Jay Leno Moves to Prime Time


The first episode of Jay Leno’s 10:00 show aired tonight. Having the late night comedians begin at 10:00 reminds me of back in the 1990’s when E! ran reruns of Late Night with David Letterman at 10:00  after Letterman went to CBS to to The Late Show. The old Letterman reruns were better.

I fear NBC might be in trouble. I wonder if they still own the rights to air the old Letterman or Carson reruns instead. I suggest that if Leno is going to make it in prime time he do something to really create some buzz. Perhaps he should tell a joke about one of Sarah Palin’s daughters.

All Obama on Television Sunday Morning

If we could start this year’s fight for health care reform over, one thing which should have been different would have been to make better use of Barack Obama. The speech he gave before Congress last week probably should have been delivered months ago, before the debate became dominated by misinformation from the right. When Obama did not speak out enough, the vacuum was filled by people such as a crazy lady in Alaska writing on Facebook.

Obama is now making up for this mistake. After being all over last week, he will be on virtually all the Sunday interview shows. This weekend he will appear on all three of the network Sunday interview shows: This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, Meet the Press on NBC and Face the Nation on CBS. He will also be interviewed on CNN and Univision. Apparently Obama is limiting his interviews to legitimate news organizations. As of now there are no plans to be interviewed on Fox.

Deal Possible To Distribute Controversial Darwin Film

While recently Creation,  the movie about the life of Charles Darwin seemed too controversial to be shown in the United States, there are reports this afternoon that some are now interested distributing it. A deal is anticipated by the end of the week. A trailer for the movie is posted above.

It is only in the United States that there has been resistance to the movie by the religious right. The movie is hardly a product of those hostile to religion:

Ironic, considering resistance from conservatives; the film was bankrolled by Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions which was also behind “The Passion of the Christ.”  “Creation” follows the religious struggle of Darwin as he writes “On the Origin of the Species” and has been embraced by Christian groups in Great Britain.

“You’ve killed God” says one of Darwin’s friends.

You might think conservative church goers in the United States would line up to see the film – and they’d make a big audience: a recent Gallup poll showed only 39 percent of Americans surveyed believed in evolution.

However, “conservative religious and the creationist groups have been so intense on demonizing Darwin that any film which shows him as a real human will likely be viewed as controversial,” director John Amiel tells Reuters.

LA Times Picks Up Stories of Conservative Concerns Over Cranks

Often the mainstream media picks up stories after they have already been discussed in the blogosphere. I’ve had several recent posts noting how some conservatives such as David Frum have expressing concern about how the cranks are taking over the Republican Party and the conservative movement. (I also followed this up with my response to discussions in the blogosphere over whether craziness in the conservative movement is something old or something new.) The Los Angeles Times has now picked up the story after multiple blogs have discussed the issue. Their report does include a great quote from Frum:

Such insiders point to theories running rampant on the Internet, such as the idea that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is thus ineligible to be president, or that he is a communist, or that his allies want to set up Nazi-like detention camps for political opponents. Those theories, the insiders say, have stoked the GOP base and have created a “purist” climate in which a figure such as Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) is lionized for his “You lie!” outburst last week when Obama addressed Congress.

They are “wild accusations and the paranoid delusions coming from the fever swamps,” said David Frum, a conservative author and speechwriter for President George W. Bush who is among the more vocal critics of the party base and of the conservative talk show hosts helping to fan the unrest.

“Like all conservatives, I am concerned about this administration’s accumulation of economic power,” Frum said. “Still, you have to be aware that there’s a line where legitimate concerns begin to collapse into paranoid fantasy.”

The article also discusses other related points which I, and other bloggers, have already been discussing, including the fringe influence of WorldNetDaily and the right wing smear campaign against Cass Sunstein.

Movie on Darwin Too Controversial for United States


The Telegraph reports that a movie with rave reviews internationally is not appearing in the United States because it is too controversial. The movie deals with Charles Darwin and evolution:

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin’s “struggle between faith and reason” as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as “a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying”.

Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.

“That’s what we’re up against. In 2009. It’s amazing,” he said.

“The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they’ve seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.

“It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There’s still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It’s quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.

Update: Deal to distribute film in the United States now anticipated by the end of this week.