Day: February 11, 2020


Dolphins found shot, stabbed on Florida beaches…

Authorities are offering a $20,000 reward to find who killed two dolphins on Florida’s Gulf coast.

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered a dead dolphin off the coast of Naples last week.

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement said the animal appeared to have been fatally struck by a bullet or sharp object.

The same week, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge experts found a dolphin with a bullet in its left side on Pensacola Beach.

NOAA said in May 2019, a dolphin was found with a fatal puncture wound to its head off Captiva Island. That case is still under investigation.

“Biologists believe these cases may stem from humans feeding wild dolphins,” NOAA said. “Dolphins fed by people learn to associate people and boats with food, which can put them in harmful situations… from boat strikes, entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear, and acts of intentional harm like these.”

Since 2002, at least 29 dolphins, including the latest two have been found stranded in the southeast with evidence they were shot by guns or arrows, or impaled with objects like fishing spears.

Harassing, hunting, killing or feeding wild dolphins, or attempting to do these activities is prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and is punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Anyone with information is asked to call NOAA’s Enforcement Hotline at 800-853-1964.

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VIDEO: Fire, Explosion At LA Homeless Encampment Under Freeway…

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Redefined the medium…

Rush Limbaugh speaks at the 2019 Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla., December 21, 2019. (Gage Skidmore)

His ‘army of one,’ inspiring millions who’d been ignored, changed the political landscape.

Genius is often defined in myriad ways. One trusted criterion is the ability to do something extraordinary in a field where others could not — and doing something that perhaps will never be done again by anyone else.

By that measure, Rush Limbaugh certainly is the genius of talk radio, a genre in which he not merely excelled but that he also singlehandedly reinvented as something entirely different — and entirely more powerful and instrumental in American life — from what was imaginable pre-Limbaugh.

Even stranger still, his ascendance coincided with the presumed nadir of radio itself. It was supposedly a has-been, one-dimensional medium, long overshadowed by television. Even in the late 1980s, radio was about to be sentenced as obsolete in the ascendant cyber age of what would become Internet blogs, podcasts, streaming, and smartphone television.

Stranger still, Limbaugh has prospered through two generations and picked up millions of listeners who were not born when he first went national and who had no idea of why or how he had become a national presence.

He certainly did not capture new listeners by adjusting to the times. While tastes changed and the issues often metamorphosed, he did not. He remained conservative, commonsensical, and skeptical of Washington and those in it, as if he knew all the predictable thousand faces of the timeless progressive project, whose various manifestations reappear to mask a single ancient and predictable essence: the desire of a self-appointed group of elites to expand government in order to regiment the lives of ordinary people, allegedly to achieve greater mandated equality and social justice but more often to satisfy their own narcissistic will to power. It was Limbaugh who most prominently warned that lax immigration enforcement would soon lead to open calls for open borders, that worry about “global warming” would transform into calls to ban the internal combustion engine, and that the logical end of federal takeover of health care would be Medicare for All.

The Left — and many too who would later become the Never Trump Right — thought that Limbaugh’s worst moment finally came after Obama’s 2008 victory, during the post-election euphoria and just days before the January 2009 inauguration. It was a heady time, when the media would go on to declare soon-to-be Nobel laureate President Obama as, variously, a living “god” and “the smartest guy” ever to assume the presidency. His supporters often compared him to iconic wartime presidents such as FDR and Lincoln. Americans had been lectured on Obama’s divinity even as a candidate, and the evidence had ranged from the mundane of Platonically perfect creases in his trousers, to the telepathic ability to prompt spontaneous electrical impulses in the legs of cable television anchors.

In answer to Obama’s promise to fundamentally “transform America,” Limbaugh flat-out said he hoped that the new president would not succeed: “I hope Obama fails.” Outrage followed. Was Limbaugh rooting for the failure of America itself? In fact, he was worrying about how America might survive the first unabashedly progressive president in over 60 years, now empowered by an obsequious media, a House majority, a veto-proof Senate, and Supreme Court picks on the near horizon.

Limbaugh was the first voice to warn that what would soon follow the election was not the agenda that Obama sometimes disingenuously voiced on the campaign trail — Obama’s ruse of occasionally sounding concerned about illegal immigration, gay marriage, the spiraling debt, a rapid pullout from Iraq, and identity politics — but rather a move to the progressive hard-left.

What would ensue instead lined up with Obama’s senatorial voting record, his prior associations with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger, and his occasional slips on the campaign trail: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a knife,” and (in the pre-Netflix, pre–Martha Vineyard estate days), “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Once elected, Obama was unbound. He lectured the nation about the wages of the West’s sin: the Crusades, America’s prior role in the world, and its own domestic woes. He instructed Americans on when it was the time to profit and when it was not, the point at which people should concede they had made enough money. And he listed the various reasons that he could not, as some anti-constitutional “king,” grant unconstitutional amnesties by fiat — before he went on to do just that.

Prior to Limbaugh’s national prominence, radio talk-show hosts were not shapers of national culture or politics. Even the few local and regional celebrity radio hosts had little power to influence issues of the day. While local talk radio was more conservative than liberal, it was hardly seen as traditional conservatives’ answer to the liberal biases of the major national newspapers, network evening news, and public radio and TV, much less the aristocratic pretensions of the Republican Beltway hierarchy.

So, what was inconceivable in 1988 was not just that any one person could leap from local prominence to national dominance, but that he could empower (rather than replace) his legions of radio subordinates. Far from making them irrelevant, Limbaugh energized talk-radio hosts. Once he became a national force, hundreds of others became far more effective conservative local and regional voices, partly through the art of emulation, partly through scheduling to lead in to or follow Limbaugh’s daily three-hour show, partly in the general renewed public interest in talk radio itself.

Call that coattails, or force multiplication, but in essence, Limbaugh redefined the genre as something more entertaining, more political, and yet more serious — an “army of one” antidote to the New York and Washington media corridor. How strange that after progressives achieved a monopoly in network news, public television and radio, the Internet conglomerates, Hollywood, and network prime-time programing, they sought to emulate Limbaugh by creating their own leftist version of national talk radio, Air America. Millions of dollars, dozens of talk-radio hosts, and Chapter 11 later, the venture collapsed in abject failure.

I wager that more Democrats listened to Limbaugh than to Air America, in the fashion of my late Democratic father, who used to sneak into my office on the farm and listen with me to Rush during the 1991 Gulf War.

How did Limbaugh do it?

No one really knows because few have been able to duplicate his success, despite a number of gifted hosts who have tried. For all the criticism that Limbaugh was crass, over some 25,000 hours of the syndicated Limbaugh show, there were few embarrassments. And in cases where Limbaugh said something he regretted, he later apologized. He certainly could grow animated but seldom shouted and yelled. He talked about having talent “on loan from God” but could turn self-deprecatory and compliment callers for insights that he found original and noteworthy, saying, “I hadn’t thought of that.” He mocked identity politics but at work and in life often surrounded himself with talented people who were not white, and he seemed oblivious to any significance of that fact other than that he’d found friends and employees who were competent and whom he liked. He was a self-made multimillionaire many times over and proud of it, and yet felt and acted more comfortable with those of the Midwestern middle classes with whom he’d grown up.

Perhaps the best clue is that Limbaugh was never just a talk-show host at all. Or rather, he redefined the talk-radio three-hour format into something far more expansive than the critical arts of editorializing and answering impromptu listeners’ calls. In his prime role as unyielding conservative explicator of the daily news without the filters of the Washington and New York commentariat, he combined the jobs of entertainer, stand-up comedian, psychologist, impressionist, satirist, provocateur, therapist, and listener to the nation.

Yet ultimately his audience listened because he differentiated between two worlds. On one hand, he saw, with a skeptic’s eye, the cosmos of progressive and liberal translators who selectively edit the day’s events and massage their supposed importance to Americans, to present the news in line with liberals’ preconceived agendas — under the guise that such reporting was beyond reproach as professional, disinterested, and entirely based in facts. Limbaugh exploded all those pretenses.

But he also saw the other world that was never reported. He did not claim to be a traditional journalist or even an opinion journalist. Instead, he proudly assumed the mantle and collective voice of a conservative Everyman. Or maybe, more dramatically, his listeners saw him as an atoll of traditional sanity in a turbulent sea of postmodern madness. His forte was explaining why nominal conservatives were infected with a fatal virus of wanting to be liked by the “mainstream media” and the cultural elite — and thus often “grew” in office, moving leftward, as if they had become smarter and more sophisticated than those who had voted for them.

People tuned in because they knew in advance that Rush would not weaken or deviate, much less “transcend” them. There would be no faddish Limbaugh who renounced his prior personas and positions. So his listeners were reassured each day that they were not themselves crazy to express doubt about what the nation was told or instructed.

The New York Times story picked up by their local paper, the NPR segment they heard in the car, and the commentary of the ABC, CBS, or NBC evening news anchors were rarely if at all the whole truth and anything but the truth. Limbaugh reminded them that what was purportedly the news was increasingly the output of a rather narrow slice of cocooned America between Washington, D.C., and New York City, offered up by affluent progressives (the “drive-bys”) who had come to believe that the media’s role was not to report events per se, but to do so in a way that would not only educate the otherwise blinkered American masses but would also improve them morally and make them redeemable spiritually.

Limbaugh did all that, day in and day out, without any sense of monotony or boredom, but with almost adolescent energy and excitement about just talking to America each day. He never dialed it in. And his audience knew it.

Limbaugh himself knew his listeners, not just by class or locale, but through a shared skepticism about the values of coastal America and its inability to show any correlation between proven excellence and an array of letters after one’s name or name-dropping on a résumé. Does anyone think that a professor of journalism, a Washington pundit, a network anchor, a Senate elder, a president, or even a late-night TV host could host 30 hours of the Limbaugh show without losing most of the audience?

He was the Midwestern college drop-out who had bounced around among jobs before he found his natural place. Through that experience, he posed an ancient Euripidean question, “What is wisdom?” The answer was found in many of his targets: academics, editorialists, celebrities, journalists, government functionaries, and politicos whose bromides Limbaugh made ridiculous, and he instructed millions on how and why their ideas made no sense in a real world beyond their enclaves. Rush was hated by the Left supposedly for his politically incorrect -isms and -ologies; in truth, it was because he so often made them look ridiculous.

Limbaugh sounded sane when giddy Stanford grad and Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow enthused about Robert Mueller’s daily walls-are-closing-in bombshells — much as farmer and Cal Poly graduate Devin Nunes wrote the truth in his House Intelligence Committee majority report while Harvard Law graduate Adam Schiff’s nose grew in his minority-report reply, and in the way that supposedly idiotic wheeler-dealer Donald Trump energized the economy after Ivy League sophisticate Barack Obama said it would require a magic wand.

In response to Rush Limbaugh’s announcement that he has advanced lung cancer, millions voiced sympathy, support — and shock. Last week, millions asked, “What are Rush’s chances?” The correct answer might be, “Not good — if it was anyone but Rush.”

Yet one who can create national talk radio ex nihilo can similarly beat toxic malignancy. His listeners seemed worried not just over Rush’s health but about their own equally ominous future of the day’s events without him.

May that day be far off.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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'PARASITE' Director's Interpreter Wants to Direct Her Own Movie — About the Oscars…

Bong Joon Ho Sharon Choi

Bong Joon Ho with Sharon Choi at the Oscars / Getty Images

Is Bong Joon Ho’s interpreter going to make a movie about awards season?

That’s what Sharon Choi told TheWrap when we spoke to her and Bong in January — and she would certainly have a unique perspective on the whole circus.

Starting at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival but especially during the last several months of awards season, Choi has been a constant presence at the side of “Parasite” director. As his interpreter at all awards shows, interviews and public appearances, the 25-year-old Korean American has aided the Oscars’ biggest winner as he charmed voters, audiences and press on the way to four Oscar wins for “Parasite,” including Best Picture and Best Director.

(While Bong can hold a conversation in English, he prefers to use Choi during all public appearances and interviews.)

Choi currently lives in Seoul, according to the Evening Standard in the UK, and is an aspiring filmmaker herself. In the pressroom at the Oscars, Bong pointed out that Choi “studied film in the university,” and added that she was working on a feature script. “I am so curious about it,” he said.

When I spoke to Bong after his Oscar nominations, I ended the conversation by asking Choi what she was going to do once awards season ended. While she looked embarrassed to be asked about herself, Bong immediately volunteered, “She’s a director, too!”

“I do want to direct,” Choi admitted. I asked what kind of movie she wanted to make, and she grinned.

“I want to make a movie about this,” she said. “About awards season!”

After the Oscars, we reached out to Choi to see if the script that Bong referred to was indeed her awards-season script, but did not receive a response. (“She has received a TON of press requests,” according to one person close to the “Parasite” campaign.)

But after the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, SAG Awards, Directors Guild Awards, BAFTA, the Oscars and everything in between, we know Choi has lots of material to work with.

And now, maybe, she might finally have some free time to work on it.

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Corey Feldman to name Hollywood child sex predators in one-time livestream doc…

Last week, Corey Feldman kept his promise to release big news on his upcoming Hollywood pedophile expose titled (My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys. He provided fans with E-ticket information, a release date and a poster, confirming that the movie was indeed on its way very soon. Perhaps the most shocking thing about the entire reveal is that it will only be shown one time. Many have questioned Corey Feldman’s motives in making a documentary that can only be viewed once. Taking to his official Twitter account, Corey has now broken down the reasons behind showing his powerful new movie one single time.

Corey Feldman was having trouble finding a distributor for his Truth documentary. And Netflix, who seems to pick up every wayward release with any interest behind it, declined to stream the movie. Feldman claimed the popular app deemed the movie ‘too dangerous’. And that is another reason why Feldman can only afford to stream this one time for the entire world to watch at the exact same moment in history. The movie will stream at 8pm in Los Angeles. Anyone else in a different time zone will need to check which time they’ll have to log on and watch simultaneously.

Showing the movie in this type of venue has never been done before, at least Corey Feldman doesn’t believe so. Here, he will be able to name names without any cover up, allowing everyone to view the movie at the exact same time, making their own initial judgements on it without the interference of the media. The E-tickets will cost $20 apiece.

Corey Feldman is really putting his neck on the line with this movie. Since it was announced, Feldman and his family have had to be under security watch 24/7. And in the lead up to the big announcement, Feldman claims there were two attempts on his life. Feldman went onto state this in a live streaming video on his social media accounts.

“There are things you have to do for insurance reasons when you’re putting out something like this. This is very, very dangerous stuff and it’s very risky stuff. You know we have to have 24 hour armed security, we don’t know what’s gonna happen. Of course we have fear, there’s been two attempts on my life. There obviously could be more, we hope not but we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s scary, it’s very, very scary.”

Corey Feldman made (My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys as a promise to Corey Haim. Feldman has vowed to release the name of a very powerful person in Hollywood, who raped Corey Haim on the set of Lucas back in 1985. In 2017, actor Dominick Brascia accused Charlie Sheen of being the one to rape Haim. Corey Haim’s mother Judy later came out and alleged that it was actually Brascia who sexually assaulted her son. Sheen has vehemently denied all of these accusations. Brascia would die almost a year after making the claims about Charlie Sheen. He was only 62 at the time of his death. Working as a radio DJ at the time, his employer stated that Brascia died of natural causes. There are a lot of controversies surrounding the death of Dominick Brascia. But it is unclear if Corey Feldman will go into that side of the story in his documentary.

RELATED: Corey Feldman’s Truth Documentary Will Only Be Shown One Time and That’s It

In 2018, Corey Feldman was hospitalized after being stabbed in an attack by three unidentified men. It is believed that he was stabbed by a needle. At the time, some alleged that the Hollywood Wolf Pack was behind the incident. Others believed that Haim’s mother Judy, allegedly the ring leader of the Wolf Pack, instigated the incident. She has gone on the record to deny this, and says she has absolutely nothing to do with the attacks on Corey Feldman’s life. In a recent interview, Judy Haim denied these claims saying, ‘This is so weird and bizarre. There is no wolf pack. For me to be the head of a gang, or a cult, is mind blowing. I have no words. My friends laugh at me, but they’re going, ‘Don’t take this too hard.’ Are you kidding me?’

When Judy Haim was asked who Corey Feldman was going to name in his documentary, she said she didn’t know, but hopes that he is telling the truth about what happened to her son, “Please. Do it. I want to know who it is. I wish he would. Because if there is a name out there, I want it known.” But she doesn’t believe there is anyone beyond Dominick Brascia connected to her son’s abuse. Though Dominick Brascia was never proven to be Haim’s abuser in a court of law. Judy Haim goes onto say, ‘I don’t know who he is planning on naming. But there is no one else. My son actually outed Dominick without saying his name on their reality show, The Two Coreys. He’s the one that actually finally came out, and he exposed himself, telling the truth to the whole world.”

For the record, Judy Haim insists that she had nothing to do with Dominick Brascia’s death. She has confirmed that she will not show up in Corey Feldman’s documentary. Feldman has promised that Haim’s side of the story will finally be told in full, and that this movie is for him. The movie will have its one time showing on March 9. Corey Feldman has called the production process one of the most emotionally trying of his entire career. We can’t wait to see what new information comes to light in Corey Feldman’s documentary. Tickets can be purchased at starting February 22.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb

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(Top headline, 11th story, link)

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Cruise Ship Fiasco Points to Possible 'Super-Spreader'…

Amid a deluge of fresh details about a possible “super-spreader” of the new, deadly coronavirus, public health experts questioned whether the same kind of ultra-contagious patient may be responsible for the largest outbreak outside China: a cruise ship off the coast of Japan.

The potential existence of coronavirus super-spreaders, unusual in any epidemic, also bolstered a lingering suspicion by some public health experts that people who have not yet experienced symptoms can spread the fatal disease.

The global death toll for the novel 2019 coronavirus surpassed 1,000 on Monday, with at least 42,500 confirmed cases. The vast majority of infections—and all but one death—have occurred in mainland China or Hong Kong, while the number of people infected in the United States reached 13 after a new case was confirmed in San Diego on Monday.

But international attention has recently homed in on the case of a 53-year-old British man deemed a “super-spreader,” or a person who transmits the virus more efficiently than average. In this case, the individual appears to have passed the disease to at least 11 people in three countries during a trip from Singapore to France to Switzerland to England.

“This British super-spreader had no symptoms during his period of transmission,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “He has really set in motion a web of infections.”

In disease outbreak analysis, officials measure the transmission of an infection by looking at the “reproduction number” or “R0.” Essentially, a R0 of 1 means the average person who gets a disease will transmit it to one other person; an R0 of 2 means the average person with the disease will transmit it to two other people. For the novel 2019 coronavirus, the World Health Organization has estimated an R0 between 1.4 to 2.5, while a group of Chinese doctors calculated it to be between 3.3 and 5.47 in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases last month.

“The aim through public health measures is to get the R0 less than 1, which means that we can contain the virus,” said Hyzler. A super-spreader is anyone who infects a higher number of people than the R0.

Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics, told The Daily Beast that the possible existence of super-spreaders in the coronavirus epidemic is “very unusual.”

“It means someone is excreting the virus more much efficiently,” Redlener said. “When a person who is a super-spreader coughs, a lot more virus is excreted, and the spread is much more rabid just because more people get sick who come in contact with a super-spreader.”

So far, in the United States, even among those who have transmitted the virus person-to-person, only spouses have been confirmed to have the virus. But a super-spreader represents a whole other level of risk, experts said.

“In a non super-spreader, if we find that there’s 20 people that now need to be checked, with a super-spreader it might be multiples of that: 40 or 60 people,” Redlener told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “We just don’t know how many super-spreaders there are out there, so it makes tracking incredibly difficult.”

Public health authorities do not know why some people are super-spreaders and others are not, despite the phenomenon recurring during various outbreaks over the years.

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6 New Charges Of Disorderly Conduct…

CHICAGO (CBS) — Actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on six new charges of disorderly conduct, accusing him of filing false police reports claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack last year.

A special Cook County grand jury handed down the new indictment on Tuesday, following a six-month investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb.

Cook County prosecutors last year dropped 16 disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, just over a month after Chicago police had accused him of orchestrating a hoax because he was upset with his salary on the TV show “Empire.”

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, had told police he was attacked as he was walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2019. He claimed two masked men – one of them also wearing a red hat – shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on him.

Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid those two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, $3,500 by check to stage the attack. But weeks after his arrest, prosecutors dropped charges against him, after he agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail and performed 16 hours of community service, but did not admit any guilt.

An attorney for the Osundairo brothers said they are aware of the new charges against Smollett and are “fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January 29, 2019.”

“The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor’s office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered,” attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez stated in an email.

RELATED: Catch Up On CBS 2’s Coverage Of The Smollett Case

Last August, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed Webb, a former federal prosecutor, as a special prosecutor in the Smollett case; tasking him to not only investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the case, but to decide if Smollett should be further prosecuted for allegedly staging a fake hate crime against himself.

At the time, Webb said he was essentially starting the investigation of the whole case over from scratch.

Toomin had earlier ruled that a special prosecutor was needed in the case, due to “unprecedented irregularities” in how Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx handled the case, specifically by handing it over to her second-in-command after announcing she had recused herself.

The judge said Foxx had no authority to appoint someone to take over the case for her, so every decision her office made — from charging Smollett, to indicting him, to ultimately dismissing the case — was invalid.

In ruling for a special prosecutor in the Smollett case, Toomin said Foxx had no authority to hand off the case to her top deputy after announcing she had recused herself from the case because of contact with a relative of Smollett’s before he was charged.

RELATED: More Than 2,000 Pages Released In Jussie Smollett Case File, Making All Documents Public | Jussie Smollett 911 Calls On Night Of Alleged Attack: ‘They Put Noose Around His Neck … That’s Really F—ed Up’

Toomin said Foxx effectively appointed First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats to a “fictitious” office to serve in her stead.

“Here, the ship of the State ventured from its protected harbor without the guiding hand of its captain. There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through unchartered waters,” Toomin wrote in his ruling.

As a result, Toomin said there effectively was no state’s attorney when Smollett was arrested, charged, indicted, arraigned, and finally when charges later were dropped. So all of those decisions were invalid.

“The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system,” he wrote.

Smollett had been accused of paying brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo $3,500 to stage a homophobic and racist attack on him on Jan. 29.

The brothers’ attorneys have acknowledged they took part in a hoax, but said they have apologized for it, and only did so because Smollett paid them.

Police have said Smollett — who is black and openly gay — orchestrated the fake hate crime because he was upset with his salary on “Empire.”

RELATED: Osundairo Brothers Sue Jussie Smollett’s Attorneys, Mark Geragos And Tina Glandian, For Defamation | Kim Foxx’s Office Says Her Life Has Been Threatened In Wake Of Jussie Smollett Case Being Dropped

Investigators said the two brothers wore gloves during the staged attack, and did punch Smollett, but the scratches and bruises on Smollett’s face most likely were self-inflicted.

Smollett has denied all the allegations, and his attorneys have claimed he was exonerated when Foxx’s office dropped the charges.

Jussie Smollett accused Chicago police of malicious prosecution, claiming he was the victim of “mass public ridicule and harm” after he was charged with orchestrating a fake hate crime against himself.  The city is suing Smollett to recover the $130,000 cost of the investigation.

Foxx previously said she recused herself from the case after having conversations with one of Smollett’s relatives before he was charged with disorderly conduct.

RELATED: Documents Reveal Police Believed Jussie Smollett Deal Would Include Admission Of Guilt | Jussie Smollett To Face Lawsuit Demanding He Pay Chicago $130,000 For Alleged Hoax

After Magats took over the case, and prosecutors ended up dropping all charges a month after Smollett was arrested, after the “Empire” actor performed 16 hours of community service, and agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail, but did not admit guilt.

Hundreds of emails and text messages later released by Foxx’s office showed two weeks before the charges were dropped, Foxx texted her staff, dismissing him as a “washed-up celeb who lied to cops,” and telling them he was being charged too harshly.

Critics have said had Foxx truly recused herself of the case, it would have been handed over to a state’s attorney from a different county.

What about double jeopardy?

Legal experts have said that’s not an issue because Smollett was never put on trial in the first place.

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Voter backs Bernie over negative coverage on MSNBC…

An undecided voter told MSNBC in a live interview that she voted for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump tweets scene from ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ featuring ‘Make America Great Again’ hat Trump holds New Hampshire campaign rally on the eve of primary Bill Weld secures one Iowa delegate in longshot primary challenge to Trump MORE in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary because of what she viewed as the network’s negative coverage of him. 

“I want to say that the reason I went for Bernie is because of MSNBC,” the woman said during the network’s live coverage of the primary while sitting down at a restaurant in Manchester, N.H.



“Go on,” interviewer Ari Melber joked, looking at the camera.

“I think it is completely cynical to say that [Sanders] lost 50 percent of his vote from [2016] when there were two candidates. Now there are multiple, wonderful candidates who are great candidates who would be great presidents we can all get behind,” she continued.

“The kind of ‘stop Bernie cynicism’ that I heard from a number of people — I watch MSNBC constantly, that I heard from a number of commentators … made me angry, and I said, ‘OK, Bernie’s got my vote,'” she added.

“This is such an interesting point,” Melber responded. “What you’re saying is, and we take criticism because we’re journalists, right? We ought to be open-minded. You’re saying that hearing from people, whether that’s guests, commentators, the conversations you’ve heard, that you felt were designed to tear down Sen. Sanders, or quote-unquote ‘stop him,’ actually endeared him to you.”

“Absolutely. Absolutely,” the woman replied.

On Monday, MSNBC guest James Carville predicted it would be “the end of days” if Sanders captured the Democratic nomination.

“The only thing between the United States and the abyss is the Democratic Party,” Carville, a former campaign strategist to President Clinton, said Monday during an appearance on “Morning Joe.”

“That’s it. And if we go the way of the British Labour Party. If we nominate Jeremy Corbyn,” Carville said, comparing the leader of the Labour Party in Great Britain to Sanders, “it’s going to be the end of days. … We’re going to be the British Labour Party. We’re going to be out in some field, radical left-wing la-la land.”

MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews has been particularly critical of Sanders being the Democratic nominee. 

“I have my own views of the word ‘socialist’ and I’d be glad to share them with you in private,” Matthews said Friday night after the Democratic debate in New Hampshire. “They go back to the early 1950s. I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War; I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe if Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed. And certain other people would be there cheering, OK?

“So I have a problem with people who took the other side. I don’t know who Bernie has supported over these years, I don’t know what he means by socialism,” the former Carter speechwriter added.

Sanders, 78, has surged in recent days and is the odds-on favorite to win in New Hampshire.

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GALLUP: Socialism, Atheism Still Liabilities…

Story Highlights

  • Over 90% would vote for a candidate who is black, Catholic, Hispanic, a woman or Jewish
  • Much smaller majorities open to atheist, Muslim presidential candidates
  • Majority in U.S. would not support a socialist for president

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a presidential candidate nominated by their party who happened to be black, Catholic, Hispanic, Jewish or a woman. Such willingness drops to eight in 10 for candidates who are evangelical Christians or are gays or lesbians. Between six and seven in 10 would vote for someone who is under 40 years of age, over 70, a Muslim or an atheist.

Just one group tested — socialists — receives majority opposition. Less than half of Americans, 45%, say they would vote for a socialist for president, while 53% say they would not.

Willingness to Vote for a Party’s “Well-Qualified” Candidate for President, Based on Candidate Characteristics

% Yes, would vote for that person; Selected trend

1958 Sep 10-15 1983 Apr 29-May 2 2007 Feb 9-11 2015 Jun 2-7 2020 Jan 16-29
% % % % %
Black 38 77 94 92 96
Catholic 67 92 95 93 95
Hispanic 87 91 94
Jewish 63 88 92 91 93
Woman 54 80 88 92 93
Evangelical Christian 73 80
Gay/Lesbian 29 55 74 78
Under 40 70
Over 70 57^ 69
Muslim 60 66
Atheist 18 42 45 58 60
Socialist 47 45
^ Question wording: 72 years of age

These findings are based on a Gallup question asking, “Between now and the 2020 political conventions, there will be discussion about the qualifications of presidential candidates — their education, age, religion, race and so on. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be [characteristic], would you vote for that person?”

Gallup first tested Americans’ willingness to vote for candidates who don’t fit the traditional Protestant white male mold in 1937, asking that year whether they would support a well-qualified Catholic, Jew or woman for president. Support for a woman as president was only 33% at that time but has since grown, as has support for other diverse candidates added to the list over the decades.

Since 1958, the sharpest increase in voting tolerance has been for blacks, followed by atheists, women, Jewish candidates and Catholics. More recently, the biggest shift has been for gay or lesbian candidates.

The latest results are based on a Gallup poll conducted Jan. 16-29, 2020. When Gallup last measured these attitudes, in 2019, the results were within a few percentage points of those found today.

Acceptance of Candidate Characteristics Differs by Party

Democrats express at least somewhat more willingness than Republicans to support most of the candidate types tested, with the widest gaps seen for Muslims, atheists and socialists. While at least two in three Democrats say they would vote for presidential candidates with these profiles, support among Republicans drops to just over 40% for Muslims and atheists, and to only 17% for socialists.

Republicans are more accepting than Democrats of evangelical Christians and candidates over 70. While President Donald Trump falls into the latter category, so do four of the leading Democratic candidates: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg.

Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to support Catholic and Jewish candidates.

Willingness to Vote for Candidates With Diverse Characteristics, by Party ID

% Yes, would vote for that person

Republican Independent Democrat
% % %
Black 91 97 99
Catholic 95 94 97
Hispanic 90 94 99
A woman 86 95 99
Jewish 92 92 95
An evangelical Christian 88 77 77
Gay or lesbian 62 82 89
Under the age of 40 63 72 75
Over the age of 70 73 68 66
Muslim 42 71 88
An atheist 41 68 69
A socialist 17 45 76
Gallup, Jan. 16-29, 2020

The views of political independents fall midway between those of Republicans and Democrats for several candidate types — including socialists, with less than half of independents saying they would vote for such a person.

Independents are closer to Democrats than Republicans in their greater reluctance to support an evangelical Christian candidate, and in their greater willingness to support a candidate who is a woman, gay or lesbian, someone under age 40, a Muslim or an atheist.

Bottom Line

As the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries get underway, it may be instructive to know that little prejudice stands in the way of Democratic as well as national support for candidates who happen to be Catholic, Hispanic, Jewish or female. Being especially young or advanced in age could pose minor appeal problems.

Being gay or lesbian, Muslim, an atheist or a socialist wouldn’t cause much stir among Democrats, but these candidates could have difficulty attracting support from Republicans and, to a lesser extent, from political independents.

Learn more about public opinion metrics that matter for the 2020 presidential election at Gallup’s 2020 Presidential Election Center.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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