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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Editorial: A debacle of a Senate debate

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 10:17 PM

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Wednesday night's U.S. Senate debate, sponsored by the TV company Raycom Media and staged in the rented Georges Auditorium at Dillard University, was a disservice to everyone concerned — the students and faculty at Dillard, the serious candidates, and most of all the voting public. Not just because of the inclusion of former Ku Klux Klansman, neo-Nazi, white supremacist and convicted swindler David Duke, but also because of the exclusion of the on-campus voices that have been there, and will continue to be there long after Duke goes back to peddling his venom and fleecing his bigoted followers on a less public stage.

Dillard, of course, is a historically black university and has been since Straight University and New Orleans University merged in the 1930s to form Dillard. It has educated generations of scholars through the days of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement until today. The appearance of a professional bigot on campus for one hour is an embarrassment, but does nothing to threaten Dillard’s legacy. However, Raycom missed a larger chance for civic engagement by holding the debate without an audience.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CNBC's American Greed season premiere to feature former Mayor Ray Nagin

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:03 PM

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The CNBC documentary series American Greed has its season premiere March 31 with an installment titled "Ray Nagin: New Orleans Shakedown."

The hourlong report, which begins at 9 p.m., will focus on Nagin's business dealings, including those with now-disgraced and jailed former tech whiz Greg Meffert. Also in the story: Stone Age Granite & Marble, the granite company Nagin ran with his sons. Nagin, who was convicted on federal corruption charges in February 2014, is serving a 10-year prison term in Texarkana, Texas.

Watch a preview:

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen come to Saenger Theater June 24

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 3:48 PM

CNN's Anderson Cooper strides purposefully down the Canal Street neutral ground in this 2007 photograph. - CREATIVE COMMONS/BART EVERSON
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/BART EVERSON
  • CNN's Anderson Cooper strides purposefully down the Canal Street neutral ground in this 2007 photograph.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo personality Andy Cohen are bringing something called "Deep Talk and Shallow Tales" to the Saenger Theater June 24. Press materials describe it as a "live, interactive look behind the scenes of pop culture and world events."

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The national press performs its autopsy on Gov. Bobby Jindal's presidential campaign

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Bobby, we barely knew ye ... but you've got a friend at the National Review, who thought you were the best candidate in the field ...

‘A CAREENING PANDER-FEST’
The Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza comes to praise Jindal, saying that when he first spoke with gubernatorial candidate Jindal 12 years ago, “he was one of the most impressive candidates for any office that I had ever met.” Cilizza also calls him “a guy with real policy chops and, unlike many policy-oriented elected officials, a nuanced understanding of politics” — and then Cilizza buries him: “The presidential campaign Jindal actually ran, which ended Tuesday, was the opposite of the one I — and lots and lots of other political types — thought he would: It was a careening pander-fest in which Jindal chased news cycles relentlessly by seemingly trying to make the most outlandish and over-the-top statement possible to stand out.” ...

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Louisiana governor candidates spar at WDSU-TV debate

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 8:53 PM

At tonight's gubernatorial debate at WDSU-TV, six candidates discussed the issues (from left): The Rev. Jeremy Odom, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Cary Deaton.
  • At tonight's gubernatorial debate at WDSU-TV, six candidates discussed the issues (from left): The Rev. Jeremy Odom, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Cary Deaton.


Sen. David Vitter was the major target at a televised debate tonight featuring all four of the major gubernatorial candidates: Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, state Rep. John Bel Edwards and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Also on the dais were two minor candidates: Democrat Cary Deaton of Metairie and the Rev. Jeremy Odom of Natchitoches (no party).

The hourlong event, held at WDSU-TV and moderated by Scott Walker, was heavily focused on social issues — the first 8 minutes were spent on Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, another block of time spent on marijuana (medical and recreational), while the national Planned Parenthood controversy took up more time. The state’s budget crisis, including the shortfall in higher education funding, was barely touched upon, and the question of coastal restoration never came up, nor did Gov. Bobby Jindal's rejection of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

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WDSU: It's not true that an anti-David Vitter PAC will air ad during gubernatorial debate

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 2:01 PM

A screenshot from Gumbo PAC's anti-David Vitter ad, which the political action committee says will air tonight during WDSU-TV's live gubernatorial debate.
  • A screenshot from Gumbo PAC's anti-David Vitter ad, which the political action committee says will air tonight during WDSU-TV's live gubernatorial debate.


Talking Points Memo reports
that Gumbo PAC, the political action committee that calls itself a "non-partisan clearinghouse of information focused on educating Louisiana voters about U.S. Senator David Vitter's disgraceful public record," will run an ad featuring a baby in a diaper during tonight's live gubernatorial debate on WDSU-TV.

Joel Vlmanay, general manager of WDSU, told Gambit the report, written by TPM's Caitlin McNeal, was untrue. "It's a commercial-free debate," Vilmanay said. "And we wouldn't run an ad of that nature either during or adjacent to a debate." He said no one from Talking Points Memo ever called the station to confirm Gumbo PAC's report.

Gumbo PAC is headed by Trey Ourso, a Baton Rouge political consultant who served as head of the state Democratic Party more than a decade ago. He told Gambit that the TPM report had it wrong and that he never stated the ad would appear during the debate, but that he hadn't seen TPM's story.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Drunk History will teach us about Louis Armstrong, pirates and bananas

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Justin Long as Arno Penzias and Jason Ritter as Robert Wilson from Drunk History's third season premiere, "New Jersey." - COMEDY CENTRAL
  • COMEDY CENTRAL
  • Justin Long as Arno Penzias and Jason Ritter as Robert Wilson from Drunk History's third season premiere, "New Jersey."

Drunk History
's third season premieres tonight, featuring more comedians getting sauced on a couch with their A+ history reports reenacted by other comedians and actors. The first episode goes to New Jersey, and next week it'll go to Miami.

The show was in New Orleans earlier this year, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, show creator Derek Waters says the New Orleans episode (airing Sept. 15) will explore Louis Armstrong, “where bananas came from,” and Jean Lafitte, who is played by Game Of Thrones actor (and your next Aquaman) Jason Momoa.

Recent Twitter user David Simon will also join the show — an episode Waters' says will cover "journalism" goes to Baltimore where Simon gets drunk and eats crabs.

Drunk History airs 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 on Comedy Central.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Video: Morris Bart-obsessed toddler finally gets to meet his hero

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 2:15 PM

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The best Louisiana story of the year was that of Grayson Dobra, the Prairieville 2-year-old who was so obsessed with New Orleans personal injury attorney Morris Bart and his commercials that his mother threw him a Morris Bart-themed birthday party (complete with a Morris Bart cake).

The story went viral and was picked up by The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Buzzfeed, the Today show and many other news outlets. But somehow in all the hoopla, Grayson never got to meet Bart.

That changed last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, when the talk show host arranged for Bart to surprise Grayson and his mother L'Erin. 

Despite the excitement, as of last report, area toddlers somehow are not clamoring for Michael Hingle and Chip Forstall parties.


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jindal: Louisiana will comply with Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, but has no timetable

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 2:05 PM

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Gov. Bobby Jindal said today on NBC's Meet the Press that Louisiana would soon be acting in accord with Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in America, but he didn't have a timetable.

Louisiana is now the only state in the union that hasn't issued a marriage license to two men or two women.

"Of course we're going to comply with the court order. We don't have a choice," Jindal told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd:

Jindal said he was waiting for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse that ruling based on the Supreme Court's decision Friday.

As of Sunday afternoon, Louisiana was the only state in the nation that had not issued any marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"As soon as [the courts] issue their ruling, I suspect it will be a matter of days. I don't know how quickly they will move," Jindal said when asked how soon he will comply with the law.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

NOCCA grad Jon Batiste is Stephen Colbert's bandleader

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Jon Batiste. - PETER LUEDERS
  • PETER LUEDERS
  • Jon Batiste.

Jon Batiste will lead The Late Show band this fall when host Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman, who retired from the the late-night throne this spring along with his longtime music partner Paul Shaffer. The 28-year-old jazz musician from Kenner is a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and the Julliard School. His outfit Stay Human released the acclaimed album Social Music in 2013.

Colbert made his announcement this afternoon in a video segment filmed at Blue Nile.

Batiste appeared on Colbert's Comedy Central show The Colbert Report last year and established a goofy rapport — watch below. The duo will make their CBS debut Sept. 8.


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