May 9th, 2014
05:55 AM ET

Should the Benham Brothers Have Lost Their HGTV Show Over Their Remarks?

The twin brothers who lost their HGTV show after a recording surfaced of one's anti-homosexuality views are surprisingly not upset at the network that fired them.

Their beef is not with HGTV, but with the gay "agenda" that "bullied" the network, Jason and David Benham told CNN's "New Day" on Friday.

"I feel they got bullied," David Benham said. "There's an agenda that's out in America right now that demands silence, especially from men and women who profess Jesus Christ and hold to his standards."

Their dismissal from the show they were scheduled to host added fuel to the debate over people losing their jobs for what they say about their personal lives.

It's not a free speech issue, as both sides mostly agree that people have the right to say what they want, but a question of how severe the consequences for unpopular positions should be.

HGTV was within its rights to let the Benham brothers go, but maybe it shouldn't have, Ellis Henican, a Newsday columnist, told "New Day."

"Do they have a legal right? Yes. Should we be cheering it? No, we should not. We ought to be big enough people that we can see people we don't agree with, let them fix their houses, help the nice people. What are we scared of?" Henican said.

The brothers ran afoul of the network after the site Right Wing Watch published a post about the pair, labeling David Benham as an "anti-gay, anti-choice extremist" for reportedly leading a prayer rally in 2012 outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The site posted a recording of Benham talking to a talk show host about "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation" and "demonic ideologies" taking hold in colleges and public schools.

Benham also discusses the fight for North Carolina's Amendment One, which involved a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state constitution.

The Benham brothers were the planned stars of the HGTV show "Flip It Forward," set to premiere in October, in which they would have helped families purchase homes they otherwise could not afford.

"When the firestorm came in, we had an opportunity to speak with HG and the folks over there and explain to them who we were as people," Jason Benham said. "We sell to all people of all kinds, and that we would be glad to take a homosexual couple onto our show."


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November 19th, 2013
11:11 AM ET

Alec Baldwin's Daughter Defends Him

Alec Baldwin and his daughter Ireland have apparently mended their differences.

The 18-year-old model used Twitter to defend her father after his use of an anti-gay slur. The younger Baldwin insists that her dad "has a kind heart."

"For someone who has battled with anger management issues, my dad has grown tremendously," she tweeted. "My dad is far from a homophobe or a racist."

His daughter knows a great deal about such anger issues. In 2007 a voice mail was leaked in which the actor ranted and called his then-11-year-old daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig."

Recently Alec Baldwin lashed out at a paparazzo who was outside his Manhattan apartment and called the man a "c******king f*g."

That resulted in both GLAAD and CNN's Anderson Cooper taking Baldwin to task.

"Wow, Alec Baldwin shows his true colors yet again," Cooper tweeted. "How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time?"

Ireland Baldwin said via Twitter that "Paparazzi can bring out many confined feelings of anger and spite out of anyone" and that "... what my dad said was WRONG. What my dad felt WASN'T."

"Boundaries have to be made," she said "Paparazzi have jobs to do, but some of them jeopardize people's lives and cross a line. My dad has an INFANT CHILD to protect."

The "30 Rock" star has had a rough time of it lately, with MSNBC putting his show "Up Late" on a two-week suspension in the wake of the scandal. A rep for MSNBC told CNN the show is scheduled to return after the suspension.

On Saturday, Baldwin - who had already apologized for the slur he used against the photographer - posted a piece on The Huffington Post in which he said he would never again use the term "toxic queen" as he did in referring to a tabloid journalist. He expressed amazement at how he has been characterized.

"My friends who happen to be gay are baffled by this," he wrote. "They see me as one who has recently fought for marriage equality and has been a supporter of gay rights for many years. Now, the charge of being a 'homophobic bigot,' to quote one crusader in the gay community, is affixed."

He also asked that his network not be judged by his actions.

"Don't allow my problem to be MSNBC's problem," he said in his piece. "They are good people who work hard at a job, just like many of you. And two, please respect the privacy of my wife and family. If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like. But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this."

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October 11th, 2013
08:22 AM ET

'Glee' Says Goodbye To Cory Monteith

On Thursday night, "Glee" bid farewell to a beloved actor and character, HLN's AJ Hammer reports.

The series ran its tribute episode titled "The Quarterback" in honor of actor Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the hit Fox show. Monteith was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room in July.His death was ruled accidental due to "mixed drug toxicity, involving intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol" according to the British Columbia Coroners Service.

The memorial episode had been eagerly awaited by fans desiring to see how the storyline would be crafted to deal with the loss of one of the show's central characters. Thursday night's show picked up three weeks after the funeral of Finn with no information as to how the character died.

Viewers watched as the entire McKinley High School grappled with his loss - including the character of Finn's love, Rachel Berry, played by Monteith's real-life girlfriend, Lea Michele. "He was my person," Michele's character, Rachel, cried during the show.


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October 8th, 2013
10:02 AM ET

Despite Criticisms, One Astronaut Says He Loves 'Gravity'

As far as fans are concerned, "Gravity" is out of this world.

The Sandra Bullock/George Clooney space thriller set an October opening weekend record, surpassing "Paranormal Activity 3's" $52.6 million debut in 2011, according to EW.

Many critics also hailed the film, which centers around characters being set adrift in space. But some in the science community have taken exception to some of the facts presented.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter over the weekend to offer several "Mysteries of #Gravity," including "The film #Gravity should be renamed 'Angular Momentum.' " He points what the film got wrong, from the fact that Bullock's hair didn't free float to why she, as a medical doctor, was on the mission to start with.

Though "New Day" spoke with NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino who says he loves the movie.

Massimino is a veteran of two space shuttle missions, both of which serviced the Hubble space telescope, including the historic final repair mission. He says:

“If you really want to learn science you might need to go to school, because it’s a movie. But the movie can inspire you. I don’t think they’re handing out college credit as you leave the theater but he’s got an interesting point… but if you were to show what we actually do, I don’t think many people would watch. If you show just exactly what we do, I don’t think you get many people coming to the movies.”


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