Sideshow: Mother of two young stars tells media to back off kids

Mary Lou King of Cochranville, Chester County, with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.
Mary Lou King of Cochranville, Chester County, with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.
Posted: March 13, 2013

Quvenzhané Wallis. Justin Bieber. Taylor Swift.

They're just kids! So is it fair to heap criticism and abuse on their tender heads? So asks Jada Pinkett Smith in a heartfelt Facebook post about the dark side of celeb culture. Smith, 41, likens bloggers and the media to bullies, writing, "How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?" In an apparent reference to Bieber, Smith, 41, says, "Is it OK to continually attack . . . [a] 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood . . . is all about?" Smith asks, "Why can't we congratulate them for the capacity to work through their challenges?"

Chesco's unstoppable mom

Seems that one of the nation's best moms hails from our region. Mary Lou King of Cochranville, in Chester County, has been named one of four finalists of Live with Kelly and Michael's Unstoppable Mom Search. A nurse and a mother of four who runs a dairy farm with hub Neal, King had no idea her daughter, Kelly Stoltzfus, had nominated her with a glowing letter. King, who was chatted up by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Monday on Live, said she's pleased that a TV show is honoring ordinary folk and not celebs. "I live a simple life, I'm a farmer and it's so nice that they take ordinary moms," she said Monday.

 The Unstoppable Mom winner will be announced Friday.

Babs: Hasselbeck stays!

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, that most lovely 'n awesome TV personality and conservative pundit, has not been fired   from The View, show boss Barbara Walters said on Monday. Babs rubbished reports that the cohost was being pushed out for having far-right views.  "The truth is . . . we value and appreciate her point of view," said Babs.

Valerie Harper: I'm alive!

She may have brain cancer, but beloved Rhoda star Valerie Harper, 73, is A-OK. "I'm alive. I'm feeling good. I'm trying to live every moment as much as I can," she tells USA Today. Harper lives in uncertainty: She "could have a seizure within a week" and die, or live for years. "I can't say it's terminal. I'm saying it's incurable so far, but we're all terminal," she existentializes. "No one is getting out of this alive."

Tidbits 'n pieces

Hollyscoop.com says Rihanna's one and only, Chris Brown, was spotted flirting with " multiple girls" at a Hollywood nightclub over the weekend. . . . Sharon Osbourne says her daughter Kelly, who was hospitalized after having a seizure on Thursday, was due back home Monday, aided by "the power of positive thinking and sending good vibes." . . . " Pippa Middleton spotted kissing new boyfriend Nico Jackson at Swiss ski resort," says the New York Daily News. . . . West Philly's Will Smith had students at London's all-girl St. Martin-in-the-Fields High School screaming in ecstasy in an impromptu performance of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air title song Monday. He was in town to check out son Jaden, 14, opening for Justin Bieber. . . . Elle Macpherson, 49, is engaged to Miami real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer.

Today in Ent-industry news

Two of America's most beloved soaps, TV creative genius Agnes Nixon's All My Children and One Life to Live, cruelly canceled by ABC last year, will return as Web-exclusive shows on Hulu on April 29. All My Children cast faves David Canary and Julia Barr and One Life To Live's Erika Slezak and Robert S. Woods will be back on the new reboot.

Ellen DeGeneres' syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has been renewed through 2017.

Hope Morrissey shakes his various ailments soon - at least before he's due to play the Tower Theater in Philly on April 6. The former Smiths front man has canceled a slew of shows due to ongoing problems that include double pneumonia, a bleeding ulcer, and Barrett's esophagus.

Philly students win big

Three of Sunday's six winners in the Metropolitan Opera's 2013 National Council Auditions are students at Philadelphia schools. Bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, 25, studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and is set to graduate in May. Lyric coloratura Sydney Mancasola, 25, is a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts, as is South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana.

Winners receive $15,000 each, and are given some important exposure. Nearly 1,500 singers tried out this year. - Peter Dobrin


Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@ phillynews.com. This article includes information from Inquirer wire services.

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