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Madonna's 7.3 Million-Dollar Baby?

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 16 June 2009 03:30 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Madonna’s 7.3 Million-Dollar Baby?
2. ‘Bruno’ Stirs Stereotype Discussion
3. Bill Maher Takes a Page From the McCain Campaign
4. Michael Steele Calls for a Letterman Boycott?
5. Letterman’s Induction Into NOW’s Hall of Shame

1. Madonna’s 7.3 Million-Dollar Baby?

Leave it to the Material Girl to show folks how to adopt a child from a poor Third World country. Four-year-old Mercy James, whose Malawian name is Chifundo, is all hers now thanks to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Malawi.

The higher court overturned the lower court ruling that had been a stumbling block in the whole adoption process.

The reason the singer’s attempt to adopt Mercy was stopped, according to the lower court judge, was that Madonna had not complied with rules that mandated that she live in Malawi for 18 months before adopting the child.

In rendering the opinion that let her off the residency hook, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo said, “Madonna has been judged to be a compassionate, intelligent, and articulate person. Her adoption of Mercy James is not a selfish act.”

It could be that the chief justice was alluding to something reported in the U.K. Daily Mirror; that Madonna paid out $7.3 million to fund orphanages and buy shoes, clothes, books, and more for the impoverished children.

It’s not the first time Madonna was able to skirt Malawi law. She did it when she adopted little David, too. The interesting thing, though, is that David and Mercy weren’t exactly orphans. They both had family.

At the time of his son’s adoption, David's dad Yohane expressed regrets and claimed he wasn’t fully informed about the arrangements. Kambewa, the alleged daddy of Mercy has gone on record as being opposed to her adoption as well.

Esme Chombo, the provincial judge of the lower court who had ruled against Madonna, quoted G.K. Chesterton to support the idea of sticking with the rule of law, even in a Third World country.

“Don't take a fence down until you know why it was put up in the first place,” the jurist said.

Meanwhile, Madonna has been seen dating a guy in his 20s. No word yet on whether she plans on adopting him.

2. ‘Bruno’ Stirs Stereotype Discussion

Gay rights groups are dazed and confused about what to do with Sacha Baron Cohen's soon to be released flick, “Bruno.”

The New York Times reports that there are concerns about the exaggerated gay fashion reporter who is portrayed in the film and about potential stereotyping of homosexuals.

Cohen may intend for Bruno to be a caricature but, much like in his previous film “Borat,” his movies relish in typecasting in order to produce humor that is uncomfortable.

The character Bruno attempts to seduce everyone in sight including an unsuspecting former presidential candidate and current congressman, Ron Paul.

“Ultimately the tension surrounding ‘Bruno’ boils down to the worry that certain viewers won’t understand that the joke is on them and will leave the multiplex with their homophobia validated,” the Times article explains.

The answer, according to gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign, is a disclaimer.

Spokesperson Brad Luna makes an appeal to Cohen's sense of accountability in the following way: “We strongly feel that Sacha Baron Cohen and Universal Pictures have a responsibility to remind the viewing public right there in the theater that this is intended to expose homophobia.”

What kind of disclaimer do you suppose would be offered by an individual who recently while sporting a thong on cable TV landed butt-first around Eminem’s neck?

3. Bill Maher Takes a Page From the McCain Campaign

Do you remember back in the 2008 presidential campaign when Sen. John McCain’s camp attacked then-rival Barack Obama for being too much of celebrity?

Someone else is carping about President Obama's current celebrity status, and it’s someone you might not expect — HBO's “Real Time” host Bill Maher.

Maher evidently is of the opinion that the president is overexposed. He wrote a piece in the Los Angeles Times complaining that “it's getting to where you can't turn on your TV without seeing Obama.”

The comedian throws out a perfunctory punch line, asking, “Who does he think he is, Dick Cheney?”

But then he goes on a rant that reads like a memo to the president.

“Come on, sir,” he urges. “You don't have to be on television every minute of every day. You're the president, not a rerun of 'Law and Order.' Save some charisma for a rainy day.

"Taking strangers from a TV show on a tour of your house? We have that show; it's called ‘Cribs.’ And letting reporters ask you questions like, ‘You like to be the one who picks out the shaving cream, don't you?’ Or as it's called today, ‘journalism,'” Maher wrote.

He ends with a slightly harder jab. He writes that he saw Obama “take Brian Williams into his bedroom, and at the end of the bed there was a teleprompter.”

4. Michael Steele Calls for a Letterman Boycott?

David Letterman's reluctance to apologize to Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and her family and the minimal degree of damage control that he’s willing to engage in is making a lot of folks fume.

Could it be that a recent statement given to The Hill by RNC Chairman Michael Steele is calling for a boycott of CBS' “Late Night with David Letterman?”

“Letterman's joke about Sarah and Todd Palin's daughter was thoughtless and tacky. I saw his explanation for the joke, but sometimes the easiest thing to do is simply say, I'm sorry,” Steele said.

The late-night comedy host doesn’t seem to be in the mood to offer a full-fledged mea culpa.

“When Letterman starts making tasteless jokes about kids, it's time to turn the channel,” Steele added.

I bet both Palin and Steele have moved way up on Conan O'Brien's Christmas list.

5. Letterman’s Induction Into NOW’s Hall of Shame

When David Letterman let loose with some sexist and crude cheap shots about the daughter of Sarah Palin, a lot of folks were asking, ”Where are the feminists?

Well, it looks like even the National Organization of Women (NOW) can’t keep quiet any longer.

In a move that pretty much has conservatives floored, NOW has placed Letterman in its Hall of Shame as an offender.

After joking about a “slutty flight attendant look” and using Palin’s daughter, Alex Rodriguez and “knocked up” in the same ugly sentence, the very next night Letterman made another remark about the governor’s daughter and Eliot Spitzer.

NOW Communications Director Lisa Bennett issued a statement citing Letterman's attempt at humor and dismissing Dave’s so-called apology.

“On his June 10 show, Letterman said he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol -— not the 14-year-old daughter who actually accompanied Palin on her New York trip,” the spokesperson said.

When Letterman acknowledged that his jokes were “ugly,” NOW agreed.

“Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age,” Bennett stated.

“Someone of Letterman's stature, who appears on what used to be known as ‘the Tiffany Network’ [CBS], should be above wallowing in the juvenile, sexist mud that other comedians and broadcasters seem to prefer,” Bennett added.

She even urged people to write to CBS and share their opinions.

However, when it comes to television, letters whisper . . . but ratings scream.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Madonna s 7.3 Million-Dollar Baby?2. Bruno Stirs Stereotype Discussion 3. Bill Maher Takes a Page From the McCain Campaign4. Michael Steele Calls for a Letterman Boycott?5. Letterman s Induction Into NOW s Hall of Shame 1....
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 03:30 PM
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