NEW YORK – Bob Costas stirred up a hornet’s nest Sunday with a halftime commentary about Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend — the mother of his child — before killing himself.

On Twitter, someone posed this question: “Who put Costas on in the middle of a football game so he could spew his one sided beliefs?” Another tweeter sharply recommended Costas “stick to football … the more you talk, the dumber you sound.” And on and on it went. The message resounded: Bob Costas, just shut up.

The cause of the ballyhoo: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun,” Costas told a TV audience of more than 20 million, “he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

The reasons for the pushback were familiar when a celebrity — be it musician, sportscaster, even news anchor — bypasses what the public believes is that star’s area and expounds on issues in the larger world. But as the world grows into a place where anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection can rant far and wide, celebrities, it seems, are still held to a higher standard.

Reaction to Costas’ remarks was swift, with much of it harsh, ranging from the scolding hosts of Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” the next morning to agitated sports fans typing tweets as they watched him on NBC’s broadcast of the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game.

Numerous reasons were advanced for why Costas had no business weighing in on the issue of gun ownership — while others expressed their support.

But many of the opinion slingers who condemned Costas blasted him for simply voicing his opinion.

Costas tried to downplay the political aspect of his comments.

“What I was talking about here — and I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear to everybody — was a gun culture,” Costas said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on Tuesday. “I never mentioned the Second Amendment. I never used the words ‘gun control.’ People inferred that.”

Sound of music a thing of the past for Andrews

NEW YORK – Julie Andrews says that her four-octave voice is not coming back. The Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress said recently that a botched operation to remove non-cancerous throat nodules in 1997 hasn’t gotten better. It has permanently limited her range and ability to hold notes.

“The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords,” said Andrews, 77, who starred in such quintessential stage and film musicals as “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady” and “Mary Poppins.”

The actress says she can still speak “pretty well” and can still hit a few bass notes, “So if you wanted a rendition of ‘Old Man River’ you might get it, but I’m not singing as much these days.”

Look who’s in vogue as a diplomat

LONDON – A report suggesting that Anna Wintour, the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue, is one of the candidates being considered for the top U.S. diplomatic post in France or Britain has sparked spirited debate, exciting Britain’s glamour-hungry tabloids but raising hackles at the conservative Daily Telegraph.

“Anna Wintour may be an enticing pick for a celebrity-fixated White House,” wrote Nile Gardner in the Telegraph. “But she is eminently unsuitable for America’s most prestigious diplomatic posting.”

The possibility that the British-born Wintour would move into London’s grand ambassadorial residence was raised this week by Bloomberg News, which based its report on “two people familiar with the matter.”

– From news service reports