It’s an age-old question: how do you fight a bully? Or perhaps yet more timely, how do you topple a bullying racist billionaire politician?
The new Field of Vision documentary Adversary zooms in on a town doing its best to answer this question. Buffalo is home to Carl Paladino, who amassed his enormous fortune by putting up buildings all over town and across western New York state. Formerly a Democrat who gave generously to the party, by the mid-aughts, Paladino became a Republican and an active voice in the Tea Party movement. The real estate developer self-funded a run for New York governor in 2010, with longtime Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone serving as adviser and with anti-Obamaism as his primary platform. The New York Times wrote an almost poignant paean to Paladino’s “combative style,” highlighting his “outsize, impulsive and even outrageous behavior.”
“Buffalo media trip over themselves to get access to Paladino,” wrote Western New York political site WNYmedia at the time, apparently underestimating the scope of Paladino’s free ad potential, “because practically everything he says has the potential of being hugely controversial.”
In the midst of his gubernatorial bid, that same outlet leaked emails from Paladino that included pornography, bestiality, racist Obama jokes, and at least once, the N word. Despite, or perhaps because of those revelations, the candidate defeated all GOP takers in the primary and rose to the top of the Republican ticket.
If this story sounds uncannily like that of another septuagenarian plumbing the political depths, that’s because Paladino and Trump are two of a kind. (The former would go on to co-chair the latter’s campaign in New York.) But in the general election, Paladino lost to the widely unliked establishment Democrat.
Three years after that loss, Paladino ran for and won a seat on Buffalo’s school board. He also became a prolific property developer of charter schools in the area. Adversary offers a look at the inevitable conflict that arises when Paladino, a man prone to belligerent racist outbursts, takes a spot on a board filled with a significant number of women of color in a district that’s 80 percent black and brown students.
Director Scott Cummings’ documentary is featured in its entirety below:
‘Sesame Street’ puppeteer Caroll Spinney — aka Big Bird — dies at 85
Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on the iconic children's television show "Sesame Street" for half a century, died on Sunday at the age of 85.
Spinney died at home in Connecticut after living for some time with the movement disorder dystonia, which causes uncontrollable muscle contractions, according to a statement from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces the show.
The actor retired from the show last year, having hand-picked successors to play both Big Bird and Oscar -- two very different characters he helped create, delighting millions of children.
French basketball player fined in China for not looking at flag
A French former NBA player has been reprimanded and fined $1,400 by sports officials in China for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem before a game.
Players with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) are supposed to stare at the national symbol during the "March of the Volunteers", but television images showed Guerschon Yabusele, who plays for Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King, had his head down before Friday's game.
Yabusele was given a "serious warning" and a 10,000-yuan fine for not looking at the flag as required, the CBA said in a statement on Saturday.
Daughter claims Australian ex-PM urged silence on alleged rape
The daughter of former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke said he ordered her to keep quiet about her alleged rape by one of his political allies for fear it would damage his career, Australian media has reported.
Rosslyn Dillon alleged she was raped three times by a late Labor member of parliament in the 1980s, The New Daily reported Saturday.
In a court affidavit, Dillon said her father -- one of Australia's most popular prime ministers -- told her not to go to the police to avoid controversy ahead of his challenge for the party leadership in 1982.