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:



Variety magazine just released its 2011 "Women's Impact Report" – examining the influence of women in media – which included NBC "Today" co-host Ann Curry, who was described as "'Today's' voice of intelligence, compassion."

This is the same Ann Curry that could not find Illinois on a map. The same Ann Curry that wished all weapons could be inflatable toys. The same Ann Curry that proclaimed that a blender powered by a bicycle could actually "save the environment!"     

Read the Media Research Center's full Profile in Bias of Curry.



Variety Magazine TV critic Brian Lowry - formerly a reporter for NPR and the Los Angeles Times - surely was not a member of JournoList. But he sure writes like he was. Lowry took a page directly out of the Spencer Ackerman Guide to Dubious Racism Accusations in his most recent column, claiming the Fox News Channel caters to racial fear and resentment to sell its brand.

Lowry provided no examples to back up his claims. He did not give voice to any opposing views. The only evidence he offered to back up his accusations were quotes from "thoughtful conservative" (read: not-so-conservative conservative) David Frum and liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent.

In true JournoLista fashion, Lowry cited Fox's coverage of the New Black Panther scandal at the Justice Department as evidence of the channel's attempts to "delegitimize Obama" by stoking racial fears. Just as Ackerman advocated with the Jeremiah Wright scandal, Lowry cried racism in order to avoid any actual discussion of this administration's strange affinity for racialist radicals - or any of Fox's actual coverage of the scandal.



The Venezuelan people are forced to suffer through a marathon of Hugo Chavez appearances on their own television sets. Anything less than total adoration of the weekly host of "Aló Presidente" is severely punished. So with all this unwanted overexposure to the overbearing El Jefe, is it any wonder that Venezuelans are somewhat less than enthusiastic about shelling out their money to watch yet more homage paid to Chavez by filmmaker Oliver Stone in the form of his documentary, South of the Border? As Variety reports, the latest Stone film has turned into a complete bomb in Chavez's own economically troubled country:

Despite a PR and marketing blitz that had Oliver Stone on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, his latest documentary "South of the Border" has sunk like a rock at the Venezuelan box office.

Local observers in Venezuela have reported empty cinemas, indicating a stunning indifference to Stone's pic, a documentary about South American leaders that devotes a hefty amount of screen time to the country's President Hugo Chavez. In the 12 days after its June 4 debut, it grossed only $18,601 on 20 screens, according to Global Rentrak. Showings on mobile screens in rural areas (where Chavez has more popular support) have attracted crowds, but these screenings are free.



Ever since the financial services industry totally melted down in September, anti-free market media have pointed an accusatory finger at deregulation as the primary cause of bank, brokerage firm, and insurance company failures.

Yet, as press outlets across the fruited plain deal with declining revenues and layoffs, some believe a looser anti-trust environment could be the solution.

Even more delicious, one such advocate, Variety's Brian Lowry, used to be a deregulation opponent as evident in his Wednesday column



Obama/ScarlettAs the city of Denver prepares for this week's Democratic convention, numerous Hollywood celebs are planning to attend in support of Barack Obama and to advocate for pet issues. Gushes Variety,

When Barack Obama accepts the nomination before some 75,000 people at a Denver stadium on Thursday, he'll be surrounded by a contingent of average Americans from all walks of life --- just not Hollywood performers, musicians and other famous figures who have so publicly championed his candidacy.

So what, exactly, will be the role of celebrity during the week of the Democratic National Convention?



Robert Koehler of Variety is upset at Director Mark Pellington over his new film, "Henry Poole Is Here." He can't believe the audacity of a movie with religious themes actually having religious themes in it. Why it's a crime, you see. Koehler is so upset that he blurts out the memorable critique of, "not since 'The Passion of the Christ' has a mainstream Hollywood product insisted so firmly in faith"!

Wow, "insisted" firmly in faith? Oh, the humanity. Why there oughtta be a law!

You can just feel the anguish that Koehler has that this director dared to feature religious conversion, religious discussions, and a serious attempt to legitimize faith in his film. Of course, to Koehler, that fealty to faith absolutely must be at the expense of science. In fact, he sees "jabs at science" at every turn in the flick. Koehler is entirely incensed that anyone dare make a movie that presents belief in God in a positive light as a force that can affect "growth" in people. The outright hostility that Koehler has for religion is shocking. It has to be seen to be believed.



Apparently the Drudge Report has struck yet another nerve in the mainstream media. Today, Variety magazine reporter Brian Lowry pens a plea for civility- calling out the readers of the Drudge Report in particular. Writes Lowry,
Gee, gang, why so angry? Every time a column or article of mine gets posted on the site, I invariably wake up to a torrent of hostile emails. For awhile, it was like a perverse "Where's Waldo?" game -- "Oh, that one's rage-filled and anti-Semitic -- I must have made Drudge!"


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.

Reports Tatiana Siegel: