show we’ve been waiting for
Comedian James Davis’ new program debuts June 28 on Comedy Central
4:56 PMThe word “adjacent” is everywhere. For example, a big trend in media now is “sports adjacent.” It’s a great descriptor for things that generally fit in one overall category but cannot necessarily be pinned to one thing in particular. For comedian James Davis, his life can best be described as “hood adjacent.” He hilariously describes this existence in his standup set. It’s a funny bit.
Now it’s a Comedy Central show. The series was ordered up during summer of last year, but now it’s got a preview and it’s beyond hilarious. I know all the gang signs but I don’t use ’em/low-key they’re complicated and really confusing is the lyric that probably best describes this ethos.
Davis is from South Central Los Angeles. Without blowing up the entire comedic premise of this program, hood adjacent is something that most black people from big cities know about. ” ‘Hood” is still short for “neighborhood.” Most black folks who aren’t relatively rich have lived in places with other black folks who have suffered similar urban plights. If you didn’t already know, everyone in the ‘hood isn’t participating in gangsta activities. That wouldn’t be remotely sustainable.
That said, I can’t wait for this show. Here’s a more in-depth look at how it was created. Hood Adjacent begins June 28 at 9 p.m. on Comedy Central.
A tale of two racist white women
They were filmed in the retail wild going off on people
4:38 PMIf you’ve ever worked in retail, you know that when it comes to people being agitated while spending money, things can get very hairy, very quickly. There’s something specifically different about the customer service experience that’s different from the food service industry or an entertainment venue, even if they’re not technically that different in terms of exchanging cash for goods.
This week, two separate videos of white women deciding to give folks a piece of their mind have gone viral, and neither is particularly flattering. The first takes place in Manassas, Virginia, at a Sprint store. When a woman is overheard saying that she can’t find a certain product at the store, an apparently Latino man suggests she try the store in Fairfax, Virginia.
I’m guessing from the proceedings that this woman made a couple of messed-up comments beforehand, as you don’t just randomly start filming people in a store just because. So when she kicks things off with “I’m in Manassas, in the ghetto,” you can presume she was already talking recklessly. Let’s watch.
First observation is her letting the curses fly in front of a child. Secondly is using her husband as a threat by proxy, which is always hilarious. I can’t imagine these two have many friends as a couple, if they’re routinely in the business of popping off in public while she writes checks for him to cash. She then goes on to use a racial slur and say one more thing that we’ll get to later. It should be known that this woman works for customer service at an airport, which is a whole other story.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, and we get this gem from someone in Arkansas. It happens in a Walmart, but the circumstances are almost eerily similar.
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In this case, the interloper appears to be a black person. How do we know? Because old racista drops an N-bomb on her. Then, when a manager comes over to settle the situation down, this lady is so self-centered that she just assumes he’s there to admonish the Latina who’s been the victim of her verbal attacks. It’s actually quite remarkable how surprised she is that her behavior is being checked.
What fascinates me most about both of these exchanges, involving white women young and old, is the notion of “their country.” Both of them hit that point within seconds, and it’s a real indication of exactly how misled many people are when it comes to the history of this nation. The number of people who genuinely believe it was solely the hard work of Anglo-Saxon Christians that made this country what it is, is staggeringly high.
If we’re being more honest, no one wants to see a United States without people of color. Never mind the fact that black folks built this country for free, but now Latinos occupy a portion of America’s workforce that, if removed, would bring this nation to its knees. Anyway, shoutout to these two people who had the gumption to film these exchanges. Someone’s got to get people like this out the paint.
Daily Dose: 5/24/17
Kaepernick is closer to becoming a Seahawk
1:16 PMProgramming alert: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday from 4-7 p.m. EST, so tune in to it on ESPN Radio if you want to hear your boy yell about all the random stuff I care about.
I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Billy Bush. He was a talented guy in this business who saw it all crater in 2016 when a 2005 video of him doing a whole lot more than towel-snapping with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a taping of Access Hollywood surfaced. Now, he’s claiming he would have called the FBI if he thought Trump was serious — which, again, I’m not buying. He seemed pretty into the convo at the time, and he could just admit that now and it would all be way more believable. He sat with Good Morning America as part of his redemption tour.
Hip-hop is a legitimate form of scholarship. We saw this earlier in the year when a rapper/Ph.D. student at Clemson turned a full-length album into a doctorate. Now, some kid did it in the Ivy League — at Harvard, no less. This feels more like a Dartmouth move, tbh. For his senior thesis, Obasi R. Shaw submitted a rap album and got himself an A-minus. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy this. Is he going to go on to some rap stardom life? Probably not, and who cares? Representing black people and telling our stories with our art is tremendous work.
A few hours before the season premiere of The Bachelorette, I sent out a warning. It said very plainly: This might be a good time to make sure that you have some *actual* black people covering this season, because otherwise, you might make a colossal mistake that you’ll regret. We all know how weak newsroom diversity is and, with a black woman leading the show, the racistly premised stories were bound to come. Newsweek was our first victim when they posted a story about the show, then ended up deleting. … I TRIED TO TELL Y’ALL.
— Martin (@MartinFranklinB) May 24, 2017
My dream of Colin Kaepernick going to Seattle is closer to coming true. The quarterback is visiting the Seahawks Wednesday, and here’s why he needs to be on that roster. It’s three-pronged. One, there’s no question about whether he’ll be competing for the starting job. Second, he’s not walking into a locker room where he’s the most outspoken person there. He fits into the fabric of a team with Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, two very vocal stars. Lastly, that’s a franchise that knows how to handle any potential backlash. Perfect fit.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the story of Seth Rich, it’s a messy one. A guy was killed on the streets of D.C., and certain people have been pushing a gross conspiracy theory that it had something to do with Wikileaks, prompting his family to beg for the media to stop with this. It’s gotten really ugly, and his family is in pain.
Snack Time: Farming while black is not one of the usual categories we talk about when “doing things while black,” but as it turns out, the people calling the cops on black farmers are the white ladies in yoga pants.
Dessert: Tokyo loves its cars, and this is awesome.
Leslie Jones is hosting the 2017 BET Awards
which means it just became must-see TV
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Comedian and actor Leslie Jones has had an interesting few years. She was hacked and had nude photos leaked and was insulted mercilessly for being a part of the Ghostbusters reboot. Now, she’ll be hosting the 2017 BET Awards, which means: Watch out.
Personally, I think Jones is awesome. But I genuinely don’t enjoy the fact that every single sketch she’s a part of on Saturday Night Live seems to be a long, awkward commentary on her love life. Maybe that’s picking nits, but it just seems like there’s a whole lot more to be mined in a grown woman’s comedic range than just who she’s sleeping with, in reality or not.
That said, the sketch about her trying to portray President Donald Trump was probably the funniest thing I’ve seen on that show in years. It was a bit of a self-own, considering that SNL seems to have no idea how to incorporate black women into its comedic framework, so much so that people are actually leaving the show. If you forgot, here it is.
“BET was the first place I ever did comedy on TV, so it’s a full-circle moment of coming home where I started. I went out in the world and did what I needed to do and now I can come home to my people and say, ‘Yo! Look what I did!’ ” Jones told People magazine.
As for the show, this is the perfect platform for Jones. She doesn’t have to completely focus on herself as the source and butt of all her jokes and can turn her fire on the celebrity world, which is fantastic. Now that I’m thinking about it, she should probably have her own late-night talk show. And there’s no reason it couldn’t be on BET.