Fox News 2024-04-11 10:08:05


State Department mandates DEI ideology loyalty test for all employees seeking promotion

The State Department implemented a policy to condition eligibility for promotions on an employee’s ability to pass a loyalty test in diversity, equity and inclusion in order to be considered for promotions and higher pay following President Biden’s executive order. 

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, President Obama’s former Malta ambassador, was appointed as chief diversity and inclusion officer in April 2021 for the State Department. She was in the position until June 2023. 

According to Abercrombie-Winstanley, State created a policy under Biden that conditions promotions on whether employees are able to demonstrate through documentation that they are actively involved in DEI practices. 

“We made the change that if you wanted to be considered for promotion at the Department of State, you must be able to document what you are doing to support diversity, equity and inclusion and accessibility. This is how you are judged for promotion,” she said at a City Club Forum event in April 2023. “So that means my allies who are not female or minority are also interested in being able to show ‘I’m doing good work on this.'” 

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When reached for comment, Abercrombie-Winstanley told Fox News Digital, “America needs her best. The Department wants leaders who can develop top talent among all Americans, whatever our background. Not just those who share our life experiences.”

The subject of her speaking engagement at the City Club Forum event was the Biden administration’s “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026.”

In an announcement about the plan, State said it was working on “Establishing the advancement of [DEI] as an element for all employees as part of their job performance criteria, career advancement opportunities, and senior performance pay.” 

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All levels of the State Department – Washington and abroad – were affected by the mandate, according to the plan. 

“We will ensure that the Department of State is a leader in government-wide efforts to advance DEIA goals for the federal workforce. In doing that, we will also be able to ensure that the Department itself is in the strongest possible position to deliver for the U.S. people,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said about the plan at the time.

The State Department declined to comment further on the DEI plan. 

The strategic plan was created under Biden’s June 2021 “Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce.” 

The executive order “reinvigorate[d]… the approach… first established in the Obama-Biden Administration” and directed all federal agencies toestablish or elevate Chief Diversity Officers,” among other priorities.

The order was also responsible for the formation of senior DEI positions, such as the one previously held by Abercrombie-Winstanley and now occupied by Zakiya Carr Johnson, the new State Department diversity chief.

Carr Johnson has made waves over her past remarks blasting America as a “failed historical model.” 

“[W]e’ve literally got to be about the work of dismantling that traditional structure at every juncture,” she said in 2020. 

The State Department told Fox News Digital it had “high confidence” in Carr Johnson’s ability to lead after her statements were revealed Wednesday. 

Another diversity chief appointed under Biden who sowed controversy over commentary on White people, Kelisa Wing, had her DEI unit in the Pentagon disbanded after congressional fury over her posts.

She wrote in June 2020, “I’m exhausted with these white folx in these [professional development] sessions.”

Wing also said she needed a break from “White nonsense.” 

On another occasion, Wing responded to a user who said, “I am exhausted by 99% of the white men in education and 95% of the white women. Where can I get a break from White nonsense for a while?”

Wing also co-created children’s books that said that White people must confess their privilege and were de facto hurting Black people by being benefactors of unearned advantages.

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Dance team told American flag shirts made audience feel ‘triggered and unsafe’

Members of a regional women’s country line dance team were reportedly kicked out of a Seattle dance convention after organizers claimed their American flag-themed shirts made some attendees feel “triggered and unsafe.”

Over the weekend at the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle, the Borderline Dance team was set to perform, but were essentially told they weren’t welcome by organizer Rain Country Dance Association, an LGBTQ+ dance community, over their matching American flag themed shirts, Jason Rantz reported for 770 KTTH

“Unfortunately, what our team was met with upon arrival was that our flag tops were offensive to some of the convention goers,” the dance group posted to Facebook. “There was a small group that felt ‘triggered and unsafe.'”

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Co-captain Lindsay Stamp spoke with Rantz for The Jason Rantz Show, explaining that their costumes sparked a “small percentage” of complainants who brought up Israel’s war against Hamas and transgender issues. 

“At first we were told we would just be boo’d, yelled at and likely many of them would walk out,” the group’s Facebook post explained. “This did not deter us. But then we were given an ultimatum. Remove the flag tops and perform in either street clothes (which most didn’t bring as they traveled there in their uniforms) or they would supply us with ECH shirts from years past… Or, don’t perform at all, which effectively was asking us to leave.”

“We don’t speak for our team, we speak on behalf of them so the choice was theirs,” the post said. “As we knew would happen because there really was no choice in our minds, it was a unanimous NO.”

Stamp told Rantz that members of the team were shocked after they spent only 30 minutes at the venue before they started receiving complaints, adding that the team is patriotic, but doesn’t make statements about politics.

“My team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance,” she said. “We’re a patriotic group. We support our military, our veterans, our first responders. We’re a group of patriots.”

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In the Facebook post, the group said they were not the only one that received this treatment. 

“Our friends, West Coast Country Heat, who were also scheduled to dance for the convention that evening also did not perform as they too proudly don the colors of our country in the same spirit of patriotism that we do,” the post said. “Both of our teams stood in solidarity and put actions to words.”

But, the group said watching the two teams band together was “the greatest performance.” 

“These people are strong, resolute and unwavering in their patriotism,” the Borderline Dance Team said. “They are the families and friends of people who have suffered the unimaginable so that we may all have our own opinions and sleep soundly in our beds at night. THAT is why we wear the colors. Because although we may not always agree with the current state of things, we recognize that being an American means true FREEDOM.” 

“We all understood and accepted this and walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination we had experienced,” the post added. 

The Rain Country Dance Association did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment but indirectly addressed the incident on Facebook. 

“Hi y’all! After the close of another amazing Hoedown weekend, we know there are some questions about the Saturday night performance line-up,” the post read. “We appreciate y’all giving us the time to clear up misunderstandings and address the situation with people directly involved. We will be posting a follow-up statement later this week once we are able to have those conversations.”

In a Facebook comment, board president Ziadee Cambier said members of the Borderline Dance Team weren’t asked to leave.

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“We will be in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday,” she wrote. “To clarify, as this was not a competition, no one was disqualified and no one was asked to leave. While we are mending our relationships directly with the dance teams we will be disabling comments on this post. We will be sharing more information later this week, to hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.”

Stamp disagreed and told Rantz she didn’t think there was miscommunication.  

“It’s pretty clear to me, there’s always room for error in any situation, but I don’t believe so,” she said. 

“I would just love to see more conversations opened about people accepting one another,” she added. “About being wholly inclusive. You know, every group of person talks about being inclusive and accepting. And I think that we need to work on being inclusive and accepting of people outside of our immediate comfort zones. I would love to see that.”

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Player’s dunk attempt goes horribly wrong for Chicago Bulls

If you’re going to go for a self-alley-oop, make sure nobody else is around.

Chicago Bulls’ Torrey Craig missed that memo, and it led to a collision that could have been much worse than it really was.

The Bulls were hosting the New York Knicks on Tuesday night – it was the teams’ second matchup in nine days – and were trailing 36-27 early in the second quarter.

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The Knicks’ Bojan Bogdanovic turned the ball over to Andre Drummond, who gave it up to Craig, and the Bulls had a 3-on-0 breakaway, which should be points 100% of the time.

Well, apparently, it’s 99.99%.

Craig, Drummond and Coby White were all running toward the bucket with no one in front of them when Craig threw the ball off the glass; Drummond was trailing just a couple feet behind.

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At the end of the arc, Craig lobbed it up with his left hand and jumped off two feet, hoping to give himself a highlight-reel dunk.

But Drummond thought that the lob off the glass was intended for him.

So, the big man in Drummond tried to slam it home as well. The two collided in midair, leading to Craig falling on the court and the ball bouncing away from the rim – it went in the books as a missed field goal attempt for Craig – and Bogdanovich got the rebound.

To make matters worse, Drummond rolled his ankle later on in the contest and had to leave in a wheelchair.

The Knicks never relinquished their lead en route to a 128-117 win over the Bulls, who have struggled all year. And head coach Billy Donovan was not pleased.

“It’s not what I’m about and not what our team should be about,” Donovan said of what he seemed to think was Craig showboating.

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The Bulls dropped to 37-42 and sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, leaving them in the play-in tournament, as it currently stands.

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Singer says she vowed not to try Ozempic after alarming conversation with doctor

Carnie Wilson says her doctor warned her last year about the possible serious side effects of taking Ozempic, and while she doesn’t think there should be a “stigma” around taking weight loss drugs, it wasn’t the right choice for her. 

“I personally was too scared for any side effects, gastrointestinal side effects,” the 55-year-old “Next to You” singer told Fox News Digital. “My doctor warned me. He said, ‘This is an option if you want to do it, but I am warning you that it has not been around enough for the way many people are using this, and that is for weight loss.”

Her doctor has had other patients sent to the hospital due to side effects from the drug, she explained. 

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“I didn’t want to take a chance with my anatomy that I have had gastric bypass surgery and a lap-band over that gastric bypass,” she said. “I was not prepared to have — I was too scared for the side effects. So, it wasn’t right for me. And I do not put anyone down who has done it or wants to do it. To each his own. I believe that we are OK with having some kind of intervention in our lives. I’m a proponent of that.”

Wilson, who is hosting an upcoming cooking show, “Sounds Delicious with Carnie Wilson,” said her gastric bypass and lap-band helped her go from 310 pounds to 200 pounds. 

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“That’s frickin’ amazing,” she said. “I am so thrilled about that, you know what I mean? I’m not skinny, I’m not perfect, but I’m so much healthier than I was. And I just want people to be healthy. So, if you take Ozempic or Mounjaro or whatever you do, and it works for you, great. Get healthier. There shouldn’t be a stigma around any of this. It’s to improve our health.”

WATCH: CARNIE WILSON SAYS OZEMPIC ‘WASN’T RIGHT’ FOR HER: ‘I WAS TOO SCARED’

Wilson said her doctor talked to her about Ozempic in September after she got some blood work back and found out she was “half a point away from being diabetic. Scared the s— out of me. Scared me to death, and I said, ‘That’s it.” She began eliminating sugar and gluten two days later. 

She said she went down three sizes, which wasn’t her goal. 

“I’m so happy to be smaller. I feel better, but it’s the health,” she explained. 

Wilson said her weight has “fluctuated” since she had gastric bypass surgery in 1999, gaining 60 and 70 pounds during her two pregnancies. She said recently she lost around 40 pounds “just by elimination of food. I’m not a big exerciser. I do walk, but not enough, and I don’t go to the gym and, like, work out.”

Wilson explained she was able to lose weight by cutting out “all gluten and 95% of sugar.”

“It’s been really hard to do. No pills, no shots, no drugs. It has been purely willpower,” she said. “I really keep fried food and sugar and gluten out of my diet. But there’s so many things to eat. I’m not deprived.” 

However, she did admit to really missing bagels. 

“The gluten-free bagels are not the same,” she said. “They’re just not.” 

“It’s been really hard to do. No pills, no shots, no drugs. It has been purely willpower.” 

— Carnie Wilson on keeping the weight off

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The “Hold On” singer has also been sober for 20 years, which she “can’t believe.”

“What a miracle. (In) 2004, I decided that I was probably better driving off a cliff ’cause I couldn’t stop drinking,” she said. “And that is something I have really only shared in the private rooms of recovery, but I say it loud — not proud. I’m not proud to be an alcoholic, but I’m grateful to know who I am.”

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She said she accepts that she can’t “put a substance in my body without wanting more or too much.” 

“And that is a great, a great freedom … and it’s compared to not being able to stop where that felt like a prison.” 

She said she envies people who can have an occasional drink, but she “wasn’t born that way.”

“And so there is a great deal of acceptance and action. I have to help other people in this position. I have to help people that are like me and know that they’re not alone, and that you can have fun and live a wonderful life sober.” 

WATCH: CARNIE WILSON HAS BEEN SOBER FOR 20 YEARS: ‘WHAT A MIRACLE’

Besides focusing on her health, Wilson also has a new cooking show, “Sounds Delicious with Carnie Wilson,” where she cooks for celebrity friends. 

She started doing cooking segments on Instagram during the pandemic and has wanted to do a cooking show for a long time. 

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“I have been praying for it, for the right team, the right concept” for “many, many years,” she said. “I always knew it would happen when the timing was right. It did take a long time, but I think sometimes things are worth the wait.”

Wilson said John Stamos, one of her guests on the show, was “hilarious.”

“He’s really a funny guy. I mean, he’s gorgeous and so good to look at. That’s the first thing everyone always goes: ‘Oh my God, he’s so gorgeous,’ because he is. I had a lot of trouble concentrating. That’s the thing with these guests that are coming on. I’m a fan of all the guests that are coming in, so it’s like I’m a little starstruck, and I’m trying to focus on the recipes.

“The guests that come on my show were friends, too, so they’re not, you know, I know these people. And that’s part of the beauty of it, is like sharing the love. And even if they’re not huge, if they’re not chefs or like big in the kitchen, they all love food and we love each other. And you can feel that.

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Wilson said one of the things she wanted to get across with her show was “we can sing, we can laugh, we can dance, we can cook to our favorite music … I encourage people to celebrate food, celebrate the music they love. And that’s kind of what this is.”

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“Sounds Delicious with Carnie Wilson” premieres April 16 on AXS TV. Guests include John Stamos, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Wendy Wilson, Mark McGrath, Lisa Loeb, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and David Archuleta.

Biden admin pushed fact-checking site to downplay gas stove ban, internal emails show

EXCLUSIVE: Biden administration officials successfully pressured fact-checking website Snopes to alter its rating on a fact check it conducted regarding a potential federal ban on gas stoves, according to internal communications.

In early January 2023, Snopes issued a “mixture” rating on the claim that the Biden administration was considering a ban on gas-powered stovetops, citing comments made by a senior official overseeing product regulations. Shortly before the fact check, Richard Trumka Jr., a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), said such a ban was “on the table.”

“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka told Bloomberg at the time. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

A month earlier, Trumka said regulating gas stoves needs to be a priority “whether it’s drastically reducing emissions or banning gas stoves entirely” because of their climate and health impacts, CBS News reported.

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But Snopes, which originally gave its “mixture” rating as a result of Trumka’s statements, changed the rating to “false,” stating the CPSC is “not currently considering a ban on gas stoves.” Snopes’ updated article included additional comments from the CPSC and downplayed Trumka’s earlier statement.

However, Snopes only altered its article after pressure from the CPSC to do so, according to emails exchanged between CPSC and White House communications officials and obtained by watchdog group Functional Government Initiative (FGI) through an information request.

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“Sent over tough letter to this writer yesterday when the initial claim was rated as ‘mixed,'” CPSC communications director Pamela Rucker Springs wrote in an email to White House assistant press secretary Michael Kikukawa Jan. 11, 2023, linking to the updated Snopes fact check.

Kikukawa responded enthusiastically, saying the alteration would be “so helpful going forward.”

“As a routine matter, whenever CPSC identifies factually inaccurate coverage in any media outlet, we contact the outlet to request a correction. That’s what occurred in this circumstance,” Springs told Fox News Digital when asked about the Snopes fact check alteration.

“We were glad to see accurate reports that the administration is not trying to ban gas stoves – and never has,” Kikukawa added.

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Trumka’s comments, meanwhile, sparked widespread outrage among consumer advocates, Republicans and some Democrats. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., even introduced the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would bar federal dollars from going toward regulatory efforts to ban gas stoves. 

Amid the outrage, Trumka walked back his comments about opening the door to a ban, saying in a social media post that “CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves.” 

In addition, CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric issued a statement clarifying that he was not “looking to” ban gas stoves, and the White House said President Biden would not support a gas stove ban. In March 2023, the CPSC did issue a request for public information about the health impacts of gas stoves, which ultimately resulted in no regulatory action.

“A commissioner appointed by President Biden wanted to ban gas stoves, and he got caught, provoking a public outcry,” said FGI researcher and spokesperson Peter McGinnis. “So, the CPSC staff leaned on Snopes, seeking to counter the narrative by splitting hairs about commission processes.

“And the White House finds this ‘helpful.’ Helpful with what? This goes beyond dysfunction — the government using sympathetic media to censor inconvenient news,” McGinnis said. “The American people deserve both to keep their gas stoves and to know the truth about what regulations government officials are considering.”

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Snopes did not respond to requests for comment.

Family says ‘safety oversight’ may have contributed to doctor’s Airstream death

The daughter of a Long Island pediatrician who was fatally flung from an Airstream over the weekend said a “significant oversight” in the trailer’s design contributed to the tragic accident.

Horrified motorists saw Dr. Monika Woroniecka, 58, cling for dear life to the door handle of the family’s trailer before she lost her grip and struck her head on the shoulder of State Route 12E in Watertown on Saturday, New York State Police said in a release. 

“They were going for an Airbnb in Cape Vincent to see the eclipse. They stopped at an ice cream place about 20 minutes before they were going to get [there], that’s when they decided to have the mother, the daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend get in the back of the camper,” Trooper Jack Keller told Fox News Digital. 

“They were in the back in the camper, that’s when the victim noticed the door ajar and tried to close it. She fell out and struck her head and ultimately succumbed to those injuries,” Keller said.

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Woroniecka’s daughter Helena told the New York Post that her mother loved the Airstream, giving it a nickname and even sleeping inside while it was parked in the driveway. 

But a fatal flaw in its design played a part in her mother’s unthinkable death, she posited: 

“The doors on the Airstream open the opposite way that you would expect. It doesn’t take an engineering degree to know that on any moving vehicle, whether a bus or a car or a trailer, doors should open against the wind, not towards it,” Helena told the Post. “That seems like a significant safety oversight to me and seems like the only reason they do open that way is to protect the awning of the trailer.”

In an email to Fox News Digital, Airstream wrote that its trailers weren’t built for passengers when they are in motion: 

“Airstream travel trailers are not designed to carry passengers while in motion,” the company wrote. “The safety protocol detailed in Airstream’s operating manuals and shared on Airstream’s website advises owners that they cannot tow an Airstream with people inside. Many states prohibit carrying passengers in a travel trailer or fifth wheel.”

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The company also included a quote from Monika Geraci of the RV Industry Association, who added that towable recreational vehicles aren’t equipped with seatbelts or safe seating positions because they are not designed to carry passengers while the vehicle is in motion and that all passengers should ride in the towing vehicle with seatbelts affixed. 

New York state law prohibits anyone from riding inside a trailer while it is being pulled by a separate vehicle.

Helena addressed the company’s advisories in her interview with the Post:  

“Sure, maybe Airstream doesn’t advise traveling inside the trailer. But we thought maybe that the last 20 minutes of an eight-hour drive on very quiet and slow country roads would be fine,” she told the outlet. “And it’s perfectly legal to do so in some states… It was just a crazy accident… There’s nobody to blame. This is nobody’s fault.”

Woroniecka had nicknamed the 2024 Airstream “Nebula,” her daughter said, because it “represented adventure and exploration,” and had attached shells spelling out the name in a frame over its entrance. 

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“She did also love to travel and explore, which is why my parents bought the trailer – they were planning to take an early retirement and travel to national parks and spend time exploring together,” Helena said of the trailer, which her parents purchased two months prior, according to the Post. “She loved that trailer so much and poured her soul into it.”

The mother of three was so excited to see the eclipse with her family, Helena told the Post, that she “was learning about space and researching different eclipse glasses and buying everyone’s favorite groceries” for weeks beforehand.

“My mom loved her family above everything else, so the fact that my sister and I were coming home so everyone could go see the eclipse together – that’s what she was most excited for was spending time with everyone,” the daughter told the outlet.

Helena told the Post that Samaritan Medical Center, where her Woroniecka was pronounced dead, was the hospital where she gave birth to her daughter when the family lived in Buffalo. 

“This trip was the first time they would be back in that town, and she was excited to see their old apartment and the old town, and it so happens that she died in the same hospital I happened to be born in,” Helena said.

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She told the outlet both her parents were born in Poland in 1965 and moved to the U.S. in 1992. Woroniecka’s native language was Polish, according to her bio at Stony Brook Medicine where she worked, which “[drew] Polish-speaking families from far distances.”

“She was the most loving, generous, and golden-hearted person I’ve ever known,” Helena said of her mother, the Post reported. “She was always, always thinking about how to lend a helping hand to someone, whether her family or patients or friends that had medical questions or strangers on the street. She spent her whole life helping and taking care of people in one way or another, and I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to be like her.”

Rihanna triggers internet firestorm with ‘disrespectful’ magazine photoshoot

Billionare Fenty CEO Rihanna stirred up a godly amount of online debate Tuesday after posing as a sexy nun for the cover of “Interview Magazine.”

The 36-year-old singer donned a black and white habit, the traditional attire worn by sisters dedicated to a life of religious observance. But Rihanna put her own spin on the garment, wearing an unbuttoned blouse that exposed her cleavage.

The cover image also showed the pop icon wearing baby blue eyeshadow, bright red lipstick, and a small black cross tattoo on her left cheek.

While some Instagram and X users applauded Rihanna for the daring work, many took issue with the provocative take on religious imagery.

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One Instagram user, who identified herself as a Muslim, said the photoshoot was “disrespectful” and “strange.”

“Can’t do art without messing with other people’s religion? Is this how desperate celebs have become?” the user added.

“Our religion is not your marketing toy like stopppppp this is so annoying,” another chimed in.

“This is in poor taste,” another Instagram user wrote.

Other accounts said Rihanna, who recently performed at the Super Bowl, was “mocking God” and said they would be canceling their Fenty membership.

One social media account pointed out that the image was an homage to the actress Marlene Detrich.

Popular entertainment figures have often altered religious iconography as part of marketing runs, music videos and live shows.

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In January, rapper Lil Nas X apologized after backlash from Christians who said his song “J. Christ” made fun of Christianity.

In 2021, he collaborated on Satan-themed sneakers that featured a pentagram and inverted cross that reportedly contained 60 CCs of red ink mixed with a drop of human blood in the sole of the shoe. There were only 666 pairs made available.

In addition, in the music video for his 2021 song “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” the rapper was dressed provocatively while pole dancing and giving Satan a lap dance in Hell.

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Fox News Digital reached out to Fenty and its affiliates for comment. 

Fox News’ Kendall Tietz contributed to this report. 

HUGH HEWITT: We are in a war — Biden doesn’t know it, but Trump does

Is the United States at war this April, 2024? Was it at war in November, 1941?

Of course we are, just as we were on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Just as then, many Americans including the president were unaware of it.

If you have any doubt ask the families of Sgt. William Jerome Rivers of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders of Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett of Savannah, Georgia, killed in Jordan in January. President Biden, on the Sunday after the murders by drone, announced that the drone came from “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”

Get it? Iran ordered those soldiers killed. We are in an undeclared war with Iran, as is Israel though by the time this column appears, Iran may have abandoned its cloak of cowardice and struck directly at Israel from Iranian soil and brought the barely hidden war into the open.

Though President Biden may not fully grasp it because he is increasingly and obviously infirm (and our enemies know it)— the triumvirs he rules in the name of —Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan— surely do know this fundamental fact. If they don’t they are stupid, and they are not stupid. They do seem, however, afraid.

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The United States is at war with a three-tiered partnership of evil actors. Like a law firm with a managing partner, senior partners, junior partners and associates, our enemies confront a firm led by China, with senior partners Russia and Iran and junior partners North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela and many associates the most visible of which are Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis. The South American and Mexican drug cartels, like the remnants of ISIS and ISIS-K, are wannabe serious enemies but denied either formal territory or significant armaments they are dangerous to Americans but not “existential threats.”

The partnership led of predatory states, led by Xi Jinping at the top of the Leninist Chinese Communist Party, is. They are our enemies and until and unless we begin to treat that partnership of enemies as bent on our defeat and the defeat of our allies we will not be able to rally the West to its own defense.

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There are two obvious, “hot” fronts in this war: Israel and Ukraine. The Democrat Party has increasingly and now quite obviously begun its betrayal of Israel. The Republican Party is in an internal struggle over our support of Ukraine, which is an intra-party struggle I hope breaks decisively towards Kyiv.

Former President Trump may disagree on the details of how to wage this war, but he knows it is ongoing and many of the people he will bring back to a new administration he heads will get it exactly right.

I promote continually Senators Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst and former Secretary of State as Trump’s among best choices for a running mate because they understand this central conflict of our time between the free states and their allies and this partnership of predators. Each of these people can persuasively articulate the situation while deftly and continually taking this message of realism about the world to the American people. In doing so, any of them would contrast as sharply as anyone else the haplessness of Vice President Harris and the triumvirs.

I’d like the former president to name as well his key national security appointees which could include the two not named above as well as experienced warriors like Senators J.D. Vance of Ohio and Dan Sullivan of Alaska as well as former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Ambassador Rick Grennell (either of whom could serve as Chief of Staff or head of the Centea Intelligence Agency) and experienced ambassadors like former Ambassador David Friedman back in Israel and Ambassador George Glass dispatched to a critical ally like Saudi Arabia or the UAE. All and more carry with them the reputation as serious and tough. This is a “war Administration” in the making though its central purpose would be to avoid the formal outbreak of war via the robust display of confidence and strength.

Trump will also need an Attorney General who understands and obliges the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop wasting resources on folks attending Latin Mass or exercising their rights before local school boards and focus on the genuine threats within. 40,000 Chinese nationals who have crossed our southern border in the past 18 months. How can even one Bureau employee be writing memos about Catholics who are tradition-minded or parents upset over their schools drift into inanity instead of tracking down these tens of thousands of individuals and finding out what they are doing? Are they “building any army within” as Trump suggested as a possibility two weeks ago? Nobody knows because we don’t have the resources allocated to the border to stop their entry or track them once turned loose with a “date” for a hearing.

Weakness is provocative and no Administration has been as weak and thus as provocative as Biden’s. Biden is rehabilitating not only the reputation former President Carter but even that of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain —Chamberlain at least belatedly ramped up production of the fighter airplanes that won the Battle of Britain while Biden is overseeing a shrinking Navy. So awful are Biden’s decisions and the rhetoric he brings to the public airwaves that his capacity to continue even until January much less for four more years is in some doubt.

The turn against Israel is without precedent. Imagine FDR telling Churchill during the period prior to the invasion of France but after Poland had been brutalized that the British leader needed to embrace a “six or eight week” ceasefire with Hitler, and that the United Kingdom needed to flood Germany with supplies because the German people were suffering after the invasion of Poland? Absurd, of course, but clarity was not in short supply among Democrats then.

Trump wins this election going away if he hammers on Biden’s turn against Israel and his idiotic salvos against Prime Minister Netanyahu—who helms a unity government. “This isn’t Netanyahu’s war,” Yossi Klein Halevi—a fierce critic of the Israeli Prime minister—told Dan Senor on the “Call Me Back” pod this week. “It is Israel’s war.”

It is also our war, and the moderate Arab states’ war, and the United Kingdom’s war no matter what the equally confused British Foreign Secretary David Cameron might think or say. Cameron is bringing his Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to near certain and catastrophic defeat at the polls, and for the first time ever I am cheering on the Labor Party because the Tory Party needs a thorough rehabilitation until it emerges with someone like former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at its fore.

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“What is most worrying now is that literally any scenario is possible,” Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared in late March. “We have not had a situation like this since 1945,” Tusk continued. “I know it sounds devastating, especially to people of the younger generation, but we have to mentally get used to a new era.”

“We are in a pre-war era,” Tusk concluded. “I don’t exaggerate. This is becoming more and more apparent every day.”

If Trump embraces and repeatedly articulates this reality and the need to save the tenuous peace by rapidly building our defenses and promising seriousness at every level of the national security team, the former president will be the next president. Trump ended his term with serious people like Pompeo at State and Ambassador Robert O’Brien as his National Security Advisor. If he promises to bring them and more like them and those named above into his Administration, an even bigger win than his upset in 2016 is possible. And that win would cause our NATO, our Pacific allies, Israel and its Abraham Accord partners to breath much, much easier. 

Hugh Hewitt is one of the country’s leading journalists of the center-right. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996, where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990, and it is today syndicated to hundreds of stations and outlets across the country every Monday through Friday morning. Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and this column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio show today.

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Matthew McConaughey spills on Hollywood’s ‘initiation process’

Matthew McConaughey made his way into Hollywood 30 years ago, but had some highs and lows along the way.

In an interview with People, McConaughey shared that there’s an “initiation process” in the industry, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I, like anyone, have had my ups and downs,” he told the outlet. “My star meter has been higher, my star meter has been lower. I’ve won Oscars. I’ve been arrested playing the bongos naked.”  

The actor continued, “Overall, I believe there’s been inherent goodwill for me, but it did not keep me from figuring out my own initiation into the industry.”

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY ISN’T ‘PULLING THE PARACHUTE’ ON MARRIAGE WHEN HE HAS A DISAGREEMENT WITH WIFE CAMILA

The Texas native went on to explain that after having skin in the Hollywood game, he wondered why nobody gave him tips and tricks earlier on.

“There’s a lot of things you learn 10 years after being in Hollywood and you go, ‘Well, why didn’t they tell me that in year two?’ Because there’s an initiation process,” he told the outlet. “There just is. You can get tips, but you’ve got to figure out the BS, cut the wheat from the chaff along the way. “

Knowing what he knows now, McConaughey would not give his younger self any guidance. 

“Oh, I wouldn’t tell him,” he said. “I’d let him figure it out the same way I did. Take feeder roads off the highway. Get confused, get frustrated, feel lost, and overcome it.”

Over the past 30 years, McConaughey has taken on a number of Hollywood hits. He told People that he still never gets tired of fans approaching him about a specific role.

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The actor is famously known for the iconic line, “alright, alright, alright,” from the 1993 classic “Dazed and Confused.” McConaughey finds pride in his fans approaching him about the line because it was not scripted, and he wasn’t meant to even be in the scene.

“I had no idea that that line would precede me for the rest of my life, and people ask me all the time, ‘Are you tired of that preceding you?’ And I’m like, ‘Hell, no!’ That [came] out of my mouth in a scene that I was never supposed to be in, that was never written,” he explained.

McConaughey continued, “Every time I hear it, I’m like, ‘That was the first three words you said ever on film 30-something years ago.’ I take it as a compliment.”

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While the “Fool’s Gold” star is proud of his accomplishments in Hollywood, he finds the most joy in raising his three children: sons Levi, 15, and Livingston, 11, and daughter Vida, 14.

McConaughey shares his children with his wife, Camila Alves, whom he married in 2012.

He told People that he “can’t think of anything more important” than being a father.

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“Having children, I know, has made me a better artist and a better actor,” McConaughey explained. “Kids see things for the first time all the time. Their questions are innocent. I’ve become a better storyteller because I have kids.”