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Mike Rowe fires back at critic who called American flag a 'mere symbol'

Last week, former host of “Dirty Jobs” Mike Rowe called schools that refuse to fly the American flag yet are happy to accept federal money hypocritical. He argued that such schools – pointing out Hampshire College, in particular – benefit from taking students’ federal financial aid because it allows them to raise their tuition costs.

>> Trump suggests a year in jail, loss of citizenship for flag burning

One Facebook user was not impressed by his argument, saying, “How did you become so blindly patriotic? First of all, the college you were referencing in your rant about the American flag is a private college and doesn’t receive federal funding. However … the very essence of freedom in this country is our right to speak out against the flag, which is a mere symbol. If you take away that right, then we have lost all freedom.”

Rowe shared her comment on his Facebook page and issued a response, taking issue with her assertion that the flag is just a symbol:

>> See the post here

Off The Wall Susanne McDaniel‎ writes... How did you become so blindly patriotic? First of all, the college you were...Posted by Mike Rowe on Friday, December 2, 2016

But if you really believe our flag is nothing but a “mere symbol,” equally suitable for flying or burning, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable if the people you work with suddenly started coming to the office in pointy white hats fashioned from bedsheets? Would that be a problem for you? Or how about The Rainbow Flag, favored by the LGBTQ community? Would it be OK if people started burning that? If not, why not? I mean, it’s only a symbol, right?

The thing about “mere symbols” Susanne, is that they represent “mere ideas,” and “mere ideas” are the backbone of “mere humanity.” In the case of the flag, we’re talking about ideas that are wrapped into the Constitution – a document that separates us from every other country on the planet.

>> Read more trending stories

Finally, Rowe addressed her claim that Hampshire College – which has restored the American flag to its campus since Rowe’s original post – doesn’t receive any federal money.

As for Hampshire College, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. If you check the link I provided in my original post, you’ll see that several forms of federal funding are readily available to their students. Also, according to their site, you’ll notice that the flag is once again flying at full staff. I’ll take no credit for this, if you offer no blame. Deal?

Maine girl featured in new HBO documentary 'The Trans List'

A transgender student whose battle over the right to use a girls' bathroom led to a landmark court ruling in Maine is being featured in a new HBO documentary.

"The Trans List" premieres Monday evening and explores what it means to be a transgender American.

Nicole Maines is one of several individuals featured in the documentary.

Maines says her entire family got behind her after she was bullied over a bathroom while in secondary school. The state supreme court ultimately ruled that her rights were violated.

Maines now encourages young people to advocate for themselves. In her words, "slay your own dragon — you can do it."

She is currently a student at the University of Maine.

Trump blasts 'Saturday Night Live,' Alec Baldwin on Twitter – again

Donald Trump is at it again.

During this week's episode of "Saturday Night Live," the president-elect took to Twitter to sound off on the show – which skewered him in its opening sketch – and actor Alec Baldwin.

>> Watch the sketch here (WARNING: Profanity)

"Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable!" Trump tweeted shortly after midnight Sunday. "Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad."

Baldwin, who plays Trump, quickly fired back. 

"Release your tax returns and I'll stop," Baldwin wrote. "Ha."

>> PREVIOUS STORY: 'Saturday Night Live': Alec Baldwin appears as Trump for first time since election

Baldwin again teamed up with Kate McKinnon in Saturday's sketch, in which a preoccupied Trump ignores his security briefing to retweet his followers.

"I just retweeted the best tweet," Baldwin's Trump says. "I mean, wow, what a great, smart tweet."

After the security team objects, Baldwin's Trump continues, "This could not wait. It was from a young man named Seth. He's 16, he's in high school, and I really did retweet him. Seriously, this is real."

"He really did do this," adds McKinnon, playing Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

>> Read more trending stories

After taking shots at other Trump retweets, his rumored remarks about unflattering photos and his recent dinner with Mitt Romney, "SNL" took aim at chief strategist Steve Bannon with a sight gag. Check it out here.

Read more here.

Teyana Taylor advises Kanye on recovery: "Take your time"

Teyana Taylor has some practical advice for her mentor Kanye West.

The singer-dancer, who has performed with the Grammy-winning artist, wants him to take his time recovering.

"Take however much time you need, you know. Time heals all," Taylor told The Associated Press on the red carpet Friday for the "VH1 Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night" show.

"He's a workaholic. He worked his (expletive) off. And if he needs to get his mind right, then I think everybody should respect that and let him do that," Taylor said.

Last month, West was hospitalized in Los Angeles after displaying erratic and angry behavior. It forced him to cancel the remaining 21 dates on his tour.

Taylor said she's stayed in touch with West.

"I sure have. That's what family is supposed to do. He definitely knows that his friends and his family's in his corner for sure," Taylor said.

Taylor and West won best dance performance at the Soul Train Awards for "Fade."

The 25-year-old singer-dancer is the newest member of the VH1 Divas club, performing with Mariah Carey, Vanessa Williams, Chaka Kahn, and Patti Labelle.

"Patti and (the others) told me I was a diva in training. So they're teaching me the ropes right now, so that's always a good look"

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Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Vice President-elect Mike Pence; Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA director.

___

NBC's "Meet the Press" — To be announced.

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CBS' "Face the Nation" — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

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CNN's "State of the Union" — Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager for Donald Trump; Robby Mook, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

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"Fox News Sunday" — Conway; Karen Finney, former spokeswoman for Clinton campaign; Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

Broadcasting industry veteran Bob Bennett dies at 89

Robert "Bob" Bennett, a broadcasting industry veteran who guided a TV station group that became the initial core of the Fox network, has died. He was 89.

Bennett died Tuesday at a Newport Beach, California, hospital after a long illness, according to spokesman Jerry Digney. The cause of death was not specified.

In the early to mid-1980s, Bennett served as president of Metromedia Broadcasting, then among the nation's largest station groups with major-market stations in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. He worked with media magnate John Kluge.

When another magnate, Rupert Murdoch, acquired Metromedia Broadcasting in 1985, its stations and prime-time programming helped create the Fox Broadcasting Co.

Bennett, after a stint as a page at CBS Radio in the late 1940s in Los Angeles, began his TV career in 1952 at KTTV-TV in LA, first in sales and then as an executive. He was vice president and general manager of WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., and, from 1969 to 1971, at WNEW-TV, New York.

He headed the creation of WCVB-TV in Boston, which became known for its original, locally produced programming that included the TV movie "Summer Solstice" starring Henry Fonda and Myrna Loy.

The station was sold in 1981 to Metromedia for $220 million, and in 1985 Bennett directed its sale to the Hearst Corp. for $450 million, according to a biography of Bennett provided by Digney.

In 1994, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Bennett, who grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was a longtime resident of Newport Beach. Survivors include his wife, Marjie, children, Kelly and Casey Bennett.

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Vice President-elect Mike Pence; Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA director.

___

NBC's "Meet the Press" — To be announced.

___

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

___

CNN's "State of the Union" — Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager for Donald Trump; Robby Mook, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

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"Fox News Sunday" — Conway; Karen Finney, former spokeswoman for Clinton campaign; Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

TV's 'Full House' home is staying in the Tanner family

The San Francisco home featured in television's "Full House" has sold to the producer who created the show.

KGO-TV reports (http://abc7ne.ws/2g1pBYB) veteran TV producer Jeff Franklin bought the 3-bedroom Victorian in August.

It was on the market for more than $4 million.

The real estate agent had declined to say who bought the home in San Francisco's lower Pacific Heights neighborhood.

The home's exterior was used as the Tanner family's residence in the original show.

Inside scenes were filmed on a set in Burbank, California.

The shots were used again in the recent "Fuller House" reboot of the show on Netflix.

The report says the new owner plans to repaint the front door red, just like in the original show.

Previous owners had painted it a seafoam green.

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Information from: KGO-TV.

Mickey Mouse hits the road with NASCAR stars in new series

Mickey Mouse is hanging with a fast crowd in a new Disney TV series.

Disney said Thursday its animated "Mickey and the Roadster Racers" will pair the famous mouse with recurring guests Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon.

The NASCAR stars will voice animated characters based on them. Johnson plays Jiminy Johnson; Patrick is Danni Sue, and Gordon is Gordon Gear.

Mickey's pals Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald will be along for the ride as well when the series debuts in January on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

"Mickey and the Roadster Racers" is described as a "madcap" adventure series for children 2 through 7, with lessons on topics including friendship and teamwork.

Other celebrity guests will include Jay Leno, Tim Gunn, Tony Shalhoub, Jane Leeves and Patton Oswalt.

"Mickey and the Roadster Racers" will debut 9 a.m. EDT Sunday, Jan. 15, on the Disney channels.

Vice President Biden to be Colbert's guest on 'Late Show'

CBS says Vice President Joe Biden is returning to "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

Biden is a scheduled guest on Tuesday's edition for what will be his first talk-show appearance since the 2016 presidential election. He first appeared with Colbert on "The Late Show" in September 2015.

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35 p.m. Eastern.

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