Nestor Carbonell 'Morning Show' Mocks Cancel Culture ... My Character Pays the Price

THAT'S THE POINT!!!
TMZ.com

Nestor Carbonell, the weather guy on "The Morning Show," says his character is the new poster child for cancel culture -- and how out of control it's gotten -- which was the whole point of season 2.

Nestor plays Yanko Flores on the Apple TV+ drama, and when we saw him at LAX, he solved a tiny mystery about his storyline. Don't worry ... if ya haven't seen it yet, we're not giving away much.

In a nutshell ... Yanko was doing a report about famed groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, when he refers to the little guy as his "spirit animal." That sets off a "woke mob" backlash, his bosses get pissed and the weatherman meteorologist gets hung out to dry.

Fans have been debating whether the Yanko plot was mocking cancel culture or embracing it -- and, not to offend equestrian lovers -- but, we went straight to the horse's mouth for the answer.

Nestor tells us, "What [Yanko] was canceled for was kind of absurd, which is kind of the point." There ya have it ... straight-up satire!!!

Check out the clip, though ... turns out playing a guy who gets taken down by the Twitterverse did have a real-world impact on Nestor, who now views these sorts of controversies with a slightly different perspective.

Mitt Romney Ted Lasso For Halloween ... Quotes 'Friday Night Lights'

Mitt Romney transformed into lovable soccer coach Ted Lasso for Halloween ... but the Utah senator might have gotten his fictional characters mixed up in the process, 'cause he used a quote from "Friday Night Lights" to show off his look.

The Republican out of Utah sported some AFC Richmond gear, a nice pair of khakis and a 'stache to resemble Jason Sudeikis' character in the Apple TV show ... posting several shots via Twitter on Thursday.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema joined in on the fun, too ... playing team owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham's role) as Romney hands her his daily delicious biscuit.

Romney shares one of Ted's best Lassoisms ... saying, "Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain't warmed up properly, something real bad could happen."

He also shared some non-Lassoisms ... saying, "If you believe in yourself, and have clear eyes and full hearts -- you can’t lose" ... which is actually a line delivered by coach Eric Taylor in 'FNL.'

Now, there are a few reasonable explanations here -- whoever runs Romney's social team may not have seen "Ted Lasso" yet and didn't do much research before sending out the tweet ... or maybe Romney himself hasn't tuned in and was just taking a shot in the dark.

Either way, it's a solid swing and a miss from Mitt ... but good job, good effort. Now be like a goldfish and forget about it.

Kanye West 'Donda' Downs Competition on Apple Music #1 in 130 Countries!!!

Kanye West's long-awaited "Donda" album has been worth the added wait for the rapper ... it's Apple Music's top album in 130 countries, the most #1 entries in history.

As we reported ... after delaying the release of his 10th studio album for several weeks and keeping fans on pins and needles as he continued to hold "Donda" listening parties, it finally came out this weekend -- but not without drama.

First, Ye posted texts suggesting a recent holdup was due to DaBaby not signing the necessary releases to clear his verse for the song "Jail, Pt. 2" ... but that was later cleared up and his verse was added.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

However, Kanye also claimed Sunday that the album was put out by his label, UMG, without his approval and they blocked "Jail pt. 2" from being included ... but it is included on both Apple and Spotify.

Speaking of Spotify ... Kanye's album's doing work there too -- his "Jail" track featuring Jay-Z and Francis and the Lights debuted at #1 on the U.S. Spotify chart with 4.277 million streams. That's the biggest debut for any song this year.

DONDA TAKES CHICAGO
TMZ.com

So, love it or hate it -- and we know there are plenty of people who certainly hate it -- "Donda" is a huge success so far ... and sets up a major showdown with Drake this week.

His new album, "Certified Lover Boy," comes out this Friday ... which could make for some more spicy beef.

Kanye West 'Donda' Finally Released!!! After Middle-of-the-Night Drama

12:29 PM PT -- Ye just got a plug from none other than his estranged wife, Kim, with her posting screenshots of her seemingly listening to the new album herself ... but she might've flubbed the presentation.

KK threw up a few screenshots of what appear to be her fave tracks from "Donda," including the titular track, "Come to Life," "Lord I Need You," "Hurricane," and "Ok Ok Pt 2." The problem that people quickly noticed ... she's got the volume all the way down in four out of five of those screengrabs -- which suggests she's got 'em on mute, and isn't really listening.

All the songs except for 'CTL' appear to be playing without any sound ... which some find kinda hilarious.

Now, of course, Kim HAS listened to the music -- she's been to all the listening events, and probably knows the tracklist frontward and backward. As for why her volume is all the way down in most of these, though ... who the heck knows?

In any case ... more signs of a united front as these two continue to show flashes of a possible rekindling.

9:33 AM PT -- "Donda" has been adjusted on streaming services to include DaBaby’s verse on a new track named "Jail, Pt. 2."

Well, it finally happened ... "Donda" is out!!!

Kanye finally released his long-awaited album ... this, after multiple listening parties and would-be release dates that came and went.

The album, which has 26 songs, hit Apple Music and Spotify Sunday AM.

The release was not without drama ... in the middle of the night, Kanye posted tweets which seemed to say the most recent hold-up was that DaBaby hadn't signed the necessary releases to clear his verse for the song "Jail." DaBaby is not on the track, instead, Jay-Z appears. You'll recall, Jay recorded his verse hours before the first listening party in Atlanta ... a sign their feud was squashed. It was confusing when DaBaby replaced Jay's verse at the Chicago listening party, but Jay is now back.

DONDA TAKES CHICAGO
TMZ.com

The album was initially supposed to be released July 23. That date got moved to August 6. Then it became unclear exactly when the album would hit streaming services. Kanye's manager promised it would be released following last Thursday's listening event at Soldier Field in Chicago ... and that promise was kept.

Ye famously tinkers with his albums even after their release ... e.g., "The Life of Pablo," so the same may happen with "Donda."

As for the songs on the album, it's heavily religious ... "Donda Chant," "Jail," "God Breathed," "Off the Grid," "Hurricane," "Praise God," "Jonah," "Ok Ok," "Junya," "Believe What I Say," "24," "Remote Control," "Moon," "Heaven and Hell," "Donda," "Keep My Spirit Alive," "Jesus Lord," "New Again," "Tell the Vision," "Lord I Need You," "Pure Souls," "Come to Life," "No Child Left Behind," "Ok Ok, Pt. 2," "Junya, Pt. 2," "Jesus Lord, Pt. 2."

Here's what's interesting ... Drake seemed to drop a clue last week his album will drop Friday ... so with the release of "Donda," Drake and Ye will be going head-to-head for #1 bragging rights.

And, the final mystery ... Kim Kardashian. As you know, she wore a wedding dress at the Chicago listening party. TMZ broke the story, the divorce is not a done deal anymore. Kanye and Kim have been seeing each other privately, and they seem to be trying to work things out ... whatever those things are.

Originally Published -- 6:29 AM PT

NBA's Jason Preston Uses First Check For Phone Upgrade ...'I Had The iPhone 7!!!'

READY FOR THE BIG LEAGUES
TMZSports.com

L.A. Clippers rookie Jason Preston has made his first big purchase after becoming a pro baller ... and it's not a house or a car -- but a new iPhone!!

The 22-year-old former Ohio Bobcats star was the Clips' #33 overall pick in the NBA Draft last month ... which secured him a 3-year, $4.4 million deal.

So, naturally, when we ran into the hooper out at LAX this week, we had to ask if he's treated himself to anything nice after making it big time ... and he dished on his favorite new toy.

"This phone," Preston said while showing off the new gadget. "I had an iPhone 7 before. I got a 12 now."

BTW -- the 6-foot-4 guard shot 43% from midrange and averaged 9 points and 4.8 assists per game during Summer League play ... and said he was able to chop it up with new teammates Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who were there to support their rookies.

"They've been great!"

Of course, if you haven't heard of Preston's story, it's pretty incredible -- he averaged 2 points a game during his senior year of high school and nearly pursued a career in journalism before enrolling at a prep school, where he blossomed into a baller.

He later joined Ohio, where he had huge games against some notable basketball programs in the country ... impressing the Clippers so much, they took him with their first second-round pick.

Enjoy the new phone, Jason ... and best of luck in the Association!!

Bill Maher Apple's Move to Check Phones for Child Porn is Appalling

Bill Maher took a subject that, on the surface, doesn't seem debatable, and he then tore it apart ... Apple announcing it would scan customers' phones for child porn.

The "Real Time" host was incredulous ... calling it a shocking breach of privacy. Mind you, he was not pro child porn, but he said there's a much bigger issue. A phone, he argued, is no different than a wallet or a purse. No one would argue those items are fair game for others to peruse, so what's the different between a wallet and a phone?

He did get something wrong ... he called it a "blatant Constitutional breach" and a violation of the 4th Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. Fact is ... that only applies to government intrusions -- not private companies. Nevertheless, we get the point.

Bill then went on to make a larger point ... the damage smart phones do to our society. As he says, "They turn people into assholes."

Watch ... it's interesting.

Kanye West 'DONDA' Listening Event ... Breaks Apple Streaming record!!!

Kanye West packed the house for his 'DONDA' listening party -- but he packed in a whole lot more than just that ... dude set a record on Apple that no artist has ever come near.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Ye's album event this past week at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta broke the Apple Music Global Livestream record ... with 3.3 million viewers who tuned in on their screens.

DR. DONDA WEST
Courtesy Apple

That's a heck of a lot more than the previous record, we're told, which was set by Gucci Mane and Jeezy in their highly-anticipated Verzuz battle earlier last year -- at a reported 1.8 million viewers. Kanye practically doubled the number as a solo act!

BTW, the 'DONDA' moment was a one-time deal -- meaning it aired live for people to stream, but hasn't gone back up on Apple for folks to watch again. So, that figure -- 3.3M unique sets of eyeballs -- is a one and done. It'd be a little harder to calculate if the thing was in circulation.

Our sources tell us once Kanye releases Donda -- it's projected to drop August 6 -- the Atlanta performance will be posted to Apple for fans to watch again.

RETURN OF THE KINGS
TMZ.com

Like we first told you ... even though the event is over, the party's still going for Kanye himself ... who's moved into MB Stadium (temporarily) to finish the album. Apparently, he was so inspired by the energy around him Thursday -- he just nestled in and got back to work.

With all the hype -- and hard data to back it now -- ya gotta figure the numbers for this album will follow suit ... and perhaps reach new heights that even Ye hasn't seen.

Too Short & E-40 Biggest 'Verzuz' Production Yet ... Nearly $500k Budget!!!

"Verzuz" is pulling out all the stops for its 2020 finale, and when Too Short and E-40 hit the stage it'll look like a full-fledged arena concert ... proving how much of a cash cow the show's become.

The Bay Area icons will face off on a soundstage in NorCal that will reflect the nearly $500,000 budget for this single event ... according to sources involved in the production.

TMZ obtained a blueprint of the stage setup for 40 and Short, and you can tell Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Apple are thinking big.

We're told the MCs will be surrounded by concert-style lighting and some expensive props -- 2 classic old school cars will be on stage behind each of them. Makes sense, both Short and 40 have told us their battle will be an homage to the Bay's hip-hop scene.

Our sources say Apple -- which is now streaming all the "Verzuz" episodes -- realizes how much of a cultural phenomenon the show is, and they're spending like it.

In fact, Short and 40 almost squared off at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Campus, but due to COVID safety concerns, the show had to be moved.

BRING IT ON!!!
TMZ.com

Unlike Jeezy and Gucci Mane, the Oakland legends are longtime friends who come into the "Verzuz" beef-free. However, when they came on "TMZ Live," it was very clear they're both playing to win.

Translation: Expect lots of old school trash talk to go along with the new school big-budget production.

Steve Wozniak The CDC Blew Me Off in January ... When I Told Them My COVID Story

I SOUNDED ALARM, CDC DIDN'T LISTEN
TMZ.com

Steve Wozniak got incredibly sick after a trip to Asia in late December, and he's now sure it was COVID, but he couldn't get the attention of the CDC.

The Apple co-founder and his wife Janet were in Asia in December 2019, traveling through several spots where COVID-19 is believed to have first spread -- including China -- before returning to the U.S. on January 4. He took a selfie with someone from Wuhan, suggesting that's how both he and his wife contracted the virus.

Steve says he and his wife got incredibly sick -- worse than any flu by a long shot. He says they were coughing up blood, had diarrhea and other symptoms that lasted 3 weeks, subsided and then flared up again in March.

Steve says when he got back he gave his data to the CDC, telling them lots of people on the plane ride from Hong Kong back to the U.S. were coughing. The response from the CDC ... "They could care less about my story."

Steve says his case study proves the CDC was wrong when it said the first cases were in Seattle in mid to late January ... he thinks there was an untold number of people infected way before the alarm was sounded in the U.S.

Steve says from his vantage point, COVID was in the U.S. in December, and his theory is supported by a recent study.

BTW, Wozniak just started his first company since Apple -- a blockchain-based platform called EFFORCE that funds energy-efficient businesses. If history's any indication ... it's gonna be a pretty big deal.

Barack Obama to Oprah What I Miss About Being President ... Oval, Music & Travel!!!

KEEPIN' IT COOL
AppleTV+

Barack Obama was feeling nostalgic talking to Oprah about his new book -- reminiscing on what he missed most about being President ... and his answers might surprise you.

44 sat down for a chat with O on her Apple TV+ show, "The Oprah Conversation," in which they discussed his latest written project -- "A Promised Land" -- and also took a trip down memory lane about the perks that a Commander in Chief gets to enjoy.

He admitted flying on Air Force 1 and Marine 1 is an unmatched experience -- and one he sincerely misses -- because of the exceptional staff, and not having to wait around to get somewhere.

Barack also said he always took joy walking into the Oval Office -- where he says he could feel the ghosts of Presidents past all around him -- and he revealed his favorite view from the White House.

And, of course, BO says he got a kick out of the intimate White House performances they'd put on every now and then for free -- with some marquee acts swinging by, like Paul McCartney ... who famously sang The Beatles' "Michelle" to the First Lady in 2010.

Good times and good memories.

Pablo Escobar's Bro Sues Apple for $2.6 Billion ... iPhone X Almost Killed Me!!!

Pablo Escobar's brother says his life was threatened because of lax security protocols on his phone ... so, now he wants Apple to cough up billions.

The notorious Colombian kingpin's bro, Roberto, is suing Apple for a whopping $2.6 BILLION, claiming someone hacked his smartphone and found his address through FaceTime, even though he claims an Apple employee assured him the iPhone X was the most secure on the market.

According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Pablo's brother bought an iPhone X back in April 2018, and he claims the security promise fell horribly flat. One year after buying the X, Roberto claims he got a life-threatening letter from someone named Diego, who said he found Roberto's address through FaceTime.

In the docs, Pablo's bro says he had to relocate for his safety, and lost a ton of money beefing up his security ... not to mention the emotional distress he says he suffered as a result of the security breach. Roberto claims he had several assassination attempts on his life before buying the iPhone X, and only bought the phone because he'd been assured his info would be safe from hackers.

In the suit, Roberto says he conducted his own investigation after receiving the letter, and found his iPhone had been compromised due to a FaceTime vulnerability.

Pablo's brother is not stopping at a lawsuit ... Roberto is also going after Apple's bread and butter.

GOIN' FOR GOLD

Roberto just launched a limited edition gold-plated iPhone 11 Pro 256GB, which his Escobar Inc company is hawking for $499. Roberto says it's his way of fighting Apple -- selling their phones at a lower price, with gold-plating and sexy girls showing off the phones.

Pablo's brother says ... "Apple can never do that."

Roberto also bought and launched the domain name www.ripapple.com, which links to his gold-plated iPhone. He says the website will have "proof showing how the people of the world were scammed by Apple Inc, buying crap for crazy prices."

If he wins the lawsuit, Roberto says he will share the dough with people who bought iPhones and "ultimately donate it all."

We reached out to Apple ... so far, no word back.

Warren Buffett Yep, Finally Got Myself an iPhone!!! Use It Like a Flip Though

FLIPPIN' OUT
MSNBC

Warren Buffett is getting with the times at the ripe age of 89 -- FINALLY buying himself a nifty smartphone ... but still using it like the flip phone he's left behind.

The billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO was chatting with CNBC Monday, talking about Apple and how great of a company it's turned out to be ... speculating about its stock value and that sorta thing. During the convo, he dropped a bombshell ... new phone, who dis?

Yep, ol' Warren says he's caved at last and purchased himself the latest edition of Apple's iPhone, which has apparently become his go-to mobile device. RIP to his notorious $20 Samsung flip phone, which he'd been using for at least the past several years.

Warren had some pretty good things to say about his new celly -- which he affectionately seems to think is called the one and only "Smartphone." Anyway, the guy says iPhones have permeated just about everyone's lives in modern society ... and are revolutionary.

He even likens it to when the original telephone was created way back when, explaining the iPhone has had that same sorta cultural impact ... perhaps even more so.

As for how he uses his cool new gadget, Warren says he's still basic AF ... just utilizing the lone the phone call function. Nice ... never change, WB!!!

Cristiano Ronaldo Rocks Ancient Music Device ... Is That an iPod Shuffle?!

8:48 AM PT -- So, laugh all you want ... but Ronaldo just scored a HAT TRICK as Juventus steam rolled Cagliari Calcio in a 4-0 victory. Keep the Shuffle pal.

THIS IS NOT A PHOTO FROM 2010!!!

This is Cristiano Ronaldo wearing an iPod Shuffle -- and it was shot TODAY!! In 2020!!!

The Juventus superstar arrived at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy to take on Cagliari Calcio on Monday sporting the Apple music device, which was discontinued back in 2017.

CR7's being clowned on social media for the device -- no one can figure out why such a rich, powerful and stylish guy wouldn't update his tech! We did some digging, you can find a Shuffle on eBay for like $20.

Some people think he's using it as a distraction to take the attention off of his new top knot hairstyle!

FYI, Apple stopped updating the Shuffle in 2010 -- letting it die a slow and painful death after realizing most people were using their phones for music storage instead of a separate device.

Still better than a Zune, right!?

Barack Obama Power Dinner With Apple CEO and 'The Irishman'

Barack Obama, Tim Cook and Robert De Niro likely all have a spot on the list of celebs people want to have dinner with ... and the trio was seated at the same table Monday night in NYC.

The former U.S. Prez, the Apple CEO and the movie star met up at Yves restaurant in the City's Tribeca neighborhood for a meeting of the minds ... and we're told they dined for several hours.

So, the big question here -- other than who picked up the check -- is what the heck did they talk about? Politics? Technology? Movies? Streaming services? De Niro's appearance on CNN last month?

Gotta think they reminisced about that last one for sure.

Anyway, Obama's New York visit's been pretty low-key other than the power dinner -- no big speeches or fundraising galas on the books -- and he's even crashing at a friend's place.

Okay, he's staying at The Greenwich Hotel -- which is owned by De Niro -- but still pretty chill for a former POTUS.

Steve Wozniak Get Off Facebook!!! Privacy Concerns Scare Me

THEY'RE LISTENING ...
TMZ.com

Steve Wozniak has a warning for anyone who uses social media ... the platforms are eavesdropping on your private conversations, and sending that precious data to advertisers.

We got Steve at Reagan National Airport in D.C. Friday and just had to ask him if he's worried about Facebook, Instagram and others infringing on his privacy ... the Woz says he's terrified, and you should be too!!!

Steve knows what he's talking about ... the dude co-founded Apple, and he's very much plugged into Silicon Valley and all aspects of tech. 

JUST A COINCIDENCE
CBS This Morning

The paranoia surrounding social media spying is top of mind right now after Gayle King called BS on Instagram chief Adam Mosseri's assertion the platform does NOT listen in on your private convos. 

Woz says he ain't buying the company line, either ... and he explains why anything you say in the presence of your electronics is readily made available to all sorts of entities. 

Check out our clip ... Steve makes some pretty good suggestions for ways to fix the system, and he has a dire warning for anyone who is hooked on Facebook.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!