Recent Entertainment Commentaries

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You’re Not Going to Believe This!
Late Friday, I received a phone call from President Trump. “Hey Jim, it’s President Trump.” “Yes, Mr. President, what can I do for you?” I say, waiting for the punch line from some friend. “I’ve been meaning to call you for some time.” “Uh-huh.” “No, really,” he says. “I’ve read some of your stuff about me and I’m impressed.” Now...
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February 2, 2019
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Just in Time for Christmas!
No, it’s not the latest Hallmark Christmas movie. It’s a new game from Parker Brothers that you and the whole family can be engaged and enraged in this holiday season. You know there’s a culture shift in the zeitgeist when toy company Hasbro — through it’s Parker Brothers division — announces a new version of the venerable Monopoly board game,...
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December 17, 2018
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Never Forget
NBC’s Saturday Night Live (Nov. 11), offered a funny and thoughtful exchange between regular Pete Davidson and Lt. Com. Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye from an I.E.D. in Afghanistan and was recently elected to the House. As the segment of Weekend Update unfolded, I was completely unaware of the previous week’s show and who Crenshaw...
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November 12, 2018
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What Would Mister Rogers Say?
In less than seven days we have seen: what has now grown to 15 pipe bombs delivered to top Democrats, actor Robert DeNiro and cable news network CNN by vocal Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc; a school shooting near Charlotte, North Carolina; white racist Gregory Bush shot two black shoppers at a Kentucky grocery store; and earlier that same day –...
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October 30, 2018
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Now for Some Good News
If you think that civility in America has disappeared. If you think that kindness and decency are lost in a sea of cynicism, then this commentary is for you. Two documentaries – RBG, an “affectionate look” at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about PBS superstar Fred Rogers – are making the rounds...
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July 13, 2018
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Gentleman Tom
How do you handle an emergency? What do you if you’re in the middle of a stage performance, medical staff are treating an audience member who has fallen ill, and the audience may be getting a little restless? If you’re Tom Hanks, performing as the redoubtable rogue Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV, you grab your rapier wit and assault...
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June 22, 2018
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Woody Allen is a gifted writer and filmmaker with a unique style and voice who has, throughout decades, held up the mirror to our own shortcomings and pretensions. He is also an alleged child molester. Whether or not you believe Dylan Farrow — Allen’s adopted daughter at the time with his live-in partner, Mia Farrow — the issue was supposedly...
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February 2, 2018
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And the Whiner Is…
“Bryan can you give us a sense of what it’s like there?” “Jim, the excitement here in front of Trump International, D.C. is absolutely incredible. And the turnout, unbelievable. Back to you, Jim.” “Bryan, this was a last-minute event. Can you tell us about the size of the crowd?” “I haven’t seen this many Republicans turn out for an event...
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January 22, 2018
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Michael Wolff and Me
If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t heard of Michael Wolff before last week, they’ve certainly heard of him now. Wolff is the author of the controversial new tell-all, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. I’m not going to comment on the book. I haven’t read it and don’t intend to. I will tell you about my experience...
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January 8, 2018
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It Has to Get Bad Before There’s Change?
“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998.” That’s film director Peter Jackson talking about the blacklist producer Harvey Weinstein created for actresses Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd who refused his sexual overtures. “I realize,” Jackson said, “that this was very likely the...
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December 18, 2017