Church & State
This morning, Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich took to his Facebook page to post a scathing review of Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House of God, an HBO documentary on the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. Mr. Ulrich had several issues with the film, which he characterized as “an exploitive and biased account of a dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.”
“As a proud Roman Catholic, I am truly offended by the blatant bigotry contained in HBO’s so-called documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House of God,” Mr. Ulrich wrote. “It accuses His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of being complicit in covering up sex abuses cases involving Catholic priests and unfairly criticizes the late Pope John Paul II. Above all, its chock full of anti-catholic rhetoric and demonizes members of the clergy (most of whom are dedicated, compassionate and pious men).”
Lena Dunham, the star and creator of HBO’s zeitgeisty comedy Girls, took to Twitter this afternoon to fight back against reports she did not vote in the presidential election last year despite filming a controversial ad urging others to cast a ballot for President Barack Obama. According to officials at the Board of Elections in Brooklyn, Ms. Dunham’s claim she voted by affidavit ballot may have merit.
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch has had an influence in Hollywood as well as the Big Apple. Before coming to City Hall, Mr. Koch spent eight years in the House of Representatives. One of his staffers was Nikki Finke, who went on to become one of the most influential and feared reporters in the entertainment industry and, according to Ms. Finke, her time working with the future mayor in Congress helped inspire her to become a journalist.
In honor of Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi’s entrée into the mayoral race today, we decided to give all of the declared and all-but-official candidates a photographic makeover based on a Buscemi-inspired internet meme.
Too Hot For TV
Writers who craft the infamous “ripped from the headlines” plots on Law & Order: SVU are apparently having trouble keeping up with the ongoing scandal over former CIA Director and retired general David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer. Now that the story has grown to include another general and an FBI agent accused of sending shirtless pictures of himself to a woman the man in charge of the sex crimes-focused cop show sent a tweet begging for mercy. He also threw in Sesame Street muppet Elmo, who had a sex scandal of his own break this week.
“Memo to:FBI/CIA/NATO/SesameStreet From:SVU Writers’ Room–Please slow it down, we’re having a hard time getting this all down,” wrote SVU showrunner Warren Leight this morning.
Just Say No
A new poll of the race to replace term-limited New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released last night included actor Alec Baldwin, who has hinted he might run for mayor. Based on the numbers, Mr. Baldwin might want to abandon his dream of sitting in City Hall. According to the poll, which was conducted by NY1 and Marist College, 66 percent of New York voters don’t want Mr. Baldwin to even try running for mayor.
Hasta Nolita Baby
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held an impromptu book signing at indie bookstore McNally-Jackson in Nolita this afternoon. Mr. Schwarzenegger announced the surprise signing via Twitter and in a note on Facebook leading a crowd of over 100 almost exclusively male fans to rush downtown to shake the Governator’s large hand and have him sign copies of his tome Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.
Wishing and Hoping
Former Mayor Ed Koch is an avid movie watcher who maintains an email list where he sends out his reviews. His review of the news sports drama “Trouble with the Curve” was released earlier today and it is particularly amusing. Mr. Koch, who labeled the film “really bad,” was clearly not a fan.
Specifically, he was upset with the lack of on-screen romance between the film’s two younger stars.
At The Movies
Director Spike Lee gave a lengthy interview to New York magazine to promote his upcoming film Red Hook Summer and he shared his thoughts on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial soda ban and the presidential election. Initially, Mr. Lee’s only comment on the mayor was that he’s a “fellow New York Knicks season-ticket holder,” but after some prodding from New York contributing editor Will Leitch, Mr. Lee went on to say he thinks Mr. Bloomberg’s legacy “took a blow” with his pursuit of a third term. Though Mr. Lee didn’t seem too supportive of Mr. Bloomberg maneuvering around the old two term limit, he gave the soda ban a much more positive review.
“I’m in favor of it. Look, when I was growing up in Brooklyn, we had gym, and you had to run. You had some physical activity. Children today in public schools across the country are not being taught art, are not being taught music, and they have no physical ed. Obesity is a major, major problem in this country,” Mr. Lee said. “Americans—we’re just obese. It’s crazy. Ask African-Americans. We are way over index on obesity, which means we are over index on diabetes, heart disease, and it goes down the line.”
“I’m loving it,” said Roseanne Barr, recently announced presidential candidate. “I find that I can be more honest in politics than in Hollywood.”
Not that she’s ever been accused of demurring in either realm.
Seeking to run on the Green Party line, Ms. Barr’s presidential bid, she said, is primarily motivated by her dissatisfaction with both major political parties—in particular their candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, whom she referred to as “total buffoons.”
“That’s what I say: I’m the only serious comedian in this race,” Ms. Barr added.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, including rollicking standup performances, a watershed sitcom and a memorable performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Ms. Barr has been at turns provocative, endearing, innovative and combative. As of February, she has turned her considerable personality toward the interests of the American electorate. In a pair of lengthy interviews with The Observer, she outlined not only her political aspirations, but the possibility of returning to television—and not necessarily in the way you would expect.