Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s Top 10 dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. O nO!  HarOld Camping wrOng. The wOrld tO end tOday! Or maybe I’m just suffering frOm the Onset of EOS (“Empty Oprah SyndrOme”).

Check out 8 defining moments from the Oprah show here.

2. Sarah Palin: The Movie. From Real Clear Politics: Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin’s governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.
The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He’d make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself — to the tune of $1 million.
The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska’s most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin’s prospective presidential campaign — an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won’t run.

3. GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain says Muslims WOULD be welcome in his cabinet. From The Blaze: Herman Cain is out to set the record straight. If elected president, he now claims that he will consider appointing Muslims.
Two months ago, Cain set off a liberal firestorm when he allegedly told the ultra-leftist blog ThinkProgress (TP) that, if elected, he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims.

4. Talk about chutzpah! From The Wrap: Javad Shamaqdari, the deputy culture minister in Iran, has written a letter to Cannes president Gilles Jacob charging that the festival “left a dark stain on its history” by banning (Lars) von Trier and declaring him persona non grata for his press-conference remarks about Hitler and Nazis…
…Iran might have another reason for slamming the festival: Two of the films shown at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi’s “This Is Not a Film” and Mohammad Rasoulof’s “Goodbye,” were by directors currently imprisoned in Iran, and barred from making films for the next 20 years.

5. Still banned in Britain. From The Washington Times: Talk radio host Michael Savage has waged a vigorous fight against the British government, hoping to have his name removed from a list of 16 “undesirables” banned from the country on May 5, 2009, by then British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.The list included Islamist terrorists, neo-Nazis and Russian gang members — and Mr. Savage says he’s still on the new version, despite his efforts to persuade British officials that his inclusion is unwarranted and unfair.
All governments are essentially amoral,” he told The Washington Times on Monday. “I had hopes but did not expect this ‘new’ UK government to restore sanity to Britain. They are still pandering to the Muslim masses. To continue to martyr me by including me on a list of known murderers and terrorists is bad enough but for the U.S. and Western media which considers itself ‘progressive’ to continue to ignore this outrage against freedom of speech is indicative that the media and governments are one and the same. This includes so-called conservatives. Has freedom of the press become greed-om of the press?” he concluded.
The British government described Mr. Savage as a “controversial daily radio host. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.”

6. Osama Bin Laden movies coming. From The Wrap: Columbia Pictures has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to Kathryn Bigelow’s film account of the black ops mission to capture and kill Osama bin Laden, the studio announced on Tuesday…
…Still the Oscar-winner may have competition. As TheWrap previously reported there are several bin Laden pictures in the works, including films that reportedly involve such top shelf talents as Oliver Stone and George Clooney.

7. Brent Bozell takes on Grey’s Anatomy‘s partial-birth abortion episode. It’s bad enough that ABC’s “Private Practice” cast a partial-birth abortionist as a hero. It’s worse that her “pro-life” friend so easily collapses into a supportive hand-holder as a baby is carved up. (Full post here.)

Then there’s this…

Abortion poll: Americans split on legality but most think it’s morally wrong. From Gallup: Americans are closely divided between those calling themselves “pro-choice” and those who are “pro-life,” now 49% and 45%, respectively, in Gallup’s 2011 update on U.S. abortion attitudes…Gallup’s 2011 Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 5-8, finds a bit more public agreement about the morality of abortion. Just over half of Americans, 51%, believe abortion is “morally wrong,” while 39% say it is “morally acceptable.” Americans’ views on this have been fairly steady since 2002, except for 2006, when they were evenly divided.

IMHO: I’d like to see some TV episode where a character considering an abortion decides to have her baby instead. Oddly, in Hollywood, that apparently would be the controversial dramatic choice.

8. Parents Television Council goes after sponsors of Billboard Music Awards. From The Wrap: The revived “Billboard Music Awards” might have been a hit with viewers, but there’s one group that was none too thrilled with Sunday’s telecast: The Parents Television Council.
The media watchdog group/professional scolds  issued an action alert on Tuesday, calling for a boycott of the show’s sponsors, following a risque performance by Rihanna and Britney Spears of the former’s hit song “S&M.”

Is the PTC anger justified? Here’s the performance in question. Decide for yourself.

9. A liberal talker who actually likes conservatives gains audience (and ratings) respect. From Mediaite: Although conservatives like Rush Limbaugh currently dominate talk radio, there are a few liberals, like Bill Press, and Ed Schultz, who have managed to break that stranglehold and maintain a beachhead in the format. Perhaps the best kept secret in progressive talk radio, though, is that Thom Hartmann sits atop the pack, and he does it with a minimum of the antagonism that is de rigeur in today’s political media. With a recent move to Washington, DC, and a move into television, is Hartmann poised to break out?
Hartmann’s attitude toward conservatives stems not only from a cool temperament, but from his relationship with his late father, a lifelong conservative. As an adolescent, Thom campaigned with his dad for Barry Goldwater, but even as their worldviews diverged, their mutual affection remained. Hartmann is no liberal “squish,” though. His views are not triangulated to make nice with the other side, which makes his ability to get along with them that much more remarkable.
IMHO: It’s a truism that’s true. Often it’s not what you say but how you say it. Right or left, we can hold strong opinions — but we’re far more likely to actually solve problems when we respect different points of view.

10. And the Dancing with the Stars winner isFrom Hollywood Reporter: Hines Ward was named winner of Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver beat out Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane to take home the disco-ball trophy on Season 12 of ABC’s dancing competition.

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