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MSNBC reverses firing of contributor over rape joke

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By DAVID BAUDER

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC has reversed itself and now says it won’t be cutting ties with contributor Sam Seder over a rape joke he made on Twitter eight years ago.

Network president Phil Griffin said on Thursday that “sometimes you just get one wrong — and that’s what happened here.”

Seder had been told last week that he wouldn’t be welcomed back on the network after conservative commentator Mike Cernovich pointed out the apparent joke by Seder about defenders of film director Roman Polanski, a fugitive since pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor in the 1970s.

In his tweet, Seder wrote that he didn’t care about Polanski, “but I hope if my daughter is ever raped, it is by a truly talented man with a great sense of mise en scene.”

Seder, a comedian who does the political podcast “The Majority Report,” is an occasional presence on MSNBC, most often on Chris Hayes’ prime-time show.

MSNBC’s action provoked an online outcry from fans who thought the network was caving to pressure from conservatives.

“We made our initial decision for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about,” Griffin said. “But we’ve heard the feedback, and we understand the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not. Sam will be welcome on our air going forward.”

MSNBC had initially said it wouldn’t be renewing Seder’s contract, which expires early next year.

Seder said he appreciated the network’s reconsideration and “willingness to understand the cynical motives of those who intentionally misrepresented my tweet for their own toxic, political purposes.

“We are experiencing an important and long overdue moment of empowerment for the victims of sexual assault and of reckoning for their perpetrators,” he said. “I’m proud that MSNBC and its staff have set a clear example of the need to get it right.”

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Entertainment

Aretha Franklin, ‘The Queen of Soul,’ dies at age 76

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  • Aretha Franklin, known famously as “The Queen of Soul,” has died at age 76.

Aretha passed away in her Detroit home where she was under hospice care. She’d been in failing health for many months and she was down to 86 pounds. One source told us he was informed more than a week ago that Aretha could go at any time, according to TMZ.

Aretha’s career is just incredible. Born in Memphis in 1942, her family eventually relocated to Detroit where she began singing in her father’s church. She was such a powerhouse gospel singer, she landed a Columbia record deal in the early ’60s.

Her string of chart-topping hits began with her Atlantic Records deal in 1967.

Aretha’s achievements in the late ’60s were remarkable for any artist, but especially so for a black woman in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. She held the record for the most entries on the Hot 100 list of any female artist for nearly 40 years, only to be dethroned in 2017 by Nicki Minaj.

She won 18 Grammys and was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Aretha delivered a powerful rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” — while wearing that unforgettable hat — at Barack Obama‘s 2009 inauguration.

Throughout her career, Aretha was known for delivering incredible one-off live performances, including at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors show where she sang ‘Natural Woman’ in honor of the song’s co-writer, Carole King.

The Queen of Soul was 76. She is survived by her 4 sons.

She was surrounded by friends and family when she passed.

She had appeared incredibly frail in recent years, and rarely performed live. Her most recent appearance was last November for Elton John‘s AMFAR event.

RIP

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Entrepreneurship Camp for girls starts Monday in Jacksonville, ages 10-17

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“My passion is to see young ladies during their best. I wanted to do something that would bring out their creativity and teach them that they can be a vital part and help build our economy,” is what the event organizer Aisha James had to say when asked what inspired her to host this kind of event. 

Aisha James said that this event will show the young ladies that the power of making money can start in their hands and in their minds if they just change their thinking. 

“I want to show them another way outside of how social media depicts the young ladies today,” James said.

The Entrepreneurship Hands-On Craft Camp is a 4-day event at Sleep Inn & Suites in Jacksonville, North Carolina located at 129 Circuit Lane.

The event will run through Monday, August 13-Thursday, August 16, where young ladies between the ages of 10-17 will be learning how to:

  • Upcycle old jeans and t-shirts
  • Properly rhinestone and embellish
  • Design cupcakes
  • Tutu designs and arts

This event will be a longterm goal for the girls. “These girls will always have something to fall back on in life and will always remember that they can make it and that they are somebody special in their own way,” James said.

James is no stranger in Jacksonville. Once before she held her first event titled “Working On My Selfie” at the USO in Jacksonville and more than 80 girls were in attendance. The purpose of that event was to teach the young girls to be more than a selfie by showing them the beauty on the inside of them. 

The event beginning Monday will be James first event based around entrepreneurship, which is planned to take place every year. The event is sold out and will begin at 10 AM-3 PM daily.

 

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Out with the old and in with the new, Roller City Skating Rink to open Thursday

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Welp, now that the HALFWAY HOUSE doors at Skate Nation have closed, it’s time for new owners to give the people of Jacksonville what they’ve all be waiting for and that’s a REAL SAFE family-fun skating rink.

Jeni and Bradley Lanier, of Richlands, and the new owners of Roller City skating rink will hold its grand opening Thursday evening at 120 Bridget Lane in Southwest of Jacksonville. The rink known as Wheels and Skate Nation will now be the place for every teenager to have fun and experience fun in a safe environment. We reported to you two weeks ago about the closing of Skate Nation due to drugs and violence which led the halfway house to run out of business. (click HERE if you missed that)

The new owners said that when they saw the announcement about the rink closing, they immediately started looking into it the same day. According to the family, the skating rink floor has been repaired and re-coated. All skates left at the rink by the old owners have been cleaned, including removing old gum stuck to the wheels.

I think that’s a darn shame that the former owners of this rink weren’t even taking care of the skates…, why is gum stuck to the wheels of the skates? Thankfully no one got hurt because had anyone did it would’ve been a check the Brown’s couldn’t have written.

Roller City will be open Thursday through Sunday and regular admission is $9, with the exception of Thursday, which is cheapskate for $5. There will be $1 off admission on Sundays for those who bring in a church bulletin.

Homeschool students will be able to skate every Friday morning once the school year starts back. Toddler skating will also be in the making and the community interest in the new addition is much needed.

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