Daily Dose: 7/12/17
The MLB All-Star Game was a major success
10:43 AMIn case you missed it, I filled in for Bomani Jones from Minneapolis on Tuesday. Of course, it was MLB All-Star Game day, so we talked quite a bit about the Midsummer Classic. Here’s the show: Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3.
If you leave a VM on my cell, you better be a source, my mother or dying
— Elahe Izadi (@ElaheIzadi) July 11, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. thinks he’s slick. Once it became clear that he sat down with someone who claimed to be with the Kremlin, he decided to get out in front of things and drop the emails of correspondence himself. Meanwhile, the Russians are getting tired of constantly seeing themselves on American television. Junior went on Fox News last night to try to explain himself, and that didn’t exactly go very well. His basic defense was “I’m not very good at collusion, so my bad.” His father, the president, was pleased.
Everyone loses when the family feuds. Those were the words of Jay-Z on his most recent album, but it sometimes applies to black media. Take for example the recent case of Dr. Umar Johnson, who made an appearance on Roland Martin’s TV One show. I guess Martin felt like he needed to bring Johnson — who, by the way, I find extremely harmful and ridiculous — to task, but in the process he embarrassed everyone involved. Here’s a fact-check of all the wild claims that were made during this televised shouting match.
When I think of Halloween, I think of … Michael Jackson? Not quite, but I guess if you want to throw Thriller into that mix, then you’ve got pretty much everything you need. I feel like every Oct. 31, MTV or some other channel runs that video on a loop for the night, which makes complete sense. But outside of that? The King of Pop is not particularly ghoulish. However, CBS has created an animated special that will feature his music and a storyline involving his dance moves. This will probably be pretty popular either way.
The MLB All-Star Game was fantastic. The Home Run Derby was a huge hit. There were all sorts of new players in the game, and because it didn’t “count” for anything for the first time since 2003, players got to have fun. Fox also did a great job with the broadcast, allowing Alex Rodriguez to roam the infield between innings to talk to players, and at one point players were mic’d up talking to the broadcast booth while on the field. But the best moment came when Nelson Cruz straight up took a picture with umpire Joe West before an at-bat. So much fun.
Coffee Break: You never want to hear the words “iceberg breaks off in Antarctica.” You also never want to hear that in the same sentence as “size of Delaware.” Adding on “maps need to be redrawn” to that means that something has likely gone very wrong. Something has definitely gone wrong.
Snack Time: Don’t ask me how this is possible, but somehow, the people trying to make a live-action version of Aladdin are having trouble finding actors to play the lead roles. Every. Single. Side eye. In. The. World.
Dessert: Sevyn Streeter knows how to party, folks. Take notes for your summer ragers.
Daily Dose: 7/10/17
Blac Chyna speaks out about Rob Kardashian
12:24 PMMonday is July 10, 2017. Aka 7/10/2017. That’s a palindrome. Palindromes are really cool to me. That is all.
The four women (my grama) in the front created this dance as kids and have passed it down to every women in the family. Our own line dance pic.twitter.com/Ig5strjgrT
— Ana's Keeper (@DyamondBrianna) July 9, 2017
If you haven’t been paying attention, President Donald Trump and his people know Russia well. How well, we don’t exactly know, but a lot of people around the administration have been spending a whole lot of time trying to explain it. Turns out, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer very soon after his father clinched the Republican presidential nomination, which is dicey. Meanwhile, Trump is sharing vacation slideshow videos of his vacation, aka the G-20 summit, which is not a leisurely getaway by any stretch.
Rob Kardashian has violated Blac Chyna. There’s no way to deny that, but how the rest of this plays out will be very messy. The Kardashians are known for subsuming people into their circle and then spitting them out, be it in good taste or not. But this is different. Rob is sort of known as the problem child, the son who simply couldn’t cope with the life the same way his sisters do. And he decided to go the revenge porn route to apparently shame her for what happened in their relationship, which is not cool. Now, she’s speaking out.
The phrase “if money was no object” is always fascinating to me. Mainly because I’ve never once in my life been in a situation in which that was the case, so to hear it thrown around so casually is funny. And with an economy that scares people, with soaring costs for things like college, health care and housing, there’s a reasonable question to ask if you’re a young adult: When should I get it together? The weird thing about growing up is realizing how many people really never do. The staff at Vice decided to ask the people they knew who did it best: parents.
We don’t get to see the Obamas very often in public these days. Ever since they left the White House, it’s been scarce. And good for them, for that matter. With all that’s going on in Washington these days, if I were just getting out of that mess, I wouldn’t be making any appearances, either. But if you tune in to The ESPYS on Wednesday night, you’ll get to see Michelle Obama on your screen. She’ll be honoring Eunice Shriver Kennedy, which means that we’re in for an absolutely classy speech.
Coffee Break: There are such things as bad ideas. You know what’s almost always one of those? The concept of randomly blowing things up to “see what happens.” And you know what’s especially bad? Doing that with actual things in space. So “what would happen if we blew up the moon?” is not exactly a reassuring question.
Snack Time: I have a long-standing theory about umbrellas. Basically, they’re useless. They’re not worth keeping, and they don’t keep you that dry. So this story about an “umbrella-sharing service” should make you laugh.
Dessert: This video will put you in a good mood. No doubt about it.
All Day Podcast: 7/7/17
A cartoonist, a cartoon historian and a cartoon character?
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When I first set out to make this week’s pod, I hadn’t really put a whole lot of thought into the thread of subjects. To be quite honest, I really just shoot for what comes to mind and interests me, then go from there. Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of SportsCenter and news, was in town, so I thought it was a good time to sit down and take a look at the life of someone who makes one of the network’s flagship programs go.
As it turns out, King was a cartoonist as a child and through college, which was what he planned for his career in journalism to be. Instead, he ended up in Philadelphia, where he ran the sports desk and eventually moved over to front-page duties. Long story short, he’s a fun and experienced guy, and the conversation indicated as such.
From there, we go a different route into the world of JAY-Z. A buddy of mine posted a story from a blog called Cartoon Brew that I had never heard of to that point. You can read it here. It breaks down the imagery in the video for “The Story of O.J.,” which basically turns quite a few stereotypes from old American cartoons on their head to create an entirely new framework through which to see the short.
Amid Amidi is the author of the piece and an animation historian who’s authored many books on the topic. He’s admittedly not a huge hip-hop fan, but my man knows comics, so you should definitely check that out to hear him break down the animation world.
— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) July 6, 2017
Lastly, with LaVar Ball penning the cover story for the latest issue of SLAM magazine, which features his sons on the cover, I had to speak on it. He writes from the heart about what his entire life plan has been for these boys, and after all this stuff regarding their success, I genuinely got a little emotional. LaVar is such an inspiration in my eyes, and I hope that after hearing today’s pod, you’ll understand why.
Daily Dose: 7/7/17
Venus Williams’ Wimbledon greatness continues
4:03 PMThis week of radio has come to a close, but this time I filled in with Izzy Gutierrez on The Dan Le Batard Show. If you want to listen to all three hours, you can do that here, here and here. Summer holiday week radio, kiddos.
Trump and Putin met for a long time today. They were supposed to sit down for only a half-hour or so, but the meeting stretched to more than two hours, which is leading all sorts of people to speculate about what they actually discussed since they finally had some privacy. If you believe that these two have been in cahoots all along, this doesn’t exactly bode well. But, then again … well, actually, never mind. Lord knows what went on in that get-together, so here’s what we at least think we can deduce.
When I take Amtrak to NYC and back, the computing situation is always dicey. Wi-Fi is always tough, so expecting to get any work done is never realistic. But some people take things next level when it comes to trains. Talking in the quiet car is one thing, but this woman in the U.K. is a complete hero. She brought her entire iMac on to a moving train. Why anyone would do this, iHave no idea, but props for pulling it off. Seriously, what on earth do you have to be working on for this to be required? I’ll never know.
People who don’t clean up after their dogs are monsters. It’s gross, unsanitary and, in many cases, illegal. There are various ways to confront people who do this. The No. 1 seed in that tournament is to simply approach the person and say, “Hey, get it together.” Or, you can put up a bunch of passive-aggressive signs around your neighborhood with goofy cartoons on them. But one person wants to know if it’s worth going all the way to the wall with, by ratting out the offenders to the apartment building authorities. Short answer: no.
Venus Williams is still fighting the good fight. She beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka in straight sets, leaving her as the only champion left in the women’s draw at Wimbledon. Of course, little sister Serena isn’t playing because she’s having a baby, but it should also be said that Venus is the oldest woman to ever enter the draw at the All-England Club. When it’s all said and done, it’s hard to overstate how great she’s been, particularly at this tournament. She’s won more trophies at Wimbledon than at any other Grand Slam tournament, and I’m rooting for her to keep rolling.
Coffee Break: If you don’t like Lil Yachty, I don’t know what to tell you. The kid exudes positivity, makes bangers and has his career together, but there are still people in these streets hating on him as a mumble rapper. He calls himself the King of the Teens, but what happens when he hits his 20s?
Snack Time: Blac Chyna has filed for a restraining order against Rob Kardashian. This is a stunning development in the K clan, as he decided to go full-blown revenge porn on her, which is never the right move. What a mess.
Dessert: Here’s an A$AP Rocky song to take you into the weekend. Happy summer.
Daily Dose: 7/6/17
Chauncey Billups didn’t need the disrespect in Cleveland
10:59 AMIf you missed me Wednesday with Ryan Hollins on The Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio, you can check out the podcast here. We’ll be doing it again Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., so check us out!
Rep. Steve Scalise is back in the hospital. After a man decided he was going to shoot at elected officials who were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, the Louisiana representative was battling for his life. He was out for a while, but his status was never really understood to be in the clear. Meanwhile, a representative from Kentucky is using this opportunity to try to loosen gun laws in D.C. while keeping the Capitol itself protected since, clearly, guns are dangerous. What a craven move.
President Donald Trump is headed to Hamburg, Germany, for the G-20 summit. If you don’t recall, the last world trip he took caused all sorts of issues because he doesn’t particularly play well with others on the world stage. He first stopped in Poland, where he indicated that no one really knows what happened regarding the U.S. election, which is bizarre. Anyways, over in Germany, where this showdown is set to kick off, people are dressing like zombies in the street. For me, as far as artistic protests go, this one is awesome.
I’m slightly scared of glasses. For years, I never had any problems with vision. Then after years of looking at television and computer screens, it was clear that I needed help to see. But because of vanity, I’m yet to actually cop a pair of lenses, and because of physical capability, contact lenses are not an option. I seriously have no idea how people jam those things in their eyes every day. But, for one person who did, a scary result came of it: Her eyes went rogue. This seriously scares me silly.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner is really trying hard to screw this up. After the team got to the NBA Finals, he decided to fire his own general manager, which is insane. After that, he went after Chauncey Billups — you know, the former NBA star. Apparently Billups is looking to get into the business and figured a team that already had a few stars was a good start. But Billups doesn’t exactly need the job, per se. So Dan Gilbert lowballed him, creating a really awkward situation. Not good in Cleveland.
Coffee Break: If you’re in Nashville, Tennessee, next week, I have some instructions for you. As soon as you arrive, or right now, go to the venue Basement East. Then stay there until July 12. Why? Because the Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard has a new band called Bermuda Triangle, and they’ll be performing. It should be incredible.
Snack Time: If you haven’t seen the video version of JAY-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” yet, it’s on YouTube. Peep below. But if you aren’t familiar with all the visual representation in the short, check out this breakdown.
Dessert: Statik Selektah and Joey Badass have some new bangers out. Perfect for midsummer chillin’.