The New York Times says that the Libyan government has released four of their journalists, held for six days as they covered the conflict.They were released to Turkish diplomats and are now in Tunisia.
“Because of the volatile situation in Libya, we’ve kept our enthusiasm and comments in check until they were out of the country, but now feels like a moment for celebration,” New York Times editor in chief Bill Keller wrote.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least six local reporters who were critical of government policy remain missing, and Al-Jazeera says that four of its journalists are being detained in Tripoli. (New York Times, Committee to Protect Journalists).
Trump Card: Donald Trump claims that he “screwed” Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by renting him a piece of land then refused to let him use it. He was referring to Gaddafi’s 2009 visit to New York, when Gaddafi leased the parcel to pitch a tent only to have Trump force him out. Appearing on Fox News, Trump says that such schemes are “what we should be doing.” (Huffington Post)
Arts Lobby: Alec Baldwin and Kerry Washington will be lobbying Capitol Hill on April 5 as part of Arts Advocacy Day, with arts supporters bracing for a tough budget period in which government funding faces severe cuts. The event is being sponsored by Americans for the Arts in partnership with Ovation, and Washington and Ovation CEO Charles Segars are serving as co-chairs.
North Stars: This will make me home sick: Al Franken judged a food-on-a-stick competition Sunday as part of the Minnesota State Fair Affair, a Brooklyn, N.Y. for Minnesota transplants. As best as I have read, though, there was no Ye Olde Mill or Machinery Hill, just a tease for the real thing. (New York).
Quotable: “I discovered the address was 1600 I Street, and there was a time in my life when I had ambitions to have a 1600 address. But I missed by a block.” New MPAA chief Chris Dodd, to Maureen Dowd, on his first day on the job.
Tonight: Former President George H.W. Bush is honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington tonight for a tribute to service that will gather, for the first time since President Obama’s inauguration, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Obama, on a Latin American tour, will send a taped message. The event, produced by George Stevens and Michael Stevens, will be shown on NBC at a later date.
Update: A few other stories from today:
Tobacco Tax: The Entertainment Industry Foundation is throwing its support behind a California initiative that calls for a $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund cancer research. (Variety)
Frack and Friction: Josh Fox, director of GasLand, is setting his sights on a follow up, including a concert series and a project focusing on the risks that natural gas drilling has for drinking water. More than anyone, Fox is responsible for bringing “fracking” into the lexicon. (Variety)
Cheney Project: HBO is developing a project based on the Barton Gellman book “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency.” (Deadline).