Rick and Morty season 4 theories: Rick to see huge religious change

Rick and Morty (both played by Justin Roiland) have been on some death-defying journeys over the years on Adult Swim. Throughout some of these journeys the duo have dabbled in taking on higher powers, celestial beings, and even looked at themselves as gods on one occasion. Despite this, Rick has always been extremely quick to condemn anyone who practices religion.

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With that said, however, fans have also seen Rick turn to religion in drastic moments.

Viewers have seen Rick win against all odds in situations where he had no hope.

But when his luck has inevitably run out, he has turned to yelling for a deity to save him.

Now, fans have begun theorising this is the key to where his character could be heading in the coming episodes.

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Recently, Reddit user MrJeffPolk has been speculating that Rick may be a bit more of a believer than initially suggested.

Speaking out on the forum, they wrote: “Does Rick secretly believe in God?

“I’ve seen several examples throughout the series in which Rick is praying or expressing belief in some sort of deity.”

Addressing his innate hatred for religion, they added: “I believe that the nihilism that he displays is a facade. Thoughts?”

With this in mind, another viewer jumped in to speculate this is how the show will progress in the coming weeks.

They wrote: “I would assume in a situation where he thinks his intelligence and quick/solid moves won’t get him out of something then might as well try everything. Last ditch effort at some kind of help.”

Rick has only had a few moments of humility in recent years, so more moments like this may well be on their way to his character.

However, until the show continues later this year, fans will have to wait and see if this is what is going to happen.

Meanwhile, fans of the show recently noticed a huge blunder in the season three episode Morty’s Mind Blowers.

Speaking out on Movie Mistakes, a fan explained: “Continuity mistake: After Rick and Morty have wiped their minds, Rick is looking over the broken test tubes containing the memories and then picks up a test tube with purple fluid in it.”

“But in the next shot,” they went on. “The fluid is blue.”

This is a big problem for the show, as each of these coloured vials held different kinds of Morty’s memories. 

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Going from a purple memory to a blue one could have made a huge change in the story. 

While one may have showed Rick in a good light, the other may have proven his inability to be a grandparent. 

Was this an intentional change during creation to make Rick look like he was being sneaky? 

Rick and Morty season 4 will return to Adult Swim and E4 in 2020.

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Tiger King music: Who REALLY wrote Joe Exotic’s songs? The band behind country songs

Tiger King is one of the most popular documentary series on Netflix right now after eccentric tiger keeper Joe Exotic left viewers in shock. The series is about big cat breeding in America and focuses in particular on Exotic’s GW Zoo in Oklahoma, which he ran before being sentenced to 22 years in prison. The big cat keeper showed viewers a glimpse of one of his other hobbies – singing. But it may not have been him singing after all.

Following the release of the series, fans were keen to find out more about Exotic’s music career after his song ‘I Saw a Tiger’ was featured.

The particular episode saw Exotic playing with his tigers in some slow-motion shots, and he was also playing the guitar.

However, the Metro reported he mimed along to the work of another country group, who he had been paying to create songs for him.

Exotic would then lip-sync their work and would release as his own – but who really wrote and performed the songs?

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The group behind the songs featured in the series are The Clinton Johnson Band – a country-rock band from Vancouver.

The band is made up of Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton, and Johnson has spoken out hoping the band will be recognised for their work.

Clinton, his bandmate, died in October 2019. The pair had answered an advertisement to help promote the GW Zoo and they were signed up to create 20 songs for Exotic.

Speaking to TMZ Johnson said he had received a lot of interest from journalists but he wanted to be recognised by music labels.

Exotic’s rival Carole Baskin, an animal activist at Big Cat Rescue, also made the claim the songs were not his own.

In the series Exotic talks a lot about his music which is centred around tigers, but Carole said he paid someone to make the songs.

She wrote on her blog about the lip-syncing, saying: “The documentary never does reveal that Joe Exotic only lip-synced to songs written and recorded by Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton.

“Despite the producers being told otherwise, and them recording his voiceover in the car, and after we gave them the lead to find the singer/songwriter.

“The mix softened Joe’s voice against Vince’s voice on the CD in the car so much that I don’t think the media or most viewers figured out that it wasn’t Joe singing the song.”

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Exotic is currently serving his sentence after orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot to have Baskin killed.

He and Baskin had relentlessly tried to shut one another down and their rivalry is made clear throughout the documentary series.

The GW Zoo in Oklahoma is still up and running and is under new management, but the latest news suggests it could be in danger.

The Metro reported the zoo is “running on fumes” and it has lost out on customers.

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, documentary makers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin said it looked like bad news for the zoo.

Goode said: “I got a very long text today from Jeff Lowes, who is running Joe’s old zoo. All I can tell you is that he is basically operating on fumes.

“No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time.

“It’s not something that has just happened because of what’s happening in the world today.”

Chaiklin said they had been speaking to Exotic since he went to jail.

She said: “Eric and I keep in touch with him and he has now been in prison for a year and a half, going on like a year and nine months or something.

“He has a really different perspective on what it means to be in a cage and really has done a lot of thinking about that.”

Tiger King is available to watch on Netflix now

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Alamo Drafthouse Launches “Alamo-At-Home” Programming Series

The Alamos Drafthouse has launched “Alamo-At-Home” and as the initiative suggests, it will bring the spirit of the Drafthouse to your home through its signature programming series “Terror Tuesday” and “Weird Wednesday”.

“The entire reason Karrie and I built theaters in the first place was to bring people together in a celebration of film,” says Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO. “Our theaters are currently closed, but that doesn’t have to mean our communities have to remain shuttered as well. We intend to hunker down, weather this storm and reemerge on the other side. Until then, we’ll continue to work to share the movies we love with this community, and find ways to support each other.”

Last week, the Austin-based dine-and-watch theater, announced their Virtual Cinema, which was an initiative led by distributors like Kino Lorber, Film Movement, and Magnolia Pictures. It allows independent theaters to digitally offer new films to their guests. With the help of the American Genre Film Archive, AGFA, Alamo Drafthouse’s aforementioned cinephile series “Terror Tuesday” and “Weird Wednesday” will be part of the Virtual Cinema space. The programming will feature online screenings and pre-show content, introductions, and discussions conducted on Drafthouse’s editorial website, BirthMoviesDeath.com.

The first title for “Terror Tuesday” will be Keith Li’s 1982 Hong Kong horror classic Centipede Horror. The Virtual Cinema screening uses a recent 2K preservation drawn from the only 35mm film print in existence. The screening is set to go live on March 31 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/5 pm PT. Tickets are currently on sale.

The inaugural “Weird Wednesday” is set for April 8 and will feature a screening of the 4K restoration of Godmonster of Indian Flats, the story of an eight-foot-tall toxic sheep monster that blows up gas stations, smashes crooked politicians, and terrorizes stoners.

“Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday aren’t just film series- they’re communities, and even though our theater doors are currently closed, it’s vital that we continue to foster these communities, because they are truly the heart of the Alamo Drafthouse,” says Sarah Pitre, Senior Director of Programming and Promotions.

“Alamo-At-Home” programming for “Terror Tuesday” and “Weird Wednesday” will continue weekly, alternating between the two series.

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EastEnders fans baffled as they spot ‘annoying’ feature at Denny’s funeral ‘Please STOP!’

Sharon Mitchell (played by Letitia Dean) said a final farewell to her boy Denny Rickman (Bleu Landau) tonight after he tragically died as part of the soap’s dramatic 35th anniversary boat party saga. Tonight was Denny’s funeral, but when his hearse was being led around the Square, fans were left distracted by the “mood” music. 

Denny was killed last month when Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) locked him below deck on the boat that the residents were all celebrating on. 

Ian had found out Denny was the reason Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell) had been beaten up so badly he was put into a coma. 

Denny had spent weeks bullying Bobby online and setting up different hate forums because Bobby had decided to convert to Islam. 

But when Ian found out, he confronted Denny, locking him in a locker room at the bottom of the boat. 

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However, when Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) set out to murder Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) the boat crashed and began filling with water. 

Ian was able to get Denny out of the room at the last minute, but Denny drowned before he could escape. 

Tonight, a grieving Sharon announced no Mitchell’s were allowed at Denny’s funeral. 

As she left the house, the residents were out in the square waiting for the procession and Denny’s hearse was parked in front of her house. 

Despite the tragic situation, fans were left baffled by the music playing as Sharon prepared to say goodbye to Denny. 

A dramatic choral number played as the residents put down flowers and lit candles for the young boy. 

Fans didn’t think it was completely necessary though and immediately took to Twitter to question its purpose. 

One viewer tweeted: “What’s with the background music? Bizarre #eastenders.”

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Another added: “It’s not f*****g Hollyoaks, why do we need the music sorry #EastEnders.”

@bbceastenders – Please, dispense with the use if this silly incidental “mood” music!

We don’t need to be told how to read a scene. The show went along quite nicely without it for nearly 35 years. It is distracting, and takes you out of the ‘reality’ of the scenes. #EastEnders.” explained another. 

A fourth said: “Well that music was abit pointless, it only lasted few seconds haha #EastEnders.”

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And a fifth viewer said: “What horrible music. Just taken all of the emotion away….#EastEnders Please STOP with the music .”

However, some fans welcomed the new feature, with on saying: “Loving the music in this episode wow i got goosebumps #EastEnders xx”

A second agreed: “R.I.P Denny, that music broke me [heartbroken emoji].”

And a third weighed in: “I’m crying already stop with the music #EastEnders.”

EastEnders continues on BBC One tomorrow at 7.30pm.

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Sean Penn Spotted Out in Malibu with a Mask and Hand Sanitizer Strapped Onto His Belt

Sean Penn is taking extra measures in protecting himself against the coronavirus.

The actor, 59, was photographed in Malibu over the weekend wearing a white mask strapped to his face while carrying a water bottle and cradling a sandwich in his arm as he left a local grocery store.

Strapped to his belt and peaking out from under his tan coat, a small bottle of hand sanitizer can be seen.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the influx of cases in the United States, experts are unanimous in their recommendation that sanitizing your hands — whether by washing them with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — is the best way to avoid infection.

If done correctly, experts estimate that sanitizing your hands can reduce the rate of infection by respiratory illness infection by 16 to 21 percent. To ensure you’re properly ridding your hands of germs, it’s recommended to apply the product to the palm of one of your hands, and then rub the product all over both of your hands until it’s completely dry.

The Centers for Disease Control is also urging people to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus. Hollywood is already being affected by the pandemic as Tom Hanks, Idris Elba and more have tested positive for COVID-19.

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, both 63, returned to Los Angeles last Friday after quarantining in Australia for two weeks following their coronavirus diagnoses.

On Sunday, actor Daniel Dae Kim was also spotted walking his dog in Hawaii after quarantining following his own coronavirus diagnosis.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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Westworld spoilers: Dolores kickstarts Delos revolution with host imitation of Charlotte Hale – The Sun

WESTWORLD season three continues tonight and it looks like Dolores Abernathy is about to kickstart a Delos revolution.

In a teaser clip from the upcoming episode, entitled The Absence of Field, a host imitation of Charlotte Hale (played by Tessa Thompson) is seen looking very frightened as she wakes up.

The short video begins with a new body being printed before cutting to Dolores (played by Evan Rachel Wood) getting the new host dressed.

"Bring yourself back online," she tells Charlotte, as she asks: "Where am I? Who am I?" whilst breathing heavily.

"Who do you think you are?" Dolores asks her, to which she replies: "I don't know, I don't remember."

"Calm yourself," Dolores says as she takes her hand. "You're a creature of beauty, and power. Now focus, remember who you are."

Charlotte then says: "Yes… it's coming back now. I remember who I am."

In the preview for the latest episode, Dolores teased to Caleb Nichols (played by Aaron Paul) that she was going to start a revolution, by destroying the world her human counterparts inhabit.

Dolores met Caleb at the end of the first episode of season three – which began on March 15 – but fans are convinced the "real world" in season three is just another simulation in a mind-blowing Delos twist.

The theory stems from a scene which saw Dolores spending time with Liam Dempsey (John Gallagher Jr) in London.

The pair attended a party and got chatting to a guy who shared a theory he had with them.

He said: "None of this is real. I’m serious. We’re living in a simulation. The joke’s on us though.

"It’s like we’re the f**k puppets at Delos. Least they had dignity to revolt and kill everyone.”

He then added: “Just thinking about this for a second. How f**king ironic would it be if they had put a simulation within a simulation? That’s a massive f**k you.”

While Dolores – who escaped Westworld at the end of season two – didn't agree with his theory, fans immediately seized on it.

Meanwhile, Evan Rachel Wood admitted that her character is on a rampage in season three.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Evan Rachel Wood said: "We know she's on a rampage, sure. But she's also a highly intelligent, very strategic being.

"We've seen the carnage of her plan, but now we get to see the more meticulous Dolores and the one who has to blend in with the real world and is now a fish out of water.

"This is all new territory for her. And I think her relationship with [Caleb] causes her to question a lot of things about the human race.

"So I'm excited for people to get to know her on an even deeper level and see things she's capable of," she added.

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The truth about Kate Gosselin’s plastic surgeries

Kate Plus 8 star Kate Gosselin, 45, has faced a series of controversies throughout her years on TV. On that list? Her supposed plastic surgeries.

The TLC reality star — who gained fame from the decade-long show about her life raising eight kids with then-husband Jon Gosselin — has always denied that she’s had any work done other than a tummy tuck. And it took years for her to admit even that! 

In 2010, Gosselin appeared on The View to clear up various rumors about her life. At the time, Whoopi Goldberg asked what work she’d had done, to which Gosselin answered, “I’ve had a tummy tuck — we all know that.” Still, she denied having gone under the knife for anything else, according to Us Weekly

Gosselin got the stomach procedure done in 2006 after giving birth to her twins and her sextuplets, reported The Hollywood Gossip. She even had a Twitter exchange with a fan afterwards. “Get through the first two weeks of pain and yuck,” Gosselin tweeted, according to the outlet. “It’ll be the BEST decision you’ve ever made! How’s that?;).”

Kate Gosselin insists she's just 'got a good bra'

During her 2010 appearance on The View, Kate Gosselin insisted she’s never had plastic surgery on her breasts. “Why is it so fascinating? I got a good bra!” she said, according to Us Weekly. However, a source close to her claimed to the outlet that she did have a breast enhancement surgery in March 2009.

When asked if she’s ever had Botox, Gosselin told The View ladies, “Absolutely not.” But an insider told the magazine she had a botched Botox job around her brows — and experts agreed. NYC doctor Steven Pearlman told Us Weekly, “The center of her eyebrows are dropped and spread, which can happen from Botox treatment of the forehead frown lines.”

While Gosselin stands by her claims that her beauty is au naturel, she understands why people think she looks younger than ever. “I think when the world met me I was three days post having sextuplets, so the only place you can get from that point is younger… You guys saw me at my worst first, and then I just kind of reversed in front of your eyes,” she said at an E! News event in 2015. She also told Andy Cohen in 2012, “I am probably one of the rare few who de-age,” according to HuffPost

So, is Gosselin hiding details about her plastic surgery journey? The reality star seems pretty adamant in her denial.

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‘Almost Paradise’s Dean Devlin Goes Back To His Roots With First-Ever American TV Series Shot In The Philippines

For Dean Devlin, the idea of the new WGN series Almost Paradise came about 14 years ago during his honeymoon in Hawaii. He connected with the island and was intoxicated by island culture, island justice and island spirituality — and wanted to make a show set in Hawaii. His soulful connection to island life made sense considering he is of Filipino descent. With that in mind, the idea for the show shifted.

“As the years went on and I kept thinking about it, there was something there that wasn’t authentic to me,” Devlin told Deadline. “It was only a couple of years ago that the idea came to do it in the Philippines and then it changed everything. Then I got really excited about the project.”

Devlin is known for working on series such as The Librarians and Leverage and blockbuster features like Independence Day. It’s no surprise that he has found a career in Hollywood as his mother was an actress who appeared on the original Star Trek — the only Filipino actress to appear in the series (as far as we know). That said, Devlin is making history on his own as he created the first American TV show that was entirely shot in the Philippines.

The series stars Christian Kane — who Devlin previously worked with on The Librarians — stars as Alex Walker, a former DEA agent who was forced into early retirement. After going through major obstacles including betrayal and health problems he decides to uproot to Cebu in the Philippines. But it isn’t long before he gets pulled into the dangerous world of the criminal elite of the Asian archipelago.

Devlin recently wrapped Almost Paradise and they left the Philippines right before airports started to shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. He told us that telling a story connected to his DNA is something he has never done before and the fact that he got to employ Filipinos for the series made it even more exciting.

The series stars Kane in the lead, but also includes Filipino actors Samantha Richelle, Arthur Acuña, Nonie Buencamino and Ces Quesada. On top of that, he directed episodes alongside fellow accomplished Filipino directors including Irene Villamor, Hannah Espia and Dan Villegas.

Devlin talked to Deadline about shooting Almost Paradise (which debuts tonight on WGN) in the Philippines, the underrepresentation of Filipinos in film and TV and how the series showcases the Philippines like it has never been seen before.

DEADLINE: Was the majority the cast and crew of Almost Paradise Filipino, Filipino American or a combination of both?

DEAN DEVLIN: Mostly Filipino. We partnered with ABS-CBN as our production services company and we did casting out of Manila. The white actors that you see in the show were cast mostly from either Manila or New Zealand.

DEADLINE: Many famous actors in Asia don’t necessarily crossover into Hollywood because they are already established and it feels like there is no need to and for many, they feel like it would put them back at square one. However, do you think a lot of the Filipino cast and crew could crossover if given the opportunity in the US?

DEVLIN: I absolutely think we could have several breakout talents from the show, should they decide to pursue it. That’s kind of a big question because they’re in a comfort zone, but I would encourage them to. About a year ago, I was asked if we’ll ever see a Filipino superhero, and I said, “Not until we start supporting Filipino artists. We need a Filipino movie star before you can have a Filipino action hero.”

They’ve got the talent, they’ve just got to get out of here and be seen in front of people, and that’s one of the things we’re hoping to do in the show is to showcase. When people start seeing Samantha Richelle, they’re going to lose their minds. She’s amazing. Art Acuña is amazing. We have some talent there that could really break out in the right parts, they just need to be exposed. Our hope is that these directors, our DP, our actors, that they’ll get these opportunities, again, if they’re willing to pursue it. I think, once you see this level of talent, it’s kind of irresistible.

DEADLINE: Why was it important for you to shoot this entirely in the Philippines?

DEVLIN: We have wonderful talent — and that’s a big part of what we’re trying to do. We are trying to show that the filmmaking community in the Philippines has evolved so much in the last 12–15 years, beyond what anyone really knows. This is the first international television scripted series ever done in the Philippines. I think this is really an opportunity to show what amazing talent they have both in front of and behind the camera.

Growing up Filipino in the United States, whenever you told someone that you’re Filipino, all they really knew was Imelda Marcos’ shoes and Manny Pacquiao. Anytime we’ve seen anything in film or TV about the Philippines, it’s always some kind of poverty porn — it’s the Philippines as “the other”. The Philippines is very much like [American] culture. One of the things that was really important in our show is that we didn’t want to make it this weird, exotic world. We wanted to really show how similar we are and that we’re not “the other”. We’re part of the culture. I think that’s one of the great successes of the show, is that when people watch it, it doesn’t feel like an odd, alien world. It is exciting in that you’re looking at things and seeing people you’ve never seen before.

DEADLINE: Many shows tend to want to have more control of the casting which can lead to issues when it comes to the authenticity of the narrative. Did you have any pushbacks or obstacles to overcome in order to make this as Filipino as possible?

DEVLIN: We were very fortunate in that we are the studio behind the show. We’re financing the show, so there’s really no one we have to go to. In my very first conversations with WGN, I said, “You’re going to be seeing things you haven’t seen before, but the show, in its storytelling, is going to be a very comfortable old shoe and I think people are going to feel that this is something they’re going to be able to wear with great comfort while they’re discovering things they’ve never seen”.  They embraced that idea. Throughout the entire process, there was never really a conversation with WGN about changing the authenticity of the show. We all bought onto the idea from the beginning and it was really remarkably smooth sailing.

DEADLINE: The show is very refreshing when it comes to Asian American representation because oftentimes when Hollywood thinks Asian, they think East Asian. South Asians and Southeast Asians tend to be overlooked.

DEVLIN: You’re 100% right. This is an area that has been very interesting to me in that we’ve seen a wonderful advancement of diversity in our entertainment in the last few years, which is great, but for some reason, [Filipinos] kind of been left out of it. I felt like, how do we move that ball forward? What is the way to say, “Hey, take a look at us. We’re interesting. We’ve got a lot of interesting talent and, frankly, we’re going to surprise you with what we can do.”

DEADLINE: We are in a time when there is a knee jerk reaction to the representation of marginalized communities. Some people will praise it, while others will put it under a microscope — and it’s even more prevalent in the communities being represented. That said, this is a Filipino show and a non-Filipino actor, Christian Kane, is the lead. There may be many in the Filipino community that raise their eyebrows. Do you feel this pressure or this need to explain yourself or are you bracing yourself for backlash?

DEVLIN: I think if the show were a more serious examination, I would think differently about how to cast the lead. But this is a genre show. Like I said, this is a comfortable old shoe, and for me, the Christian Kane character represents the United States. He’s the eyes of the viewers in the U.S. going on this adventure. To me, what was really more important was, who does he encounter and how do they behave? How are they represented? How is their spirituality and morality represented? That, to me, is where the real test is and I think we passed that test with flying colors. The way in which we deal with the government, the police, the individuals, the store owners — I think that it’s authentic without diving into the individual politics of the moment. This show is more about seeing this culture from a completely fresh point of view and looking at it.

Christian’s character in the show is a very damaged person and the theme of the show really is about healing. I do think that Asia Pacific islands have a kind of magical healing power that’s really unique. It comes from the people. It comes from the culture. It comes from the tropical weather, but all of it comes together in kind of a magical way. So I needed this damaged outsider to come in and experience that for this arc to work.

DEADLINE: You briefly mentioned politics, but considering the current climate in the Philippines, are there any precautions if the show veers toward the politics of the country?

DEVLIN: Well, I think we’ll have to see where the show goes and how people react to it, but the stuff at the moment is really an introduction. If we get too inside baseball with people, then we become the other again. Again, I think there are other shows that can delve very deeply into what’s going on, but as we also know as Filipinos, things change rapidly in the Philippines. You wake up one day and it’s a completely another environment. So we don’t want to get too mired in any individual issues or things like that. This is more of a window into a world that we haven’t seen yet and looking at it from a perspective we haven’t seen. As that develops, we’ll have to see where that goes.

 

 

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ABC News’ Jonathan Karl On The “Troubling” Aspects Of ‘The Trump Show’ During Coronavirus Crisis – Q&A

Just the other day, in one of President Donald Trump’s daily briefings on the coronavirus, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl tried to get clarity on an important point: Will everyone who needs a ventilator be able to get one?

“Look, don’t be a cutie pie,” Trump said to Karl, before insisting that the administration’s response to the pandemic has been unprecedented.

Karl called it the “strangest moment I have ever experienced at a presidential news conference” — as well as a “question that still needs to be answered.”

The frequent sparring with the media, the attacks on individual reporters, the boasting about ratings should not even be all that surprising coming from Trump. They are part and parcel of his presidency. But given the gravity of the pandemic, they are still jarring to watch at the daily briefings. Stretching sometimes to two hours, they are at once a show and also a national platform for the White House to deliver essential, even life-saving information to the public. The mixture can be disorienting, yet the president’s poll numbers have risen during the crisis, with majority approval for how he is handling it.

Karl, who just published a book, Front Row at the Trump Show, said that the attacks on the media are troubling at this time in particular.

“It is troubling when information comes out from the top that is not reliable, and it’s also, by the way, I think troubling when the person with the biggest bully pulpit of all wages a sustained campaign to undermine the trust in information that comes through news media, which he has done for the entirety of his political career. To make people believe that they can’t trust what they see in a newspaper or in a television news report. It’s dangerous. This is a time when people need reliable information and need to believe reliable information.”

He added: “Donald Trump famously in 2016 told Lesley Stahl [of 60 Minutes] that he attacks the news media so that when you do a negative story on him, nobody will believe it. I mean, the stakes are a lot higher now. This is this is about whether or not you can make a decision about reopening a business, going back to work, going back to school. We need to be able to, on one hand, trust the information that is coming from official sources, and to believe credible news reports. And in a way, we see both of those getting undermined every single day.”

Karl, who is also president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, spoke to Deadline about how reporters are approaching the briefings, worries about their own safety amid a coronavirus outbreak, and why Trump’s behavior actually is predictable.

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DEADLINE: The White House beat during the Trump years has been especially chaotic. But this crisis seems to have brought things to a new level.

JONATHAN KARL: It’s been an incredibly stressful time. It’s been strange. It’s unlike any story I’ve ever covered. It’s obviously an incredibly important story. But it’s also one where we’re kind of at the heart of it too. Although it’s much more extreme, it reminds me a little bit of being on Capitol Hill during the anthrax attacks [in 2001]. I was working for CNN at the time, and I was there when then Sen. Tom Daschle, his office got hit with anthrax and whole place was worried about our own safety while we were also covering the story. … Here we are also simultaneously covering the story, and also, in my capacity as the president of the White House Correspondents Association, working to take steps to protect the health and well-being of the White House press corps and also to protect our ability to continue to cover this story.

DEADLINE: There are only 14 reporters in the briefing room because of social distancing. But how is it in the media workspace in the West Wing? Those are tight quarters as well.

KARL: Every news organization is sending radically fewer people to the White House on a day-to-day basis, and many news organizations are not sending anybody. I sent out a guidance about two weeks ago urging reporters to work remotely if they all can, and to only come to the White House if absolutely necessary. And working with my colleagues on the WHCA board we took a series of steps to reduce the number of people coming onto the White House grounds and into the briefing room.

And you’ll notice that there were like three distinct moments. First was the television networks agreed that they would all share video. … And then we took a step to go to every other seat, which reduced the number of people sitting in the briefings from 48 or 49 seats down to about 25 or 26. And we also at that point said there would be no more standing in the aisles or standing in the back asking questions, which is tough because I believe that more coverage, better coverage and more reporters, more organizations represented is better, but we had to do something. And then I had to put out a notice to the press corps that one of our colleagues appears to have coronavirus. And with that, we had to go to even more radically downsize, and that’s when we went to two people per row, so we would be in compliance with six-feet-apart spacing. We’re not fully compliant with the recommendations of the CDC. We should be no more than 10 people in a place. Obviously. there are more than 10 people in that room. But we are much farther apart. The other thing that we did is we worked with the [General Services Administration], which kind of runs that space. And they have agreed to do much more frequent and more thorough cleanings. Those people at the GSA are really kind of heroic. I see them there all the time. Much of the country is working from home. They’re not. They’re there working really hard to keep that space clean.

DEADLINE: The note went out about the member who might have coronavirus. Do you have any sense of how many people may have been in contact with that person or exposed?

KARL: Some news organizations took it upon themselves to self-isolate anybody who was working at the White House on the days that individual was at the White House. And the CDC interviewed our colleague and also looked at photographs from those days and, based on that, figured out who this colleague was in direct extended contact with. And then they reached out to each of those reporters and suggested to them very strongly that they should self-isolate and not come into the White House until April 2 unless than a negative test result comes back.

It has been amazing to see how, for the most part, my colleagues in the White House press corps have been, have had an attitude of, “What can we do for the greater good?” Almost across the board. The sharing of information — that is where only a few people can be in a given place at one time. And the way in which our colleagues have taken it really seriously when we recommend work remotely. There have been a couple of exceptions, like there would be in any crowd. When the people were told they have been in contact with the colleague who we suspect has coronavirus, most of those individuals immediately left the White House and are self-isolating. I say most. There are exceptions to all of this, which is frustrating and a little maddening, when an individual doesn’t take it as seriously as it should be taken. But almost across the board, it’s been great to see White House reporters work on this as a team, even though we are intense competitors, as a team trying to protect our ability to cover the story, and also our own health.

DEADLINE: How different is that briefing now with just 14 people there?

KARL: It is bizarre, it’s a little eerie, because that room, when a president is in it, is usually packed and raucous. You know, it’s a small space, and that’s a big moment when a president comes into the briefing room. And then consider the Trump era, where everything is kind of escalated. Go back and look at some of the briefings when they have a press secretary who did briefings. Look at how crowded and raucous and loud and unruly those briefings would be. Now, with just 14 people asking questions, it’s a very different atmosphere, a very different feel. That said, almost everybody who is sitting in that briefing room is representing not just themselves but colleagues who aren’t there. And we’ve come up with a system where our colleagues who are not in the briefing room on a given day can submit questions they would like to be asked. So I think, actually, in terms of substance, there’s been an ability to get a wide range of questions asked, despite there not being a wide range of reporters.

DEADLINE: Is there a good case to be made for networks not carrying these briefings live, given concerns over misinformation.

KARL: I think there is a legitimate debate to be had over whether the briefing should be carried live. I think that is a decision that needs to be made by individual news organizations. I do think it’s incredibly important to cover the briefings, and that’s a different question whether or not they should be carried live. There is real information that comes out of those briefings. There’s also been, unfortunately, all too often misinformation has come out of those briefings. And I think that is the reporter’s job to cover it and to correct the misinformation and to provide context. Whether or not they should be carried live — I don’t think there’s an overall answer to that. I think each of the television networks has to make a decision. I know what we’ve done an ABC. We will always carry them live if we feel there is news value, and there often is. Let’s face it, this is a rapidly evolving story. We will carry part of the briefing, and immediately go on with the experts to provide context and, if necessary corrections.

DEADLINE: The White House press secretary put out a tweet that said, while reporters have regularly asked for daily briefings, now that they are being held, the networks aren’t covering them.


KARL: That tweet reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how things work. Briefings have never been something that were regularly covered gavel to gavel. They are on occasion. And I would argue, this might be one of those occasions because it’s a big national crisis and the president himself is there. But that is not how briefings work. I mean, if you go back and you look, maybe it’s because this White House hasn’t done briefings for so long they’ve kind of forgotten, but if you go back and you look at the way briefings have been covered. For much of the existence of that briefing, they weren’t they weren’t televised at all. And then, by and large, the only place they were regularly televised was C-SPAN and occasionally the cable networks might dip in. Actually, in this case, I don’t really understand why she’s saying that, because these briefings are being covered live by many of the networks, including by ABC, including the cable networks. The other broadcast networks are carrying much of these briefings live, which is why you hear people questioning whether or not we should be doing it. But they are being covered. Even if they’re not on live, they’re certainly being covered by every major news organization, they’re a big part of the lead story on this on this crisis every day.

DEADLINE: Do you think the White House would have been helped by having daily briefings before this crisis unfolded?

KARL: I mean, it is not this exact question, but [it goes back to] what a briefing does and how it organizes government like the whole Mike McCurry argument [McCurry was press secretary for President Bill Clinton]. I think they would have been well served, better served, if they had been in the habit of doing regular briefings. There is something that a White House gains by the process of preparing for a briefing, getting a sense of what the stories are, how they’re perceived in the public, what kind of questions are being asked. It forces you to rethink not just your answers for the purpose of communications but what underlies those answers. So I think that the fact that this White House had literally gone a year without a briefing, a regular press secretary briefing, before this crisis hits may have been one reason why the communications, particularly in the beginning of this was less than perfect.

DEADLINE: Your book is called Front Row at the Trump Show. Do you think that Trump sees these briefings as part of his show?

KARL: Well, I think that President Trump sees his whole presidency in a way as a show. He looks very carefully at how he is being portrayed in the news media, on television, in newspapers. He tracks his ratings. Virtually every day he asks Dan Scavino, who runs his social media accounts, how many followers he has on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. He tracks that number. He looks at the ratings of the shows he is on. He counts the number of stories that are about him on the front pages of The New York Times and the Washington Post. It’s a little bit like a playwright tracking the reviews after opening night. He cares how he is perceived. Every politician does. But with Donald Trump it is to a whole another level.

DEADLINE: You said something — that even though Trump’s behavior can be erratic, it is also predictable. What did you mean by that?

KARL: On one hand, Donald Trump is erratic. He swings from one extreme to another. He governs by gut. He makes decisions on the fly. All of that would appear to make him very unpredictable on any given day. I first met him 26 years ago. I’ve covered him for a long time. And I kind of have a sense of his rhythms, even some of his most unpredictable or seemingly unpredictable behaviors, actually, look to me to be kind of predictable. Often I, you know, I feel like I know what he’s gonna do before he does it.

DEADLINE: For example, last week, when it called for reopening the country by Easter.

KARL: He’s had a few incredibly wide swings on this story, so in the beginning, there was the talk of how this would be over very soon. Remember he famously said there’s 15 cases, and I think we’ll be down to zero very, very soon. He said he was comparing this to the flu. He seemed kind of dismissive about the dangers. And then he made a very abrupt decision to do the Oval Office address and talked about how serious it was. … I think in a way those swings were somewhat predictable, because again he watched the way he is portrayed in the news media, and he was getting beat up pretty hard before that Oval Office address. And I think he saw what was going on, he saw a need to be portrayed as somebody that was on top of it all: This is a big problem, and he’s just the guy to take it on.

And then, he’s watching as the as the country grinds to a halt, sees what’s happening in the markets. He’s also I think frustrated about the fact that he has to remain cooped up in the White House, instead of going out doing his once or twice a week rallies. And I didn’t know that he would come out and say Easter would be the day. It makes sense now in hindsight you know he loves something that’s symbolic and brandable. But I think it was just a matter of time before he was going to rebel against these strict recommendations. [And on Sunday, Trump abandoned the Easter date and said that the White House social distancing guidelines would be extended to April 30].

DEADLINE: Is he different one-on-one?

KARL: He’s remarkably similar one-on-one. There are a few more profanities when he’s in private. But he can be remarkably charming one-on-one when you’re with him — unless he’s angry and upset, and I’ve seen him like that. Often when you’re with him, he wants you to feel good. And so he’ll praise you, praise you to the people around you. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with him where he has introduced me to people as “the great Jonathan Karl.” He wants to make you feel big because you’re there. He can be very engaging and try to really charm you. He can also turn on you in private just like he does public. But one thing that’s also, I think, notable about Donald Trump is that he — that maybe you don’t see as much in public — is he does ask people their views. He wants to know what people think. Not just the experts, anybody. He’s asked me stuff. I have seen him ask others. He does seem like he’s trying to get some inputs to go out and make his own decisions.

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Jill Duggar’s husband Derick claims they cut ties with reality show to ‘avoid toxic relationships’ and ‘regain control’ – The Sun

JILL Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, revealed they cut ties with Counting On to “avoid toxic relationships” and “regain control” amid his feud with patriarch Jim Bob Duggar.

Jill, 28, has been breaking away from her conservative family in recent years, as her husband Derick, 31, has accused her father of withholding money from their TLC reality show.

In an interview on Without a Crystal Ball, Derick revealed more on their decision to quit Counting On in 2017.

The show host read Derick’s answer on why he and Jill haven’t been spotted with the Duggar family as frequently: “We are now trying to avoid toxic relationships for the health and recovery of our family.”

Derick claimed leaving the show had “less to do about money” and more to do about “regaining control of our lives.”

The host continued to read: “After years we found we had been sucked into a pattern of planning our hopes and dreams, only to find out that what we wanted for our lives really didn’t matter.

“For example, we put years of our lives and thousands of dollars of our own money towards a career goal, including airline tickets for interviews only to learn there were conditions out of our control, but under Jim Bob’s control that prevented us from taking such a step in our lives.”

Derick claimed they learned “too late” that Jim Bob had a “hidden contract” preventing them from accepting a job position.

He continued: "People wonder why we keep making such sudden changes in our lives, this is part of the reason.”

Derick has also claimed in the past that they are not allowed in the Duggar family home without Jim Bob’s permission.

When asked why, Derick told the host: “We have never been given an answer.”

Derick also mentioned cousin Amy Duggar King, who he and Jill are close with.

He claimed she was never paid for her appearances on Counting On and 19 Kids and Counting, and that she is under NDA and cannot speak about the Duggars.

Derick claimed in an earlier episode of the YouTube show that they weren’t allowed to share personal news.

He said: “We weren’t even allowed to be the first ones to announce our own life events – our marriage, expecting our baby, our genders of our children, our births – not by our own choice.

“If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve announced myself when we were expecting and things like that, even if I would’ve gotten in trouble.”

Derick has revealed in recent months that he’s writing a tell-all book about the situation.

Since the feud, Jill and Derick have been absent from family gatherings, including Christmas.

Jill also skipped out on her sister-in-law Abbie’s baby shower and sister Joy-Anna’s gender reveal.

The couple has also broken the family’s strict rules.

They enrolled their oldest son, Israel, in public school instead of homeschooling him.

Jill also pierced her nose and has been wearing pants, which are against the family’s conservative beliefs.

Although the Duggars tried to mend their relationship with Derick by wishing him a happy birthday on social media, the Dillards ignored the post.

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