Sherman-Sportscaster

Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell, the first African-American sportscaster, died of complications from pneumonia on Wednesday, according to Newark’s Star-Ledger. He was 100.

A chronicler of the Negro Leagues, Maxwell began his broadcast career in 1929, reading game scores weekly on the WNJR radio station in Newark. He worked for various stations, all while working as a postal clerk. He retired from radio in 1967.

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Stephen Colbert appears on the August cover of Esquire, in which he discusses the nation’s latest crisis: white men becoming “completely marginalized” as Barack Obama dominates the political landscape as “The Man.”

The hysterical host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report says white men are a “rainbow of diversity–from beige to bone to ivory to taupe to eggshell,” and the “greatest victimization of all” is “being robbed of your ability to be a victim.”

“Barack Obama’s presidential campaign presents a historic opportunity, not just for one black men to become president,” Colbert says, “but for all white men to feel powerless. It’s our turn.”

Here are some highlights from the “Struggle of White Men in America,” according to the boxer-clad cover guy:

  • Calling John McCain the “Great Pale Hope,” Colbert says he’s their “ghostly white beacon.”
  • In reference to the White House: “A separate house for Whites?! What year is this? C’mon!”
  • “In the 1980s, white men were forced to wear effeminate pastel blazers [on Miami Vice] while black men got all the cool sweaters [on The Cosby Show].”
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Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch, who has styled everyone from Halle Berry to Beyoncé, writes in his column for ABC News that Forest Whitaker’s oldest daughter, Autumn, is “my my newest protégé at 16.”

Bloch, whose “BFF and traveling buddy” is Whitaker’s 36-year-old wife Keisha, says Autumn “doesn’t fall far from the tree!” The in-demand stylist accompanied the Whitakers and Autumn to Paris during Couture Fashion Week, where Keisha was “thrilled at the idea of seeing fashion to the umpteenth degree.”

“I think there has to be a happy middle ground between couture and ready-to-wear,” Keisha, who Bloch says is “one of the few who actually wears couture,” says of her fashion philosophy. “In fashion, there are definitely those statement moments and other times where classic chic and subtle work best.”

Bloch writes, “I’m happy to say I had a part in one of those statement moments, when I dressed Keisha for the 2006 Oscars. The buttercup yellow bias-draped Georges Chakra [pictured with Bloch and the Whitakers] sheath she wore the year her husband Forest won for best actor helped launch the couturier’s successful foray into red carpet dressing.”

PHOTO: Tony Huge/ABC News

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Many writers and comedians are having a hard time creating punchlines when it comes to Barack Obama, according to two articles in the New York Times.

“There’s a weird reverse racism going on,” late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said of the mostly-white staff and comedians, who are having difficulty getting past Obama’s pristine veneer–and race.

The Times claims that due to the presidential hopeful’s ethnicity, lack of “buffoonish”-ness, and audiences’ resistance to seeing him skewered, Obama’s “been flayed by the sort of ridicule that diminished Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.”

“If Obama keeps being stingy with his quips and smiles, and if the dominant perception of him is that you can’t make jokes about him, it might infect his campaign with an airless quality,” Maureen Dowd says in her column. “His humorlessness could spark humor.”

Mike Sweeney, the head writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien is pretty hopeful: “We’re hoping he picks an idiot as vice president.”

PHOTO: AP

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Promoting two films coming out in August (Swing Vote with Kevin Costner and Mirrors with Kiefer Sutherland), actress Paula Patton appears in the latest issue of Esquire, where she discusses how “surveillance is real.”

“I think the age we’re living in is starting to get scary,” the 32-year-old wife of singer Robin Thicke says. “And think about it: All the technology we have is there to keep us busy…When do they have time to be politically active?”

Although the in-demand actress, who has filmed three films in the past year, says she is “not doing bra and underwear” photos (“I have to draw the line”), she appears in just that: bra and underwear.

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“Oh, I’d castrate him, sure. I wouldn’t use no sharp knife like Jesse Jackson either. I’d take some garden tools to the brother down there and find out how black, or bi-racial, he really is.”

–The satire news service, Crystal Air Productions, fictionalizes what Sharpton would say “outside the Apollo theatre,” referencing Rev. Jesse Jackson’s infamous pledge to cut Barack Obama’s “nuts off.”

PHOTO: AP

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A plan to join the 27 states of the European Union and countries bordering the Mediterranean, including North Africa, has been launched and led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Dubbed the “Union for the Mediterranean”, the plan is outlined as aiming to improve energy supply, fight pollution, and strengthen the surveillance of maritime traffic, among other goals.

Sengal’s President Abdoulaye Wade has criticized the plan, claiming that the union will divide Africa into two separate groups. “Africans should now brace themselves to face up to the consequence of the departure of some African states from the African Union in favor of Europe,” Wade says, pointing out that “there are other obvious goals behind the Union for the Mediterranean initiative like Algeria’s oil and gas and Libyan oil.”

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi also describes the plan as “divisive and dangerous to African and Arab unity.”

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