Monday’s NBC psychic crime drama "Medium" featured a plot line in which an Arizona senator and former POW is discovered to be a two-time murderer and a cannibal. While it is safe to assume that the story was written before the Hollywood writers’ strike, and before the rise of John McCain to front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination, the blatant use of McCain’s personal history, as a politician and Vietnam POW, as grist to feed the murderous plot is obvious.
In Monday’s episode, titled “Aftertaste”, the medium (“Allison DuBois,” played by Patricia Arquette) suspects an ex-POW Arizona state senator is involved in a murder she sees in her dreams. Through a series of psychic flashbacks, she discovers that the senator (“Jed Garrity,” played by Gregory Itzin), as a young Army captain held by the North Vietnamese, proposed to his cellmates that they kill and eat a dying American soldier rather than starve to death. “Garrity” drew the short straw and committed the actual murder himself by strangling the dying soldier.
Earlier this week, NewsBusters' Tim Graham noted the downbeat mood in many of the nominated movies at Sunday's Oscars, as originally written up by a Washington Post staff writer. NB's Matt Sheffield addressed the Feature Documentary award winner, "Taxi to the Dark Side," and the dearth of libertarian or conservative representation in the list of that category's nominees.
Taxi to the Dark Side? Never heard of it. Did not even know it existed. They wonder why no one watches the Oscars.
Voodoodaddy is far from alone, and his comment begs a bigger question: Why, as I believe is the case, would a company make a film knowing full well that almost no one will see it?
That's certainly not a question anyone in Old Media is asking. Two of the five nominees in the Feature Documentary category ("War/Dance" - $57,640; Operation Homecoming" - either $4,516 or $6,795) did barely noticeable business in 2007.
Before ... Those of us on the Right side of things have a profound disdain for what has become known as Che Chic -- the rampant popularity amongst the ignorant and idiotic portions of society (ours and elsewhere on the globe) of the recently retired Fidel Castro's designated Revolutionary hit man, Che Guevara.
Shirts, hats, and flags bearing the likeness of the Central and South American Communist assassin have adorned the bodies, heads and campaign offices of some of the world's finest mindless.
So it was with joyous exhuberence that I came upon the current issue of Mad Magazine whilst strolling through the grocer's this afternoon.
For the cover art alone (below), it was indeed an absolute must purchase.
Given his penchant for comparing Republicans to Hitler, using such phrases as "slinging crap," and stating that the Bush presidency "has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush," you would think that Keith Olbermann, the buffoonish left-wing sportscaster-cum-newsreader would refrain from giving lectures on political civility or the limits of comedy. Not so, however.
On last night's edition of his program, the Obama-supporting anchor was horrified that Jon Stewart, the man he apes, dared to make a joke about the Illinois Democrat's unusual middle and last names. The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with a knife and serve—assuming you could stand the stench.
Olbermann began the segment comparing Stewart to Ann Coulter (horrors!):
In their post-Oscar coverage on Monday, Washington Post writers suggested that Hollywood's celebration of dark movies with dark characters has a political genesis, that it came from moviemakers depressed over the Bush re-election, Iraq, and global warming. In his front-page piece, reporter Hank Stuever theorized:
But these were dark movies -- the feel-bad films of the year -- conjured up in what movie people seem to collectively sense as grave times, hatched in producers' offices and on writers' laptops not long after the 2004 election and amid increasing setbacks in the Iraq war and gloomy environmental warnings. Some of the filmmakers and actors wore orange ribbons or rubber bracelets to protest alleged incidents of torture by the United States at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, and in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the subject of "Taxi to the Dark Side," which won Best Documentary Feature.
When not offering a surfeit of death and gloom, Academy nominees this year focused, in at least some metaphorical way, on all the looming issues:
Left-wing blowhard Michael Moore didn't win an Oscar last night but the Academy of Motion Pictures didn't dissappoint the PC crowd, giving its award for best documentary to "Taxi to the Dark Side," a film by Alex Gibney and Eva Orner which accuses the U.S. military of engaging in torture around the globe:
The harrowing film throws the spotlight on US interrogation techniques at military facilities and investigates the death in custody of a Afghan taxi driver - Dilawar - at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2002. [...] Gibney, who also produced hit documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," said in his acceptance speech that his wife had wanted him to make a romantic comedy.
"But honestly after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible," the film-maker said, before dedicating the film to Dilawar and his own father.
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, during an hour-long appearance on CNN’s "Larry King Live," didn’t take the New York Times story on "the possibility of a relationship between John McCain some years back and a female lobbyist" seriously, which, as King put it, was "in the embryonic stages" during the show. "[T]his has an awfully tired and dusty feel to it, in terms of the way that political reporting has been going." Stewart went on to criticize some of the Times’ reporting. "You know, The New York Times does some pretty amazing reporting and The New York Times puts stuff out there that is as sort of spurious at times. You know, Judy Miller's reports in The New York Times were about as fictional as James Frey's, you know, ‘Million Little Pieces.’"
King began the second segment of his program, which started about 10 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour, by bringing up the Times story and after summarizing its contents, read a statement that had been issued by McCain’s campaign. He then asked for Stewart’s take on it. Stewart admitted that John McCain "is someone who I have great respect for" and thought that "this is a strange time to be injecting it into the race." He also lamented the entire situation. "It's just -- it's a shame and I feel badly for him and I feel badly for his family, because they're lovely people."
I guess hate is "More Than a Feeling" for aging rocker Tom Scholz, former member of the band Boston. Scholz, it appears, is none too happy that presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was using his old Boston tune,"More Than a Feeling" on the campaign trail and he wants him to stop it.
Like John Mellencamp -- who got his leather pants in a bunch over McCain's usage of one of his pop tunes -- Mr. Scholz is another musician who imagines that people are so stupid that when they hear a song at a campaign rally, they must automatically imagine that the producer of the song supports the candidate in question.
As reported by the AP, Scholz sent a letter to the Huckabee campaign telling Huckabee to dump the song and Don't Look Back.
Talkers Magazine has put out their "2008 Heavy Hundred" list rating radio talk show hosts across the country and one thing is obvious, conservatives still reign supreme in radio.
The top ten includes one "progressive" (Ed Schultz) and one shock jock (Don Imus), but is otherwise dominated by conservatives. The rest of the list has a smattering of sports guys and a very few more left-talkers, but just as in the top ten, much of the other 90 slots are dominated by conservatives.
#1- Rush Limbaugh, #2- Sean Hannity, #3- Michael Savage, #4- Dr. Laura Schlessinger, #5- Glenn Beck, # 6- Laura Ingraham, #7- Don Imus, #8- Ed Schultz, #9- Mike Gallagher, #10- Neal Boortz
It it looks like CBS's resurrected nuclear holocaust survival drama “Jericho” is turning left. “It intentionally resembles Iraq” this season. Co-producer Jon Turtletaub stated “'Jericho' is not ignoring the political and social landscape” and star Skeet Ulrich added, “I feel like we were really making a statement to some extent.”
There were previous hints about “Jericho's" shift. In season one, main characters referred to military contractors as “mercenaries” and conspiratorial forces within the government were involved in setting off the nukes. The complication of the “occupation” of the “good” “Jericho” by the “bad” government mirrors the left's position on Iraq and the lefty screed that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.
I am hard pressed to call anything that happens in the Entertainment media "news," but Rolling Stone is reporting that singer John Cougar Mellencamp has told John McCain to stop using his music during McCain's campaign rallies.
At some recent John McCain campaign rallies, John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” have been booming out over the speakers. Uplifting heartland rock must have seemed like a smart pick, but there’s just one problem: Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat. And, until recently, he supported John Edwards – who had been playing “Our Country” and “Small Town” at his rallies. Mellencamp hasn’t yet made a public response, but his reps are quietly reaching out to McCain and asking him to stop playing his tunes.
Aside from the general "who cares" of this incident, it is just one more example of the intolerance of the left in America today.Then again Johnny Cougar always was a guy that took himself waaaay too seriously.
The writers' strike is giving conservative fans of "24" a temporary reprieve from a maddening, preachy plots planned in the new season. So argues Bryan Preston at Hot Air, noting that Hollywood praises liberal anti-military, anti-war on terror fare like "Redacted," while it can't abide a pro-American, pro-war on terror far like "24," despite the latter being vastly more successful as a commercial enterprise than the former.
Preston notes that Day 7 of "24" opens by featuring lead character Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) defending his actions before a congressional committee that will doubtless rail against his methods in obtaining intelligence from terrorists. He notes this merely gives fictional liberal senators air time to echo arguments "24" fans here time and again from real life liberal politicians and the mainstream media (emphasis mine):
Will the Writers Guild of America strike end soon? Possibly:
Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood’s striking writers and production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as next week, according to people who were briefed on the situation but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.
A deal would end a crippling writers strike that is now entering its fourth month.
The agreement may come without renewed formal negotiations between the television and movie writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, though both sides still need to agree on specific language of key provisions.
Will this rap song with a positive message get any play in the MSM? Will a rapper that is telling kids to quit acting like a punk and grow up resonate?
Okay, I'm a nearly 50 year-old white dude, so you won't catch me trying to be "all that" with the kid's rap music. In fact, I hate the stuff. [I was listening to Beethoven, Glenn Miller, U2 and The Police today, if that helps pinpoint me] HOWEVER... and this is a big one, too... I am compelled to pass on the latest tune from Mr. Bomani D. Armah, the self-proclaimed "not a rapper" rapper.
You may recall the last time Mr. Armah appeared on Newsbusters? He wrote a tune that appeared on BET TV called "Read a Mo F***ing Book". It was a tune that featured Mr. Armah seeming to attack the thug lifestyle and telling black kids to read a "Mo F'ing" book, brush their teeth, wear deodorant and to raise their own children, etc. It raised quite a stir last year.
Mark Moring has an interesting read at Christianity Today's Web site. He recalls all the popular movies in 2007 that feature life-affirming responses to unexpected pregnancy in films such as "Knocked Up," "Waitress," "Juno," "Bella," and "August Rush.":
To some, it was a year of war movies and "statement" flicks—including In the Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition. Meanwhile, David Poland of Movie City News declared 2007 "Oscar's Year of the Man," noting that of the top sixteen contenders for best picture, only three were headlined by women.
But others noticed a different trend: In some ways, 2007 was the Year of Pro-Life Cinema.
Ordinarily there wouldn't be a link between an awards ceremony and the anniversary of legally sanctioned abortion. But this was before "Juno."
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which gave women access to legal abortions. This morning the Academy Award nominees were also announced, and "Juno," a movie in which a teenage girl chooses adoption over abortion, scored nominations for Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.
Unlike the sensitive folks over at Media Matters, we NewsBusters are a relatively thick-skinned lot. And no one's ever confused me with Gloria Steinem. So we're not going to overreact to Willie Geist's comment this morning and demand a Matthewsesque mea culpa.
However . . . Willie did manage to diss the intelligence of his compatriots on today's Morning Joe. A Friday show tradition is for Geist and MSNBC celebrity correspondent Courtney Hazlett [a personal fave in the genre for her intelligent perspective] to predict which movie will score best at the box office during the coming weekend. When Hazlett tapped Cloverfield, an action-horror flick in which things go horribly wrong for Manhattan, Geist reacted with, well, horror.
A few years back, I interviewed Michael Moore and asked him if Fahrenheit 9/11 should be considered a political advertisement, and if so, whether campaign finance laws should apply. Moore admitted the film contained his opinions, but that his film should be treated like an op-ed in the paper.
During the 2004 election, neither ads for the Bush-bashing Fahrenheit 9/11, nor the film itself were regulated under campaign finance laws.
Update (Jan. 7 | 14:30): This was mentioned earlier in the comments thread. You can see Maher's offensive comments beginning about 1:35 into the video posted on YouTube here.
Appearing on the Friday "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," comedian Bill Maher took repeated swipes at the Republican Party and conservatives as idiotic, bigoted, homophobic, you know, all the usual epithets.
Although his material was registering mostly nervous laughter from the audience, Maher plunged further into his assault on traditional values, attacking Christians, particularly Catholics, by insisting that one has to be "schizophrenic" to go about life normally for six days a week only to, on the seventh go to church and believe that when drinking communion wine one is drinking "the blood of a 2,000-year old space god."
Journalists often fret about Big Business. Yet their coverage leans so pro-union that they won't give the business side of the story - even when they ARE the business.
The writers' strike has cost the networks millions in lost ad revenue from the lack of new primetime and late-night shows. But now that late night lives again, the coverage is all about "awareness" of the writers' guild and the strike.
Once the late-night comedy shows returned January 2, a new controversy arose: guests who dared to cross the picket line to appear on the writer-less shows. One of those was Baptist preacher and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"I don't think Jesus would cross the picket line, no, I'm almost positive Jesus would be on our side," one striking writer said to CBS's January 3 "Early Show."
The World Entertainment News Network seems to have an unusual notion as to what transpired during World War II. In a story about actor Will Smith's supposed positive remarks about Adolf Hitler, WENN offers the following:
Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War.
Actually Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer resulted in the murder of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust. But why get technical about accurate terminology, eh? Unbelievable.
Meanwhile, in case you're wondering about Smith's comments, Eugene Volokh says "give him a break":
As Eat the Press has reported, NBC Nightly News has a famous new voice pitching Brian Williams at the program's introduction every night. It’s the actor Michael Douglas, best known as Aaron Sorkin’s liberal "American President" and as the evil Gordon Gekko character in the Oliver Stone Decade of Greed movie "Wall Street."
Douglas announces: "From NBC News world headquarters in New York, this is NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
It seemed a little under modulated on Debut Night, or maybe it just doesn’t match up to the James Earl Jones "This....is CNN" sonorous standard. But it’s easy to remember how much all the networks loved the Gordon Gekko line to sum up those greed-head Ronald Reagan 1980s, as we wrote in our newsletter at the time:
What is it with Hollywood liberals and their penchant for messing with my childhood heroes by making them shills for liberal storylines. First "GI Joe." Then "Knight Rider." What's next, "The A-Team"? Maybe. (h/t Perez Hilton)
Variety reported yesterday that John Singleton is on board to direct a silver screen adaptation of the 1980s TV action drama "The A-Team." This time it sounds like oil company executives may end up being the bad guys.
Hollywood doesn't learn. Even though the latest round of America-hating movies flopped, Project Greenlight producer Chris Moore will turn "A People's History of the United States" by pop historian and Karl Marx fanboy Howard Zinn into a TV miniseries and a feature-length documentary.
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)
"The Golden Compass" did not produce box-office gold during its first weekend.
While ranked #1 for the weekend, the movie which opened in 3,528 theaters, was lavishly produced and promoted, only took in in $26.1 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. Studio New Line Cinema was hoping for returns in the $30 to $40 million range.
"Compass" drew the ire of many Christians because the movie is based on the first book in a trilogy called "His Dark Materials" by avowed atheist Philip Pullman, who has said publicly that his books are about killing God. In "USA Today," Rolf Mittweg of New Line Cinema conceded that the "religion controversy might have had an effect."
What is it with Johnny Depp and Victorian Era serial killers?
Six years ago the liberal Hollywood fixture played London police detective Frederick Abberline in "From Hell," a violent conspiracy theory-driven whodunnit about the 1888 murder spree of Jack the Ripper. In his newest big screen release, Depp stars as the title character in "Sweeney Todd," a film about a fictional 19th century London barber who kills his customer-victims using his barber's razor.
Pretty ghoulish stuff, of course, but according to Depp, such a monstrous character is also deserving of some empathy. Reports Tom O'Neil of the Los Angeles Times:
Who's Hollywood's latest Big Bad Villain? Private military contractors--giving rise to a new version of Derangement Syndrome: Blackwater Derangement Syndrome or BwDS.
Echoing lefty rage at Blackwater, TV shows from “Boston Legal” to “Jericho” have turned contractors into the bad guys.
NBC's upcoming two-hour movie/backdoor pilot “Knight Rider” is no different, but this time Michael Knight and KITT the talking car are "counteracting and preventing the damage done by private, covert military contractors.”
According to the November 29 Hollywood Reporter, television's latest venture into contractor bashing is this sequel to the campy '80s David Hasselhoff show. In the new movie, Michael Knight's son Mike Tracer (what, was Mike Gunn or Mike Bullitt too obvious? Was Mike Stone not manly enough?) is now driving KITT and fighting the real threat to the world—private military contractors (bold mine):
National Public Radio's arts-and-culture show "Fresh Air" recently displayed how its leftist ideology trumps artistic judgment, especially when it comes to movies designed to get America out of Iraq before our crazed soldiers senselessly kill more civilians. Film critic David Edelstein lauded Brian De Palma's new movie "Redacted" as a "laudable artistic response to an unpopular war," even as he conceded the movie is terrible as a work of art.
Edelstein knew some people hated the exploitative display of Iraqi corpses at the film's end, noting that De Palma thinks rubbing Americans' faces with the collateral damage will get us out of Iraq: "I think most Americans are immune to those techniques, but I respect his impulse. 'Redacted' is a crude piece of work but it's the kind of outright agitprop that rarely makes it to the big screen."
Edelstein also claims the movie centered around savage rape and murder by American troops isn't anti-troops: "But it's an act of sympathy to suggest that soldiers on their third tours of duty in a place where they have no knowledge of the culture, where they can't tell who's on their side and who wants to blow them up, stand a good chance of losing both their moral compass and their minds." Here's the transcript from the November 16 review: