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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Here's a teaser for the second season of Big Freedia's Queen of Bounce

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

You already know Big Freedia. The recent recipient of the Big Easy Award for Entertainer of the Year, the queen diva and star of the reality series Queen of Bounce premieres the second season June 11 on the Fuse network. Billboard has a first look, which you can watch below. Read Gambit's 2013 cover story about the bounce artist, and check out a new track, "Explode," from Freedia's upcoming album Just Be Free, out June 17 on Freedia's label Queen Diva Music.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Los Angeles Times: Former Gov. Buddy Roemer provides $4M in financing for Young Turks Network

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, which just received a $4 million infusion of cash from former Gov. Buddy Roemer's private equity fund.
  • Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, which just received a $4 million infusion of cash from former Gov. Buddy Roemer's private equity fund.

Cenk Uygur
, host of the left-leaning The Young Turks, which was canceled last year when Al-Jazeera America bought Current TV in January 2013, has a new business partner — former Gov. Buddy Roemer. And Roemer's private equity fund is sinking $4 million into Uygur's now online venture to make sure it's a success. From the Los Angeles Times:

Roemer's private equity fund, Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co., is providing $4 million in seed financing with an option to go up to $8 million, which the network plans to use to expand its reach through Internet streaming, local television and international syndication deals. ...

Uygur and Roemer, who made an unsuccessful run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said they were aligned in their opposition to the influence of money in politics. Roemer is chairman of the Reform Project, a nonprofit organization that pushes for campaign finance reform.

"While we don’t necessarily agree on politics, Buddy and TYT both understand money’s damaging influence on our government," Uygur said in a statement.

Roemer said his firm had been looking for a "new media" outlet to invest in for two years. “We believe TYT will be one of the critical players moving forward in a new media world," he said in the statement. "They are a lot like me, sometimes wrong but never in doubt."
Uygur, who briefly had a show on MSNBC, now broadcasts The Young Turks on YouTube, where his shows have had more than 1 billion views, according to Upstart Business Journal. Though Roemer is a Republican, he ran his 2012 presidential campaign as an outsider, trying to appeal to disaffected voters across the political spectrum. More on the story in Politico, which reports Roemer will sit on the channel's advisory board, but will have no influence over content.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jeff Parish president John Young to headline annual Gridiron show

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM

John Young
  • John Young

John Young, president of Jefferson Parish, will headline this year's Gridiron, the annual satirical show put on by the Press Club of New Orleans.

The traditional format includes several Weekend Update-style news briefs read by local TV anchors (Travers Mackel, Rachel Wulff, Randi Rousseau, Katie Moore, Meg Gatto), some stand-up comedy and a roast of the headliner, who gets the last word and a chance to lambaste the press. In previous years, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas and City Councilwoman Stacy Head were among the headliners who got the chance to tell off journalists (often by name) in a public forum.

This year's Gridiron will be held Tuesday, April 1, at the Roux House (above Walk-On's at 1009 Poydras St.). Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40, which includes one drink and appetizers.

Proceeds benefit the Press Club's scholarship fund, which awards two $2,500 scholarships each year to Louisiana journalism students. 

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Because not enough has been said or written about kale and its availability in La Nouvelle-Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Cassie and Peter Dymond of Satsuma Cafe in the Marigny are featured in Aljazeera America's story about kale kale kale kale kale kale kale.
  • Cassie and Peter Dymond of Satsuma Cafe in the Marigny are featured in Aljazeera America's story about kale kale kale kale kale kale kale.

The whole kale-or-not-to-kale discussion has finally reached meta status, as an international news organization is now writing about the previous stories about kale in New Orleans. Kale has become to the Crescent City what Malaysian Air Flight 370 is to CNN, what Benghazi is to Fox News, what N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is to MSNBC.

Aljazeera America's Peter Moskowitz has produced a story called "Kale causes controversy in New Orleans," which touches upon the whole gentrification discussion before going on to talk about Grow Dat Youth Farm, which is a great approach to the whole matter.

Perhaps best of all, however, are the comments:

When did kale become ruffage for the gentrified? My dearly beloved grandmother, RIP, African American, not where near upper crust used to grow her own kale in Indiana and made the best greens I've ever had to this day. This is silliness.

Kale was always the thing mixed with mustard greens, collard greens - cook it up and sprinkled it with vinegar. When did it become cosmopolitan and hip? My moms from the southeast and she remembers it as something poor people ate because it was cheep and easy to grow. It was "soul Food." It wasn't really an upper crust white thing. Now that white non southerners have discovered it, it's cool? Beyond silly, and probably why it costs so much now.

The author is clearly not a southerner or he would know that boiled kale, usually with a ham-hock and skillet-fat thrown in, is an old traditional poor-southern dish (AKA "soul food" to black USAns who ancestors migrated north). Like that other great southern/soul-food cruciferous green, collards, kale is a heat-resistant and grows and grows in the hot southern summers. It seem to be that its absence, not presence, would be a sign of gentrification. The twist here is that latest batch of millenials - the so-called gentrifying "creative class" hipsters - make it a fashion statement to adopt old red-neck symbols like Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, and, apparently, kale. But the author seems to miss this point.

What is a "dat"? I understand "grow, youth, and farm". Please don't tell me it is a replacement for the word, that?

And, of course, we circle back to the H-word:

Hipsters ruin everything.
Good morning.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Edwin Edwards, candidate, sits down with MSNBC, news network

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Gov. Edwin Edwards hits the cable-news circuit. - MSNBC
  • Gov. Edwin Edwards hits the cable-news circuit.

Less than 48 hours after announcing his intention to run for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards was already on the hustings with which he's most comfortable — the media hustings. (What other convicted felon would feel so at ease among the press that he'd make his campaign announcement not among supporters, but at a meeting of a press club? Perhaps they're the same thing in his case.) It follows a very busy 24 hours where Edwards signed up for Twitter and got the knack very, very quickly.

Anyway, here's Edwards chatting it up with MSNBC's Chuck Todd. If you've heard enough repetitions of all the dead-girl-live-boy and wizard-between-the-sheets jokes, just fast-forward to 2:45 in this video. And in case you're wondering — the Affordable Care Act? Edwards is foursquare against it now ... unlike, say, six months ago, as this report from WWL-TV shows:

[Larry] King asked whether he supports the President’s health care reforms, or Obamacare. “Oh, absolutely,” he said, saying that, at 86, he remembers when Social Security was first introduced, with cries that it would bankrupt the country and ruin society. Repeating the populist theme echoed several times Sunday, Edwards said it was the poor, the young and the elderly who are most in need of government’s help, which he said the health care reforms would do.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Whole Gritty City marching band doc airs Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

This Saturday, CBS will air the nationwide premiere of The Whole Gritty City, the New Orleans documentary that follows three marching bands — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and The Roots of Music — and the band directors from 2007 to 2010. It closely follows five students, some of whom take a video camera into their homes.

Wynton Marsalis will host the film, from 48 Hours editor and producer Richard Barber and Andre Lambertson. It will air at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.

Read more about the documentary in Gambit.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

James Carville signs deal to pundit-ize for Fox News

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

James Carville at home in New Orleans. - CHERYL GERBER
  • James Carville at home in New Orleans.

Tulane University professor, political advisor and New Orleans resident James Carville signed a deal today to become an on-air pundit for Fox News.

Carville, who was let go by CNN last year after a decade with the news network, has appeared as a guest on various networks since, and has been a guest on Fox, sparring with hosts including Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly.

In a statement, Fox News executive vice president Bill Shine said, “We are privileged to have him lend his breadth of experience, wit and dynamic perspective on the network.”

Carville was profiled in Gambit in 2010 and named the paper's New Orleanian of the Year for 2012. He was pressing the flesh and giving interviews last Saturday at Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s election night party at the Hyatt Regency.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jindal on Duck Dynasty: "a messed up situation"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Phil Robertson

A&E, the network that runs the hyper-popular Louisiana reality show Duck Dynasty, suspended its star Phil Robertson following comments he made in a GQ profile. Writer Drew Magary talked to an off-camera Robertson, who made self-described "Bible-thumping" and "controversial" statements including: "a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus," black people "were happy" during Jim Crow, and being gay is sin similar to bestiality.

In a statement, A&E representatives said they are "extremely disappointed" in Robertson's comments, adding, "His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal weighed in:

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."

Duck Dynasty's fifth season airs 9 p.m. Jan. 15.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Marching band doc The Whole Gritty City to air on CBS

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Jaron Bear Williams in The Whole Gritty City
  • The Whole Gritty City
  • Jaron "Bear" Williams in The Whole Gritty City

Variety reports that The Whole Gritty City, which premiered in the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival in October, will air during a two-hour primetime special on CBS' 48 Hours next year.

48 Hours producer Richard Barber directed the film, which follows three marching bands — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and the Roots of Music — from 2007 to 2010 as they prepare for the Carnival season amidst tragedy and violence in the members' homes and on the streets. Read an interview with Barber and more about the film in Gambit.

Barber began filming after he had worked on an episode of 48 Hours that looked at post-Katrina murders, particularly murders that catalyzed a citywide anti-violence march at City Hall, including those of filmmaker Helen Hill and Dinerral Shavers, a drummer for Hot 8 Brass Band and band director at L.E. Rabouin High School. The film also captures the early stages of the Roots of Music, founded by Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb. The Whole Gritty City not only follows the band directors but Barber also gave handheld cameras to several students to document their lives at home.

It will air 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15., opposite NBC's presentation of the 2014 Olympics.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WVUE-TV enters into management agreement with Raycom Media

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Raycom Media's holdings include 53 television stations, mostly across the southeastern and eastern United States. - RAYCOMMEDIA.COM
  • Raycom Media's holdings include 53 television stations, mostly across the southeastern and eastern United States.

WVUE-TV, which is owned by New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, will be entering into a "shared services agreement" with Raycom Media, which owns a  chain of 53 TV stations across the southeastern and eastern United States. Terms of the deal — which Raycom is calling a "join hands" agreement — were not disclosed, but Raycom will provide "operational services" of station management for Benson's Louisiana Media Company (LMC).

According to general manager Joe Cook, who is also president of LMC, Benson will retain "100 percent" of the station. "We remain locally owned," he said this afternoon.

The deal will go into effect Dec. 16, at which time Raycom will oversee "all departments" of WVUE, Cook said, including appointing a new general manager. Cook will transition into a position with LMC and be "less involved day to day" with the station, he said. "What they’ll be a need for is the president of the company to be one of the LMC employees working for the best interest of Tom Benson."

Asked about possible employee reductions under Raycom, Cook said, "There have been absolutely no discussions about newsroom reductions, and anyone who says that is misinformed."

Raycom has been said to be interested in purchasing WVUE outright. In early October, an internal newsletter produced by Raycom's pension fund controller reported the sale of WVUE to Raycom with extreme specificity — including a dollar amount — a report which WVUE hotly denied. Nevertheless, "strategizing" with Raycom had been going on for two years, Cook said today.  

Cook said the deal will provide partnerships that will provide "connectivity of the entire footprint of the two professional teams owned by Tom Benson." In Louisiana, Raycom owns stations in Lake Charles, Shreveport and Baton Rouge, as well as other stations in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. "This was a no-brainer to develop some kind of relationship with stations all over those areas," Cook said.

Benson bought WVUE from Emmis Communications in 2008 for $41 million. Terms of the agreement between Benson and Raycom are not known.

Full press release under the jump.

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