It’s not entirely accurate to say the episode — which was made in 2017 and played a role in series creator Kenya Barris’ decision to leave ABC, signing a lucrative deal with Netflix — is much ado about nothing. In the half-hour, the character of Dre, played by Anthony Anderson, expresses his concerns through a made-up bedtime story to his infant son, highlighting the racial division in America (news clips are used), and referring to President Trump as “the Shady King.”The political views expressed in the show, however, could hardly come as a surprise to anyone who had previously watched “Black-ish,” which premiered in 2014. So those who criticized the episode would have likely been bad-faith brokers, looking to score points at the network’s expense.For executives, such situations are never fun. But if you’re going to produce and order shows that have any sort of real-world relevance or edge, it’s a cost of doing business.The shifting nature of the TV landscape, moreover, has changed the broadcast networks’ relationship with the audience. Yes, major networks like ABC still aspire to be big tents, inviting in millions of viewers. Yet the truth is even successful shows now attract relatively small percentages of the population each week, with only a few annual broadcasts — most notably the Super Bowl — drawing in tens of millions of casual viewers, the kind who might be genuinely offended by being confronted with an opposing political view.Notably, networks appeared braver about tackling issues in another starkly divided era, the early 1970s, when shows like “All in the Family” and “Maude” dealt with hot-button issues, back when most homes received only a handful of channels and streaming options like Hulu didn’t even exist.Against that backdrop, it’s hard to see what made ABC so skittish about “Please, Baby, Please.” Yes, the episode focused on racial division, highlighting not only Trump but the reaction to President Obama’s election, calling him “Prince Barry.” The story closed, though, on what felt like a hopeful note, addressing the inherent good of most people and Dre’s hopes for a better future.Would its broadcast have provoked some comment at the time? Probably. Would most of it have come from people who were basically spoiling for a fight? Almost certainly.In a statement posted on Twitter, Barris said he was “incredibly proud” of the episode, and hoped it would spark “much-needed conversation … about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together.”That conversation hasn’t gone away, which makes the material as timely now as it was when Barris wrote and produced it.Still, the much-delayed availability of this episode ultimately says less about “Black-ish,” then or now, than it does about the network that opted not to air it.”Black-ish” is available on Hulu.
Trixie Mattel’s Twangy Cover, Aquihayaquihay’s Sunny Future, And More Songs We Love
Allan Villanueva / Getty Images The search for the ever-elusive “bop” is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new? Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn’t…
Allan Villanueva / Getty Images
The search for the ever-elusive “bop” is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn’t discriminate by genre and can include anything — it’s a snapshot of what’s on our minds and what sounds good. We’ll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Something is frayed on “Sencillo,” the wonderfully languid latest effort from self-described “anti-boy band” Aquihayaquihay. As much as Steve Aoki’s label signees sound embattled as they sing in Spanish, the sounds themselves direct the song’s emotionality toward hope. Embracing both modern bedroom-production hallmarks and an exploration of past R&B-pop sounds, “Sencillo” plays like a completely welcome meeting of past and present while also pointing to a sunny future. —Patrick Hosken
Trixie Mattel: “Video Games”
Trixie Mattel opened up a beer and said, “Get over here and play my ‘Video Games.'” The RuPaul’s Drag Race legend takes her body to Pioneertown and gives Lana Del Rey’s 2011 melancholy single an Old West country-music twist. The dramatic cover features Trixie strumming her trusty autoharp, but it also serves cowboy shootout realness with some ominous desert outlaw whistles. We hope you like the bad girls, honey, because Trixie really brought it with this cover. Lana Del Rey? More like Lana Del SLAY. —Chris Rudolph
Kristen Ford: “Stick Shift Corolla”
Nashville-based alt rocker Kristen Ford piles on the breakup feels in this moody track from No Plans, her new EP. Tension grows verse by angst-fueled verse. “I don’t want you back / Time don’t work like that,” Ford insists, although if the explosive guitar and drums punctuating the final verse are any indication, that realization doesn’t undo the hurt that’s been done. —Sam Manzella
Lulu Simon: “Strangers”
Pop music has a new rising star, and she comes from a pretty impressive pedigree. On her new single “Strangers,” Lulu Simon, daughter of Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, gets breezily bitter about an ex who can’t quite accept that a relationship has met its expiration. Over a stacked production of ’80s synths and electronica pops, Simon’s lyrics read like a diary or a heated string of texts — you know, the unhinged ones you send in quick succession to a friend when you’ve got some feelings and you’ve got to get them out. Considering that her sarcastic yet sweet debut “Wasted” is just as much of a bop, it looks like there’s more where that came from. —Carson Mlnarik
Cautious Clay: “Agreeable”
Cautious Clay’s voice is smooth, his arms are open wide, and on “Agreeable,” he sounds about a thousand miles high. Much like “Cheesin’,” the virtual posse cut he anchored earlier this year, the elastic artist stretches and flexes in equal measure here — but the party’s over in just two minutes. Before you know, you’re back on the ground. You might not even know you left it. —Patrick Hosken
John K: “Happiness”
The lyrical melancholy of the emerging pop crooner John K’s latest single betrays its peppy title. Here, “Happiness” functions less like an expression of joy than a painful reminder of better days long gone: “Happiness, are you there? / Are you gone? Are you comin’ back?” Yet, delivered by a voice that a new listener might mistake for Troye Sivan or Sam Smith, it seems pleasant all the same. —Coco Romack
Bosco: “4th of July”
The chorus finds Bosco directing your gaze upwards — “Bombs bursting into the sky” — but even fireworks on Independence Day might have a hard time keeping your attention in this plush ecosystem populated with silken guitar waves and a treasure chest full of booming R&B rhythm. Don’t let the title fool you; this is a leafy autumn song through and through. —Patrick Hosken
OnePlus 8T Tipped to Launch on October 14: Expected Specifications
OnePlus 8T is now rumoured to launch on October 14. Previously, the phone was expected to launch later this month or sometime early October, but the new rumour suggests a slight delay due to the coronavirus pandemic that may have resulted in production hiccups. The OnePlus 8T is reported to have a different camera setup…
OnePlus 8T is now rumoured to launch on October 14. Previously, the phone was expected to launch later this month or sometime early October, but the new rumour suggests a slight delay due to the coronavirus pandemic that may have resulted in production hiccups. The OnePlus 8T is reported to have a different camera setup design than the OnePlus 8 range. The upcoming phone is tipped to be powered by the Snapdragon 865 SoC and pack 65W fast charging support.MySmartPrice has shared information relayed by tipster Ishan Agarwal hinting that the OnePlus 8T will launch on October 14. The tipster notes that there might be slight delays due to the unprecedented circumstances. In any case, the OnePlus 8T will see a delayed launch from last year, given that the OnePlus 7T was unveiled in September itself. There have been no announcements from OnePlus regarding a launch event. Given the situation, the next OnePlus event, whenever it happens, would likely be held virtually.OnePlus 8T specifications (expected)The OnePlus 8T has leaked extensively in the past and it is reported to run on OxygenOS 11-based Android 11 software and feature a 6.55-inch full-HD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate. It is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 865+ SoC and come in two configurations – 8GB + 128GB and 12GB + 256GB.There is expected to be quad rear camera setup on the OnePlus 8T that may include a 48-megapixel primary shooter, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 5-megapixel macro shooter, and a 2-megapixel portrait sensor. Up front, the OnePlus 8T may feature a 32-megapixel camera for selfies. The OnePlus 8T is tipped to include a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W fast charging.As mentioned, there may be a redesigned camera module on the OnePlus 8T with the sensors placed on the top left corner, instead of centre.Is Nord the iPhone SE of the OnePlus world? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Trump’s ex-spy chief warns American democracy may not survive November election
September 18, 2020 by Joseph Fitsanakis The former United States Director of National Intelligence, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump as the highest-ranking intelligence official until 2019, has warned that American democracy may not survive the upcoming presidential election. In a stark editorial published on Thursday in The New York Times, Dan…
September 18, 2020
by Joseph Fitsanakis
The former United States Director of National Intelligence, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump as the highest-ranking intelligence official until 2019, has warned that American democracy may not survive the upcoming presidential election. In a stark editorial published on Thursday in The New York Times, Dan Coats warns that whether “the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history”, will survive after November, remains an open question.
The Trump administration appointed Coats in 2017 to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which was set up in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Its mission is to direct the 17-member United States Intelligence Community and to advise the president, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on matters of national security. In July 2019 Coats resigned, reportedly after disagreeing with President Trump’s policies on North Korea, Russia and the Islamic State.
In his editorial, Coats urges Congress to pass “emergency legislation” that will establish a “supremely high-level bipartisan and non-partisan commission to oversee the [upcoming 2020 Presidential] election”. The proposed commission would supervise the mechanisms that “tabulate, evaluate or certify the results” of the election and assure the American public that “the laws and regulations governing them have been scrupulously and expeditiously followed”, argues Coats. Additionally, it would refer “to the proper law enforcement agency” any incident of election “interference, fraud, disinformation or other distortions”.
Coats also calls on American leaders to perform what he describes as the “most urgent task [they] face”, which is “to ensure that the election results are accepted as legitimate”. Doing the opposite would mean succumbing to the pressure of enemies who “want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; [and] that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people”.
The former Director of National Intelligence concludes by warning that if the nation fails “to take every conceivable effort to ensure the integrity of the election”, there will be no winners, but only losers, after November. Consequently, the American voters will not simply be choosing a president, he says, but will be deciding “whether the American democratic experiment […] will survive”.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 18 September 2020 | Permalink