John Rich asks fellow country artists Dierks Bentley, Tyler Hubbard to offer real ‘solution’ to gun control

NEW YORK – John Rich is challenging his fellow country music stars to a friendly debate over the Second Amendment. Rich, one half of the country duo Big & Rich, has never been one to shy away from politics. And when the "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" singer heard his friends and fellow artists … Continue reading “John Rich asks fellow country artists Dierks Bentley, Tyler Hubbard to offer real ‘solution’ to gun control”

NEW YORK – John Rich is challenging his fellow country music stars to a friendly debate over the Second Amendment.

Rich, one half of the country duo Big & Rich, has never been one to shy away from politics. And when the "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" singer heard his friends and fellow artists Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard were part of a new push for gun control, the proud Texan was really interested to hear their side.

"Successful artists, while they're only one person, or a couple of people, whatever it is, they have millions of fans," the 44-year-old told Fox News exclusively. "So when they speak, those millions of fans hear what they say."

Rich said he knows Bentley and Hubbard personally and has worked with them previously. He stressed that he has nothing but respect for them — but he does want to engage them in a conversation over the Second Amendment.

"The issue with gun control, you look at it and you go, 'These maniacs, these vicious people are taking a weapon and shooting people with it.' And then the flip side of that is, right now, I'm in New York City and back in Nashville is my wife and my two little kids," Rich said. "And if somebody breaks into my house, which rifle would you suggest I tell my wife to grab?

"Which one should she grab? The one that gives her the best chance at protecting her and my kids or the one that doesn't?" Rich asked fellow country music artists. "Those are the types of questions I would like to ask them."

The country music community has faced questions regarding gun control after recent mass shootings affected its fans.

In October 2017, a crazed gunman opened fire at the crowd of festivalgoers at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas, taking the lives of 59 people. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

And in November of this year, a former Marine armed with a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun with an illegal extended magazine opened fire on a packed California country music bar, killing 12 people, including a survivor of the Las Vegas festival shooting.

Several country stars have spoken out since the tragic events – both for and against gun control – notably Erich Chruch, who was one of the headlining acts at the Route 91 Festival. Church told Rolling Stone in a wide-ranging July interview that, while he considers himself a "Second Amendment guy," the National Rifle Association (NRA) is to blame for the mass shooting.

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Rich, who performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival shortly before shots rang out at the show, told Fox News shortly after the tragic event that he gave his weapon to an off-duty police officer who was at his Redneck Riviera bar as they heard news of the shooting.

"I had a Minneapolis police officer off-duty hanging out. He came up to me and he showed me his badge and he says, 'I'm an officer… and I am not armed for the first time ever I can't believe it. Are you armed? I said, 'Yes sir, I am armed.' I have my concealed weapons permit and I said, 'Yes, I am armed.' He said, 'Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this front door?'"

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Bentley and Hubbard's recent push includes asking for universal background checks and an effort to stop the "gun show loophole." They are asking for their fellow country artists to join their efforts.

But Rich is standing firm about his views on guns, telling us it's "only the bad guys [who] break the laws."

"When I go buy a firearm, I register and do everything [by the book]," he stressed. "I have my firearm and my concealed weapons permit to defend myself."

He added, "And so these artists that say that, by the way, I'm friends with all those guys…give us some kind of solution. What do you think we should do?"

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

Kevin Hart withdrawing as Oscars host sparks fiery reaction on social media

Late Thursday night, comedian Kevin Hart announced he was stepping down from hosting this year’s Academy Awards after years-old tweets he sent were deemed anti-gay.

The A-list star first responded to the controversy on Instagram late last night, urging people to “stop looking for reasons to be negative.”

"I am truly happy people … there is nothing that you can do to change that … NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all … with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me,” Hart wrote. “I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man I am becoming," Hart added. "You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love. …. Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive.”

Hart later told his Instagram followers that The Academy had given him an ultimatum to either apologize or he’d no longer be hosting. He remained defiant and said he “passed” on the apology since he had addressed his offensive tweets in the past and said he’s “moved on.”

However, Hart had a change of heart on Twitter and later in the evening offered an apology to the LGBTQ community.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's…. this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” Hart tweeted. “I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

Hart’s decision to step down as Oscars host drew a fiery reaction on Twitter with many expressing frustrations with the P.C. "mob" that went after Hart.

Critics continued to pile on Hart, calling him “homophobic.”

Fox News' Mariah Haas contributed to this report.

Candice Bergen thanks Donald Trump for ‘Murphy Brown’ Golden Globe nod

"Murphy Brown" star Candice Bergen thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her 12th Golden Globes nomination, calling it a "wonderful acknowledgement of my work in a show we are all so proud of bringing back this year."

But, giving credit where credit is due, Bergen on Thursday also acknowledged "it would not have been possible without the help of the President, who not only gave us the impetus for this reboot but provided us with fresh fields to plow daily that Diane English and our superb writing staff have cultivated fearlessly and with unique wit."

CANDICE BERGEN PICKS UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF WITH GOLDEN GLOBES NOM FOR 'MURPHY BROWN'

"He is, truly, the gift that keeps on giving," she added.

This acknowledgement will no doubt be well received by President Donald Trump, who, last month complained to the New York Post that he was going to be robbed of the Nobel Peace Prize he so richly deserved for his summit with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. Just like he got robbed of the Emmy Award he should have been awarded for NBC's reality TV series "The Apprentice," he explained.

"They'll never give it to me," Trump said of the Nobel, adding, "We should have gotten the Emmy for The Apprentice, you know? I had the No. 1 show, 'The Apprentice.' "

George H.W. Bush funeral: Reba McEntire delivers emotional performance of ‘Lord’s Prayer’

Reba McEntire was overcome with emotion while performing the "Lord's Prayer" at George H.W. Bush's funeral on Thursday.

Shortly after singing the opening lines, "Our Father who art in Heaven," the country legend stopped to cough and regain her composure.

McEntire, 63, stopped in front of a weeping George W. Bush, who wiped his face with a cloth, for part of her performance.

She was able to sing the rest of the tune without issue until the very end, when her voice almost broke as she sang, "Give us this day."

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The late President George H.W. Bush passed away on Nov. 30 at 94 years old.

After laying in state in Washington, the late 41st president's remains were transported to Houston, Texas.

His funeral mass was held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where his family worshiped.

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He will be buried next to beloved wife Barbara and daughter Robin, who died of leukemia when she was just three years old, at his presidential library.

Amal Clooney slams Donald Trump at United Nations Correspondents Association Awards

Amal Clooney took aim at President Donald Trump on Wednesday for his treatment of the press.

At the United Nations Correspondents Association Dinner Awards, Clooney, 40, said in a speech (via the London Evening Standard) that autocratic regimes' "chilling effect is real, and it has already been felt, not only in Myanmar but further afield. And sadly similar examples abound in autocratic regimes from North Korea to the Philippines, to Hungary, Turkey and Brazil."

"The US President has given such regimes a green light," she said, "and labeled the press in this country 'the enemy of the people.' "

She continued, "Of course, two months ago a Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a consulate in Istanbul and was brutally tortured to death. In many of the cases that I have worked on too, I have seen journalists and opposition figures ruthlessly targeted so that they can no longer criticize leaders."

"You are being jailed at a higher rate than ever," Clooney said. "And you are dying while covering wars, not just because you walk, unarmed, into some of the most dangerous places on earth. But because you are being targeted for exposing crimes committed in war. For speaking the truth that perpetrators find the most difficult to hear."

It's not the first time the human rights attorney has criticized the president.

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In October, Clooney expressed disdain at Trump's treatment of Brett Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, saying, "A president shouldn’t ridicule a woman who courageously comes forward to allege abuse."

A month earlier, the barrister, who represented Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar, urged the country's leader, Aun San Suu Kyi, to pardon them.

"She knows that mass murder is not a state secret and that exposing it doesn't turn a journalist into a spy," Clooney said of Suu Kyi. "She has said that one political prisoner is one too many, and so we're hopeful that since these are the principles that she herself has espoused, she will step in and try to correct an injustice in this case."

Steven Spielberg says ‘Schindler’s List’ is more relevant today thanks to increased ‘collective hate’

Famed director Steven Spielberg recently said that audiences could gain more out of watching his 1993 holocaust movie “Schindler's List” today more than any other time thanks to the current political climate.

He sat down with NBC News’ Lester Holt to discuss the upcoming re-release of the film to commemorate its 25th anniversary. In the interview, Spielberg was asked about its relevance following what Holt described as a rise in anti-semitism in America in the wake of a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“I think this is maybe the most important time to re-release this film,” Spielberg says in the video below. “Possibly now is even a more important time to re-releases Schindler’s list than 1993-94 when it was initially released. I think there’s more at stake today than even back then.”

He was later asked what he hoped a modern audience could learn from sitting down to watch the movie, which chronicles the real-life story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust by employing them in his factory.

“Individual hate is a terrible thing, but when collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows.”

Regardless of its modern relevance, “Schindler’s List” was a decided hit when it was released, eventually earning 12 Academy Awards and scoring roughly $320 million worldwide. At the time, however, Spielberg wasn’t sure that the movie would be well-received, let alone a hit.

"I couldn't imagine based on the story that we told that an audience would tolerate just the amount of violence, human against human. Or inhuman against human," the 71-year-old director said. "No one thought the film was going to make any money."

Barbara Bush: George H.W. Bush wanted to die before Christmas

Barbara Pierce Bush believes her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, wanted to pass away before Christmas.

The 41st President of the United States died at age 94 on Nov. 30.

"He'd never spent a Christmas without my grandmother," Barbara, 37, told People. "He was ready to be with her again. He never said it, but my thought is that he wanted to be with her for the holiday."

First Lady Barbara Bush died in April at age 92.

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H.W. Bush was hospitalized the next day.

Barbara Pierce Bush says that after his hospitalization this summer, H.W. Bush didn't want any more medical attention and simply wanted to be with his family at their home in Kennebunkport, Maine, before returning to his Houston, Texas, home in mid-October.

"There was never a moment when there wasn't a family member with him," she said. "He wanted to be in the game, still. He wanted to be included."

Barbara Pierce Bush said that the family all had planned visits with H.W. so he'd always have company throughout the holidays, "but the majority of us didn't make it."

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She told People that she would read to H.W. Bush in his final days when they were together — and that his favorite stories were the ones she read to him about him and her grandmother.

"I read him different books on geopolitics, the CIA or things of his interest. And then, luckily, my cousin Ellie LeBlond Sosa had written a book about my grandparents' love story — it was brand new — and that's what I ended up reading to him the most," she said. "He loved it. It was most certainly a walk down memory lane and it contained many of the love letters that he had written to my grandmother, and then also many of the letters from when he was younger that he had written to his mom about my grandmother before they were married."

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"We had plenty of moments talking about my grandmother," she continued. "I remember I asked him if his heart was broken and he said yes. But I think he also knew that he would see her soon. I don't think that it seemed far off to him."

Jimmy Kimmel mocks Democrats for having ‘old men’ Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders as 2020 front-runners

On Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel had some fun at the expense of the crop of potential Democratic candidates who are currently weighing a presidential run in 2020.

A new Harvard/Harris poll released Monday showed former Vice President Joe Biden leading the pack with 28 percent of support among Democrat and independent voters. Former 2016 presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second with 21 percent, while Rep. Beto O’Rourke, fresh from his defeat against Sen. Ted Cruz in last month’s midterms, placed third with 7 percent of the vote.

Kimmel shared the results of the poll with his audience, noting that “everyone is trying to figure out” who the Democrats will nominate to face off against President Trump.

“The top choices right now are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke; two old men and a baby,” Kimmel quipped. “Biden, Bernie and Beto are the front-runners in that order. Biden, Bernie and Beto sounds like the law firm that would represent Kermit the Frog in his divorce from Miss Piggy.”

The ABC late-night star joked that Biden and Sanders have “huge support” from one of the left’s key demographics: “Old men who fall asleep at movie theaters.”

Kimmel even mocked the former vice president, who this week boasted that he was the “most qualified person in the country to be president.”

“Joe Biden said yesterday he considers himself the most qualified person in the country to be president, which is cute that he thinks that matters to us,” Kimmel told his audience.

Kimmel then brought on “political correspondent” Mort Haskell (played by comedic actor Fred Willard) to weigh in on the deep bench of possible Democratic candidates.

"Heck of a field,” Haskell began. “Bernie, Biden, it energizes the party when young people have fresh ideas.”

“And by young people, you mean Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden?” Kimmel asked.

“Absolutely,” Haskell responded. “Those kids are just what the Democrats need to get the base fired up.”

Haskell shared his “dark horse” 2020 picks, which he said were published in last month’s edition of “Landline Enthusiasts.” His suggestions included former Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Wilford Brimley, who Kimmel notes is best known from “diabetes commercials.”

“If Wilford Brimley can balance our blood sugar, he could also balance the budget,” Haskell added.

While it remains uncertain how many candidates will truly run for the Democratic nomination, the race is already narrowing even before it began. Outspoken anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti announced this week that he was not going to seek the Democratic nomination, citing his decision was “out of respect for my family” and that he will continue to represent his client Stormy Daniels.

It has also been reported that former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will make an official announcement as early as this week that he will not run for president in 2020 either.

Michelle Obama reveals Queen Elizabeth called royal protocol ‘rubbish’

Michelle Obama has revealed the Queen told her royal protocol was "rubbish" while attempting to put her at ease.

The comment was said to have been made when U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife arrived at Windsor Castle by helicopter in 2016.

Waiting at the royal estate to drive them to lunch was Her Majesty and Prince Philip.

The Mirror told that the former first lady, speaking at an event in London last night, recounted how the Queen quickly made her feel relaxed.

She said: "I had all this protocol buzzing in my head and I was like 'don't trip down the stairs and don't touch anybody, whatever you do'.

"And so the Queen says 'just get in, sit wherever' and she's telling you one thing and you're remembering protocol and she says, 'Oh it's all rubbish, just get in.'"

The Guardian reported at the time how Prince Philip gestured towards a waiting Range Rover before getting into the driving seat with the president beside him while the Queen and Michelle sat in the back.

Previously President Obama said the Queen was "truly one of his favorite people."

Mrs. Obama was speaking to author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi at an event to promote her new autobiography "Becoming" at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London.

In more royal news, it's claimed Meghan Markle is set to read at a charity carol service alongside Prince Harry’s "estranged" old friends.

And Meghan and Harry have launched a mole hunt in a desperate bid to stop more gossip about the pair leaking out of Kensington Palace.

This article originally appeared in The Sun.

Joy Behar under fire for snapping at Meghan McCain when asked not to bash Trump during George H.W. Bush tribute

Joy Behar is taking some heat for remarks she made during a segment paying tribute to the late President George H.W. Bush on “The View.”

On Monday morning, the liberal comedian invoked President Trump as she was praising the 41st president’s policy on pollution and the Clean Air Act Amendments his administration passed in 1990, something she thought “wasn’t picked up” by many other since his passing.

Behar was quick to attack the current president for his position on the issue. “This president that we have now is trying to unravel everything that he did and Obama did,” she said. “And if I ever become a one-issue voter, it will be about pollution and the greenhouse effect.”

Conservative co-host Meghan McCain quickly jumped in and said, "I don’t want to talk about Trump. We’re honoring a great president who has passed.”

“Excuse me a second, please!” Behar exclaimed, to which McCain replied that she wasn’t “interested” in hearing about her one-issue position, which led to a fiery exchange between the two, as Whoopi Goldberg abruptly ended the segment before a commercial break.

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NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that Behar’s remark during the Bush tribute was a “microcosm” of the media’s “permanent obsession” with Trump.

“Joy Behar’s insistence that the Bush tribute center around Trump was a microcosm of the media’s permanent obsession with the current president, showing an embarrassing inability to cover stories or pay tribute to people like George H. W. Bush or John McCain without their cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome breaking through,” Houck said.

Mediaite editor Caleb Howe agreed that there was an “obsession” that was made apparent by Behar.

“Behar doesn’t even know what she did wrong,” Howe said. “Like a cat person who can’t smell the litter box.”

Meanwhile, Joe Concha, media reporter from The Hill, suggested that Behar should take her criticisms to her colleague Goldberg, who admitted last week during a discussion on climate change that she doesn’t “walk on water” since she takes private jets because she doesn’t want to “be on a plane” where she has to talk to “a million people.”

“The point of the segment was to honor George H.W. Bush and his extraordinary life and achievements while serving his country in a myriad of ways,” Concha told Fox News. “Broaching Trump, like someone needing to reach a daily criticism quota was a disservice to Bush.”

Houck expressed a similar sentiment, saying that McCain’s reaction to Behar “symbolized the frustration” many Americans have regarding a “fixation” with Trump, especially in news stories where he’s mostly a “minor player.”

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"The View" co-host Goldberg alluded to the current president at the beginning of the segment, acknowledging the comparison between him and Bush 41 “puts everybody in a different perspective” and reminds everyone “how you can still not agree with somebody but be respectful of somebody,” pointing to his bond with his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton.

Many on Twitter were quick to call out Behar's remarks.

While others felt that McCain was wrong in interrupting Behar.

Behar also complimented H.W. Bush on Monday's show, saying it seemed like he came from a “loving, kind place.”