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Golden Globes: Five takeaways from Sunday's awards, including to expect more politics – CNN

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Nothing about that latter part should come as a surprise. It was at the Globes three years ago, after all, where Meryl Streep’s speech prompted a Twitter response from newly elected President Trump — he called her “overrated” — reinforcing both that collective Hollywood is no fan of this president, and that when it comes to picking opponents, Republicans generally like nothing better than what they label out-of-touch limousine liberals.
That situation has only festered in the time since, setting the stage for this year’s slightly truncated run-up to the Oscars on Feb. 9. And while it’s common to cite animosity toward speechifying by celebrities for the decline in award-show ratings, by now, those prone to tuning out based on ideological grounds are almost surely pretty well baked into the numbers.
Granted, it’s difficult to draw too many clear lessons from results at the Globes, which are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a strange group prone to the occasional surprisingly out-there selections.
Still, there are a few broad conclusions that can be gleaned from Sunday’s event, and what it might augur for the rest of “awards season,” with Academy Award nominations due on Jan. 13.

Political speeches in award shows? Expect more

Gervais won praise from conservatives (as he did, incidentally, after his previous hosting stints) for chiding actors to stay in their lanes, but concerns about climate change — highlighted by the fires in Australia — the potential for war with Iran and women’s reproductive rights provide an incentive for politically conscious stars to use these platforms to speak out.

Award ratings remain in flux, but might be leveling off

After an overall decline for award-show ratings that has fueled concerns within the industry, the Oscars’ host-free show last year stopped the bleeding, at least temporarily. And there are signs the numbers could be leveling off.
Based on preliminary ratings, NBC’s Globes telecast drew 18.3 million average viewers, a mere 3% decline from last year in total viewers, and off by 11% among adults 18-49, the key demographic for advertising purposes. That tally was good enough to easily win the night.
A lot of factors can infuence those results, beginning with heightened competition that has depressed linear TV viewing generally. It’s worth noting, too, that last year’s NFL playoff game preceding the Globes concluded just minutes before the ceremony, which likely funneled more viewers directly into it. Sunday’s show didn’t have quite the same lead-in, with the game ending about 15 minutes earlier, producing a less fluid, er, hand off.

Netflix, we (could) have a problem

Although Netflix came into the Globes as the leading nominee in both movies and television, its muted performance on the former score — with just one trophy out of 17 bids, for “Marriage Story” supporting actress Laura Dern — feeds the narrative that it is still viewed as something of an outsider in the film game.
Whether that holds back its prestige offerings “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” in other awards remains to be seen, but there might be enough people harboring qualms about the service’s big-screen credentials to make nominations possible, and winning a much steeper hill to climb.

Most blockbusters (still) need not apply

There was plenty of excitement last year when “Black Panther” broke through among the best-picture nominees, but with the exception of “Joker’s” Joaquin Phoenix, representatives from the most popular movies were in short supply at the Globes.
Even in animation, notably, the award went to “Missing Link” — a movie that has earned $26 million worldwide — over the genuine blockbusters it was up against, Disney’s “Frozen II,” “Toy Story 4” and “The Lion King.”
There are, notably, some movies that performed well at the box office in the hunt, including “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” while “1917” has performed well in limited release in advance of a wider theatrical debut this weekend. But if the hope is that nominating more popular films will enhance viewers’ rooting interest, there still seems to be a sizable gap between awards-circuit glory and “Avengers: Endgame”-type filmmaking.

The movie business is becoming more international, but….

“Parasite,” the South Korean thriller, was named best foreign-language film, but despite those advocating for its director, Bong Joon-ho, that honor went to Sam Mendes, who is British, for the World War I epic “1917.”
Last year, there were questions about whether another foreign-language movie, “Roma,” could break through, and it, too, was limited to top honors in that category, although its director, Alfonso Cuaron, won at the Globes and the Oscars.
The movie business is definitely becoming more international, but as Bong referenced in his acceptance speech, subtitles still appear to remain an impediment to U.S. audiences, if perhaps a gradually shrinking one.

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CP NewsAlert: Kenney to remain Alberta premier until new UCP leader chosen by party

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is staying in his job for now.

United Conservative caucus chair Nathan Neudorf says the party has affirmed that Kenney should stay on until a new leader is chosen.

Kenney announced yesterday that he would be stepping down for the good of the party.

He received 51 per cent support in a leadership review.

More coming.

 

The Canadian Press

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Politics This Morning: Kenney resigns – The Hill Times

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The government says it plans to appeal the May 10 Alberta Court of Appeal decision that found the Impact Assessment Act is unconstitutional because it infringes on provincial jurisdiction.
Liberal MP Michael Coteau predicts that Ontarians will vote Liberal in tight Liberal-NDP races in order to oust the Ford government.
Fearing Russian aggression, Finland and Sweden will likely apply for NATO membership. While Canada supports the membership of these countries, it needs to step up its own contributions, especially in the Arctic: experts.

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Opinion | Abortion and America’s Polarized Politics – The New York Times

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Damon Winter/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “How Roe Warped the Public,” by Ross Douthat (column, May 8):

Mr. Douthat argues that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was “an inflection point where the choices of elite liberalism actively pushed the Republic toward our current divisions,” but he ignores three glaring facts.

First, Roe v. Wade still aligns well with the American people’s best sense about the complexity of abortion: that it be safe, legal and rare. Second, it was deliberate decisions by conservative elites that weaponized minority opposition to abortion for their own goals. Third, it is the unyielding minority religious belief that personhood begins at the moment of conception that has been driving the divisive politics of abortion for decades.

Frederick Civian
Dedham, Mass.

To the Editor:

Ross Douthat lays the social divisions of this country at the feet of the liberal elites who foolishly made the mistake of codifying a constitutional right not specifically delineated in our Constitution. He overlooks the deliberate choice of abortion as a politically galvanizing issue by movement conservatives who, seeking to unite a party in disarray after the “Southern strategy” and Watergate, fixed on abortion as a standard to unite under.

Abortion was not originally a significant concern of evangelicals and was simply one tool they picked to create and sustain the quest for political control. Mr. Douthat, while thoughtful, is simply dead wrong on this one.

Andrew Mishkin
Portland, Maine

To the Editor:

Ross Douthat’s column about Roe was exceptionally brilliant. In an age when so much opinion content is designed to simplify complex issues, to create easy distillations that fit into previously established convictions, it takes courage to present issues with nuance and complexity and trust that readers will reward you for it.

Well done, Ross!

Ben Lincoln
Mount Desert Island, Maine

To the Editor:

I am a strongly pro-choice feminist, and I understand and respect the perspective of people who are opposed to abortion. However, opposition to abortion has taken on an element that is not pro-life. Not making an exception for instances of rape and incest suggests a lack of compassion, rather than reverence for life. Criminalizing and instigating vigilante injustice suggest not just lack of compassion, but also punishment and vindictiveness.

Where in this response is the love and mercy that are at the heart of the message of Jesus?

Berne Weiss
Estoril, Portugal

Bernardo Bagulho

To the Editor:

Running for Office to ‘Stop the Steal,’” by Barbara McQuade (Opinion guest essay, Sunday Review, May 15), should strike fear in the heart of every patriotic American.

Between now and November, honest Americans of every political stripe need to get the word out that Donald Trump is working frantically to elect “his” state legislators, secretaries of state and election officials who will replace the honest bipartisan ones who said there was no election fraud in 2020. His apparent goal is to have Trump electors tallied instead of legally chosen ones in what could be our last free election.

People need to be reminded how Mr. Trump attempted to cajole officials — even his own vice president — into overturning an honest election. Now he’s learned a better way to do it, and only the voters can prevent this electoral calamity and national tragedy.

Two years from now our democracy could be in as much danger as Ukraine’s is now, but without one missile being launched or one shot being fired.

Bobby Braddock
Nashville

Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The Perils of 2 Ukraine War Endgames” (column, May 15):

Ross Douthat is right to envision these endgame scenarios. He fears that if the Ukrainian military (with U.S. weapons support) should come close to expelling the Russian forces, “nuclear escalation suddenly becomes more likely than it is right now.”

If the Russians should decide to end a protracted war with a tactical nuclear strike on Ukraine, the U.S. might be tempted to retaliate against Russia with its own nukes. Both sides have put the nuclear option back on the table.

Even short of World War III, a continuing military stalemate in the Donbas would likely have serious consequences: global grain shortages, starvation in poor countries and eventual upheavals and mass migration. U.S. arms aid would also come with high domestic costs, including the likely abandonment of needed social programs.

The U.S. and NATO should make the reduction of nuclear war risk a top priority. They should stop stoking the conflict with arms shipments. Instead, they should encourage Volodymyr Zelensky to engage in meaningful negotiations with Vladimir Putin, even if it means territorial concessions in the Donbas region.

President Biden’s objective should now be peace through diplomacy, not endless war through the continuing supply of weapons.

L. Michael Hager
Eastham, Mass.
The writer is co-founder and former director general of the International Development Law Organization.

Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

To the Editor:

According to the F.B.I. expert who spoke to my synagogue on Sunday about how to survive an attack by an “active shooter,” we should not encourage mentally ill bigots by giving them heroes, that is, by naming other shooters they can emulate.

In other words, every time the news media repeats the shooter’s name, sick folks will have another person to admire. So stop saying those names. What is horrific to us is cool to them. Don’t name them.

Emily Farrell
Philadelphia

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