Fox News 2024-03-22 16:03:46


House passes $1.2 trillion spending package, averting government shutdown

The House of Representatives narrowly passed a $1.2 trillion federal spending package along bipartisan lines on Friday, taking a step closer to averting a partial government shutdown at midnight.

The package, comprised of six appropriations bills that account for roughly 70% of discretionary government spending, was unveiled around 3 a.m. on Thursday night. It’s aimed at funding the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2024, which ends Sept. 30. 

It puts Congress one step closer to ending a months-long war that’s spurred historic levels of dysfunction within the House GOP’s razor-thin majority.

HOUSE PASSES $460 BILLION GOVERNMENT FUNDING BILL BLASTED BY GOP HARDLINERS

The bill was aimed at funding the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Education, Health & Human Services (HHS), and the legislative branch.

Both Republican and Democratic negotiators walked away declaring victory on striking a deal – Johnson touted cuts to funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a 6% cut to overall foreign aid funds, and policies like banning the State Department from flying non-official flags at diplomatic facilities.

Democrats cheered the exclusion of enforcement measures of the House GOP’s H.R.2 border security bill – something conservatives demanded in order to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – as well as increased federal child care funding and a $1 billion increase for climate and green energy programs.

Federal judge tosses lawsuit in favor of law allowing non-citizens to vote

A federal judge on Thursday tossed a conservative legal group’s lawsuit against a controversial Washington, D.C. law that allows noncitizens — including illegal immigrants and foreign embassy staff members — to vote in municipal elections. 

In a 12-page opinion, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the plaintiffs, a group of U.S. citizen voters represented by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), lacked standing to challenge the law because they could not demonstrate how they are harmed by noncitizens who vote and run for local office. 

The complaint “does not include facts showing plaintiffs’ right to vote has been denied, that they have been subjected to discrimination or inequitable treatment or denied opportunities when compared to another group, or that their rights as citizens have been ‘subordinated merely because of [their] father’s country of origin,” Jackson wrote. 

“They identify nothing that has been taken away or diminished and no right that has been made subordinate to anyone else’s.” 

WASHINGTON DC LAW ALLOWING NONCITIZENS TO VOTE IN ELECTIONS CHALLENGED BY LAWSUIT

The Local Resident Voting Rights Act, passed by the D.C. Council in October 2022, states that if a noncitizen is otherwise qualified to vote, they can do so in local elections so long as they have resided in Washington, D.C., for at least 30 days. It also permits noncitizen residents to run for D.C. government offices and serve on the city’s Board of Elections, according to court documents. 

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The law proved highly controversial and prompted an unsuccessful effort in Congress to overturn it. The IRLI lawsuit claimed that by permitting noncitizens to vote, the law “dilutes the vote of every U.S. citizen voter in the District.” 

“Because it does so, the D.C. Noncitizen Voting Act is subject to review under both the equal protection and the substantive due process components of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the legal group argued.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS STROM US BORDER IN EL PASO, KNOCK OVER GUARDS AMID STANDOFF OVER TEXAS LAW

Plaintiffs asked the court to issue an injunction that would halt enforcement of the law and prevent the Board of Elections from registering noncitizens to vote or counting their votes. 

However, the judge agreed with defendants that the complaint should be dismissed because the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.

“In sum, plaintiffs have not alleged that they have personally been subjected to any sort of disadvantage as individual voters by virtue of the fact that noncitizens are permitted to vote, too,” Jackson wrote.

7.2 MILLION ILLEGALS ENTERED THE US UNDER BIDEN ADMIN, AN AMOUNT GREATER THAN POPULATION OF 36 STATES

“They may object as a matter of policy to the fact that immigrants get to vote at all, but their votes will not receive less weight or be treated differently than noncitizens’ votes; they are not losing representation in any legislative body; nor have citizens as a group been discriminatorily gerrymandered, ‘packed’ or ‘cracked’ to divide, concentrate, or devalue their votes,” the judge continued. 

“At bottom, they are simply raising a generalized grievance which is insufficient to confer standing.” 

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The Immigration Reform Law Institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The D.C. Board of Elections declined to comment. 

New York City had passed a similar bill that also had a 30-day requirement in December 2021. That bill quickly faced a legal challenge, and in June 2022 a New York judge ruled that it was illegal, violating the state’s constitution. A state appeals court upheld that decision in January. 

Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Kansas men’s basketball avoids potential upset after controversial call

The Kansas Jayhawks avoided an early upset in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night, thanks to a controversial call in the final minute of their first-round match-up against Samford. 

The 13th-seeded Bulldogs managed to cut a 22-point deficit to just one with 14 seconds remaining when Samford’s A.J. Staton-McCray says he pulled off a “great play” in blocking Nicolas Timberlake’s shot from beneath the basket. 

Officials called it a foul, which would set up two key free throws by Timberlake for a 93-89 victory. 

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“I have seen the play,” Samford coach Bucky McMillan said in his postgame presser.

“I thought A.J. made an incredible play on it, you know what I’m saying? I’m not faulting the call. Some people can see it different ways. But I was really proud of our guys’ ability to go make a play.”

But on social media, there were several fans who saw it differently.

NO. 14 OAKLAND STUNS NO. 3 KENTUCKY BEHIND STELLAR PERFORMANCE BY DIVISION II TRANSFER

“Ban that ref crew for robbing Samford,” one person said in response to the NCAA’s post on X showing the slow-motion replay. 

“Terrible call Kansas bailed out by refs once again,” another responded. 

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Timberlake was adamant in his postgame presser that he was “definitely fouled” on the play. Kansas coach Bill Self seemingly avoided giving his take when asked about the call, and instead praised Timberlake’s play. 

“I thought Nic attacked the basket well,” he said. “He’s a much better athlete than what a lot of people think. He attacked it strong, just like he should.”

The fourth-seeded Jayhawks will next take on No. 5 seed Gonzaga on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Trump slams ‘hack’ judge, says he has $500 million in cash as bond deadline looms

Former President Trump says he has nearly $500 million in cash, suggesting he has the money to post bond in the New York civil fraud case on Monday as required by a judge. 

Trump and his legal team have appealed and requested a stay on his $454 million civil fraud judgment. He is required to post that bond by Monday.

TRUMP LEGAL TEAM BLASTS ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ ATTEMPTS TO FORCE PROPERTY SALE AS DEADLINE FOR $454M FINE NEARS

“Through hard work, talent, and luck, I currently have almost five hundred million dollars in cash, a substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign for president,” Trump posted on his Truth Social Friday morning. 

“The often overturned political hack judge on the rigged and corrupt A.G. case, where I have done nothing wrong, knew this, wanted to take it away from me, and that’s where and why he came up with the shocking number which, coupled with his crazy interest demand, is approximately $454,000,000,” Trump said, referring to New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case against him. 

NY AG ASKS COURT TO IGNORE TRUMP CLAIM THAT POSTING $464M BOND IS ‘PRACTICAL IMPOSSIBILITY’

“I did nothing wrong except win an election in 2016 that I wasn’t expected to win, did even better in 2020, and now lead, by a lot, in 2024,” Trump continued. “This is communism in America.” 

“No trial, no jury, no crime, no victim, only a crooked judge and a corrupt, Trump hating attorney general who takes her orders directly from the White House,” Trump said of Engoron and James. “Election interference at a level never seen before!!!” 

Trump wrote both of his posts in all-capital letters. 

Trump lawyers on Monday said that “ongoing diligent efforts have proven that a bond in the judgment’s full amount is a ‘practical impossibility,’” amid attempts to approach about 30 surety companies. 

The lawyers said the “enormous magnitude” of the bond requirement, which effectively requires cash reserves approaching $1 billion, is “unprecedented for a private company.” 

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL TAUNTS TRUMP ABOUT INTEREST HE OWES ON CIVIL FRAUD JUDGMENT

James has pushed back, calling Trump’s request for a stay “extraordinary” and “improper.” James has said that Trump should be able to secure the entire value via multiple sureties or offer his real estate holdings as collateral.

But Trump attorney Clifford S. Robert on Thursday sent a letter to the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court, arguing James’ efforts are “unconstitutional.” 

Fox News Digital has learned that Trump and his legal team are exploring “all options on the table.” 

A source familiar told Fox News Digital that his team plans “to exhaust all options.” 

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“The Trump team is continuing to look at every conceivable option,” the source said, adding that they are “hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.” 

If the Trump team’s appeal is granted, the judgment bond could be slashed considerably. It is unclear whether the court will rule on his appeal. 

SEE IT: Tech billionaire’s $300 million birthday present arrives in the US

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly rewarded himself with a luxurious gift: a $300 million super yacht.

The billionaire Meta Platforms CEO reportedly purchased the 287-foot vessel with the name Launchpad, according to The Sun and New York Post. 

FOX Business reached out to Meta Platforms and a Zuckerberg personal spokesperson for comment on the vessel.

The vessel reached America a few days ago, cruising into Fort Lauderdale’s port in the Sunshine State, according to Business Insider. Prior to that, it had recently completed its first-ever official sailing.

MARK ZUCKERBERG RAISING CATTLE WITH DIET OF BEER AND NUTS

In photos, the dark blue-hulled Launchpad appeared to have multiple decks.

Superyacht Times pegged its gross tonnage at about 5,000. It can reportedly sail as fast as 24 knots.

Feadship, a well-known yacht builder headquartered in the Netherlands, constructed the superyacht.

Only 70 motor yachts measuring over 100 meters currently exist, according to BOAT International. Some are believed to belong to other members of the three-comma club.

JEFF BEZOS, LAUREN SANCHEZ ENJOY SUN, SUPERYACHT

The Sun reported the 118-meter Launchpad came at a nine-figure cost.

Zuckerberg has amassed a personal fortune that, according to Forbes, sat around $178 billion as of Thursday evening.

He has Meta Platforms, the corporate parent of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Threads, to thank for that. He co-founded Facebook about 20 years ago.

MARK ZUCKERBERG’S HAWAII PROPERTY TO FEATURE GIANT UNDERGROUND BUNKER, TREEHOUSES: REPORT

“20 years ago I launched a thing,” he wrote on the platform in early February. “Along the way, lots of amazing people joined and we built some more awesome things. We’re still at it and the best is yet to come.”

He has identified artificial intelligence and the metaverse as long-term focuses of Meta Platforms.

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Mayor calls Gov. Abbott ‘real jacked up’ for busing illegal immigrants to his city

Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson touted Chicago as being more “open and quite accommodating” to illegal immigrants compared to other blue cities while admitting that its position is “unsustainable.” 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Johnson was asked about the city’s temporary shelter policy for migrants being bussed to Chicago from the southern border, stressing the reality of “restraints” of city resources.

That said, he appeared to take a victory lap over how generous Chicago has been versus his liberal counterparts.   

CHICAGO MAYOR JOHNSON SUGGESTS TRUMP VOTERS TO BLAME FOR FAILURE OF CITY’S TAX HIKE REFERENDUM

“We’re the only city in this country that has not put restraints,” Johnson said. “Other places like Massachusetts, 7500 beds, that’s it. Billions of dollars for the entire state, Denver, New York, DC, Philadelphia, all of these places- and I have no judgment against them. This is the decision that they made in placing restraints. We have been open and quite accommodating during a very difficult moment in our nation’s history.” 

“I’m proud of the work that our folks are providing on the frontlines, but this is unsustainable absent significant federal intervention. Whatever I do for this crisis, absent investment from the federal government, It’s not sustainable,” Johnson added.

CHICAGO MAYOR ABRUPTLY ENDS MEETING WITH NEWSPAPER AFTER REFUSING TO SPEAK ON THE RECORD

Johnson took multiple shots at Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, blasting him for his “disturbing” “iniquitous behavior.”

“Look ya’ll, this is some sickening stuff right here. To just put people on buses and just say ‘good luck.’ That’s real jacked up,” Johnson said. “That’s the problem is that we have the governor of Texas who needs to find a soul.”

MAYOR JOHNSON ANNOUNCES CHICAGO WILL CANCEL SHOTSPOTTER DEAL DESIGNED TO COMBAT CRIME

Johnson also raised eyebrows during the press conference when he suggested that Trump supporters in Chicago were responsible for blocking a real estate tax hike referendum in Tuesday’s election. 

“It’s also not lost on me, I think there were 38,000 Republicans that showed up and voted for Donald Trump, or something like that, in Chicago,” Johnson said. “If we’re trying to draw some conclusions, and you all want some other, you know, analytics you might want to discover, that might be something to look into because there’s— I’ll just say there’s a good chance that that played a part in this referendum. 

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“So the same people who want to see Donald Trump become [president again], those are the same voters who voted for him, are the same voters where, you look at there were more of those, they were concentrated there.”

According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners’ website, there were roughly 37,000 total Republican primary voters who turned out for Tuesday’s primary. Roughly 29,000 of those cast their ballot for former President Trump, who earned 78.5% support. 

Democrats lost one precious thing at Hunter influence peddling hearing

In the 1966 movie “A Man for All Seasons,” Sir Thomas More faces Richard Rich, an ambitious office seeker who would ultimately lie and betray him. In this British historical drama, More warns Rich that “when a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.”

This week, Democrats appear to have finally drained away what remained of themselves and their party. For years, Democratic members and the media have demanded any evidence of the direct involvement or knowledge of President Joe Biden of the influence-peddling operation of his son, Hunter, and his brothers, James and Frank.  

In the hearing, witnesses testified under oath about specific meetings with Joe Biden discussing these foreign dealings and the family business interests. Bank records were introduced showing the transfers of millions going to Hunter and various Biden family members.

TOP CHAOTIC MOMENTS FROM THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT HEARING INTO BIDEN FAMILY’S ‘INFLUENCE PEDDLING’

Faced with the evidence that the president lied about his lack of any knowledge or involvement in the influence peddling, the Democrats opened their fingers wider.

Rep. Dan Goldman, D., N.Y., captured the problem for Democrats in even addressing any of the mounting evidence contradicting the president. Yet, Goldman has long shown a willingness to rush in where angels fear to tread. 

In previous attacks, Goldman repeatedly hit the Bidens with friendly fire when eliciting damaging answers from witnesses. Goldman has a habit of raising the worst evidence that his colleagues have avoided. In one hearing, he stumbled badly in raising the WhatsApp message where Hunter told a Chinese businessman that his father was sitting next to him and would not be pleased unless he sent him money. On another occasion, he prompted an IRS whistleblower to note that an email Goldman read into the record was actually a direct contradiction of the denials of the president.

HUNTER BIDEN’S EX-BUSINESS PARTNER TONY BOBULINSKI SLAMS HIM FOR ‘RUNNING AWAY’ FROM HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

In the latest misstep, Goldman pressed former Biden partner Tony Bobulinski on a proposal shared with Hunter and others to reserve 10% for “the Big Guy.” In other emails, Bobulinski was told to use such codes to avoid mentioning Joe Biden’s name. He was expressly identified as “the Big Guy.” 

Goldman snapped at Bobulinski, “Did anyone ever respond to that email?”

Bobulinski responded “Yes, they did numerous times. Hunter himself did.”

Goldman blurted out “you’re right” before angrily reclaiming his time to cut him off.

Things did not prove any easier for other members. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D., N.Y., imploded by mocking Bobulinski and challenging him “It is simple, you name the crime. Did you watch him steal something?”

HUNTER BIDEN’S EX-BUSINESS PARTNER TONY BOBULINSKI SLAMS HIM FOR ‘RUNNING AWAY’ FROM HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Bobulinski proceeded to rattle off a series of possible criminal acts and Ocasio-Cortez cut him off. She then bizarrely then pretended that he did not just list the crimes and barked “What is the crime, sir? Specifically?”

Bobulinski was not the only one confused and noted “you ask and answer the question, I answered the question, RICO, you’re obviously not familiar with…”

That is when Ocasio-Cortez again cut him off with “Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. RICO is not a crime, it is a category. What is the crime?”

AOC TAKES HEAT OVER ‘RICO IS NOT A CRIME’ COMMENT IN BIDEN IMPEACHMENT PROBE HEARING

With that, it appears that Trump has now been cleared of charges in Atlanta by no one other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Racketeering is a crime and some of the crimes referenced by Bobulinski are commonly part of such conspiracies.

The exchange captured the lunacy of the hearing as Democrats demanded evidence and then ignored it when it was repeatedly offered by witnesses and members.

Yet, Ocasio-Cortez was illuminating on one point. Neither she nor her colleagues were willing to admit the obvious. Few people now disagree that Hunter was openly engaging in influence peddling, which is a form of corruption that the government has long fought around the world. It is also clear that Joe Biden knew of that influence peddling not just from his son but newspaper accounts. He had knowledge of the corruption and facilitated it.

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However, Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ignore the millions of dollars acquired in influence peddling to press a witness on whether he saw the president steal something like a purse or a hubcap. 

The Democrats have allowed their very identity to drip through their open fingers. They have become a party that calls for censorship, ballot cleansing, and court packing. Now it excuses raw influence peddling after opposing every effort to investigate it. 

As a lifelong Democrat from a politically active Chicago family, I can no longer recognize the party from my youth. We once stood for something other than the next election or hating others. 

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By the end of the hearing, virtually every Democratic member had attacked the witnesses and denied the obvious corruption surrounding the Biden family. They had become a party of Richard Riches. Of course, this unified effort to deny the obvious left little time to look down at what remained in their hands. They had owned the moment when the party fought to shield one of the most extensive and lucrative influence peddling operations in history. 

After that ignoble effort, there was little reason to look down since they “needn’t hope to find [themselves] again.”

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Handyman exposes new scam squatters are using to target innocent house hunters

Home buyers and tenants need to be on guard against housing scams that could inadvertently turn them into trespassers, a handyman-turned-squatter hunter warned.

“Just because you were scammed doesn’t mean that this homeowner should suffer,” Flash Shelton, founder of the United Handyman Association and SquatterHunters.com, said. “Just like if you received a stolen car, that car is gonna be taken away from you.”

HANDYMAN-TURNED-SQUATTER HUNTER OUTLINES ‘NIGHTMARE SCENARIO’ WHEN MIGRANTS CATCH ON TO HOUSING LAWS

Shelton rose to international prominence last year after posting a video about how he turned the tables on squatters who had moved into his mother’s house in California while it was up for sale. People from all around the world now seek his advice or even hire him to get rid of squatters.

While some squatters appear to be gaming the system, claiming to have signed a lease on properties they broke into — like in the case of a Pennsylvania man who ultimately paid squatters $1,200 to leave his house — others start out as well-meaning individuals ensnared by rental scams online, Shelton said.

‘OH MY GOD’: SINGLE MOM RETURNS HOME FROM WORK TO FIND DRIVEWAY STOLEN. ‘NOW I’M LEFT WITH DIRT’

The owner of a Philadelphia property management company told Fox News last spring that scammers would copy listings from their website or Zillow, post it somewhere like Craigslist at a lower price and request a deposit through a cash app.

When the prospective tenant shows up at the property, the scammer tells them they lost the key and to “just go ahead and get a locksmith,” Anchor Realty NE owner Walter Lapidus told Fox News. “Either that or they actually go and replace the locks when the house is for rent and hope to get it rented before we have our next showing.”

‘SORRY YOU GOT SCAMMED’: HANDYMAN’S WARNING FOR ACCIDENTAL SQUATTERS:

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“Those are very common in Philadelphia and probably some of the other locations where I guess these people know that the city is valuing their rights above those of a homeowner or a tenant,” Lapidus added.

Squatting laws — and the procedures for removing illegal occupants — vary across the country. In states where laws prevent police from intervening, homeowners and landlords are at the mercy of civil processes to reclaim their property, which can take months, even years. 

“I wouldn’t sign anything until I’ve met with a leasing agent, somebody physically, and get their information, get their card,” Shelton cautioned. “I would absolutely just check all my boxes and make sure that everything seems right.”

But Shelton’s sympathy for accidental squatters is limited.

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“I wouldn’t lease a property without knowing who owns the property,” he said. “If you happen to be scammed, I’m sorry you got scammed, but that house still should be taken from you.”

Click here to hear more from Shelton.

Sharon Osbourne’s eye-opening confession about her 41-year-long marriage

Sharon Osbourne knew exactly what she was getting into when she married her husband, Ozzy Osbourne. 

In a new interview, the TV personality opened up about her 41-year-long marriage with the Black Sabbath frontman and explained why she has maintained her loyalty despite him always being “inappropriate with women.”

“No matter how much bad behavior or who’s wrong or right in a certain situation, I love him,” she told the Mirror. “He’s the only man other than my dad that I’ve ever loved. I just adore him. And I knew what he was before I married him.”

OZZY OSBOURNE ADMITS TAKING ANTI-DEPRESSANTS HAD AN EFFECT IN THE BEDROOM

“But in my youth, being naïve, I thought, ‘I can change Ozzy. He won’t drink when he’s with me. I’ll make him a nice home and nest and we’ll be happy ever after.’ But that’s not real life,” she added. “I knew what he was. I knew he had addictions and I took it on. We can’t go for a wee without each other. It’s ridiculous.”

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Sharon admitted that her husband has always been known to say exactly what is on his mind with “no filter at all.”

“He’s always been inappropriate with women,” she said. “We have a nurse at home, quite a large Russian lady, and she bent over him and he goes, ‘Tell me, did you breastfeed your kids?’ And I’m like, ‘You cannot say those things now. The world today is different, you cannot talk to a woman like that, you can get into trouble.’ He goes, ‘But for what?’ There’s no filter at all. He’s got Tourette’s with the truth. It just comes out.”

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Sharon admitted that the duo has since attempted couple’s therapy, but it did not take. 

“One session. He lasted half an hour and threw a water bottle at the wall and walked out,” Sharon said.

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Sharon and Ozzy, who got married in 1982 and share three children, Aimée, Kelly and Jack, have been open about their marital struggles and Ozzy’s past drug use throughout the years. 

“He was stoned on every episode,” Sharon told her fellow “Celebrity Big Brother” U.K. contestants during an episode last week. “He was never sober. He’s never seen it. Doesn’t want to see it, and he never watched one episode [of their reality show, “The Osbournes”].”