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Mickey Rourke Defends President Bush

Tuesday, 13 Jan 2009 02:33 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Mickey Rourke Defends President Bush
2. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg: Madoff Swindle ‘Humiliating’
3. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta Attacked for Criticizing Michael Moore
4. Warner Bros. Plans to Outsource Workers
5. ‘Doubt’ Director Gets Real With Hirsen
 

1. Mickey Rourke Defends President Bush

Mickey Rourke is getting praise and Oscar buzz for his performance in the movie “The Wrestler.”

The “Rocky” themed film has already snagged a Golden Globe for Rourke as Best Dramatic Actor and another one for Bruce Springsteen’s title song.

Recently, Rourke had some wrestling of another kind to do. He had to wrestle liberals over statements he made about the outgoing president.

The veteran actor told GQ magazine, “President Bush was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don't know how anyone could have handled this situation.”

Holy Tinseltown! A respected Hollywood actor defending George W. Bush?

Not one to mince words, Rourke declared, “I don't give a f*** who's in office, Bush or whoever, there is no simple solution to this problem.” And he added, “I'm not one of those who blames Bush for everything. This s*** between Christians and Muslims goes back to the Crusades, doesn't it?”

Rourke gave Bush-haters something to think about when he said, “It's too easy to blame everything on one guy. These are unpredictable, dangerous times, and I don't think that anyone really knows quite what to do.”

Evidently, he was so incensed over the Sept.11 attacks he wanted to take action himself.

“I'm not politically educated,” Rourke said. “But I do know that after 9/11 I wanted to go over there . . . you know what I'm saying?”

I think we do, Mickey. And we have a hunch it wasn’t to sip chardonnay and chat.


2. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg: Madoff Swindle ‘Humiliating’

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who along with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen founded DreamWorks, recently opened up in a CNBC interview about being personally victimized by the Bernie Madoff scandal.

“The first time I heard the name Bernie Madoff was about three weeks ago when I found out that, you know, he had swindled all this money . . . this is extremely painful and humiliating for me,” Katzenberg said.

The Hollywood mogul has reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars due to Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme.

Katzenberg said that his philanthropy, which was so important to him and his wife, has suffered “extraordinary damage.”

“What it has done to other people is terrible. It's destroyed many people's lives. People that I know,” he explained.

He sees it as shameful that Madoff is free on bail.

“That this man is actually walking free today I think is a disgrace. And people that have done far less and hurt people in ways that he has not, you know, find themselves locked up in jail,” Katzenberg said, pointing out that “this guy is living in a 7-million-dollar apartment today walking free; there's something very, very wrong.”

Incidentally, prosecutors are pushing for Madoff to be put behind bars while awaiting trial, claiming that he had sent over $1 million worth of jewelry to friends and family by mail, which is in violation of the conditions of his bail.

For all of Madoff’s victims, seen and unseen, here’s hoping they succeed.


3. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta Attacked for Criticizing Michael Moore

Although not yet publicly named, there are numerous reports that President-elect Barack Obama plans to appoint CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta to the position of surgeon general.

Gupta is receiving jabs from some on the left because of his criticism of Michael Moore’s “Sicko” documentary.

In a 2007 “Larry King Live” appearance, the doctor and the documentary maker debated, and Gupta challenged Moore head-on.

Rep. John Conyers is now questioning Gupta’s qualifications and citing the media scuffle.

Using a quote from New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, which alluded to Gupta’s CNN exchange with Moore, Conyers said, “You don’t have to like Moore or his film, but Gupta specifically claimed that Moore ‘fudged his facts,’ when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right, and CNN was wrong.”

Krugman had claimed that “appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.”

What Gupta had actually presented on Larry King’s show were the following facts: In the U.S. we have shorter wait times than anywhere other than Germany for non-emergency elective procedures; countries with nationalized healthcare have higher taxes; and even with higher taxes, many still purchase insurance outside the government-run system.

Perhaps the hidden issue in play is that like Obama, Gupta is on record as opposing a single-payer healthcare system.

As for Moore, he’s gleefully displaying the Krugman quotes and Conyer letter on his Web site. Anything for attention.


4. Warner Bros. Plans to Outsource Workers

Just when a lot of Americans are desperately searching for work, Warner Bros. is getting ready to outsource jobs to India and Poland in a move to trim expenses.

The Hollywood studio employs about 8,000 people worldwide.

Many of the big media companies, including NBC/Universal and Viacom, are laying off workers due to the recession.

The Warner layoffs are primarily expected to affect support workers in management information systems, finance and accounting, since these are the positions that are more easily outsourced.

The studio plans to train incoming outsource workers at the famed Burbank lot as well as at its many locales across the globe.

In addition, the Warner department heads have been asked to present plans to tighten their belts in each of their respective divisions.

Although it’s not yet clear how big the cutbacks will be, India’s Bollywood actors could be getting ready to replace their more pricey American counterparts.


5. ‘Doubt’ Director Gets Real With Hirsen

Faith sometimes springs from doubt.

Some of the greatest defenders of Christianity were former atheists and agnostics. The following provide examples:

  • Author C.S. Lewis abandoned his uncertainty and went on to become one of the most inspiring Christian apologists.
  • Atheist Lee Strobel went from being an award-winning journalist to a best-selling religious defender.
  • British philosopher Anthony Flew left his non-believing ways behind and embraced intelligent design.
  • Dr. Paul Vitz, a psychologist and former atheist, went on to explore the psychological causes of atheism.

The movie “Doubt” begins and ends with an examination of constructive aspects of life’s uncertainty. The film’s title and previews have led some to believe it is a Catholic-bashing movie. It is not.

Rather, it is an exploration of the stereotypes associated with people of faith.

The writer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and screen adaptation is John Patrick Shanley, who was also the director of the film. Shanley won an Oscar for his 1987 classic, “Moonstruck.”

He grew up in the Bronx, was raised Roman Catholic, and attended a Catholic school. The production used locations from the writer-director’s own childhood.

“The church school that I went to — which is the one that’s depicted in the film — we went there and shot the exterior of that with the kids going in. And we shot on the street that I grew up on, which is two blocks away,” Shanley explained.

He noted that they also shot on the rooftops and alleyways where he played as a child. He told me that he drew from his actual experiences to emphasize “the poetry of the real.”

“Eugene O’Neill talked about the poetry of the real, and it’s true, you know. You can substitute something else and people will not necessarily consciously notice the difference, but unconsciously you can recognize when something is the thing in itself. And that has a peculiar power. And that was something that I wanted to convey,” he stated. 

The character of Sister Aloysius, played by Meryl Streep, was inspired by an actual nun of the same name whom Shanley had encountered in school.

“I went to this school when I was 6 years old. The principal of the school was named Sister Aloysius, and she was a fearsome creature.

"Then after a few years, I believe that she retired, and another principal came in named Sister Miriam Laboré. And she was a pretty fearsome creature, though a little less so. But, you know, we have this sort of stereotype of what these authoritarian nuns were like, and they became kind of a joke over the years.

"I wanted to start this story by showing that stereotype, and then leading you down a path where you start to have to examine what your shorthand for this kind of person was and maybe look at them with fresh eyes.”

Reflective of Shanley’s personal faith journey, he wrote the opening sermon.

He told Newsmax, “You have periods of great insight and certainty in your life and direction. And then the clouds roll in. And you have this vague memory that once you knew exactly why you behave the way that you do, or go the way that you go. But you have to sort of hold onto that memory because you’re not feeling that intuition anymore in the present tense, and you just have to hope that one day you’ll be reaffirmed in the choices that you’ve made, or you’ll get some new intuition that adjusts the direction you’re going."

Shanley is elated that at a time in which the most successful movies involve superheroes, computer generated images and action scenes, “Doubt” is drawing in large audiences without any of those elements.

“Here’s a film where the women are dressed in shapeless black clothing, nobody drives a car, nobody has a gun . . . according to modern American lives, why would anybody go to see such a film? The fact that people are going, I find very heartening and that they are engaged by the challenge that the film poses to them.”

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