Reaction was immediate. In his "Daily Dish" blog for the Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan called Williams' remarks "baldly bigoted." And Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Huffington Post called it "a silly, bigoted crack" and said NPR "should have dumped Williams a long time ago." Others saw an insidious plot. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee blasted the firing, and Glenn Beck suggested billionaire George Soros was somehow behind it. Williams gave no immediate comment.
Williams is a distinguished newsman and author, concentrating on race relations and civil rights. He has been a Fox commentator since 1997 and joined NPR in 1999. His stances have pushed the edges of provocative, critical of all sides of the political debate. He ran afoul of NPR in 2009 for comments on Fox that Michelle Obama had "this Stokely-Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going."
It's the season for it. Williams joins CNN newscaster Rick Sanchez, fired recently after he called Daily Show host Jon Stewart a bigot and suggested Comedy Central and other networks were run by Jews. White House correspondent Helen Thomas was fired this year after her remarks on Israel caused an uproar, and Octavia Nasr was fired from CNN after a Twitter post in which she expressed sadness for the death of, and admiration for, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.
- John Timpane
Beyoncé in a family way? No way
Tina Knowles, mom of the lustrous Beyoncé, says her daughter isn't preggers. Knowles mère imparted that information to Ellen DeGeneres during an interview Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, People mag reported on its website.
Us magazine, as noted in this space on Thursday, had been reporting that Beyoncé, 29, and rapper hub Jay-Z, 40, were expecting the first addition to their family choral group. "I'm here to clear the rumors up," Knowles the elder told Ellen. "The truth is that it's not Beyoncé that's pregnant. It's me. I'm kidding, y'all. I'm 56." Chuckle, chuckle. "No, no, it's not true [that Beyoncé is expecting]. Not right now."
The not-just-yet grandma said that "with all the rumors, by now I should have five or six grandchildren." Not that she would mind. "I'm looking forward to it," she said.
Oscar winner Nicolas Cage wants the world to unite to fight organized crime, the Associated Press reports. The actor, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice, told a conference in Vienna that criminal networks have gone global and are just too much for any one community or country to contain. "Organized crime is a deadly infection that preys on human beings," Cage said. "It sows fear and violence in cities, towns and villages around the world."
The problem is worst in areas weakened by war and poverty, Cage added. He talked about meeting child victims of crime in Africa as well as a 15-year-old Somali youth serving a 10-year jail term for piracy, a "heart-wrenching" experience that "deeply humbled" him, he said.
Weekend wedding for Katy Perry?
Katy Perry and Russell Brand, recently reported by Gawker to have plunked down $2.9 mil for a flat in Manhattan, seem set to do the nuptial thing with a destination wedding this weekend in India. (Guess nobody gets married at home anymore, huh? Least, not if you have more dough than Scrooge McDuck.)
The AP reports that a tour operator in Jaipur, India, is saying the winsome warbler and her British beau will unite in holy matrimony at a luxury resort outside the Ranthambore tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan.
The tour operator, Mohan Singh, says his outfit is one of several working on the six-day celebration that begins Saturday with a Hindu wedding ceremony.
The guests, numbering about 80, are going to tour the tiger sanctuary after the wedding, according to Singh. Singh said Katy and Brand will stay in a luxury tent at the Aman-i-Khas resort. Guests will bunk at two other nearby resorts. The hotels, unlike Singh, are keeping mum about it all.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services and websites. Contact "SideShow" at email@example.com.