Obama Meeting With Bono While Gulf Oil Spills

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 09:01 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama Meeting With Bono While Gulf Oil Spills
2. Conan O’Brien Gives Bandleader the Boot
3. Porn Stars Peeved Over Internet Piracy
4. ‘Furry Vengeance’ Falls Flat
5. Jay Leno Faces Tough White House Crowd
 

1. Obama Meeting With Bono While Gulf Oil Spills

Even The New York Times is criticizing President Obama for the White House’s slow response to the crisis in the Gulf Coast.

Hey, the president was busy. He was having an Oval Office meeting with U2 lead singer Bono.

The White House confirmed that the rock star met with Obama and members of his national security staff to address the concern of U.S. foreign aid and the use of technology to increase economic growth in Africa.

But as one of our key sources of domestic oil here in the U.S. was spilling into the ocean, threatening the precious environment, vital industries and already floundering economy, it is astonishing that Obama would be sitting around chitchatting with the Irish rocker about anything.

He should have been devoting every available moment he had to try and avert, or at least mitigate, the catastrophic circumstances we now must suffer through.

I wonder what newspeak the administration and its media friends will cook up to reframe this one.


2. Conan O’Brien Gives Bandleader the Boot

Conan O'Brien will be appearing every night on TBS this coming fall season.

But a longtime key player on the show won’t be there.

O’Brien’s bandleader and drummer, Max Weinberg, who also keeps time for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has gotten a pink slip from the late-night host, according to Movieline.

Weinberg has been in charge of O’Brien’s music since the show began in 1993 and frequently participated in the opening monologue.

Reports have circulated that the bandleader-drummer did something that infuriated Conan and precipitated his firing.

Weinberg allegedly made contact with Jay Leno to inquire about the opening created in "The Tonight Show” musical director chair by the exiting guitarist, Kevin Eubanks.

If reports are accurate, Conan has sent a fierce message to his employees about ever having any communication with Leno.

Media reports tend to portray Conan as a sympathetic victim in the late-night wars.

What seems to be lost in all of it is that he walked away with a severance of about $30 million.


3. Porn Stars Peeved Over Internet Piracy

The entertainment industry is increasingly concerned about public perceptions of illegal downloading, a.k.a. Internet piracy.

But a new attempt to influence attitudes about the piracy problem has taken the form of a series of videos, which features an unlikely set of spokespersons from a segment of the porn industry.

Let’s get this straight: The adult entertainment industry is preaching about the wrongdoing of those who are downloading porn without paying for it, but they apparently see no problem with having sexual relations on camera for cash.

The anti-piracy sermonizing arrives via head shots of porn stars giving their reprimands to would be porn pirates, saying things such as, “If you made your living selling something, you wouldn't want people to steal it just because they can.”

The Adult Entertainment Trade Association (AETA) plans a series of videos to show how piracy hurts people who are employed in porn production.

Why is AETA doing this? Maybe because it’s fearful of the same thing happening that torpedoed the music biz and has film studio execs shaking in their Italian sneakers – falling DVD sales.


4. ‘Furry Vengeance’ Falls Flat

The critics and public agree: Don’t bother with the new movie, “Furry Vengeance.”

The film is Participant Media’s first attempt at indoctrinating kids.

Participant Media was founded by former eBay president and billionaire, Jeff Skoll.

The company specializes in financing flicks that communicate left-wing ideas in cinematic form and has done so with titles such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night and Good Luck,” "Syriana,” and “North Country.”

Participant is currently finishing up “Climate of Change,” a documentary that tracks the story of the effort on the part of some citizens to counter the so-called scourge of global warming.

“Furry Vengeance” features a real estate developer named Dan Sanders (played by Brendan Fraser) whose company constructs a housing project in rural Oregon.

The dastardly corporate executives in the film proceed to lie and cheat so they can pave over animal habitats.

A group of militant woodland creatures defend their homes and families by torturing Fraser’s character for the duration of the film.

The filmmakers manage to torture the audience as well. Mrs. Sanders (played by Brooke Shields) is caught in the crossfire of the animal terrorism.

There’s even a lefty dream scene where animals are held captive in a not-so-veiled version of Guantanamo Bay.

“Furry Vengeance” brought in a far lower than expected $6.5 million from almost 3,000 screens to finish fifth for the weekend.

Quite frankly, the movie deserves to fail.

Parents and kids don’t want or need propaganda with their popcorn.


5. Jay Leno Faces Tough White House Crowd

At the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Jay Leno quipped that he was worried that when Obama was elected “the comedy well at the White House” would dry up. Then he thanked the president for “picking Joe Biden.”

Pretty funny stuff.

But the assembled media and celebrity crowd responded with the kind of tepid laughter that makes comics cringe.

Leno remarked that it was a “tough crowd.”

The late-night host perceived the audience correctly since they only responded with gusto to the jokes that were at the expense of Sarah Palin, the GOP, and folks in Arizona.

Leno had a well-prepared routine with lots of multimedia material including a photo montage of Obama eating junk food, a new educational program called “Cash for Flunkers,” a video that made fun of the fawning coverage that Obama receives from the press, some hilarious footage of Obama appearing on “The View,” and clips that poked fun at Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.

Hollywood celebs in the crowd included Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Anna Kendrick, Rosario Dawson, Bradley Cooper, Michael Douglas, Ashley Judd, Jessica Alba, Adrian Grenier, Chelsea Handler, and Jimmy Fallon. Directors Kathryn Bigelow and J.J. Abrams were also in the audience.

Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Bill Maher, and Justin Bieber were there, too.

Media stars included Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Wolf Blitzer, George Stephanopoulos, Diane Sawyer, Arianna Huffington, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, and Brian Lamb.

Guess the guest list explains why Leno’s fair and balanced jokes got the Fox News treatment.

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