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  • Entertainment
    The Daily Beast

    The View’s Sunny Hostin Accuses ABC of Racism, Says Execs Tried to Censor Her Book

    The View’s Sunny Hostin, whose memoir I Am These Truths is just out from HarperCollins’ HarperOne division, is not only biting the hand that feeds her, she’s also adding to the already serious image troubles of ABC News and its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Co.The 51-year-old Hostin—the daughter of a Black father and Puerto Rican-Jewish mother, who grew up in public housing and became a federal prosecutor and Emmy-winning television journalist before officially joining The View four years ago—is accusing ABC execs of institutional and personal racism in both her memoir and in her interviews to promote it.She claims network execs paid her less than her white co-hosts on the popular daytime show (although Hostin didn’t name-check Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman, the celebrity daughters of famous political fathers), and says the execs didn’t bother to formally announce her official role on The View, and subjected her to various “indignities,” including initially assigning her a dressing room on a different floor from the dressing rooms of her on-air colleagues.A spokesperson for The View, which is now in its 24th season and produced by ABC News, declined to comment on Hostin’s allegations—another instance of negative PR for Disney, whose epic feature film Mulan is under fire for its public appreciation for and collaboration with Chinese communist officials who are perpetrating genocide on hundreds of thousands of members of China’s Uighur Muslim minority.In her book’s foreword and in a recent Zoom talk with New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow, Hostin has also claimed the ABC News management attempted to censor her and that she hired a lawyer to push back on ABC’s attempt to delete passages that were critical of the network.“I felt I had been somewhat censored by ABC in writing the book,” Hostin told Farrow, who was interviewing her on behalf of the Washington, D.C., independent bookstore Politics and Prose. “I did remove some passages. I think they were concerned about how it made the network look.”But after network officials vetted her book, and shortly before it went to press, Hostin wrote an additional, unvetted section—a forward that expressed her frustration with the censors in ABC News’ standards and practices department: “While I was grateful that ABC News caught a few factual errors that would have embarrassed me, they were also asking me to delete parts of my story that might cast ABC in an unfavorable light. Deleting those passages didn’t feel right to me—they were all true, and they were some of the battle scars of my experience.”In her foreword, Hostin continued: “My television agent and my book agent emailed me to express confusion that a news organization would try to censor a Puerto Rican, African American woman’s story while they were covering global demonstrations demanding racial equity. One of them even calculated the percentages of people of color on the executive boards at Disney, ABC Entertainment, and ABC News—according to him those figures ranged from 7 to 12 percent. I asked my attorneys to intervene and thankfully ABC relented. I didn’t want to believe that racism played a part in their revision requests—we were just dotting some i’s and crossing some t’s, right?”Wrong. This past June, HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali contacted Hostin concerning top news division exec Barbara Fedida’s disparaging and racist remarks about Black on-air personalities such as Robin Roberts and Kendis Gibson; Ali also reported that Fedida privately called Hostin “low rent”—an especially painful insult because Hostin as a child had lived with her parents in low-income public housing.Hostin wrote that she refused to accede to ABC’s demands that she delete passages that expressed her “suspicions that I was treated worse than my white colleagues—the fears that I tried to talk myself out of many times—maybe they were true. Had my employer, my home away from home, devalued, dismissed, and underpaid me because of my race? I had just read emails from them directing me to erase evidence of such treatment from my story. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t even angry. I was deeply, profoundly shaken and saddened.”Responding to Ali’s report, ABC News President James Goldston placed Fedida on administrative leave and, after an internal investigation, fired her.“I think I’m the only host in history that didn’t have a formal announcement—you know, ‘Welcome the new host of The View!,’” Hostin told Farrow. “I was sort of guest-hosting, guest-hosting, guest-hosting and then just was there.”She added, “I think I was treated differently than a white woman would have been treated, yes I do. I was given a dressing room on a different floor. And I noticed that other co-hosts that came on after I came on were given dressing rooms on the main floor with everyone else.“And while that seems like a small thing, those little indignities that make you feel and question whether or not you are being treated differently—whether or not the expectations for you are just different—and you wonder: ‘Am I being crazy? Am I being sensitive? Am I playing the race card?’… It felt wrong to not tell the truth.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Politics
    Bloomberg

    Republicans Would Regret Replacing Ginsburg Before Election

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, immediately announcing their intent to nominate and confirm a replacement. Tempting as it is for Republicans to install a third Supreme Court justice during Trump’s first term, it would nevertheless be a serious mistake — and potentially a historic one — for Senate Republicans to go along. The result would not only likely be the long-term erosion of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as a third branch of government, but also a backlash so strong it would hurt the Republican Party itself.The reason for Republicans to hold off isn’t the extraordinary hypocrisy they’re showing by pushing a rapid confirmation now, despite holding Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open in 2016. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where voters will punish a party for arrant hypocrisy. Republicans and Democrats alike all understood that McConnell was making a specious argument when he claimed the March nomination of Judge Merrick Garland was too close to the November election to deserve a vote. We all knew it was power politics then; and we all know it is power politics now.To be clear, Trump has the constitutional authority to nominate a new justice right now and the Senate has the authority to vote — or not vote — on that nominee. The arguments pro and con are moral and political, as I’ve noted before, not legal.In a rational version of Senate confirmation politics, the party in the majority thinks about how its actions will affect the other party when it takes control. Ideally, that norm leads to balance and some fairness: I don’t take advantage of you so that in turn, you won’t take advantage of me. In our current world of power politics, the norms have eroded to the point of near-disappearance. What that leaves is medium-term self-interest about what the other side will do immediately, as opposed to what both sides would do if norms of fairness applied.The self-interested reason Republicans shouldn’t confirm Trump’s nominee in short order is that it will create a potential backlash that could have disastrous effects for Republicans. If a conservative fills Ginsburg’s seat, and then the Democrats win the presidency and both houses of Congress in November, an outraged, left-leaning Democratic base will pressure Democratic leadership to do things leadership would never otherwise have considered.The most obvious is that left-leaning Democrats will push their leadership to pack the Supreme Court by adding new seats and filling them with progressive justices. Until now, when the left of the Democratic Party has talked about court packing, moderates have pushed back strongly. They may change their tune if Ginsburg is replaced by a conservative before the election. That will place enormous pressure on Joe Biden, who — before Ginsburg’s death — made it clear that he opposed packing the court, because it would lead to an arms race in which the legitimacy of the court would ultimately be undermined.So say Biden caves to the pressure and installs two, or three, or even four new justices on the Supreme Court. This would delegitimize the Supreme Court, which would be bad for the country as a whole. But it would also be bad for conservatives, who might find themselves stuck living under three Democrat-dominated branches of government for some time.The other danger to Republicans is probably even deeper. Democrats enraged by a quick confirmation of a conservative might be motivated to admit Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states — each with their own (presumably Democratic) senators. Constitutionally speaking, this can be done with a bare majority of both houses and the presidency. Four more Democratic senators (or even three out of four, if Puerto Rico elected one Republican) could change the balance of the Senate over the long term.Of course, admitting D.C. and Puerto Rico as states would represent a significant change from the tradition of maintaining some Senate balance by admitting Democratic- and Republican-leaning states at the same time. And to do it, Democrats would have to eliminate the filibuster. But progressive Democrats are already angry enough to do that, and a quick vote to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement could enrage moderates enough to join them.Senate Republicans therefore have to calculate whether they would be better off confirming a conservative justice and risking these consequences or delaying until after the November election and confirming a Trump nominee only if Trump wins re-election.In our current political moment, only rational Republican self-interest can stop the Trump-McConnell juggernaut. Republicans had better start thinking about whether the road they’re walking is taking them to a destination they really want to reach.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist and host of the podcast “Deep Background.” He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Technology
    Storyful

    It's Alive! 25-Ton Gundam Robot Moves for First Time in Yokohama

    A 25-ton robot, inspired by the popular 1970s anime series Mobile Suit Gundam, has made its first moves in Yokohama, Japan.Footage tweeted on September 21 shows the giant Gundam robot moving its arms and legs before lunging into an impressive squat at Yamashita Pier.The robot is set to become the main attraction at Gundam Factory Yokohama, and was supposed to be officially unveiled on October 1, but the event has since been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: @yoshi115t/よっくん via Storyful

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