'24'-Style Clips Used to Jab the Obama Terror Response

Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010 07:33 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. ‘24’-Style Clips Used to Jab the Obama Terror Response
2. NBC Lawyers Reviewing Conan O’Brien’s Contract
3. N.Y. Times Writer Finds ‘Twilight’ Non-Sex Scenes Objectionable
4. Conan to Flip From NBC to Fox?
5. Oliver Stone's ‘Secret History’ on Hitler and Stalin

 

1. ‘24’-Style Clips Used to Jab the Obama Terror Response

Liz Cheney's Keep America Safe group is using the imagery of the hit show “24” to spotlight the Obama administration’s embarrassing handling of and sluggish response to the Christmas day underpants bomber incident.

The Internet video displays real-life footage of the president and members of his cabinet. And even though it’s sans Jack Bauer scenes, the impact is powerful.

The time it took for President Obama to publicly address the attempted terror attack is punctuated with the assistance of the famed “24” digital ticking clock.

Janet Napolitano, the yet unfired Secretary of Homeland Security, is seen and heard declaring that the system basically “worked,” with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs echoing the boneheaded phrase.

Driving the inept point home, a series of Hawaiian vacation clips of a seemingly unaffected president are featured until Obama finally acknowledges “systemic failures.”

At the video’s conclusion, a singular question is posed: “How long did it take you to realize the system failed?”


2. NBC Lawyers Reviewing Conan O’Brien’s Contract

Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. show has been canceled.

But NBC’s plans to push back Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien’s program airings have lawyers mulling over the contracts of both late night hosts.

O'Brien's contract is of particular importance since his show would reportedly be bumped to a less desirable post-midnight slot. NBC execs indicated that they planned to move Leno back to 11:35 p.m., shoving O’Brien back a half-hour to 12:05 a.m.

Meanwhile O’Brien’s reps quietly let it be known that he hasn’t accepted NBC’s plan, and it’s unlikely that he will agree to it any time soon.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post tweeted that the Conan move would avoid an expensive breach of contract because he would still be hosting a program with the name “The Tonight Show.”

The beleaguered NBC network can in no way afford mistakes or lawsuits at this time.

With two of the network’s mega stars in a holding pattern, the business and legal stakes are nothing short of humungous.


3. N.Y. Times Writer Finds ‘Twilight’ Non-Sex Scenes Objectionable

The “Twilight” movies aren’t sitting well with many mainstream critics.

The phenomenally successful series of movies were based on novels written by Stephanie Meyer, a Mormon, and they are distinguished from much of Hollywood’s product by the lack of sex scenes among main characters.

The suggestion of teen abstinence evidently sticks in the craw of New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis, so much so that when reviewing the new futuristic vampire flick, “Daybreakers,” she couldn't resist a shot at “Twilight.”

“Among the many pleasures of “Daybreakers” is its reminder that vampire movies can function as more than just metaphors for teenage celibacy,” Catsoulis writes.

She apparently also sees darkness and violence as screen positives, writing that “the narrative may flag, but the doomsday atmosphere and George Liddle’s production design remain vivid until the final, blood-splattered reel.”


4. Conan to Flip From NBC to Fox?

The Fox network is apparently pouring cold water on NBC’s plans to keep Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon on its late night slate.

Fox execs have leaked to media sources that the network would be interested in a Conan-led late night franchise.

A Fox source indicated that there was interest in O'Brien but acknowledged a legal impediment, that being O’Brien’s contract with NBC.

NBC and O'Brien continue in their efforts to, in essence, renegotiate O’Brien’s deal.

And entertainment contracts are notorious for not necessarily being ironclad.

A major late night offering would make sense for Fox.

The network recently launched “The Wanda Sykes Show,” a late Saturday night program, and may want to enter the weeknight fray with a similarly boundary-pushing personality.

Fox's agreement with affiliate stations gives the network the right to program a national late night talk show.

O'Brien may want to make the jump to Fox for an earlier timeslot instead of settling for the after midnight NBC demotion that’s being bandied around. As an added bonus, the network's younger audience may appreciate Conan's edgier humor.

We just may see a late night battle with O'Brien and Leno going head to chin.

That is, of course, unless Simon Cowell decides he wants to try his hand as a late night curmudgeon.


5. Oliver Stone's ‘Secret History’ on Hitler and Stalin

Oliver Stone is making a new documentary series that he claims will place Hitler and Stalin “in context.”

Stone apparently has difficulty recognizing when authentic evil manifests itself.

The director's project, “The Secret History of America,” a 10-part documentary series for Showtime, has a trailer with Stone saying that “you cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate.”

In a press conference at the Television Critics Association in California, Stone explained that “we can't judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’”

“Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it’s been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect,” Stone said.

Stopping short of breaking out into a rendition of “Springtime for Hitler,” Stone went on to announce his softer side of Stalin plans.

“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person.”

How did the director gain his sunny understanding of the two vile dictators?

“I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes to understand their point of view,” he explained.

Walk in their shoes? I think he meant to say goose step.

Stone also told the gathering that Barack Obama is trapped by the “system.”

“You can understand why Obama is following in Bush's footsteps in Afghanistan,” he said. “Obama is very much trapped, we believe, in that system. And so that's what we're going to try and show you — the way it works.”

The director evidently wants to have “Secret History” used by schools so that our young people will be able to think the wobbly way he does. And he doesn’t expect conservatives to be pleased with his approach.

“Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is not going to like this history and, as usual, we're going to get those kind of ignorant attacks,” he said.

Which begs the question: Who’s the real ignoramus?

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