In 1998, as Whoopi Goldberg's film career as a leading lady was over, she returned to television where she'd already failed once in a sitcom (Baghdad Cafe) and once as the host of her own self-titled talk show. Her return? As the center square of a daytime game show, Hollywood Squares. She more or less lasted through summer 2002, at which point she was replaced. It died shortly afterwards, having run for six seasons and not been a huge ratings getter.
This was a far cry from the original series which was a TV staple -- daytime and primetime. The original series ran on daytime TV in new episodes from 1966 to 1980 and a syndicated version aired in primetime from 1971 to 1981 -- this was not a repackaging of the NBC daytime show, these were episodes made specifically for primetime syndication. That show was huge.
It was tic-tac-toe. A host, Peter Marshall, asked two contestants to pick squares. Each square had a celebrity in it. The contestant would pick a celebrity who would answer a question and the contestant would state whether they agreed or disagree with the answer. If they got it right, they got the square. The winner got three squares in a row.
This is the focus of Peter Marshall's Backstage with the Original Hollywood Square: Relive 16 years of laughter with Peter Marshall, the master of The Hollywood Squares which is a book you can read with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. A pilot had been shot for the show in 1965 for CBS with Bert Parks. CBS turned it down. A year later, the director of the pilot was at NBC and pitched the idea again. Peter was doing musical comedy and, though he auditioned, was turning it down until he heard that it would go to Dan Rowan. He'd met Dan (and his partner Dick Martin) and he loathed Dan (but liked Dick Martin). For that reason, Peter accepted the hosting job.
Peter notes that the success of the show wasn't due to the game but to the funny answers celebrities would provide. The very first show featured Rose Marie, Wally Cox, Abby Dalton, Cliff Arquette, Sally Field, Nick Adams, Agnes Moorehead, Morey Amsterdam and Ernest Borgnine.
Paul Lynde would become center square and win two Emmys during his run on the show. He loved his dog Harry MacAfee (named after his character in Bye, Bye, Birdie) and sent him to Kansas City every time Harry needed to be groomed because he found a groomer there he thought was the best in the business. He loved working with the Lennon Sisters on the show and with Karen Valentine.
Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame appeared on the show because of Paul. Paul came across them in Florida.
Other interesting tidbits?
Star Trek fans, did you know Captain Kirk did The Hollywood Squares? William Shatner appeared in character and in costume. And fans of the show included Greta Garbo, Henry Fonda and Ann Landers -- the last two wrote letters to the show reproduced in the book.
If you ever watched the show, you'll probably enjoy reading Peter Marshall's book -- and don't skip the last chapter which is some of Peter's favorite photographs.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:
Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to e-mails obtained by The Post.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the e-mail reads.
An earlier e-mail from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
The blockbuster correspondence — which flies in the face of Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings” — is contained in a massive trove of data recovered from a laptop computer.
The computer was dropped off at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware in April 2019, according to the store’s owner.
Other material extracted from the computer includes a raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter, who’s admitted struggling with addiction problems, smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman, as well as numerous other sexually explicit images.
The press ignored the contents, Facebook and Twitter censored THE POST. If you go back to the way we covered it in October and November of last year, you'll note we refuted the claim of "hacking" over and over. And we did that because that was one of the lies being used. "We're not censoring the story, we just don't report the contents of something when it was hacked." First off, lie. Second of, it wasn't hacked nor was the laptop stolen. If I take one of my guitars in to be restrung (which I honestly do from time to time, I hate putting on new strings myself) and I don't pick it up, it's not my guitar. It's not someone's job to hold onto my guitar for six months or more. They have limited space and if I haven't paid for the work done, it's no longer mine. Hunter left his laptop to be repaired. He never paid the bill and he never picked it up. At that point, the computer repair shop owned the laptop. They were not 'hackers.' They were not thieves.
Those are basic facts and it felt like we were having to repeat that over and over here back then.
Glenn's compiled a video report of what the media did in terms of censoring the story.
A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.
But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation's oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden's son Hunter at a repair shop.
From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post's archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter's own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden's profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one's career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.
Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was "Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake ("disinformation"). The intelligence officials admitted in this letter that — in their words — “we do not know if the emails are genuine or not,” and also admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
The new discussion taking place (by some, many in the media remain silent) resulted from Ben Schreckinger's new book THE BIDEN'S: INSIDE THE FIRST FAMILY'S FIFTY YEAR RISE TO POWER. He discussed the book with Krystal and Saagar on BREAKING POINTS below.
In related news, Jerry Dunleavy (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reports:
Hunter Biden boasted of having "access to the highest level” in China, according to emails of his business contacts published on Thursday.
The alleged claim by President Joe Biden's adult son was discussed in a Jan. 28, 2015, email obtained by Business Insider from Democratic donor Sam Jauhari to Saudi business tycoon Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani, as the men tried to put together a plan to free Libya’s many billions in frozen funds.
“The commission has committed itself to announce the results of the elections within 24 hours,” the head of the electoral commission Jalil Adnan Khalaf said at a press conference. “Yesterday's simulations were to ensure that.”
Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) counts 3,249 people in all seeking seats in Parliament BROOKINGS notes this is a huge drop from 2018 when 7,178 candidates ran for office. RUDAW is among those noting perceived voter apathy, "Turnout for Iraq’s October 10 parliamentary election is expected to be a record low, with a recent poll predicting just 29 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots." Human Rights Watch has identified another factor which may impact voter turnout, "People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Without urgent changes, hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote. The 36-page report, “‘No One Represents Us’: Lack of Access to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Iraq,” documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office." Another obstacle is getting the word out on a campaign. Political posters are being torn down throughout Iraq. Halgurd Sherwani (KURDiSTAN 24) observes, "Under Article 35 of the election law, anyone caught ripping apart or vandalizing an electoral candidate's billboard could be punished with imprisonment for at least a month but no longer than a year, Joumana Ghalad, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), told a press conference on Wednesday." And there's also the battles in getting out word of your campaign online. THE NEW ARAB reported weeks ago, "Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site."
THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck Tweeted: of how "chromic mistrust in [the] country's political class" might also lower voter turnout. Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) also notes, "Experts are predicting low turnout in October due to distrust of the country’s electoral system and believe that it will not deliver the much needed changes they were promised since 2003." Mistrust would describe the feelings of some members of The October Revolution. Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) notes some of their leaders, at the recent Opposition Forces Gathering conference announced their intent to boycott the elections because they "lack integrity, fairness and equal opportunities." Distrust is all around. Halkawt Aziz (RUDAW) reported on how, " In Sadr City, people are disheartened after nearly two decades of empty promises from politicians."
After the election, there will be a scramble for who has dibs on the post of prime minister. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has 90 candidates in his bloc running for seats in the Parliament and one of those, Hassan Faleh, has insisted to RUDAW, "The position of the next prime minister is the least that the Sadrist movement deserves, and we are certain that we will be the largest and strongest coalition in the next stage." Others are also claiming the post should go to their bloc such as the al-Fatah Alliance -- the political wing of the Badr Organization (sometimes considered a militia, sometimes considered a terrorist group). ARAB WEEKLY reported, "Al-Fateh Alliance parliament member Naim Al-Aboudi said that Hadi al-Amiri is a frontrunner to head the next government, a position that can only be held by a Shia, according to Iraq’s power-sharing agreement." Some also insist the prime minister should be the head of the State of Law bloc, two-time prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki. Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters do not agree and have the feeling/consensus that, "Nouri al-Maliki has reached the age of political menopause and we do not consider him to be our rival because he has lost the luster that he once had so it is time for him to retire."