Naomi Campbell hits out at racism in fashion world
BERLIN (AFP) — Supermodel Naomi Campbell lashed out Friday at what she sees as latent racism in the fashion industry, which she said gives preference to “blond, blue-eyed models” over black women.
“You know, the American president may be black, but as a black woman, I am still an exception in this business. I always have to work harder to be treated equally,” she said in a Glamour interview appearing on Monday in Germany.
“In the past, there were more opportunities for black models but the trend towards blond women has again become extreme. In magazines, on the catwalk, I see blond, blue-eyed models everywhere,” she added.
In 2007, the London-born Campbell, along with fellow models Liya Kebede and Tyson Beckford, launched a campaign against what they said was discrimination in the fashion world.
Nationality: United States Executive summary: Conservative talk show host
Rush Limbaugh was born into a prominent Missouri family, and raised in a town about thirty miles from the Kentucky border. His grandfather, the first Rush Hudson Limbaugh, was America’s Ambassador to India in the Eisenhower administration. His uncle, Stephen Limbaugh, was appointed federal judge by Ronald Reagan, and his cousin, Stephen Limbaugh Jr, was appointed to the U.S. District Court by George W. Bush. His father was a prominent local attorney, who imbued his children with conservative ideology. His brother, David Limbaugh, is a lawyer and conservative writer.
He started in radio as a disc jockey on his home town’s KGMO (part-owned by Limbaugh’s father) while he was still in high school, using the on-air name “Rusty Sharpe.” He dropped out of college, and eventually landed a job as a morning disc jockey at a small top-40 radio station in McKeesport, PA, near Pittsburgh. He quickly moved to a bigger station in Pittsburgh, where he worked as “Jeff Christie”, and then to Kansas City, where he used his real name. Several times over several years he was fired for making too many, too rude political comments. Frustrated at his lack of success, he left radio, and took a job selling tickets for the Kansas City Royals baseball team.
Limbaugh’s radio career was revived by Norm Woodruff, a San Francisco radio executive who urged friends at Sacramento’s KFBK to hire him at a time when he was essentially unknown in the radio business. Woodruff even took Limbaugh shopping for clothes, improving his appearance to make a better impression on KFBK brass. The station decided to take a chance, putting Limbaugh on in what had been Morton Downey, Jr.‘s time slot. His ratings were better than Downey’s, putting Limbaugh’s career back on track. In telling the story of his success, Limbaugh occasionally mentions Woodruff’s help, but he never mentions that Woodruff was openly gay, and died of AIDS in the 1980s.
Limbaugh’s biggest break came in 1987, when the Federal Communications Commission repealed its Fairness Doctrine, a rule that had required radio and television stations to provide equal time to both sides of political debates. Freed from any requirement to air rebuttals to provocative opinions, Limbaugh’s radio style suddenly looked much more profitable, and within months he left Sacramento and signed with the ABC Radio Network, which syndicated his show from New York. Limbaugh is now syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications. He is heard on about 600 stations nationwide, with little room for further growth — there is no major market area where his program cannot be heard. “Excellence In Broadcasting”, which Limbaugh frequently cites as the name of his network, is part of his schtick, but EIB as an entity does not really exist.
When substituting for Pat Sajak in a 1990 episode of Sajak’s ill-fated late night talk show, he was heckled and booed by the studio audience after he made anti-gay comments, until the auditorium was emptied, leaving Limbaugh to finish the show in front of hundreds of empty seats. He had his own half-hour syndicated TV show from 1992-96, produced by Republican operative and later CEO of Fox NewsRoger Ailes and filmed in front of studio audiences pre-screened to be friendly to his conservative perspectives.
Limbaugh backs conservative causes without any exceptions — he supports capital punishment, opposes abortion, claims that global warming is a lie, etc. Callers are pre-screened; few who disagree with the host are allowed on the air. There are rare guests — occasionally Vice President Dick Cheney or other Republican officials drop in for a interview. For three hours daily, five days a week, Limbaugh weaves his opinion with a sense of humor, sarcasm, and a confident voice that sounds accurate and authoritative, even if the facts he recites are often far from correct.
He has claimed, for example, that no-one was indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal (14 were), that America has more forest land now than in 1492 (according to US Forest Service estimates, about 250,000,000 acres have been cut), that 75% of Americans who earn minimum wage are teenagers on their first job (in reality, the vast majority of minimum wage workers are over the age of 20), on and on. He has also given occasional credence to fringe conspiracy theories, claiming, for example, that Vince Foster was murdered instead of committing suicide, and that the crime took place in an apartment leased to Hillary Clinton. Limbaugh has also accused German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer of being a member of Germany’s Red Army Faction, a communist guerilla group blamed for more than 30 murders.
Limbaugh came to manhood in an era when the nation had a military draft for the Vietnam war. He avoided service by having his physician certify his medical unfitness due to an “inoperable pilonidal cyst” and “a football knee from high school.” He played one year of varsity football in high school, and his coach, Ryland Meyr, said later he remembered no injuries to Limbaugh. Those who loathe Limbaugh sometimes describe his pilonidal cyst as “a boil on his butt”, but that is an oversimplification. A pilonidal cyst is a chronic collection of pus or an abnormal draining passage leading to an abscess, located in the opening between the buttocks muscles. It is susceptible to infection, which can be dangerous on a war front, so severe pilonidal cysts have long been (and still are) legitimate grounds for exemption from military service. The peculiar thing is that Limbaugh denies he ever had a pilonidal cyst, dismissing it as “internet bull”, though the record is plain.
But Limbaugh reaches ordinary Americans, because he sounds like an ordinary American. Sometimes he sounds like an ordinary working stiff, as he complains about the wealthy elite who control America: “All of these rich guys — like the Kennedy family and Perot — pretending to live just like we do and pretending to understand our trials and tribulations and pretending to represent us.” Limbaugh’s current contract pays him $45-million per year, and he has spoken of friends who make $180,000 per year and “don’t consider themselves rich”. He has said of the official poverty line, “$14,400 for a family of four? That’s not so bad.” Commenting on corporate outsourcing and layoffs, Limbaugh once wondered, “Why is it that whenever a corporation fires workers, it’s never speculated that the workers might have deserved it?”
Limbaugh’s impact on America has been huge. Talk radio was a very minor niche when his program was first syndicated, and stations that aired a conservative-tilted program almost invariably balanced that with a liberal-tilted program. Now, talk radio is almost exclusively conservative, and Limbaugh has spawned many imitators, including Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, and Tony Snow — all of whom got early exposure guest-hosting on Limbaugh’s program. In 1994, Limbaugh was widely credited as Republicans were elected to control of Congress, with several newly-elected Congressman openly calling themselves “the Dittohead caucus.”
In his book The Way Things Ought To Be, Limbaugh wrote, “I believe that strong, wholesome family values are at the very core of a productive, prosperous, and peaceful society.” So what are Limbaugh’s family values? His first wife, Roxy Maxine McNeely, was a sales secretary at a Kansas City radio station. She was granted divorce under grounds of incompatibility after almost three years of marriage. His second wife, Michelle Sixta, was an usher at the Royals’ ball park. They divorced after about five years. He met his third wife, aerobics instructor Marta Fitzgerald, through CompuServe’s dating service, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas performed their wedding ceremony. According to the Palm Beach Post, Limbaugh and Fitzgerald maintained separate houses during their marriage. She divorced Limbaugh at his request after ten years of marriage, at about the time Limbaugh began dating then-CNN anchor Daryn Kagan.
In 2003, Limbaugh was forced to resign as a football commentator at ESPN amid allegations of racism, after he said in a telecast that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated, given “extra credit” because the league and the media wanted a black quarterback to be successful. So is Limbaugh a racist? On his show, he routinely pronounces “ask” and “asked” as “axe” and “axed”, he routinely calls light-skinned African-Americans like Halle Berry and Barack Obama “Halfrican-Americans”, he once told a black caller to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back”, and he has asked, “Have you ever noticed how all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
When his comments are taken as offensive, Limbaugh seems to enjoy the added attention. Among his more famous lines, he described the abuse at Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were stacked naked, sexually taunted and beaten while blindfolded, as the equivalent of “hazing, a fraternity prank”. He called 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton “the White House dog”, and eulogized Kurt Cobain as “a worthless shred of human debris.” In 2006, when it was revealed that Republican Congressman Mark Foley had sent sexually explicit emails to an underage Congressional page, Limbaugh was the first and one of the few media voices to announce the teenager’s name. He also blamed the boy for leading the Congressman on, wondering on the air if “maybe the page is out there engaged in some kind of chicanery.”
In 2001, Limbaugh announced on his radio program that he had been losing his hearing, and was “almost completely deaf.” He then had a cochlear implant installed in his left ear, and said that his hearing was mostly restored. In 2003, responding to published reports that he was under investigation for purchasing illegal drugs, he announced that he had become addicted to prescription opiates such as oxycodone as a result of long-term back pain. Oxycodone is marketed under such familiar brand names as Percodan, Percocet, and OxyContin, and hearing loss is a well-established side effect of oxycodone addiction.
Limbaugh, of course, has always called for harsh penalties for drug abusers, arguing that “if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.” After admitting his own addiction, he took a month off his radio show to undergo rapid rehab. He then spent the next several years battling Florida investigators who sought his medical records to investigate him for “doctor shopping” — the crime of obtaining the same prescription from more than one doctor, since Limbaugh’s use of oxycodone had been far in excess of the amount any doctor would plausibly prescribe. Claiming a right to privacy, he was assisted in his courtroom appeals by the American Civil Liberties Union, a group he has often criticized before and after accepting their help. In a 2006 plea bargain, charges were dropped in exchange for Limbaugh’s payment of $30,000, agreement to undergo 18 months of drug abatement therapy, and his agreement to submit to random drug testing.
DMC will be Raising Heck with new ‘positive-themed’ hip-hop series
| by Mike Bruno
Today we learned that Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, one-third of the seminal hip-hop group Run DMC, is hosting a reality competition series titled,The Kings of Rap. It’s being described as a “positive-themed hip-hop competition” that asks contestants to create hip-hop music without glorifying violence, degrading women, or using profanity. “The spirit of hip hop was always about changing the world or yourself, not with a gun or with denigrating or offensive words, but by being effective with your mind,” McDaniels says in a release.
I kinda like this idea, but not because it teaches kids a good lesson or whatever. It very well might, but the fact is, kids like music that freaks their parents out, and four-letter words and violence are a great way to do that. Cleaning it up and telling kids “this wholesome stuff is better for you” sounds preachy and will never fly. What’s more, hip-hop has always had a thug/street element to it, and street language is a big part of that. However, if framed correctly, there is something to be said from a purely lyrical and conceptual standpoint about removing the flashy trappings of street thuggery and forcing MCs to stand or fall purely on their flow, phrasing, and ideas. If you can’t say it well without using four-letter words or threatening violence, maybe you should think about whether you have something worth saying at all. I think The Kings of Rap can be kind of cool, but only if they make it about what kids SHOULD be doing rather than what they should NOT.
Anyone think this could work? Who are some of your favorite “positive-themed” MCs?
The accussation of Michael Moore being pretension, is hogwash!they should have blocked any mediated press, in print, film or ba ba ba. Michael Moore has exposed enough bad conduct, I count 7 times.
Title shoots down film about Moore
Screening of ‘Shooting Michael Moore’ is canceled — for public safety or politics?
Kevin Leffler talks with the subject of his film “Shooting Michael Moore.” A Traverse City, Mich., screening of the film …
Friday, February 27, 2009Filmmaker Kevin Leffler’s first movie, “Shooting Michael Moore,” was set to open in Traverse City, Mich., last month, but the screening got canceled at the last minute.
Was it politically motivated censorship?
Or simply a prudent safeguard against the possibility of violence against one of Michigan’s own incited by a provocative documentary with an incendiary title?
Mr. Leffler, a Michigan native like his subject, isn’t a director by trade, but he has seen enough of Mr. Moore’s movies to know how a cinematic David can sock it to Goliath.
So when Mr. Leffler, a certified public accountant and assistant professor at Baker College, saw inconsistencies between Mr. Moore’s public persona and his actions, he did what the Oscar-winning director himself might do.
He picked up a camera and got to work.
“The perception of Mike is that he fights the good fight, stands up for the little guy,” Mr. Leffler says. “But Mike is out for Mike, and that’s OK, but don’t pretend.”
“Shooting Michael Moore” contends that the filmmaker treats cast members poorly, rails against corporations such as Halliburton while gobbling up their stock and used his latest film, “Sicko,” to paint a highly inaccurate picture of Cuba’s health care system.
The movie was shown in Detroit and Miami late last year, but its scheduled Jan. 9 screening at Carmike Cinemas’ Horizon Outlet theater in Traverse City never happened.
The cancellation came before a planned Jan. 7 press conference organized by Jeff Gibbs, a longtime friend of Mr. Moore’s, to urge that the screening be stopped.
He’s found a unique way of combining two of his passions, music and medicine, to help address troubling health disparities among African-Americans. When he’s not seeing patients, he’s in the sound studio, creating hip-hop songs about medical conditions like obesity, heart disease and stroke in an attempt to educate the black community.
“I started to notice there was an affinity towards hip-hop music,” said Whitfield, who is also a national spokesman for the American Stroke Association. He says that is what prompted him to found the Hip Hop Healthy Coalition. “I was hoping maybe I could get involved in the culture and have some positive influence on it.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done. By speaking in a language young people can relate to, he’s getting them to pay attention.
“We’ve got to exercise; we’ve got a silent killer. We’ve got to open our eyes. We’ve got to eat right and keep our bodies tight,” he rhymes in one of his more popular songs, “Walk the Walk,” in which he joins up with a schoolteacher and popular hip-hop artist from New Orleans, Louisiana: David Augustine, also known as Dee-1.
As a physician, Whitfield feels, it’s his responsibility to do whatever he can to help empower his community. And for him, hip-hop is the perfect creative outlet because it casts a wide net. Listen to Tha Hip Hop Doc »
“It’s not just African-Americans I’m speaking to,” he said. “It’s white, black, Hispanic, Asian; I’m speaking to many groups with the urban concept, the urban message.”
For more on heart scan risks, tune in to “House Call.” 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday
And perhaps he’s on to something. It’s commonly noted that socioeconomic and cultural differences among minority groups influence patterns of disease and health outcomes. Several studies suggest that ethnic minorities are suffering disproportionately.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease is the leading cause of death for African-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics in the United States; it’s the No. 2 killer of Asian-Americans.
African Americans have the highest rate of high blood pressure of all racial groups, putting them at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure. Similarly, nearly 20 percent Asian-American adults suffer from hypertension. And of the largest Hispanic subgroup in the United States, Mexican-Americans, 73 percent of the women are overweight or obese, one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. Track your health statistics here
Why the disparities? As with many chronic conditions, experts cite factors including genetics, environment and access to affordable care.
Cornelius Flowers, a cardiologist with Emory University, says that knowing about these differences can be a matter of life or death for a patient.
According to Flowers, even today many doctors don’t take into consideration genetic differences that can influence not only what diseases a person may be susceptible to, but also what medications he or she can take for therapy. “Asian Americans respond differently to medications that lower cholesterol. So we know we have to give them lower doses,” Flowers explains. He also notes, “African Americans and other groups tend to retain more sodium.” As a result the same drugs may have very different results.
Environmental predictors of cardiovascular risk are equally as pertinent. In poor neighborhoods, access to healthy food and to quality care is often scarce. For many of the nation’s poor, especially immigrant groups, Flowers says, they may not have the money to buy the right kind of food, so families turn to fast food or other high-calorie meals. Visit CNNhealth.com, your connection for better living
Other studies show how stressors such as neighborhood violence or inaccessibility to walking routes or gyms increase the risk. Flowers says the failure of physicians to take into consideration environmental factors such as these in diagnosis and treatment can result in suggestions that prove irrelevant. “You may have the best medication. You may have the best advice. But if your patient is not getting the message, then it’s just no good.”
That’s why both Flowers and Whitfield agree that traditional messages just aren’t working. Most minorities aren’t coming in to the doctor for prevention; they’re coming in to manage chronic conditions. Their illnesses are being diagnosed at later stages, and as a result, they have more severe outcomes.
Both experts say more needs to be done to get the attention of the patients through culturally sensitive communications.
With the diss records at a current cease fire, the debate as to who won between Rick Ross and 50 Cent is still uncertain. Of course, if you asked each rapper their opinion, the decision would be unanimous.
Speaking with MTV, Ross pointed to one of his latest diss tracks as an example of how he allegedly took down the G-Unit ringleader. “My freestyles as you could hear them, ‘Kiss My Pinky Ring [click to listen],’ I do them in 20 minutes and put them out there. Those crumble empires.”
While 50 Cent has spent more time developing humorous skits to discredit Ross, “The Boss” feels his dedication to the musical side of the beef has outshined any cartoon posted by Curtis. “People [are] listening to how potent the music is,”Ross explained. “That’s all this really is for me. I’m not really excited yet. All this is a platform for me to show people how talented I am. How much better of a lyricist I am.”
Making one of his boldest claims yet, Ross put Deeper Than Rap on the same level as Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ [click to read] in terms of impact and quality, saying, “If  sold 10 [million], my next album should sell 12.”
A 62-year-old Chicago firefighter has been charged with selling cocaine to a worker in the Department of Water Management, which was at the center of a 2005 heroin-trafficking scandal.
Fire engineer Ruben Santiago has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence after being charged Thursday with manufacture, delivery and possession of more than 15 grams of cocaine.
Waldemar Cruz, a 63-year-old Water Management rate taker who allegedly bought drugs from Santiago, was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. His employment status was not known.
The alleged drug deal between two city employees in their 60s allegedly took place in the inner drive of Humboldt Park.
Officers from the Chicago Police Department’s gang enforcement unit conducting surveillance in response to complaints of narcotics sales in Humboldt Park reportedly observed the hand-to-hand transaction.
After the 2 p.m. street sale, Santiago allegedly got into his personal vehicle and threw drugs on the ground after being stopped by police. Cruz was also driving his personal car, sources said.
“At this time, there is no indication that anything illegal was done on city time. However, the conduct alleged clearly violates the oath taken to protect life,” said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
In 2005, a Water Management hoisting engineer who served as a deputy voter registrar for the Hispanic Democratic Organization was accused of heading the Chicago arm of a Colombia heroin-trafficking ring. George A. Prado was arrested along with two other city employees.
Santiago’s arrest marks the latest in a series of black eyes for the Chicago Fire Department.
Jay-Z: Have ‘compassion’ for Rihanna
By Dave Goldiner
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Updated Sunday, February 15th 2009, 2:59 PM
Jay-Z is encouraging fans to have compassion for his protegee, Rihanna.
Rapper Jay-Z stood up for his pal Rihanna, calling on fans to think of her like a family member who suffered abuse.
“You have to have compassion for others,” Jay-Z, 39, told People magazine. “Just imagine it being your sister or mom and then think about how we should talk about that.”
The hip-hop mogul helped Rihanna, 20, launch her career and some reports said he was furious at her boyfriend, Chris Brown, for allegedly beating her up after a pre-Grammys party last weekend.
He took a more conciliatory note, not mentioning Brown in a brief interview in Phoenix, where he attended the NBA All-Star weekend.
“I just think we should all support her. She’s going through a tough time,” Jay-Z said. “You have to realize she’s a young girl, as well. She’s very young.”
Rihanna was allegedly attacked in Los Angeles on Feb. 8 by boyfriend Brown, 19. He was arrested and the L.A. prosecutor is preparing charges against him.
The “Umbrella” singer suffered bruises and a split lip and has not been seen in public since.
Relatives said she fled to her homeland of Barbados where she is staying with friends while she recovers.
Asked if he’d seen Rihanna, Jay-Z refused to comment. “I don’t want to go into it,” he said.
Right after news of the beat-down surfaced last weekend, several media outlets reported that Jay-Z was furious at Brown for hitting Rihanna, whom he considers a protege.
They pointed to his low-key performance at the Grammys as evidence that he was upset over the attack, which forced Rihanna and Brown to scrap planned appearances at the gala.
Pals of the Brooklyn-born rapper were quoted as saying he planned to order street revenge on Brown. Sources close to Jay-Z told the News those reports were ridiculous and he was only worried about Rihanna’s well-being.