James Corden on hosting the Grammys, the royal wedding and what makes America so great

"The Late Late Show" host James Corden is perhaps best known for his hugely popular segment "Carpool Karaoke" in which he invites musical guests to sing along to their songs with him as they drive. This Sunday, he'll join some of the world's biggest musicians as host of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards at New York's Madison Square Garden. Corden also hosted the awards show last year with a grand entrance that included a staged tumble down the stairs, rapping and later an impromptu "Carpool Karaoke" with stars like Jennifer Lopez and John Legend. Despite the favorable reviews he received his first time as host, Corden told "CBS This Morning" he still doesn't feel like he's totally ready. 2018 Grammy Awards: How to watch on TV and online "I certainly don't feel like I've got this about any facet of my life, really," Corden said. "I'm from High Wycombe which is a town that none of you have heard of. That's how small it is. And so to be hosting a show like the Grammys is so far beyond anything I ever thought I would ever do with my life. We're going to try and, you know, just not ruin it, really." The star-studded lineup of performers for this year's ceremony include Kendrick Lamar, Khalid, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino and Sam Smith. For Corden, the Grammys stand apart from other awards shows for exactly that reason. "We're just going to try and, you know, arrive with some little bits of fun because most award shows, let's be honest, are groups of millionaires giving each other statues, and the Grammys is different than that because the Grammys is all about the performances. It's all about the music," he said. With the highly anticipated wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set for this summer, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King asked Corden if he, as someone from Britain, is as excited about the royal wedding as America seems to be. "I think, inherently, as British people, we just don't get quite as excited about anything as America does," he Continue Reading

Charles F. Bryan Jr.: America was Great Britain’s Vietnam

The PBS broadcast of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary on the Vietnam War was both compelling and disturbing. Most disturbing to me was listening to White House audiotapes of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and their advisors make decisions that in retrospect were horrendous mistakes resulting in death and destruction on a large scale. Equally troubling was the dubious information military leaders and civilian officials fed the public that painted a more optimistic picture of the real situation. The series reminded me of an insightful article by military historian Richard Ketchum published nearly 50 years ago in American Heritage Magazine. Titled “England’s Vietnam: The American Revolution,” Ketchum pointed out just how much those three presidents could have benefited from examining “the ghostly footsteps of America’s last king before pursuing their adventure in Vietnam.” *** King George III grew increasingly concerned with the growing discontent of American colonists and their calls for self-government. He was determined to preserve the British Empire, fearing that if the American colonies were lost, it would have a domino effect. In the beginning, he noted that the rebellion was “the most serious in which any country was ever engaged. ... Should (it) succeed ... the West Indies must follow, not in independence, but for their own interest they must become dependent on America. Ireland would soon follow.” Like the U.S. in the mid-20th-century, Great Britain in the 18th-century was the mightiest nation on Earth. Its powerful navy and army were unequaled in strength and experience. At the beginning of the conflict with the American colonies, King George and his advisers were convinced the war would be won quickly. One British officer wrote that “I am satisfied that one active campaign, a smart action, and the burning of two or three of their towns, will set everything right.” As Ketchum notes, however, Continue Reading

Trump mends fences with Great Britain

By Catherine Lucey Published 3:18 pm, Thursday, January 25, 2018 Photo: Evan Vucci, Associated Press Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Prime Minister Theresa May (left) described U.S.-British relations as a “really special relationship.” Prime Minister Theresa May (left) described U.S.-British relations as a “really special relationship.” Photo: Evan Vucci, Associated Press Trump mends fences with Great Britain 1 / 1 Back to Gallery DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump barreled into a global summit in the Swiss Alps on Thursday, dismissing as a “false rumor” the idea that there are tensions in the U.S. relationship with Britain. Trump’s debut appearance at the glitzy World Economic Forum was hotly anticipated, with longtime attendees of the free-trade-focused event wondering how the “America First” president would fit in. Crowds clustered around Trump as he entered the modern conference hall, the president telling passers-by that he was bringing a message of “peace and prosperity.” LATEST SFGATE VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing New population of red handfish discovered off Tasmanian coast Antonia Cooper/IMAS The San Francisco Chronicle NBA All-Star mock draft San Francisco Chronicle Official trailer: Winchester Lionsgate Hail storm in Petaluma Jan. 25, 2018 Lisa Foot of snow fall on Alpine Meadows Courtesy Alpine Meadows Rainy night on Highway 80 in S.F.: January 24, 2018 Amy Graff The Story of the Burke Junction Railroad NK Media The Story of the Burke Junction Railroad NK Media The San Andreas and Hayward Faults Martin do Nascimento Rainfall forecast for Bay Area NWS Bay Area Trump framed his visit as a sign of positive things happening for the U.S. economy. “When I Continue Reading

Election cycles boost unscientific ‘research’ and polling data

With every election cycle, we see more and more research and polling data offered up by the news outlets. The year 2016 could be a record-breaker in that regard. And not only news outlet polls, but news channels like Fox News playing "focus groups" as program content and "audience dials" that track reactions in realtime to sound bites by candidates. Of course, there's also the plea to "vote" for your position on a particular issue via social media by the news show, as we are reminded by the host/anchor "the results are un-scientific." Really? No kidding. Our collective obsession with research, whether it's rankings of "the friendliest city in America" to "the most affordable college" to "the most trustworthy candidate," may well eclipse baseball as the national past time. Or is it football now? Let me check the stats on that … What does all of this mean? For the news outlets, it means two things: Brand building and ratings content. It's akin to the space race … Who can rush a poll to publication before the other guy and get it quoted by the competition, because it's news, right? And now we have "research as theater," pitting opposing groups against each other, tightly packed on stadium seating, facilitated by a non-professional (the show's host) and calling it a "focus group." To paraphrase Senator Bensten's famous retort to Dan Quayle: "I know focus groups, focus groups have been a friend of mine. You, sir, are no focus group." I can only imagine what real facilitators and qualified researchers think when they see Sean Hannity putting one of these on and calling it a focus group. Can't print that here, I'd imagine. What's the poor consumer of news and opinion to do with this steadily increasing barrage of research-as-news? As a marketing guy, let me help sort this whole topic of research out in the following four basic observations. Because trust me, it's only going to get worse. Continue Reading

Walker Cup: For love of golf, country and Long Island fun

The Walker Cup comes back to where it started next weekend, to the iconic National Golf Links of America on the east end of Long Island, where Charles Blair Macdonald laid out one of the first and still finest golf courses in the U.S. The amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup pits 10-man teams from the U.S. and Great Britain and Ireland against each other over two days of foursomes and individual match play. We know there’s a lot to do, it being the first week of the NFL season, the start of high school football on the island and with the pennant races and U.S. Open tennis in full swing so we put together a list of 12 reasons why every golf fan should venture out to take it in: 1. It’s a chance for the U.S. to win something for a change. Every team cup between the U.S. and Europe currently resides overseas, including this one, which was returned after three straight American wins amid the wind and rain of Royal Aberdeen two years ago. Since then, the Ryder Cup went to the Euros thanks to that Sunday debacle at Medinah and the American ladies were throttled in the Solheim Cup just a couple of weeks ago. 2. There will be no over-exuberant, ill-timed celebrations from Michelle Wie. 3. The way golf is going these days, it won’t be long before these guys are winning PGA Tour events. Jordan Spieth, Russell Henley, Patrick Cantlay and Peter Uihlein were all on the last U.S. team. One sure-fire future star is GB&I’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who won the U.S. Amateur after winning the Silver Medal as the leading amateur at The Open Championship at Muirfield. 4. Justin Timberlake is not emcee’ing the opening ceremony. 5. It’s a dress rehearsal for spectators for the 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black. Long Islanders have 11 years to prepare for the big show where much will be expected of their lung power and creativity. They might as well start early and do everyone proud.Guidelines: No “Mashed potatoes,” Continue Reading

@ISSUE: Is America still great? See rankings

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again — a backhanded way of stating that it isn’t so today. American politicians’ soaring rhetoric is an odd mixture of hyperbole that cuts both ways: On the one hand, they wax poetic about us being the greatest nation on earth. Then, in the next breath, they talk about all the ways in which the nation is broken. Perhaps, actor/comedian John Cleese sums up the paradox best: “The U.S. is an insane mixture of the very best and very worst.” Is America No. 1? Or is deeply flawed? We turned to a variety of comparative international rankings on key political, economic and quality of life measures to help put our global standing in perspective. It appears Cleese had it about right: MORE:  Is America No.1? Find out if you were right Military strength: U.S. rank: #1 U.S. is far and away the leading military power. In 2015, $581 billion was budgeted for the military, nearly four times that of second-place China, 10 times that of third-place Saudi Arabia and more than the next 10 countries combined, according to Globalfirepower.comWe are second only to China in our active military (just ahead of India). We have nearly four times more military aircraft than runner-up Russia. And we have nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad, according to politico.com. Britain, France and Russia have about 30 foreign bases combined. Size of economy: U.S. rank: #1China has been closing the gap, but the U.S. still has a big edge, with a Gross Domestic Product of $19 trillion, compared to China’s $12 trillion, according to the IMF’s 2016 World Economic Outlook. (Japan is third, with GDP of $4.3 trillion.)The U.S. controls 41 percent of the world’s personal wealth, and China is second with a 10.9 percent share, according to Allianz’s 2015 Global Wealth Report. The U.S. also has more than 40 percent of the world’s millionaires, more than four Continue Reading

Walker Cup returns to National Golf Links of America for first time since 1922 as USA takes on Great Britain-Ireland

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The last time the Walker Cup was played at the National Golf Links of America, Bobby Jones was looking for his first major title, knickers with a shirt and tie were the only acceptable attire on the links and the 1920s were in their full-throated roar. It was Gatsbyesque, and it’s fitting the match-play event returns to Long Island on the same course where the inaugural Walker Cup was played in 1922. The United States faces the team from Great Britain and Ireland on the historic Charles Macdonald-designed course Sept. 7-8, hoping the return to home soil will be what it needs to reclaim the Cup. GBI has won three of the last four Walker Cups on its home turf, including 2011 at Royal Aberdeen, Scotland. The U.S. holds a 34-8-1 overall lead in the biennial event. “I want to get the trophy back to the United States,” said Jim Holtgrieve, who was on three winning Walker Cup teams (1979, ’81, ’83) and returns as the U.S. captain after the 2011 loss. “Being captain again is the most significant mulligan I’ve ever had in my life. I really wanted to come here. This course really makes you think and manage your game.” The selection process is ongoing, and the 10 players for each team will be announced Aug. 19. Walker Cup rosters have boasted some of the biggest names in the game before they were stars, guys like Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Jones, who helped win the first Walker Cup in 1922 and was the most successful amateur golfer in history with 13 major titles, would still recognize the National. Other than some minor modifications and added length, the course plays nearly the same as it did 91 years ago. The USGA, which at times has been criticized for making some courses so difficult that they border on unfair, doesn’t believe that will be a concern at the National. The course will play Continue Reading

Our View: Trump’s first week did not put America first

Donald Trump’s vision of fortress America is built on false assumptions. It is delivered in impulsive spurts. It runs contrary to this nation’s best interests.His actions this week represent campaign rhetoric come to life as some sort of scary zombie — straining the credulity of those who didn’t believe he really meant that stuff. It echoes isolationist, nationalist sentiments in Europe with little regard for facts.If you want to see the disconnect with reality, consider his signature issue: The Wall.As Trump launches a design process, Republicans in Congress offer to front him a few billion – the deficit be damned – and Trump’s insistence that Mexico will pay us back results in Mexico’s president cancelling a state visit.The wall is best understood as symbolic chest thumping at a friendly neighbor. But why?There are already significant barriers on much of the southern border and topographic realities that make a wall impractical in other areas.The expensive process of militarizing the border began in earnest under Bill Clinton and it continued in the Bush II and Obama administrations.MONTINI: OK, Mr. Bannon, I'll keep my 'mouth shut'Those are real, provable facts, not “alternative facts” designed to befuddle and discredit reality.While billions have been spent on border enforcement, Congress failed to address the root causes of illegal immigration, which used to be almost exclusively about jobs and Mexico, but now include the heartbreaking dynamic of Central American women and children seeking refuge from violence.The numbers of illegal border crossings are way down. Mexico beefed up its southern border to stop Central Americans in a sign of cooperation with U.S. border goals.Mexico also cooperates with the United States on fighting international crime, and can play an important role in helping U.S. law enforcement combat money laundering, sex trafficking, terrorism and drug smuggling, Continue Reading

Trump changes more and more positions as his staff tries to explain why

WASHINGTON — Three months in office, President Trump is giving the world policy whiplash.A week after ordering a missile strike on Syria — in stark contrast to the position he took as a private citizen in 2013 — the still-new president is now reversing himself on a host of issues, from Russia to NATO, from Chinese currency valuation to the worthiness of the Export-Import Bank.All presidents change positions once they get into office and receive more information, but Trump's pace "is still pretty remarkable," said political scientist Nicole Renee Hemmer, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center."We’ve had plenty of evidence over the past year and a half that Trump is a man of impulses more than a man of doctrine," she said, "which makes his policies much more pliable than most politicians."In a sense, it's "welcome to the White House" for Trump. The president who had no previous experience in political office is simply learning more about the array of issues that confront any chief executive, according to administration aides and political analysts.In some cases, Trump appears to be using new policies as bargaining chips for other goals. He suggested this week that he would stop accusing China of manipulating currency rates if the Beijing government would help the United States deter North Korea's nuclear threats.Another reason: The seeming triumph, at least so far, of Trump advisers who are bigger backers of the global economy, such as senior aides Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, over the "economic nationalist" wing championed by political strategist Steve Bannon.Trump, meanwhile, said he is keeping his promises "one by one." On Twitter, he said he is busy reducing government regulations in order to stimulate the economy, particularly in the energy sector. "Jobs are returning, illegal immigration is plummeting, law, order and justice are being restored," Trump tweeted Continue Reading

Rojeski and curlers throw away shot at gold

PINEROLO, Italy - Maybe the marriage proposals via E-mail threw him off, or maybe he just recognized a losing cause when he saw it. American curler Shawn Rojeski had a chance to keep his team close while it trailed Canada last night, and he hogged the rock. For those of you not from Minnesota, that is a bad thing. It means his stone did not clear the "hog" line at the other end of the ice, meaning that stone was removed from play. Essentially, Rojeski gave the Canadians an extra turn, and by the end of that "end" (like an inning in baseball), the Canadian team took a massive 11-5 lead. "Yeah, you could say it was a mistake," Rojeski said. Mathematically, the Americans hadn't been eliminated, but the etiquette and the odds of the moment called for them to concede, and they did so, dropping the semifinal match. Canada, the home to an estimated 94% of the world's curlers, played a nearly perfect game, and will now play Finland, led by rising Finnish folk hero Markku Uusipaavalniemi, in the gold-medal game. America's rock stars, the team from Bemidji, Minn., that has surprisingly captured the attention of bar patrons all over the United States, will not compete for a gold medal tomorrow. But they have a chance at bronze, which would still be more than any American curling team has ever accomplished. (The match will really be a battle between Minnesota and Scotland, but the uniforms will say United States and Great Britain.) "This is the Olympics. These are the best teams in the world. We're happy to be amongst them," team skip Pete Fenson said. They all spoke about being awed by their surroundings. "In the opening ceremonies, from the moment we entered the stadium to the time we sat down, my hair stood on end," curler John Shuster said. Rojeski has indeed gotten marriage proposals, his teammates confirmed, and the entire Fab Four has been recognized by other athletes in the village. "We're not used to that kind of attention," Fenson said. And after Continue Reading