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Fox military analyst says network makes him ashamed

A military analyst for Fox News said Tuesday that he was quitting the network because he believed it had turned into a propaganda machine for President Donald Trump's administration.

Ralph Peters, a retired U.S. Army officer, said he told Fox at the beginning of the month that he did not want his contributor contract renewed.

"Over my decade at Fox, I was long proud of the association," Peters wrote in an email that was distributed to colleagues at Fox News, and first reported by BuzzFeed News. "Now I am ashamed."

Fox said in a statement that Peters was entitled to his opinion, "despite the fact that he's choosing to use it as a weapon in order to get attention." Fox said it was proud of its opinion programming and prime-time hosts.

Peters said he believed Fox had "degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration."

He criticized prime-time hosts for "profoundly dishonest assaults" on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting an investigation into the Trump administration's dealings with Russia. He accused the network of "scaremongering" with lurid warnings of deep-state machinations.

Peters did not mention any names, but Fox's leading prime-time host, Sean Hannity, has been the most vocal defender of the president while talking of a "deep state" and casting doubt on justice officials. Trump has been an avid watcher of Fox, most notably its morning "Fox & Friends" program. The network is consistently the top-rated cable network each week with a prime-time lineup of Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

The network had an intramural debate of its own last week when news anchor Shepard Smith, who just renewed his contract, said in an interview with Time magazine that Fox's opinion hosts "don't really have rules" and can say whatever they want. He said the opinion lineup is there primarily as entertainment. That led Hannity and Ingraham to fire back, saying their shows have made news.

Peters said it appalled him that "hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots" now advance the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin by making light of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Peters was suspended by Fox for two weeks in 2015 for using a crude word to describe then-President Barack Obama during an appearance on the Fox Business Network.

The retired Army colonel said he did not apply his criticisms to Fox Business, who he called "the grown-ups," and Fox's news reporters.

Weinstein Co.'s bankruptcy could bring new wave of accusers

Is #MeToo part two on the way?

With its bankruptcy, the Weinstein Co. has tossed out the non-disclosure agreements that officials say its co-founder and former CEO Harvey Weinstein wielded as a weapon in his sexual predation, bringing with it the possibility of a whole new wave of victims coming forward.

Bankruptcy filings are normally shrouded in the jargon of finance, but on this point the movie and TV studio was clear:

"Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers," a Weinstein Co. statement said. "Effective immediately, those 'agreements' end. No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet."

The rare move from a major business is likely to send new witnesses and victims to media outlets and investigators, which put out fresh calls Tuesday for their stories.

It's unlikely, however, to spur a new surge in high-profile actresses coming forward, as Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and many others have in recent months.

That's because the Weinstein Co. only has the power to end agreements made by the company not Weinstein himself, meaning its effect will be primarily on current and former employees.

Cris Armenta, a lawyer representing accusers in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Weinstein Co., said she fears that because so many of the agreements are with Weinstein himself and still apply, the impact may not be major.

"What are they actually releasing, and is it just window dressing?" Armenta said Tuesday.

Armenta also worries that as creditors line up in front of those who have sued the company to get paid in bankruptcy, it could be "leaving the plaintiffs with nothing to hold on to."

Still, there is a large pool of people, many of them less powerful, lower-level employees with more to fear, who may now break their silence over what happened to them or what they saw.

They include workers like Zelda Perkins, a former Weinstein assistant who was among the first of his accusers to break a commitment to stay quiet after keeping Weinstein secrets for nearly 20 years. She told The Financial Times in October that Weinstein sexually harassed her "on every occasion I was alone with him" and said she spoke out in part to demonstrate "how egregious these agreements are."

Perkins is precisely the kind of workplace harassment subject that the Weinstein Co.'s move will free to speak, and who the move's champions hope will be helped.

"This is a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who fought for the provision in the Weinstein Co.'s bankruptcy. He added in his statement that it "will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard."

On Tuesday, Schneiderman's office sent out a tweet urging victims and witnesses to contact his office, which is conducting a civil rights investigation of the Weinstein Co. and of Weinstein himself.

Time's Up, an initiative started by a powerhouse group of Hollywood industry women to fight systemic sexual harassment, also urged those newly freed by the Weinstein bankruptcy to come to it with their stories, as did The New York Times.

In addition to bringing unprecedented attention to sexual harassment, the post-Weinstein world has seen a new level of scrutiny of nondisclosure agreements — "NDAs" for short in legal jargon — contractual pledges not to discuss what happened that are common features of financial settlements.

They have since been a central part of news stories including porn actress Stormy Daniels saying she had sex with President Donald Trump, sexual misconduct allegations against casino magnate Steve Wynn, and settlements between USA Gymnastics and gymnasts who were forbidden to speak about their abuse at the hands of team doctor Larry Nassar.

Several states including California and New York have considered legislation stopping or limiting nondisclosure agreements in cases of sexual misconduct.

"Secret settlements serve one primary purpose: To keep sexual predators away from the public eye and continuing to torment and hurt innocent victims," state Sen. Connie Leyva said in a statement introducing such a bill in California in January.

But while NDAs have become tools of the rich and powerful, they are not without benefits for their victims, who may want to keep their ordeal private or whose silence may be the only leverage they have in getting legal recourse.

Some 80 women, including prominent actresses, have accused Weinstein of misconduct ranging from rape to harassment.

He has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

Former WWE champ Goldberg transitions to ABC comedy

Bill Goldberg is on another winning streak.

The former WCW and WWE heavyweight champion can follow another, albeit less punishing, script on a show with an easy enough name for him to remember.

Goldberg, meet "The Goldbergs."

The 51-year-old Goldberg has a co-starring role on the ABC comedy when he appears as coach Nick Mellor on Wednesday's episode. He plays the brother of series regular Rick Mellor (Bryan Callen), the gym coach. The brothers have a strained relationship that can only be patched up by Beverly Goldberg when they are forced to temporarily move into the Goldbergs' house.

"I felt like I was at home. Everywhere I turned, I saw my name," Goldberg said, laughing in a phone interview. "It gave me an opportunity to show the lighter side of Goldberg."

He built his reputation as one of the baddest men in pro wrestling.

Goldberg, who had a brief NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, burst onto the wrestling scene with the now-defunct WCW on a 173-0 winning streak capped by a win over "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan for the championship. He moved on to WWE and won the championship before he took a 12-year hiatus from the sport.

Goldberg returned in 2016 and would become the company's universal champion. He lost the championship to Brock Lesnar at last year's WrestleMania in what stands as his last match.

"Do I want to roll the dice again? I don't know," Goldberg said. "I'll quote one of the most famous movies that I was ever in, 'Santa's Slay': It ain't over 'til I say it's over."

Goldberg made his surprise return in large part to get the chance to wrestle in front of his wife and young son. The son turned 11 last year and had never seen his dad wrestle. Goldberg often hoisted his son on his shoulders, brought him into the ring or gave him a shoutout during his comeback run.

"The angle was real and it was touching and it was true. I kind of left it all out there. It was a cleansing experience," Goldberg said. "I owe it all to Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar. They gave me the opportunity to be one of the coolest dads in the world and they didn't have to do that."

He has more big days ahead.

Goldberg is set to co-host the History Channel show, "Forged in Fire: Knife or Death," he hosts the automotive podcast "CarCast" and he has an April 6 date at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans set for his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. He'll headline a class that includes Mark Henry, Hillbilly Jim, the Dudley Boyz and celebrity inductee Kid Rock.

"Thankfully for the people that didn't forget about me, they welcomed me with open arms," Goldberg said.

Cosby lawyers: No T-shirts, flowers or slogans at retrial

Bill Cosby's lawyers want T-shirts, buttons and other slogan-filled items banned from his upcoming sexual assault retrial after some accusers were seen with them in the audience at his first trial.

Cosby's lawyers argued in court papers on Tuesday that slogans like "We Stand in Truth" could influence jurors. They also want to ban people from bringing in flowers, posters and other props.

Some women at Cosby's first trial carried bouquets of pink gladioli to express solidarity with other women who say the comedian drugged and molested them.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he assaulted a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

His first trial ended in a hung jury. Retrial jury selection is scheduled for April 2.

Prosecutors on Tuesday said jurors shouldn't hear why a district attorney declined to file criminal charges in 2005 because his opinion is irrelevant to the case at hand.


For more on the Cosby trial, go to

Nielsens illustrate the popularity of political shows

After Shepard Smith set off some internal Fox News Channel bickering over his description of "entertaining" opinion programming, a glance at the cable television rankings reveals the extent to which political talk has become a pastime for millions of Americans.

The Nielsen company said 26 of the 40 most-watched programs on cable television last week were political shows on Fox News or MSNBC, including each weeknight telecast by Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity and Lawrence O'Donnell.

Seven were telecasts of games from opening week of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament and four were professional wrestling. Only three scripted programs — AMC's "The Walking Dead," an HGTV episode of "Fixer Upper" and a Hallmark movie — made the list.

Smith, the afternoon news anchor who signed a contract extension last week, had one show on the list. He said in an interview with Time magazine that some of Fox's opinion programming "is there strictly to be entertaining.

"I get that," he said. "I don't work there. I wouldn't work there. I don't want to sit around and yell at each other and talk about your philosophy and my philosophy. That sounds horrible to me."

Smith also said that Fox's opinion shows don't really have rules. "They can say whatever they want — if it's their opinion," he said.

That comment drew rebukes from Hannity and fellow Fox prime-time host Laura Ingraham, who said both of their shows make news.

Maddow's Tuesday evening telecast on MSNBC, with 3.42 million viewers, was the most-watched news program on cable last week, Nielsen said. Hannity was in second and third place. Sixteen of the 26 political programs were on Fox, with the other 10 on MSNBC. Fox, which averaged 2.31 million viewers in prime time last week, was the most-watched cable network while MSNBC was second with 1.98 million, Nielsen said.

CNN, which averaged 1.11 million viewers in prime time last week, has been losing ground to its rivals recently as viewers settle into political camps. That may be behind its decision last week to shuffle its lineup, adding a prime-time show with Chris Cuomo as host.

CBS was the most-watched broadcast network last week, averaging 7 million viewers. NBC had 5.6 million, ABC had 4.7 million, Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million.

Following Fox News and MSNBC, the remaining three networks in cable's top five were boosted by the NCAA men's basketball tournament. TBS averaged 1.78 million, TNT had 1.77 million and TruTV had 1.55 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.8 million. NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.7 million.

For the week of March 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 13.27 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 11.88 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.18 million; "This is Us," NBC, 10.94 million; "Bull," CBS, 10.64 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.08 million; "The Good Doctor," ABC, 9.89 million; "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 9.25 million; "Instinct," CBS, 9.05 million; "American Idol" (Monday), ABC, 8.41 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.



Boy George, Culture Club are playing a show in the Dayton-area on their upcoming tour

Boy George is going on a tour with Culture Club and The B-52’s.

Rolling Stone reported that the musician is reuniting with the group and will also be joined by Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins on the summer tour.

>> The best live music events and concerts coming soon to Dayton

The Life Tour, with more than 40 dates, starts June 29 in St. Augustine, Florida and will make a stop at Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

A representative from the Fraze Pavilion said the B-52’s would not be playing at the local show. For more information you can visit their website here

Ticket prices range from $45-$95 and there’s a limit for 4 tickets per person first day of sale. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 24.

George told a fan on Twitter that a new single and album will be coming with the tour.

>> Earth, Wind & Fire headed to town for a summer concert

More information on the tour, including tickets, can be found at the Culture Club official website.

Dates for The Life Tour are below.

June 29 - St. Augustine, Fla., at Saint Augustine AmphitheatreJune 30 - Tampa, Fla., at USF Sun DomeJuly 1 - Pompano, Fla., at Pompano Beach AmphitheatreJuly 6 - Biloxi, Miss., at IP CasinoJuly 7 - San Antonio, Texas, at Tobin CenterJuly 10 - Austin, Texas, at Moody TheatreJuly 11 - Grand Prairie, Texas, at Verizon AmphitheaterJuly 12 - Tulsa, Okla., at River Spirit Casino ResortJuly 15 - Houston at Smart Financial at Sugar LandJuly 17 - Cary, N.C., at Koka Booth AmphitheatreJuly 18 - Vienna, Va., at Wolf TrapJuly 20 - Charleston, S.C., at Volvo Car StadiumJuly 21 - Charlotte, N.C., at PNC Music PavilionJuly 22 - Atlanta at Chastain Park AmphitheaterJuly 24 - Nashville, Tenn., at Ryman AuditoriumJuly 26 - Verona, N.Y., at Turning Stone CasinoJuly 27 - Boston at Wang TheatreJuly 28 - Forest Hills, N.Y., at Forest Hills StadiumJuly 31 - Morristown, N.J., at Mayo Performing Arts CenterAug. 3 - Asbury Park, N.J., at Stone Pony Summer StageAug. 28 - Lewistown, N.Y., at ArtparkAug. 30 - Detroit, Mich., at DTE Energy Music TheatreAugust 31 - Chicago at Ravinia FestivalSept. 1 - Chicago Ravinia FestivalSept. 3 - St. Paul, Minn., at Minnesota State FairSept. 5 - Kettering, Ohio, at Fraze PavilionSept. 6 - St. Louis at Fox TheatreSept. 7 - Kansas City, Ohio, at Starlight TheatreSept. 8 - Denver, CO @ Fiddlers Green AmphitheatreSept. 13 - Puyallup, Wash., at Washington State FairSept. 14 - Kennewick, Wash., at Toyota CenterSept. 15 - Portland, Ore., at Theatre of the CloudsSept. 16 - Murphys, Calif., at Ironstone AmphitheatreSept. 18 - Saratoga, Calif., at The Mountain WinerySept. 19 - Saratoga, Calif., at The Mountain WinerySept. 21 - Salt Lake City,  Maverik CenterSept. 22 - Reno, NV @ Reno Event CenterSept. 23 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara BowlSept. 25 - San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air TheatreSept. 27 - Albuquerque, N.M., at Sandia CasinoSept. 28 - Cabazon, Calif., MorongoSept. 29 - Las Vegas, Nev., at Downtown Las Vegas Event CenterSept. 30 - Scottsdale, Ariz., at Talking Stick ResortOct. 3 - Los Angeles at The Greek TheatreOct. 5 - Fresno, California, at The Big Fresno Fair

>> Dee Snider, Dokken, Warrant and Downtread are coming to town

Cynthia Nixon takes aim at Cuomo in 1st campaign event

Newly announced New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon on Tuesday criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo, her Democratic primary opponent, for favoring corporations and the rich over average New Yorkers.

The liberal activist and "Sex and the City" actress took aim at Cuomo in her first official campaign appearance, telling the audience at the Bethesda Healing Center in Brooklyn that she had just made it to the event "in the nick of time" because of subway delays that she blamed on "Cuomo's MTA."

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority oversees the subways, and Cuomo controls the MTA. An MTA spokesman said on Twitter there had been a sick passenger.

Nixon went on to criticize inequality in the state, which she blamed on policy choices like tax cuts for corporations and wealthier New Yorkers, and called out corruption in state government.

"If Washington is a swamp, Albany is a cesspool," she said. She cited a former Cuomo top aide, Joseph Percoco, who was convicted this month on federal bribery and fraud charges.

Cuomo was not accused of any wrongdoing, but the trial put a spotlight on Albany's pay-to-play culture.

Nixon said she voted for Cuomo eight years ago in hopes of his being a "real Democrat" but that "New York's eight years under the Cuomo administration have been an exercise in living with disappointment, dysfunction, and dishonesty."

She said the state could have tackled a range of issues, from fully funding public schools to fixing the beleaguered subway system and enacting campaign finance reform.

A spokesman for the governor's re-election campaign didn't immediately comment Tuesday. But the campaign has previously pointed to Cuomo's achievements including legalizing gay marriage, tightening gun restrictions, raising the minimum wage, expanding public education funding and banning fracking.

Vermont resort for 'Bachelor Winter Games' ordered to close

A private Vermont ski resort that was the setting for "The Bachelor Winter Games" on ABC has been shut down for failing to pay taxes.

The resort missed a required payment to the state and was ordered to close until it is paid, Meridith Dennes, a spokeswoman for The Hermitage Club, said Monday. "We are working diligently to secure the funds to allow us to open for this coming weekend."

The members-only resort owes more than $1 million in back taxes and recently laid off about 80 people, citing poor weather and cash-flow issues.

Last month, a bank filed a foreclosure notice on several of the resort's properties, saying the club had defaulted on more than $16 million in loans.

State employees were posting public notices on the doors of the resort Monday afternoon, and the company was not allowed to open until it is able to come up with enough money to make its payments to the tax department, said Vermont Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom.

The Hermitage Club hosted "The Bachelor Winter Games," a four-episode spin-off of "The Bachelor" that ran in conjunction with the Olympics.

Fitting Room Etiquette 101

At the risk of delving into a sociopolitical argument over men and women using dressing rooms of the opposite gender, this past weekend I was faced with a very strange scenario. 

While shopping with my wife at JC Penny, I attempted to enter the men’s fitting room and was greeted by an angry female voice from inside yelling, “hey, I’m in here.” I was startled because generally you LOCK THE DOOR after going into a fitting room. Wasn’t expecting that! And then to be met with such hostility was a bit unsettling. 

Feeling a bit perturbed and seeing this as a teachable moment, I curtly responded, “Maybe lock the door next door?!” She snapped back, “I did lock it.” I said, “Well, clearly it wasn’t locked.” She said, “Well, I locked it.” And I said, “Well, I opened it.” And added, “It’s also the men’s dressing room.” It was like a scene from a TV show right before two people throw down. 

My wife standing nearby was visibly embarrassed by my exchange with this stranger. She suggested we do our browsing elsewhere and we vacated the area like the wimps we are. I did keep an eye on the dressing room to see who came out. After a few minutes the woman emerged and she looked to me to be one of those people who live in a constant state of anger and irritation and has done so for decades. Maybe it’s her ill-fitting men’s jeans? 

I have no issue with people dressing in whatever makes them feel comfortable or pretty but it got me thinking: if I wanted to try on clothes in the women’s fitting room, I’m sure most women would object. Maybe even call store security. How is this different?

I’ve been in a men’s dressing room when another man mistakenly tried to enter my stall. When this happens I respond with, “Occupied.” That’s usually met with, “Oh, sorry man.” No harm, no foul. No hostility needed.

And according to the some of the women I work with (and my wife), this happens all the time in women’s fitting rooms and it’s not that big of a deal. This woman clearly doesn’t know modern day fitting room etiquette or decorum.

Bottom line: if you have a concern about someone of the opposite gender seeing you partially unclothed, maybe use the appropriate fitting room. No one at the store is going to care if you take a pair of men’s Wranglers to the women’s fitting room. 

And lastly, don’t be so darn indignant if someone mistakenly tries the door handle or slides open the curtain. You’re the interloper in this scenario, missy!

Cash-strapped museum urges judge to OK contentious art sale

A cash-strapped Massachusetts museum urged a judge on the state's highest court Tuesday to quickly sign off on a contentious plan to sell dozens of pieces of art, including works by Norman Rockwell.

An attorney for the Berkshire Museum told Justice David Lowy that it is nearing an April deadline to sell some of the works this spring — otherwise it will have to wait until the fall. The museum is in dire financial straits and losing money with each delay, attorney William Lee said.

"This is a situation where a museum that serves an enormous community purpose — that provides a window on the world to a group of folks who otherwise might not have it — is in dire circumstances and looking for a way to fulfill its mission," Lee said.

The museum and Massachusetts' attorney general are asking Lowy to approve an agreement they reached last month to allow the museum to sell up to 40 pieces of artwork.

Under the agreement, an unnamed U.S. museum would buy Rockwell's "Shuffleton's Barbershop" and loan the work to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge for a period of time before lending it to other museums in the state.

The museum says it will sell the rest of the artwork until it reaches $55 million in proceeds. The museum says it may not have to sell all 39 other pieces, which include Rockwell's "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop" and works by Alexander Calder, Albert Bierstadt and George Henry Durrie.

The judge didn't immediately rule on the matter on Tuesday.

Rockwell's sons, who went to court in October to halt the sale, dropped their challenge last month after the museum and attorney general announced that their agreement would keep "Shuffleton's Barbershop" in public view.

The museum says the sale is the only option it has to keep its doors open. The museum has been running an operating deficit that in the past 10 years has averaged more than $1 million annually, and will close within eight years without an infusion of cash, it says.

An attorney for a group of museum members fighting the sale said Rockwell specifically chose the Berkshire Museum for his pieces because he wanted local residents to enjoy them. While the agreement ensures "Shuffleton's Barbershop" can be viewed by the public, the other works may never be seen again, he said.

"Make no mistake, the art market is watching," Nicholas O'Donnell said.

Michael Keating, a lawyer for other museum members, said if the sale goes forward, Lowy should appoint a special person to oversee the process and ensure the money raised by the museum is used appropriately. The attorney general's office says it will supervise the sale, but Keating said that's not enough.

"For the court to approve that, your honor ... would be extraordinary under circumstances like that," he told the judge.


Follow Alanna Durkin Richer at . Read more of her work at .

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