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New Details in Prince Death Investigation

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports new details in the investigation into the death of Prince. It sounds like an intervention was in the works.

Andrew Kornfeld was one of the three people at Paisley Park the morning Prince was discovered in his elevator. Kornfeld works for a rehab facility in California owned by his father, Dr. Howard Kornfeld. Prince's staff called Dr. Howard Kornfeld the night of April 20, saying there was a "grave medical emergency." Kornfeld couldn't go to MN immediately, so he sent his son to explain the program to Prince, and arranged for a local doctor to do an initial assessment. Dr. Kornfeld intended to fly to MN the next day.

Andrew Kornfeld took the redeye to MN and got to Prince's house the next morning, intending to begin the process of explaining his father's program and convince Prince to enter treatment there. In other words, an intervention. But he never got to meet with Prince.[More...]

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United Shades of America Visits San Quentin

CNN's new series, United Shades of America with comedian and social commentator W. Kamau Bell, airing on Sunday evenings is worth watching. Two episodes aired last night: one on the KKK and one on San Quentin.

In the KKK episode, Bell meets with a grand wizard of the KKK. Their conversation is quite awkward.

The second episode, where Bell goes behind the walls of San Quentin (but not death row) to interview the prisoners and staff and show the human side of the inmates, is very well done.

Props to both CNN, for commissioning a series that focuses on our over-reliance on prison, and to Bell. In the San Quentin episode, Bell skillfully uses humor to gain the confidence of the inmates, who otherwise I suspect would not be so have been so candid and cooperative in their interviews. [More...]

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Obama and the White House Corres. Dinner

President Obama made the most of his final White House Correspondents' Dinner last night. While he probably can't take credit for the content of the jokes (written by others), he did a great job delivering them. He really had the timing down.

Obama and the jokes were funny and entertaining, especially about Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Here are some of the funnier ones.

Larry Wilmore gave the comedy monologue. I didn't care for him. He wasn't funny, just insulting. [More....]

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SNL's Heroin Parody: Praise It, Don't Condemn It

Seriously? People are criticizing Saturday Night Live and calling for a boycott over this parody skit? It doesn't glorify heroin use -- just the opposite. Did these people miss the ghoulish dragons laughing like hyenas at the end? The skit not only makes using heroin unappealing, it turns it into something totally uncool, by portraying it as something your uncool parents do. What could be more of a turn-off to teens?

Mocking heroin use is likely to be far more of a deterrent than scaring kids or the usual "just say no" message. [More...]

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Monday Night TV

I'm so excited that Senor de Los Cielos returns tonight for season 4. It's on Telemundo and has English captioning. At 8:00 (MT), you can watch a special that recaps the first three seasons. At 9:00, the first episode of Season 4 begins.

Here's my recap
of the last season from the finale.

On the recap episode tonight: This is not a show that hesitates to kill off beloved characters, which adds to the suspense, but it's sad watching because some were so good and such a central part of the show for seasons, and it's a reminder we won't be seeing them again.


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Rolling Stones: ¡Hola Cuba!

How much do the Rolling Stones appreciate Cuba? Here's their message in Spanish.

At their historic free concert in Havana tonight, they opened with Jumpin Jack Flash. Cuban officials expected 500k to attend. The stage the Stones shipped to Havana for the concert was the length of a city block. Then there's the gear (which included 10 huge video screens by the stage):

Organizers told Billboard that the high-tech production meant importing gear in 61 sea containers and a packed Boeing 747.

The Cuban contribution to the technical side of the concert was decidedly lower-key. As nearly everywhere else in Cuba, there was no wifi signal at the sports complex, and as the crowds grew even cellphones stopped working.

No wonder there's been few live updates on Twitter -- few Cubans can access it, given their limited internet access.

The Pope, meanwhile, wanted the Stones concert halted because it was Good Friday. I'm glad he didn't prevail. (The article has the video of their plane landing and them disembarking. Pretty cool.) [More...]

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Nancy Reagan Dies at Age 94

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has died at age 94 of congestive heart failure.

No personal attacks on her in comments please. We don't speak ill of the dead here on the occasion of their death.

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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall Wedding

What an odd coupling: 84 year old Rupert Murdoch and 59 year old Jerry Hall (former Texas model and mother of 4 children with Mick Jagger) have gotten married. All ten of their children from prior relationships participated.

Murdoch, the Chairman of News Corp, the parent of Fox News, is reportedly worth more than 12 billion. Her net worth is reportedly 15 million.

Hall and Jagger were married in a ceremony in Bali in 1990 but it was later ruled invalid. (They split in 1999.)

The Rolling Stones are performing in Peru this weekend.

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2016 Oscars Open Thread

Final Update: Here is a transcript of Chris Rock's opening monologue.

The Oscars are about to begin. Who looked great on the Red Carpet? Lady Gaga and Charlize Theron are getting lots of press. I agree, they both looked terrific.

Will Leonard DiCaprio take home Best Actor?

I haven't seen most of the films, but that won't stop me from commenting on the show.

This is a thread for all things Oscar and movie related. Updates below: [More...]

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Oscar Nominees in List Format

It's not easy to find a list of the Oscar nominees in text format -- who wants to watch a video to see the list of nominees, or view a list in photospread format? Not me. I want text. I know how to read. Whoever designed this year's Oscars site should be fired. It's horrible. Here's a list of the nominees in the major categories.

Best Picture
  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight
Best Actor
  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl


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Film from South Africa About Toll of Executions: Shepherds and Butchers

Shepherds and Butchers premiered this month at the Berlin Film Festival. It's about the death penalty in South Africa, and the country's notorious Pretoria Prison, which houses its Death Row. The film is adapted from the book by a former South African defense lawyer, Chris Marnewick, who moved to New Zealand. Marnewick says the film's message isn't the same as the one he wanted to portray. He may not want to see it. The book earned several awards. You can get it here or read the first chapter here. [More...]

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Grammy's 2016

The Grammy's started at 6 pm here -- way too early, I missed the first 45 minutes. I tuned in during a Lionel Ritchie segment.

At least I didn't miss the Glenn Frey tribute.

Why did "Girl Crush" get a standing ovation?

This is a thread for all things Grammy's and music related. Updates below [More...]

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Halftime Superbowl Show

I caught the last two songs of the Superbowl halftime show. The last song was my favorite, with Coldplay flashing photos of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston and others, and later being joined by Beyonce, Bruno Mars and hundreds of others, I presume were non-famous typical folks.

Haven't Beyonce and Bruno Mars already performed at the Superbowl? Why the encore? Did ColdPlay show the Who, Tom Petty, Madonna or Katie Perry? I may have missed it, the images went by fast and I was typing. Did Bon Jovi ever perform at halftime?

This is not an open thread, please keep your comments related to Superbowl -- either the game (which I'm not watching) or Superbowl Media (music, commercials, past and present, commentary, production value, etc.)

How was Lady Gaga's national anthem?

I think Denver is ahead 13 to 7, but I can't tell what the numbers flashing on the screen mean -- hopefully it's not some other statistic. There's not that much street noise coming through my windows. I do want Denver to win, just not enough to watch the game. Time for dinner -- an authentic Italian meatball sandwich on some great, crusty bread with plenty of sauce.

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Tina Fey Back as Palin on SNL

The cold open from last night's Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey, as usual, nails Sarah Palin. She mostly uses Palin's own words.


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Tributes and Open Thread

Other than work, the only thing I've thought about today is Glenn Frey's untimely passing. Keith Urban posted this really heartfelt tribute on his Facebook page. Love the piano. It's already been viewed 12 million times. And Bruce Springsteen played a live tribute to him in Chicago. The audience sings along, and check out all the lights in the audience starting around the 3'15" mark.

The comment I see repeated the most, at so many sites, "The Eagles wrote the soundtrack to my life." They certainly wrote mine in the 70's.

RIP, Glenn Frey. I think this is the only time in the 13 year history of TalkLeft I've written two RIP posts for one person. I won't be surprised if I write a third tomorrow, I'm just so, so shocked by his death and feel terrible he suffered so much pain for so many years.[More...]

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