National Geographic Channel’s decision to air SEAL Team Six two days before the election, along with Harvey Weinstein’s insistence Barack Obama be more prominently featured, is raising reasonable concerns. We don’t want to pass judgement on the content, because we haven’t watched the film. But timing is what matters.
If the National Geographic Channel puts off airing this documentary by just three days, and there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t, it shows they have no agenda. If they don’t postpone it by just 72 hours, it will clearly show that they do. We want to believe that they don’t have an agenda. We’re asking the National Geographic Channel to delay the airing of this documentary until after Election Day. [For the full press release, click here.]
ABC's Dan Harris trumpeted the "bromance between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron" on Thursday's GMA. Harris noted the presence of Vogue magazine head Anna Wintour at Wednesday's state dinner, but omitted that she is a major donor to Obama's campaign. Instead, he gushed over how "Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron [were] both looking very regal in blue, floor-length gowns."
The same morning, NBC's Today show chose to play up the "little star power from George Clooney...and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein" at the dinner, but failed to mention Weinstein's $500,000 contribution to the President's campaign. CBS This Morning did report that "many of the guests included some of the President's top fundraisers," but anchor Charlie Rose, who attended the function, and correspondent Bill Plante, spent more time talking about the wines that the White House served [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
While Democrats mock Mitt Romney for his alleged lack of interest in the “very poor” and focus their political pitch on income inequality, one can’t help noticing the Obamas running around to $35,000-a-head fundraisers with the very rich and very famous in New York City and Hollywood.
Michelle Obama kicked off February with an exclusive fundraiser in Beverly Hills at the home of Netflix executive Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, who raised Hollywood millions for the Obamas in 2008, and then became their ambassador to the Bahamas. Now Nicole Avant’s back managing Obama’s Hollywood money march. Many of Tinseltown’s titans ponied up: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing, among others. (Katzenberg’s also given $2 million to the Obama-affiliated super PAC called Priorities USA Action.)
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today to discuss Golden Globe wins for several of his films, producer Harvey Weinstein was particularly proud of the Margaret Thatcher biopic, "The Iron Lady," selectively praising the former British prime minister: "...you see the values that Margaret Thatcher espouses....she was a social progressive, she was pro-choice...pro-gay, pro, you know, health service."
While Weinstein acknowledged Thatcher to be "fiscally conservative," he seemed to warn those who see her as a conservative icon: "There are myths that we blow away in the movie....Those people who put her name in vain are just lying about it. So I think the movie's explosive and fantastic."
CNN's Piers Morgan easily could have been mistaken for Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod on his Monday night show. In two separate interviews -- with RNC chairman Reince Priebus and Hollywood Obama supporter Harvey Weinstein -- Morgan kept chipping in on behalf of the President's re-election in 2012.
When RNC chairman Reince Priebus attacked Obama's low poll numbers, Morgan countered that the President has lately garnered "a few ticks in the box" to use in his behalf, including improving jobs numbers and the end of the Iraq War. The CNN host used the same argument in his interview with David Axelrod last week, emphasizing the positives in Obama's record of late.
Something wildly unexpected happened the other day: film director Roman Polanski was taken into custody in Switzerland for his rape of a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson’s house in 1977. The grand jury transcript is stomach-turning. His victim, Samantha Gailey, said the director plied her with champagne and drugs and asked her to remove her clothes for pictures in a hot tub.
According to London's Guardian and a press release issued by the National Iranian American Council, the NIAC forced significant changes in the upcoming movie “Crossing Over.” The movie's plot featured an Iranian family, and all scenes relating to an honor killing and the phrase “family honor” were removed after “ongoing conversations” with the director.
If “significant changes” were not made, the NIAC threatened that the film would “generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community.”
After the complaint, the producer “immediately contacted” the NIAC and “agreed to take its concerns into consideration.” Even more surprising was how much access and influence the NIAC had over the Weinstein film starring Sean Penn and Harrison Ford (my emphasis throughout):
NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.