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NBC's 'Totally Liberal' New Program Chief

Tuesday, 19 June 2007 12:00 AM

A Political Look at Hollywood

1. NBC's 'Totally Liberal' New Program Chief

NBC News tilts to the left. MSNBC tilts even further.

Now apparently NBC's entertainment television division intends to follow suit.

Ben Silverman, Jeff Zucker's choice for NBC Universal's TV entertainment chief, is "totally liberal," wants to "shift the tidal wave" of public opinion to favor loose immigration laws, sung the praises of the immigration plotline on ABC's "Ugly Betty," is "a Kennedy sort of guy," is "as liberal as Norman Lear," considers Lear a source of "counsel" and wants to program "big bold TV shows" like Lear did, according to the L.A. Weekly.

Silverman has reportedly let it be known that he's "fed up" with the Bush administration as well, but not with Rosie O'Donnell. He has articulated a desire to put O'Donnell on NBC.

The new NBC suit is already talking about future plans after he leaves the network.

He just may run for public office.

2. Bob Barker's Rosie O'Pick for 'The Price is Right'

After 35 years of host duties on "The Price is Right," Bob Barker's endorsement of a successor could carry a lot of weight.

The TV game show host/animal rights advocate decided to use the event of his 19th win at the Daytime Emmy Awards to announce his pick of Rosie O'Donnell as his successor.

According to Barker, O'Donnell is in the running for the job. "I believe they're going to have a meeting with Rosie," Barker said. "She knows the show. There's no doubt in my mind she could do the show. Now, whether they want a lady host, I don't know. I've never heard that discussed. As far as I know, they've only auditioned men."

For years Barker has had a friendship with O'Donnell, having been a guest on her former daytime talk show.

"She told me she loved `The Price Is Right' and wanted to host it one day," Barker revealed.

If O'Donnell does get the gig, perhaps the show's name ought to be changed to "The Price Is Left."

3. Steven Spielberg Crumbles Under Heavy Hillary Lobbying

Hillary Clinton's people have been going after Hollywood director Steven Spielberg in a big way.

Ever since the left coast showed the love for Barack Obama, the Clinton camp has been in lobbying overdrive.

Last February, Spielberg, David Geffen and their partner Jeffrey Katzenberg co-sponsored an Obama fundraiser that roped in a whopping $1.3 million.

For weeks Clinton staffers have had their sights set on Spielberg, partially because of the director's fondness for Hillary's hubby. They were resolute. They had to get an early endorsement to avoid the impression that the entertainment industry had gone gaga for Obama.

They basically nagged the director, repeatedly pleading for him to declare his support for the New York senator. He may even have received a call from his old bud Bill Clinton.

If Spielberg had endorsed Obama, it would have been viewed as a rejection of Hillary, much like Spielberg's partner Geffen has publicly affirmed.

In a statement released through Hillary's campaign, Spielberg said that he had become familiar with the Democratic candidates and that he was convinced "Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to lead us from her first day in the White House."

The grab for Hollywood cash is of great interest to Democrats who in the 2006 election cycle received 63 percent of the $23 million donated, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The media are filled with stories about how Hillary has now won the Tinseltown money battle.

But with Obama backers like George Clooney, Lawrence Bender, Geffen, Katzenberg, and Oprah Winfrey, it's way too early to say where the most Hollywood dough will eventually go.

4. Michael Moore's 'Sicko' PR Ploy

In a transparent move to promote his "Sicko" film, Michael Moore showed up in Sacramento, Calif., and testified at a briefing hosted by former actress of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" and current state senator, Sheila Kuehl, to advocate a so-called universal healthcare system. The event was followed by a rally and screening of Moore's film.

"I'd like to see executives of these companies in a perp walk in handcuffs," Moore muttered.

Then the frustrated filmmaker granted the town of Bellaire in his home county the privilege of paying $40 per ticket for a sneak peek at his movie and, for an additional 60 bucks, the chance to attend a party where he autographed film posters, surgical gloves and bandages. The money went to the Democratic Party.

"I am anticipating the onslaught of attack," Moore told reporters at the event.

In a kind of comical karma, Moore's "Sicko" film has been pirated. The public can now view the thing for free thanks to its wide availability for downloading on the Web at no cost.

Ironically, in 2004 Moore told a Scottish paper, the Sunday Herald, he was happy that people engaged in copyright violations.

"I don't agree with the copyright laws and I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they're not trying to make a profit off my labor. I would oppose that," Moore said.

"I do well enough already and I made this film ['Fahrenheit 9/11'] because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I'm happy this is happening."

More words for Moore to eat on the eve of his "Sicko" release.

5. Hollywood Movies Play Role in Marine Testimony

The names of a couple of movies have surfaced in the Article 32 hearings (the military version of a preliminary hearing) for the Marines accused in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha.

The hearings will determine if any of the four officers and three enlisted Marines will go to court martial.

Marine Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt is accused in the deaths of three civilians. However, his defense asserts that he acted in self-defense when confronted with a man pointing an AK-47 at him.

During the hearing for Sharratt, a defense expert witness pointed out in testimony that Hollywood movies have distorted the public's perception of death and dying.

"Hollywood too often deceives the public on what is an ability to fire or inflict death or grievous injury," said Air Force Lt. Col. David Bolgiano.

Lt. Col. Bolgiano explained that people don't fall to the ground and remain motionless after being shot, but rather it can take 20 to 40 minutes to bleed to death and the wounded individual is still a danger.

Lance Cpl. Sharratt also referenced a Hollywood film in his testimony. The Marine officer testified that before the battle in Fallouja in late 2004, a Marine recited one of the rousing speeches from Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" to help Marines find courage in the upcoming battle.

Gibson's portrayal of William Wallace is best remembered for the last word he uttered: "Freedom!"

For the sake of that one word, if these brave young men are not exonerated, President Bush better have his pardon pen ready.

The Left Coast Report is put together by James L. Hirsen and the staff of NewsMax — The Left Coast Report Archives

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THE LEFT COAST REPORT A Political Look at Hollywood1. NBC's 'Totally Liberal' New Program Chief NBC News tilts to the left. MSNBC tilts even further. Now apparently NBC's entertainment television division intends to follow suit. Ben Silverman, Jeff...
Tuesday, 19 June 2007 12:00 AM
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