One death-defying stunt wasn't enough for daredevil Nik Wallenda. Discovery is banking on recapturing the ratings magic of his tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon this fall with an urban-themed stunt. This time, Wallenda will tightrope-walk between two Chicago skyscrapers in a live special called Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda.
Wallenda originally wanted to walk between two buildings without a harness in New York, but the city nixed his plans. Since Discovery is still in the permit application process, it's so far unclear where Wallenda will cross, though it should be noted that Chicago is home to the 1,451-foot-tall Willis Tower.
Judging by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's reaction, it doesn't sound like Wallenda is going to have any trouble receiving the permits. "Chicago is home to the first skyscraper and has played host to countless world events, and this will be one for the history books," he said. Jordan Valinsky
President Trump wakes up to Fox & Friends, regularly slips out of the Oval Office to watch cable news in the small adjoining dining room, and keeps the TV on when he retires to his private residence, sometimes hate-watching shows critical of him and discussing it on the phone with friends, The Washington Post reports. "Once he goes upstairs, there's no managing him," one adviser said. Some confidants say Trump still watches MSNBC's Morning Joe, but Trump tells The Associated Press he no longer tunes in to negative coverage of himself on CNN and MSNBC, to his own surprise. "I don't watch things, and I never thought I had that ability," he said. "I always thought I'd watch."
What's undisputed is that Trump's cable news habit has upended Washington. Politicians and White House staff who appear on TV seem to have as much influence as those who meet with Trump in the Oval Office, proving TV to be one kind of great equalizer. But at the same time, White House aides and congressional Republicans are exasperated that Trump "can seem to be swayed by the last thing he sees on TV, a medium geared more for entertainment than actual policymaking," The Washington Post reports, or when they have to scramble "to reverse-engineer information to support his dubious assertions" on Twitter. And there are other ways Trump's TV habit affects the real world, The Post says:
The president, advisers said, also uses details gleaned from cable news as a starting point for policy discussions or a request for more information, and appears on TV himself when he wants to appeal directly to the public. ... Foreign diplomats have urged their governments' leaders to appear on television when they're stateside as a means of making their case to Trump. [The Washington Post]
Trump's advisors and allies say the 70-year-old president is served well by his "sophisticated understanding of how to communicate, the power of television," as senior counselor Kellyanne Conway says. And while Trump's obsession with cable news, especially Fox News, is unusual for a president, The Washington Post notes, in other ways it's "unremarkable, based on his profile. Fox News' average prime-time viewer last year, for instance, was 68 years old and mostly white, and the average American watches more than four hours per day, according to Nielsen data." You can read more about Trump and TV at The Washington Post. Peter Weber
Put away the masks, creams, cleansers, and serums — a University of California, San Diego, professor says he has developed an acne vaccine that can take care of the disease.
"This is the first vaccine for human beauty," Prof. Eric Huang of the Department of Dermatology told NBC 7. "I think this vaccine has a huge market in the whole world." Huang said acne is caused by an overgrowth of the p. acnes bacteria inside a lesion, and when the bacteria releases a toxin called Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor, it causes inflammation. The human body can't neutralize this factor on its own, but the vaccine can. "It does not kill the bacteria," he said. "The vaccine neutralizes the bacteria, which everybody has."
After five years of work, there are two types of vaccines — therapeutic and preventative, which will be given to children in elementary school. The vaccine has been tested on mice and worked well, Huang said, and now, he needs to team up with a pharmaceutical company for large-scale clinical trials; if that happens soon, after FDA approval, the vaccine could be available within three to five years. Catherine Garcia
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has no qualms about going after President Trump and his administration, and on Sunday, he called Attorney General Jeff Sessions "a racist" and "a liar," following his controversial remarks about Hawaii.
Last week, while discussing Trump's second travel ban that would have kept people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Sessions said he was "amazed" that a federal judge "sitting on an island in the Pacific" had the power to block such an executive order. Lawmakers from the island in the Pacific, a.k.a. the great state of Hawaii, immediately criticized his comments, including Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, who said Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, "voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It's my home. Have some respect."
During an appearance Sunday on This Week, Sessions said he couldn't understand why no one saw the hilarity in his statement, suggesting that "nobody has a sense of humor anymore." Lieu — whose Twitter cover image shows side-by-side photos of the crowds at former President Barack Obama's first inauguration and Trump's, and whose bio states he doesn't "take orders from Vladimir Putin" — tweeted in response, "Dear 'Attorney General' Sessions: You are a racist and a liar. Actually, just joking. Oh wait, your record shows you are a racist and a liar." Ha. Ha. Ha? Catherine Garcia
Former child star Erin Moran, best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham, little sister to Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, was found dead Saturday at her home in Indiana. She was 56. Moran began acting when she was just 5, appearing in commercials and playing bit parts before she landed the role of Joanie at age 12. After 10 years of Happy Days, Moran and costar Scott Baio had a brief spinoff, Joanie Loves Chachi, but after that, Moran never had a leading role again.
Moran was born Oct. 18, 1960, in Burbank, California, the fourth of five children raised in North Hollywood by their finance manager father and a mother who encouraged Moran's acting career and got her an agent. After Happy Days, Moran said she had mixed feelings about being a child star, and she took a break from Hollywood in the mid-1980s. "Such sad sad news," Howard wrote on Twitter Saturday night. "RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens." You can watch a short remembrance of Moran's career below, from USA Today. Peter Weber
On Monday, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly will release the first episode of his podcast, No Spin News, since he parted ways with Fox News last Wednesday amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Earlier this month, it was reported by The New York Times that O'Reilly and the network paid $13 million to settle with at least five women who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment and verbal abuse, and women continued to step forward with new accusations up until the day he was fired. O'Reilly, whose show The O'Reilly Factor was the highest-rated cable news program, has denied the allegations.
No Spin News will go live at 7 p.m. ET Monday, available for premium members of O'Reilly's website. It is unclear if he will address his firing or what has happened over the last weeks. Catherine Garcia
On the eve of his first major post-presidency speech, former President Barack Obama met with at-risk men and boys in Chicago's South Side on Sunday, listening to their life stories and sharing with them struggles he faced as a young man.
The roundtable discussion Obama participated in was organized by Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny, founded by former education secretary Arne Duncan to teach job skills and provide employment opportunities. Obama was "optimistic about their potential to positively contribute to their communities and support their families because of the services provided in the program," his spokesman, Kevin Lewis, said. Obama's speech Monday at the University of Chicago will be to young community leaders and organizers. Catherine Garcia
CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota revealed on Sunday that during her time at Fox News, she was sexually harassed by the network's former chairman, Roger Ailes.
Camerota spent more than a decade at Fox News, and on CNN's Reliable Sources, she said Ailes' behavior is one of the reasons she jumped ship to CNN in 2014. Ailes was ousted from the network last July after several women, including former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, accused him of sexual harassment; last week, the network parted ways with Bill O'Reilly after he was also accused of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by numerous women.
Camerota said Ailes suggested to her that if she wanted to have more opportunities at the network, they should meet at a hotel. "I had sort of an out-of-body experience, hovering over us in the office and thinking: 'Is this it? Is this the end of my time here? Will I be fired if I don't do this?'" she said. "I knew in my head, at that moment, I'm never going to that hotel under any circumstances, but I didn't know what that meant for me and for my career."
Camerota said that after she rebuffed his advances, Ailes tried a new tactic, "sort of emotional harassment." He scoffed at her for not "sharing his worldview," she explained, and not being conservative enough. "Sometimes, he would lecture me," Camerota said. "Sometimes, he would insult me." Ailes' attorney, Susan Estrich, told CNN that Camerota's allegations were "unsubstantiated," and her client "vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and of Fox News editorial policy." Catherine Garcia