Oprah Renews Her Obama Vows; Spielberg Rebuffs Pelosi

Tuesday, 28 Dec 2010 04:05 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Rival TV Networks See Chance to Topple ‘Idol’
2. Steven Spielberg Denies Advising Nancy Pelosi
3. Kathy Griffin Pokes Palin to Grab Limelight
4. Conan O’Brien Semi-Apologizes to Jimmy Kimmel
5. Obama-Oprah Love Fest Reaffirmed
 

1. Rival TV Networks See Chance to Topple ‘Idol’

TV execs at CBS, ABC, and NBC are licking their chops, hoping to knock the ratings monster “American Idol” down a few notches in what they view as the show’s most vulnerable season in seven years.

Fox’s “Idol” has been at the top of the Nielsen ratings for an unprecedented six straight seasons.

Star judge Simon Cowell is leaving to launch an American version of his British reality show, “The X Factor.” The big question is whether the show can pull in the same audiences with the new lineup of “Idol” judges, as newcomers Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez join Randy Jackson.

In an apparent effort to avoid a head-to-head clash with ABC’s own ratings draw, “Dancing with the Stars,” Fox has moved “Idol” from its Tuesday-Wednesday spots to Wednesday-Thursday.

The show’s ratings had slipped a bit last year with the exit of judge Paula Abdul.

Rival networks have plans to place formidable competition against “Idol” to provide alternate viewing options.

Maybe “Idol” producers should bring back the fourth chair and sign up Judge Judy.


2. Steven Spielberg Denies Advising Nancy Pelosi

Question: What do Democrats do after they get shellacked at the polls?

Answer: Run to Hollywood for an image makeover.

The Washington Post recently reported that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had “turned to director Steven Spielberg for help remaking her personal brand.”

However, according to the newspaper, “Lawmakers said Spielberg has not reported to Pelosi with a recommendation.”

It is well known that Spielberg is a longtime Dem supporter, fundraiser, and occasional media adviser. Among other sundry slanted things, he helped produce footage used at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

An interesting response to the Pelosi story came from Spielberg’s publicist, Marvin Levy, who denied that his client would be helping Pelosi with image consulting.

The Post’s “story regarding Nancy Pelosi made a reference to Steven Spielberg that requires a response,” Levy said. Spielberg “has made it his career to direct actors, not political figures.”

Makes you wonder whose image really needs protection.


3. Kathy Griffin Pokes Palin to Grab Limelight

Kathy Griffin recently blurted out some truth regarding the motivation of many Palin-haters in the media.

During an appearance on CBS’ “Late Late Show,” Griffin made a confession about a verbal assault on Bristol Palin in which she made fun of Bristol’s weight, calling her the “White Precious.”

Host Craig Ferguson questioned the appropriateness of commenting on a woman’s weight. In response, Griffin bantered, “No, that’s so, so fun. I meant wrong.”

She proceeded to spill the beans about the benefits that can accrue from a comic Palin jab.

“Half the fun is knowing I will irritate Elisabeth Hasselbeck and then maybe the other ladies at ‘The View’ and be a ‘Hot Topic.’ So, I reached my goal, I was ‘Hot Topic’ and ‘Pinhead of the Week,’” Griffin said, alluding to a segment on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Similarly, she was excited about being featured in an Us Weekly celebrity feud with the Palins.

“Any Palin will do,” Griffin said. “I’ll take them all. They are all comedic fun.”

In addition to snagging a mention from conservatives, Griffin simultaneously reaps the benefits of being heralded in the left-leaning media, especially MSNBC and the Huffington Post.

Maybe her Palin barbs got her rehired as a co-host with Anderson Cooper on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show after she was fired for dropping the F-bomb last year.


4. Conan O’Brien Semi-Apologizes to Jimmy Kimmel

Tired of Palin jokes?

Late-night comedy writers aren’t.

Social media sites have brimmed with reports that a recent Conan O’Brien comedy segment, which aired on TBS, was a bit too similar to one that aired on Jimmy Kimmel’s ABC show a couple of weeks earlier.

The sketch featured Sarah Palin hunting down Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Kimmel used audio of Palin’s reality show with video footage from the classic stop-motion movie.

Conan expressed his regrets for the incident to Kimmel in a video post on his show’s website.

“The staff member responsible for the piece has been fired and I hear was immediately rehired at Jimmy Kimmel, so I think everything worked out,” Conan said.

“I looked into it some more,” he added. “It turns out that the robo-rabbi that’s been featured on our show the last couple days was once on Jack Paar. I think it was in 1962. He killed!”

It could be that the incident embarrassed Conan. He has since pulled the Palin-bashing video from online view.


5. Obama-Oprah Love Fest Reaffirmed

Despite the whining from the left about the Bush tax rates staying put, President Barack Obama still can count on the support of one of his most important endorsers, Oprah Winfrey.

Yes, Lady O is sticking by her man. She has pledged her continued support for the prez in his re-election bid, which is a mere two years away.

The public hardly needs reminding that during Obama’s 2008 campaign, Oprah backed him every step of the way.

Given her gargantuan endorsement clout and the fact that she’s on the verge of launching her own personal cable network, which of course is named after her, Oprah’s role as campaign spokesperson is no doubt sending thrills up many a lefty leg.

“I think that no one understands until you’ve been in that seat the enormous pressure to please and satisfy everybody,” Winfrey recently told Parade Magazine.

Putting the gobs of golf outings aside, she chastised Obama’s critics for not being more thankful for the president’s hard work.

Guess we should be grateful that in two agonizingly long years he managed to catapult us to a 21.4 percent federal spending increase, stick us with a $1.2 trillion deficit and help us ring our debt up to almost $14 trillion.

“I think instead of being grateful for where we are and what he has done, we’ve forgotten that we were on the brink of a depression when he took over this office,” Oprah said.

She insisted that, if not for Obama, “We could’ve had bread lines.”

Oh, Oprah. Breadlines are so 1930s.

We don’t have breadlines today, but we’ve got plenty of food stamp lines, jobless lines, and foreclosure lines.

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