Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

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

1. New NBC boss Robert Greenblatt on Utah affiliate’s refusal to air The Playboy Club. From Hollywood Reporter: They have to do what they have to do. If I thought it was inappropriate to the brand, I wouldn’t put it on. This affiliate does not [carry] Saturday Night Live. It’s their prerogative to make decisions for their market. We feel confident that this is the only place reacting like this.

If you’re curious, this is what the fuss is about:

IMHO: I don’t blame a Mormon-owned channel for not airing this show but my problem isn’t really with the subject matter — which I could see playing as sort of a Dallas-like prime time soap. To me the issue is that it’s virtually a last-ditch marketing vehicle for a crumbling media empire. Dramatically, I think the show would work a lot better if the club was tied to a fictitious men’s magazine rather than the actual Playboy.   Imagine if Dallas was instead named Exxon. Would we have ever seen the classic evil oil baron J.R. Ewing? Likewise, you can bet Hef is going to come out looking pretty good on The Playboy Club. He’ll probably even be presented as some sort of  defender of women. Certainly, Hef approves of what he’s seen so far.

2. Hef’s marriage off. From Media Life Magazine: “The wedding is off. Crystal has had a change of heart,” Hefner tweeted. Ah, but there appears to be more to the story than just a change of heart. TMZ reported yesterday that the couple had gotten into a nasty fight over the weekend that led to the breakup. The cause of the fight?  Hef allegedly learned that his much-younger fiancée had been cheating on him with Jordan McGraw, her songwriting partner and son of Dr. Phil McGraw. (Her manager has vigorously denied this.)…But the scandal doesn’t end there. According to the New York Post, Harris had been plotting to leave her cuckolded fiancé at the altar, in hopes of getting a payout of up to half a million dollars from a tabloid to tell her side of the story. The wedding was to be filmed for a reality special on Lifetime, and Harris allegedly thought walking out on the ceremony would lead to a bigger payday than just calling things off ahead of time. Unfortunately, Harris seemed to miscalculate the relevance of Hef to today’s tabloid readers. The Post says she didn’t get offered nearly the payout she was looking for. The wedding was to be filmed for a reality special on Lifetime, and Harris allegedly thought walking out on the ceremony would lead to a bigger payday than just calling things off ahead of time. Unfortunately, Harris seemed to miscalculate the relevance of Hef to today’s tabloid readers. The Post says she didn’t get offered nearly the payout she was looking for.
Comment:
Sounds like an episode of The Playboy Club that we won’t be seeing.

3. Go the F**k to Sleep debuts @ #1 on NYT Bestseller list. From Hollywood Reporter: The public interest that has made Go the Fuck to Sleep the most unexpected publishing hit of 2012 continues to be high as the book finally arrived in stores Tuesday…Exactly one year ago, Go the Fuck to Sleep started as a joking Facebook post by author Adam Mansbach when he could not get his daughter to fall asleep. His friends loved the fake title so much he decided to turn it into a real nursery rhyme-style book with illustrations by his friend Ricardo Cortes.
Comment:
I know it’s funny and I’m an old f**t (that’s fart) but I’m getting tired of the F word turning up everywhere. It’s just a word I know but it’s frequent use somehow coarsens society.

4. Ken vs. Barbie on the environment.

5. John Edwards' mug shot releasedFrom CNN.

This is former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards’ mug shot. Or is it the Ken Goes to Prison doll? I’m so confused.

6. Still “One Nation, Under God.” From SFGate: A Sacramento atheist’s challenge to the addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, which stirred a legal and political frenzy nearly a decade ago, has quietly expired in the U.S. Supreme Court.

7. The Blaze asks: Why is atheist George Soros supporting a “faith” project? From The Blaze: The left is ramping up its infiltration of faith-based circles in an effort to gain more adherents, while harnessing the collective powers organized religions posses. And with billionaire atheist George Soros’ financial help, these groups’ radical policy dreams may become a reality.

8. Hollywood discovers radical Islamic terrorism. From What Would Toto Watch?: Is the Hollywood dam finally breaking on terrorist-themed films productions? After the horrors of 9/11 one thing seemed clear. Hollywood had a new enemy for a generation of film goes to hate.The Al Qaeda madmen could fuel countless stories of heroism and danger without anyone complaining about stereotyping or other PC concerns.Except it didn’t happen.
But now, with the death of Osama Bin Laden inspiring talk of a Navy Seals film adventure and news that two of Vince Flynn’s books are coming to the big screen it seemed Hollywood is finally determined to fight terrorism.

9. Not again! From The Wrap: Alec Baldwin’s Twitter account has been hacked and may leave the social-media site as a result — or so he claimed Wednesday on his highly entertaining feed.

10. Jimmy Fallon says NBC’s original decision to oust Leno for Conan was “an insult.” From Mediaite: Fallon describes the decision to decide Leno’s fate years ahead of time–and while he was number one in late night–made no sense. “I think that’s bizarre. If you’re number one and somebody says, in five years somebody’s going to take your job, I don’t know what that means. If I was Jay Leno, I’d be like, what are you talking about?”

11. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Bill Haney’s anti-coal documentary. From The Wrap: “The Last Mountain” opens Wednesday in Los Angeles. Kennedy spoke to TheWrap about the film in which he appears, but over which he had no editorial control…“This movie is two things. It’s the story of the environmental destruction of Appalachia, and the scale of that destruction is enormous. Over the past 10 years they’ve destroyed 1.4 million acres illegally. They’ve flattened 500 of the biggest mountains in West Virginia. They’ve illegally buried 2,200 miles of rivers and streams. They detonate the equivalent explosive power every week of the Hiroshima bomb, just in West Virginia.”

12. Emmy-winning producer dies. From The Wrap: Bob Banner, who won an Emmy for directing “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show” in 1958 and was executive producer of television programs including “Candid Camera,” “Solid Gold” and “Star Search,” died Wednesday of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 89.

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

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