That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
It may be hard to stop a “Hulk” villain from chomping on a cigar, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, known to light up himself in his famous Sacramento stogie tent, has found a way to wag a finger at it. At least when youth are watching.
He’ll announce a state health plan this morning in which five Hollywood studios will begin putting state-produced anti-smoking PSAs before non-R-rated DVDs, starting with Sony’s release of “21” on July 22. The sixth major studio, Fox, has its own PSAs in the works and word is that they will sign on to the state plan, too.
Will it be enough to mollify critics? Members of the American Medical Assn. Alliance in particular have been highly critical of depictions of smoking in summer tentpoles — which are driven by teen audiences — and are calling for automatic R ratings for gratuitous depictions of smoking in movies.
But such a stringent mandate doesn’t sit too well when viewed against creative freedom, in particular when smoking is used in an historical context. (Think “Good Night, and Good Luck.”) The MPAA now takes smoking into consideration when weighing ratings, but it does not commit to an automatic “R” rating for flagrant puffing up.
Hypocrisy alert: I have had a cigar or two in my day, and I admit that I must have looked a bit ridiculous.
More Bundlers: Prodded by the New York Times, the Obama campaign released the updated list of campaign bundlers. Among those industry names disclosed on Thursday: Jamie Denenberg, Rob Friedman, Irena and Mike Medavoy, Kelly Meyer, Eric Paquette, Paula Weinstein, Anna Wintour and John Emerson, the latter of whom was a Hillary Clinton bundler for her run. No word yet on McCain updating his list.
In the Works: Sarah Jessica Parker is doing a pilot for HBO called “Washingtonienne,” based on the novel by D.C. blogger Jessica Cutler.
Obama in the O.C.: He raises money at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach — a Republican stronghold. But Orange County is losing its rep as a right wing bastion.
Redford on ’08: Robert Redford outlines the stakes: “You can kiss the Democratic party goodbye” if Obama loses.
“I think Obama is not tall on experience . . . but I believe he’s a really good person. He’s smart. And he does represent what the country needs most now, which is change.
“I hope he’ll win. I think he will. If he doesn’t, you can kiss the Democratic Party goodbye. I think we need new voices, new blood. We need to get a whole group out, get a new group in.”