Deja-Video: 'House of Cards' predicted Trump's Andrew Jackson faux-pas

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President Trump hosts Native American veterans in the Oval Office

Hi. Long time no see. 

Hat tip to CNN's Jake Tapper for this one. On Monday, President Trump held an event in the Oval Office ostensibly honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, where -- as has been extensively reported -- he derisively referred to Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" while standing in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson.

The architect of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, President Jackson is reviled by Native Americans for forcing the deadly displacement of 120,000 Natives during his presidency. In fact, Jackson is so despised in Native communities that some American Indians won't even use $20 bills because they bear his portrait.

So, yeah, a bit of a faux-pas that no one at the White House realized (or cared) that the Native American war heroes that they were there to honor might take offense.

If this all sounds familiar, it may be because this scene played out once before: in a season two episode of 'House of Cards,' except in that case the fictional Frank Underwood -- not known for his compassion -- understood Native American sensitivities around Jackson (even if his staff, like Trump's, failed to anticipate it):

 


Remembering Soft-Shoe Silhouettes

NOTE: I originally wrote this post in the spring of 2006 while working on the now-defunct Pan and Scan blog. Since the archives there are long gone, I'm re-posting here.

If you never watched the '70s children's television show, 'Electric Company,' you may want to skip this one.

A month ago, we wrote a post on the new 5-disc 'Best of Electric Company' DVD box set, where we surveyed the web for clips from the show.

The experience re-awoke nearly 30 year-old memories, and honestly left me wanting more. So I picked up the new DVD, took another deep dive, and wasn't disappointed.

Fans of the show likely remember some of the recurring characters: Rita Moreno as "The Director," Morgan Freeman as "Easy Reader" -- all are included in the set, but the sequence I found most trippy nearly thirty years later was one I'd hardly remembered:



Dubbed 'soft-shoe silhouettes' by the show's producers, these short sequences were frequently used as a bridge between the more popular skits on the show.

Apparently I'm not the only ones with a fondness for the sequence -- after rooting around a bit more online, I found this homage from an episode of 'Family Guy':


Does anyone else smell a pop culture renaissance for the silhouettes?


Canned Applause on SNL?

A strange thing happened this weekend on 'Saturday Night Live.' As host Hugh Laurie began his opening monologue -- and after the applause from his introduction had died down -- a second, quieter track of seemingly canned cheers and applause continued as Laurie spoke, only to abruptly fade out several seconds later.

Yes, it's subtle. And yes, like you, my first instinct was to write it off as simply a clumsy audio mix of the actual live audience. But if you listen to it carefully, there's something about the timing and ferocity of those last four or five seconds of applause that just seems off. UPDATE: The fact that NBC removed the suspect audio from the west coast feed of the show seems to back up our suspicions (Defamer has just posted a clip of the same sequence as it was broadcast in LA).

And while it's not unusual for pre-recorded television shows to "sweeten" the applause or laughter recorded from a live studio audience, it would seem a most disingenuous move for 'SNL.' In fact, in distancing himself from the Ashlee Simpson lip-syncing incident two years ago, 'SNL' creator Lorne Michaels told '60 Minutes' that had he known she'd planned to lip sync, he would have said stopped her, saying that pre-recorded audio goes against the show's essence of being live.

So is 'SNL' sweetening its live audio? And if so, can we assume this includes laughter, in addition to applause?


Vintage Ronald Reagan Satellite Feed

If you know me personally, you know I loves me the raw satellite feeds. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this vintage satellite feed of Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1985, the night of Super Bowl XIX.

The San Francisco 49ers had just defeated the Miami Dolphins, and then-President Reagan was set to deliver a congratulatory post game call to 49ers coach Bill Walsh, live via satellite from the White House as part of ABC's post-game coverage.

In this nine minute feed, we see the President as he prepares for (and ultimately delivers) his message to the coach.

As you might expect, Reagan is clearly at ease in the front of the camera, although he seems surprised that he won't actually be holding a telephone as he delivers his message, saying, "I thought I'd at least be pretending I was phoning."


The New 'Soy Bomb'

It's not a music awards show without someone taking the stage uninvited.

Tonight's unwelcome guest at the MTV Video Music Awards was someone who calls himself "6" -- or maybe he spells it "six," like the girl from 'Blossom'? UPDATE: It's "Sixx," of course... and apparently he's done this before.

In any case, he jumped on stage from the audience just as Panic! at the Disco arrived to accept the night's final award for Video of the Year. Grabbing the microphone from one of the band members as they walked on stage, he said something about MTV not giving him his own show, then plugged his web site -- mtv6000.com (which promptly crashed) -- before being tackled by security and ushered off the stage.

Jennifer Lopez (on stage to present the award) was impressively cool, refusing to hand him the band's moon man, despite his best efforts:

UPDATE (9/1/06): According to their now semi-functional web site, Sixx and friends are selling a DVD ("From the Hood to Hollywood") about how they crash music awards shows:

"From the Hood to Hollywood chronicles the story of an upstart film company founded by two struggling film makers Nicholas "Sixx" King and Brooklyn Jhonn. After years of being snubbed by the record industry for A-list music video jobs , Sixx and Jhonn decided that the only breaks ever given in show business are the breaks you give YOURSELF! The questions like Who are you? And what have you done would soon be unecessary . The duo along with their intern Tyla planned to pull the ULTIMATE independent project that would irradiate any such questions. They decided to film their rise to stardom by joining the music industry's celebrity's [sic] in their moments of glory. Sixx captivates audiences worldwide with humorous antics at the world's most prestigious award shows. "


CNN Airs Anchor's Bathroom Conversation During Bush Speech

About ten minutes into President Bush's speech yesterday in New Orleans, CNN accidentally aired audio of a conversation between CNN anchor Kyra Phillips and a female colleague which apparently took place in a CNN restroom.

Phillips was wearing a wireless microphone while on a bathroom break as she small talked with another woman about her "handsome, passionate" husband and her "control freak" sister-in-law. The conversation can be heard for a full ninety seconds over the President's speech -- and only ends after someone else enters the room and says "Your mic is on. Turn it off. It’s been on the air."

Here's the video, along with a scrolling transcription of the (sometimes muffled) conversation:

CNN has apologized for the incident, saying in a statement: "CNN experienced audio difficulties during the president's speech today in New Orleans. We apologize to our viewers and the president for the disruption."

The anchor in question -- Kyra Phillips -- was mocked last year for confusing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton with soft rock impresario Michael Bolton:

[ via TV Newser and NewsBusters ]