It’s hard to tell what the end goal of HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher’s is with his constant barrage of elitist shots at the American public. Does he think demeaning the average citizens is the best way to win people over on whatever issue he is carping about on that given day?
Prefacing his remarks by proposing “you never get into a political discussion unless you bring the word Hitler in. You have to have Hitler, so let's put Hitler out there,” as if that caveat lessened the vulgarity of his impending comparison, on Friday night’s Real Time actor/director/writer Rob Reiner (IMDb page) contended all the Tea Party needs to match Adolph Hitler is a charismatic leader:
He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was charismatic and they were having bad economic times – just like we are now – people were out of work, they needed jobs and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they're selling is fear and anger and that's all Hitler sold. “I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.”
“Right,” Bill Maher chirped in as Reiner, to applause from HBO's Los Angeles audience, declared: “And that’s what they’re doing.”
(Apparently, that means he at least doesn’t consider Sarah Palin to be a Hitler-like charismatic leader.) Audio: MP3 clip.
On Monday's Joy Behar show, the host promoted the latest work of liberal actor Richard Dreyfuss, but soon turned the conversation to Dreyfuss playing Dick Cheney in the 2008 Oliver Stone flop "W." and how he could find the "satanic spot" in his soul to play Cheney. Dreyfuss said you can "find all the villainy in the world in your own heart," and said he tells students to focus on the Hitler inside you when playing a bad guy. Cheney as Hitler: this is just another night on the Joy Behar Show.
BEHAR: Now, you played a bad guy in "Red" and you also played a bad guy in "W," one of my favorite movies. So funny.
DREYFUSS: Which you said I would never do. He would never do that. He would never play Dick Cheney. He's a liberal.
BEHAR: I was wrong. I was wrong. But was it hard to play Dick Cheney?
Against the opinion of the "Morning Joe" panel (and Barbara Walters herself), NBC's Norah O'Donnell half-defended Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg for brazenly walking off the set of ABC's "The View" when guest Bill O'Reilly got too controversial for them.
Without saying that she personally was okay with Goldberg's and Behar's stunt, O'Donnell hinted that they had a legitimate reason for doing so. "You know, if Whoopi and Joy felt that [O'Reilly] was being demeaning to them, they felt like they should walk off," she posited.
The MSNBC reporter was a fill-in co-host on Friday's MSNBC's "Morning Joe" along with brew crew regular contributor Willie Geist. Guest and columnist Mike Barnicle was the first to disagree with her sentiment. "Stay there," he said about Behar and Goldberg, "Keep going. Confront [O'Reilly]."
O'Donnell was careful not to heatedly argue the point further, but rather was content to echo the responses from Barnicle and Geist.
This Thursday, October 14, 2010, glam rocker Adam Lambert has a concert scheduled in Malaysia. However, there’s a catch: Homosexuality is a crime in Malaysia, where Muslims are in an uproar because Lambert is a poster-child for gay flamboyance. (The penalty for engaging in homosexual acts in Malaysia can be as much as twenty years in prison.)
Thus, although Malaysian authorities have given Lambert the green light for his coming performance, “Malaysia’s Islamist opposition party…[has] demanded that” it be canceled. And where is the outcry over this? In particular, where is the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) when it appears homosexuals traveling to Malaysia need them most?
They are silent, and because of this they appear to be cowering to a group of anti-gay protestors who live in a country that many Americans couldn’t even find on a map.
Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough is wondering if somebody should tell former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to "shut up," in his newest Politico column. In referencing a 1996 best-seller by David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf, "Tell Newt to Shut Up," the MSNBC host writes that "maybe it's time for someone to deliver that message again" in lieu of recent controversial soundbites from the former House Speaker.
Ironically, a cable news show host who has trouble thinking before speaking his mind is calling out his former colleague for making outlandish statements – as if Gingrich wasn't already infamous for those as House Speaker.
Scarborough's column is titled "Gingrich's Rhetoric Will Backfire," and the former Florida congressman spares nothing in attacking his former colleague for "political hate speech."
"These days, Newt Gingrich's modus operandi is to smear any public figure who fails to share his worldview," Scarborough writes. "His insults are so overblown and outrageous that after the rhetorical dust settles, the reputation most damaged is his own."
Reporting that an elderly woman fainted at a West Virginia campaign appearance by former President Clinton, MSNBC ran the provocative headline "He's Still Got It," on its 10 a.m. EDT news hour. We'll leave it to the reader to guess what exactly MSNBC was getting at.
President Clinton was giving a stump speech Monday for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
"One audience member was just a little overwhelmed," MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing remarked, as a video clip then showed Clinton pausing his speech to recognize an elderly woman in the front who had fainted. "Maybe if you're a Democrat, you'll think this is awesome," Jansing commented.
The woman had received medical attention and was being escorted away by a doctor and two security guards. "And I'm going to save her reputation. It was the sun and not me that made her faint," Clinton joked as she was escorted from the premises.
The only way it gets worse than reading the latest pinko missive by Robert Redford on the Huffington Post would be if Michael Moore was checking your prostate at the same time and muttering, “No, no, no, that doesn’t feel right at all.”
Redford used to be a movie star and heartthrob until he began noticeably wizening in the 80’s (watch 1992’s Sneakers; Redford’s got more loose skin going on than Ed Gein’s basement). After that, he largely moved on to directing crappy movies about how America sucks that no one watches, like 2007’s Lions For Lambs, and lecturing the rest of us about how we have failed to live up to his expectations.
His current bugaboo is that evil companies are engaged in the political process. Redford warns:
Aaron Sorkin (IMDb page) came aboard the Monday premiere of CNN’s Parker Spitzer to promote the new movie, The Social Network, for which he wrote the screenplay, but used more of his air time to spout his anti-conservative and anti-Republican prejudices, starting with Sarah Palin. Prompted by Kathleen Parker for his assessment of Palin, Sorkin, creator of NBC’s The West Wing television drama, insulted Palin:
Sarah Palin's an idiot. Come on. This is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman. (Audio: MP3 clip)
Parker jumped in: “Wow. What do you base that on, the meanness part?” Sorkin explained: “When she talks about real Americans versus not real Americans, that's a divisive thing. I'm pretty sure I fall into the category of a not real American.”
What – was Janeane Garofalo busy this week? If not, she has some real competition in the "lefty comic making outrageous statements" category.
On HBO’s Oct. 1 “Real Time with Bill Maher,” during the “Overtime” segment available on HBO.com, left-wing comedian David Cross of “Arrested Development” fame appeared to offer his view on issues of the day. This segment of the program is produced generally to answer viewer emailed questions. One of those questions was if people in the media “should be held more legally accountable for presenting false or misleading information.”
The host, Bill Maher likened that scenario to the system in place in the United Kingdom. However in the United States, Americans are protected by the First Amendment and he explained the legal implications of speech in the U.K. compared to the U.S. But in Cross’ estimation, that protected right is somehow wrong. He named two Fox News Channel hosts, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and declared he would like to see them taken off of the airwaves although he wasn’t clear about what “false or misleading information” they may have presented that would warrant this action.
“I think so, absolutely, and I say that as somebody who would like to see Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity off the air, you know,” Cross declared with an approving response from the audience. “So, I think to -- it’s just part of the job. It should be part of the job, you know, if you knowingly do that, then absolutely you should lose your job. We don’t get to, you know, lie and make up things in our jobs, you know. And nobody really does.”
Meghan McCain apparently thinks there will be a "bloodletting" in the GOP in the next election, because the party has no room for controversial socially liberal figures like her.
Appearing on CNN's "American Morning" Thursday, McCain criticized the current state of the Republican Party, which she believes is too conservative and narrow-minded to include more moderate and independent thinkers like herself. This focus, McCain warned, will cut down on the number of party voters.
When the subject of "RINOs" (Republican-In-Name-Only) surfaced, McCain asserted that conservative icons Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan "would both be called that today." In addition, McCain had dark predictions for the GOP in the "next election," predicting a party purge of sorts. "I'm scared of a bloodletting in the next election," McCain worried.
CNN co-anchor Kiran Chetry did not challenge McCain's questionable claims, but rather set up the podium for her to criticize the Republican Party. "Are you afraid that the party is changing or going in a direction that's going to leave it in the dust when it comes to attracting young people?" Chetry asked.
Oliver Stone is discovering one of the many joys of capitalism: without it, he would never be able to make such flashy, well-produced films bashing capitalism!
Stone's latest film, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", may have replaced Charlie Sheen, star of the original, with a younger Shia LaBeouf, but it's still as hypocritically anti-capitalist as the original.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Money Never Sleeps" would not have been able to muster a sufficient budget without massive product placement campaigns. The film benefitted "enormously" from the advertising technique, Stone admitted (h/t Big Hollywood headlines).
A terrorist group bombs a police funeral? It must be some "patriots" upset about health care reform and our black president, or something.
That, at least, is what some viewers took away from the season premiere of CBS's hit show "CSI". The episode starred teen pop star Justin Bieber as "a domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings," in the words of the New York Times, implicated in the bombing of a Las Vegas police officer's funeral.
In the show, a cell phone used to trigger the bomb is traced back to a group of "patriots" - those government-hating extremists the Southern Poverty Law Center keeps warning us are on the verge of waging violent revolution - that are, according to some viewers (including the Times, apparently), crude portrayals of Tea Party protesters.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough – who when a Republican congressman voted to impeach President Clinton – seems to believe that a former President should be able to legally run for office again after taking "a term or two off." His comments followed a gushing slew of praise for former President Bill Clinton, and he noted that many viewers "are just sitting there thinking 'Why can't [Clinton] run for President in a couple of years?'"
"It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms," Scarborough complained of the 22nd Amendment, ratified during Truman's second term but passed out of Congress four years earlier in March 1947. Republicans did control both houses of Congress then, but the amendment would have excluded then-President Harry Truman and was supported by some Democrats.
Co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski conducted a glowing interview of the former president at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Comedian Joy Behar seemed to enjoy herself as she muckraked through exotic comments made by Republican Delaware U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell over a decade ago, refusing to leave them out of a serious discussion about O'Donnell's candidacy. She even threw Sarah Palin into the mix.
O'Donnell, in a 1999 appearance on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect," said that she "dabbled into witchcraft" in high school but never joined a coven. Behar lambasted O'Donnell, calling her "crazy" and wondering why she was running for office. "I think it shows you how crazy the girl is, doesn't it?" Behar asked incredulously. "How many crazy people do we have to have in office?"
Behar labeled O'Donnell as a "witch who doesn't masturbate." Meanwhile, the show's token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck countered that if O'Donnell is under the gun for such comments, then President Obama should have been scrutinized more closely over his pastor of 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Even veteran liberal journalist and 'View' co-host Barbara Walters dismissed the notion of serious discussion of O'Donnell's comments from 10 or 20 years ago, and argued that her current views on social issues should be scrutinized.
Lauding Jon Stewart's biting humor and criticism of today's politicized media, NY Magazine columnist Chris Smith called him "Cronkite, the most trusted man in America" in his piece featured on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday. The show's panel largely agreed with him and emphasized that Stewart is bi-partisan in his comedy.
"The right provides better raw material, but Stewart's complaints are bi-partisan," Smith writes in his column "America is a Joke." On MSNBC, Smith described Stewart as a "comedy opportunist, you know, where people do mockable things – left, right, in-between."
The show's co-host Joe Scarborough joined Smith in diffusing the myth that Stewart is a raging liberal. "Over the past year, he's been every bit as tough on the Obama administration as Republicans on Capitol Hill," he asserted.
"Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio rang alarm bells about child obesity on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday, saying it is now a "national health crisis." Colicchio warned that the recent Senate school lunch legislation did not go "far enough" and that access to healthy school meals needs to be increased for kids to save future health care costs.
"It's a pretty good bill, but I don't think it goes far enough," the chef complained of the school lunch bill. "They need to increase access for kids."
"After-school programs, after-school periods, breakfast programs, weekend programs, summer programs – those aren't included in the Senate bill; they're included in the House bill," Colicchio mused. "Obesity has become a national health crisis." He said the problem poses "billions" of dollars in future health care costs if it will not be addressed properly.
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski, a nutrition-warrior herself, agreed and argued that obese children need to be viewed as victims – as children "whose future is cut short before it even starts."
Come on, John Mayer -- Jennifer Aniston isn't that bad.
Mayer, a popular singer-songwriter, slammed the Huffington Post, after the website reported that he and Aniston were possibly rekindling their old relationship.
In a frenzied blog post titled "Huffington Post FULL OF SH*T? (Yes!)," Mayer called the liberal-leaning news website "the internet Death Star" and "dangerous."
"The reason I'm calling you out instead of all the other magazines that make stories up out of thin air is that In Touch and Star Magazine aren't concurrently writing pieces about Pat Tillman or WikiLeaks," ranted Mayer. "Those other rags know who they are, and even if they're obnoxious, I'd rather have to live with them because they (and the rest of the world) know where they stand, which doesn't make them one tenth as dangerous as you are."
Continuing their obsession with the credibility-challenged Levi Johnston, whose sole claim to fame is his continuing ability to exploit his relationship with Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, CBS’s The Early Show on Friday devoted more than four minutes to an “exclusive” interview with the “reality star” and how he now recants his apology for lying about the Palins in previous interviews.
To her credit, correspondent Betty Nguyen challenged Johnston’s openly frivolous approach to running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (a stunt concocted for a reality show) and whether his temporary apology was “honest” (he said it was “something I did to make my fiancee happy”).
But CBS has shown a particular fetish for publicizing Johnston’s antics, especially his slams of Sarah Palin. Back in July, NewsBusters’ Kyle Drennen documented five lengthy Early Show features of Johnston, including two “exclusive” interviews, one of which aired over two days. Always, CBS touted the anti-Sarah Palin angle, as they did again today with the on-screen headline: “Levi’s Regrets; Johnston Sorry He Made Palin Apology.”
However over a year later, the comedienne shows no remorse for her remarks about Limbaugh. She appeared on the Aug. 25 broadcast of CNN's "Larry King Live" and revisited the occasion, which she said she hoped Limbaugh's "kidneys failed" since he wanted President Barack Obama to fail, even though that part of her attack on Limbaugh was conspicuously missing from the CNN highlight reel. Nonetheless, King asked her if she went too far, and Sykes said no.
KING: You think you went a little too far there? SYKES: Not at all. Not at all. KING: There's no connect here, right, between here and you, right? SYKES: Probably not. It might be a little speed bump, you know, just a little one.
On July 27th and 28th, the New York Times published the following headline: "The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected." In the story that followed the headline, readers were informed: "The immense patches of surface oil that [once] covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the...oil rig explosion are largely gone."
Ironically, the man who predicted this would be case was the much-maligned Tony Hayward, former Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP). While being grilled on Capital Hill about the oil spill earlier this year, Hayward described it as a "relatively tiny" one in comparison to the "very big ocean" in which it had occurred. Although the backlash Hayward faced by Democrats was nasty, Rush Limbaugh concurred with the BP boss, and stories like the one I cited from the New York Times seem to demonstrate that Hayward and Limbaugh were both correct.
Yet, not only does BP continue to be the target of heavy criticism by Democrats and environmental groups, it has even found itself in the crosshairs of Brad Pitt, who recently "said he would consider the death penalty for those to blame for the Gulf oil spill crisis." According to the UK's Daily Mail, Pitt's exact words were: "I was never for the death penalty before - I am willing to look at it again."
Actor Jon Voight appeared on the August 22 "Huckabee" to discuss, among other things, his conservative activism and the media's misrepresentation of the Tea Party movement.
Here's a sample:
MIKE HUCKABEE: We heard that there were people yelling racial epithets at some of the members of Congress. Did you hear anything like that?
JON VOIGHT: You know, when you saw this, folks, and you all read these things or you saw them on television, these rumors... are being distributed as truth. And I'm going to tell you the quality of people that are in the Tea Parties are of such high moral character that if anybody in a group of those people came forth with a racial slur they would be called on the carpet... and they wouldn't stand for it, and we would know their names today. But there's no evidence of any of this, there's no evidence that these things really happened that were portrayed as news.
For interview highlights, check out the video montage we've assembled by clicking the play button in the embed above. Alternately, you can download the MP3 audio here or the WMV video here.
E! Online "The Awful Truth" columnist Ted Casablanca on Aug. 21 called the graphic depictions of sex and violence on HBO's vampire drama "True Blood" "highly ironic" and promoted the show as "great fun."
Casablanca defended the show on Fox News Channel's "Geraldo at Large" in a discussion with host Geraldo Rivera and Culture and Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel. The debate was sparked by the controversy surrounding a recent Rolling Stone magazine cover that depicted "True Blood" stars naked and covered in (fake) blood.
Burchfiel pointed out that while the shows originate on premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime, many "worst-of" clips are available online within hours of broadcast, and many popular shows like "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" have found their way onto basic cable via syndication, a likely future for "True Blood."
"It's highly ironic, Geraldo," Casablanca said of the show, adding, "It's a highly intelligent, very clever indictment of the very conversation that we're having right now and it's an allegory to our times."
Ever wonder what those teenagers are listening to while wearing those iPod earphones? Maybe you'd rather not know. You will be horrified.
The Culture and Media Institute recently reviewed the top pop songs from May through July. To say that hedonism is in the air is an understatement. Of the 22 songs on the charts, a whopping 64 percent made at least one reference to sex, drugs or alcohol, or contained profanity. All 22 songs had music videos, and 68 percent of them featured sexualized dancing, alcohol, violence, or partying scenes.
The "anthem" of the summer seems to be the song "California Gurls" by Katy Perry, the ex-Christian singer who kick-started her career with the hit "I Kissed a Girl (And I Liked It)" in 2008. She's so "mainstream" this year that she hosted the Teen Choice Awards on Fox.
Hollywood westerns don't sell very well anymore. Remakes of westerns don't sell and they tend to remind those who do see them of the superiority of the originals. So remaking the iconic 1969 western, "True Grit," for which John Wayne received his only Best Actor Oscar, seems an odd choice for the Coen brothers.
But the extremely successful directors of "Fargo," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and "No Country for Old Men," are indeed remaking "True Grit." They stress that their effort is based more on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis than the original movie. Still, The Duke's portrayal of hard-drinking, one-eyed Marshall Rooster Cogburn has been a TV staple for decades. Portis' novel - not so much.
The Coens' quirky, often dark and sometimes absurd portraits of America couldn't be much more different from any flick in John Wayne's legendary career. And maybe that's the point. After all, any movie with America-bashing lefty Matt Damon in an important supporting role is bound to be at odds with traditional takes on the American frontier. All the more-so because Damon admitted, "I've never even seen the original John Wayne movie."
The Coens cast 2010 Best Actor Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges as Cogburn. Bridges will have to be a heck of an actor to do the character justice, because in real life, he couldn't be more different than Wayne, a traditional conservative.
After her ranting against Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday's Larry King Live, actress Aisha Tyler tried to sound high-minded after she was accused by Dana Loesch of playing the race card: "Look, I'm a progressive, but I have a lot of conservative friends. When we have a conversation, we're not screaming at each other about who is wrong and who is right. We trying to figure out how we're going to move the country forward."
Really? Because when Tyler appeared that morning on Stephanie Miller's liberal talk radio show -- the oh-so-dignified radio home of slavish Obama talking points and crotch humor -- she was joking that she would like to kick Michelle Malkin in her "nut sack" ("wear a cup, lady.") And she'd kick Limbaugh in his "vagina." [click here or on Tyler's picture to listen to MP3 audio]
JIM WARD, Miller sidekick: I’m not sure, which is worse, if he actually believes all the crap he [Limbaugh] says, or if it’s just an act?
TYLER: I actually felt that way about Ann Coulter. She says the most outrageous things and I think sometimes she says them because she knows they’re going to get on --
Although there are few tough interviews on ABC's "The View" – this was an exception to the rule – Vice President Joe Biden received a surprisingly more serious reception than did President Obama on the daytime celebrity show. He even had a snide remark for Whoopi Goldberg about high taxes for the wealthy.
As Newsbusters reported, President Obama's interview was essentially a rousing festival of praise for the administration and Obama's family. By contrast, Vice President Biden's interview, although by no means tough, was missing the slew of softball questions that Obama enjoyed. There were even some awkward exchanges between Biden and co-hosts Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg, on the issues of foreign policy and taxes, respectively.
While the show's hosts continually fawned over President Obama, token conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck soon brought up Biden's infamous F-bomb gaffe at the health care bill's signing. Sherri Shepherd followed up by asking about the administration's answers for angry Tea Partiers, and Whoopi Goldberg then pressed about the problem of high taxes.
Biden quipped, "You have a lot of money, that's why it bothers you," before assuring Goldberg that he was kidding.
The last thing I was worrying about was that The Other Guys would be too preachy. Sure, Will Ferrell has a long history of deep, thought-provoking critiques of society and culture, so that should have been my big concern. Also subtitles. And having the last shot of the film be the word "Fin" superimposed over the freeze-framed image of a crying child alone on a beach symbolizing death or something.
You know, sometimes you just want to go, have a drink or two, or three, or ten, and then sit in a movie theater and tune out the seemingly endless parades of nimrods, pinkos and sanctimonious deadbeats who make up so much of our society today. You just want some guys to come on the screen and to do and say some funny stuff. Maybe you want an explosion or two, perhaps a gratuitous shower scene - strike that, as shower scenes are never gratuitous. Unless it's a dude. Or Kathy Bates.
The point is the last thing you want after a Dos XX prep and handing over $11.75 each for yourself and your life partner/designated driver is for a bunch of Hollywood half-wits to stop the fun to give you a PowerPoint briefing on their insights into modern politics - without even the PowerPoint. And it appears that this is exactly what The Other Guys intends to do.
Don't expect Matt Damon or Josh Brolin or any of the other celebrities and Hollywood producers behind the History Channel's The People Speak to issue apologies for their celebration of leftist professor and author Howard Zinn in light of the release last week of file 100-369217 - the FBI's decades long investigation into Zinn's alleged communist activities.
Already, Zinn's far-left sympathizers are poking holes, some more credibly than others, in the 430 pages of documents, and trying to draw focus away from Zinn's alleged membership in the Kremlin-controlled Communist Party USA and onto the fact that a Boston University administrator turned FBI informant once plotted to have him fired in the 1970s.
To the radical left, trying to interfere with an extremist professor as he dutifully decries his country as a police state is a far more egregious crime than belonging to a political organization allied with and controlled by the sworn enemy of the United States.
UPDATE:An earlier version of this post implied that Friends of Abe had raised money for California GOP candidates, which is not the case. We apologize for the mistake.
In the giant morass of Hollywood leftism, there is a small - but growing - group of conservatives doing its best to sway the utter one-sidedness of celebrity politics.
The group, known as the Friends of Abe, includes a number of well-known A-list personalities, some of them renowned for their outside-the-mainstream (in their line of work) politics. Kelsey Grammar, Gary Sinese, Dennis Miller, and Jon Voight among them.
But though the group is small, secretive, and far less influential than its political-professional counterpart (the rest of Hollywood), "conservative frustration with the Democratic control of Washington might be helping them flourish," according to the Hollywood Reporter.