The Spectacle Blog

Ronnie Corbett, R.I.P.

By on 3.31.16 | 4:25PM

British comedian Ronnie Corbett, best known for being one half of The Two Ronnies, passed away today at the age of 85.

Although Corbett only stood five foot tall, he was a comedic giant especially when paired with Ronnie Barker. They met while working on The Frost Report alongside the likes of future Monty Python stars John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Michael Palin. Barker and Corbett were drawn to each other's working-class backgrounds and the fact they didn't have movie star looks. The Two Ronnies was one of Britain's most popular comedies during the 1970's and 1980's. Barker passed away in 2005.

Andy “Thunderclap” Newman, R.I.P.

By on 3.31.16 | 1:41PM

Andy "Thunderclap" Newman passed away yesterday at the age of 73. No cause of death has been released at this time.

Newman was the pianist in the band that bore his name. Thunderclap Newman was put together by Pete Townshend of The Who and his manager Kit Lambert. They were a motley mix to say the least. Although Speedy Keen looked like a prototypical rock singer, most bands did not have 15-year old lead guitarists. Thunderclap Newman did with Jimmy McCulloch (who would later be a part of Paul McCartney & Wings). As for Newman himself, his white hat, coke bottle glasses and suit made him look anything but rock 'n roll. But put them together and you have "Something In The Air", a Transatlantic hit in 1969 which still has something to say nearly half a century after it was recorded.

The band would break up in 1971, but Newman would revive Thunderclap Newman in 2007. Unfortunately, Keen and McCulloch had passed on. Now there will be a reunion in rock 'n roll heaven.

When He Gets It Right

By on 3.31.16 | 11:12AM

I’m not softening on the Donald, but I don’t mind conceding when he gets something right (even if he just stumbles on it by chance).

I’m amused by the thoughtless kerfuffle caused by his saying that if abortions were illegal the woman authorizing one should face legal consequences. And why not? In a moral society where abortions are treated as homicide, why should a woman who pays a doctor to kill her unborn child be treated any differently than a woman who pays a hit-man to kill her husband? In either case someone is deprived of life through her agency.

And the Donald stepped in a further progressive cow-pie when he said the father should not be punished. Mass fainting on the left. Doesn’t this jerk know that in the current progressive equation, women are always right and men are always wrong? Women are always victims, men are always the perps. Nail the guy who contributed to life and who legally has no say in whether an abortion takes place, but console the woman who authorized death. Insane, but it’s where we are now.  

My Friend Amanda Carpenter

By on 3.30.16 | 8:29PM

By now the story of the National Enquirer alleging Senator Ted Cruz had all those mistresses is almost old news. 

But before it passes, I want to say a word about someone who was “pixilated” in one photograph, alleging she was one of the Cruz amours.

Let me say a word here about my friend and CNN and Conservative Review colleague Amanda Carpenter. To say that this story was a real smear job of Amanda would be to understate. The former communications director for Senator Cruz, Amanda is someone I have gotten to know as a wonderful Mom, loving wife, and all around good person. We disagree about Donald Trump (hey, this is still America, yes?) and the CNN makeup people spend way too much time on her hair when they could be tending to mine. But other than that, I have not a bad thing to say of her, much less do I have the time to tolerate such an incredible piece of garbage.

The Hillary Clinton/David Brock File

By on 3.30.16 | 10:26AM

The newspapers and periodicals of this great nation are now reporting on the various strategies devised by Clinton Inc. to destroy the credibility of Bruno’s Republican and Democratic opponents. Invariably they cite our former employee, David Brock, as an authority on how Clinton Inc. might achieve its ends without resorting to car bombs or to kneecapping or to second story jobs. Yet, before David followed the money trail to Clinton Inc. his research pretty much agreed with that of the other AmSpec writers, to wit: David established that the Clintons have a long record of subverting the law, enriching themselves through criminal means, and following practices that are commonplace in Third World countries. Though these practices are rarely attempted in cities larger than Gary, Indiana.

A World Ruled by Tweeties?

By on 3.30.16 | 12:59AM

I don’t for a minute doubt that Donald Trump could negotiate a better deal with Iran than the giveaway that Barack Obama and John Kerry put together. But then, I expect someone chosen randomly out of the phone book could do better.

But even if the Donald did get us a better deal, how could we get the treaty down to 140 characters or fewer? And we’d have to call it a tweety.

Trump Now Says Fields Grabbed Him, But That’s Not What He Told Reporters After The GOP Debate in Miami

By on 3.29.16 | 10:21PM

Poor Donald Trump. Now that Corey Lewandowski has been charged with assaulting former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, Trump is now claiming Fields was grabbing him and Lewandowski saved him from the grievous harm of answering a question:

She was actually, if you look at her...she's grabbing at me and he's acting as an intermediary and trying to block her from doing that.

I'm sure after President Trump pardons Lewandowski he'll give him a Medal of Honor for his valor.

Except for one thing. This differs from his account he gave to reporters after the GOP debate in Miami nearly three weeks ago:

After Walker Endorses Cruz; Trump Blasts Walker….For Not Raising Taxes

By on 3.29.16 | 4:52PM

Donald Trump is mad that Wisconsin Governor picked Ted Cruz over him in the GOP race for the White House.

So Trump does what he does best (or worst). Call Walker a loser and question his competence. But in so doing Trump only reveals that he is lacking his own.

Trump actually chided Walker for not raising taxes:

There’s a $2.2 billion deficit and the schools were going begging and everything was going begging because he didn’t want to raise taxes ’cause he was going to run for president. So instead of raising taxes, he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things.

Trump added, “Wisconsin has a lot of problems, plus there is tremendous hatred … I wouldn’t exactly say that things are running smoothly.”

Trump Defends Lewandowski After Battery Charge; Claims Fields Incident Never Happened

By on 3.29.16 | 3:22PM

Police in Jupiter, Florida have charged Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with misdemeanor battery of former reporter Michelle Fields. The charges come three weeks after Lewandowski grabbed Fields' arm while she attempted to ask Trump a question following a press conference.

In Florida, simple battery is punishable up to a year in jail or 12 months probation plus a $1,000 fine.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Lewandowski will face any punishment at all. But even if he spends a day in jail, has to report to a probation officer or shell out any money, it will represent some measure of vindication for Fields because the Trump campaign has spent weeks trying to discredit her reputation. The candidate himself continued to do so today tweeting, "Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!"

Patty Duke, R.I.P.

By on 3.29.16 | 2:39PM

Actress/singer Patty Duke has died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was 69.

Duke is best remembered for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker both on Broadway and in the movie adaptation. For the latter, Duke won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 16.

She would also star in her own TV series The Patty Duke Show in which she played twin cousins, Patty & Cathy Lane who had nothing in common except for their appearance. It would air for three seasons on ABC from 1963 to 1966.

Duke would not sustain stardom into adulthood although she worked regularly on television and during the mid-1980's served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. As it turned out, her stardom was spoiled by corrupt managers who made sure she saw little of her earnings and would also abuse her sexually. In recent years, Duke has become known for mental health advocacy as a result of disclosing her own diagnosis of bipolar disorder.