HARVEY WEINSTEIN CASE TO GO FORWARD: JUDGE
NEW YORK (AP) – A New York judge says Harvey Weinstein’s claim that prosecutors acted improperly in his sexual assault case has “no basis.” And so, the charges against the disgraced Hollywood producer will remain. The ruling by Judge James Burke deals a blow to Weinstein’s efforts to derail the case before it gets rolling. It’s a win for prosecutors, who have been under fire by defense claims that they botched the investigation. It’s also a triumph for the (hash)MeToo movement, which was well-represented at yesterday’s hearing. About a half-dozen women, including actress Marisa Tomei, showed up at court wearing t-shirts from the anti-abuse organization “Time’s Up.” Meanwhile, the next court date for the case is March 7. Weinstein remains free on $1 million bail.
ELIZA DUSHKU ON BREAKING HER SILENCE
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s a choice many women must face: go public with their accounts of sexual harassment and run the risk of having their claims ignored – or say nothing. Actress Eliza Dushku says she struggled with her decision to keep quiet after complaining about sexual mistreatment by Michael Weatherly, star of the CBS show “Bull.” In an essay in the Boston Globe, Dushku says she agonized over her promise of silence as part of a $9.5 million settlement with CBS this year. But she says she’s proud that she insisted part of the deal included having someone trained in sexual harassment compliance keep an eye on Weatherly and others in the show. Dushku has kept her side of the bargain by keeping quiet. We first heard of the deal last week, when the New York Times reported on it.
TREVOR NOAH HAS SURGERY
NEW YORK (AP) – We’ve heard the last of Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” for this year. The host of the Comedy Central show announced Wednesday night that his doctors decided he needed surgery to repair his damaged vocal cords. The surgery was scheduled for yesterday – but there’s been no word about how the procedure went. Noah joked on the show that the surgery was yesterday for a key medical reason: the doctors didn’t want to work on a Friday.
STEPHEN COLBERT – TRUMP BOOK
NEW YORK (AP) – During his time in office, President Donald Trump has said so many things, they could easily fill a book. Now, one of his comedic critics, Stephen Colbert, has filled a book with things Trump said when he visited Hurricane Florence victims this fall. The book is titled “Whose Boat Is This Boat?” and contains quotes from Trump when he met a man who had someone else’s boat blown into his dock. Colbert says the book appeals to both Trump fans and critics – because “every word in it is exactly what he said.” So far, the book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and raised more than $1.25 million for charities.
BILLY CRYSTAL – LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Like many longtime Los Angeles Clippers fans, Billy Crystal has seen his share of the NBA team’s games, some good, lots of them bad. But soon, he’ll get to do something few Clippers fans have done: join the TV broadcast as an analyst. Play-by-play man Ralph Lawler will have Crystal join him for the Jan. 31 game against the Lakers. Having a visitor in the booth can be a distraction, but Lawler is looking forward to it. He says Crystal “has been a fan forever” – and is happy the comedian-actor wants to honor Lawler’s 40 years with the club. Besides, Lawler says, he and Crystal have talked hoops many times over the years – except this time, it will be on live TV. Lawler says an NBA game should be a breeze for Crystal, since he’s hosted the Oscars nine times.
MORNING TV SHAKE-UPS
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s the tale of two network news morning shows, both rocked last year by the sudden ouster of male anchors in sexual misconduct scandals. But between “Today” and “CBS This Morning,” the NBC show has been able to rebound quicker than its rival. Despite Matt Lauer’s firing and missteps like the Megyn Kelly fiasco, Today has had the steadiest audience of all three AM shows. The picture hasn’t been as bright for CBS. Whatever momentum “This Morning” had before Charlie Rose’s exit dissipated quickly. And just last week, CBS announced the show’s top executive would be leaving the show.
BARACK OBAMA VISITS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN WASHINGTON D.C.
WASHINGTON (AP) – He wore a Santa hat. And he carried a sack of presents. But most of the people at Children’s National hospital in Washington knew the person who was bringing the goodies was former President Barack Obama. It didn’t help that Obama told the kids he was traveling solo because his reindeer were “stuck in some snow.” During his visit yesterday, Obama visited patient rooms and popped into some of the playrooms. And for those he didn’t get to see, Obama left behind a recorded video message.
MICHELLE OBAMA CONCLUDES BOOK TOUR
NEW YORK (AP) – Michelle Obama says she knows whenever she says something about President Donald Trump or his administration, people will say she’s “throwing shade.” But she insists what she says about her husband’s successor “are just facts!” The former first lady has wrapped the tour she launched to promote her best-selling book, “Becoming.” At the final event Wednesday, she mentioned she, her husband and his staff felt they had to be perfect because he was the nation’s first black president. She says the “bar” was set high for Obama and he exceeded it by being truthful and not getting indicted. But now? She says the bar is “just swinging, and swinging.” That comment drew laughter from the audience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
PHILLY TV STATION BLACKS OUT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – What could have been a night of kicking back and watching NBC programming in the Philadelphia area ended up an evening of kicking up a fuss over a blank screen. Philly affiliate NBC 10 was darkened during prime time by an outage that affected viewers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The interruption came on a night that “Timeless” aired its series finale. The problem affected customers of Xfinity, Verizon Fios and DirecTV and a station rep says weather was to blame. Before the night was out, some viewers reported being able to see NBC programming.
PETER MASTERSON – OBIT
NEW YORK (AP) – Playwright, filmmaker and actor Peter Masterson has died. His son says his dad died Tuesday from complications from Parkinson’s disease at his home in New York state. Masterton wrote the Tony Award-winning musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and did the movie version of “The Trip to Bountiful.” He also worked with his daughter, Mary Stuart Masterson, who’s best known for being in “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Peter Masterson was 84.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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