Aug 27

The History of BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and currently operates under the VIACOM umbrella.   With more than 90 million homes watching worldwide, it is the well-known station targeting African-American viewers.  It is also a leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming, both of original creations, acquired properties and musical presentations.

After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000, and earned a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.[3] The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980.[4] Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the network’s lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.  (from Wikipedia)

BET has gained popularity with its’ vast black audience, but has faced a number of major African Americans critics such as syndicated columnist George Curry, cartoonist and television producer Aaron McGruder, movie director  and producer Spike Lee, and former Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins. These critics and others denounced BET’s programming, claiming it promoted sexism and anti-intellectualism.

They also argued that showing rap and hip hop-oriented programming along with comedy programs either intentionally or inadvertently promoted anti-black stereotypes. BET founder Richard Johnson and Viacom executives claimed they were providing the programming the market demanded. In 2008 a number of prominent black ministers (“Enough is Enough”) publicly protested BET programming choices outside the network’s headquarters.

Enough is Enough supported a 2008 report “The Rap on Rap” by the Parents Television Council that argued that BET’s rap programming, which they believed contained gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content, was targeting children and teens.

The controversy continued in 2010, when BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she is “ashamed” of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news.

The criticism has not impacted the growth and acceptance of BET and the various shows and programs they have created.  In 2013, it is reported that 79.82% of households with television receive the BET network.  However, there is no information available as to what percentage of those households chose to get the network, or receive the network as part of a larger cable package.

According to the sales material, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences.  Our outstanding mega-specials keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in Black entertainment.”

May 28

Eminem And Justin Timberlake Raised Over $2 Million

They partnered with the British Red Combination.

May 26

Ebro Blasts Charlamagne for Refusing to ‘Acknowledge’ Him

The rivalry continues.

May 26

DJ Black Coffee: ‘I dream of carrying out a song with Beyonce’ – The particular Independent

The Independent

DJ Black Coffee: ' I actually dream of doing a song with Beyonce'
The Independent
Maphumulo, who also began his career in 1995, is already a superstar in South Africa, garnering numerous awards (including the Black Entertainment Television award for Best International Artist in 2016 and 2015' s Breakthrough DJ of the Calendar year at the DJ Awards …

May 26

Get ready for the return of ‘Orphan Dark, ‘ ‘Insecure’ and more summer TV favorites with this recap – La Times

Lots of new shows may try to ensnare you this summer, but several returning series — some in their farewell seasons — also want to pull you back in. Here are five shows we’re looking forward to either seeing the way the story continues or comes to an end.

“Orphan Black, ” BBC America

May 24

Leslie Jones Will Grace BET Awards 2017 As Second-Ever Female Comedian Host – Vibe

The BET Awards will make its stage home to a comedic powerhouse, in her own right, Leslie Jones. The Black Entertainment Television network formally announced Wednesday (May 24) that the SNL star would be gracing the awards stage this summer. As just the third female solo act and second female comedic act, following the iconic, Mo’Nique, Leslie Jones is carving a spot for herself in entertainment history.

Jones is no stranger to molding historic moments in the roles that she takes on. With her current residency at NBC’s SNL, she tapped two new record with being part of a duo—formed with Sasheer Zamata—who represented the first time two African-American females were a part of the 42 season-long show’s cast at the same time. A gig that Chris Tucker hooked her up with because she’s the “funniest woman [he] knows.” The second marks Jones as the oldest person to earn a spot on the SNL cast.

READ: Sasheer Zamata Bids Farewell To ‘Saturday Night Live’

The Ghostbusters actress admits, “I am so excited to be hosting The BET Awards this year. BET was the first network and place where I was on TV. I am looking to turn this whole experience into a joyful homecoming.”

Considering Russell Crowe describes her brand as “edgy, insightful and honest,” there’s no telling what to expect from the acclaimed actress. But one thing we do know is that the stage at the Microsoft Theater on  June 25 will be a sight to see.

READ: Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Solange, Migos, Chance The Rapper & More Of Your Faves Are Up For BET Awards

May 23

Judge Rules on Karrueche Tran’s Case Against Chris Brown

Model/host is trying to take legal action against her ex.

May 22

‘Twin Peaks’ premiere is weird and creepy and slow – Chicago Tribune

The stature of “Twin Peaks,” David Lynch’s two-season surreal murder mystery that ran on ABC in the early ’90s, is such that its modern-day reboot almost defies interpretation. Showtime’s “Twin Peaks: The Return” picks up the story of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) 25 years later, and attempts to be an homage, a sequel, and a standalone story.

The unique nature of this revival is overshadowed by the fact that the show itself was always a surprising, weird gem in the otherwise predictable stable of broadcast television programming. It’s hard to know whether it is more surprising that “Twin Peaks” ever existed or caught in the first place, or that 27 years after its cancellation, it has returned on premium cable with so much of the original cast and crew preserved. Lynch brought auteur-ish filmmaking to television, which elevated the medium for many viewers. Now its most prestigious, high-minded has brought him back. And it has the marketing blitz to prove it.

This is a long way of saying that it is difficult to know where to begin with Showtime’s “Twin Peaks,” which premiered its first two parts Sunday night. Fans of Lynch — and fans of the series, who have mythologized its idiosyncratic details over the last two decades — will take in the director’s vision with open arms, savoring its bizarre iconography and nonlinear storytelling. They will undoubtedly find a lot to be happy with in this two-hour premiere, which is parts 1 and 2 of “Twin Peaks: The Return” (though there is no clear delineation between parts). Lynch, who directed the episode and co-wrote it with Mark Frost, begins with the Black Lodge, which he explored extensively in the second-season finale and in “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” the prequel film. The new “Twin Peaks” uses grounding footage from the old “Twin Peaks” to establish some of the basics of the mythology: Cooper is stuck in the Lodge while his doppelgänger — inhabited by Bob (Frank Silva), an evil spirit — is in the world. Lynch, throughout “Twin Peaks,” is at his absolute best in Black Lodge scenes, and there is a bit of relief in seeing that even in this Showtime interpretation, the Black Lodge is still eerie and destabilizing.

At the same time, the Black Lodge is also where one of the first obvious differences between the old and new “Twin Peaks” emerges: the simple fact of production values. Much of the odd, creepy charm of the original “Twin Peaks” was that Lynch was shoehorning his bizarre vision into a murder arc of a soap opera — with its interminable pacing, melodramatic music, and small-town archetypal characters. Part of that mood was a low-budget sensibility, which translated to artfully deliberate poor quality. It’s one of the reasons “Twin Peaks” is so aesthetically unique. But Showtime gave David Lynch nearly carte blanche for this new production, and as a result, it really doesn’t have that low-budget patina. The production values make for immersive, textured shots of the woods around the town of Twin Peaks — sometimes, the trees seem like more fleshed-out characters than the minor characters they are partially obscuring, and Lynch sometimes films unfolding scenes as if the viewer is just another character in a video game. But for every moment that feels fascinating in a new way, there is self-indulgence. The bankable popularity of “Twin Peaks” also makes for an inexplicably stupid scene at the Bang Bang where the indie-electronic band Chromatics performs to a room of middle-aged townies taking tequila shots. Nothing says rural, small-town, faded glory like an impossibly cool synthpop band. Could it be possible that sometimes, network notes are a good thing?

The finest scenes of the new “Twin Peaks” occur nowhere near Twin Peaks at all. In New York City — introduced in a swooping series of shots that feel like how an animated comic-book show would take us to the villain’s “HQ” — a man is watching, and filming, a glass box. It has a circular aperture that looks out onto the city from its high perch at the top of a skyscraper. And opposite the glass box is a couch, with two tasteful lamps and an end table. Sam’s job is to see if anything appears inside the box. If you watched “Twin Peaks” while sitting on a couch, you may have noticed that just as you watched a glass box waiting for something to happen, the box — and the man on it — watched you in return. That the box then erupts with something unnameably evil — just at the moment, of course, when Sam (Ben Rosenfield) is distracted by the charms of Tracey (Madeline Zima). Their violent, brutal death is not quite the type of gore that “Twin Peaks” is known for, but that’s what made it so interesting. The show’s aesthetic is typically fuzzy. But the glossy box gleams in its careful lighting, and in the middle the aperture is a perfect circle, an eye unto the world. The unnameable evil, when it emerges, is like a creature constructed of white noise, a blurry bit of static. It is terrifying.

A little less terrifying is what has become of Cooper’s doppelgänger — let’s just call him Evil Cooper. He is in Buckhorn, South Dakota, and he looks like a washed-up rocker from the ’80s who never realized the party ended. MacLachlan is doused in spray tan and wearing snakeskin; Lynch’s manifestation of evil appears to be a guy wearing leather with a half-ponytail. The effect is kind of ludicrously seedy, and MacLachlan is a little uncomfortable there; he’s better in the moments where he is called on to emote silently while trapped in the Black Lodge. At the same time, Evil Cooper isn’t just a joke: In the back half of the episode, he kills Delia (Nicole LaLiberte) with close-range, heartless violence. Evil Cooper is creating mayhem for Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard), who is beginning to have an arc that looks like Leland Palmer’s (Ray Wise) — he dreamed committing an awful murder that turns out to have been real. Evil Cooper follows his wife home, and then kills her with her lover’s gun, saying: “You did good. You followed human nature perfectly.”

Human nature sometimes seems like it is the furthest thing from Lynch’s mind. “Twin Peaks: The Return” contains several long shots that reduce its characters to just tiny figures in a vast landscape. And yet even amidst the new surrealities of the Black Lodge (the Arm is now a tree with a brain!?) its most meaningless stretches continue to delight him. “Twin Peaks” attention to the most bathetic moments of human existence is strangely comforting, even as a comedy of manners in an apartment complex’s anonymous hallway gives way, with one twisted doorknob, into a ritualistic horror show. Lynch and Frost have doubled their cast in “Twin Peaks: The Return,” out of apparent curiosity for how all of these people live. It’s at times a confounding amount of detail; late in the two-hour episode, when Jennifer Jason Leigh turns out to have been next door the whole time, the scale of what this reboot is trying to accomplish is both daunting and a little maddening.

May 22

Nicki Minaj Kicks Off Billboard Music Honours

It was just one component of a nine-minute medley of the girl hits.

May 19

Tamera Is Experiencing More Hate Over Interracial Marriage

This is sad.

May 19

Fox News fires ‘The Five’ web host Bob Beckel over racist comment – New York Daily News

Fox Information fired pundit Bob Beckel more than an allegedly racist comment he made to an African-American colleague off the air.

Beckel’s remark was described as being “racially insensitive” to the network’s human resources team, Range reported.

“Bob Beckel has been terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee, inch Fox News said in a statement to Variety.

An attorney for the firm representing the African-American staffer stated in a statement that Beckel “stormed out” of his office following the employee, who works for the IT department, arrived to service his computer. Beckel allegedly told the man that he was leaving because “he is black, ” according to lawyer Douglas H. Wigdor.

Roger Ailes, longtime Fox Information CEO, dead at 77

The lawyer says they intend to file the formal complaint against Fox next week. Wigdor’s firm is already suing 21st Century Fox for “racially motivated discrimination” after two other African-American employees claimed they were subjected to bigotry from the network’s payroll supervisor.

Fox has been reportedly informed about Beckel’s derogatory remark on Tuesday evening, leading to an internal investigation that resulted in their ousting.

The network released the statement responding to Wigdor’s claims on Friday afternoon.

“As Mr. Wigdor knows, Fox News made the decision in order to terminate Mr. Beckel after a fast and thorough investigation. His customer raised the complaint to Kevin Lord, EVP Human Resources, on Tuesday evening via email and within 7 minutes Mr. Lord replied and began the investigation, ” the statement reads. “Today, Fox News delivered that message to Mr. Beckel and facilitated a good apology from Mr. Beckel towards the employee minutes after he was terminated. No one tried to persuade Mister. Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint. ”

STASI: Shed no tears for sexist sicko Roger Ailes

Beckel rejoined Fox recording after a stint at CNN. He or she originally joined Fox News within 2000 and served as a host on “The Five” for years among original members of the long-running show, which consists of a panel discussing present events.

Beckel has spoken out in the past about his issues with alcoholic beverages and cocaine use.

“The Five” was moved up to the 9 p. m. timeslot on Fox News final month after Bill O’Reilly had been axed as a string of intimate harassment and abuse allegations reached light.

“The Five” features panelists Jesse Watters, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld since hosts. Juan Williams is now likely to earn a more regular role on the program, according to Variety.

Beckel’s firing arrives amid a tumultuous period regarding Fox. O’Reilly was let go in April, several weeks after The New York Times revealed he and the network acquired paid out $13 million to 5 different women who made accusations against him.

Network founder Roger Ailes, meanwhile, stepped down last July after anchor Gretchen Carlson hit the media mogul using a sexual harassment lawsuit. More women employees came forward with similar allegations in the ensuing days.

Ailes died Thursday at the age of 77.

bob beckel
fox news
racial injustice
bill o’reilly

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