Hollywood is sorority racist

Muck Rack Daily

Hollywood is sorority racist
February 29th, 2016
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Ledes on Leap Day

"Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, 'We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.' -- Chris Rock," writer/photographer Christina Tkacik quotes the comedian host from his speech at last night's Academy Awards (at 11,500 enthusiastic shares so far). It's certainly undeniable that the 2016 Oscars repeatedly drew from themes of diversity and social justice, starting with an opening monologue from Rock that certainly did not shy away from addressing the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations: "When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short," Rock said, in one of the most powerful moments from his opener. Admittedly, a joke about Asians and child labor fell pretty flat, as did #WhoIsStaceyDash dishing out some irony to wish everyone a happy Black History Month after she'd called for it to be canceled. "So with all the talk of diversity at the #Oscars, it was really odd to see that awkward Asian joke," admits CNET's Roger Cheng

Then there were the two wins by “Spotlight,” every journalist's favorite contender for Best Picture, which followed the Boston Globe’s past investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic priests. "The 'Spotlight' win is a victory for the movie crew and for the Globe, but it's also a victory for journalism," concludes the Globe's Jon Chesto. "'Spotlight' victim says best-picture win a new level of validation," adds Houston Chronicle's James Drew. Extra special: the actual journalists portrayed in the film got to take a turn on the red carpet. Lady Gaga also brought many audience members to tears with her performance of an Oscar-nominated song about sexual assault, bringing real survivors on-stage, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who received a rarely given standing ovation when he finally won an Oscar for Best Actor after being nominated 6 times, chose to make his speech about acknowledging and ending climate change. And then The Onion rewarded him by joking that he kissed "the Bear" before receiving his award.

With all of that going on, you'd think the 88th Academy Awards would have impressive ratings, right? Yeah, wrong. In fact, they set a new record for lack of viewership. "Despite controversy, or perhaps because of it, the Oscars hit an 8-year low," points out TV critic Matthew Gilbert. Also, please enjoy all of these famous, tuxedoed men in aisle seats refusing to clap for a female Oscars winner in jeans (that might not be the real correlation, but it's pretty weird optics, guys). "Inarritu refusing to clap and side-eyeing Jenny Beavan is the new Leo/Gaga moment at the Golden Globes," decides freelancer Laurence Barber. Check out the complete list of nominees and winners here.

Now let us move from prizes to pols. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, so cue total panic as the the GOP race goes in the gutter and the divided party embarks on a desperate mission to stop Donald Trump (and you won't believe the kicker attached to that last New York Times link, by the way). "Trump is tearing apart and possibly ending the Republican Party and not even evil genius Karl Rove can stop it," summarizes VICE's Danny Gold. Perhaps they should be consulting Last Week Tonight's John Oliver, who shredded the Trump brand in the most scathing segment we've yet seen from him. "John Oliver's magnificent Trump/Drumpf segment shows that to ridicule him well you have to partly take him seriously," observes NYT's James Poniewozik. Simultaneously the Washington Post reports that Trump Mortgage failed and here’s what that says about him. Still, Gov. Chris Christie recently split with his past to back Trump, even as former senator Tom Coburn endorsed Marco Rubio and slammed the billionaire. Meanwhile, Joe Scarborough says Trump's recent "feigned ignorance" about the KKK raises disturbing questions while Philip Bump brings up the fact that Trump's dad was arrested after a Klan riot once -- but Trump blames a "very bad earpiece" for the whole sordid saga. Then over in that corner, you have Gawker, gleefully fooling Trump into retweeting Benito Mussolini.

By the way, Hillary Clinton also remains dominant on this eve of Super Tuesday.

Question of the day

Our last question asked: The Wall Street Journal reports that a random Russian IT guy is having a moment because why?

Congratulations to Ron Casalotti of KPMG US for being the very first to answer that question! An honorable mention goes out to Mark Gibbs (who adds "I want to know which Russian is my doppelganger") for also answering that correctly.

As for today's question, here it is: In honor of today's unusual date, what is the reason Leap Years were invented?

Click here to submit your answers to @MuckRack. IMPORTANT: If you choose not to click that link, please include the word "answer" in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you)! 

... We’ll announce the winners in the next Daily!

Featured journalist: Christian McPhate

We're starting off the week by highlighting the impressive detective work of Dallas Observer Magazine's Christian McPhate, an award-winning reporter who also happens to be shaping young journalist minds at the University of North Texas. His coverage primarily has focused on the crime and justice beat, some samplings of which you'll find here in his Muck Rack portfolio -- we suggest you start with Denton's Scandal-Prone Sheriff (at nearly 4,000 shares!) or Adultery, a Love Child and Claims of a Police Conspiracy Heat Up Princeton (at close to 500). McPhate's work has appeared in alternative weeklies such as the Dallas Observer, Fort Worth Weekly and Houston Press as well as newspapers like the Dallas Morning News, Denton Record Chronicle and Fort Worth Star Telegram. As for the award-winning part, you can see a list of his accolades here!

Remember: If you also want to be featured here, you should 1) set up your own journalist portfolio 2) get verified and 3) let us know by emailing Kirsten.

Career Updates
Journo job moves for Monday

Career moves you should know:

  • Welcome back: Josh Barro (at right) will soon rejoin Business Insider as senior editor, overseeing its commentary team as well as writing columns on politics, business and the economy. Barro left to join the New York TimesThe Upshot. More on that here.
  • Another return: veteran journalist Michael Casey will soon return to the Associated Press as administrative correspondent for northern New England. Casey is finishing up as science and technology editor for FoxNews.com and CBSNews.com and as a reporter for Fortune, VICE and Scientific American. More here.
  • Mic snares Tech Insider's Kelly Dickerson to cover science with a focus on space, astronomy and NASA. Dickerson first joined Business Insider in January of last year before moving to its tech off-shoot.
Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email Kirsten (kirsten [at] sawhorsemedia [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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