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Roger Ebert Says Move the Mosque Because of 'Far Right Wing'

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 24 August 2010 05:11 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

A Newsmax Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Roger Ebert Says Move the Mosque Because of ‘Far Right Wing’
2. Renouncing Celeb Love, Meg Whitman Vows to Defend Prop 8
3. Disney and Time Warner Face Off on Cable Costs
4. Stallone’s ‘Expendables’ Gives Doubters a Drubbing
5. Justice Dept. Helps Hollywood With Copyright Crackdown

1. Roger Ebert Says Move the Mosque Because of ‘Far Right Wing’

Roger Ebert actually made sense in part of his analysis of the ground zero mosque issue on his blog.

“The choice of location for the mosque shows flawed judgment on the part of its imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf. He undoubtedly knows that now, and I expect the mosque to be relocated,” Ebert wrote.

I have to agree. Common sense dictates that placing a high-rise mosque on what is, in essence, a war memorial shows a lack of understanding at a minimum.

Ebert then apparently felt the need to make his piece more acceptable to the left. What better way than to bring up the “far right” bogeyman.

“The imam would be prudent to choose another location, because the far right wing has seized on the issue as an occasion for fanning hatred against Muslims,” he wrote.

Ebert went on to claim that a hidden motive for the opposition to the mosque is “the insane belief of 20% of Americans that President Obama is a Muslim.”

Ebert even threw in some Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin bashing just to make sure that the Hollywood invites keep on coming.

2. Renouncing Celeb Love, Meg Whitman Vows to Defend Prop 8

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has all but assured that she will receive very little open support from Hollywood.

Unlike California’s current GOP governor and Dem attorney general, the former eBay executive announced that when elected she will defend Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative to maintain the traditional definition of marriage.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have both refused to carry out their sworn duties and defend the constitutional amendment from court challenges. Brown is Whitman's Democrat opponent in the upcoming governor’s race.

In Hollywood, to speak openly in favor of Proposition 8 is pretty much radioactive.

In fact, shortly after Judge Vaughn Walker issued his ruling declaring the ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, stars were twizzy with excitement as they twittered with approval.

“I am crying with absolute joy! Thank you thank you thank you for letting equality win,” Christina Applegate sobbed, adding that “all men are created equal! Period!!!”

“Prop 8 was struck down! This news is amazing!!!! Its about time! Congrats to everyone!” Kim Kardashian gushed.

“What a huge historical day for equal rights in this country!” Paris Hilton penned. “They finally overturned Prop 8! There shouldn’t be a law on true love. : )”

“Today's landmark ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional is a testament to the fundamentals on which this great country was built and validates that the discrimination gay couples face must come to an end,” Cindy Lauper proclaimed.

Comedian Margaret Cho chanted, “Down with prop 8!!!! Its prop hate!!!”

“This just in: Equality won!” Ellen DeGeneres exclaimed.

Adam Shankman, the director of the satirical web video “Prop 8: The Musical,” declared, “And justice is served. We are equal once more. God bless the letter of the law.”

Singer Ricky Martin emoted, "YEAHHHHH!!!!! #PROP8UNCONSTITUTIONAL MOVING FORWARD!!!!!!!! RT please.”

Guess none of these folks will be joining Team Meg any time soon.

3. Disney and Time Warner Face Off on Cable Costs

There’s a war going on between Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Cable over the cable broadcasts of ESPN, ABC and other Disney channels.

Both companies have been engaged in media campaigns in hopes of moving consumers over to their sides.

The current contract for the Disney programming will expire on Sept. 2. Disney wants higher prices for its content; Time Warner says that would force the company to raise fees for customers.

Disney has put up a website called “I Have Choices,” telling consumers to seek Disney shows on competing television providers if the Time Warner talks should go sideways.

The Disney site argues: “It is in the best interests of consumers, as well as both companies, for us to successfully conclude these negotiations before the deadline to avoid interrupting service to Time Warner Cable subscribers.”

Meanwhile Time Warner has a site called “Get Tough or Roll Over,” where it makes its case to consumers.

“Every year, we negotiate new agreements with TV stations and cable networks. Most of the time, you never hear about them. But sometimes, a station or network demands too much and we have to take a stand to protect our customers and protect our business,” the site reads.

In a conference call, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said consumers in a tough economy need lower priced packages with fewer channels included.

This probably means that Time Warner is proposing excluding some of Disney's many channels.

ESPN alone has 12 other sub-channels and is the highest priced channel, costing cable companies on average $4.40 a month per subscriber.

4. Stallone’s ‘Expendables’ Gives Doubters a Drubbing

For the first time all year, five new releases competed for moviegoers’ hard-earned theater dollars.

A sperm donor comedy, two spoofs and a family film took on Sly Stallone’s “The Expendables.”

Stallone’s movie won the weekend box-office with $16.5 million, according to studio estimates. It has been number one for two consecutive weeks, having accumulated a tidy $65.6 million despite mixed reviews and lots of entertainment experts predicting the worst for the nostalgic 1980s-style action film.

The Fox comedy “Vampires Suck,” a send-up of the “Twilight” series, placed second with $12.2 million.

Julia Roberts’ chick flick “Eat Pray Love” took the third spot with $12 million.

Coming in fourth, the comedy “Lottery Ticket” exceeded expectations with $11.1 million.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s “The Other Guys” came in fifth with $10.1 million.

The bloody “Piranha 3D,” a second spoof, was sixth with $10 million.

Emma Thompson’s “Nanny McPhee Returns” and Jennifer Aniston’s “The Switch” brought in a disappointing $8.3 million and $8.1 million respectively, taking the seventh and eighth slots.

According to Stallone, “The Expendables” could not have been made in the past because the cast would have been too costly. The movie features a host of 1980s action stars including Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis.

“It would have been impossible back then, everyone wanted their price, but they're dropping drastically now, and people want to work,” Stallone said.

So was it the state of the economy that allowed the project?

“This was all favors, all done on a really low budget. Some even wanted to work for nothing, meaning me. I don't think we could have got Arnold back then, never. He would have been too busy,” Stallone said.

5. Justice Dept. Helps Hollywood With Copyright Crackdown

In January 2010 the Record Industry Association of America asked the FCC to adopt rules that would require that Internet service providers deny service to repeat offenders, as a means of dealing with copyright infringement of the Internet piracy kind.

Trade groups have been lobbying Congress to pass laws that make Internet providers crack down on customers who are suspected of piracy. This is because, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an Internet service provider is generally not liable for copyright infringement if the provider is only acting as a conduit for content created by another.

The dynamic has set up a feud between Northern California technology companies and Southern California entertainment firms.

While many argue that copyright infringement should be dealt with via civil law, i.e., settling matters between private parties, the Justice Department is assisting in making Hollywood dreams come true by emphasizing copyright enforcement under the federal criminal law umbrella.

The same Eric Holder-led Justice Department that selectively dropped certain election intimidation cases, neglected missing persons and identity theft cases, and went about conjuring up ways to challenge Arizona’s immigration law is making Internet piracy a top priority.

Joe Biden hosted a “piracy summit” back in December 2009. Although the vice president claimed “all of the stakeholders” involved were present, no tech industry or consumer group reps were there.

Attendees were strictly from the entertainment industry.

Top executives from the largest companies in Hollywood met with Biden, Attorney General Holder and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, among others.

Hollywood honchos who attended the 75-minute White House meeting included CEOs Michael Lynton of Sony Pictures, Barry Meyer of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Daniel Glickman of the Motion Picture Association of America, and Jeffrey Zucker of NBC Universal; Time Warner Executive Vice President Carol Melton, Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford, and AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth.

Interestingly, a couple of months later the AG created an “IP task force” within the Justice Department, charged with dealing with “the rise in intellectual property crime.”

How does Hollywood rate in being given its own group of piracy policing prosecutors to go after Internet downloaders?

We get a hint when we look at the fact that the president has made several trips to Tinseltown to raise cash for beleaguered Dem candidates.

Hollywood stars, executives and various entertainment industry types have consistently queued up to attend Obama events and millions of dollars have been raised.

The same donors who will be invaluable to Obama come 2012 must be very pleased with the administration’s piracy policy.

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodA Newsmax ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Roger Ebert Says Move the Mosque Because of Far Right Wing 2. Renouncing Celeb Love, Meg Whitman Vows to Defend Prop 8 3. Disney and Time Warner Face Off...
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 05:11 PM
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