The first week of 2011 saw plenty of click-worthy entertainment news stories. One of the biggest stories to generate searches this week was the rags-to-riches saga of Ted Williams, a homeless man with a golden voice that has afforded him a chance at a new life.
Ted Williams spent his days panhandling on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, trading change for snippets of his smooth television-announcer voice. However, when a video of his talent hit the web and generated buzz, job offers started pouring in, including one lucrative opportunity to provide voice-overs for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Daily News reports.
Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi, another TV-worthy personality, has been sharing this week's search results with the latest addition to the infamous Jersey Shore cast: Deena Nicole Cortes. The newbie, who is reportedly a long-time friend of Polizzi's, will be joining the crew for a new season of debaucherous adventures. At press time, Deena Nicole Cortes generated 26,900 Google News results.
On a slightly more serious note, when large numbers of dead birds and fish appeared from the skies and seas respectively, internet users were quick to investigate. Experts are still hypothesizing as to the causes behind the phenomena (and web crawlers are still searching for news updates on the stories). Currently there are 30.7 million Google results relating to the animal deaths.
The treatment of Mark Twain's classic novels is one story from the literary world that has been a trending topic all week. Twain's two best-known works, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, have been the subjects of controversy for years, as the original transcripts feature more than 200 racial slurs.
Publishers have changed the offensive terms to read "slaves." Because some high schools have banned the books as a result of the original language, many literary experts feel that the alterations have been a long-time coming.
Others argue this affects the integrity of Twain's works. In an opinion piece published on the Huffington Post, Craig Hotchkiss, the education program manager at the Mark Twain House and Museum writes that "the trendy feel good sentiments of modern political correctness … purges from the original version the ugly truth revealed in the vicious language of racism that Mark Twain had sought to expose during the Jim Crow Era of the late nineteenth century." The debate will likely continue.
In another ongoing story, last week we reported that the upstart of Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN, had generated plenty of interest among online users, and the momentum didn't slow down after its launch. Oprah Winfrey currently returns about 13.7 million Google News items, and OWN offers 81,400 results.
Check back next week to see which entertainment news stories are making headlines and causing controversy as 2011 continues.