There are few greater signs that President Obama’s deficit reduction proposals prove pleasing to the left than the support of Michael Moore, who appeared last night on “The Rachel Maddow Show.” “What happened today is exactly what we have been wanting President Obama to do, and he has to do more of it,” Moore said, adding that the risk of alienating the left isn’t so much support as enthusiasm. “They may vote for him again, they are not going to vote for the Republican, but they are not going to bring ten people to the polls with them. They are not going to be excited about voting, and that is where it can really hurt him.” His interview here. Moore, who is promoting his new book “Here Comes Trouble,” appears at UCLA tonight and at Writers Bloc with Anne Thompson on Thursday.
Cenk to Current: Cenk Ugyur will join Current TV later this year as a lead-in for “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Ugyur left MSNBC earlier this year in a dispute that he characterized as motivated by political pressure. His new show will essentially bring his popular web series, “The Young Turks,” to television and will be based in Los Angeles. (New York Times).
Ari to CNN: Ari Fleischer is joining CNN as a political contributor. Fleischer was White House press secretary from 2001 to 2003, and has since headed his own communications company.
Arnold is Back: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is at the UN today to deliver an address on climate change.
“8” Opens: Photos from last night’s opening of “8” are here. Meanwhile, proponents of Prop 8 say they plan to appeal Judge James Ware’s decision to unseal the tapes of the January, 2010 trial. Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Protect Marriage Coalition, said, “Today’s decision is bizarre for many reasons, but mostly because it defies a direct order of the U.S. Supreme Court. We will appeal immediately to the Ninth Circuit and ask them to restore some sanity to this case.”
Update: Some reviews: Linda Hirshman, Salon: “Just hours before “8” opened as a fundraising event for Americans for Equal Rights, the current judge in Perry ruled that the trial recording should be opened to the public. Presumably, the Proposition 8 defenders will try again to get the high court to stop it.
“The play may actually be a better choice, now. Black hobbled himself by taking material almost entirely from the transcript itself, which, like most trial transcripts, sounds oddly stilted. Conversation at trial is constrained by the conventions of examination and cross-examination and summation, which are the bones and sinew of the legal system, but rarely lead to soaring drama. Still, edited by his fine hand and enriched by his mischievous introduction of the political characters from outside — the antigay activist Maggie Gallagher, played by the incomparable Jayne Houdyshell, and Freedom to Marry’s adorable Evan Wolfson, amusingly handed to gay legend Larry Kramer — the two-hour evening managed to entertain and educate at the same time. By the time the Ted Olson character made his summation, that the argument we “don’t know” what harm will be done cannot be used to deprive American citizens of a fundamental human right, we have learned enough about the characters to care about their rights. And that’s what a courtroom drama does, when it’s at home.”
Geoffrey Fowler, Wall Street Journal: “Like in dramatic portrayals of the Scopes Trial, which tackled evolution, Black focused the “8” narrative on some of the thornier issues raised in the gay marriage debate — whether sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic and the impact of homophobia on gay and lesbian people.”
AP: “The 21 actors read from binders that contained the script and sat in director’s chairs on stage. The only props were the flags of California and the United States and a video monitor that played anti-gay marriage political ads. One odd note was struck inadvertently right at the beginning: The proscenium was decorated like a Mormon temple – the legacy of the show that usually plays in the space, “The Book of Mormon.”
Towleroad: “Nothing plays like reality, except when reality is delivered by a bunch of acclaimed Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winners. Dustin Lance Black did a brilliant job of adapting the transcript, interspersing it with screenings of the awful (and often laughable) “Yes on 8″ ads from the campaign.”
Towleroad’s Andy Towle notes the most unexpected audience member at the reading of “8”: Maggie Gallagher, leader of the anti-gay marriage org National Organization for Marriage, who sat in the back rows. She was played by Jayne Houdyshell.