Saturday, July 18, 2015



CASH IN THE APPLE for 7-23-15
By Cash Michaels

            BLACK EMMY NOMINATIONS – Well the Emmy nominations are out for the best in television, cable and Netflix, and while a couple of notable programs were omitted from possible honors, a large number of black actors and actresses made the cut. It’s not a bad list, but it could have been better:

            OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES – Anthony Anderson for “Black-ish”.
            OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMATIC SERIES – Taraji P. Henson for “Empire” and Viola Davis for “How to Get Away With Murder.”
            OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMATIC SERIES – Uzo Aduba for “Orange is the New Black.”
            OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES -  Andre Braugher for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”; Keegan Michael – Key for “Key and Peele”; and Tituss Burgess for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
            OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES – Cicely Tyson for “How to Get Away With Murder” and Khandi Alexander for “Scandal.”
            OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES – Reg. E. Cathey for “House of Cards.”
            OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE – David Oyelowo for “Nightingale.”

            So who and what’s missing in my opinion? Two shows on CBS, “Madam Secretary” starring Tea Leoni and, of course, “The Good Wife” with Julianna Margulies are significantly absent from consideration, and that’s a shame. The same must be said for USA Network’s “Suits” starring Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams and the powerful Gina Torres.
            Torres has been, and continues to be magnificent as the managing partner of  major New York law firm, and should have gotten major consideration for at least a nomination.
            How the academy could overlook the fine work of these shows and their led actors is unforgivable. All have had exceptional years. That doesn’t mean the folks and shows that were nominated were unworthy. Just that there were obvious others that should have gotten consideration.
            The 67th Emmy Awards telecast will air Sept. 20th on Fox Television.
            WHAT’S HAPPENING AT ESPN? – There is no question that ESPN is the leader in sports television, and when it’s good, it’s very good. Their hosts, analysts and reporters break down sports stories  to every detail possible, helping you to understand all you could possibly know.
            So it’s no surprise that such an operation would have some very opinionated commentators on the payroll to spice topics up and give needed perspective when the big stories break. And let’s face, just within the past year alone – whether it be Lebron James’ jump back from Miami to Cleveland; NFL’er Ray Rice hitting his wife in a casino elevator; or the New Patriots deflating footballs before playoff games  - there has been plenty of controversy to get worked up over on the sports side.
            And yet, it appears that ESPN wants next to none of it, by evidence of the sports giant essentially firing three high profile talkers known for their strong opinions and colorful personalities.
            Commentators Bill Sammons, Colin Cowherd, and the one and only Keith Olbermann have all been given their walking papers by ESPN.
            In the case of Sammons, it’s for calling Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, a “liar,” something on-air personalities should try to stay away from doing. Don’t get me wrong, the NFL commissioner is a public figure and should be able to take it, but because the National Football League is a huge business partner with ESPN, allowing that kind of thing apparently gets old quick there, so Sammons had to go.
            Colin Cowherd, who does a daily national radio show on ESPN which is simulcast on ESPN television, apparently is also too opinionated for the network. He has been with the sports giant since 2003, so apparently the suits have decide that enough is enough. Word is that Cowherd is taking his game over to Fox Sports, but let’s face it, who really watches Fox Sports when ESPN is in the neighborhood?
            And then there is my man, Keith Olbermann, commentator and troublemaker extraordinaire. A lot of us had hoped that after a tumultuous five-year-run at MSNBC where is his top-rated  “Countdown” show fried crispy the political class with his “Worst Person in the World”; and then his even more disasterous short stint at Current TV which ended with him suing the owners and the channel being sold to Al Jazzeera, that when Keith finally came back home to where it all started for him back in the 1990’s, ESPN, that he would be able to settle down, and just be his best.
            And let’s be clear, when Keith Olbermann is on his game, absolutely no one can touch him on the air.
            Lo and behold, Keith was making big noise with his ESPN show – first at 11 p.m. weeknights, then during his second year, moved to 5 p.m. weekdays. Keith always started his show with sizzling commentaries, followed by “Worst Persons in the Sports World”; then  interviews with top sports figures, and finally “Keith Lights,” highlights of whatever games that happened that day.
            And it wasn’t too unusual to have a newspaper pick up on one of Olbermann’s thoughtful, insightful commentaries. When it came to institutional memory, especially about baseball, few people on the planet could match Olbermann in knowledge or enthusiasm. When the big sports story broke, no one could pull it apart, and put it back together again like Keith.
            So what went wrong? Why is Olbermann being canned for arguably being one of the most talented broadcasters in the business? Apparently ESPN, during contract negotiations, wanted to eliminate Keith’s commentaries, effectively silencing him. Like Bill Sammons, Keith has been outspoken about the problems of the National Football League, even calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to be fired because Olbermann believed, as Sammons said, the commissioner to be a  “liar.”
            Apparently Keith told ESPN that he would not stuff it if he remained on the air, so in two weeks, Keith won’t be on the air as his contract will not be renewed.
            There’s talk of Keith going back to MSNBC, given that their ratings are so bad they need his spark to get a boost, but don’t count on it. The bad blood is really bad between the two.
            So the question now is will these high-profile firings hurt the ESPN brand. The plain answer is no because the brand is that big. ESPN will do just fine, thank you. But what message do these firings of three prominent sports commentators send? When there’s big bucks on the line, what you say can hurt you.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (
           Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
          Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.



            The candidates for Raleigh and Cary municipals offices are now official for the Oct. 6th elections, with the filing period ending July 17th. In Raleigh, incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane will vie for a third term against challenger Weltzin. In predominately black District C, incumbent City Councilman Eugene Weeks faces off against challenger Corey Branch. All other incumbents on the Raleigh City Council are up for re-election. In Cary, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht Jr. is reportedly running unopposed for re-election. In Durham, Mayor Bill Bell has three challengers to his re-election this fall.

            Cary police arrested a Charlotte man at a Cary hotel July 17 and charged him with child prostitution and child sexual servitude. Leraysheo Shontel Byrd, 34, was found with a minor child when he was taken into custody. He is being held at the Wake County Detention Center under a $501,000 secured bond, and made his first court appearance July 20.

            After a firestorm of criticism from outraged citizens, the corporate owners of a Raleigh apartment complex have reversed course, and will allow a summer bookmobile program sponsored by Lacy Elementary School to continue on its property. Landmark Apartment Trust of Florida issued a Facebook statement Saturday saying it originally banned the bookmobile out of “safety” concerns for its residents. It will now allow it to continue, but require documentation on all volunteers to assure that they’ve been properly screened. The program allows Lacy teachers and volunteers to read to children in the complex weekly during the summer in order to maintain their reading skills.

            STATE NEWS BRIEFS 7-23-15

            [WINSTON-SALEM] Republican leaders in the NC General Assembly knew that the voting restrictions they passed into law in 2013 would specifically encumber African-American and Latino voters, a history professor testified during the federal voting rights trial in Winston-Salem, which began last week. Prof. Allan Lichtman of American University in Washington, D.C., also testified that because blacks are less likely than white to driver’s licenses, GOP lawmakers deliberately restricted voter ID requirements to that, not allowing other government-issued ID like college identification or government employment IDs. The trial is expected to stretch into August.

            [RALEIGH] No more May primaries in North Carolina for presidential aspirants. State lawmakers have agreed to set March 15, 2016, as the new presidential primary date for the state, and they want it winner takes all for both parties. North Carolina will now match the same date as Florida, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio.

            [FAYETTEVILLE] The Market House, a place where slaves were auctioned off almost 200 years ago, has been part of the city logo for Fayetteville for many years. But now there’s a growing cadre of citizens, including two Fayetteville city councilmen, who want that logo changed, saying that the Market House is a symbol of hatred and racism. The Fayetteville City Council is now asking residents for their input, and have setup a webpage at the city’s site to fill out a survey asking for feedback at

                                                         S. EPATHA MERKERSON

By Cash Michaels

            She has appeared in 391 episodes of the original “Law and Order” television series for 17 years, the most of any actor in the history of the program. She was also one of the first black authority figures on television – a black police lieutenant – long before Barack Obama ever thought of becoming president.
            But today, even though S. Epatha Merkerson will come back to television this fall in a new Dick Wolf NBC-TV series titled “Chicago Med” as a hospital administrator, the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress took time out of her busy schedule last week to come to Raleigh to promote diabetes awareness.
            And the education is needed.
            Diabetes – defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “…the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy because it does not produce enough insulin, resulting in elevated levels of sugar in the bloodstream – is a serious health risk in the African-American community.
            According to the CDC, blacks are 1.7 times as likely to develop diabetes as whites; the prevalence of diabetes among blacks has quadrupled during the past 30 years; among blacks age 20 an older, about 2.3 million have diabetes – 10.8 percent of that age group; and death rates for blacks with diabetes are 27 percent higher than whites.
            Type 2 diabetes, more commonly known as adult onset diabetes and associated with obesity, accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of the disease.
            At least ten percent of the adult population in North Carolina is considered diabetic, expert say.
            One of the best ways to measure the body’s ability to manage blood glucose is by an A1C test, which measures blood sugar levels over the previous 2-3 month period.
            S. Epatha Merkerson, working in conjunction with Merck Pharmaceuticals and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is traveling the nation with the campaign, America’s Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals, urging diabetics to work with their doctors to know their A1C levels.
Both of Merkerson’s parents died from diabetes, and the actress only learned that she has the disease in 2003 while doing a public appearance. She has made it her mission to educate others ever since.
“We are encouraging people with Type 2 diabetes to know their A1C, to work with their doctor, to set a goal, to obtain their A1C,” Merkerson told The Carolinian by phone during her Raleigh visit. “Folks don’t know that A1C is a simple test…and it becomes very important in terms of being proactive in your health care.”
According to most medical experts, an A1C of between 5 and 7 percent for a 2-3 month period is considered good. An A1C of over 7 percent is considered a health risk.
But high blood glucose is the only concern, Merkerson says. Low blood sugar can be equally dangerous, causing diabetics to become weak, break out in sweats, and even pass out if blood sugar gets too low.
Working with your doctor to establish a healthy eating regimen, with a prescribed balance of proteins and carbohydrates so that blood glucose levels remain consistent in between meals and into the evening, is key to living a healthy lifestyle despite the disease.
Merkerson says since her personal diagnosis of diabetes in 2003 when her blood sugar was determined to be 300 (a range between 80 and 140 is considered to be healthy) she’s had to make changes in her lifestyle.
“I was 50 when I was diagnosed, and I had some pretty bad eating habits,” the actress told The Carolinian. “I wasn’t exercising as much as I should. So the first thing to do was to learn how to eat, to get myself into some kind of exercise program, and to continue to see my doctor.”
Experts say go to your doctor to have your blood glucose checked, and if you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s advice.
For more information about diabetes, go to the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes .org.


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