Late Night: “The Kennedys” Scandalous?

The Kennedys, an eight part miniseries beginning Sunday, April 3, on ReelzChannel, has been fraught with intrigue and dismay since it was announced last year. It was originally scheduled to air on the History Channel, which paid $30 million to make the sex, drugs and scandal-scented series.

Joel Surnow, the conservative producer of 24 was tapped to produce the miniseries; and early on, complaints began: In February of last year The New York Times ran a front-page story in which former JFK adviser/biographer Theodore Sorensen called the project “vindictive” and “malicious.”

Surnow told the Hollywood Reporter that a lot of the criticism may have sprung from his own known conservative political views. Plus, there were scenes which were not 100% historically accurate. Though Surnow and historical research team, one of whom was brought in by the History Channel, worked hard to make history truthfully come alive, the execs at the History Channel weren’t happy, especially about depictions of the characters’ sex lives.

The History Channel is part of A&E Television Network. The Hollywood Reporter [THR] brought forth this exclusive tidbit:

AETN is owned by a consortium including the Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal and Hearst. The source said that Disney/ABC Television Group topper Anne Sweeney, who serves on the AETN board and is said to hold tremendous sway over its decisions, was personally lobbied by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy. Caroline Kennedy has a book deal with Disney’s Hyperion publishing division, which announced in April 2010 that it will publish a collection of previously unreleased interviews with the late Jackie Kennedy timed to the 50th anniversary of the first year of JFK’s presidency this fall.

According to THR, had The Kennedys come out on the History Channel, Caroline Kennedy might not have been so eager to promote her book. Meanwhile her cousin, Maria Shriver, daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and wife of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

is said to have voiced her displeasure with the project to outgoing NBCU[niversal] execs Jeff Zucker and Jeff Gaspin…and a source said Shriver criticized the Kennedys project to Sweeney after a leaked early script was attacked in the New York Times as “vindictive” and “malicious” by a former JFK aide (though the final shooting script is said to have been vetted for accuracy by History’s in-house historians).

Meanwhile, Greg Kinnear who stars as President John Kennedy told THR last night at the premier that

when he heard “it wasn’t going to be broadcast on The History Channel, I didn’t know [what to think] … I’ve had movies that nobody saw, I supposed it could be a TV show that ended up in a dusty vault somewhere. I really didn’t know what to expect.”

Katie Holmes, who plays Jackie Kennedy said:

I am so thrilled it did find a home. There was a lot of work put into this. People felt so passionate about this and worked so hard, so it’s wonderful to be here tonight.

The questions are: Does anyone know where REELZ is on their cable guide? Will The Kennedys prove watchable for 8 parts?

Late Night: Celebrity Stupidity

Barely-celeb former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson–who became a Christian stand-up comic, Tea-Party speaker (oh that voice which launched a thousand ships–in the opposite direction!), and inadvertent laughing stock when she ranted about Obama being a granny killer and called POTUS a Communist (you know someone’s an idiot when Fox’s Steve Doocy has to correct her)–wrote a bunch of homophobic remarks about Glee and then tried to Bible-lize her way out them on Showbiz Tonight:

Well, it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what the Bible says. And I’m really concerned about our country because immorality is, well, let’s see, secular humanism rules the airwaves, and it’s stealing the innocence away from this whole generation of children. My daughter is a teenager and I can’t find any show that she can watch…

For the uninitiated, Victoria also explains the term “homophobic”:

That’s a cute little buzzword of the liberal agenda. Basically, the Bible says  homosexuality is a sin. But is has also gossip is listed in the same paragraph as equal sin [sic, wtf? sic facepalm,jpg].

So if gossip is a sin, why is she on a gossip show? (BTW, she is referring to Romans 1, though the word is “gossips” as a plural noun, rather than as a verb). Anyway, back to her nutty rant:

They should have a celibacy campaign and tell kids that 50% of teenagers now have this new STD from oral sex, that’s what they should being doing  doing instead of making kids gay. I just want to know why the liberals are pro-Muslim and pro-gays. Muslims kill gays. That’s what’s confusing to me. And the only thing I can come up with is the Muslims hate God and the gays hate his word.

Wow, is she dum or whut? Muslims love God, they just call God “Allah” because they speak a different language. Like the French who call God “Dieu” or the Spanish who use “Dios.” It’s not a different God, just a different language, and some minor variations in theological concepts.

More stupidity from Jackson: Fifty percent of teenagers have an oral STD? No, according to the latest study, 51% of teens surveyed said they had oral sex before their first experience with intercourse. And there’s nothing new about HPV (Human papillomavirus).

Best part of the video: Jackson shouting at the end that she has gay friends.

And in other low-level celebrity moron news, arch-huntress Sarah Palin has long touted the benefits of eating fresh killed, wholesome game meats. And goodness knows, game can be tasty, but maybe Ted Nugent hasn’t been cleaning it correctly, because he seems to be suffering from lead poisoning. Check out his editorial in the Washington Times:

Africa isn’t called the Dark Continent for no reason. Africa has forever been a political nightmare full of overt corruption, tribal warfare, genocide, murderous regimes and brutal dictators…

There is no country in Africa that truly respects freedom or the rule of law. The majority of countries in Africa are in economic ruin because of political corruption and a history ugly with cruel despotism. That’s why starvation and disease are rampant. AIDS is projected to kill as much as half the populations of some countries. Genocide is a way of life. There is little light in Africa…

Africa is an international scab. Bono of the band U2 advocates that if we forgive debt African nations owe, peace and tranquillity [sic] will sprout up mystically. The real problem is murdering, corrupt thugs and punks like Col. Gadhafi. Once we swat one of these African cockroaches or intervene in their civil war, where do we stop?

Uh, somehow I don’t think African nations started out corrupt and despotic. See, there was this thing called colonialism…

Side note: debt forgiveness is one part of helping the nations of Africa and so is HIV/AIDS care. With that in mind, and this being the 30th year of the scourge of HIV/AIDS, we’re featuring The Lazarus Effect here on Movie Night, Monday April 18. Produced by Join (RED), an organization Bono founded to provide HIV/AIDS care in Africa, The Lazarus Effect is  also airing on HBO April 15th.

Who else has been really idiotic this week?

Sarah Palin and Dominionism: Webinar Today

Today at 2pm PST, author Leah Burton launches her Webinar series discussing the infiltration of right-wing Christians into American politics and culture, and in the rise of Dominionist theology.  Dominionists believe that God gave man dominion over earth, and from there extrapolate that they can warp the Bible itot justification for all sorts of Constitutional violations, ‘cuz God sez so. Neener.

Burton has long studied fundamentalists and Sarah Plain, and her insight into God’s Own Party (also the title of her upcoming book) gives insight into a growing group of religious nutters who give believers and Americans a bad name as they attempt to force their narrow doctrines on to the populace.

Burton explains:

The goal of Christian Dominionism is to abolish Separation of Church and State and to establish the United States as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law. Dominionism is an umbrella term that harbors many divergent groups claiming a foundation in Christianity. You must be “born again”…accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour…and profess your personal relationship with Christ.” All Christians are not Dominionist, but all Dominionists claim Christianity.

The illogical concept  with Dominionism is that in the New Testament Jesus said to listen to him, not follow the old book, but hey, Dominionists think they know better, so they mix and match whatever works for them in order to try and get their repressive way.

Hope you can tune in for what looks to be a lively series!

Viggo Mortenson, Michael Stipe, Tom Morello, Shephard Fairey, Jane Hamsher Join in Protest Against Treatment of Bradley Manning

Viggo Mortenson, Michael Stipe, Tom Morello, Shephard Fairey, Roseanne Cash, Danny Glover are joining FDL founder Jane Hamsher and Daniel Ellsberg to demand President Obama and Secretary Gates take immediate action in addressing

the inhumane and unjustified treatment of PFC Bradley Manning at Quantico Marine Base.

Jesselyn Radack of Government Accountability Project, Michael Ratner formCenter for Constitutional Rights, Vince Warren at Center for Constitutional Rights and Amnesty International’s Angela Wright also signed the letter which went went out today.

This week editorials ran in the New York Times, the LA Times and the Guardian decrying the degrading treatment of PFC Manning who is accusing of passing military documents to WikiLeaks. Manning’s treat goes against everything the America I and millins of others believe in, the America guarateed to us by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution. And Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon is a GREAT opportunity to get out with signs and banners and tell the world.

On the evening of March 2, 2011 PFC Manning was stripped of all his clothing by the Quantico Brig and left naked in his cell for the next seven hours. His clothes were returned to him the following morning only after he stood to attention in front of the rest of the clothed inmates, still naked. The same thing occurred the following night and morning.

There can be no conceivable justification for this type of degrading treatment. It brings back memories of the abuses committed in Abu-Ghraib, which blackened the reputation of America’s armed forces.

Pfc. Manning is already being monitored at all times, both by direct observation and by video. No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.

The BEST Response to Asians in the Library

There have been hundreds of video responses to UCLA student Alexandra Wallace’s rant against Asians in the school library including dub remixes and commentaries, but this original song by  Jimmy Wong is THE BEST!

Jennifer Lopez: “It’s Okay to Be Out”

In an exclusive interview with Andrés Duque’s Blabbenado blog, Jennifer Lopez–who along with being a musical and fashion superstar is now hosting American Idol–talks LGBT in the Latino community and beyond.

Lopez says she has LGBT family members and grew up with it being no big deal. She feels there is growing acceptance in both the Latino community and in the Latino music industry to LGBT performers, driven in part by Ricky Martin:

I just think it’s a reflection of the real world we live in. And it’s OK to be out. I do think it is. I do think it’s acceptable for people to be who they are. I am a huge advocate of that. In that sense, that’s the only way we can truly love ourselves, it’s by accepting who we are and letting everybody know who we are.

So, I’m very proud – you know – I’m friends with Ricky and I’m very proud of him and support him in everything he does. And all these people who have been… who want to step forward and tell the world who they are… I think that’s awesome.

(photo: Gisele13, creative commons)

Late Night: May You Live in Fascinating Times

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There’s a combo blessing/curse:

May you live in interesting times.

Fascinating. We live in fascinating times, may be a bigger curse.

I am fastened to the teevee fascinated with new updates from Japan. I am thrilled and fascinated that the NYTimes, the LA Times and the Guardian all have editorials about Bradley Manning (a direct result of FDL’s kick ass coverage and another reason to become a founding member if you haven’t already), fascinated by what passes as humor.

Sadly Leonard Nimoy’s novelty hit has a dose of melancholy truth. Time for some fascinating discussion…

There’s a Special Place in Hell…

For parents who give their kids beat boxes then send them to Sunday school. And don’t include an embed code.

(Click anywhere on the above for a cannot unse/unhear moment)

Weed and Unions: Good for America!

Connecticut is showing tremendous support for medical marijuana and decriminalization.  And why not? Pot is good for the American economy and for the American worker!

Ooopsie! Obama’s Choice of Words is a Spit Take

George W Bush called, he wants his writers back.  In his first statement after the earthquake and tsunami, President Obama said:

The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable

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