Toronto’s favorite black sheep, Mayor Rob Ford, is rising to the defense of fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, who has recently been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, The Associated Press reports.
Bieber was charged with assault Wednesday for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head in an incident last month. The news broke a mere few hours after the teenage pop star’s attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken driving and other charges.
Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack while in a drunken stupor and is being sued for supposedly orchestrating the jailhouse beating of his sister’s ex-boyfriend, noted that Bieber is only 19 and defended him when a host on the Washington, D.C.-based radio show “The Sports Junkies” called Bieber “Canada’s worst export.”
“Well, you know what, he’s a young guy,” Ford said Thursday. “At 19 years old, I wish I was as successful as he was. He’s 19 years old, guys. Think back to when you were 19.”
Ford added that he’s never met Bieber and said that as a 45-year-old he’s not a fan of his music, preferring The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Ford, a football fan, appears on the sports show weekly.
As if the snow isn’t enough for New York City to deal with, it will be plagued by sharks this July when Syfy premieres “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” the highly anticipated follow-up to the network’s original movie that dominated social media last summer, E! News reports.
Syfy officially announced that Ian Ziering and Tara Reid will reprise their roles as Fin and April in the sequel, which is set to begin production in New York in February.
“ ‘Sharknado’ was an extraordinary ‘perfect storm,’ which captured the attention of movie fans across the globe,” Syfy’s executive vice president Thomas Vitale said in a statement. “You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about ‘Sharknado!’ By reassembling the creative team — and dropping sharks onto New York’s iconic sites — we’re unleashing yet another ‘fin’ wave of shark-mania.”
Paul Bales, from The Asylum, the company behind “Sharknado,” added, “We’re thrilled to be able to bring back the talent that made ‘Sharknado’ a hit. Can lightning strike twice? I don’t know, but it’s a scientific fact that you’re more likely to be killed by lightning than by a shark. This film will have lightning and sharks, so that’s got to count for something.”
According to Syfy, the sequel will find Fin and April trying to save NYC after a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on the city, with sharks looking to take a bite of the Big Apple.
Back in July, “Sharknado’s” inaugural broadcast attracted 1.4 million viewers, 566,000 of them adults 18-49, aka the most important demo as far as networks are concerned. “Sharknado’s” ratings were up 29 percent from Syfy’s 2013 average for an original movie. However, the movie’s social media presence was impressive, as it generated 5,000 tweets per minute at its peak.
Beyonce is one of the world’s most scrutinized pop stars, and now that study is moving to academia, the AP reports.
The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a course called “Politicizing Beyonce.”
Kevin Allred, a doctoral student who is teaching the class, tells the university’s online news site that he is using Beyonce’s career as a way to explore American race, gender and sexual politics.
The class supplements an analysis of Beyonce’s videos and lyrics with readings from black feminists. Allred says he’s seeking to help students think more critically about media consumption.
Rutgers also has a class examining the theology of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics.
Georgetown University has a class called “The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay Z,” focusing on Beyonce’s rapper husband.
CNN is reviving its “Inside Politics” show with John King as host and adding it to the network’s Sunday morning lineup, the AP reports.
The network said Thursday that the 30-minute “Inside Politics” show will air at 8:30 a.m. and debut this weekend.
The show previously aired on CNN from 1988 to 2005. King was CNN’s lead reporter for the last two presidential campaigns. The network’s Washington bureau chief, Sam Feist, called him the ideal reporter to track politics as Americans begin to think about their next president.
King hosted an evening show at CNN that failed because of low ratings.