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Frank Rich Uses 'WALL–E' Film to Whack Obama

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 08 July 2008 01:28 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Frank Rich Uses 'WALL-E' Film to Whack Obama
2. Obama Convention Movie Gets Hollywood Help
3. Rosie O'Donnell Compares 'The View' to Prison Rape Scene
4. Tabloid Extravaganza: A-Rod, C-Rod, Madonna, and Lenny Kravitz
5. PETA Pelts Sharon Stone

1. Frank Rich Uses 'WALL–E' Film to Whack Obama

Frank Rich recently hit Barack Obama, and he used a Pixar movie to do the hammering.

The New York Times perennial left-of-center columnist handed out kudos to the "WALL–E" film but in the same column gave a less-than-rave review to Obama.

In fact, in media terms, it may already be over for Obama, according to Rich.

"For me, Mr. Obama showed signs of jumping the shark two weeks back," Rich wrote, "when he appeared at a podium affixed with his own pompous faux-presidential seal."

Rich went on to say that the bizarre recreation of the presidential seal "could have been a Pixar sight gag." He then described a scene from "WALL–E," in which, via flashback, a foolish cartoon executive creates his own fake presidential podium.

Rich further described the Obama campaign as "small-bore and defensive" and accused the Illinois senator of "drifting away from the leadership he promised and into the focus-group-tested calculation patented by Mark Penn in his disastrous campaign for Hillary Clinton."

A spokesperson who consistently reflects the Democrat base, Rich displays an uneasiness that has clouded the liberal blogosphere ever since Hillary Clinton conceded.

Could it be that there's a bit of buyer's remorse among the party faithful?

2. Obama Convention Movie Gets Hollywood Help

In yet another example of the entertainment industry's political inclinations, Hollywood filmmakers are lending their talents and expertise to the Democrats.

Big-name writers, producers, and directors are once again stepping forward to assist in the making of a convention movie for the Democratic presidential nominee.

At the 1992 Democratic National Convention, a new kind of "campaign ad" convention flick debuted, which masqueraded as a documentary. The short was called "Man from Hope" and sang the praises of then-nominee Bill Clinton.

It was produced by longtime FOB Harry Thomason, who's best known for directing the hit television shows "Designing Women," "Hearts Afire," and "Evening Shade."

Thomason went on to produce "The Hunting of the President," a docudrama that attempted to clean up Clinton's legacy by blaming everyone other than Bill for the stain on his blue record.

At the 2000 Democratic Convention, a slickly produced mini-biography of then-nominee Al Gore was featured. The piece was directed by Spike Jonze, who evidently learned from the experience and went on to write, produce and direct the "Jackass" TV program and subsequent movies with the same donkey motif.

In 2004 a film on then-nominee John Kerry got some convention screen time. The piece was directed by James Moll.

Moll, who won an Oscar for his documentary, "The Last Days," is co-founder, along with Steven Spielberg, of the Shoah Foundation, which is dedicated to the visual memory of Holocaust. Moll, incidentally, received help on the Kerry convention film from his Spielberg buddy.

Not to be outdone, the Obama campaign is tapping Davis Guggenheim to direct a biographical film on the life and career of the Illinois senator.

Guggenheim won an Oscar for Al Gore's global warming lecture, "An Inconvenient Truth," and is also known for directing TV programs, which include episodes of "24," "The Shield," and "Deadwood."

Expect rave reviews from the mainstream media.

3. Rosie O'Donnell Compares 'The View' to Prison Rape Scene

Rosie O'Donnell recently spoke at a Cyndi Lauper concert in Vancouver and took the opportunity to rhetorically rip her former TV colleagues.

"Remember 'The View?' Do you get it here in Canada?" Rosie asked the audience.

"It was a cute, little tea party show with the ladies turned into a women's prison film. We were tough girls elbowing each other," she said.

In describing her tenure as co-host of "The View," O'Donnell went on to use a rape scene in a Linda Blair movie to make her point.

Reminding the audience about the Blair movie, "Born Innocent," O'Donnell said, "Remember the broomstick? Woah, I know how she felt."

Maybe Rosie could use some face time with either Dr. Phil or Mr. T.

4. Tabloid Extravaganza: A-Rod, C-Rod, Madonna, and Lenny Kravitz

One bit of celebrity melodrama has virtually taken over the print, broadcast, and Web media.

It's simultaneously being reported as a news, entertainment, and sports story and is crowding out coverage of the war, the election, and the economy.

It involves baseball star Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod, Rodriguez's wife, aka C-Rod, material girl Madonna, aka Madge in the U.K., Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, and rocker Lenny Kravitz.

Here's the skinny: C-Rod found out A-Rod was involved with Madge, who was supposedly divorcing husband Ritchie. C-Rod fled to Paris to stay with Kravitz and reportedly blames Madge's Kabbalah religion for luring husband A-Rod to her side.

According to New York Daily News' sources, C-Rod found a note written to Madge from A-Rod that read: "You are my true soulmate."

All of the parties involved are denying the romantic aspects of the reports.

The really amazing story, however, is the way the press has been going full court tabloid over the tale.

Here are a few of the headlines:

  • "Lenny Kravitz: Cynthia Rodriguez's Grand Slam?" (New York Magazine)
  • "New adventures of old Madonna (co-starring A-Rod)" (The Boston Herald)
  • "A-Rod and wife heading into foul territory" (The Miami Herald)
  • "Wife: Madonna lured A-Rod with Kabbalah" (United Press International)
  • "Let's play six degrees of Madonna" (The San Jose Mercury News)
  • "Madonna and A-Rod and Lenny? (Oh My)" (Gary Post Tribune)

It's enough to make you long for good old hard news.

5. PETA Pelts Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone has been known to say some foolish things. Like the time she said that bad karma is what caused millions of Chinese people to die in the recent earthquakes.

The Chinese subsequently banned her films. And Dior removed her face from its advertising.

Stone did apologize.

But PETA has seen fit to hit her when she's at her lowest.

The animal rights group sent a letter to Stone, which offers to pay for a brain scan.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote to the actress, attempting to tie her comments about the Chinese earthquake to her refusal to stop wearing fur.

There was also a nasty suggestion about Stone's brain capacity.

"Given that millions of people were killed, injured, and left homeless by the recent earthquake in China, everyone was shocked to hear you dismiss the devastating effects of this disaster," Newkirk wrote.

"However, your cavalier attitude did not come as a surprise to us. We are used to the indifference that you flaunt and the callous remarks that you make about the suffering and death of the animals whose fur you wear so often," Newkirk added.

The letter went on to talk about scientific studies that suggest that "the prefrontal regions of the brains of people who lack empathy might be underdeveloped."

"Here's our offer," the letter said. "Would you allow PETA to pay for a scan of the prefrontal region of your brain to determine if comments and actions that seem to demonstrate a lack of empathy are the result of a physical defect?"

In 2001 Stone actually suffered a brain-bleeding occurrence from which she fortunately recovered.

From now on lack of empathy should be spelled P-E-T-A.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Frank Rich Uses 'WALL-E' Film to Whack Obama2. Obama Convention Movie Gets Hollywood Help3. Rosie O'Donnell Compares 'The View' to Prison Rape Scene4. Tabloid Extravaganza: A-Rod, C-Rod, Madonna, and Lenny Kravitz5. PETA Pelts...
Tuesday, 08 July 2008 01:28 PM
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