‘Jersey Shore’ to receive $420K tax credit
Several New Jersey legislators and Italian-American special-interest groups are asking Gov. Chris Christie to block a tax credit that could pay for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s GTL routine. For the tragically unhip, GTL stands for “gym, tan, laundry.” The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a $420,000 tax credit on Wednesday for the production company of the popular MTV show “Jersey Shore.” The funds will cover part of the expense of the show’s inaugural season in 2009. The handout was part of the first round of approvals since Mr. Christie suspended the program in 2010 in an effort to balance the state’s budget.
Defenders of the “Snooki-subsidy,” including the mayor of Seaside Heights where the season was taped, say the program attracts vital tourism dollars to the Garden State.
Not everyone agrees. “As if they can make a show called ‘Jersey Shore’ anywhere else,” Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlan said sarcastically in a statement to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Others object to state tax dollars paying for a show that reinforces stereotypes of Italian-Americans by focusing on hard-drinking, fake-tanned, steroid-juiced “guido” characters.
“It is disparaging to Italian-Americans. He should veto it,” state Sen. Joe Vitale told the Star-Ledger.
The decision ultimately may be out of Mr. Christie’s hands.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said: “The governor cannot veto EDA action that is in compliance with nondiscretionary, existing law. … The bottom line is that the governor has not been in favor of this tax credit, and this and other applications were in the pipeline from the prior administration.”
Weezy: ‘The Republicans are never going to like us’
After Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” outsold this summer’s hotly anticipated Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration “Watch the Throne,” you might expect him take some time to consolidate his perch at the top of the rap world, enjoy the view and maybe rest on his substantial laurels for a bit.
Not so. In an interview with Vibe, Weezy took the opportunity instead to make oblique shots at the field of Republican presidential candidates. “You learn from what the right wing is doing and you take something from it,” he said, “then look at yourself and ask, ‘Am I the person they’re talking about or am I not?’ You have to make the most of who you are because the Republicans are never going to like us.” Perhaps speaking about House Speaker John A. Boehner’s snub of President Obama in the debt-ceiling negotiations or the hyperbolic tone of the tea party and American politics in general, Weezy alleged that the right’s disrespect of the White House has as much to do with Mr. Obama’s race as his policies.
“I don’t think I have to say that for everybody to know that,” he told Vibe.
Vince Vaughn introduces Ron Paul at conference
Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn appeared at a libertarian conference, but he didn’t crash the event or show up to protest.
Mr. Vaughn introduced GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at the Liberty Political Action Conference on Friday in Reno, Nev. “Ron and Vince are friends, with Vince not merely interested in Dr. Paul’s philosophy but he also graciously invited Dr. and Mrs. Paul to the premiere of his film ‘Couples Retreat,’ ” explained Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton.
Mr. Vaughn endorsed Mr. Paul’s 2009 book, “End the Fed,” with the following blurb: “Everyone must read this book — Congressmen and college students, Democrats and Republicans — all Americans.”