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Daily Dose: 2/9/17

Stevie Wonder might not be blind?

4:04 PMI watched that show So Cosmo on E! last night and I can’t get enough. It occurred to me that I would watch pretty much any reality show about a media operation. There should be a whole network of only those shows.

What do you do when your own people don’t like you? You lie and act like they do. That’s what President Donald Trump is dealing with right now in his administration, on several different levels. No. 1, the amount of leaks from the White House is astounding. Secondly, the very guy Trump nominated for the Supreme Court called the president’s comments about the job of the judiciary branch “disheartening.” Of course, the president claims all that’s not true. Every day, quite literally, seems to be a mess in the news cycle for this lot.

A while back, I heard a theory. It came from my colleague Bomani Jones. The theory went as follows: Stevie Wonder isn’t blind. On the surface, it sounds completely outrageous, if not borderline offensive. But, it is not without merit. He has done quite a few things to lead us astray. I was in the same restaurant as him once. I swear to God he looked me in the face and we weren’t even talking. Now, the man himself is fueling the fire to the rumors that he can actually see. For the record, I think Stevie can see. I guess we’ll find out soon.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram. For whatever reason, the visual stylings of that app really appeal to me and, generally, if your Insta game is poppin’, I respect your social media imprint a lot. And for some people, it’s a full-time job. For the #linkinbio crowd, you can legit make serious dollars from the pictures of your life that you take. I can’t even imagine how hard that is to maintain as a lifestyle. But one guy decided to take it up, even if for just a week. Here’s how it went.

Mike Tirico is one of my favorite sportscasters. In my lifetime, he became the proverbial safety blanket of guys doing play-by-play when a game was on. If Tirico was there, the game wasn’t necessarily the hugest deal, but you knew it was going to be a fun one. Now that he’s moved on to NBC from ESPN, there were questions about what he would do, beyond football. Now, the network has announced that he’ll be taking over Olympics duties for Bob Costas. This is excellent news.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We all know that Barack Obama loves to play basketball. It was effectively one of the most fundamental parts of his time in office, if we’re being honest. But he wasn’t always necessarily the best player. But if you put him in a video game and let him loose, what could he do? Oh, it’s lit on NBA 2K17.

Snack Time: Netflix is finally making a television show out of the movie Dear White People and folks are certainly uptight about it. Here’s the trailer.

Dessert: This story is sad, but it is redeeming.

Daily Dose: 2/7/16

Democrats look to take Betsy DeVos to school

12:00 PMI saw I Am Not Your Negro, but I must say that I thought it works better as a film in a college class with a whole lot of required reading assigned. Anyway, here’s my review.

Today’s the big day for Betsy DeVos. The rich woman who is looking to become the secretary of education has her confirmation vote Tuesday and people are NOT happy about it. If you don’t recall her hearing, it was a complete mess where she made it clear that she didn’t understand the difference between proficiency and growth when it comes to judging the student process. She also pointed out that she has exactly zero experience with student loans from either work, self or family experience. The Democrats were up all night protesting her confirmation.

When a person of color gets into a standoff with police, what usually happens? This might sound like a trick question because if you’ve had your eyes open you know that the answer almost always involves gunshots, which most often means someone is going to die. We need not be armed for that to happen. White people go so far as to point guns at police officers and live to tell about it. Check out the latest example of such from Prairie View, Texas, where someone had the presence of mind not to shoot at this white guy, but use a dog to get him instead.

As much as we need Barack Obama right now, I respect his right to holiday. This man restored respect to the nation for eight years of his life, all while raising a family, and he not only did it without flinching, many people thought he did a good job. Now, with President Donald Trump trying to undo everything he did from not just a policy, but also a diplomacy standpoint, we keep wondering: Where are you, Barack? Your man is cold chilling, kitesurfing in these exotic waters with Richard Branson. Good for him.

Monday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers-Washington Wizards game was incredible. A high-scoring affair that went to overtime and had actual basketball ramifications in Washington, D.C. But the best part, from a national perspective, came afterward. LeBron James is taking swings at people left and right these days and that includes journalists of all types. When responding to a question about a rumor of Kevin Love being traded, he said it was a trash story and the writer was trash, too. That Charles Barkley situation was just the beginning, apparently. I love this.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You know from my podcast antics that the Star Wars world is one I care about a lot. So, now that the series is part of the Disney family, it’s expanding the exhibits world by a lot at the various theme parks across the company. I need to have some children so I have a reason to go to these.

Snack Time: Sometimes, things get tight in the money department and you want to eat relatively healthy, but it’s hard. All the cheap stuff is bad for you. Here’s a recipe called Sad Boy Pasta that does the trick for both.

Dessert: I really, really like this new James Fauntleroy EP. You might, too.

Music

Jessie Reyez is back with another heart-wrencher

The Toronto songstress’ latest video ramps up the honesty

2:29 PMLast summer, when Jessie Reyez’s “Figures” dropped, the video was a punishingly brutal look at what those solitary feelings of pain are like when you can’t understand why a relationship fell apart. The direct address and simple background look were as piercing a presentation as possible for such a tough topic. It’s no surprise her Twitter bio reads: “I like to sing about s— I don’t like to talk about.”

Now, her latest video, “Shutter Island,” takes that a step further. Sort of like that phase after a breakup where you’re not screaming your internal thoughts at your ex, or the only friends who will listen, but basically having a conversation with yourself about why you don’t feel bad about putting up with their crap anymore. My straitjacket’s custom-made, though / I’m crazy just like Galileo ... I’m tired of begging you to love me, she sings. We can all relate to that.

The beauty of the “Shutter Island” video comes in its timing and symbolism. Drawing on a setup somewhere between a magic show and a horror movie, director Peter Huang keeps it simple enough without clouding the message. A relationship can feel like being locked up. It can also feel like drowning. Or sometimes both.

The story of Reyez’s journey from depressed high schooler to where she is now is the stuff legends are made of. She’s popped up on various collabos here and there, and with the unmistakable sound of her voice, whatever complete project she drops is going to be a banger, no doubt.

Daily Dose: 2/6/17

Can urban farming save Detroit?

12:00 PMWe were all back for The Morning Roast this week, even though both Domonique and Mina were in Houston together. It made for a rather interesting dynamic, aka it made me laugh quite a bit. Give it a listen here.

It feels like every week someone’s got a new plan to save Detroit. The once-bustling Michigan city that’s home to the automotive industry has gone through several phases of attempted reboots since its decline. Over the years, I’ve wondered what it would be like to buy a house there and just give it a shot. Now, a different type of demographic is developing: the urban farmer. Check out this story about how “unsettlers” are rearranging the social order in otherwise overlooked parts of the city.

President Donald Trump’s travel ban is putting him at odds with many. Over the weekend, multiple corporations teamed up to fight the executive order that limits the ability of people from seven majority-Muslim nations to travel to the United States. Tech companies in particular say that such restrictions are hampering their ability to attract top talent and are looking to fight about it in court. And we’re not just talking about your app creator. We’re talking Google, Uber and Apple. This battle isn’t going away.

The Super Bowl commercials didn’t feel as impactful this year. Because these things come out earlier and earlier each year, the surprise factor is lesser and thus reduces the effect. But the Budweiser commercial that started a boycott aired, as did that Mr. Clean commercial, which was hilarious, if not a tad bit disturbing if you weren’t ready for him to show up to your house and steal your girl. There were some good ones, however. And anytime Justin Timberlake makes an appearance, you’ll probably laugh. Here’s a recap of the best.

Now that he’s no longer got that pesky Super Bowl to handle, Kyle Shanahan’s getting a new job. The wonder kid of one-time NFL coach Mike Shanahan who worked his way up to offensive coordinator of the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons is splitting for San Francisco. Some might say that his exit is now a little contentious, since the team’s epic collapse Sunday night against the New England Patriots. Of course, it was reported before the playoffs that he had interest in the job. Now, he basically has to take it.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Full disclosure — I love the Pitch Perfect series. Although I saw the first one a couple of years after it came out, I saw the sequel on opening night in the theater, and I completely loved it. Now, they’re going for three and they’ve added John Lithgow to the mix, which is definitely a good thing. Can’t wait for this flick.

Snack Time: If you missed the final of the African Cup of Nations, you missed a heck of a match between Egypt and Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions rallied to beat the Pharoahs with a goal for the ages. Worthy champs.

Dessert: Run The Jewels on Tiny Desk is something definitely worth your time.

All Day Podcast: 1/31/17

Black History Month is upon us

6:58 PM

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This week, Justin Tinsley was out of town working on a story so Martenzie Johnson filled in for him. To get things started, Martenzie broke down an interesting situation that happened between he and his wife at the grocery store. Remember when you were a kid and you asked your parents if you could get something because, well, you couldn’t buy it yourself? Well, Mr. Johnson found himself in a similar situation, then had the epiphany that his spouse is not his mother. So he bought it anyway.

After that, we discussed Super Bowl weekend and how the overall fan bases of the Patriots and the Falcons affect how we look at this matchup from a football standpoint. Aaron Dodson wrote a great story about the matter and how it relates to the ATL. Jill Hudson is apparently a Patriots fan, though.

Of course, the Screen Actors Guild Awards happened last Sunday, and were quite fortuitous for many black actors. Denzel Washington, Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali all won individual awards and the cast of Hidden Figures also had a fun moment on stage. From that, Taraji P. Henson’s speech led to an interesting discussion about where black people with the concept of “bootstraps.”

Lastly, we talked about the LeBron James and Charles Barkley beef that just doesn’t want to seem to go away. Come for the topics, stay for the interplay.

Daily Dose: 2/3/17

Tiger Woods should hang ’em up for good

4:30 PMDomonique and Mina are sending me pictures from the Puppy Bowl and I’m so extremely happy for them, and really, really mad I’m not there. I don’t care about football. I do care about dogs, though. I’m so jealous.

The Trump administration is a mess. If nothing else, its outward-facing game is so unbelievably off point that it almost would make you laugh if it weren’t so scary. Earlier this week, it appeared that neither the president nor his press secretary Sean Spicer knew that Frederick Douglass was actually a person who’d been dead for more than a century. Then Kellyanne Conway, in trying to somehow defend the immigration ban, referenced a situation in which former President Barack Obama banned Iraqis. One problem: She botched it majorly and had to correct herself after the fact.

We’ve talked about Zootopia before. It’s the wokest animated movie ever, and it’s great. A film about predators and prey living together in harmony that actually is a metaphor for race relations in not just this country but across the globe? Sign me up. And it’s getting recognized by the people who actually give out awards for these things. Seriously. I want to have kids just so I can show them this movie and see how they react when they see it. Alas, I have no offspring. So, I’ll just have to read about how it’ll probably win an Oscar.

The Super Bowl halftime show is a big deal. Ever since Justin Timberlake ripped Janet Jackson’s shirt, sending shock waves throughout the broadcasting industry, what happens between two halves of this football game is a huge deal. Organizers always try to make it over the top, which is understandable considering how big the proverbial stage is. But some shows have gone far better than others. The best one of all time, obviously, is Prince. There will never be another like it. It was a decade ago.

Let’s be clear about something: Tiger Woods is never winning another major again. At this point, the likelihood that he ever wins another tournament is unlikely. It’s rough, seeing the guy who legitimately revolutionized an entire sport have his body break down, while he insists on playing through it all. If he walked away from the game right now, he’d still be the greatest of all time in my book, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand why he doesn’t just let that be the case. Anyway, he withdrew from Dubai this week.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The NBA’s rookie symposium has been a source of controversy for quite some time. The scare tactics the league uses are borderline bizarre and the methods of psychology implemented are questionable at best. And the reality is that not only is it likely ineffective, it’s sexist and wrong.

Snack Time: Hakeem Olajuwon is one of my top five favorite NBA basketball players of all time. He’s also a Muslim. And he played in Houston. This interview with him is solid.

Dessert: Here’s some music. It’s good. Happy weekend.