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The Olympics officially got underway in Tokyo, and while I’m hoping for the best and rooting for the USA as usual, there’s no question these will not be your typical Olympics. Japan is bracing for losing billions of dollars because COVID restrictions mean no spectator ticket sales. The lack of cheering crowds and athlete interactions will likely lend the Games a sterile quality that could turn off TV viewers. And many are already turned off by the relentless leftist virtue signaling.

Back in the USA, NBC and its advertisers are bracing for the lowest-rated Olympics ever. As always, the corporate suits have plenty of excuses for why a sporting event (or movie, TV show, etc.) craters in the ratings that, of course, have NOTHING to do with it going full-on social justice warrior and insulting at least half the potential audience. No, it’s always due to streaming or cable cord-cutting or COVID or the many other options competing for eyeballs.

Well, maybe. But COVID should mean more people staying home to watch the Olympics. The shutdown went on so long, and interrupted filming of new content, that people are complaining they’ve seen everything else they might want to watch, so that also should boost viewership. Even if you cut your cable, you can still stream the Olympics, or watch it over-the-air. So the liberal media executives need to face reality: the in-your-face wokeness and disrespect for America are indeed a large part of what’s driving away audiences for sports, movies, TV shows, awards ceremonies and more.

Don’t think that’s really a major issue? Michael Reagan agrees with me: here’s his column in which he admits that when the knee-bending USA women’s soccer team led by radical activist sourball Megan Rapanoe was humiliated 3-0 by Sweden, he and his wife (both soccer fans) weren’t bothered one bit “because of the politics.”

https://www.timesenterprise.com/opinion/columns/politics-is-spoiling-the-olympics/article_f38b51d0-db11-588f-ad88-abb90e06e178.html

But don’t go by just two guys’ reactions. A survey by the marketing firm Zeta Global found that “more than 60% of Americans were unable to express excitement or interest in the summer games, and at least 45% of Americans confirmed they are NOT looking forward to the games in any capacity.” And why all the ennui? A separate Ipsos survey found that less than a third of Americans (32%) believe Olympic athletes should be allowed to engage in political protests, while a majority feel that a positive performance from U.S. athletes makes them proud to be American.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/olympics-ratings-set-to-crash-research-suggests-get-woke-go-broke-effect-partly-to-blame-report

And it's not just Americans. People around the world watch the Olympics to root for their nation’s teams. If you hate patriotism, avoid the Olympics, because it’s a veritable orgy of national pride and cultural solidarity. That’s probably why the leftists are so determined to ruin it with their divisive political showboating.

To be clear: most of America’s athletes are great, patriotic young people who are proud and honored to be representing the USA, and I’m cheering for them all the way. But it’s the handful of outspoken activists, the ones who seem angry and ungrateful at having a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this, who are turning viewers off. Americans of all races tune in to root for America’s team, not to watch them take a knee to protest how we’re all a bunch of racists, and then scowl and turn their backs on the flag if they win.

In short, “Get woke, go broke” applies to non-professional athletics, too.

I’m sorry to have to report that Maggie Peterson, most famous for playing Charlene Darling on the iconic “Andy Griffith Show,” is in need of financial help due to medical issues. Her longtime husband, musician Gus Mancuso, is suffering from Alzheimer’s and she was his caregiver before she suddenly began having serious health issues of her own. They had to give up their apartment and need full time care that insurance won’t cover. Their family has set up a GoFundMe page. You can read details and see a video by Maggie if you click on “older updates.” And please share this link:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/h45wj3-maggie-quotcharlene-darlingquot-peterson-needs-help?qid=29eb89b34186406dbc8e9e75f2057221

Beloved as the only female amidst the “Deliverance”-like Darling clan (her bros played by bluegrass greats The Dillards), she also played a completely different role in an episode of the final season of the show and a third on an episode of “Mayberry RFD.” The same person popping up as different characters was a strange quirk in Mayberry, perhaps due to there not being enough people in small towns to go around.

Maggie would sometimes sing on the show with her sullen, silent siblings, on such memorable tunes as “Salty Dog” and “There Is A Time.” Here’s a delightful YouTube video of a reunion at which they performed the latter: https://youtu.be/8F8VvG99CH4  

She also did commercials; had a regular role on “The Bill Dana Show;” one-shot roles on “The Odd Couple,” “Love American Style” and other TV shows of the era; and parts in the Don Knotts movie “The Love God,” Andy’s film “Angel In My Pocket,” and, of course, the TV movie “Return to Mayberry.” She was sometimes billed as Maggie Mancuso and later worked as a location scout.

(Side note: If you’re a Griffith Show fan, try to catch “Angel In My Pocket” if it comes on TV. It’s very Mayberry-like – it even has Jack “Howard Sprague” Dodson – but for some reason, it was hard to find for years. It finally came out on an import DVD last year, but it looks as if the mastering was done by Ernest T. Bass.)

Maggie was best known as an actress, but actually devoted more time to singing. She started out in a band with her brother Jim and two friends called Margaret Ann and the Ja-Da Quartet. They were noticed at a record convention by Andy Griffith’s manager, who encouraged them to come to New York. That led to some TV variety show shots, a few singles and a 1959 Warner LP called “It’s the Most Happy Sound.” It’s filled with Shakey’s Pizza Parlor singalongs such as “Swanee River,” “Mississippi Mud” and “My Cutey’s Due at Two to Two Today.”

While touring the Vegas-Tahoe-Reno lounge circuit with a musical act called Margaret Ann and the Ernie Mariani Trio, she was spotted by the Griffith show’s producer and director and asked to play Charlene, and the rest is TV Land history. She’s always been very grateful to “Griffith” fans for remembering her, and everyone who’s met her describes her as the sweetheart you’ve always imagined her to be.

If you have fond memories of Maggie with the Darlings (and who doesn’t?), I hope you’ll kick in a few bucks to help her and her family. To answer the obvious question: no, she gets no royalties from the show and hasn’t since the 1960s. Considering it plays constantly and is more popular than ever, someone must be making a fortune off of it. It would be nice if whoever that was would crack open their money vault and help Maggie, to pay her back for her invaluable part in creating a show that’s still universally beloved nearly 60 years later.


2020 Election Update

July 25, 2021

I’m sure some readers wonder why I don’t write daily updates on all the 2020 election audits and questions and challenges. It’s because if I did, that’s all I’d ever have time to do. The general flow of these stories is that the auditors request information, the officials refuse to hand it over, the Democrats attack the auditors and say “Jim Crow” a lot, Republicans go to a judge to force the officials to turn over the evidence, the officials refuse again, the Republicans go back to court, lather-rinse-repeat.

Occasionally, the auditors will come up with something that stinks like week-old fish, and the election officials and Democrats will insist there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation that they would have seen if they’d only examined the evidence that the election officials and Democrats fought like panthers to keep them from seeing. Pardon me if I don’t want to cover that five times a day.

I bring it up only because that’s the basic story of the latest update to the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit story. The auditors reported last week that about 74,000 absentee ballots had been mailed in and counted for which they could find no records of anyone requesting them.

https://www.westernjournal.com/az-audit-exclusive-audit-taking-long-maricopa-county-intentionally-sabotaging/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=huckabee

The county officials have now responded that the auditors were wrong and nearly 400,000 more ballots were requested than received back. The auditors said they didn’t accuse the county of criminality, they just said they couldn’t verify the records because the county officials kept fighting them to keep from showing the records. I won’t bore you with all the details and serial numbers of forms and he said/they said, etc., but if you want to see it, it’s here.

https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2021/07/23/doug-logan-from-cyber-ninjas-releases-a-statement-on-the-alleged-missing-74000-ballots-in-maricopa-county/

Read that and you’ll understand why I’m cautious about reporting any stories that come out of an election audit until they're verified. I do NOT want this newsletter to read like that every day.

I will point out, however, that just a couple of days after the election, I called on Joe Biden to join with Trump in requesting an open, bipartisan examination of the vote, warning that if he didn’t, a cloud of suspicions, whether legitimate or not, would hang over his Administration, undermine his credibility and make it difficult for him to unite the country and govern. I got attacked from the left just for saying that. Well, we’re now six months into the Biden Administration, and how is that plan of telling skeptics they’re crazy while fighting to keep the evidence hidden working out?