Welcome to this week’s edition of What’s Going On? — a completely biased take on the week’s biggest pop-culture stories, told through numbers, odds, and props because this is Vegas after all. Here I’ll fill you in on (my version of) the best and worst from all of your (my) favorite celebrities, musicians, and even politicians, plus a few stories that are just begging to be shared. This is the stuff the group chat will thank you for. Or, at the very least, not kick you out for.
It’s been quite the presidential week! Just like last week, our Worst of the Week involves our President, Donald Trump. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse than speaking at a hate rally … it kind of does! Thankfully, we have five former presidents to pick up the slack, demonstrating just what the American spirit is meant to look like.
As always, there are some pure guilty-pleasure reads down below. We’ve got a halftime show and a 90s sitcom revival to look forward to in 2018. They won’t necessarily get us through the rest of 2017 unscathed, but they sure are a nice light at the end of the tunnel (Trump-el?).
Trump took to his platform of choice, Twitter, to respond: “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
Really, consider what is happening here. After spending his weekend accusing Wilson of misrepresenting the nature of the call, the President is now essentially accusing the widow of a fallen soldier of lying. If Johnson states that Trump couldn’t remember her husband’s name, and Trump says he used Sgt. Johnson’s name for the entire phone call, well, someone isn’t being truthful. Considering that John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, has already confirmed Wilson’s account of the interaction, it seems fairly obvious which side isn’t telling the truth.
There is no good explanation for Trump’s fumble on this one. Politically speaking, this should have been an easy play to make. Yet, somehow, we are over a week into a story that will most likely find no amicable resolution. If history is any indication, President Trump will not admit any mishandling on his part.
It hard to feel shocked by anything happening in the White House these days, however this one feels pretty damn stunning.
Odds that, when asked about the Myeshia Johnson phone call in the future, Pres. Trump denies it ever happened: 2/3
And, it wouldn’t be the first time he has denied something very easy to prove.
Odds that Pres. Trump ever apologizes to Myeshia Johnson: 20/1
On the contrary, he is more likely to publicly affirm why he wasn’t in the wrong — again, and again.
According to concert organizers, more than 60,000 people donated to the presidents’ fund, raising millions in relief money for the victims of the recent hurricanes that battered America. Proceeds from the event will be distributed to various charity and relief organizations throughout Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was the first time that all five of the former presidents have appeared together since 2013, though they have been working on The One America Appeal since September.
Each former president spoke at the event, save for George H.W. Bush, each one discussing — without naming the current president — the necessity to unite as a nation, to not let race, religion or politics stand in the way of helping those who need it. As Lady Gaga tweeted afterwards, there is “[n]othing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe.” This type of united front is precisely the kind of response Americans should be able to expect out of their leaders.
President Trump also made an appearance — of a sort — via pre-taped video, thanking the former presidents for their assistance in this “wonderful effort [that] reminds us that we truly are … all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.” Once again I am left wondering which version of America, and reality, Donald Trump lives in. If this is his version of devotion, I would hate to see what he thinks enmity looks like.
It is interesting to note that Pres. Trump had the capacity to speak at two hate-group rallies last month, but did not have enough time to appear in person at the One America Appeal. I will leave that there.
Odds that Donald Trump will keynote another hate rally before he joins the former presidents at a fundraising event: 1/4
He’s hugely busy, guys …
Odds the five former presidents form a presidential super-league: 99/1
I mean officially form a presidential super-league, complete with a secret headquarters and perhaps some matching outfits, much like Captain Planet or the Power Rangers. Their combined power are exactly what this nation needs to come back from the brink.
Now, they can add announcing Timberlake’s return to the Super Bowl halftime show to their long list of “Awe, Besties!” moments. In a clip released Sunday, Fallon repeatedly asks Timberlake if he has the time, to which Timberlake answers, “I do have time.” To my credit it took me less time to connect “have time” to “half time” than it did for me to figure out the whole Hodor/”hold the door” thing, but that’s not saying much.
The 2018 Super Bowl will be the third time that Justin Timberlake has performed at the halftime show. The first was with his former band *NSYNC. The second was with Janet Jackson(‘s breast). Speaking to Mike Tirico on “Football Night in America” this Sunday, the singer said that, while he is incredibly excited to perform on TV’s biggest stage of the year, he also understands the responsibility of the opportunity.
“What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies,” he told Tirico. “I feel like that would be the ultimate accomplishment, and then the icing on the cake is at some point, within that 12 minutes, that everybody is shaking their booty.”
When asked whether or not the NFL brought up the Jackson situation during negotiations, Timberlake was quick to promise that nothing of that sort is going to happen again. Does this mean we can rule out Janet Jackson as a surprise guest or simply that Timberlake won’t be grabbing at any outfits this time around?
Odds that *NSYNC appear at the Super Bowl 52 halftime show: 2/3
Not to sound rude or anything, but what else are any of the former bandmates doing? I think that Joey has a hot-dog restaurant, and Lance has been hosting TV shows, but I’m pretty sure they could take a day or two off to rehearse their “Bye, Bye, Bye” routine a few times. Is anyone else imagining Chris Kirkpatrick shooting out of the stage floor as Justin sings “Dirty Pop“? Tell me that’s not some great choreography right there.
Odds Janet Jackson appears at the Super Bowl 52 halftime show: 2/1
It’s the surprise we are all waiting for! With so much conversation about their past performance, this feels like almost too obvious a choice for ratings. But what a fantastic reunion it would be — plus, with Janet just being on tour, she is already primed and ready to go.
Odds of another wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl 52 halftime show: 50/1
All boobies will be on lock-down, you can be sure of that.
Rapper Cardi B says she was kicked out of a Hilton hotel in Albany this Saturday, after she and her team were accused of smoking weed. Cardi denies the accusation, stating that neither she, nor anyone on her team, were smoking that night, adding that the allegations against them were racially motivated.
“Albany is known for being racist,” she said during a series of videos posted after the incident. “The cops came in the middle of the night knocking on my manager and on my door, talking about that we were smoking weed and we gotta get kicked out.” Cardi B says she doesn’t even “talk about smoking weed” — and everyone should know that. It was no coincidence, in her mind, that the only people of color on the hotel floor were the ones kicked out, without so much as a room check to see if they were the ones smoking or not.
While the Albany Hilton has not made any statements regarding the incident, E! News reported that the Albany police confirmed a response to the hotel that night, though they declined to give further details. No arrests were made.
Odds that Cardi B ever plays a show in Albany again: 9/1
I have a feeling that when Cardi is mad at you, Cardi stays mad at you.
Since filming began, executive producers Roseanne Barr and Whitney Cummings have been treating us to a slew of behind-the-scenes photos, which is how we know that Dan has pulled some sort of Lazarus maneuver. For fans of the caustic Conner family, like myself (though I had to watch in secret because my mother thought Roseanne’s attitude would be a bad influence on me. Guess again, Mom! I turned out just great!) these photos feel like waking up from a 20-year coma: one part lovely homecoming (so many familiar faces!) and one part really terrifying (DJ is old! Does that mean I’m old? What has Becky been doing for twenty years? What have I been doing for 20 years?!).
The show is set to premiere in 2018, and will be picking up in “real time” — hence we are going to get to meet Roseanne and Dan’s grandchildren!
Odds that Dan is alive in the “Roseanne” revival: 1/2
I suppose they could do a flashback or dream sequence with his character. Or better yet: Ghost-Dan! (Much like Ghost Dad, but less Bill Cosby, so infinitely better.) Anyways, my point is that the character could be involved in a number of ways that don’t actually include him still being alive, but I think it’s more likely the writers have figured out a way to pull another twist and that Dan lives on in the “Roseanne” revival.
Odds Jackie is in a lasting lesbian relationship in the “Roseanne” revival: 5/2
In the final episode of the series, it was revealed the Jackie was actually a lesbian, and that Roseanne had just written all those boyfriends for her because she had always been able to picture Jackie with a man. This seemed such a pivotal revelation, it would be a shame for the revival to do nothing with it. But if we have to rewrite a history to allow for Dan’s existence, there is a chance this could be rewritten, as well.
Odds the “Roseanne” revival alludes to/references Roseanne Barr’s campaign for the presidency: 9/1
Roseanne Barr announced her candidacy for president back in 2011 and, to this day, her Twitter profile picture still reads, “Roseanne for President.” It would be a fantastic throwback reference if the writers could make it work, but I don’t really see Roseanne Conner being quite as invested in politics as Roseanne Barr.
Featured Image: Justin Timberlake at the San Diego Comic Con International (Gage Skidmore (flickr [CC License]))
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