On Monday, for the second straight weekday, Access Hollywood's New York correspondent, Tim Vincent, a veteran of the BBC, sported a hammer and sickle T-shirt as he introduced a story. Just as on Friday's show, as documented in an April 15 NewsBusters item, though he wore a jacket over the red shirt with the symbol of the regime which murdered tens of millions and oppressed hundreds of millions more for decades, a gold hammer and sickle was clearly visible inside a gold-outlined red star which, sans the hammer and sickle, would match the Soviet's Red Army emblem. On Friday's edition of the half-hour entertainment news program produced by NBC and aired on all NBC-owned stations (as well as other stations across the country), viewers saw Vincent in the shirt as he led into a preview of the American Dreamz movie. On Monday, viewers couldn't avoid him in the shirt as co-host Nancy O'Dell set him up and he introduced a piece on his role as an extra in an upcoming Nicole Kidman film.
Given Vincent's identical attire and the same background of Rockefeller Plaza, NBC's headquarters, I'd presume both segments were taped at the same time last week.
Hollywood Reporter says ABC's matriarchal presidential drama "Commander in Chief" has come back with less-than-impressive numbers.
"Commander in Chief" wasn‘t able to muster the troops in its return to primetime Thursday.
The ABC drama, which stars Geena Davis as the nation‘s first female president, averaged 8.2 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/7 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary ratings data from Nielsen Media Research.
In its new 10 p.m. slot, "Commander" was defeated handily by CBS‘s "Without a Trace" (18.6 million, 5.7/16). It had a couple million more viewers than a repeat of NBC‘s "ER" (6 million, 2.6/7) but the repeat did better in the demo.
Teen actress Lindsay Lohan guest hosted Saturday Night Live on April 15. In the opening skit she played a press secretary who pretends to replace actual White House press secretary Scott McClellan. With all the administration reshuffling of late, the joke was that the White House was desperate to find people to fill jobs, including hiring a 16-year-old babysitter (Lohan) to replace McClellan.
This all happened on a fictional version of CNN's "Situation Room" with anchor Wolf Blitzer.
The fictional Wolf Blitzer speculated about who would leave the administration next.
"John Snow, Scott McClellan and Donald Rumsfeld are rumored to be next. Is this the beginning of a Bush staff bloodbath?"
There was breaking news.
"This just in. White House press secretary Scott McClellan resigned to, quote, "spend more time with his family." His replacement has already been named as Brittany Doyle. What can you tell us about Brittany Doyle, Terry?"
Terry Kent, the new White House chief of staff, says Brittany Doyle is "Chief Justice Roberts' baby-sitter. She's 16. Very popular in her school, very confident. And chairman of the prom committee. I think she's a great choice to handle the White House press corps."
According to Editor & Publisher (hat tip to Drudge), rock singer Neil Young recently recorded a song entitled “Impeach the President” which is to be included on his new CD. Apparently, there have been rumors on the Internet that Young was working on an anti-Bush album for some time. These were somewhat confirmed by a blog entry made at Last Turn Left B4 Hooterville on April 7. The blog is the work of Alicia Morgan, a Sherman Oaks, California, musician with a devout hatred of the current administration (emphasis mine):
“On Wednesday, I was at work when I got a call for a Neil Young session the next day. Needless to say, I was excited about it - Neil Young is one of my musical heroes. When my husband and I got to Capitol, we found 98 other singers, a collection of L.A.'s finest. All I knew was that we were singing on a new Neil Young record, but when the lyrics we were supposed to sing flashed on the giant screen, a roar went up from the choir. I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was ‘Let's impeach the President for lyin'!’"
Isn’t that special? Nothing brings out the music in me more than a good impeachment. Mercilessly, Morgan continued:
Tim Vincent, the Britain-born New York correspondent for Access Hollywood, sported a hammer and sickle T-shirt on Friday's show as he stood in front of NBC's Rockefeller Plaza complex and introduced a piece on American Dreamz, the movie takeoff of American Idol. Though he wore a jacket over the red shirt with the symbol of the regime which murdered tens of millions and oppressed hundreds of millions more for decades, a gold hammer and sickle was clearly visible inside a red star. The gold-outlined red star, sans the hammer and sickle, matches the Soviet's Red Army emblem. I don't get it. Is this some kind of cool statement with thirtysomethings, elite New Yorkers or Brits? Or is it just part of some promotion for an upcoming movie? Imagine the proper outrage that would explode if he had worn a Nazi swastika. I put "hammer and sickle t-shirt" into the Copernic search engine and though I did not find the exact shirt adorned by Vincent, I was shocked to find a couple of dozen sites which sell hammer and sickle T-shirts -- and mugs too.
Vincent, a veteran of the BBC as detailed in his posted bio, is also a contributor of celebrity news for NBC's Today show. Access Hollywood is produced by NBC at its Burbank facility and is carried in the early evening by all the NBC-owned stations -- and by affiliates of NBC and other networks in other cities.
Christians around the world prepare for Easter, magazine readers in Germany were confronted this week by full-page advertisements depicting Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns but descended from the cross, enjoying a television program.
"Laughing rather than hanging around," (Lachen statt rumhaengen) reads the tagline of the ad, which has drawn strong protests in Germany, where two-thirds of the population identifies as Christian.
The ad promotes MTV's plan to broadcast a cartoon lampooning the pope and Vatican hierarchy. The series, Popetown, was considered too controversial to be aired in Britain, and it caused an uproar in the one country where it has appeared, New Zealand.
In November, famed television host Oprah Winfrey was gushing over the possible presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton (D-NY) at the International Emmy Awards ceremony. Unfortunately, it appears that these two prominent liberal women don’t share the same view concerning wealth in our nation, for one panders as if she hates it – lavish book contracts and futures trading forays aside – while the other proudly revels in it.
Bloomberg reported Monday: “In an interview previewing a major speech she will give tomorrow at the Chicago Economic Club, Clinton said, ‘the rich are getting richer, everybody else is marching in place’' and ‘I don't think that's good for us.’''
Well, speak for yourself, sister, for People magazine reported on Tuesday: “Oprah Winfrey is a rich woman – and she's got no problem with that."
Say it isn’t so, Oprah! Liberals aren’t supposed to admit – at least not in public anyway – that they are just as fascinated by money as conservatives:
On to promote his new children's book Billy Crystal couldn't resist taking a shot at the President on this morning's Today show. Crystal, opening to an illustration of a grandfather in his book let this zinger fly: "So we try to make them, [the] guy look like an everyman but look at this, if you can get in close, doesn't he look like President Bush?"
Lauer: "He does. He really does."
Crystal: "Just telling this little baby you have a $9 trillion dollar debt you can't pay off. Isn't that nice?"
Carl Limbacher at Newsmax.com spotted the latest item from Barbara Streisand's "Truth Alert" (think of it as her own Media Matters).
In her latest "Truth Alert," Dr. Streisand explores what she describes as the "psycho-social reasons relating to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq."
Turns out, according to the oracle of Malibu, Bush has "a long-standing father and son competition based on feelings of jealousy and inadequacy."
Posits Streisand: "Bush saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow and no longer be seen as the perpetual underachiever who consistently failed under the watchful eye of his accomplished father."
It should surprise no one that the Democrat won the fictional presidential race on "The West Wing," which is set to be cancelled. But the show's writers insist it has nothing to do with the fact that none of them is Republican.
In my last post about outspoken and unbelievably liberal actor Alec Baldwin, I kindly asked him to e-mail me when he wrote anything at Huff-n-Puff. Sadly, he hasn’t yet heeded my request. Regardless, his post on Sunday, once again and true to form, did not disappoint.
Titled “DeLay Is the New Republican,” Baldwin chose to slay soon-to-be retiring Tom DeLay (R-Texas). Yet, his really juicy vitriol was directed at everybody he doesn’t agree with politically. (Readers are duly warned to fasten their seatbelts, for this is a bumpy ride!) He started with moderate Democrats that clearly offend his liberal sensibilities:
Comedy Central's hit show "South Park" just won a Peabody, the highest award given to TV shows. The most recent episode dealt with the controversy surrounding depictions of Mohammad.
In the episode, everyone in the country is terrified that the Fox animated show "Family Guy" is going to show Mohammad. All in the town of South Park are afraid for their lives at the thought of Muslim retribution.
But in the end, Fox chickens out and censors the Mohammad character, covering him up with a black rectangle.
The show's main character, Peter Griffin, is told by his wife Lois that she doesn't want to cook dinner for his ex-girlfriend. Peter responds that maybe they can just have tea, to which the talking dog Brian responds, "You mean like the time you had tea with Mohammad, the prophet of the Muslim faith?"
On the front of Monday’s Arts page stands Felicia Lee’s “Gay Moms And Dads Can Bring The Family,” based on Rosie O’Donnell’s new HBO special on “the first-ever cruise for gay families.”
The piece reads more as pro-gay mainstreaming than a news item, leading off with unusual criticism by a reporter of a question from another reporter.
“Rosie O'Donnell, the former talk show host, actress, lesbian mom and a candid blogger, can certainly duck, weave and bob her way through a conversation. But she was caught off-guard by a reporter at a press event for ‘All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise,’ a new documentary about the first-ever cruise for gay families. Did she intend to raise her children to be gay?, the reporter asked.
Conspiracy monger and Hollywood director Oliver Stone apparently isn’t happy with how some in the media – guilty as charged! – denigrate the political views of Hollywoodians. As reported by ContactMusic.com (hat tip to Drudge), Stone “has blasted media groups who ‘slander’ celebrities for their political comments - because intelligent stars have every right to question their leaders.” Intelligent stars? Now there’s an oxymoron.
Stone, who has focused most of his film career on serious subjects, apparently missed the humor in this statement, and mercilessly continued: “‘We're Hollywood wackos and all that stuff, left-wing... (It's) an easy and facile dismissal.’” And continued: “‘I'm still a citizen, I've served my country as a veteran, I've had many jobs before the film business. I know something of life, having lived to this age.’” And then said something rather telling:
Foreign Affairs, the Economist, and certainly U.S.News & World Report are titles you'd expect to see at the two State Department newsstands visited by the public, employees, and their kids, but Playboy and Penthouse? Yikes! Or so thought Condoleezza Rice a while back when she began receiving briefings in Foggy Bottom before her confirmation hearings as secretary of state. Alerted by an aide that the skin magazines, partially clad in brown paper covers, were placed beside newsmagazines and close to candy, nuts, and stuffed animals, she said, "I want them out."
A few weeks later, when she took over from Colin Powell, the eviction began. "The secretary wanted them gone immediately," says senior adviser Jim Wilkinson." She didn't understand how a department that claimed to fight for the rights of women worldwide could sell pornography that degrades women." And, he adds, the magazines "could be seen as contributing to a hostile work environment." He teamed with State's internal manager and several State women who had been campaigning against the publications but had gotten nowhere. Now that they have succeeded, some of those women are eyeing other lad mags like Maxim and FHM. But State News's Richard Williams isn't listening. It was no problem banning the XXX fare: It didn't move very fast. "But Maxim," he says, "is a bestseller."
I’m really beginning to love Alec Baldwin. Honestly. You know, if you want to get a pulse of how the extreme left thinks in our nation, you can visit websites like Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, or Moveon.org. Maybe watch a Michael Moore “film,” listen to a Barbra Streisand tune, or even play a videotape of Howard Dean shouting non sequiturs at the top of his lungs...as if there was much of a difference.
On the other hand, you can just as easily check out the most recent blog entry by actor Alec Baldwin at Huff-n-Puff. The beauty is that whether he’s making himself look like a vacuous political imposter on HBO’s “Real Time,” or auditioning for a position as a talk radio host in New York City only to be so embarrassed by callers Sean Hannity and Mark Levin that he is forced to stomp out of the studio like a two-year-old, Baldwin never disappoints.
This is why his most recent blog entry at Huff-n-Puff on Monday should be must reading for those interested in seeing up close what true liberal media bias is all about. Right from the opening paragraph, the discerning reader was made aware of the great likelihood that Baldwin was apt to stick his foot so far into his mouth that he would end up looking like one of those Mummenschanz performers:
This one wasn’t hard to predict: With the box office failure of newly released “erotic thriller” called “Basic Instinct 2,” Hollywood elites are blaming the slumping interest in such films on Conservatives and the recent return to Christian values rather than the poor quality of the movies. According to Reuters (hat tip to Drudge):
“Paul Verhoeven, director of the first ‘Basic Instinct’ (which scored $353 million worldwide) as well as the widely ridiculed ‘Showgirls’ (now regarded as something of a camp classic), attributes the genre's demise to the current American political climate.
"‘Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States,’ said the Dutch native. ‘Look at the people at the top (of the government). We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends.’"
Let me clue you in, Paul: People didn’t go to see “Showgirls” because it was a derivative piece of tripe with a bad script, bad acting, bad directing, and bad editing. Other than that, the film was absolutely fabulous. Regardless, another holier-than-though elitist that most readers have never heard of agreed with Verhoeven’s sentiments:
Dan Gainor reports to me that the Norwegian paper Aftenposten noted that a "comedian" named Otto Jespersen took to his TV show to burn pages of the Old Testament, and riots did not ensue:
The burly, middle-aged Norwegian seems to have a thing for fires: He's perhaps best known for an American flag-burning stunt on national TV three years ago, to protest the US-led invasion of Iraq.
This week, with the help of the local fire brigade, Jespersen lit a bonfire in front of Ålesund's city hall. With cameras rolling for his TV show "Rikets Røst," Jespersen first started burning some Norwegian books. Then, with the willing cooperation of Ålesund Mayor Arve Tonning, he threw paper money on the flames.
No not even reviews of kids movies are free from a tinge of liberal bias at the Today show. During Gene Shalit's Critic's Corner the dorky mustached film critic couldn't help himself:
Gene Shalit: "Good morning and welcome to the Critic's Corner. Think global warming isn't real? Ask Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Tiger or Sid the Sloth. They first met in the animated hit Ice Age and they formed an unlikely herd. Now in Ice Age: The Meltdown they're fleeing floods of melting ice and the results are joyous.... Carlos Saldahna's direction and the smart three-scribe script makes this Ice Age very cool. The herd's happy 88 happy minutes will melt away your out-of-theater cares while attesting that global warming is no snow job. Audiences everywhere get ready! Here comes Ice Age: The Meltdown starring the herd shot 'round the world. And that's the Critic's Corner for this morning."
Remember when former Clinton surgeon general Jocelyn Elders suggested that teenagers should be taught how to masturbate as part of sex education? Well, as amazing as it might seem, actress and “AIDS activist” Sharon Stone apparently tells teenagers that they should engage in oral sex rather than intercourse to protect themselves from HIV. As reported by ContactMusic.com (hat tip to Drudge):
“Actress SHARON STONE is adamant teenagers should be prepared to engage in oral sex, if it saves from them the dangers of unprotected penetrative sex. The BASIC INSTINCT [star] spends much of her time away from Hollywood working as an activist raising AIDS awareness, and she always carries condoms with her to hand out in a bid to increase safe sex levels.”
Now, this is certainly fascinating – an “AIDS activist” apparently unaware that HIV can be transferred orally. Regardless, Stone told a nice little story about what she does when she encounters a teenager debating becoming sexually active:
Joel Stein is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times – officially a "humor" columnist, but that’s a matter of debate. A few months ago, he drew attention for baldly stating he did not support the troops in the Iraq war, and that "an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying."
Last week, he decided to mock the Federal Communications Commission for a $3.6 million fine of individual CBS stations for airing a teenager-orgy scene on the Thursday night drama "Without A Trace." But a funny thing happened on the way to the Janet Jackson jokes. He asked CBS for a DVD of the episode: "And, to my shock, I was honestly disgusted."
Actor Sean Penn was apparently interviewed for an upcoming issue of The New Yorker magazine. According to a couple of sources, Penn was quoted in the piece as having a plastic doll with the likeness of Ann Coulter that he “likes to abuse when angry.”
As reported by ContactMusic.com (hat tip to Drudge): “The Oscar-winner actor has hated Coulter ever since she blacklisted his director father LEO PENN in her book TREASON. And he takes out his frustrations with Coulter, who is a best-selling author, lawyer and television pundit, on the Barbie-like doll.”
VH-1 watchers enjoying the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert Tuesday night received some perhaps unsurprising political commentary along with the music. When rock singer Elvis Costello came on stage to perform with New Orleans music legend Allan Touissant, he took a few shots at the Iraq War and the Bush administration's apparent inability to handle Hurricane Katrina because of that war:
I feel very lucky and very proud that music jumped to the aid of New Orleans back in September...But it’s a drop in the bucket for what is needed. There is a lot of things that I could say. I could say something like we are fighting the wrong wars in the wrong countries and not dealing with the people here that are living in this country that are not living right. You could call to account the people who have the audacity to blaspheme and say that Katrina was a judgment of God on the city of New Orleans. This is absolute nonsense because the devastation that followed Katrina was man-made, as we now know.
Time magazine celebrates an exclusive interview with Mel Gibson, described as an "ultraconservative Roman Catholic" with a Holocaust-denying Dad, as he prepares his new film, "Apocalypto," based on the Mayans and performed in the old Mayan language (more subtitles). Gibson says he doesn't give a "flying f---" about his critics, but the comments Time highlighted suggested he may be trying to get back in the good graces of the people living inside Hollywood's liberal bubble, attacking President Bush and sounding an environmentalist alarm:
Gibson and his rookie cowriter on Apocalypto, Farhad Safinia, were captivated by the ancient Maya, one of the hemisphere's first great civilizations, which reached its zenith about A.D. 600 in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala. The two began poring over Maya myths of creation and destruction, including the Popol Vuh, and research suggesting that ecological abuse and war-mongering were major contributors to the Maya's sudden collapse, some 500 years before Europeans arrived in the Americas.
Dan Gainor of the MRC's Free Market Project alerted me to the potentially left-wing plot of the episode of Law & Order set to air tonight (Wednesday) on NBC at the show's new time of 9pm EST/PST, 8pm CST/MST. The NBC Web site page for the program provides this preview:
WAS VENGEANCE THE REASON BEHIND THE SLAYING OF A PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTOR? -- A private military contractor is found shot to death in his hotel room and Detectives Fontana (Dennis Farina) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) believe vengeance is the motive in a politically charged case that questions the reason America is at war. The detectives soon narrow their focus on a fellow commando Kevin Boatman (guest star Pablo Schrieber) and the younger brother of a man who was murdered by Iraqi insurgents while under the victim's questionable command. But as A.D.A. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) fights to keep a frightening video of the Iraqi execution out of court, he confronts unexpected political intrigue when more details are revealed about a recently captured terrorist.
Be cautioned, however, that L&O's often take plot twists in which the initially-assumed motivations for crimes turn out to be inaccurate.
The CNN Headline News show "Showbiz Tonight" led Monday night with controversy over the movie "V for Vendetta," and stomped hard on the idea that it was directed at the Bush administration. Host A. J. Hammer began with a promo: "On ‘Showbiz Tonight,’ the war in Iraq, the war on terror and the hottest movie in America. The shock and awe over 'V for Vendetta.' And the controversy. Is art imitating life? A political thriller where the hero is a terrorist. Is that really such a bad thing?"
Is this a rhetorical question? Or is Hammer auditioning for al-Jazeera International?
MRC's Michelle Humphrey tipped me off to the story. Hammer explained: "All right, let me tell you what happened this weekend. America had a big choice of movies. Here's the one they made No. 1: 'V for Vendetta.' This is a movie all about terrorism. This is a movie that raises some serious and unsettling questions about who should really be called a terrorist. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. A movie that has chilling allusions to everything from September 11 to government spying to terror bombings to the war in the Iraq. It`s a movie that opened just as we crossed yet another disturbing milestone in the struggle to end the seemingly unending war in Iraq. It`s enough to make critics and Showbiz Tonight ask, what's going on here?"
The Washington Post reports that anti-American or anti-U.S. military movies and plays are all the rage in Egypt. It's like George Clooney wearing a towel.
CAIRO -- When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited this city last month, Egyptians had an unusual choice: watch her on TV as she expounded on issues of war and peace in the Middle East, or go to a neighborhood movie theater and see her portrayed by a look-alike actress belly-dancing and placed in "adult" situations.
The film in question is "The Night Baghdad Fell," which depicts Egyptian obsessions with war, sex and the United States. Wildly anti-American, it has done a brisk business for two months, a long screen life for Egyptian-made films. In "Night," Egyptians fret about an American invasion of Egypt and the potential destruction of their capital. Americans are bullies, rapists and mindless killers.
Via the AP (Yes, I'm surprised also): Actor and writer Ben Stein spoke Thursday (3/16/06) at a Republican Party fundraising dinner in Michigan. He chastised Hollywood for failing to recognize the sacrifice of our brave men and women fighting overseas during the Oscar ceremonies on March 5.
"Not one prayer or moment of silence for those who have given their lives ... And they complain about (falling box office numbers). Stop spitting in the face of Americans and maybe we will go to the movies," Stein is quoted as saying (emphasis mine).
The "real stars" are not those in posh Beverly Hills, Stein says, but the soldiers "wearing body armor in 130-degree heat, pulling 24-hour shifts" in the Sunni triangle.
First Isaac Hayes, the voice actor for its Chef character left "South Park" over an episode that poked fun of his scientology beliefs. Now it seems the popular animated series has been dealt another blow by Hayes's fellow scientologist, Tom Cruise. The New York Post reports:
Hollywood bully Tom Cruise got Comedy Central to cancel Wednesday night's cablecast of a controversial "South Park" episode about scientology by warning that he'd refuse to promote "Mission Impossible 3," insiders say.
Since Paramount is banking on "MI3" to rake in blockbuster profits this summer, and Paramount is owned by Viacom, which also owns Comedy Central, the tactic worked.