Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Anthony Weiner heckled during resignation announcement. From Ben Smith @ Politico: He wrote his final statement, with apologies to his wife and brother, himself and it was still structured like a political speech, leading with a paean to the middle class.  That may have signaled that he’s already looking for a comeback; but then Weiner’s whole life has been politica, so a political speech may just have been the way he chose to express himself. It was, in anyway, largely drowned out by the Howard Stern associate who stood up three times to ask obscene questions, which turned into the emotional core of the event and generated sympathy in the room for Weiner, if anything could.
Comment: It’s basic humanity that when someone is down on the ground beaten, no matter how much you may dislike him, you stop kicking.

2. Weiner approached for Entourage cameo. From Hollywood Reporter: Entourage executive producer Doug Ellin has reached out Anthony Weiner to play himself on the show. Though the request went out before Weiner resigned from office Tuesday, don’t count on seeing him on the eighth and final season this summer. Asked what response he has gotten from Weiner, Ellin just says, “Nothing.”
Unsolicited advice: Just say “NO.”

3. Hustler’s Larry Flynt offers Weiner a job.From a letter the porn publisher posted @ The Huffington Post: Mr. Weiner: After having learned of your sudden and compelled resignation from your Congressional post, I would like to make you an offer of employment at Flynt Management Group, LLC in our Internet group…While this employment opportunity is being offered in large part due to your qualifications and clear passion for making a change, I feel that your unfortunate resignation is a prime example of unfounded political pressure and the hypocrisy that has invaded democracy in Washington D.C. I hope you will sincerely consider this offer, and I look forward to your response.
Unsolicited advice: See above. BTW, aren’t  job offers usually made in confidence? What kind of employer would this guy be?

4.  Chris Mathews speculates on another possible Weiner employer. From Mediaite: Roger Ailes might want to hire Weiner as a commentator for Fox News so that Ailes could then convince Fox viewers that Weiner is emblematic of all Democrats with “all the lifestyle qualities of a typical liberal.”
Comment: At least it’s more long term than an exploitive cameo on Entourage and  is somewhat more respectable than being Hustler’s political guy.

5. Eliot Spitzer weighs in on Weiner resignation. From Mediaite: Anthony Weiner has finally stepped down from the only career that he has had in several decades, leaving many to wonder what he will now do to fill his time and support his new family. Eliot Spitzer, who knows a thing or two about rebounding after a sex scandal, weighed in on the matter tonight, and along with Mediaite founder Dan Abrams, concluded that the scandal could not keep him away from the political scene forever. Spitzer opened In the Arena…noting that he had received criticism for commenting on the Weiner story because of the scandal that led to his resignation from public office, adding that “maybe because I’ve been on both sides of the story, I’m well-suited to comment.”

6. Are Christian extremists as dangerous to the U.S. as radicalized Muslims? From CNSAt a congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that investigators needed to analyze Christian militants in America because they too might try to “bring down the country.”
Comment: She’s questioning Patrick Dunleavy, a former deputy inspector of the New York Criminal Intelligence Unit, who answers “I don’t know that Christian militants have foreign country backing or foreign country financing.” She responds “I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is whether their intent is to undermine the laws of this nation and I think it is clear that that is the case. So, your distinction is not answering the question.” Let’s see now. Internationally organized and financed networks versus occasional lone nutjobs. I honestly think he answered the question.  Looked at in a positive light, the hearings can serve as an opportunity for the vast majority of American Muslims who are law abiding and peace loving to highlight the real distinction between themselves and the shadowy zealots who commit heinous murders in the name of their great faith.

7. Oprah offers O.J. opportunity. From Hollywood Reporter: “I have a dream of O.J. Simpson confessing to me,” said Winfrey to voluble cheers from the crowd at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. “And I am going to make that happen people.” “I don’t just want the interview,” she continued. “I want the interview on the condition that you are ready, Mr. Simpson.”
Comment: In short, she doesn’t want “If I Did It.” She wants “I Did It.”

8. Oprah OWNs up to troubles at her new network. From Hollywood Reporter: “If I had to do it over, I would probably do it differently,” she says.
Unsolicited advice: Go easy on the cheap reality shows and offer more quality movies, miniseries scripted series,  and documentaries that speak to the heart. They may cost more but on cable you can rerun prime time shows overnight and during the day, recouping the cost.

9. Batman as Noah? From MovieWeb: Having bailed on The Wolverine, director Darren Aronofsky is hoping to make Noah his next film, an updated retelling of the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. And he now has his eyes trained on Christian Bale for the six-hundred-year-old title character.

10. Green Lantern vs. Mr. Popper’s Penguins @ the box office. From The Wrap: The summer of the superhero movie continues this weekend, when Warner Bros. launches “The Green Lantern” into 3,816 locations in the U.S. in Canada. Opening up alongside Fox’s Jim Carrey comedy “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “Lantern” is getting soft reviews but strong tracking, with pre-release forecasts ranging from $50 million to just over $60 million for the three-day weekend period.
Comment: Green Lantern was one of my favorite comic books as a kid.  Personally, I think it would work better as a smaller-scale TV series but I hope the film works. As for Mr. Popper’s Penguins, it’s certainly not a plot I’ve seen before. Here are the respective trailers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oazFv302DIM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQpC6CAJB20

11. It’s not easy being green.

For more Green Lantern fun, check out The Onion.

12. Despicable Me 2 coming July 3, 2013. Here’s Universal’s press release  via The Wrap: Gru, his girls and his vast army of minions return in Despicable Me 2, the follow-up to the blockbuster 3D CGI feature that grossed more than $540 million at the worldwide box office and became the tenth biggest animated film in domestic history.  Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team at Illumination Entertainment create an all-new animated adventure with the all-star voice cast returning to tell the next chapter in the life of everyone’s favorite (former?) super-villain.
Comment: Darn! I have a barbecue that day! 

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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