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Trump claims video distributed by White House wasn’t altered

President Donald Trump claimed on Friday that a White House-released video depicting contact between..

President Donald Trump claimed on Friday that a White House-released video depicting contact between a staffer and a CNN reporter wasn't altered, and he seemingly threatened to revoke the White House press credentials of more reporters.

Trump insisted that the video distributed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was simply a "close-up" and "was not doctored."

"Nobody manipulated it. All that is is a close-up," said the president, who then attacked the reporter for asking the question and called him "dishonest."

A frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident from Trump's postelection news conference Wednesday shows that the video tweeted by Sanders appears to speed up CNN reporter Jim Acosta's arm movement when he makes contact with a White House intern who was trying to take away Acosta's microphone. The speedup appears to make the gesture more threatening.

Trump, in remarks Friday, also did not back off his administration's decision to suspend Acosta's press credential, which allows the CNN correspondent access to the White House grounds.

"He's a very unprofessional guy. I don't think he's a smart person but he has a loud voice," Trump told reporters in a testy 20-plus-minute exchange before he left for Paris and a World War I commemoration ceremony. "You have to treat the White House with respect. You have to treat the presidency with respect."

The president said he had not decided if Acosta's pass would be reinstated and he suggested there "could be others" who lose their credentials. He belittled several of the reporters gathered around him. He said one had asked "a stupid question," and he singled out April Ryan, a correspondent for Urban Radio Networks, calling her "very nasty" and "a loser."

Ryan, who is also a CNN contributor, tweeted in response: "I love this country and have the most respect for the Office of the President. I will continue to ask the questions that affect America, all of America."

Trump's latest attacks on the media came in the wake of his free-wheeling and contentious news conference two days earlier, and followed demands by several journalists and organizations — including the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the White House Correspondents Association — that Acosta's press pass be reinstated.

"It is the essential function of a free press in every democracy to independently gather and report information in the public interest, a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment," said Julie Pace, AP's Washington bureau chief. "We strongly reject the idea that any administration would block a journalist's access to the White House."

The New York Times editorialized in favor of restoring Acosta's pass, saying it signaled Trump's view that asking hard questions disqualifies reporters from attending briefings. The newspaper said that if Sanders was so offended by physical contact, "what did she have to say when her boss praised as 'my kind of guy' Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, who was sentenced to anger management classes and community service for body-slamming a Guardian reporter last spring?"

It's rare for the White House to pull the media credentials.

During Lyndon Johnson's presidency, the Secret Service denied clearance to Robert Sherrill, a reporter for The Nation who had gotten into physical fights with government officials. During the George W. Bush presidency, Trude Feldman, who worked for various news outlets, was suspended for 90 days after security cameras recorded her looking through a press aide's desk late one night. In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon tried to get Washington Post reporters banned from the White House.

Despite losing his White House pass, Acosta traveled to Paris this weekend to cover Trump's trip to meet with world leaders. He tweeted a photo of himself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower early Friday.

Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the Wednesday footage at AP's request, noticed that frames in the tweeted video of the exchange at the news conference were frozen to slow down the action, allowing it to run the same length as the AP one.

Sanders, who hasn't said where the tweeted video came from, noted that it clearly shows Acosta made contact with the intern. In her statement announcing Acosta's suspension, she said the White House won't tolerate "a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job."

While the origin of the manipulated video is unclear, its distribution marked a new low for an administration that has been criticized for its willingness to mislead.

CNN has labeled Sanders' characterization of Acosta's exchange with the intern as a lie. Its position has been supported by witnesses, including Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who was next to Acosta during the news conference and tweeted that he did not see Acosta place his hands on the White House employee. Rather, Mason said he saw Acosta holding on to the microphone as the intern reached for it.

———

Associated Press writers Calvin Woodward and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

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Director ‘an idiot’ for flashing at stars including Cameron Diaz

Green Book director Peter Farrelly has apologised and called himself an “idiot” after a story emerge..

Green Book director Peter Farrelly has apologised and called himself an "idiot" after a story emerged in which stars told how he liked to flash his genitals as a joke.

New York Magazine's The Cut published excerpts of a story which ran in Newsweek in 1998, which said Farrelly and his brother and frequent film-making partner Bobby Farrelly would "prank" colleagues.

The Farrelly brothers are best known for comedies including Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Kingpin and There's Something About Mary.

Image: Cameron Diaz starred in the Farrelly brothers' There's Something About Mary

Those who spoke to Newsweek about being tricked included film executive Tom Rothman and actress Cameron Diaz, who was starring in There's Something About Mary at the time.

Both treated the incidents as a prank, The Cut article notes.

Peter Farrelly has had something of a reinvention with last year's Green Book, a comedy-drama about racism set in the Deep South in the 1960s, which he directed on his own.

Director Peter Farrelly and the Green Book cast on stage at the Golden Globes 2019
Image: Farrelly won a Golden Globe with Green Book

The film stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as a black concert pianist and his Italian-American driver who become unlikely friends, and won a Golden Globe at the weekend for best musical or comedy film, as well as the awards for best supporting actor for Ali and best screenplay.

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Following The Cut's article, Farrelly issued a statement through his publicists saying the stories were true.

"I was an idiot," he said. "I did this decades ago and I thought I was being funny and the truth is I'm embarrassed and it makes me cringe now. I'm deeply sorry."

(more…)

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Gary Oldman surprises fans as he narrates David Bowie app on late singers birthday

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He was good friends with the late singer so it only makes sense that Gary Oldman features on the new David Bowie app.

To coincide with what would have been Bowies 72nd birthday and third death anniversary, the David Bowie Is app arrived earlier this week giving fans an interactive exhibition into the life and stellar career of the iconic British singer, who died on 10 January 2016.

Fans can navigate their way through hundreds of Bowies earliest stage outfits, videos, handwritten lyrics and diary entries in 360-degree detail. Its a digital adaptation of the critically-acclaimed V&A Museum exhibition, which launched in 2013 and toured around the world before closing last summer.

It was a no-brainer for Gary to feature on the David Bowie app (Picture: Getty Images)

But perhaps one of the top highlights is Oldman narrating a visual of Bowies 1974 Diamond Dogs Tour. In his voiceover, the Oscar-winning actor says the tour featured contemporary music and theatre several years ahead of its time and a stellar lineup of theatrical collaborators quite unlike that of any previous rock tour.

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The historic tour boasted a dystopian cityscape theme, inspired by George Orwells classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

On his involvement with the project, Oldman said in a statement: This brings the amazing David Bowie Is exhibition to a wider audience. Its great that his fans get to experience it. It was a privilege to be involved.

09 January 2019, US, New York: The picture of pop musician David Bowie can be seen on the display of a smartphone. An elaborately designed app recounts the life and career of pop musician David Bowie (1947-2016). The app serves as a digital version of the exhibition "David Bowie Is", which visited more than two million people worldwide on its tour through twelve cities. Photo: Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/dpa
David Bowie Is coincides with the late rockers death anniversary and birthday (Picture: Avalon.red)
09 January 2019, US, New York: A picture of pop musician David Bowie can be seen on the display of a smartphone. An elaborately designed app recounts the life and career of pop musician David Bowie (1947-2016). The app serves as a digital version of the exhibition "David Bowie Is", which visited more than two million people worldwide on its tour through twelve cities. Photo: Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/dpa
The app is an adaptation of the V&A exhibition (Picture: Avalon.red)
09 January 2019, US, New York: The picture of pop musician David Bowie can be seen on the display of a smartphone. An elaborately designed app recounts the life and career of pop musician David Bowie (1947-2016). The app serves as a digital version of the exhibition "David Bowie Is", which visited more than two million people worldwide on its tour through twelve cities. Photo: Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/dpa
Browse through handwritten letters and original lyrics (Picture: Avalon.red)

Oldman, 60, was known to have an especially close friendship with Bowie and made a cameo in the late singers 2013 music video for The Next Day. The pair also starred together in the 1996 movie Basquiat. (more…)

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As Lady Gaga apologises for working with R Kelly, all the stars who have spoken out against him

The allegations of sexual abuse against R Kelly have been brought into the spotlight again by the Li..

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The allegations of sexual abuse against R Kelly have been brought into the spotlight again by the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R Kelly.

Fresh investigations into the Ignition singer have been launched in Chicago and Atlanta into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against him by a number of women.

The 52-year-old is accused of holding five women in a sex cult, as well as having sexual contact with girls as young as 14. R Kelly has strongly denied these allegations.

While the attention on the allegations has ramped up since the airing of Surviving R Kelly, rumours have been rampant since the 90s, when the singer allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27.

In light of the documentary, Lady Gaga – who collaborated with R Kelly on the 2013 song Do What You Want – has apologised for working with the R&B star.

R Kelly and Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is pulling Do What You Want from streaming platforms (Picture: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

In a note on social media, Gaga wrote: As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadnt processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.

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The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body),” I think its clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self Id tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in—or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation—to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what weve been through.

I cant go back but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all seuxal identities and of all races who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. (more…)

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