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Obama's 'View' Caper Shortsighted

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 03 August 2010 05:09 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama’s ‘View’ Caper Shortsighted
2. ‘American Idol’ Judge Lineup Gets Reboot
3. Sandra Bullock Pulls Out of Gulf Oil Spill Campaign
4. Rob Lowe Adds Right Star Power to Miramax Takeover
5. Hollywood Duped by Subversive Historian Howard Zinn

1. Obama’s ‘View’ Caper Shortsighted

President Barack Obama’s appearance last week on “The View” was his third time on the show.

He was scheduled to speak to the Boy Scouts of America on the same day that he taped “The View.” Obama is the honorary chairman of the organization, but he stiffed the scouts to go on a daytime TV talk show, and followed that up with fundraising events in hopes of fattening coffers for upcoming midterm elections.

After the taping, Obama went to two $30,000-per-person Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Manhattan, including one at the fancy residence of “Vogue” editor Anna Wintour, the woman who inspired the Meryl Streep character in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

At a time when our men and women in the military are putting their lives on the line, millions of Joes and Janes are out of work and the nation is slip-sliding toward bankruptcy, it is beyond appalling that four Marine helicopters, a battalion of police and a slew of Secret Service agents had to be mobilized just so that Obama could sit down for a mid-morning chitchat with Barbara Walters and Joy Behar and give his sagging approval ratings an assist.

Obama promised to bring change. I guess he has.

But I venture to say there are probably not a lot of folks who thought that change would come in the form of lowering the dignity and stature of the presidential office to celebrity D-list level. Obama’s been bouncing from late-night TV studios to the daytime TV talk couch, not to mention using the phrase “I know whose a** to kick” on a morning news program.

While other presidents did appear on the little screen, they were careful to maintain a level of decorum.

Dwight Eisenhower appeared on a 1950s variety show. He did it to promote Armed Forces Week. He also made a pre-taped appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to help increase contributions to the United Fund.

John Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton appeared on shows as candidates, but not as sitting presidents.

In 2004 George W. Bush appeared on Dr. Phil’s program to talk about families. Bush didn’t show up in studio, though. The appearance was instead pre-taped at Bush's ranch for a later airing.

Obama and his advisers no doubt were looking for a safe and easy venue in which the president could flash his smile. “The View” hostesses, of course, provided lots of gentle patter, lingering lean-ins, giggles galore, and even some love pats on the presidential arm.

While on the show, Obama got into some fielding of questions. Don’t get your hopes up. The questions were on Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, a reality show star and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

It wasn’t exactly the stately appearance that most would have envisioned for the nation’s highest office holder, never mind our commander in chief.

Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, agreed. He likened “The View” to “Jerry Springer” and said that the appearance was beneath the “dignity of the presidency.”

Even former “View” co-host Rosie O'Donnell was critical of Obama for going on the show.

If I had to pick Obama’s worst Hollywood moment on the program, it would have to be his “Jersey Shore” slip-up. When reality star Snooki was brought up, he said, “I'm sorry, I don't know who that is.”

Either the president was having a memory lapse or he was fibbing. At the White House Correspondents' Dinner a while back, he used Snooki as one of his punch lines.

The public is forgiving about a lot of things, but being sneaky about Snooki?

Now that’s way over the line.

2. ‘American Idol’ Judge Lineup Gets Reboot

The most successful show in the history of television is about to enter uncharted territory.

“American Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres has quit. Another rookie judge, Kara DioGuardi, has purportedly been fired. And Simon Cowell has exited to launch his new show, “The X Factor.”

Speculation is rampant as to who will be sitting in the judges’ chairs next to Randy Jackson.

“Idol” will be markedly different. There is a lot at stake for Fox, which has taken in hundreds of millions in advertising revenue over the last few seasons.

Jennifer Lopez has reportedly signed on for the upcoming 10th season, and rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame is in talks to take the final judgeship. Producers are supposedly looking to Harry Connick Jr. as a backup prospect in case the Tyler talks go sideways.

Others rumored to be considered for an “Idol” judging gig include Elton John, Bret Michaels, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Simpson, and even Howard Stern.

Interestingly, a look at the candidates’ levels of experience makes me think some of them could give Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a run for the money.

3. Sandra Bullock Pulls Out of Gulf Oil Spill Campaign

The vilification of oil companies has been so effective that Sandra Bullock has pulled out of a campaign to promote awareness of the damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The reason Bullock pulled out, according to a statement, is that some oil companies, including the Democrats’ favorite target, BP, helped to fund the effort.

The Oscar-winning actress appears in a star-studded video called “Be the One,” which was filmed in New Orleans and other locations and features Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews, James Carville, Alfre Woodard, Harry Shearer, chef Emeril Lagasse, Bryan Batt, John Goodman, and Dr. John.

The video indicates that it is presented by two groups, Women of the Storm and Restore the Gulf. Another group, America’s Wetland Foundation, is credited as a partner of the campaign.

Reportedly, America's Wetland Foundation has received funding from BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo and Chevron.

Bullock evidently did not want to be tainted by oil company cash.

Her publicist released a statement that read: “At no time was she made aware that any organization, oil company or otherwise had influence over Women of the Storm or its message. We have immediately asked for her participation in the P.S.A. be removed until the facts can be determined.”

Officials for America’s Wetland Foundation have released a statement indicating that the contributions it received from the oil companies were for scientific and ecological research.

4. Rob Lowe Adds Right Star Power to Miramax Takeover

The Walt Disney Company is selling Miramax Films to an investor group for approximately $660 million.

The successful buyers beat out Ron Burkle, a supermarket executive and Hollywood Democratic fundraiser who had been working with the Weinstein brothers, Harvey and Bob. The Weinsteins are longtime Dem supporters and the original co-founders of Miramax.

The Burkle-Weinstein group had purportedly offered about $565 million.

Rob Lowe has confirmed that he is one of the investors in the winning bid.

The actor, former “Brothers & Sisters” star and reported Republican, joined with Colony Capital Chairman Tom Barrack and other investors.

“The acquisition of a classic brand like Miramax is an exciting first step in my partnership with Tom Barrack and Colony Capital. This represents an exciting new chapter for me,” Lowe said in a statement.

5. Hollywood Duped by Subversive Historian Howard Zinn

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released a 423-page file on so-called historian Howard Zinn.

The FBI actually started tracking Zinn back in 1949 during the “Red Scare” era. Zinn passed away in 2009.

It turns out that FBI suspicions about Zinn’s communist connections were well founded. He categorically denied being a member of the Communist Party, and he even did so to FBI agents. However, the file indicates that he was affiliated with many radical groups, and several informants confirmed that he was a very active Party member.

Zinn is the author of “A People's History of the United States,” a purported history book that has been made into a cable TV production by Artfire Films. The movie has been shown on the History Channel under the title “The People Speak.”

Thanks in large part to intense promotion by left-wing groups, educational institutions across the nation have used “A People’s History” as a textbook, and many continue to do so. Some are also using “The People Speak” DVD as a video history of America.

A host of Hollywood luminaries appear in the film including Matt Damon, Sandra Oh, Morgan Freeman, Viggo Mortensen, Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Rosario Dawson, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Don Cheadle and Benjamin Bratt.

The Washington Post’s left-leaning media critic Tom Shales wrote that the film was both “heavy-handed and agitproppy.”

In his book, Zinn expresses the prototypical radical left view of the country’s founding fathers.

Zinn asks, “Why hold up as models the 55 rich white men who drafted the Constitution as a way of establishing a government that would protect the interests of their class – slaveholders, merchants, bondholders, land speculators?”

Damon was once Zinn’s next-door neighbor. He and Hollywood colleague and longtime friend Ben Affleck sought funding for a film based on Zinn’s smearing of America, but ironically the History Channel bested them in achieving the goal of disseminating Zinn’s historical pornography.

Fortunately, individuals of varying political persuasions have expressed criticism of the book upon which the movie is based.

On the left side of the political aisle, writer Michael Kazin saw fit to characterize Zinn’s book as dubious history, “grounded in a premise better suited to a conspiracy-monger’s Web site than to a work of scholarship.”

Even the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress acknowledged that Zinn’s book was “neither good history nor good politics,” and further determined that it offered “basically nothing” for those seeking solutions to the problems of the world.

In Zinn’s twisted trumped-up world, our noble and magnanimous country is reduced to an evil regime, a racist, imperialist, war-mongering empire.

But Zinn in his literary musings was neither historically accurate nor philosophically honest. Rather, he was driven to propagandize.

Even though he denied being a member of the Communist Party when interviewed by the FBI in the 1950s, he was, as we now know, a member of the Soviet-funded American branch of the Communist Party (CPUSA).

He was no casual communist, either. According to informants, he went to CPUSA meetings as many as five times a week. He appeared in a photograph that depicted him providing instruction on “Basic Marxism” for would-be subversives at the CPUSA headquarters in Brooklyn.

In addition, he supported a host of radical organizations including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Progressive Labor Party (PLP), Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and Black Panther Party.

The distribution of Zinn’s materials to our schools should be immediately halted.

And then maybe we can begin to take a closer look at the rancid collection of other America-bashing materials that are polluting the minds of our young people.

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama s View Caper Shortsighted 2. American Idol Judge Lineup Gets Reboot 3. Sandra Bullock Pulls Out of Gulf Oil Spill Campaign 4. Rob Lowe Adds Right Star Power to...
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 05:09 PM
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