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Clooney, in Paris, jokes about Trump's Paris comments

George Clooney, attending the Cesar Awards in Paris, apparently doesn't agree with President Donald Trump that Paris isn't what it used to be.

"Yes, no one wants to go to Paris anymore because it's horrible here, apparently," Clooney quipped with a smile as he stood next to his wife, Amal, on the red carpet. "Well, we have some things to work on in the United States." He added: "I think you guys have some of the same issues here, so good luck."

Clooney was at the Cesar Awards, the French version of the Oscars, to receive an honorary award.

Trump, speaking earlier Friday at a gathering of conservative activists in the United States, said that "Paris is no longer Paris" — due to the threat of terrorism — and that a friend of his never goes there anymore.

Amal and George Clooney are expecting twins in June.

Aaron Watson Unfiltered Part 2: Understanding Both Sides of the Wall

Aaron Watson includes a song about immigration on his new Vaquero album. "Clear Isabel" and its 90-second interlude "Mariano's Dream" are the centerpiece of a 16-song album. The timing of the singer's message is not coincidence. Continue reading…

Efforts to stop anonymous sources clash with 1st Amendment

Of course, any effort to limit sources would conflict with the First Amendment. Separately, 39 states and the District of Columbia have reporter shields, which offer various protections from subpoenas and the forced disclosure of sources, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But there is no shield in federal law, despite past efforts in Congress to pass one.

"The Supreme Court has held back on recognizing a constitutional reporters' shield," said Gabe Rottman, a lawyer at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington.

At the federal level, "there's been a grand struggle between the courts and reporters," Rottman said. "Reporters have to face the unfortunate fact that they may be held in contempt if they don't disclose their sources. That's also seen as a badge of pride by many reporters."

Some high-profile cases:

— New York Times reporter Judith Miller was held in contempt and spent 85 days in jail in 2005 rather than divulge a source in the government's investigation of leaks about an undercover CIA agent. She ultimately testified before a grand jury after saying her source, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, had waived confidentiality. Two courts, citing national security, ruled against Miller in her contempt case, and the Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.

— In 2014, defense lawyers in the Colorado theater mass shooting failed to persuade courts to force Fox News reporter Jana Winter to reveal her sources. The lawyers wanted to know how she had learned that James Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook containing violent images before the 2012 attack. Winter was protected under a New York shield law.

— Former prosecutor Richard Convertino spent years trying to learn the source of a 2004 Detroit Free Press story about a secret ethics investigation against him when he worked at the U.S. Justice Department. David Ashenfelter refused to reveal how he got details, invoking a constitutional right against self-incrimination. An appeals court closed the matter in 2015 with a decision in his favor. "I'm relieved that this legal nightmare may finally be over," Ashenfelter said at the time.

Rottman said Trump's comments about anonymous sources could have a chilling effect on people who want to tell reporters about waste, fraud or something worse in government.

"The use of anonymous sources has been essential in drawing back the veil of secrecy from an overstepping government," Rottman said.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Efforts to stop anonymous sources clash with 1st Amendment

Of course, any effort to limit sources would conflict with the First Amendment. Separately, 39 states and the District of Columbia have reporter shields, which offer various protections from subpoenas and the forced disclosure of sources, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But there is no shield in federal law, despite past efforts in Congress to pass one.

"The Supreme Court has held back on recognizing a constitutional reporters' shield," said Gabe Rottman, a lawyer at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington.

At the federal level, "there's been a grand struggle between the courts and reporters," Rottman said. "Reporters have to face the unfortunate fact that they may be held in contempt if they don't disclose their sources. That's also seen as a badge of pride by many reporters."

Some high-profile cases:

— New York Times reporter Judith Miller was held in contempt and spent 85 days in jail in 2005 rather than divulge a source in the government's investigation of leaks about an undercover CIA agent. She ultimately testified before a grand jury after saying her source, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, had waived confidentiality. Two courts, citing national security, ruled against Miller in her contempt case, and the Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.

— In 2014, defense lawyers in the Colorado theater mass shooting failed to persuade courts to force Fox News reporter Jana Winter to reveal her sources. The lawyers wanted to know how she had learned that James Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook containing violent images before the 2012 attack. Winter was protected under a New York shield law.

— Former prosecutor Richard Convertino spent years trying to learn the source of a 2004 Detroit Free Press story about a secret ethics investigation against him when he worked at the U.S. Justice Department. David Ashenfelter refused to reveal how he got details, invoking a constitutional right against self-incrimination. An appeals court closed the matter in 2015 with a decision in his favor. "I'm relieved that this legal nightmare may finally be over," Ashenfelter said at the time.

Rottman said Trump's comments about anonymous sources could have a chilling effect on people who want to tell reporters about waste, fraud or something worse in government.

"The use of anonymous sources has been essential in drawing back the veil of secrecy from an overstepping government," Rottman said.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Blake Shelton Joins 'The Voice' Coaches for Amazing Rendition of TLC's 'Waterfalls' [Watch]

Season 12 coaches of The Voice, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and Adam Levine, unite to perform an incredible rendition of the R&B classic, "Waterfalls" in a new video.

Continue reading…

Dance scenes in movies can be tricky, but sometimes magical

of leaps and pirouettes, not to mention bicycles sashaying along the roofs of automobiles. It's not easy to stage a successful dance scene for the cameras — especially on a highway interchange — but when such a scene works, it can be memorable.

One secret, says "La La Land" choreographer Mandy Moore, is not to compete with the camera, but in a sense, to find a way to dance WITH it. "When it's done right, it's this perfect marriage of how the camera is moving in conjunction and collaboration with the movement of the dancer," she says.

Dancing on a stage is three-dimensional; on a screen, you lose an entire dimension. But what you can do is use the camera to convey emotion in a dancer in ways you can't onstage. "You can see how dance changes the person — that's a key," says Wendy Perron, former editor in chief of Dance Magazine and author of "Through the Eyes of a Dancer."

Because everyone has their favorite dance moments in movies, and because the Oscars are coming, and because, hey, it's just fun to remember this stuff (all available online), here are a few scenes where the cameras helped create dance magic:

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YEP, IT WAS HEAVEN

"I'm in heaven," Fred Astaire sings to Ginger Rogers, warbling Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" in the 1935 film "Top Hat." And so are we. "Fred is so cool and she's so coy," Moore notes, adding that the scene is so successful because it tells a story through movement. "They're almost a little icy the way they start, and then just this beautiful way that they open up through the performance, and they're just so free and gorgeous through dancing together," she says. Check out those swoon-worthy twirling lifts toward the end.

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LOG-SPINNING AND ARM-WRESTLING

There's some real gymnastics in the rip-roaring choreography by Michael Kidd in the 1954 film, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." The big dance in the barn — with guys competing for the gals — is a showstopper. Moore loves that this dance story is told without lyrics. "These days, we're so used to being spoon-fed what we're supposed to feel," she says. Check out that guy on the spinning log, not to mention what can best be described as a balance beam routine that includes arm-wrestling.

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DANCIN' IN THE RAIN

Of course, Kelly's rain-drenched virtuoso performance in the title song of "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) is a wonder — especially when you consider that, according to movie lore, he had a bad cold and fever. Then there are Donald O'Connor's athletics — including wall-climbing somersaults — in "Make 'Em Laugh." But let's consider the recently departed Debbie Reynolds, who at age 19 had no dance training, and somehow held her own, expertly tapping away with Kelly and O'Connor in the joyous "Good Morning" — which she has said made her feet bleed.

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MAMBO IN THE GYM

There's no debating the brilliance of Jerome Robbins' choreography for "West Side Story" (1961). But which dance scene gets top billing? For Moore, it's that opening with the Jets and Sharks and those snapping fingers. "You just do that snap and a little jump and everybody instantly knows it's 'West Side Story,'" she says. For Perron, it's the Mambo dance at the gym, where Maria (Natalie Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer) fall in love. Especially that cinematic moment "when all the others blur out, and Tony and Maria come into focus, and it's just an amazing falling-in-love moment. The music slows down, and there's an inevitability about their coming together and ignoring the whole world."

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THE MAGIC OF MIKHAIL

You can dispute the overall quality of the 1985 "White Nights," but here's one thing you can't dispute: the dancing prowess of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. The two, who both play defectors (it's complicated), have silly dialogue but compelling dancing, together and apart. And, if you only have two minutes on your hands, search for "Baryshnikov" and "11 pirouettes." For 11 rubles, he does what is really one single pirouette with 11 revolutions — perfectly. In street clothes.

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STEP IN TIME

They're doing a high-profile "Mary Poppins" sequel, but for many it will be hard to match some of the memories of the 1964 original, like Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke dancing in "Step in Time" — that joyful chimney sweep scene on the London rooftops. "It takes the dirty, sooty experience of working on chimneys and makes it magical," says Perron.

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TRAVOLTA TRIFECTA

You gotta hand it to John Travolta, who's provided more than his share of lasting dance memories. First there was "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), where the actor earned big-screen fame as Tony Manero, king of the disco floor and champion of the strut. Only a year later he tore up the gym floor in "Grease," co-starring Olivia Newton-John. And in 1994, there was that understated — but unforgettable — twist contest with Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

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YOU KNOW, THAT LIFT

No one leaves Baby off a list. Before Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling did "La La Land," they did "Crazy, Stupid, Love," (2011) in which they recreated the famous "Dirty Dancing" lift made famous by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 1987. You know the one. Enough said.

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A STORM OF DANCING

If you watch one dance clip, let it be this: the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, in their have-to-see-it-to-believe-it performance in "Stormy Weather" (1943). It's not just that the brothers, who overcame racial hurdles to earn fame for their astounding talent, tap and twirl and jump onto tables; they jump into full splits, too, in moves that look like they'd be horribly painful. At the end, they leapfrog over each other down a staircase, landing in splits each time. And then they get up and smile. "They're unstoppable," says Perron. "And they make it look so much fun."

Carrie Underwood Hit Becomes Trump-Inspired 'Before He Tweets' [Watch]

Carrie Underwood's hit, "Before He Cheats," gets a political spin with a fan-made spoof titled "Before He Tweets," inspired by the Twitter musings of President Donald Trump. Continue reading…

Trent Harmon: New Song 'Her' Inspired By Life on the Road With a Girlfriend

Trent Harmon shared his song "Her" during Big Machine Label Group's luncheon during CRS 2017.

Continue reading…

White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing

The Associated Press chose not to participate in the briefing after White House press secretary Sean Spicer restricted the number of journalists included. Typically, the daily briefing is televised and open to all news organizations credentialed to cover the White House.

"The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible," Lauren Easton, the AP's director of media relations, said in a statement.

On Friday, hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech blasting the media, Spicer invited only a pool of news organizations that represents and shares reporting with the larger press corps. He also invited several other major news outlets, as well as smaller organizations including the conservative Washington Times, One America News Network and Breitbart News, whose former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, is Trump's chief strategist. When the additional news organizations attempted to gain access, they weren't allowed to enter.

The White House said it felt "everyone was represented" by those in the pool and the invited organizations.

"We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool. Nothing more than that," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

When asked by a reporter attending whether he was playing favorites, Spicer said the White House had "shown an abundance of accessibility," according to an audio recording of the briefing later circulated by the pool.

The pool included Reuters, Bloomberg, CBS, Hearst Newspapers and CBS Radio. Others in the briefing were Fox, NBC and ABC. Bloomberg reported that its reporter was unaware of the exclusions until after the briefing.

John Roberts, Fox's chief White House correspondent, told anchor Shepard Smith on the air Friday that Fox supports complaints being filed by the White House Correspondents Association and pool TV networks.

"You can speculate, Shep, that there might be some extenuating circumstances as to why those people were not invited, we're going to look into that further...." Roberts said.

In a statement, the correspondent association's president, Jeff Mason, said the group was "protesting strongly" against how the briefing was handled by the White House.

CBS News said in a statement that it was the pool's radio and TV outlet Friday.

"We recorded audio of this event and quickly shared it out of an obligation to protect the interests of all pool members," the news division said.

When Spicer was asked by a reporter at the briefing whether he was playing favorites, he said he "disagreed with the premise of the question," according to the audio.

"We've brought more reporters into this process. And the idea that every time that every single person can't get their question answered or fit in a room that we're excluding people. We've actually gone above and beyond with making ourselves, our team, and our briefing room more accessible than probably any prior administration. And so I think you can take that to the bank.

"We do what we can to accommodate the press. I think we've gone above and beyond when it comes to accessibility, and openness and getting folks — our officials, our team."

During a panel discussion last December, Spicer said that open access for the media is "what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship."

Reaction to Friday's events from the barred outlets and others was swift.

Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, called the newspaper's exclusion "unfortunate."

"The public has a right to know, and that means being informed by a variety of news sources, not just those filtered by the White House press office in hopes of getting friendly coverage," Maharaj said in a statement. "Regardless of access, the Times will continue to report on the Trump administration without fear or favor."

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said that "nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."

CNN's Jake Tapper took aim at the White House as he kicked off "The Lead with Jake Tapper" hours after the briefing.

"A White House that has had some difficulty telling the truth and that has seemed to have trouble getting up to speed on the basic competent functioning of government, and a president who seems particularly averse to any criticism and has called the press the enemies of the American people — they're taking the next step in attempting to avoid checks and balances and accountability.

"It's not acceptable. In fact, it's petulant, and indicative of a lack of basic understanding of how an adult White House functions," Tapper said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned the move by the White House.

"We are concerned by the decision to bar reporters from a press secretary briefing," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement. "The U.S. should be promoting press freedom and access to information."

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Elber reported from Los Angeles. AP Writer Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.

Waterloo Revival Crash an Engagement Party in 'Backwood Bump' Video

The official music video for "Backwood Bump" dropped on Dec. 12, and has the guys from Waterloo Revival crashing a swanky engagement party.

Continue reading…

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