Economist on 'Bill Maher' Says Buy Spam

Tuesday, 25 May 2010 05:56 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. New Prime-Time Sitcoms Kill the Family Hour
2. Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell to Be War Crimes Witnesses?
3. 'Rise of the Apes' Prequel to Start Production
4. Economist on 'Bill Maher' Says Buy Spam

 

1. New Prime-Time Sitcoms Kill the Family Hour

The TV networks have announced their fall lineups and two upcoming shows will be serving up some highly offensive material: the Twitter-inspired CBS sitcom titled “$#*! My Dad Says” and the NBC comedy “Friends with Benefits.”

During what used to be called the family hour (8:30 p.m.), “$#*! My Dad Says” will feature former “Star Trek” Captain William Shatner as a profanity-laden, modern day Archie Bunker.

Groups and individuals, including the Parents Television Council, are considering filing complaints with the FCC over the show.

The series is adapted from a Twitter page called "Sh** My Dad Says.” CBS plans to advertise the program by having the announcer instead say, “Bleep My Dad Says.”

Meanwhile, NBC is moving beyond the amorality of the now-syndicated “Friends” show to a new sitcom that celebrates friends engaging in lots of sex together with the not-so-subtle title “Friends with Benefits.”

The network’s synopsis reads: “Ben, Sara, Hoon, Aaron, and Riley are a group of close friends who do just that. After a bad date, they turn to each other for moral (and sometimes physical) support. Hey, what are friends for?”

“Friends with Benefits” is expected to premiere sometime in 2011.

Guess the family hour is officially dead.


2. Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell to Be War Crimes Witnesses?

Supermodel Naomi Campbell and actress Mia Farrow may be subpoenaed to testify before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

The two are potential witnesses in the ongoing trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, who is on trial for war crimes committed during the 10-year-long civil war in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels were known for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians.

Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been on trial since 2008.

The issue international prosecutors are delving into is whether alleged blood diamonds were given to Campbell when she and Farrow attended a dinner at the home of then-South African president Nelson Mandela in September 1997.

Campbell had declined to testify voluntarily, but a photograph has changed the legal equation. War crimes investigators discovered a picture of Campbell and Taylor together at the dinner party, and it turns out the photographer that evening was Farrow.

The photo evidence allows prosecutors to compel the supermodel to testify, and the prosecution has already filed a motion saying that Campbell's testimony is necessary to provide evidence that she was given blood diamonds by Taylor.

Campbell stormed out of an April interview and knocked a television camera to the ground after ABC News reporters asked her about the diamond. During a May appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Campbell refused to discuss the diamonds.

“I don't want to be involved in this man's case — he has done some terrible things, and I don't want to put my family in danger,” Campbell told Winfrey.

Farrow is willing to testify that Campbell told her that she received a “huge” uncut diamond from Taylor's underlings.

Campbell's then-agent Carole White is also willing to testify that she saw several men giving Campbell uncut diamonds.


3. 'Rise of the Apes' Prequel to Start Production

People of many generations hold deep affection for the late great actor Charlton Heston.

Although he’s best known for his portrayal of Moses in the classic film, “The Ten Commandments,” a younger group of fans know him as the star of the original “Planet of the Apes” franchise.

Fox has now come up with a very cool-sounding prequel to “Planet of the Apes” and has signed “Spider-Man” star James Franco for the lead.

The title is “Rise of the Apes,” and it’s a story of a scientist (played by Franco) trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Apes are experimented on with the treatment. One of the test apes whose name is Caesar begins to evolve rapidly toward an impressive human-like intellect.

The prequel will be set in current times but will explain the origin of the “Planet” films that Heston made great, ones in which apes in society dominated humans.

“Rise of the Apes” will begin production this summer in British Columbia, outside of the tax- and regulation-laden U.S.


4. Economist on 'Bill Maher' Says Buy Spam

Back in 2005, Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at New York University, warned that housing prices in the U.S. were riding a speculative wave that would harm the economy.

Roubini was mocked and ignored, and his ideas were dismissed. Not any more. Now he’s considered an economic clairvoyant.

He was a recent guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He shocked the host and liberal audience with his apparent no-confidence statement on the Obama administration’s fiscal policies.

Maher noted that television these days is filled with ads extolling the virtues of investing in gold and asked the economist his opinion on the subject.

“Gold has no intrinsic value,” Roubini said. “If you're really worried about say inflation rising, I would buy Spam.”

“You know, you can eat Spam; you cannot eat gold,” he explained.

Guess if JFK’s White House years are fondly looked back upon as “Camelot,” Obama’s will regrettably be remembered as “Spamalot.”

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