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Tag: Politics (31-40 of 64)

'Innocence of Muslims' mystery: Who is Sam Bacile?

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The man behind video excerpts from an anti-Muslim movie that provoked mobs in Egypt and Libya said Wednesday that he has gone into hiding. But doubts rose about the man’s exact identity amid a flurry of false claims about his background and role in the purported film. The filmmaker, who identified himself in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as Sam Bacile, said he is an Israeli-born, Jewish writer and director of Innocence of Muslims. Bacile was the name used to publish excerpts of the movie online as early as July 2.

But some key facts about Bacile’s background and role in the film crumbled Wednesday as a Christian activist involved in the film project said that Bacile was a pseudonym, that he was not Jewish or Israeli, and that a group of Americans of Mideast origin collaborated on the film. Officials in Israel also said there was no record of Bacile as an Israeli citizen.

Doubts mounted as well about the provenance of the film, Innocence of Muslims. Several Hollywood and California film industry groups and permit agencies said they had no records of the project. Only an employee at a faded Hollywood movie theater confirmed that an entire version of the film had staged a brief run several months ago. READ FULL STORY

Director of anti-Islam film goes into hiding; says 'Islam is a cancer, period'

An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding after a YouTube trailer of his movie attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American members of his staff were killed.

Speaking by phone Tuesday from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.

Protesters angered over Bacile’s film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Libyan officials said Wednesday that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob firing machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. READ FULL STORY

MPAA praises Republicans' 'Internet Freedom' platform

Conservatives often complain that Hollywood is in the bag for the Democrats, but when it comes to internet freedom, the motion-picture industry likes what the Republican Party has to say. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (and former Democratic senator from Connecticut), officially embraced the Republican Party’s campaign platform on intellectual property and internet freedom:

“The Republican Party platform language strikes a very smart balance: it emphasizes the importance of us doing more as a nation to protect our intellectual property from online theft while underscoring the critical importance of protecting internet freedom. As the party points out, the internet has been for its entire existence a source of innovation, and it is intellectual property that helps drive that innovation. Copyright is the cornerstone of innovation; it allows creators to benefit from what they create. As Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — herself once a Republican elected official — wrote, ‘[I]t should not be forgotten that the Framers intended copyright itself to be the engine of free expression. By establishing a marketable right to the use of one’s expression, copyright supplies the economic incentive to create and disseminate ideas.’ READ FULL STORY

Box office update: Anti-Obama doc '2016: Obama's America' headed for mainstream success

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A politically charged documentary called 2016: Obama’s America turned heads last weekend when it grossed a whopping $1.24 million out of just 169 theaters.

The $2.5 million independent film, which is being distributed by Utah-based Rocky Mountain Pictures, premiered in Houston six weeks ago and has recently enjoyed some extremely uncharacteristic box office behavior.

You see, normally, when a film’s theater count increases, the amount of money it’s earning in each theater decreases. This is the standard performance pattern for a limited release and follows common supply/demand logic.

Here’s how things have gone for 2016: Obama’s America, though: Three weekends ago, 2016 earned $34,133 out of 10 theaters, which gave it a per theater average of $3,413 — not all that remarkable for a limited release. When it expanded into 61 theaters the next weekend, its per theater average did a funny thing: it jumped up to $5,202. Last weekend, the film experienced an even bigger expansion, into 169 theaters, and again, its per theater average substantially leapt up to $7,365.

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Kathryn Bigelow provided no unauthorized info for bin Laden film, says Sec. of Defense

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says no unauthorized information was provided to filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Panetta, the former CIA director, told the Senate Wednesday that there is a Defense Department office that works with movie producers. But he insisted that no one in the department released any unauthorized material.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York has argued that the CIA and Pentagon jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. The two won Academy Awards for the motion picture The Hurt Locker.

Last month, King cited documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received “extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration” from the Obama administration.

Read more:
White House gave Kathryn Bigelow access to SEAL Team 6 commander, CIA ‘vault’
Protest on Indian set of Kathryn Bigelow’s bin Laden movie: Report
Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal respond to charges of inappropriate collaboration with the White House on Bin Laden film

White House gave Kathryn Bigelow access to SEAL Team 6 commander, CIA 'vault'

In January, the Pentagon began investigating whether the White House had shared classified information with Kathryn Bigelow, director of an upcoming film about the search for Osama bin Laden. Now, conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch has obtained records that reveal President Obama’s Defense Department did provide Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal access to high-level information and resources — including a “planner, Operator and Commander” of the Navy SEAL team that successfully captured and killed bin Laden last year.

A Department of Defense meeting transcript reveals that the filmmaker learned the identity of the SEAL Team 6 commander, but was asked never to name him as a consultant “because…he shouldn’t be talking out of school.” (The commander’s name is blacked out in Judicial Watch’s document.) According to an internal CIA email, Bigelow and Boal also gained access to “the Vault,” a CIA building where the bin Laden raid was partially planned.

All in all, Judicial Watch obtained 153 pages of records from the Department of Defense, as well as 113 pages of records from the CIA. “These documents, which took nine months and a federal lawsuit to disgorge from the Obama administration, show that politically-connected filmmakers were giving extraordinary and secret access to bin Laden raid information, including the identity of a Seal Team Six leader,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.

House Committee on Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King (R-NY) expressed dismay with these findings, saying in a statement that Bigelow and Boal engaged in an “extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration with top officials at the CIA, DoD, and the White House and a top Democratic lobbying firm.”

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Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell get the partisan started in new ads for 'The Campaign' -- VIDEO

Two new spots were just released for Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis’s upcoming comedy The Campaign. Ferrell plays unctuous Congressman Cam Brady, who appears to have a better grip on his political groupies than the English language. His opponent Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) simply wants to “give Washington a Huggins” — not to mention a thorough cleaning because “it is a mess!”

The ads send up all the clichés of real-world political ads and tweak them for maximum comedy. Who doesn’t like a good Saddam Hussein joke or two? There are also jabs at Communists and out-of-touch fat cats, plus a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him shot of Jack McBrayer (a.k.a. Kenneth from 30 Rock). Start educating yourself on the candidates below. READ FULL STORY

Will Smith supports Obama's call for higher taxes on wealthy

One of Hollywood’s biggest and best-paid stars is supporting President Barack Obama’s call for higher taxes on the country’s top earners.

Will Smith said while promoting Men In Black III last week that he supports the move.

“I’m very supportive of that idea,” Smith told the Associated Press in an interview. “America has been fantastic to me. I have no problem paying whatever I need to pay to keep my country growing.”

Obama has proposed that everyone earning $1 million a year or more should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. One research group said the change would affect around 210,000 taxpayers.

Vanity Fair has reported that Smith was paid an estimated $20 million for Men In Black III.

More:
Obama taps Hollywood at fundraisers 
White House Correspondents’ Dinner: 10 Funniest Moments
‘Men In Black 3′ movie preview 

Gerard Depardieu will play Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'because I don't like him'

French actor Gerard Depardieu said on Thursday he would play the “arrogant, smug” former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a film about his fall from grace in a series of sex scandals. “I will do it, because I don’t like him,” said Depardieu, best known for his larger-than-life swashbuckling roles like warrior poet Cyrano de Bergerac or comic book hero Asterix’s huge sidekick Obelix. “He’s not lovable. I think he’s a bit like all the French, a bit arrogant. I don’t much like the French in any case,” he told Swiss television. “He’s very French: arrogant, smug. He’s playable.” READ FULL STORY

'Hating Breitbart' trailer: The late conservative crusader gets in the last word... 'War'

Andrew Breitbart, the crusading conservative Internet publisher who passed away Thursday at the age of 43, spewed and inspired some of the most inflamed political vitriol. Even after his death, his enemies struggled to say a kind word. So it shouldn’t be surprising that an upcoming documentary about him is titled, Hating Breitbart. Slated for release sometime this year, the doc presents the provocateur as a martyr for the right-wing cause who is constantly attacked for standing up for what he believes is right. In colorful — and in one instance, explicit — language, Breitbart rants about the mainstream media’s efforts to malign him and denigrate the efforts of the Tea Party movement. He sounds almost as agitated and paranoid as some of his opponents on the Left, who make similar complaints about his side’s tactics. Take a look at the trailer for a film that will in no way change anyone’s mind about Breitbart and the political battles he waged. READ FULL STORY

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