Fox News… having it both ways.

We are all familiar with Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again feud with Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Folks, it’s all for show… and ratings.

This dance began, of course, last summer at the very first Republican debate when Ms. Kelly took it to The Donald. She was actually one of the first journalists to ask serious questions about his demeanor and temperament. Well, Donald didn’t like it and took to Twitter to vent.

It’s been back-and-forth since, with Mr. Trump declaring he is boycotting Fox News, only to appear again days later. And Fox will always have him, because he is ratings gold, like him or hate him.

But things really got interesting during the past week, when Trump again blasted Kelly on Twitter, after she aired a show in which he felt attacked.

Friday evening, Fox News issued a sharp statement defending Megyn and dismissing Donald of having an, “extreme, sick obsession” with the cable news host.

However, last night, while I was flipping between CNN’s “final five” election special and WWE Monday Night Raw, I stumbled across what one could mistake as an infomercial for Trump… on Fox News.

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There sat The Donald, with Sean Hannity, for an entire hour. Joining him in the latter portion were Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, both of whom have endorsed Trump. Softball questions for Donald and wide time for Jan and Joe to make their case to Arizona.

So, if Fox News was so irate— enough to issue a statement about the ongoing tussle between Trump and Kelly— why give him an hour of free airtime? Ratings. Pure and simple ratings.

Fox is in the bag for Trump. Can you imagine the bonanza of viewership they’ll have with 4 or 8 years of a President Trump? And they love that Miss Megyn Kelly is there, attacking Trump at every turn, to shield them from exactly what someone like me is saying— that Fox has their candidate.

And why does Trump play along? Why not? He has an answer for everything and even if he doesn’t, his supporters don’t care. Free TV is free TV.

 

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Political Nerd Season!

So I woke up early this morning to do something very, very exciting. Now, what would be so thrilling to make me wake up early on a Saturday morning in August?

I went to watch a person declare that he is running for Mayor of Toledo.

If you follow this blog, you know that I’m a lover of politics. And right now, due to the untimely passing of Mayor Collins, we are in what amounts to a bonus round for political nerds like myself. Add to this the wild Presidential Primary Season, and I’m in my glory!

Carty Finkbeiner was mayor of Toledo throughout the 90’s. Then he was term-limited in 2001. So then he ran again, and won, in 2005.  He declined to run for reelection in 2009, citing a family decision. Now, because of this unfortunate turn of events, Carty is back. He’s been making the rounds of summer festivals, gaining signatures to put him on the ballot, very clearly intending to run for office— but not making it official. I ran into Carty at the Polish Festival back in July:

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While I am currently torn between Carty and one other candidate in the race, here is why I like and respect Mayor Finkbeiner: no one person is responsible for civic pride in the community. No one person is able to click their fingers and make a community better. No one person has a magic wand to brainwash the citizens into believing in a better tomorrow. Yet, one person is responsible for igniting passion. One person is responsible for being a City’s biggest cheerleader. One person is responsible for holding government— and the people— accountable. And that person is the Mayor.

I’ve never seen a political leader fulfill those duties the way Carty Finkbeiner has. When he occupied the 22nd floor of One Government Center, this City seemed to be full of civic pride. It was because our Mayor projected that. Just look at that photo above— Toledo through-and-through. Yes, Carty has had a few (or a lot) of gaffes in his time in the public spotlight. Citizen’s arrest. Deaf people at the airport. War with the Insane Clown Posse. Those are just a few that come to mind….

But, as it should be, the positives outweigh the negatives. Carty’s attitude is what this City needs. If another candidate can match the fearless pride that Carty Finkbeiner has in Toledo, Ohio, then they should step up to the plate and have a serious discussion on plans and policies. But the energy is what comes first… and so far, Carty has the advantage.

Thanks for reading! Please go pick up a copy of my book, The Trashy Hootenanny, today on Amazon!

On Caitlyn and Costumes…

I love Caitlyn Jenner. There. I said it.

Never have I ever been a fan of The Kardashians. I don’t keep up with them. I can’t stomach Kris.

But Caitlyn is a different story. I like her humor. I like the fact that she is choosing to help younger transgender people by telling her story in a responsible way. And I love the fact that, even in her 60’s, she had the courage to become who she truly is. I’ve learned so much and gained such respect for the transgender community from her reality show.

Those that spoke out when Caitlyn received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs were wrong. Are there other acts of courage that might be more courageous than stepping out as a transgender person? Of course. Is she still courageous for doing this? Is she still a hero? You ask that question to a transgender teen that has contemplated suicide.

Recently, another firestorm is brewing over a Halloween Company creating a Caitlyn Jenner costume. Here it is, if you haven’t seen it shared 50,000 times on your newsfeed:

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Apparently, this costume is, “offensive” and, “transphobic.”

Now George Takei, of Star Trek and Facebook fame, has weighed in:

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I am convinced, Mr. Takei. Name me a pop culture phenomenon that hasn’t been replicated come Halloween time. Do you know how many little Donald Trumps, complete with fish lips and combovers, are going to be running around this October? Is the controversy about the costume itself or the fact that a company is producing it? I’m sure there will be much better homemade Caitlyns at Halloween.

Can I see how someone could be offended by this? Sure, I can. I have a nuanced opinion about lots of things that could or should be offensive.

But it all comes down to who is wearing the costume…

Last month, a controversy erupted in Toledo, Ohio about this billboard:

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People were genuinely offended by this, including me. Denny Schaffer is a bigot. He’s made homophobic remarks on his radio shows. He wraps himself up in the pages of the Bible. In fact, when I was 19 and applying for an unpaid internship at his radio station, he conducted the “interview” live on the air, while making fun of my hair and my voice, even going so far as to play an audio clip of Barbara Walters asking, “Do you wear women’s underwear?” (I got the last laugh and was hired by the station less than a year later— in a paid position.)

Denny wasn’t just having fun with this billboard, which has since been removed. Denny was being blatantly offensive. If he came trick-or-treating while wearing the Caitlyn Jenner costume, I would agree with anyone who found it to be “trans-phobic.”

On the other hand, I have a whole world of friends that could wear this costume and pull it off. Friends that are supportive and understanding and funny. Not judgy.

I like Caitlyn. I support Caitlyn. But I think even Caitlyn would have a little giggle at seeing grown men walk around dressed like her Vanity Fair cover.

Speaking of offensive Halloween costumes… do you really want to be offended? Really, really, really offended? You would have been last year, when I saw Ebola patients at Halloween parties. You would have been in 2001, when I saw postal workers wrapped in plastic, at the height of the Anthrax scare. And you will be right now, when I share with you these two photos that I found while researching this article:

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Folks, this is offensive. Particularly the kids. Some parent thought this was acceptable.

Next time, before we get all up-in-arms about being offended, let’s take a deep breath and put things in perspective.

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