Category: Celebrity Politics

Spike Lee pays up for wrong-address tweet in Trayvon Martin case

Spike Lee

Spike Lee, a vocal Trayvon Martin supporter, has settled financially with a couple whose lives were radically disrupted by his recent Twitter activism.

Lee, who has more than a quarter-million Twitter followers, over the weekend retweeted a Florida address said to be that of George Zimmerman, 26, the neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26.

While Lee was criticized up front for what some saw as a call for vigilante justice — some on Twitter threatened to tweet the film director's home address to put the shoe on the other foot — things took a twist when the address also turned out to be wrong. David and Elaine McClain, whose son is named William George Zimmerman, were forced to flee to a hotel to avoid the attention misdirected at their home.

"I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain's In Peace.Justice In Court," Lee said Thursday evening on Twitter, where he has since been silent. Lee had been tweeting and retweeting heavily regarding Trayvon Martin since March 17.

"The McClains’ claim is fully resolved," Matt Morgan, their attorney, said in an email to Nation Now. "Mr. Lee personally called them to give a very heartfelt apology. Further, he agreed to compensate them for their loss and the disruption to their lives.

"The McClains were very moved by Mr. Lee's apology," Morgan said. "They would like the Lee family to be left in peace.

Meanwhile, Roseanne Barr jumped into the fray, according to the Smoking Gun, tweeting the correct address of Zimmerman's parents to her 111,000 followers before deleting the info after some criticism and after realizing that posting private information without permission violates Twitter rules.

But that wasn't the end of it. "If Zimmerman isn’t arrested I’ll rt his address again," she said, "maybe go 2 his house myself." That after saying she'd sent the address around in the first place to let people know "that no one can hide anymore."

Yet, she said, "vigilante-ism is what killed Trayvon. I don’t support that."

The shooting is still being investigated by Florida authorities. Zimmerman is reported to be in hiding.


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— Christie D'Zurilla
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

Photo: Spike Lee on March 25 in New Jersey. Credit: Mike Stobe / Getty Images.


Meghan McCain in Playboy: Fully clothed, still a bit scandalous

Meghan McCain has posed for Playboy -- fully clothed

While Meghan McCain didn't respond directly on Twitter regarding the reception of her recent Playboy interview, she did post a quote Friday from Nirvana's late lead singer, Kurt Cobain: "I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not."

And what's not to love? Well, McCain likes sex, and she likes it with men -- as long as they don't talk politics and do make her laugh, "even if they look like Zach Galifianakis."

Bit of a backhanded compliment for Zach there in Playboy? Or no compliment at all?

"I've taught @McCainBlogette to be a strong independent woman with her own voice," mom Cindy McCain said Friday on Twitter, also not directly referencing the interview, which went public in the morning. "I'm proud of her maverick ways. She rocks the boat! Luv it!"

After debunking gay rumors in the interview, blogger, MSNBC commentator and political daughter McCain got talking about what does get her motor running:

"When I'm dating, I want to hear what music a guy likes, what he does for fun, and I want him to make me laugh. If he can make me laugh, I don't care if he looks like Zach Galifianakis; it's an instant turn-on."

But the woman who believes "repression breeds obsession" is still a tad bit demure at times.

"I do get paranoid when I’m wearing low-cut dresses that somebody's going to take a picture and put it on the Internet and be like, 'Meghan was showing off her breasts again,'" she told Playboy. "But you know, showing a little cleavage can make a girl feel sexy too.


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— Christie D'Zurilla
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

Photo: Meghan McCain poses for Playboy. Credit: Playboy

Meghan McCain: 'You’re nobody unless you have a gay rumor'

Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain thinks Tila Tequila is swell and wasn't into Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but don't read anything into that, girl-on-girl fans.

"Honey, you’re nobody unless you have a gay rumor about you," the blogger and political columnist tells Playboy in its April 20Q feature (and no, kids, she doesn't take her clothes off for the mag). "I’ve been hit on by women from time to time, and it might simplify my life if I were gay, but no."

So Miss Tila and Rachel Maddow girl crushes aside, she's secure in her sexuality -- "I love sex, and I love men" -- and also secure in her attitude toward reality TV.

"Hell would freeze over before I would do a reality show," she said. "I’ve been offered everything you could possibly imagine, and it just doesn’t interest me. You certainly won’t see me dancing on TV."

And speaking of folks who dance on TV, McCain also has a few things to say about Bristol Palin taking shots at her in a recent memoir -- the one in which Bristol called Levi Johnston a "gnat" who "cheated on me about as frequently as he sharpened his hockey skates."

"All that stuff she wrote [about me] was a total lie ... ," McCain said, referring to a passage in which she and her mom were described as having tons of Louis Vuitton luggage, cellphones and helpers to do hair and makeup. "She’s just young and confused and was thrust into all this. The media aren’t kind to her.

"But once someone signs up for ' Dancing With the Stars,' it’s hard to sympathize."


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— Christie D'Zurilla
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

Photo: Meghan McCain in 2009. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


George Clooney and dad arrested while protesting Sudan violence

Leave it to George Clooney to skip the typical celebrity bad-behavior arrest -- the actor and his father, Nick, were arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday while participating in a protest against violence in south Sudan.

It's been a very full week for the younger Clooney, who returned from the region Tuesday, testified before Congress on Wednesday as to the "constant drip of fear" in south Sudan before swinging by the White House State Dinner for Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, then hit the White House on Thursday to urge President Obama to push China to help get relief efforts to the people in south Sudan.

"We found children filled with shrapnel, including a 9-year-old boy who had both hands blown off," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, according to CNN, referring to Sudanese government officials who have been charged with war crimes as the "greatest war criminals of this century by far."George Clooney and his dad are handcuffed outside the Sudanese Embassy.

“What is most striking and most devastating is the absolute vulnerability of a certain group of people,” Clooney said Thursday outside the White House, according to the Washington Post.

Getting arrested by the Secret Service, which protects embassies in D.C., might've seemed like a break -- at least he didn't have to dress up.

Before the arrest, he and the other protesters were warned three times not to cross a police line at the embassy and were then arrested for that misdemeanor offense. Clooney can be seen in MSNBC video before the arrest checking to make sure all the protesters were safe, and then chatting with reporters as he and his father were led off by law enforcement.

Also before the arrest, he'd spoken out about violence in the region, Politics Now reported from D.C.

"They were protesting the violence committed by the government of Sudan on its own innocent men, women and children," Clooney's rep told TMZ. "They were demanding they allow humanitarian aid into the country before it becomes the largest humanitarian crisis in the world."

Among the dozen or so arrested with the Clooneys -- father Nick is a journalist -- were Rep. Jim McGovern, (D-Mass.), Rep. Jim Moran, (D-Va.), NAACP President Ben Jealous; and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Classier than a DUI arrest, no?


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Photo: George Clooney, left, and his father Nick Clooney are handcuffed outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Roseanne Barr is running for president as a Green Party candidate

Roseanne Barr

This post has been updated, as indicated below.

Roseanne Barr has filed the official paperwork necessary to run for the Green Party nomination for president of the United States.

No joke.

And here we thought Donald Trump endorsing Mitt Romney was the big celebrity political news of the day.

"I am running for Green Party nominee for POTUS," the comedian said Thursday on Twitter. "I am an official candidate. I am4 the Greening of America&the world. Green=peace/justice."

Barr filed her paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 25, creating a four-way race for the Green nomination, which will be decided at the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention in July.

"I will run until the convention in July in Baltimore-I fully expect Jill Stein 2b the nominee& I will support her, but til then-I'll serve," Barr said amid a slew of other tweets, some of them raunchy, most having to do with her campaign.

Her platform as expressed Thursday on the microblogging site included a promise to institute "#Europeanstyle" single-payer healthcare within the first 100 days of her term, and to forgive all credit card and mortgage debt "by kicking out the FED-those to whom all this fake debt is owed."

In a campaign-announcement speech delivered in May 2010, Barr put out a more detailed three-step platform (read the speech here): First, make war illegal and legalize hemp (marijuana too). Second, change the demographics of government to include more women. Third, outlaw — how do we say this politely? — outlaw bull. Yes, that's it. Outlaw bull.

"After the passage of this one law," she said in the speech, "the Patriarchy will inevitably begin to crumble, as will the concept of War itself, which is largely a large load of," well, bull.

[Updated, 6:25 p.m. Feb. 2: In a more recent statement posted at the Green Party Watch website, Barr expressed her support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and said, "Both the Democratic and Republican parties are bought and paid for by corporate America and cater to the needs of the highest bidder as opposed to the people they claim to represent. I cannot be bought."]

Would you vote for Roseanne Barr for president? Let us know in comments.


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— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Roseanne Barr in July 2011. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

Christian Bale manhandled during bid to visit Chinese dissident

Christian Bale was in China for "The Flowers of War"

All Christian Bale wanted to do was tell a guy thank you, he said -- but instead he got roughed up by a pack of apparent security guards and chased away from the home where a Chinese dissident has been held under house arrest for months.

"What I really wanted to do was shake the man's hand and say thank you, tell him what an inspiration he is," Bale said after the incident, which concluded with his party's van being chased down the road by guards who jumped into their own vehicle and followed for more than half an hour.

"The man" Bale referred to is Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer and activist who has worked against China's methods for enforcing its one-child policy -- think forced abortion and sterilization. According to World Now, he has been kept under unofficial house arrest with his wife, mother and young daughter since September, when he was released after four years in prison related to charges he said he was not guilty of.

It was at that house that Bale was confronted and manhandled.

The episode was captured on camera by a CNN crew that had accompanied Bale on the eight-hour trip from Beijing, where the actor had been for a premiere of his film "The Flowers of War." In the video, embedded below, he noted he was "not being brave" by attempting to visit Chen, as others had also done unsuccessfully since September.

Though the situation with Chen was clearly no laughing matter, The Times' Beijing correspondent, Barbara Demick, tracked down some online ribbing that "The Dark Knight Rises" star Bale took from fans over the incident.

"Batman couldn't do it alone," one Chinese commentator wrote on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-type service. "But if he takes Spiderman, Superman, the Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America and Harry Potter, they can get it done right?"



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Photo: Fans of Christian Bale await the actor's arrival outside a screening of "The Flowers of War," directed by China's Zhang Yimou, on Monday. Photo credit: Mark Ralston / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images.

Miley Cyrus supports Occupy Wall Street with new video

Miley Cyrus is supporting #OWS

Miley Cyrus appears intent on covering her controversy bases, adding support of Occupy Wall Street, a.k.a. #OWS, to her ever-expanding agenda.

She's had the sexually suggestive controversy (her pole dancing performance at the Teen Choice Awards in 2009), her drug controversy (smoking from a bong), her other drug controversy (comments at her 19th birthday party last week about being a stoner) and now, apparently, she's courting political controversy.

The pop singer has released a video for the remix of "Liberty Walk" off her album "Can't Be Tamed" composed entirely of footage from the various Occupy protests worldwide. Included are police beatings, things burning and lots of angry marching. It's strong stuff from the girl once known as Hannah Montana.

The video was posted Saturday to her official YouTube channel and bears the dedication, "This is dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in..."

The video has predictably made Cyrus persona non grata in a number of households and stirred the ire of conservative media. Comments on her YouTube page include one from a dad who wrote, "Miley Cyrus is now banned from my house along with 30 other entertainment political wannabes. My kids are not allowed to have anything related to you or what you stand for.......and you know what? they actually said it to me that they lost interest in you and your cruddy music and movies and tv show.... Bah-bye Miley,.... you get no more of my hard earned money you one percenter liar."

Conservative radio host Dana Loesch tweeted, "A movement is dead when Miley Cyrus writes disco music for it."

Between this and the Bob Marley birthday cake, it's going to be an interesting week for Miley.


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

 Photo: Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards in February. Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Michele Bachmann: NBC wouldn't pull that gag on Michelle Obama

Michele Bachmann and Jimmy Fallon

Michele Bachmann didn't know what hit her on Jimmy Fallon's show, but she loves the guy and accepts his apology for the brouhaha over the tune played to introduce her.

That said, the GOP presidential hopeful would still like an apology from NBC over the bouncy but crass intro song that the drummer of the show's band, the Roots, played when the show taped Monday night — 'cause they wouldn't pull that stuff on Michelle Obama.

"I wasn't aware of it at all," the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota said Wednesday on "America's Newsroom," referring to the snippet of Fishbone's "Lyin' Ass Bitch" that ushered Bachmann onto the stage for an interview that aired in the wee hours Tuesday. "I didn't find out until later yesterday and at that point I was traveling and making my way to the presidential debate."

Fallon apologized via Twitter, saying "I'm honored that @michelebachmann was on our show yesterday and I'm so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back," and adding, "Actually it was a really fun interview. She helped me with my Minnesota accent. (I still sound Irish.)"

Bachmann told Fox News Channel's Bill Hemmer that she was hoping to speak to Fallon on Wednesday. "I don't have anything against Jimmy Fallon, I love him, he’s a kick, it was a great opportunity to be on the show, I’d love to go back again."

She said she had "no doubt," however, that if the song and the first lady had come on stage at the same time, NBC would have apologized and fired or at least suspended the drummer.

"This is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite, but it’s also I think it’s sexism as well. This wouldn’t be tolerated if this was Michelle Obama; it shouldn't be tolerated if it’s a conservative woman either."

Michelle Obama, meanwhile, faced boos from a NASCAR audience on Sunday — but at least that wasn't sexist.

If you want to hear Bachmann discussing things like fissile material, jihadists and the Atlantic Monthly, watch the whole video — or you can cut to the chase around the 5:30 mark for her comments about the Fallon show.


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— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), appearing this week on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," points to a photo of the host dressed as Bachmann. Credit: Lloyd Bishop / NBC

Chelsea Clinton runs over those running-for-Congress rumors

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton, what exactly are you up to?

As media outlets speculate and analyze her recent words and actions, the former first daughter's camp has quashed at least one rumor: Chelsea Clinton is not running for Congress.

"This is 100% false," spokesman Matt McKenna told the New York Daily News. 

PHOTOS: Chelsea Clinton, through the years

And yet ... and yet ... to some Chelsea is still a puzzle that must be solved. She joined the board of Barry Diller's IAC part-time, accompanied Dad onstage at his 65th birthday at the Hollywood Bowl, interviewed Mom at the Clinton Global Initiative.  "It seems like she's gearing up for something," the Washington Post offered.

Might "something" be simply finishing that doctorate? Clinton is working toward her doctoral degree at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, which would seem clear evidence that she's gearing up to be a public servant.

Just not yet (see above).

PHOTOS: Chelsea Clinton's wedding

Pushing Chelsea into "next logical" roles started a while back. She and Marc Mezvinsky got married last summer, so of course baby rumors followed. He wants one, she doesn't.  No, wait, she wants one. We know one thing for certain: Bill and Hillary Clinton want one.

Grandpa Bill made that clear in January. While he was at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, he was asked what he'd like to get done in the next decade:

I'd like to live, I'd like to be a grandfather. I have nothing to do with that achievement, but I would like it. I would like to have a happy wife and she won’t be unless she’s a grandmother. It’s something she wants more than she wanted to be president.

So, young lady, just be careful not to kill your father or break your mother's heart. No pressure.


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 -- Amy Hubbard

Photo: Chelsea Clinton in 2004. Credit: Mannie Garcia / Reuters


Carla Bruni-Sarkozy delivers a first daughter for France

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is a new mom
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, have welcomed their first child, a little girl named Giulia. Bonjour, first daughter.

Bruni, a model and singer before her role as French first lady, delivered around 8 p.m. Wednesday at Clinique de la Muette in Paris. 

"I am deeply touched by the many messages of congratulations that I have received since the birth of our daughter Giulia," Bruni-Sarkozy wrote on her official website, confirming the news.

"On this happy occasion, my husband joins me in expressing our warmest thanks to all those of you who sent us these tokens of your kindness." 

The couple intended to keep the news private, but one report said that an official visit to a waste management plant melted the leader's heart, as employees offered gifts of congratulations for the new arrival.

"We are lucky ... all parents here can understand our very profound joy, a joy all the deeper because it is private," President Sarkozy told the staff, according to the Telegraph. 

Bruni most recently appeared in Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris." The couple previously expressed the desire that images of their daughter will not be sold or shared with media.


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-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: President and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend an arts benefit in March 2010. Credit: Reuters


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