Charging that the FCC is beholden to religious right interest groups and the telecom lobby, Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco calls on chairman Kevin Martin to resign. Dumenco is inspired by an episode of “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” in which the network accidentally broadcasts the f-word.
In Nashville, country legends George Jones and Porter Wagoner lamented media consolidation at a special FCC hearing, with Wagoner claiming that Dolly Parton never would have a chance to be heard in today’s environment.
Irwin Winkler talks to the Los Angeles Times’ Patrick Goldstein about his inspiration for “Home of the Brave,” the pic about returning Iraqi veterans which opens Friday. He also shares his views on what went wrong: “Everyone in the Bush administration clearly thought, ‘Oh, we’ll knock out these guys in a few weeks and be outta there. You could say the same thing about the Israelis counter-attacking against Hezbollah. Or the Japanese in World War II. Did they know when they attacked Pearl Harbor that they’d end up with an atom bomb in their lap? If you start something, you better know where it’s going to end.”
On Saturday, Al Gore is hosting a network of 1,600 house parties to watch “An Inconvenient Truth,” and he will address them all by satellite hook up.
Sierra Leonans who fled the civil war in that country screen “Blood Diamond” and say it accurately portrays the violence they witnessed.
About 30 people protest at Jimmy Carter’s book signing outside of Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. Critics have charged that his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” is anti-Israel.
Barack Obama’s announcement on “Monday Night Football”? He wants the Chicago Bears to “go all the way.” (Video below)
New York Film Critics gave best picture to “United 93,” while the Catholic Church scandal doc “Deliver Us from Evil” takes the non fiction prize. “United 93” was among the best picture nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Awards, along with “Babel,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “Blood Diamond” and others.
Fran Drescher successfully lobbies for a gynecological cancer bill, approved in the last hours of Congress, then causes a minor sensation at Morton’s.
Plans for a new brand of Green Mountain coffee called “PBS blend” draw complaints that the taxpayer-supported network is getting too commercial.
Can’t get enough of Obama? Don’t forget to respond to the well-timed “Pushy Question” on Variety.com today, “Is U.S. Sen. Obama a viable Democratic candidate in 2008?”