TAPE DELAY Billy Bush says Trump clip was well-known at NBC

FOX News

Billy Bush doesn't say much about his former employer, NBC, in his in-depth interview with The Hollywood Reporter but he does claim that "plenty of people" at NBC knew about the 2005 tape that featured him and Trump discussing women in a lewd manner. The audio was published by the Washington Post on Oct. 7, 2016, just two days before the second presidential debate between then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Many questioned the timing of the leak, speculating that politics played a role in the release of the years-old recordings. Though Bush said little else about his employer's knowledge of the damaging tapes, his brother Jonathan spoke out against the network. Jonathan Bush lamented to The Hollywood Reporter, "NBC News and [their] crocodile outrage: 'We are so disappointed with Billy.'


PEN America announces new Mike Nichols literary award; Kenneth Lonergan named inaugural winner

Los Angeles Times

The nonprofit literary organization PEN America announced on Monday the creation of the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award, with playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan named as the inaugural winner. The award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize, is named in honor of Mike Nichols, the legendary comedian and director known for films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "The Graduate," "Silkwood" and "Postcards From the Edge." Nichols died in 2014, and is survived by his wife, journalist Diane Sawyer. Lonergan is an acclaimed playwright and screenwriter. His plays "This Is Our Youth" and "Lobby Hero" were both nominated for Drama Desk Awards for best play.


Today in Entertainment: The 24-hour wait for 'Hamilton' tickets; exploring Disney's Pandora

Los Angeles Times

Teachers snag "Hamilton" tickets for history students Hollywood's art-lovers came out to fete Jeff Koons at the MOCA gala Hollywood's art-lovers came out to fete Jeff Koons at the MOCA gala Interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, conducted by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, will air in a four-hour documentary that is set to air on Showtime on four consecutive nights beginning June 12. "The Putin Interviews" is culled from a series of a dozen interviews conducted by Stone with assistance from producer Fernando Sulichin. The most recent interview was recorded in February, after the U.S. election and President Trump's inauguration. The film will touch on allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election, the Kremlin's role in Syria and Ukraine, as well as the increasingly adversarial relationship between the United States and Russia, Showtime said in a news release. "If Vladimir Putin is indeed the great enemy of the United States, then at least we should try to understand him," Stone said in the announcement.


"The First Time I Saw a Vision I Was a Child in a Cotton Field"

Slate

Having met so many 80-plus-year-olds in possession of a bottomless well of stories and life advice, we present the series "Interview With an Old Person"--which is, well, exactly what it sounds like. To nominate yourself or an elderly person in your life, email humaninterest@slate.com. Gertrude Johnson Howard: I was 3 years old on a big plantation, and my mommy and daddy still hadn't separated. And I saw all these white men, and they had on uniforms, and they had long rifles. And I was scared to death. We lived close to the county road, and I was outside playing. I ran in the house and told my mom, and the people got out of their cars and they came to the door. And they asked my momma, "Is John William there?" The sheriff was looking for John William, he had killed a man on the plantation. I was just shaking, just like somebody having a seizure.


How Does It Feel

The New Yorker

I was born in Chicago on December 30, 1946, within the vortex of a huge snowstorm. My father had to help the taxi driver navigate Lake Shore Drive with the windows wide open, while my mother was in labor. I was a scrawny baby, and my father worked to keep me alive, holding me over a steamy washtub to help me breathe. I will think of them both when I step on the stage of the Riviera Theatre, in Chicago, on my seventieth birthday, with my band, and my son and daughter. Despite the emotionally wrenching atmosphere that has engulfed us during the Presidential election, I have tried to spend December immersed in positive work, tending to the needs of my family, and preparations for the new year.