Call me contrarian, but I just don't get the fuss over Beyonce. Sure, she's pretty and charismatic. But she's not a particularly good or original singer. Her rendition of the national anthem on Inauguration Day, for example, was lame. The soprano with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, on the other hand, was fabulous (she did the brief solo on "Battle Hymn of the Republic"). But Beyonce? Meh.
People need to understand that lip-syncing provides more control over the production, and the whole thing sounds better. In fact, Justice Roberts should have pre-recorded the oath he gave to Obama and lip-synced, thus ensuring that the mix-up when he gave it four years ago wouldn't happen again. They should have played a recording of Obama's speech, so that he could lip-sync the whole thing... that way all the right inflections and emphasis would be in place. They could also play the applause through loud speakers; all the reactions to the applause lines would be right on cue. Can you tell that lip-syncing is a pet peeve of mine? Hopefully someone would respond with "Obama would never need to do that, he's too good of a speaker." I would say that Beyonce is just as good a singer. This business of "not having enough time to rehearse" sounds false... she is performing in front of close to one million people, plus the huge television audience, and she didn't take the time to rehearse?? And to continue my rant... almost done, I promise... Yo-Yo Ma doing air cello really surprised me. If it's too cold to play the cello, then don't have a cello player!
It's all about image: Needed to be perfect in an imperfect world. But those little moments can be endearing: remember Diana's name slip at her wedding? I understand the impluse for a perfect back-up, just don't agree with the people who do it.
So, who showed the most cleavage Monday night?
That may have been the funniest show ever. Mo's "girlfriend" Siri. Nina Totenberg's husband yelling for help. Mo claiming that the Elgin Marbles are...well...marbles that could fit down your pants. Melinda Gates choosing to say that the president of France gave Prince Phillip a mistress as a gift. Just brilliant. Loved it. Listened to it twice.
It was tons of fun. Thanks for the thumbs up.
So what if she lip synched at the inauguration - she's gonna do it at the Super Bowl too!
What's your take on the First Lady's eye rolling at John Boehner during one of the Inaugural events? She certainly didn't look very pleasant in that video.
Inside Edition had a lip reader look at the video and said the eye roll was a response to Boehner (a chain smoker) teasing the president about Michelle not allowing him to smoke anymore.
I'm thinking that Michelle Obama made a bet that she'd get insane amounts of coverage about her bangs just to prove a point about how silly her media coverage is.
I'm guessing she was just having ambivalent feelings about her forehead, like we al do. But! Once she got bangs, she knew she could use them to get attention to her causes. I don't think it was an accident she debuted her bangs, very matter-of-factly, in a Twitter photo talking up Day of Service, etc.
So I didn't get to see if you had any news on any of the Nationals' weddings? Do you? Please?
I saw Barbara Walters fall at the British embassy although I didn't know it was she at the time. Does it make me a bad person if I am a little titillated that I was there when a famous person had an accident? On the other hand, I'm glad her injuries seem light. It sounded like a hard fall.
An ABC spokesman said she "banged her head hard." Other reports said she cut her temple. No, it doesn't make you a bad person if you witnessed news. Where exactly did she fall?
What is Ashlee Simpson's take on all this?
She's probably feeling kind of vindicated this week.
At least Ms. Knowles was good at doing it unlike Ashlee Simpson (that poor look on her face was things start going wrong).
Specifically at the after-party at the White House, I read. Is this a conflict with her new "news" gig on the CBS morning show? Should a journalist be doing that?
Gayle was at a lot of events during the weekend. I don't think being at the party makes it impossible to be a journalist; in fact, I might argue that it gives her greater insight into the Obamas. But she's obviously got a close relationship with the Obama administration; the after-party wasn't open to us mere reporters for coverage.
It doesn't seem right that Dan was able to take credit for his photographer spotting Monica at the same party. Monica wuz robbed!
I honestly thought, when I caught up with Dan and Monica at the finish line at midnight (no, my presence wasn't required, I'm just a sports fan), that this issue would have to go into binding arbitration the next day. But they both seem satisfied with the results. I don't think you realize quite how stressful this was for them.
What a shame that Hilary Clinton has finally found the right style and now she's leaving public office. The green suit she's wearing today is simply stunning.
Her look is kind of hit and miss: One day perfection, another not so much. I liked the suit today too.
huh? who has these?
Show of hands, please? [raises hand]
in the cold, and he apparently had time to rehearse. JT, still going strong.
Well, he's not such a control freak. He DID say it was pretty cold up there.
Are you saying that Manti Te'o and Michelle Kwan are getting married? Does that mean that Te'o hasn't met her and that Michelle Kwan never really existed?
What I don't understand about the Inauguration is why people feel it's okay to not wear hats on a cold day in January ? Get real politicos and stop the vanity and madness. I'm guessing Joe Biden has a nasty head cold this morning and at his age, that can be serious.
I think it's more of a guy thing, although there were plenty of women not wearing hats, too. We do not live in a hat era, which made Scalia's headgear all the more impressive. So 16th-century!
I don't care if performers lip synch, but have a heck of a lot more respect for those who don't, even when they make mistakes.
I do care, because the performance is typically presented as being real. No one ever says, "And now Beyonce, singing along to her pre-recording track of the 'The Star Spangled Banner.' "
I am usually against it, but it was so cold out that it might not have been good for her throat to sing. I think it would be better to go back to March 4 inaugurations (that was a question at Monday's trivia and our team got it right!) when the weather would have to be better.
Too much time for mischief. The date was moved to January because there was too much time between th election and swearing in for a lame duck to cause problems. Besides, nothing mandates the swearing-in has to take place outside -- it has just become the custom.
I understand why H.W. wasn't there, but thought it was kind of odd the W wasn't there (or at least a representative).
Yeah, it was. Some Bush should have gone out of respect to the office of president.
Put me in the camp that has an issue with lip syncing the national anthem. If you can't sing it straight, then don't sing it. I'm OK with performances being lip synced, but the national anthem isn't a performance. Which brings me to my other beef. Just sing the darn song! I was pleasantly surprised by her "lame" version of the song - that's how its supposed to be!! And if you haven't seen the George Takei photo on this topic yet, someone should dig it up from facebook - depicts it perfectly!
First he talks to Jeremy Schapp of ESPN for 2 hours, only audio allowed, and then sits down with Katie Couric. And I still can't figure out what the heck is going on, except for one thing: the mainstream media found the "dead girlfriend" story too good to check. As the sports website Deadspin noted, no one seems to have taken the very easy step of checking California death notices--it was all accepted at face value. Have you all ever been confronted with a story weirder than this? Thanks.
Your reaction was the immediate reaction I had at first. Honestly, I think that if I'd even heard about Manti Te'o before last week (confession: I don't really follow football), out of a natural morbid curiosity I would have wanted to Google up a Stanford campus newspaper story about this beautiful girl who died young -- and that my suspicions would have kicked into high gear once I couldn't find one.
However: The more I heard about how this happened, the more sympathetic I was to the reporters involved. You would just never imagine that a public figure would straight-up lie to you -- to your face! -- about a dead girlfriend. Because the stakes for someone like that are so high if it turns out they've been lying. And the lie went so deep -- well, other news organizations have reported this, and other campus figures were talking about the girl as if she existed -- that there'd be little reason to trigger suspicions.
Deadspin's work on this story was stupendous. And yet, even though they broke ranks first, they were also stuck in this web of credulousness for a good long while with the rest of the sports press. They'd presumably been reading/hearing about this dead girlfriend for four months, too, but what seems in hindsight to be the obvious dubiousness didn't seem to strike them either until they got a tip from someone saying, hey, check this out. My only point it, once someone's repeated enough, it's harder for even seasoned cynics and talented reporters to spot the anomalies.
Left over from a Madrigal dinner appearance? Purchased at the local Renaissance Faire (because he is a Renaissance era thinker)?
Reports say it was a gift from the Thomas More Society modeled after Hans Holbein's portrait of the Catholic philosopher.
I give it six months -- she'll be so sick of her bangs by then that she'll have to borrow some of RGIII's headbands. Here's where it will get sticky -- who will receive the credit for making headbands a required accessory? MO or RGIII?
Hillary! Remember her headbands?
Since many people seem to believe that this guy didn't know, as an oldster who is increasingly out of it, I have to ask: Is a purely on-line "romance" where you never meet but claim to have a (serious ?) girlfriend a common thing now-a-days ?
It's not a common practice, but there are a LOT of stories of people getting hoaxed/fooled like this. It's hard to imagine a star college football player being as vulnerable as others to this -- doesn't really seem like a Lonelyhearts Club member -- but who knows.
I am not as upset by it as other people but I do think that makes Kelly Clarkson's performance even more amazing. She really brought it at the end of her song. I guess the scarf helped keep her vocal cords warm.
Well, that's what singers at outdoor performances are SUPPOSED to do: Dress for the weather and do their best. Not rocket science.
Beyonce, not only meh, but a cheating meh. Sure, everyone lip syncs, but she made a big show of pretending to be singing live. If she doesn't come clean, she's Lance Armstrong. Clarkson and Taylor had it all over her.
Which puts pressure on her Super Bowl performance. Think she'll sing live?
If Manti Te'o was in on the hoax, I kind of get his motives. I mean I saw "The Hunger Games." It isn't enough to simply be really talented in competitions. You also have to have an emotial hook to get a bigger audience. But if Manti Te'o wasn't in on the hoax, what is the motive of the people doing the hoax? Why get this top college football player to think he is love with a girl that doesn't exist and then have her die-off? For money (Manti Te'o didn't play for a funeral that never took place)? For kicks (maybe Manti Te'o telling you he loves you gets you off)? I don't know, but the motive for Manti Te'o being in on the hoax seem to make more sense (not that any of this makes sense), then Manti Te'o being the victim of a hoax.
Our colleague Caitlin Dewey compiled a great list of other social-media hoaxes that's worth exploring. What's the motivation? Some people are crazy, I guess. The most compelling story here is the one of the woman who fooled a friend into thinking she was conducting a long-distance love affair with a non-existent fireman. Go read it.
Sorry, but any musician knows that there's no excuse for a singer to lip synch except the fear of screwing up. Wooden instruments like guitars and cellos will go out of tune very quickly in the cold as the wood contracts, but the cold presents no obstacles to the human voice. Beyonce was just running scared.
Sound about right to me.
I'm looking to purchase a reliable electric juicer, mainly for citrus fruits. Nothing fancy or super expensive. Do you have any recommendations based on personal experience? Thanks!
You're in the wrong chat, aren't you?
No no no to the first lady's " bangs " - this is a typical mistake when one is nearing the big five oh and decides they should pep up their image to look like they did in high school. It is so wrong and please tell Michele that even though a lot of people may be telling her hoow great she looks -- they are laughing behind her back.
Thanks for your vote.
There love is so refreshing to watch. Pres. Obama almost seemed a little frisky during their first dance. I also loved Mrs. Obama's dress - rocking the red!
Anyone else think the whole ceremonial-first-dance thing at inaugurations is strange? I guess it all traces back to when the inaugural balls were real parties with the president hanging out as a real guest/host/whatever -- and might actually, you know, take his wife out on the dance floor. Now it's this strange symbolic thing: "I have just been elected president, and now I will dance on a stage with my wife."
I don't think the general public realizes JUST how pervasive the practice is. Also, I don't think the general public realizes just how DIFFICULT performing in an open air massive arena or setting like this truly is. You have echoes and feedback from multiple corners, and it is extraordinarily difficult even for a very well trained and talented singer to control their sound, stay on key (echoes come back distorted) and even stay on rhythm (YOU try listening to yourself sing with multiple differential second immediate playbacks. Talk about distracting). Also... Wasn't it Ashlee Simpson who "exposed" the industry standard of lip syncing performances, on SNL? I think before that it was only instances like Milli Vanilli where it wasn't lip syncing that was the issue, it was the actual substitution of talent. Had the recording cut out, I have no doubt Beyonce would have sailed in and finished the anthem wondrously.
But you know---performers know all that when they accept the gig. She could have said no for all the reasons you cited. Fact is she presented the entire performance as live when it clearly wasn't.
I don't have an issue with my forehead. It's the rest of my face...
I guess I would have given Beyonce more slack if Kelly Clarkson hadn't pulled off such a stunning live performance. I actually think hers was the highlight. Altho her demeanor was a little silly when she came up to the podium, the performance was terrific.
I think Clarkson was really excited.
why is there a comments section on the bottom of the chat?
Is there? Maybe it's like a chattership-satisfaction survey. "How did you enjoy this chat? Tell us in the comments!"
I CAN imagine how stressful it was. That's why I was surprised there was no controversy about Dan's photographer. Oh, in addition to being robbed, Monica was also lucky, riding as she was a bike in a gown and heels without a helmet on.
Oh, and the photos were my favorite part. I loved the one of the Texas dancer hoisting Monica above his head. And Dan looking genuinely very stressed out as he scanned the room.
but my hair is too frizzy to pull off bangs in our humid climate! ambivalence abounds!
See what I mean?
But I think Jill Biden (excuse me Dr. Jill Biden) looked terrific everywhere she showed up. She is 61 years old for G-d's sake! Loved her coat and dress for the inauguration. And her boots. Loved her ball gown. And it all looks so effortless and comfortable. Also, I loved Michelle's mothers coat, but no one seems to mention her.
Jill Biden's gown was by Vera Wang, if you were wondering.
Today's singers wear in-ear monitors that block all outside sounds and allow them to hear the music from the soundboard so that they can easily stay in tone over echoes, distortions, and crowd noise. So, again, she has no excuse for lip synching other than the fear of screwing up.
Wait - I thought you guys were the Reliable Source? You mean you're not the reliable source for EVERYTHING?!?!??!
Should we include a caveat with that title? Maybe an asterix next to "Reliable Source," and a footnote at the bottom explaining "Not necessarily a reliable source on consumer information about juicers or other electric appliances; any discussion of juicers or other electric appliances is for entertainment purposes only."
chat doesn't seem to be updating. I'm in safari on a mac.
Hey, there's no producer here -- we're totally DIY. No one else is complaining though. I'm going to suggest that you remove your batteries and then put them back in; or open a new browser; or reboot; or hit the side of your computer really hard, but not the side with the hard drive.*
*Not a reliable source on technology questions. Any discussion of technology is for entertainment purposes only.
I think Mrs. Obama is a gorgeous woman, but I think the bangs are too heavy. If they were thinned a little I think they'd be better. To the poster worried about Joe Biden: come on, people, no one gets sick from being cold, isn't it time to stop worrying about what our grandmothers said to the contrary. And finally, for a real question, what's your take on Lindsay Lohan turning down hundreds of thousands to be on Dancing with the Has-Beens? She seems perfect for the job and I hear she's in serious money troubles.
Thanks for your vote . . . Did she turned down DWTS? Missed that. I'm of the opinion that stories about "celebrity X won't go on DWTS!" are the lamest celebrity stories, second only to ones where Wilmer Valderamma says he's not ruling out a future political career.
Huh? I'm over 50 and I still have them. I think Michelle looks terrific.
Thanks for your vote.
ok, people have it; this must be one of those things men are just not meant to understand
And now you know.
Did anyone else notice the creepy way she stood and surveyed the crowd just before launching into her lip-sync? As though they were her subjects? Um, lady, it's not *your* inauguration...
Are you suggesting they're not her subjects? Provocative.
If I was on the Supreme Court, heck, if I had a PhD, I would wear a hat like that all the time!
ALL the time? With, like, swimming trunks? That would be a photo.
...performed live at the Super Bowl without lip syncing, my respect and admiration of her would go way up. It would be the perfect response to all the criticism.
But she probably won't. Sigh.
Yes, I know about the lip reader. But here is a novel idea. Why not just ask Michelle herself to be sure?
Wouldn't it be nice if the White House answered that question?
I am on the fence about their complaints about their privacy. On the one hand, she was definiately the victim and she did the right thing by contacting authorities in the first instance. On the other hand, these are people who intentionally surrounded themselves with powerful people and went to efforts to gin local publicity for themselves on a regular basis. I am not sure they are entirely not responsible for the publicity they've endured.
Listen, on the one hand, I agree with you that social-climbing is a dangerous game; if you're gonna put yourself out there in a big way, you have to be ready for some blowback. Having said that -- I felt like the coverage of her was incredibly disproportionate, considering there was no real indication she'd done anything wrong other than been a social climber with financial difficulties -- who, in fact, had been subject to some scary, threatening emails and had done the smart thing by notifying authorities.
I saw the poor kid on GMA today - I'm lucky things I said and did at 22 were kept quiet. Looks like on some level he was duped - I have teenagers and see some of the online cruelty. It makes me wonder how we can address these problems.
are cheaper than botox. Please let me specify that this isn't in reference to the first lady. I don't see any signs of age on her forehead. And I wouldn't pay for botox personally, but bangs hide forehead wrinkles without requiring that you get rid of the forehead wrinkles in a way that might hurt. Just in case someone who is under 40 doesn't understand the desire to hide a forehead.
Now you know. For the record, the first lady just turned 49.
Did anyone ask where he got it? Because I really, really, really want one now. And because there's a RenFair next weekend.
I'm 44 and my forehead is completely unlined, just like the rest of my family, because we don't wrinkle. We do "melt", however, so I'm starting to have serious issues with my neck and cheeks. It's always somethin'.
If Dr. Martin Luther King, among others, can deliver live speeches that resonate for generations in all kinds of venues and weather and while knowing people wanted to kill him, Beyonce should be able to warble out the National Anthem live.
Yet another opinion...
1) Chat not updating, I'm on a Dell in Firefox browser. 2) Does poetry not have to rhyme any more? (per the inaugural verse) 3) Wouldn't you love to see the Obama girls' texts from the parade?
1. I'm also on a Dell in Firefox brower, and mine is updating just fine. Are you remembering to hit refresh?
2. Poetry hasn't rhymed in a long time.
3. I promised not to share them.
Oh, Google Chrome? Then you'll want to pick up your computer/tablet, hold it at arm's length with both hands, and whirl around as fast as you can, subjecting it to the strongest possible centrifugal forces you can muster. Then reboot. By the time you're up again, this chat will be over, and you won't be able to yell at me that it didn't work.
Wendy was chatting with her co-host, and when they came back from commercial, she didn't realize she was on-air, and was heard saying someone was "shooting the s*&%". The look on her face when she realized she was on-air was priceless! She later apologized.
She was looking quite good for her age, I must say.
Well preserved, indeed.
JFK and Ike wore top hats at that long ago inauguration. Trying to imagine Barack Obama in a top hat, and it doesn't seem quite right. Biden could pull it off though, with a little soft-shoe number.
I can totally see Biden in a top hat.
If Beyonce had sung live (which, last I heard there was still some maybe it was a backing track with her too) and hit a bad note or something from sitting out in the cold for an hour, she would be villified for ruining the national anthem. Cut the lady a break, people.
Tough life, being a multimillioanire pop star.
I think you are all reading way too much into the bangs. I think Mrs. Obama just likes to change her hair up every now and then. Experimenting with bangs is better than experimenting with a bunch a rainbow bright wigs like some celebrities.
Hillarywas always changing her hair when she was first lady---and even does now. Fine with me.
Y'all should start doing a chat about technology and how to use it. It would be great.
I completely agree! I am now 18 hours into my forced ownership of an iPhone -- they confiscated my BlackBerry yesterday -- so I've got lots of thoughts on this topic. Plus, I really like helping people.
when they no longer have to worry about their hair causing zits/breakouts. In other words, you get to a certain age and your hair isn't as oily, so you can wear bangs again!
Who says there's been too much media coverage of this? It's clearly what people want to talk about.
Do Washington DC businesses really make such huge profits from big Inauguration ceremonies (like we have every four years) that it's worth the cost (e.g., to the city, for police, etc.) and inconvenience to the residents? Why not just switch permanently to the simple, but official, Inauguration like on Sunday??
Because of tradition, and pomp, and the genuine desire to celebrate. It's not the only inconvenience for D.C. citizens, just one of the biggest.
Yeah, but you're supposed to have pushed updates without having to hit refresh. Or is that only for paid users of the website?
Oh, really? It's supposed to update automatically? Problem is, I'm always on this side of things, so I dunno. (But just peeked over on your side of the curtain. 408 currently online!)
Anyway, is it really that hard to hit refresh?
I thought the First Daughters looked 1. beautiful and 2. fabulously stylish. I loved their coats and dresses. The whole Obama family looked spot-on perfect. They are getting GREAT fashion advice from someone, clearly.
And they always coordinate, which makes them all look very cool.
forced ownership? you had no other choice? my husband has one for work, and i got one too, and it's great. not excellent, but does what i want. and plays games too!
I miss my BlackBerry. I did a lot of typing on that thing. I could write a 600-word story on it. Doesn't seem like that will be possible on iPhone.
is not a spectator sport, nor a performance. We should all sing along and participate. I am tired of it being treated as something to be performed. Okay, thanks, I will now step down off my soapbox.
Noted. We like soapboxes in the chat.
You think after he raised all that money for the Prez, he would feel invested about being there? Could he not get a ticket?
No Clooney -- but really, not that many A-listers, really, beyond the performing singers. It was mostly a lot of TV folks this time. The Sundance film festival was going on this past weekend, and while a lot of movie stars managed to do both four years ago, this is a second inaugural after all . . . I don't know that Clooney was at Sundance, but I do imagine that once you've been to a state dinner, even the VIP inauguration scene is a little less alluring.
I was happy to see both the Carters at the Inauguration. My 11-year-old daughter, learning that Carter was elected President when I was her age, said, "You mean he's STILL ALIVE?" Sigh. The 1970s are considered a historical time period now. They have their own American Girl doll. Don't get me started on MY forehead. But, anyway... good for Jimmy and Rosalind Carter!
Thanks for your thoughts. Let me just take the occasion, though, to remind you all that it is: Rosalynn Carter.
Tricky, I know. I always have to look it up, too.
Did anyone spot the President's half-sister? I could see Michelle, the girls, Michelle's mother and brother, but no Maya at the Capitol for the oath or at the White House to review the parade.
Yes, she was there at the swearing-in ceremony with her husband--and I think also at the private swearing -in at the White House Sunday. Don't know about the parade.
And a bad one at that? Because they both seem to be their own worst enemies. Trying to defend themselves seems to be the best thing their critics could ask for.
Oh, we completely forgot to talk about Lance Armstrong! Wow, those interviews were weird. I guess I appreciate his lack of fake remorse. He didn't go full-Oprah. No croccodile tears, no "my bad childhood screwed me up."
His explanations came down to "Well, it's inexusable, but I was a guy who wanted to win at any cost."
Translation: "I don't know what to tell you, Oprah -- I guess I'm just kind of a jerk."
Hey, I pay good money to hear these performers sound exactly like they do on my iPod!
Hahaha! Nice one.
Yes, I do think the iphone keyboard is awful. You can get an attachment, though, I hear for one for the iphone. but you learn to get a little better, too.
Yeah, it feels like getting an iPhone means you just have to buy more stuff -- texting gloves, a keyboard. . . What a scam.
Is hidden by that little facebook icon, btw.
One posted asked a question along these lines. Simple: because there's no way to keep the hoax running forever. I'm sure folks don't set out on a hoax planning to "kill off' the made up person. The lie simply becomes untenable and then they have to come up with a fake death to end things.
Ah, good pointer -- thanks.
Did you read that totally boss article in the New York Times Magazine (not to tout a rival publication). What a mess she truly is, and clearly surrounds herself with people who are just a melodramatic as her!
That was an amazing article. Not just for the Lohan insight but for the subtler themes about how movies (and careers) get made.
My bottom line is that I don't care about the PEDs (7 wins is still amazing) but I do care that he threw so many people under the bus he was driving
What can I say, Oprah? I'm kind of a jerk.
"Ask if it's them, why they are here, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org"
Yes! Next time you think you see Kerry Washington at the airport, go up to her, and ask if she knows how to get your browser to automatically refresh. And if she tells you, send it to email@example.com.
Who noticed the quick take of her texting while her father was giving his speech? Isn't it refreshing to know that even Presidential daughters can be typical teens?
Yes, and I wish we actually saw a little more of that from the White House. Fun, wasn't it?
Chatters, hope you are all rested up from the inauguration festivities. Back to real life -- which means the standard parade of celebrity sightings, tips and other nuggets for the column sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay warm. people!
This was a great chat. So many great questions I didn't even have a chance to get to. Come back next week!