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Trump-backed GOP Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, a former football star, was plunged into controversy recently when it emerged he was lying about his academic credentials by claiming that he had graduated from the University of Georgia, when in fact he left the school to play professional football without ever earning a degree.
Caught in this lie, he tried to claim that he had never actually claimed he graduated in the first place — but on Wednesday, CNN's KFILE busted this too, providing the receipts.
"When Walker was challenged about his graduation deception in an interview last week with FOX 5 Atlanta anchor Russ Spencer, Walker declared he had never once said he graduated from the University of Georgia," wrote Daniel Dale and Andrew Kaczynski. "Spencer told Walker that he has a 'phenomenal life story.' but that 'in some instances you've exaggerated that story. You said that you graduated from UGA...' Walker interjected: 'I never said that. They say that. And I said — that's what you gotta remember. I never, I never have said that statement. Not one time. I've said that I studied criminal justice at UGA.'"
In fact, they wrote, Walker has claimed he graduated on at least three occasions — and even claimed he was valedictorian.
"And all of sudden I started going to the library, getting books, standing in front of a mirror reading to myself. So that Herschel that all the kids said was retarded become valedictorian of his class. Graduated University of Georgia in the top 1% of his class," he said in a motivational speech in 2017. "And people say, 'Herschel, you played football.' But I said, 'Guys, I also was valedictorian of my class. I also was in the top 1% of my graduating class in college,'" he said in a radio interview that same year. And his now-defunct book promotional website claims that "After his first pro season, he finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Georgia," which isn't true either.
Walker, who won nomination easily last night to take on Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) with the backing of former President Donald Trump, has also been accused of violent domestic abuse, even allegedly threatening to murder his ex-wife, and has ties to a group accused of scamming military veterans.
While it was widely expected that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp would beat Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue, there was far less certainty about the fate of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was also targeted by Trump.
In the end, Raffensperger handily beat Trump-backed challenger Jody Hice, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Hice himself was partly to blame by running an "abysmal campaign."
"[Hice] mostly frequented small-scale GOP gatherings and far-right talk shows where he continually preached to the choir rather than expand his base," the paper reports. "And he hoarded his cash expecting a runoff, which was a very bad bet in the end."
Raffensperger, in contrast, employed a strategy that "involved a spate of visits to Rotary Clubs and local civic organizations that aren’t havens for the 'Stop the Steal' crowd."
The paper notes that he also "didn’t shy away from countering far-right Trump supporters with the truth about elections" that the twice-impeached former president lost in 2020.
Additionally, Raffensperger benefitted from Democratic voters who crossed over to support him in Georgia's open primaries, as they feared having a secretary of state who would refuse to certify future election results.
Cannes is set to be shaken, rattled and rolled on Wednesday as the world premiere of "Elvis" rocks the film festival on the French Riviera, in what is proving a vintage year for music-lovers.
The highly anticipated new film is the latest from Australia's Baz Luhrmann, the technicolor genius behind "Romeo and Juliet" and "Moulin Rouge!".
Rising star Austin Butler, 30, steps into the blue suede shoes of Elvis Presley, and whispers around the Cannes Film Festival suggest it will rocket him into the A-list.
The film also features Tom Hanks as The King's infamous manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
It has been warmly welcomed by the family of Presley, who died in 1977 at the age of 42 after a descent into drug addiction.
His granddaughter Riley Keough, who happened to be at Cannes with her directorial debut "War Pony" last week, said she had watched the film with her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, and grandmother, Priscilla Presley.
"There's a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around there. It was a very intense experience," she told reporters.
Luhrmann has become a favorite at Cannes, having wowed critics with his debut "Strictly Ballroom" in 1992, and opening the festival twice, with "Moulin Rouge!" and "Gatsby".
Celebrating its 75th edition, the festival has been a feast for music lovers this year.
There were rave reviews for a new documentary about David Bowie, "Moonage Daydream" -- part of a recent wave of innovative films about music legends.
"It's not a biography," its director, Brett Morgen, told AFP. "The film is meant to be sublime, and kaleidoscopic, and kind of wash over you."
Ethan Coen, one half of the beloved Coen brothers film-making duo, was also in Cannes to present a documentary about another rock'n'roll pioneer, Jerry Lee Lewis.
Both docs eschew expert talking heads in favor of a more immersive experience.
"I don't care what experts say," Coen told AFP at the festival. "Jerry Lee is a performer so I want to see the performance -- not what some expert thinks about it."
As arguably the world's leading film festival, Cannes seeks a line-up that balances hard-hitting dramas, arthouse experimentation and blockbuster spectacles.
This year has seen plenty of Hollywood glamour, with "Elvis" preceded by last week's launch of "Top Gun: Maverick", which brought Tom Cruise and a French Air Force display team to the red carpet.
While they are playing out of the competition, the race for the top prize Palme d'Or has been a very mixed affair so far.
No clear frontrunner has emerged from the 21 films in competition, with critics deeply divided over almost every entry.
Perhaps the best reception up to now has been for "Decision to Leave" by Korean director Park Chan-wook, known for his 2003 thriller "Oldboy".
But the awards, to be presented on Saturday, are decided by a jury of film professionals -- this year including Indian superstar Deepika Padukone, Iran's two-time Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi and led by French actor Vincent Lindon.
© 2022 AFP