Jesse Jackson Touts Obama’s ‘Clear Vision’Jesse Jackson has, up until now, been somewhat muted in his support of Barack Obama. Likewise, Obama has kept him at arm’s length, even though the former Democratic presidential candidate is a pledged advocate. But today, just after Barack Obama made a speech attempting to lift the lid off and expose the simmering pot of American racial tension, Jackson suddenly emerged exuberant.
“I thought [the speech] was a culmination of tough-minded, tender-hearted and a clear vision,” Jackson told the Huffington Post. “It really was warm, filling, captive, reconciling and comprehensive and it displayed real true grit. He was forthright not evasive and used it as a teaching moment in American history: America’s struggle to overcome its past and become a more perfect union. And once he made the case about the past and the complexities of Reverend Wright’s life or [Geraldine] Ferraro’s for that matter, he made the case that we are here now, but this time we will go forward by hope and not backwards by fear.”
Jackson added that he thought “American saw an even deeper and more profound view” of Obama today. What he may mean is that Americans saw Obama, finally, as a large step in the long climb toward civil rights in the country. It was a role Obama had been reluctant to adopt, but it seems as though he’s finally accepted it.
Jesse Jackson: Obama Just Turned Crisis Into Opportunity [HuffPo]
Earlier: Jesse Jackson Does Not Give ‘Free Advice’ To Barack Obama
Maureen Dowd Knows What Michelle Obama Looks Like, Okay?Maureen Dowd says she did not mistake a Times of London columnist for Michelle Obama. Ted Kennedy may or may not have had Graydon Carter spike a story about an illegitimate child of JFK. Tommy Hilfiger is getting married to former model Dee Ocleppo. Rosie O’Donnell stopped drinking because she was getting too fat. Jerry Seinfeld said he’s not going to return to TV because he’s “old, rich, and tired.”
Jesse Jackson Doesn’t Give ‘Free Advice’ to Barack ObamaEver since Obama swept Iowa last week, capping the win with a speech that seemed brushed by MLK’s angel wing, we’ve been wondering what the Reverend Jesse Jackson has been thinking. Sure, the Rev endorsed the guy, but his remarks about Obama have been so lukewarm you have to wonder if the nod wasn’t an obligatory matter of brothers supporting brothers. Not to mention that the candidate’s camp has never particularly reached out to the Rev. (Could it be all those conservative pundits saying that O’s a big hit precisely because he’s not Jesse Jackson?) And the Rev’s own wife endorsed Hillary. Finally, last night, we had our chance. At the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, where the Rev’s RainbowPUSH Coalition and Bombay Sapphire have been hosting a five-day summit on minority business-ownership, the Rev was sitting haggardly (he has the flu) amidst a phalanx of large, suited handlers. Everyone was waiting for Angie Stone to perform. So we approached the Rev and asked if we could briefly interrupt his fluishness. We just had to know what was going on in his head since O’s Iowa surge. “It’s continuous growth,” he murmured in that legendary semi-intelligible voice. “In 1988, we won thirteen states, so we laid the groundwork for change.” According to Jackson, Obama once told him that he was a Columbia undergrad in 1984, when Jackson, Hart, and Mondale had a Democratic primary debate there. “That made [Obama] say, ‘This was really possible,’” the Rev explained.
Ethan Hawke Pulls a Jude LawEthan Hawke is dating the woman who used to be his kids’ nanny. Mayor Bloomberg hit Joey Pantoliano with his car. Former Condé Nast chairman Steve Florio is still in the hospital despite having suffered a stroke two weeks ago. Former Sopranos star Aida Turturro left Stereo the other night after finding out that the stagehands’ strike was over. Fergie took the stage twenty minutes late at a Wilhelmina party because of a wardrobe malfunction. A fourteen-acre property in Southampton is going on sale for $59 million.
Al Sharpton to Go to Chicago, Take on Jesse Jackson?
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have had a difficult relationship over the years — at times a bitterly difficult one — and it’s about to get even more complex. This week, Sharpton will go into direct competition with Jackson, his theoretical mentor and occasional father figure, by opening a branch of his civil-rights advocacy group, National Action Network, in Jackson’s hometown of Chicago, where the elder activist’s own civil-rights advocacy group, the Rainbow/PUSH coalition, is headquartered. “There is a demand in that market, and we’re answering that demand,” Sharpton told New York, innocently. “Every generation does its own thing. Growth of the movement is a good thing.” A Chicago press conference to announce the new National Action Network chapter is planned for Wednesday, and neither Jackson nor anyone from Rainbow/PUSH is on the list of scheduled speakers. But someone interesting is: the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., Barack Obama’s pastor. (He’s the guy who once titled a speech “Audacity to Hope,” giving Obama book ideas.) While it’s unclear if Wright is sidestepping his fellow Chicago clergyman to ally with Sharpton, his daughter, Jeri Wright, definitely is. She’ll be running Sharpton’s new outpost. She gave Jackson a heads-up earlier this week, she said, and he wasn’t upset: “He said, ‘Whatever I can do to help, just let me know.’” —Geoffrey Gray
Related: Rev Vs. Rev [NYM]
Don Imus and Other Great Moments in Bigoted Slurs
And so the “nappy-headed hos” remark has cost Don Imus his job. The final denouement, which came with CBS Radio’s canning the I-Man last night, a day after MSNBC dropped the simulcast of his show, has seemed inevitable for most of the week, as protests had intensified, advertisers had balked, and the great and august Ana Marie Cox had announced she would never again deign to appear on such a juvenile broadcast. (Cox first gained fame as the editor of Wonkette, where she was known for her anal-sex jokes.) But it has not always been thus; many, many public figures have uttered bigoted slurs and lived to tell the tale. After the jump, a look back at some Great Moments in Bigoted Slurs.
Tom and Katie, Together AgainTom, Katie, J-Lo, and Marc double-dated at Prince’s Golden Globes after-party. And Drew Barrymore and Bruce Willis hooked up at the same party. Diddy tried to pick up Sienna Miller at the CAA after-party, but he couldn’t get in. Cameron Diaz blew up at Jessica Biel for chatting up former boyfriend Justin Timberlake. (Although the Daily News claims their encounter was a bit more jovial.)