September 23rd, 2009
11:35 AM ET

GOOD celeb news? That's Ludacris!

Entertainment news has been even more of a moral cesspool than usual lately, from obnoxious behavior and bitter breakups to alleged extortion, drug abuse, and now claims of incest.  If you don't enjoy reading such stories, rest assured it's not much fun writing them either - not for me, anyway.  (And for those of you who do enjoy them ... well, I still don't like writing them.)

So, in keeping with Alex Haley's admonition to "find the good and praise it," I'd like to call to your attention a story from earlier this month that some of you may have missed.  Many people are struggling to find work right now, and that can be even more difficult if you don't have a car.  Well, that's no longer a problem for 20 job seekers in Atlanta, thanks to a local auto dealer and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.  The rapper/actor and the car dealer teamed up to give away 20 new cars to contest winners who explained in essays how being without a car made their search for a job even tougher.

Sure, Ludacris gets good press out of it, and the dealership likely gets a tax writeoff.  But 20 people are more likely to be able to find work, support their families, and pump money back into the economy as a result ... and those same people got an amazing lift at an especially tough time.  Who couldn't use that?

At the same time people rush to dump on Oprah and others who use their celebrity for good, we also hear a constant stream of "why don't you report good news?"  Consider this our latest attempt to do just that, and encourage more of it.


soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. jim

    i don't want to rain on this parade of good will, but, after the oprah car giveaway, I had read that the people who got the cars from Oprah had to pay a gift tax or something like that...is that also going to be the case with the Ludacris car giveaway??

    September 24, 2009 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. smg

    Keep it coming!

    September 24, 2009 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chris Di Roma

    YES SIR!

    September 24, 2009 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. christina

    I think its great you have taken a stand to report "Good" news. It seems the more we focus on the "bad" – the more there is to report of it. Perhaps if we try looking for the "good" that is out there – the more we will see. Personally, I dont care if a celebrity is doing good just to seek attention! Someone will benefit from the good deed no matter the intention. Not to mention my kids will have a role model worth looking up to instead of getting mixed messages on how to behave in society.

    September 24, 2009 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tiffany

    I think we should all be thankful for acts of kindness, whether it be from celebrities, our friends and family, or complete strangers. I'm sure most of you could look in your local newspaper and find articles about 'common folk' donating just as much time and energy into volunteering, as you can find celebrity news on national news agencies. Just think...reporting celebrities doing good deeds on a national level is equivalent to average citizens being reported about doing good deeds on a town level. Celebrities are everywhere in national news and common citizens deserve a spot in their local paper, too.

    September 24, 2009 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. billp

    I prefer stories that show the basest impulses of humanity and how success corrupts and destroys everything it touches. Seriously, thanks for a rare exception to that rule.

    September 23, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. waytagojoe

    Awesome! Yeah, I am not even a Ludacris fan and I completely agree that was one of the best stories I read this week . . . I just thought cool . . . this guy has done something great that I may never do in my life . . . and yet I feel really touched about it . . . I want to do things like that someday.

    Really great story.

    September 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. brepeno19

    Ludacris is great. He is very charitable. He does a lot for the kids in Atlanta. I'm not a fan of hip hop/rap music but must give credit where credit is due. He's a good actor as well.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amanda

    Thank you! Sometimes the news is a downer. It's nice to be reminded that people, including celebrities, are do-gooders some of the time.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bzmom6893

    What a great story! It's about time to hear of celeb doing something good just to be doing it. No politics involved. I just wish this story had gotten more press coverage. Now, if Ludacris had committed a crime, I'm sure we'd have heard about it ad nauseum. But he does something really great and it barely gets ink. What a shame!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stacey

    Yeah, good news but OLD news. This happened weeks ago. Give us something NEW and good.

    September 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    LUDA!!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mo Jay

    Luda way to step up..

    September 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    I think it is great that they did this. I drive by car lots and see all the cash for clunkers vehicles sitting there waiting to get destroyed and all I can think is that there are thousands of people out there that could use the road worthy cars to get to job interviews and to work. Another example of a program that in theory is good but has some definate flaws. The government could use the existing public aid programs to somehow distribute these vehicles to needy and deserving people. Way to be an example Ludacris.

    September 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dennis

    this is 3 weeks old though, is there anything new? there has to be just as much good news as there is bad news about these people. "Whatever you focus on."

    September 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Carol

    I appreciate that "giving unto others" is still practiced. I know of many famous (I detest the word celebrity) have contributed much of their money and time for others. Many enjoy being in the limelight while others just wish to remain anonymous. Mr. Dunn is one of those, and from personal knowledge i know how he shuns being complimented on doing something that he feels is his duty as a compassionate Christian.

    September 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Cat

    It's awesome to hear good news like this. Thanks, Ludacris, for helping these 20 folks who probably were at their rock bottom (even though they did have to pay taxes, insurance, title, etc.).

    And thanks to all the Oprahs, Brad Pitts, and others out there who continue to help the less fortunate.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Atlanta

    Agree with JDW! Warrick Dunn is a stand up example of a generous human being!

    September 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Carol

    Add me to the list of folks who appreciate hearing good news.

    And if someone does do a GNZ (Good News Zone) TV show as Scully suggested, the perfect music for it would be Anne Murray's "We Sure Could Use a Little Good News Today."

    Thanks, Mr. Daniel, and please keep reporting some good news.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Kate

    Could you please add a 'Good News' link to your website? It would be a positive change from the rest of the news that we read.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. John

    yeah yeah, celebs doing something, people think that's great news. Nothing wrong with this article, except that celebs are not the first people who had the idea to help others. It's the church. Where is the news of churches helping other people? I guess it's no values for liberal media, eh.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  22. JDW

    Every year Warrick Dunn, former Atlanta Falcons running back, would buy and then give a HOUSE to a needy family in Atlanta. He as GIVEN at least 12 HOUSES! The 20 cars is sweet, but, yes, Luda and the press make sure we hear about it. I bet hardly anyone here knows about Warrick Dunn's generosity. Why? Dunn never asked to have it covered. Still, good on you Ludacris. But Warrick Dunn is still my definition of a truly fine, generous man.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Dottie

    I applaud the mind set of wanting to help. However let's follow up on this story with how paying the 28% taxes on this "gift" impacted the lives of these people who were "out of work."

    September 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Thanks David. Please consider making these 'Good News' segments a regular part of your blog. We can all use a little good news and inspiration.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Kanye W.

    Hey Ludacris, that's a great thing you're doing and I'ma let you finish but I gotta say, Oprah had one of the best charities of the year! Of the entire year! (Shrugs)

    September 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  26. LBW

    This is good. I hope you do a follow up on these winners in a few months. Six months down the road will tell if this was hype or the real deal.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  27. amanda

    i agree. we need more inspiring, feel good news. however, we need to also focus on real people, not just celebrities. there are plenty of normal people that are doing great in their communities and bringing the economy forward, small business owners, entrepreneurs.
    take a look at meinfocusmag.com – all about women empowering each other to do great in their communities.

    September 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  28. HP

    Lauren in Seattle: thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am so sick of hearing about every tiny detail of every "celebrity's" life. Who cares? Yes, it is nice that he did this, but if was just an average person sharing their wealth no one would care. This is only "news" because of who did it – not what he did. Disappointing.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jamie

    This is great....Celebrities influence peoples lives, whether some of us like it or not, in an enormous way. Reporting the good deeds, values, and moral they offer the world may get people to start rethinking their own actions and feelings toward others. This I think is the first step the media can take to make a difference in a good way.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Logan

    Finally something positive. Thanks for that.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Sheri

    This is just my personal opinion.

    I think there are many celebrities that do good in this world. Our society thrives on negativity and it really is sad.

    Oprah for one is my idol. I love the things she does and I think she has offered a tremendous amount of her time/money/efforts and caring to the world. I only wish I could do for others like she does. I get so emotional when I watch a show where she is helping someone and wish that I had the money to do that. She is a marvelous lady! One day I hope I can meet her.

    Brad Pitt also has helped many people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The celebrities that donated money to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina was with no doubt from the goodness of their hearts. Oprah actually built homes for people in Texas for people that evacuated and relocated to Texas from New Orleans.

    It seems like when someone finds out something that is not good it is taken way out of context and people just thrive on others pit falls. It is really sad to know that someone like maybe Brittney Spears had so many problems and at such a young age and the news media just kept saying it over and over. They are just a person, a human being, who needs to be respected with their privacy. I want to think that there is good in everyone and I think if the news media, entertainment tonight's, etc. would give out the positive things that are going on in the world it may be a much better place.

    Hurricane Katrina coverage was almost unbearable. For years, not months, we heard and still hear, the same thing every day at every news hour. There was hardly anything on the positive, good things that were happening. We still don't hear all of the good things that are happening. Lakeview area is coming back with many new homes, Chalmette is coming back with new homes. A lot of good things are looking good for the New Orleans area but we still hear about people that are living in FEMA trailers, the blighted property, etc. This needs to stop and the world needs to be made aware that we are not ALL poverty stricken here in New Orleans and we have many families that are thankful for the help that was given to our communities.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  32. toni

    this is the kind of news that should be reported all the time. instead of all the bad stuff that makes it seem like that is the norm.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Scully

    There should be a Good News Entertainment show, like instead of TMZ, this can be GNZ (Good News Zone). There are Celebs that are just plain Jerks, but there are Others that use their Celebrity for Good. Derek Jeter did it recently bringing a Disabled Child to Yankee Stadium for the Day, and on Shaq Vs. Ben Roethlisberger they both took that opportunity and surrounded them selves with Children of need. Which I didn't hear about until I watched the Show. There's Always room for Good Celeb News, and besides those Celebs gaining New Fans for their Kindness, the Celebs would be More Willing to Stop for a Picture or to Talk to any GNZ Crew. Let me know when You start up the Show. I'd LOVE to work for a place & people like that. Right On Mr. David Daniel, Right On.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Sheree yoder

    Our local tv station wbtv Charlotte,NC has a good news segment.
    Im so very glad when we hear so much bad in the world the
    good news that happens sometimes ends up on the last page
    or not at all. Id watch a good news tv station or read a good
    news paper. I know the world is full of good things,I think its
    time we heard about it .

    September 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  35. James

    funny how they didn't focus on the "you can have a free car, if you pay Tax, Title, and Licensing first ". Why didn't CNN do a story on the contest winner that couldn't afford the fee's, and did not receive a car? Her story is far more interesting than the 19 other people that claimed to have been in dire straits, only to have a spare $3,500-$5,000 laying around for fee's.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Cyle in Dublin

    Bravo...

    Despair is easy. Too many focus on the negative and it just breeds more negativity.

    Our society seems to idolize the "bad" people, the only way to get your 15 minutes of fame is to behave like a total jacka**.

    Maybe if we made good deeds newsworthy for a generation or two, we might be able to re-train society's behavior.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. itiphonehome

    Worthy of front page news, POSitive for celebs and people of color. There are a 1000 more stories such as this. Thank you cnn.com.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  38. FPM

    As a firm believer in "find the good and praise it", I say thank you.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  39. MoneyMeg

    Love the good news!

    September 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Tracy

    Thanks – I read this when it happened but was not surprised it did not receive an abundance of 'ink' since it is not salacious or derogatory in content. Why won't anyone come up with a nightly Good/Funny News channel is beyond me.....its way overdue.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  41. John

    Thanks for putting on something positive!!!

    September 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Leeann

    I, personally would love to hear more stories of good will. It's a nice pick me up to hear a bit of good news in the topsy turvy world we live in.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Becky

    Thank you for the good news. I will enjoy hearing more of it, so please keep it up!

    September 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Lauren in Seattle

    Hey - here's an idea - focus on news and stop reporting on all of this crap. These so-called celebreties' antics are not news. Giving them a shot at another 15 minutes only encourages these ridiculous people and lowers our national IQ. If you really hate writing about such junk, then just don't.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Shawn

    Thank you for reporting this. It's still celebrity news, sadly, but it does work as a bit of a "spirit lifter". So thank you.
    I am just sick of celebrity news...and even more sick of undeserved celebrity news (Perez and/or Paris Hilton, anyone?)...

    September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Linda Wilson

    Kudos to Ludacris, what a great guy!, how wonderful of him to help out those people and their families with his generous gift. Have been in their situation, and I can relate to how wonderful they must feel about their much needed gift from him, and the positive difference it can make in their individual situations. Congrats to CNN also for having ran the story, it's great and heartwarming to hear some "good news" about a a couple of great guys in our midst trying to make a difference in the lives of those not so fortunate. Keep it up!

    September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Scott Humfeld

    Thanks. Would much rather see this type of story.

    September 23, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. In ATL

    I love this article! We need more good uplifting news like this!

    September 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Sarah

    I've always been a fan of his music and this makes me a fan of him as a person. It's sad that this is first I've heard of this, but I still can't turn on a TV without seeing something negative, like MJ or Kanye.

    I'd rather see people doing well and doing for others than doing things simply for attention.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  50. noname

    Thank you for the good news! We need it.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  51. MereP

    Keep the good new coming!

    I'm getting tired of all the crazy stories being generated by celebrities and gossips. Maybe if we talked more about the good things celebrities do less would do the attention getting stunts that generate just plain press. Plenty of celebrities use their fame and fortune to help communities etc., and we don't discuss their good deeds nearly enough. So, thank you for printing up a nice little story about a celebrity's good deed. Too bad this will probably be the only place to see it.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  52. ame

    I would like to see more good news like this. I'm tired of hearing about all the other crap going on.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  53. V Fawn Lagnefors

    I am lovin this!!!!!!!!! Ludacris obviously truly cares!!!!!! This made my day!!!! God Bless!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Marta Anderson

    Now these are the stories I like to hear about. Thank you.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  55. D Clay

    Thank you very much. I so enjoyed the good story. It is wonderful to hear someone with means has such a huge heart and has helped 20 people. Everyone counts, and helping 20 people is awesome!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Lily

    More stories like these please. I am so tired of all the negativity. All the bad stories get more press than the good stories, so I wish the trend of reporting good, positive, uplifting news like these would continue.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Andy Mullins

    I encourage you to print more of this type of article. In this crazy world of crime, scandals and greed, it would be very uplifting to hear about good things happening. It restores one's faith in humanity and provides positive role models for our youth. Keep it up!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  58. c

    whether its good press/ tax write offs or what ever, any celeb who gives back to ANY cause is right on...
    ludacris's deal w/ the auto= that is great, 20 people can actually find work, support their familys= and transport them around...
    oprah, brad/angelina, ( im sure im forgetting a whole mutlitude of others) share their wealth w/ others=and right on to all for that.
    lord knows you see other celebs burning thru their wealth like shopping sprees, $3000 handbags, partying, a personal fleet of cars..
    i guess ultimately, you earned your big bank, you decide how to spend it... and that is anyones right to decide.. but what you do w/ it....for good of others or just for yourself...thats another matter. just my 2 cents/

    September 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  59. SOPHIA

    Wonderful thing you did Luda! God Bless YOu!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  60. SoCalGal

    I fail to see how over the top stars use their 'celebrity' for good when adding their 2 cents to politics. I automatically delete their shows/movies/music from my life. What they do is their business, and then I make it mine.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Memphis Slim

    Thank You!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Elaine

    You’re right I hadn’t heard this story so thanks so much for sharing something so positive!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Karen

    Praise the Lord and thank you Jesus some good news reporting for once. We live in such a negative society that is was a blessing reading this story. Keep up the good word sir/madam whoever covered this story.
    God bless you.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Rexy

    Random act of Good News! Great! Keep it up!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Missy

    Thanks! It seems like such a drop in the bucket, but to those 20 people, it's a life changer. What a great reminder that doing our own part can make a difference, too.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Glenn

    Thank You... It was good to read where someone uses their celebrity to help others in practical way.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Tonya

    This is a great story! Great writing,too! We should take this as an example to "find the good and praise it."

    September 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  68. C.Janisse

    Thank you to all who use their celebrity for good and to those who report it!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  69. josh

    luda got somthin to say!

    September 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |

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