- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2011

‘60 Minutes’ reruns Rooney interview as tribute

“60 Minutes” has paid tribute to Andy Rooney with a rerun far sooner than anyone wanted to see.

The former commentator died Friday night from complications after minor surgery. Only a month ago, the 92-year-old curmudgeon gave his final commentary after 33 years on television’s most popular newsmagazine.

On Sunday, veteran correspondent Morley Safer gave a short introduction about Rooney’s death. Then, “60 Minutes” reran Mr. Safer’s interview with Rooney that aired Oct. 2. It was filled with clips from Rooney’s essays over the years.

In his introduction, Mr. Safer said Rooney “had the special gift for speaking for every man.”

In Rooney’s final essay, he said that he had lived a life luckier than most others and wished he “could do this forever.”

Lack of funding may prompt cancellation of Ebert show

Film critic Roger Ebert is telling his readers that he may have to cancel his television show “Ebert Presents: At the Movies” unless someone steps up and helps him and his wife pay for it.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic wrote on his blog Sunday night that after an initial contribution of $25,000 from the Kanbar Charitable Trust, he and Chaz Ebert have been paying virtually all the bills for the show, which began airing on public television in January.

Mr. Ebert said he has been pleased with the program, which is hosted by Associated Press movie reviewer Christy Lemire and Mubi.com film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.

But after months of paying for everything including screen tests, interns and lunch on taping days, “We can’t afford to support the show any longer,” wrote Mr. Ebert, who can no longer speak after cancer surgery. “That’s what it comes down to.”

Mr. Ebert wrote that he had hoped foundations and others would step forward to underwrite the show, but that nobody has. Now, he wrote, American Public Television is asking him whether the show will be back next season, and he has to have an answer by the end of this month.

“Unless we find underwriting, I’m afraid our answer will have to be ‘no,’ ” he wrote.

CMA winners recall wins, look forward to Wednesday

Martina McBride has five Country Music Association Awards, but nothing beats the first time she picked up a CMA trophy.

“It was 1999, and it was just like the whole night I felt like I was walking on air. It was just magic,” Miss McBride said about winning female vocalist of the year. “We had been nominated several times before, so to finally hear your name called, it was like the whole world went into slow motion.”

The CMA Awards will air live on ABC from Nashville at 8 p.m. Wednesday, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, the Associated Press reports.

Miss McBride is nominated once again for female vocalist of the year.

Winning a CMA Award also holds special memories for Joe Nichols. He won the top new male vocalist category in 2003, when it was called the Horizon Award.

“I got to perform that night in front of George Strait, Hank [Williams] Jr. and all my heroes. I was scared to death … but it was a fun night,” he said. “And I got to take home an award that I never thought I’d win.”

Alan Jackson is the second-most-nominated artist in CMA history. His run began in 1990, and this year’s nod for musical event of the year with the Zac Brown Band gives him a total of 80 nominations. It puts him behind George Strait, who has 81.

Mr. Jackson has won 16 CMA Awards.

“It ain’t like the first one, but it still, it’s just overwhelming to me anyway to even think about that many,” Mr. Jackson said. “They’re scattered all over our house. I walk around still, I mean, everything in my career is still hard for me to believe.”

Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga win top MTV Europe awards

Justin Bieber was named the best male act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast on Sunday night, joining Lady Gaga, who won for best female, at the top of the pop world.

Both won early, important prizes at the awards, an annual highlight of the European music calendar.

A casually dressed Justin, at the height of phenomenal success, said modestly that he had voted for competitor Kanye West and thanked his fans and family.

“Never say never, right?” he said, waving his trophy in triumph.

He took the stage a few minutes after Lady Gaga accepted her award in characteristic weird style.

“Thank you so much, I love you so much. I’m so grateful. I’m really smiling right now, but I know you can’t tell,” said Lady Gaga, wearing a bizarre silver dress with an oversized tilted hat that completely covered her face. She joked that she had a lot of Botox treatment.

Lady Gaga, who has had a year of spectacular commercial success, triumphed over a strong field that included a resurgent Jennifer Lopez, Adele, Katy Perry and Beyonce.

Earlier, Miss Perry - dressed in a mostly pink jacket and miniskirt - won for best live performance, and the American band Thirty Seconds to Mars won best alternative.

The show featured performances by Justin, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and other top acts.

Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman, joked that the band was just “warming everyone up for Justin” on his way into the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Justin’s girlfriend, actress-singer Selena Gomez.

Sunday’s show marked the first time the MTV awards have been held in Belfast, the birthplace of singer-songwriter Van Morrison and a city that has long been known for its rhythm and blues music scene.

The band Queen received a lifetime achievement award. Guitarist and songwriter Brian May, his long ringlets now gray, praised Belfast for finding “true peace” after years of violence.

“It’s wonderful to be in Belfast,” he said.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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