Each year, Christmastime is moving farther away from a celebration of peace, joy and love toward media-promoted consumerism, violence and debauchery. From movies, to music to television, many of the messages this year were far from heartwarming.



The left and entertainment press have had a field day whining about how much more Harrison Ford was paid for his role in The Force Awakens compared to costars and series newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

“Harrison Ford Was Paid Over 50x More Than ‘Star Wars’ Co-Stars” Variety’s headline blared. (SPOILERS AHEAD)



Peter Debruge, the “international film critic” at Variety, proclaimed himself mostly bored by The Peanuts Movie, but that didn’t mean he didn’t want to micromanage the classic cartoon into being more “progressive” about introducing a greater “diversity” into the classic cartoon.

Charlie Brown should go black? "While Franklin remains Charlie Brown’s only brown friend, a non-white love interest would have been as progressive as Schulz’s tomboyish depiction of Peppermint Patty was back in the day."



Academy-Award winning British actress Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks, Sense and Sensibility) doesn’t get why younger women are rejecting the label of feminist.

During a Sept. 2 interview with Variety about her new film A Walk in the Woods, the self-described “radical feminist” complained that she found the reluctance for young actressesto embrace the title of “feminist” simply, “bizarre.”

Thompson then astutely surmised the reason must be because these women don’t want to be treated equally.



In a Tuesday article, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein slammed NBC for its series of exclusive interviews with ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal: “...the most absurd aspect of NBC News’ Dolezal Day was how straight-faced its interviewers sat as their subject grew loonier the more she spoke.”



Bill Maher granted an interview with the Hollywood trade paper Variety, which mostly discussed his aversion to taping his HBO show Real Time instead of doing the show live – perhaps because that decision would mock the show’s title. But the jaw-dropping part came late in the article. Maher suggested the networks are “committing journalistic treason,” and Variety’s Brian Steinberg apparently failed to follow up.



Tara Parker-Pope attempted a defense of disgraced NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in an item ("Was Brian Williams a Victim of False Memory?") posted at the New York Times "Well" blog — late Monday afternoon. It even made Tuesday's New York version of the Old Gray Lady's print edition.

Parker-Pope's premise, similar to that used by Marison Bello at USA Today three days earlier — even using the same "expert" as a source — is that the Williams saga "offers a compelling case study in how memories can change and shift dramatically over time." Parker-Pope's post is particularly pathetic because it appeared online a full four days after Variety reported that Williams "had been counseled in the past by senior NBC News executives to stop telling the story in public." Over the next several days, other media outlets corroborated and built upon what Variety reported. In other words, even if one buys into the memory-shift idea, it can't possibly apply in the Williams case. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):



At USA Today Friday afternoon, two of its reporters came down on the side of Brian Williams in the controversy over what even the often media-enabling Associated Press has called his "fake Iraq story."

Roger Yu tried to portray Williams as a victim of a "synergistic stretch" who is now having to defend himself against the "firestorm on the Internet and social media," while Marisol Bello, who covers "breaking news, poverty and urban affairs," wrote that "there are reasons that it's plausible" that "Williams would remember riding in a helicopter that was shot down if he was nowhere near it."



On Monday's Today, while discussing celebrities at Sunday's Golden Globes expressing solidarity with the French following a series of terrorist attacks, Variety magazine senior editor Ramin Setoodeh made an odd assertion: "It was a very political night and Hollywood usually likes to avoid politics, but last night they went all in and they were very political."



Clay Aiken lost in a landslide in his campaign for a congressional seat from North Carolina yet he is overjoyed. Why? Because it is now apparent that winning was besides the point for Aiken. His real goal now appears to be a TV reality show as announced in Poltico. Unfortunately for reality show wannabee Clay his celebrity donors in Los Angeles feel as if they have been duped by the former "American Idol" contestant and are demanding that footage of their September 30 fundraiser not be used in the reality show.
 



As 2013 draws to a close, Fox News Channel continues to dominate cable television news programming, according to Nielsen data through Dec. 8.

In an article for Variety, Rick Kissell stated that Fox has averaged 1.774 million viewers in prime time -- down 13 percent from last year's presidential election-driven numbers -- while the Cable News Channel fell 15 percent, and MSNBC lost 29 percent.



Matt Damon, the star of the movie "Elysium" and its director, Neill Blomkamp, have both vociferously denied that their film is political. Well, perhaps they might want to consult with Jodie Foster who also stars in this movie to get their stories in proper alignment because she expressed a very different opinion.

First let us read the not very convincing denial by Blomkamp of any political motivation as reported by Fox News: