Time Magazine’s ’25 Most Influential Teens Of 2014′


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Time-Magazine

Sasha and Malia Obama, Mo’ne Davis Included In Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Teens Of 2014″ List

 

By TIME Staff

 

Teens today might have a mixed reputation, but there’s no denying their influence. They command millions of fans on Twitter and Vine, start companies with funds they raised on Kickstarter, steal scenes on TV’s most popular shows, lead protests with global ramifications, and even—as of Friday—win Nobel Peace Prizes. But which ones rise above the rest? We analyzed social-media followings, cultural accolades, business acumen and more to determine this year’s list (ordered from youngest to oldest).

 

Mo’ne Davis, 13

Rob Carr—Getty Images

Rob Carr—Getty Images

It’s not every day that a black female athlete appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated—let alone one who’s 13. So Mo’ne Davis made quite a splash in August when she landed that spot (cover line: “Remember Her Name”) after pitching a shutout game in the Little League World Series. Her team, Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, was eventually knocked out of the tournament, but not before Davis got accolades from Michelle Obama, Kevin Durant and Ellen DeGeneres, among others. Many hope she will be a role model for girls in sports, especially those that are typically male-dominated. —Sarah Begley

 

 

Sasha Obama, 13, and Malia Obama, 16

Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

A lot of dads get squeamish about their daughter’s first prom, but only Malia Obama’s date status could be called “classified information,” as the President joked on Live! with Kelly and Michael last spring. Nonetheless, she has emerged as a figure of national interest: her appearance at Chicago’s Lollapalooza Music Festival caused almost as much of a stir as the musicians themselves, and her name has spiked in popularity after her father’s election. (It’s predicted to peak again in 2018.) Sasha, meanwhile, has become an icon in her own right: after being photographed in a unicorn sweatshirt, the style sold out at ASOS in a matter of days. —S.B.

 

 

Kiernan Shipka, 14

 

Phil McCarten—Reuters

Phil McCarten—Reuters

Mad Men fans first met Sally Draper, eldest daughter of Don and Betty Draper, when she was just five years old. Since then, she’s transformed into a central, scene-stealing character that may well launch Shipka into superstardom. As Mad Men‘s final season looms, the actress has broadened her resume—landing a starring role in the Lifetime movie Flowers in the Attic—and consistently wowed on red carpets and magazine covers.—Samantha Grossman

 

 

Jazz Jennings, 14

 

Gregg DeGuire—WireImage

Gregg DeGuire—WireImage

In a landmark year for transgender visibility in the media, Jennings stands out for how much she’s already accomplished. She’s been interviewed by Barbara Walters, met Bill Clinton and become the youngest person ever featured on the Out 100 and The Advocate‘s 40 Under 40 lists. She even co-wrote a children’s book, I Am Jazz, loosely based on her life (she started living as a girl at age 5), that aims to help other kids understand what transgender means. “I have a girl brain but a boy body,” Jazz says in the book. “This is called transgender. I was born this way!” —Nolan Feeney

 

 

Flynn McGarry, 15

 

NBC

NBC

At an age when many of his peers are still picking around the green stuff on their plates, McGarry has emerged as a chef du jour in the culinary industry. After helping to build a high-tech kitchen in his bedroom (modeled on Grant Achatz’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea), he started his own supper club, Eureka. It serves tasting menus—at $160 per person—at his mother’s home in Studio City, Calif. Since then, he has appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, cooked on the Today show, and apprenticed at 11 Madison Park. His ultimate goal? To have, as he puts it, “the best restaurant in the world.” —S.B.

 

 

Erik Finman, 15

 

Courtesy of Erik Finman

Courtesy of Erik Finman

The rural Idaho native is the founder of Botangle.com, which offers tutoring over video chat services for teens who, like him, wanted more than the limited education opportunities within physical reach. To fund the site, Finman two years ago invested a $1,000 gift in Bitcoin, then an unlikely digital currency; soon it spiked in value, and he had $100,000. It’s no wonder, then, that Finman says he struck a deal with his parents: if he makes $1 million before he turns 18, he won’t have to attend college. —Jack Linshi

 

 

Nash Grier, 16

 

David Livingston—Getty Images

David Livingston—Getty Images

The self-described “King of Vine”—the social media platform that loops 6-second videos—has more than 9.6 million followers and over 1.1 billion loops of his comedic videos, more than any other user. His meteoric rise to fame hasn’t been without scandal: Grier was slammed for using a homophobic slur on one of his since-deleted Vines. But he’s nonetheless parlayed his massive audience into endorsement deals, netting thousands to plug products such as Aquafina FlavorSplash.—J.L.

 

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Rico Rodriguez, 16

 

Trae Patton/NBC/Getty Images

Trae Patton/NBC/Getty Images

As scene-stealing Manny on ABC’s smash-hit Modern Family, Rodriguez isn’t just one of the most visible child actors on TV (the show’s sixth season premiere averaged more than 11 million viewers)—he’s also one of the richest. According to reports, he’ll earn a whopping $115,000 per episode if the show continues through season eight. —S.G.

 

 

Ciara Judge, 16, Émer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17

 

Niall Carson—AP

Niall Carson—AP

The trio from County Cork, Ireland took home the grand prize at the Google Science Fair after wowing the judges with their discovery: Diazotroph, a bacteria that sucks nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil, speeding up the germination of cereal crops like barley and oats and—more importantly—increasing their yield. This advance could play a crucial role in solving the global food crisis, and Judge, Hickey and Healy-Thow are alreadyplanning to commercialize it.—S.B.

 

 

Shawn Mendes, 16

 

Drew Gurian—Invision/AP

Drew Gurian—Invision/AP

After amassing millions of Vine followers by performing six-second micro-covers of hit songs, Mendes caught the attention of Island Records and scored a record deal. His first single, “Life of the Party,” was an instant smash, making Mendes the youngest-ever artist to debuted in the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the follow-up EP, titled—what else?—The Shawn Mendes EP, reached the No. 1 spot on iTunes earlier this year, a mere 37 minutes after its midnight release. —N.F.

 

 

Jaden Smith, 16

 

Dan Steinberg—Invision/AP

Dan Steinberg—Invision/AP

Smith rose to fame as the son of Will Smith, occasionally popping up in movies. But his real legacy may well be his Twitter musings, which are equal parts absurdist (“Anything You See In Any Magazine Ever Is Fake.”) and insightful (“Once You Witness A Cycle Enough Times You Step Out Of It.”), earning him more than 5 million followers and labels like, “Confucius for the Internet age.” One of Smith’s recent posts sums him up pretty well: “Hate Me Love Me Doesn’t Matter I’m Still Occupying Time Inside Of Your Psyche.” —S.G.

 

 

Becky G, 17

 

Christopher Polk—Getty Images

Christopher Polk—Getty Images

Mega-producer Dr. Luke (who’s worked with Britney Spears, Kesha and Katy Perry) signed Becky G to his label in 2011 after watching her YouTube covers. The investment paid off: Rebecca Marie Gomez, who began performing at age 9 to help out her cash-strapped parents, saw her irresistible ode to young love, “Shower,” chart in more than a dozen countries and become a top 20 hit in the U.S. this summer. When she’s not writing her own music, she represents Covergirl as one of its youngest-ever Latina spokeswomen and helps craft tunes for other pop acts, like Cher Lloyd and fellow teen Cody Simpson. It’s fitting that one of her first music videos was a Jennifer Lopez cover (retitled “Becky From the Block“); she’s well-positioned to follow in her footsteps. —N.F.

 

 

Salma Kakar, 17

 

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Salma Kakar is the lead rider on the co-ed Afghan National Cycling Team, which has drawn global praise for promoting female empowerment in a country where it has been rare to see women driving, let alone competing in a sport. Her dream is to wave the flag of Afghanistan at the Olympics one day, and to show the world how far Afghan women have come. —J.L.

 

 

Lorde, 17

 

Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

The New Zealander, born Ella Yelich-O’Connor, started 2014 off strong by nabbing two Grammy Awards for her inescapable smash-hit “Royals.” Since then, the singer-songwriter has become a force in music and pop culture: her debut album, Pure Heroine, went platinum; she won an MTV Video Music Award; and she signed on to curate the Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1soundtrack, out Nov. 21. She has also established herself as a role model who promotes healthy body image. In March, she shared two photos of herself, one Photoshopped and one unedited, to remind her more than 1.3 million Twitter followers (at the time) that “flaws are ok.” —S.G.

 

 

Lydia Ko, 17

 

Sam Greenwood—Getty Images

Sam Greenwood—Getty Images

After going pro last year, Ko now ranks third among women golfers worldwide, sparking interest in the sport “not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe,” as golf legend Annika Sorenstam wrote in this year’s Time 100. Thanks to her many tournament wins and endorsement deal with Callaway, she’s also the youngest millionaire in LGPA history. “That’s big money,” she said in April. “But when I’m out there I’m thinking about making birdies and hitting good shots and making putts rather than, ‘OK, this putt is going to give me an extra thousand.’” —S.G.

 

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Chloë Grace Moretz, 17

 

Ari Perilstein—Getty Images

Ari Perilstein—Getty Images

The Atlanta native has already built an impressive resume with roles in films like (500) Days of Summer, Kick-Ass, Hugo and Carrie, and this year was no exception. She was the lead in this summer’s If I Stay, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, which netted $47.6 million at the box office (despite a considerably low budget) and also starred opposite Denzel Washington in hit thriller The Equalizer. Next up: roles in Dark Places, the film adaptation of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s gripping crime novel, and the sci-fi thriller The Fifth Wave. —S.G.

 

 

Kylie Jenner, 17, and Kendall Jenner, 18

 

Donna Svennevik—ABC/Getty Images

Donna Svennevik—ABC/Getty Images

Together, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians co-stars hosted red-carpet events, released clothing and nail polish lines and even published a dystopian young-adult novel this past summer (though yes, they had some help). But they’ve had solo success too—Kendall with modeling (she’s walked the runway for designers like Marc Jacobs) and Kylie with pseudo-entrepreneurship (she’s launching a line of hair extensions and hopes to get into acting). Next up: a multimillion-dollar mobile game? —N.F.

 

 

Malala Yousafzai, 17

 

Ida Mae Astute—ABC/Getty Images

Ida Mae Astute—ABC/Getty Images

Two years and one day after Taliban gunmen shot her in the head while she was riding to school, the Pakistani youth activist became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The accolade caps an impressive—albeit early—career for Yousafzai, who has used her organization, the Malala Fund, as a platform to promote girls’ education, help Syrian refugee children and demand the return of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, among other things. In April, she received an honorary doctorate in civil law from the University of King’s College in Canada. “Malala is a testament that women everywhere will not be intimidated into silence,” Gabrielle Giffords wrote of Yousafzai in this year’s Time 100. “We will speak, no matter how hard it is to do so.” —S.G.

 

 

Rachel Fox, 18

 

Jason Merritt—Getty Images

Jason Merritt—Getty Images

Known to Desperate Housewives fans as Kayla Scavo, the teen actress somehow found enough time between TV and movie shoots to train herself in the art of day trading: she says her investments earn her a 64 percent annual return. Now she’s trying to pay it forward. In addition to running the blog Fox on Stocks, which offers financial literacy tips for teens, Fox has created the MyGenLoves index, which tracks 20 companies that are currently hot in the youth market (such as Chipotle and Urban Outfitters). —S.B.

 

 

Bethany Mota, 18

 

Imeh Akpanudosen—Getty Images

Imeh Akpanudosen—Getty Images

The fashion and beauty blogger has spent five years building her YouTube channel, Macbarbie07, into a bona-fide business—with 7.4 million subscribers, 565 million-plus views, and between $500,000 and $750,000 in annual ad revenue. Now she’s expanding her brand. This year, Mota appeared on Project Runway as a guest judge and Dancing with the Stars as a celebrity competitor, all while overseeing the clothing line she launched with Aéropostale. She also released her first single, “Need You Right Now.”—S.G.

 

 

Joshua Wong, 18

 

Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images

Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images

Wong, who recently covered Time‘s international edition, has become the face of the Hong Kong protests, a civil disobedience movement demanding that China stages unfettered elections for Hong Kong’s top political position. To some, he’s a symbol of hope—a youth rallying his peers to fight for a cause they believe in. In mainland China, however, many argue Wong is an extremist and an emblem against China’s storied national order. —J.L.

 

 

Austin Mahone, 18

 

Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

Mahone’s social media following is modest compared to that of Justin Bieber—the pop star to whom he’s most often compared—but it’s still powerful: Mahone’s 7 million Twitter followers helped him became the first artist to hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s new Trending 140, a live-updated chart that tracks what songs have people buzzing online. It helps, of course, that he’s got a pretty sizable resume: in addition to touring with Taylor Swift and signing with Young Money (the same label as Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj), Mahone released his second EP, The Secret, in May; it debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. —N.F.

 

 

Tavi Gevinson, 18

 

Larry Busacca—Getty Images

Larry Busacca—Getty Images

Gevinson may bristle at being called the “voice of a generation,” but the label does fit: Rookie, her online magazine for teenage girls, gets roughly 3.5 million hits a month—thanks in part to her mix of personal essays (see: her poignant editor’s letter about graduating high school and mourning “forever”) and insightful pop culture coverage (see: her chat about feminism with Lorde, the Seth Rogan contribution to Rookie‘s “Ask a Grown Man” video advice column). Next up: the recent high school grad, currently starring in the Broadway play This Is Our Youth, plans to head to college after a gap year. —N.F.

 

 

Megan Grassell, 19

 

Courtesy of Megan Grassell

Courtesy of Megan Grassell

After taking her 13-year-old sister shopping for bras, Grassell was perturbed by how sexualized most of the available choices were for young girls; everything seemed to have padding and underwires. So she started her own company, Yellowberry, to offer an alternative: comfortable, colorful training bras with names like Junebug and Sugar Cookie. She initially raised $42,000 through Kickstarter—well above the $25,000 goal she set for herself—and now runs a full-fledged online retailer. —S.B.

 

 

Troye Sivan, 19

 

Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Kevin Winter—Getty Images

The South African-Australian may have initially broken through as an actor—he snagged a role in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine after a Hollywood producer found him on YouTube—but he’s found major success this year as a musician. Thanks in large part to the support from his 2.8 million YouTube subscribers, Sivan’s latest EP,TRXYE, which he recorded in secret, topped iTunes sales charts in more than 50 countries following its August release. —N.F.

 

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The unranked list, which was released Monday morning, “analyzed social-media followings cultural accolades, business acumen and more” in order to highlight worthy candidates who influence society in a positive way.

 

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!injustice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!000000000000000000obama-forward3

 

The Joe Nocera “Gun Report” For Friday February 1st, 2013


By Jueseppi B.

 

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The Gun Report: February 1, 2013

By Joe Nocera

 

 

A 14-year-old student was shot in the head at Price Middle School in Atlanta on Thursday. The student was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and was said to be alert and conscious. A suspect taken into custody has tentatively been identified as a student, according to police.

Fox 5 Atlanta

Kaufman County, Texas, assistant district attorney Mark Hasse was shot dead outside the courthouse Thursday after two suspects ambushed the prosecutor on his way into court and shot him multiple times. The shooting spurred a complete lockdown of the courthouse and a manhunt for the two shooters.

WFAA-TV

Three teenagers were shot at a gas station in Little Rock, Arkansas, Wednesday night. Jasmine Young, 17, was sitting with three other people in a Chevy Tahoe when someone sprayed the SUV with bullets. Young died at an area hospital. Little Rock Police do not have a motive.

KATV

The Vermilion Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 67-year-old Abbeville, La., man in the shooting death of his son. Charles Larry Harrington is suspected of shooting 40-year-old Macade Jude Harrington Wednesday night after the two fought, leading to the fatal shooting.

Thibodaux Daily Comet

Authorities in central Illinois have charged a 17-year-old boy from Normal in the fatal shooting of a Bloomington teenager earlier this month. Sixteen-year-old Trae Massey was shot at his home on January 21 and died a short time later.

SF Gate

About the Joe Nocera Blog

Joe Nocera has been an Op-Ed columnist for The Times since April 2011. He has been chronicling the world of business for more than three decades, at magazines like Fortune and Texas Monthly, and in several books, the most recent of which is “All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis,” co-written with Bethany McLean. He wrote the Talking Business column for The Times before moving to the Opinion section.

 

 

 

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Author E.L. James Basks In ‘Fifty Shades’ Of Sudden Success


By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother of two, based in West London. Since early childhood, she dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.

E L James is currently working on her next novel…

 

 

 

Erika Leonard, better known by the pseudonym E. L. James (born 1963), is the British author of the bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. James initially wrote fanfiction under the pen name “Snowqueens Icedragon”, with her most notable work being a Twilight fanfiction that was eventually developed into Fifty Shades of Grey. James has described the Fifty Shades trilogy as “This is my midlife crisis, writ large,” she said. “All my fantasies in there, and that’s it.”

 

Leonard formerly worked as a television executive. Leonard lives in west London with her husband of over 20 years, screenwriter Niall Leonard, and their two teenage sons. Her parents are Chilean and Scottish. Raised in Buckinghamshire and privately educated, Leonard read history at the University of Kent, before becoming a studio manager’s assistant at the National Film and Television School in London.

 

In 2012, Time Magazine included her in its annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World“.

 

Story By Ms.  Carol Memmott, USA TODAY

 

WASHINGTON – Halfway through a two-week tour to promote Fifty Shades of Grey, British author E.L. James is 50 shades of shellshocked about the supercharged success of her erotic trilogy.

 

 

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

 

 

 

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, Book 2)

 

 

 

Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

 

 

 

“It’s really exhausting, and I find all the hoopla around it extraordinary,” the fortysomething married mother of two teenage boys says in an interview with USA TODAY at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in the nation’s capital. “But it’s great to meet people who really love the books, just to say thanks, if nothing else, and just exchange a few words. I really enjoy that.”

 

Thousands of fans have lined up in Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia to have copies ofFifty Shades autographed since James’ book tour began in late April.

 

And it’s not just books she’s signing. Fans are asking her to sign gray neckties, T-shirts, even iPads, Nooks and Kindles. Police officers, she says, laughing, have had her autograph handcuffs.

 

 

‘I’d rather be writing’

 

Despite all the fan enthusiasm, James (whose real name is Erika Leonard) says the depth of her newfound fame and fortune hasn’t sunk in. “It’s very strange,” she says, brushing her brunette bangs off her forehead. “It’s just that everything has happened so quickly. It’s like it’s happening to someone else. They’ve just been shipping out books like nobody’s business.”

 

And that’s no overstatement. The erotic novels, about a virginal college student named Anastasia who enters a submissive sexual relationship with Christian Grey, a handsome young billionaire, were first published by a small Australian publisher last May, largely as e-books.

 

They became such hot properties — dubbed “Mommy porn” by some wags — that Vintage, a division of Random House, bought the rights.

 

In April, Vintage’s paperback editions began selling here. In less than a month, Vintage has sold 3 million copies (digital and print) of the trilogy.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey, first in the series, is No. 1 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list, a spot it’s held for two weeks. They are best sellers in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, and nearly three dozen other countries will be selling them in translation soon.

 

All the attention, James says, is sometimes overwhelming. “In New Haven (Conn.), I went into a room and there were about 1,000 women in there, and they all started applauding, and I started to cry. The response has been so extraordinary, so no, I’m not used to it yet. Part of me loves it, but I’d rather be at home writing.”

 

James, a former BBC production executive, is beginning to understand what people like about the books.

 

“It’s a combination of things. Fundamentally, people like a good love story. That’s it,” she says. “They like the sex as well. They love Christian Grey, a complicated, damaged, talented man. He’s very capable and strong and domineering but broken. So he’s a fixer-upper. I mean, it’s a fantasy — the whole book — and so they bought into it and suspended their disbelief. Gone on a vacation really.”

 

Stella Lee, 27, of Baltimore brought her husband, Nelson, with her to James’ book signing at the Bethesda, Md., Barnes & Noble last week.

 

While waiting in line to meet James, she laughs and reveals she has read the series five times. “There’s so much talk about the S & M, but it’s just so romantic. The love between the characters is so endearing. I just love Christian Grey.”

 

Robin Preston, 50, of Alexandria, Va., also waiting to have her books signed, says the series “consumed” her. “I fell in love with the characters. I’m not much of a fiction reader, but this kept my interest. I could not put them down.”

 

And how James came to write her famous erotic trilogy is equally fantastic.

 

After reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, about a high school girl who falls in love with a handsome vampire, James began writing fan fiction about Edward and Bella, the Twilight protagonists.

 

But it was far less chaste than anything Meyer ever wrote. “It was very sexy,” James says, and the story of Christian and Anastasia is basically that fan fiction. “I had to tone it down and alter certain bits of it for publication, but fundamentally, it’s the same sort of story.”

 

Fever-pitch excitement for the novels heated up more after Universal and Focus Features bought the movie rights. As for who she thinks would be the perfect on-screen Christian and Anastasia, James will say only, “I’m keeping very quiet about all of that.”

 

 

Don’t ask, don’t tell

 

She’s also deflecting questions about whether she and her husband have experience with domination — “I’ve a little bit of experience, but I think that’s mostly between me and my husband” — and says most of her research for the books was done on the Internet, “but also just thinking things through in my head.”

 

She also knows she’s influencing the sex lives of her fans.

 

“Yes, oh, God, yes. They say: ‘You’ve really spiced up my marriage. Thank you very much, and my husband thanks you, too.’ Of the thousands of e-mails I get, that’s the main tenet. I get so many lovely e-mails. I think it’s great. I say go for it. I think that’s wonderful.”

 

But she’s not, she says, “making any huge statements” about lifestyle. “It’s about having fun. What people get up to in the bedroom is entirely their own thing, and as long as it’s safe, sane and consensual — those are the watch words of the BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) community — who are we to judge?”

 

 

Newsweek Cover: ‘The First Gay President’


By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The May 21, 2012, issue of Newsweek (used with permission of the publisher).

 

 

 

“‘Let the games begin,” Tina Brown said last week after Time Magazine released its controversial breastfeeding cover.

 

Brown, whose tenure as editor at Newsweek has seen an array of controversial covers, will respond with the above, pegged to Andrew Sullivan‘s piece on Obama‘s support for same-sex marriage: “The First Gay President.”

 

Think Newsweek has gone too far? I do.

 

Mu disgust and dislike for this cover has nothing to do with the article contained within by Mr. Sullivan. I have not read his piece yet, and Mr. Sullivan is an ardent supporter of POTUS Obama so i have no doubt Mr. Sullivan’s article will be “President Positive”.

 

My anger is over Newsweek going for sensationalism to sell copies to a very small minded population of Americans. You see Newsweek has to keep up with this:

 

 

 

The disrespect continues.

 

 

 

 

Ozzie Guillen Suspended Five Games By Marlins For Castro Remarks. Why?


By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outspoken Miami manager received the club penalty Tuesday before speaking to reporters about his comments on Cuba‘s Fidel Castro.

 

 

I am no fan of dictators, I am no fan of Fidel Castro. But so what if Ozzie Guillen is? This is the United States Of America, and in this country a man should NOT be suspended from his place of work for saying he admires Fidel Castro.

 

When you allow Lush Rimbaugh to call a young woman a slut & a prostitute for her beliefs on women’s contraception, and he remain employed, but you suspend a Venezuelan for his remarks on Fidel Castro….you tell me if that is just. Or right. Or racist.

 

Guillen told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long. At least two local officials said Guillen should lose his job.

 

Ozzie gave this interview to Time Magazine, he was NOT wearing a Miami Marlins uniform, he was NOT representing The Miami Marlins. So what right do the Miami Marlins have to suspend Ozzie for 5 games, over his right to love Fidel Castro? Somebody please explain to me what a man’s opinions over politics has to do with his job as a baseball manager?

 

And then to my surprise, Ozzie apologies for his remarks.

 

The suspension by the team takes effect immediately. It was announced shortly before Guillen was to hold a news conference to explain his remarks, which caused a public backlash.

 

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” read a statement from the team. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”

 

Could this be about money? Could the Marlins be more worried about this backlash from the Cuban Americans in the Miami community rather than Ozzie’s right to have and voice his opinions?

 

Outside the entrance to the ballpark, demonstrators shouted as the news conference began. Guillen began by speaking in Spanish.

 

The gathering at the ballpark drew a large turnout, including two dozen TV cameras lined up along the back. Among those in attendance were Marlins President David Samson and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.

 

The political firestorm came shortly after the Marlins opened their ballpark last week in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The team is trying to rebuild its fan base with the help of South Florida‘s large Cuban American population.

 

Yeah. Money.

 

Francis Suarez, chairman of the Miami city commission, said Guillen should be fired. Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County board of commissioners, said Guillen should resign.

 

 

Guillen apologized over the weekend after the story broke, but some Cuban-Americans remained upset. One group planned a demonstration Tuesday before Guillen said he would fly to Miami.

 

Yeah….what a baseball manager thinks about Fidel Castro is important enough to suspend him for 5 games. The real reason Ozzie was suspended is about money, not about his comments, but about who in Miami likes his comments and who does not.

 

What Mr. Oswaldo José “Ozzie” Guillén Barrios thinks of Fidel Castro has jack shit to do with being the manager of the Miami Marlins.

 

 

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