National Newswatch

Ex-White House press secretary Jen Psaki hired by MSNBC

May 24 2022 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki has officially landed at MSNBC, where she is expected to make appearances on the network's cable and streaming programs as well as host a new original show. The program, set to debut in the first quarter of 2023, will “bring together her unique perspective […]

New York theater leaders agree on a New Deal for Broadway

Aug 23 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — A wide Broadway coalition of theater owners, producers, union leaders, creators and casting directors have hammered out a series of reforms and commitments for the theater industry to ensure equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. The New Deal for Broadway emerged following a summit of industry leaders organized by Black Theatre United […]

Broadway to require vaccinations, masks for audience members

Jul 30 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway theatergoers will need to prove they've been vaccinated for COVID-19 and masks will be required when theaters reopen in the coming weeks, producers announced Friday. Audience members will have to wear face coverings and show proof they are fully vaccinated by a FDA or WHO authorized vaccine when they enter […]

Jackie Mason, comic who perfected amused outrage, dies at 93

Jul 24 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — Jackie Mason, a rabbi-turned-comedian whose feisty brand of standup comedy led him to Catskills nightclubs, West Coast talk shows and Broadway stages, has died. He was 93. Mason died Saturday at 6 p.m. ET at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan after being hospitalized for over two weeks, the celebrity lawyer Raoul […]

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ author Eric Carle dies at 91

May 26 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Carle, the beloved children’s author and illustrator whose classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other works gave millions of kids some of their earliest and most cherished literary memories, has died at age 91. Carle's family says he died Sunday at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, with family members […]

‘Hadestown’ jumps ahead of pack to welcome Broadway patrons

May 24 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — “Hadestown,” the brooding musical about the underworld, has set its Broadway reopening date on Sept. 2, jumping ahead of such megahits as “Hamilton” and “Wicked” to position itself as the first show to welcome audiences on Broadway since the pandemic. Producers announced Monday that tickets will go on sale June 11 […]

CNN cuts ties with Rick Santorum over disparaging comments

May 22 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is cutting ties with former Republican senator and current TV analyst Rick Santorum over disparaging comments he made about Native American culture. On CNN, Santorum was a senior political commentator who was often tasked with giving the Republican point of view during campaign coverage. His parting ways with the network […]

Tom Hanks heads TV special celebrating Biden’s inauguration

Jan 13 2021 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States, with performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons. “I was left speechless when I was asked to perform! ” Lovato wrote on Instagram. Clemons was also […]

Kal Penn hopes for dialogue with new show for young voters

Sep 21 2020 — Mark Kennedy — Politics has been more than a little shouty of late. Actor and activist Kal Penn would quietly like to change that. “Today we have the blessing — or a curse — of being able to yell at somebody on your phone on Twitter, which of course feels fantastic sometimes but doesn’t necessarily do anything,” he […]

Newsweek apologizes for op-ed questioning Harris eligibility

Aug 15 2020 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — Newsweek has apologized for an op-ed that questioned Sen. Kamala Harris’ U.S. citizenship and her eligibility to be Joe Biden’s running mate, a false and racist conspiracy theory which President Donald Trump has not dismissed. “This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize,” […]

Obama-backed documentary on Ohio factory wins Academy Award

Feb 9 2020 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — The Oscar for best feature-length documentary has gone to "American Factory," the first documentary released by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company. The Netflix film is about an Ohio auto glass factory that is run by a Chinese investor. It explores many issues, including the rights of workers, globalization and automation. “American […]

Broadway performers plan protest outside the White House

Aug 3 2018 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — Rosie O'Donnell and cast members from some of Broadway's biggest musicals plan to serenade President Donald Trump on Monday — but from outside the White House in protest. The group will sing "The People's Song" from "Les Miserables," Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," ''A Brand New Day" from […]

Trump, Alec Baldwin renew Twitter feud

Mar 2 2018 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — President Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin — his chief impersonator — traded online barbs Friday, each describing the other as causing "agony," the latest salvos in an ongoing feud between the commander in chief and the actor. Trump, who has long grumbled about the way he is portrayed by Baldwin on "Saturday […]

Trump mocked during New York fundraiser by top comedians

Nov 8 2017 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — Some top comedians — including John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and Conan O'Brien — helped raise money for military veterans Tuesday night at a raucous event at Madison Square Garden in which many of the best barbs were hurled at the current commander in chief. "It's a strange time to be […]

Filmmaker Michael Moore thinks humour can win the day

Aug 18 2017 — Mark Kennedy — NEW YORK — Things may look bleak for Democrats these days, but Michael Moore thinks he knows how they can get back on top — humour. The Academy Award-winning director of "Bowling for Columbine" who is currently starring in his one-man Broadway show says wit can be devastating — and points to Melissa McCarthy's "Saturday […]