Pop Culture

Singer Linda Ronstadt has found her voice

Linda Ronstadt isn’t piping down.

Undaunted after being booted by the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas for making pro-Michael Moore comments, the singer did an encore speech in a concert on Sunday night, again igniting the audience. “Half the crowd heartily applauded her praise for Moore, the other half booed,” reports the San-Diego Union-Tribune. “In an instant, the intimate outdoor venue on Shelter Island filled with a roar of cheers and jeers that grew to a near-fever pitch, “

Ronstadt made a few other political references that evening, as well. She dedicated “Straighten Up and Fly Right” to “the good folks at Enron who brought us the energy crisis.” She also poked fun at California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s controversial “girly men” comments, saying, “Now I’m wondering. What if you’re a female legislator,” she said, according to the Union-Tribune. “Does that make you a ‘manly girl’? Or a manly woman’?”

Unlike the bosses at Aladdin, the folks running her San Diego concert didn’t boot Ronstadt for her comments.

Politicians don’t want controversy

Vince Bucci / Getty Images North America
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: (US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Comedian/actress Margaret Cho attends a forum to discuss current social and political issues at the UCLA-Hammer Museum on July 13, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Margaret Cho

Speaking of controversial performers, outspoken comedian Margaret Cho was yanked from a fundraiser scheduled around the Democratic convention, reportedly because the Dems don’t want another Whoopi Goldberg-like eruption.

Goldberg caused a flap when at a democratic fundraiser, she made off-color jokes about President Bush. The Kerry camp tried to distance itself from the event, which Republicans called a “star-studded hate fest.”

Now, Cho has been yanked from “Unity ‘04” an event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and other national gay-rights groups. The fundraiser wasn’t affiliated with the DNC or Kerry, but Cho’s manager says she believes the request came directly from the Kerry camp.

“The media was going to do the same thing to [Cho] that they did to Whoopi,” Cho’s manager, Karen Taussig, tells The Scoop. “It’s terrible. It’s really bad for the gay community. They’re being treated like second-class citizens. . . .It’s amazing how skilled the Republicans are at setting the agenda.”  

Notes from all overMatt Damon admits that, unlike his highly political buddy Ben Affleck, he’s never voted, reports IMDB.com.  . . . Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford went boating in Wales and set off a rage for it there. Local tour operators report a tenfold increase.  . . . One of Madonna’s backup dancers says the hip-swiveling performers pray before each concert. But that’s not all the singer wants of her cast. “She wanted to know our birth signs,” Reshma Gajjar told Rediff.com. “She wanted to know which of us were compatible with her birth sign. After all, we were going to spend many months with her touring the world."

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