WHO IS KAM WILLIAMS? (See archive articles by Kam Williams. New movie reviews and interviews can be seen on www.Literarydish.com daily.)
Voted Most Outstanding Journalist of the Decade by the Disilgold Soul Literary Review in 2008, Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the U.S. and Canada. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, the NAACP Ima
Voted Most Outstanding Journalist of the Decade by the Disilgold Soul Literary Review in 2008, Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the U.S. and Canada. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee, and Rotten Tomatoes.
In addition to a BA in Black Studies from Cornell, he has an MA in English from Brown, an MBA from The Wharton School, and a JD from BostonUniversity. Kam lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife and son.
Vote Fraud Costs Obama
New Hampshire Primary a Tale of Two Tallies
by Kam Williams
If the fix is in, it doesn’t matter whether Barack Obama really deserves to be the Democratic nominee, he’ll never get a fair chance to compete for the presidency. Debates about whether the Junior Senator from Illinois is black enough or whether whites will be willing to vote for an African-American are moot so long as the sanctity of the ballot box can’t be guaranteed.
The problem is that the Diebold Corporation is at it again, and the voting machine company appears to be already in the process of quietly perpetrating the mother of all vote frauds. In case you forgot, Diebold is the manufacturer of the electronic tabulator which counted the majority of the votes in the last two U.S. presidential elections.
I first called for the United Nations to monitor polling places all across the country after Diebold’s wholesale disenfranchisement of blacks in Florida decided the controversial 2000 race. And I reiterated that demand in 2004 after irregularities in Ohio put Bush back in office for another four years.
Now, judging by what went down virtually unnoticed in New Hampshire on January 8th, we’re again in dire need of U.N. observers during the 2008 primary season, just to give an the democratic process a chance to unfold untainted by fraud. For, while the punditocracy has been busy dubbing Hillary Clinton the Comeback Kid and attributing her surprise victory to women rallying to her support in the wake of her eyes welling up on camera, no one’s looking for a more plausible explanation than that overly-publicized Muskie moment.
The cold hard truth is that on the night of the New Hampshire primary, all the scientifically-conducted exit polls had predicted an Obama two-digit win. Given the +/-4.5% margin of error, this means it wasn’t a question of whether Barack would win, only by how much. However, everybody forgot that Diebold would be counting the votes electronically in 81% of the state’s precincts, while the other 19% were being tallied by hand.
And wouldn’t you know, when the results were announced, there was a statistically-significant difference between the tallies based on a paper trail and those recorded by Diebold’s machines? As reported by a watchdog organization called CheckTheVotes.com (see below), Obama garnered 38% of the votes counted by hand, followed by Clinton with 34%, Edwards with 17% Richardson with 5% and Kucinich with almost 2%. By contrast, Diebold’s tabulations had Clinton finishing first with a whopping 40%, while every other candidate had lower percentages than in the hand-counted districts.The computers had Obama dropping to 35%, Edwards to 16%, Richardson to 4% and Kucinich to 1%.
Does it seem suspicious to you that all the candidates but Clinton did worse when the votes weren’t verified, especially in the wake of the precedent of the prior Diebold debacles? Unless ab outcry is raised, and steps are taken immediately to monitor the electronic tallies in the upcoming primaries, it is readily apparent that the only Democratic machine Hillary will need to prevail is the one programmed by Diebold.
Lloyd Kam Williams is a film and book critic, and an attorney and a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars
Writer's Strike Strips Golden Globes of Pomp and Pizzazz :
2008 Golden Globes Round-Up Journalist: Kam Williams
When the actors and directors unions opted to honor the picket line in support of the striking writers, this meant that the 65th Annual Golden Globes would be gutted of its essential appeal. For once you strip away the glitz and glamour of the red carpet arrivals and all the breathless acceptance speeches by Hollywood icons, what do you have left but a simple announcement of the winners.Nonetheless, the lackluster show still went on, although NBC cut the TV telecast down to an hour. Even that seemed too long, since chatty co-hosts Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell had absolutely nothing of substance to share except for the results and an embarrassing home video of nominee Nikki Blonsky. As for the Globes themselves, none landed more than two trophies, which means that no movie emerged from the evening with buzz as the early Oscar favorite. This sleep-inducing fiasco doesn't bode well for the rest of the 2008 Awards Season should the strike continue to drag on.
Complete list of Golden Globes winners: FILM
Picture, Drama: 'Atonement.'Actress, Drama: Julie Christie, 'Away From Her.'Actor, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, 'There Will Be Blood.'Picture, Musical or Comedy: 'Sweeney Todd.'Actress, Musical or Comedy: Marion Cotillard, 'La Vie En Rose.'Actor, Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp, 'Sweeney Todd.'Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, 'I'm Not There.'Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, 'No Country for Old Men.'Director: Julian Schnabel, 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.'Screenplay: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, 'No Country for Old Men.'Foreign Language: 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,' France and U.S.Animated Film: 'Ratatouille.'Original Score: Dario Marianelli, 'Atonement.'Original Song: 'Guaranteed' from 'Into the Wild.'
TELEVISION: Series, Drama: 'Mad Men,' AMC.Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, 'Damages.'Actor, Drama: Jon Hamm, 'Mad Men.'Series, Musical or Comedy: 'Extras,' HBO.Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, '30 Rock'Actor, Musical or Comedy: David Duchovny, 'Californication.'Miniseries or Movie: 'Longford,' HBO.Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Queen Latifah, 'Life Support.'Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Jim Broadbent, 'Longford.'Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Samantha Morton, 'Longford.'
Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Piven, 'Entourage.'
by Kam Williams Headline: Amy Winehouse Wins Five Grammys in Absentia Kanye Accepts Four for Mom
England's Amy Winehouse was conspicuously absent from the Grammys, which was no surprise given the trouble she had securing a visa in the wake of her drug conviction and that incriminating video of her smoking crack circulating the internet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2rn8xINExE&feature=related). Nonetheless, she still won five awards, including ones as the Best New Artist and for the Record and Song of the Year, appropriately titled "Rehab" which she performed live by satellite. Kanye West, collector of four of the over 100 Grammys presented over the course of the evening, appeared onstage with "MAMA" carved into the back of his head. He forced the orchestra to stop playing background music in order to deliver an emotional acceptance speech during which he paid tribute to his recently-deceased mother, Donda, saying, "I know you wanted me to be the number one artist in the world." Herbie Hancock, who did an orchestra-backed rendition of Rhapsody in Blue paired opposite redundantly-named, classical piano virtuoso Lang Lang, enjoyed a surprising win for Album of the Year for "River: The Joni Letters." Meanwhile rising political rock star Barack Obama landed a trophy in the spoken word category for the reading of his best seller "The Audacity of Hope," edging out Bill Clinton of all people in the process, perhaps prophetically.
The duet-driven occasion was opened by Alicia Keys accompanied virtually by the late Frank Sinatra, and subsequently featured Beyonce' with Tina Turner, Andrea Bocelli with Josh Groban, 15 year-old Timothy T. Mitchum with Carol Woods, Kanye West with Daft Punk, Keely Smith with Kid Rock, Fergie with John Legend, the Foo Fighters with Grammy Moment-winner Ann Marie Calhoun, Aretha with Bebe Winans, Little Richard with John Fogerty, and Alicia Keys again, this time with John Mayer. COMPLETE LIST OF GRAMMY WINNERS Album of the Year: 'River: The Joni Letters,' Herbie Hancock.
Record of the Year: 'Rehab,' Amy Winehouse.
Song of the Year: 'Rehab,' Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse).
New Artist: Amy Winehouse.
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Mark Ronson.
Pop Vocal Album: 'Back to Black,' Amy Winehouse.
Female Pop Vocal Performance: 'Rehab,' Amy Winehouse.
Male Pop Vocal Performance: 'What Goes Around...Comes Around,' Justin Timberlake.
Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: 'Makes Me Wonder,' Maroon 5.
Pop Collaboration With Vocals: 'Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On),' Robert Plant & Alison Krauss.
Pop Instrumental Album: 'The Mix-Up,' Beastie Boys.
Pop Instrumental Performance: 'One Week Last Summer,' Joni Mitchell.
Traditional Pop Vocal Album: 'Call Me Irresponsible,' Michael Buble.
Alternative Music Album: 'Icky Thump,' The White Stripes.
Rock Album: 'Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace,' Foo Fighters.
Rock Song: 'Radio Nowhere,' Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen).
Solo Rock Vocal Performance: 'Radio Nowhere,' Bruce Springsteen.
Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: 'Icky Thump,' The White Stripes.
Hard Rock Performance: 'The Pretender,' Foo Fighters.
Metal Performance: 'Final Six,' Slayer.
Rock Instrumental Performance: 'Once Upon a Time in The West,' Bruce Springsteen.
Rap Album: 'Graduation,' Kanye West.
Rap Solo Performance: 'Stronger,' Kanye West.
Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: 'Southside,' Common, featuring Kanye West.
Surround Sound: 'Love,' Paul Hicks, surround mix engineer; Tim Young, surround mastering engineer; George Martin & Giles Martin, surround producers (The Beatles).
Classical Album: 'Tower: Made in America,' Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Tim Handley, producer; Tim Handley, engineer/mixer (Nashville Symphony).
Orchestral Performance: 'Tower: Made in America,' Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Nashville Symphony).
Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman.
Engineered Album, Classical: 'Grechaninov: Passion Week,' John Newton, engineer (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale).
Opera Recording: 'Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel,' Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel & Jennifer Larmore; Brian Couzens, producer (Sarah Coppen, Diana Montague & Sarah Tynan; New London Children's Choir; Philharmonia Orchestra).
Choral Performance: 'Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem,' Simon Rattle, conductor; Simon Halsey, chorus master (Thomas Quasthoff & Dorothea Roschmann; Rundfunkchor Berlin; Berliner Philharmoniker).
Classical Crossover Album: 'A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane,' TurtleIsland Quartet.
Short Form Music Video: 'God's Gonna Cut You Down,' Johnny Cash.
Long Form Music Video: 'The Confessions Tour,' Madonna.
Recording Package: 'Cassadaga,' Zachary Nipper, art director (Bright Eyes).
Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: 'What It Is!: Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977),' Masaki Koike, art director.
Album Notes: 'John Work, III: Recording Black Culture,' Bruce Nemerov, album notes writer.
Historical Album: 'The Live Wire — Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949,' Nora Guthrie & Jorge Arevalo Mateus, compilation producers; Jamie Howarth, Steve Rosenthal, Warren Russell-Smith & Dr. Kevin Short, mastering engineers (Woody Guthrie).
39th NAACP IMAGE AWARDS
39th Annual NAACP Image Awardsby Kam Williams Headline: Great Debaters Dominate Image Awards
"The Great Debaters" dominated the movie categories at the 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards, being named Best Picture, with its stars, Denzel Washington, Denzel Whitaker and Jurnee Smollett, all winning for their performances in the film. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys prevailed in the field of music, earning four trophies, while "House of Payne,""Grey's Anatomy" and "Life Support" each took home a trio in the area of television.
Besides the winners in the nominated categories, a trio of lifetime honorees also gave gracious acceptance speeches: Aretha Franklin (The Vanguard Award), Ruby Dee (The Chairman's Award) and Stevie Wonder (inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame). The show, which was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, was broadcast live by Fox-TV on February 14th. Curiously, it was hosted by D.L. Hughley, who had seemingly been in hot water along with Don Imus for his comments on the Tonight Show a year ago in support of the briefly-disgraced DJ, stating that the young women on the Rutgers basketball team were in fact nappy-headed and "some of the ugliest women I've seen in my whole life.' Apparently, that water is all under the bridge now, for Imus is back on the air, and D.L. cleaned up his act considerably in his capacity here as emcee. The evening's most bizarre moment arrived when presenter Tracy Morgan ignored the teleprompter to wish Happy Valentine's Day to all his baby-mamas, specifically including fellow-presenter Tichina Arnold whom he revealed to be the mother of his eldest daughter. Ms. Arnold, a single-mom, does have a little girl, Alijah Kai, born in 2004 previously thought to have been fathered by an ex-boyfriend, Carvin Haggins. Who knows whether this was just a joke or if a paternity test might be in order? Otherwise, the program unfolded in a fairly dignified fashion, and was striking in its embrace of a multicultural orientation, going out of its way to include Asians and Latinos in stage numbers. Even the audience got into the act, when Wayne Brady passed around the mic during a Stevie Wonder medley during which we learned that Judge Mathis can hold a tune and that America "Ugly Betty" Ferrera can't. COMPLETE LIST OF NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNERS
Best Picture: 'The Great Debaters.' Best Actor: Denzel Washington, 'The Great Debaters.' Best Actress: Jurnee Smollett, 'The Great Debaters.' Best Supporting Actor: Denzel Whitaker, 'The Great Debaters.' Best Supporting Actress: Janet Jackson, 'Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?' Best Director: Kasi Lemmons, 'Talk To Me.' Best Scriptwriter: Michael Genet and Rick Famuyiwa, 'Talk To Me.' Best Independent or Foreign Film: 'Honeydripper.' Best Documentary: 'Darfur Now.'
TELEVISION CATEGORIES: Best Comedy Series: 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne.' Best Actor, Comedy Series: LaVan Davis, 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne.' Best Actress, Comedy Series: America Ferrera, 'Ugly Betty.' Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Lance Gross, 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne.' Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Vanessa L. Williams, 'Ugly Betty.' Best Director, Comedy Series: Ken Whittingham, 'The Office: Phyllis's Wedding.' Best Scriptwriter, Comedy Series: Ali LeRoi, 'Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Guidance Counselor' Best Dramatic Series: 'Grey's Anatomy.' Best Actor, Dramatic Series: Hill Harper, 'CSI: NY.' Best Actress, Dramatic Series: Regina Taylor, 'The Unit.' Best Supporting Actor, Dramatic Series: Omar Epps, 'House.' Best Supporting Actress, Dramatic Series: Chandra Wilson, 'Grey's Anatomy.' Best Director, Dramatic Series: Seith Mann, 'Friday Night Lights: Are You Ready For Friday Night?' Best Scriptwriter, Dramatic Series: Shonda Rhimes and Krista Vernoff, 'Grey's Anatomy: A Change is Gonna Come.' Best TV Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special: 'Life Support.' Best Actor in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special: Wendell Pierce, 'Life Support.' Best Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special: Queen Latifah, 'Life Support.' Best Actor in a Daytime Dramatic Series: Kristoff St. John, 'The Young And The Restless.' Best Actress in a Daytime Dramatic Series: Christel Khalil, 'The Young And The Restless.' Best News/information, Series or Special: 'In Conversation: The Senator Barack Obama Interview.' Best Talk Series: 'Tavis Smiley 'Crisis in Darfur'' Best Reality Series: 'Run's House 4.' Best Variety Series or Special: 'Celebration of Gospel '07' Best Children's Program: 'That's So Raven.' Best Performance in a Youth/Children's Program, Series or Special: Raven-Symone, 'That's So Raven.'
RECORDING CATEGORIES: Best Album: Alicia Keys, 'As I Am.' Best Song: 'Like You'll Never See Me Again,' Alicia Keys. Best Male Artist: Chris Brown. Best Female Artist: Alicia Keys. Best Duo or Group: Eddie and Gerald Levert. Best New Artist: Jordin Sparks. Best Jazz Artist: Herbie Hancock. Best Gospel Artist: Kirk Franklin. Best World Music Album: Angelique Kidjo, 'Djin Djin.' Best Music Video: 'Like You'll Never See Me Again,' Alicia Keys.
LITERATURE CATEGORIES: Best Fiction: 'Blonde Faith,' Walter Mosley. Best Nonfiction: 'Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond,' Don Cheadle, John Prendergast. Best Debut Author, 'The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir,' Victoria Rowell. Best Biography/Autobiography: 'Obama: From Promise to Power,' David Mendell. Best Instructional: 'The Covenant in Action,' Tavis Smiley. Best Poetry: 'Acolytes: Poems,' Nikki Giovanni. Best Children's Book: 'Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson,' Sue Stauffacher, author; Greg Couch, illustrator. Best Youth/Teens' Book: 'More Than Entertainers: An Inspirational Black Career Guide,' Charles B. Schooler, author; Gary Young, illustrator.
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