- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2014

JON VOIGHT STANDS FAST

It’s almost Emmy Awards time. Will Hollywood freeze out silver screen conservative Jon Voight following his recent vigorous protests against President Obama, the Democratic party and his fellow actors who are critical of Israel? The Oscar-winning veteran actor is indeed up for the Best Supporting Actor Emmy himself for his portrayal of a crime family patriarch on the popular Showtime series “Ray Donovan.” He is also clear, unapologetic and candid about his political views, and will take to the airwaves, editorial pages or public rallies to get his point across.

“Republicans are a minority in Hollywood, and some have blamed the lack of awards recognition by peers on their right political views,” says Nellie Andreeva, television editor for Deadline Hollywood, an industry publication.

Being “outspoken” in Hollywood is not an automatic career condemnation she says, and sagely points out that politically inclined actors often wait to the awards ceremony itself to make a big statement. And their careers go on. George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, who both rejected their Oscars for political reasons. Filmmaker Michael Moore went after then-President George W. Bush’s policies during his Oscar acceptance speech, with little residual damage in the aftermath.

“Whether Voight wins an Emmy or not, he gave a glimpse of his potential Emmy speech at the Television Critics Association press tour a few week ago,” Ms. Andreeva observes.

The actor was on.

“Let me just say, I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences as an actor,” Mr. Voight told the influential gathering. “It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting and succeeding.”

In the aftermath, onlookers swore that it was a very apt “rehearsal” for a possible victory speech when the Emmys are announced on August 25.

YES, AMERICANS FRET ABOUT EBOLA

Media coverage is intense on the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and the recent arrival of two patients in the U.S. to received treatment. A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 58 percent of Americans are concerned personally about the threat of Ebola disease while 46 percent think it is at least somewhat likely that disease will get into the general population of the United States. Just as many — 47 percent — say that’s unlikely.

The public is aware of a shrill media. Forty-eight percent of Americans believe the press tend to make the outbreak of such diseases sound worse than they really are 29 percent disagree, 23 percent are not sure. Two thirds of Americans, however, are closely following the reports.

If the disease does surface, 55 percent are confident that the U.S. public health system can contain it, 38 percent are not. And about a practical solution: 53 percent think it’s at least somewhat likely that a vaccine for Ebola will be developed in the next 10 years. The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted on August 1-25.

DR. CARSON’S WARNING

And about Ebola, and it’s new presence in the U.S.

“Ebola is a terrifying disease. I am a little concerned that we’re bringing it back here. It can survive outside the host, for several days at least. Why do we even risk such things when we can send experts. We can send a plane. We can create a hospital somewhere. We can export that preparedness,” Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV on Monday.

“Why would we bring that into our country, why would do we expose ourselves? I certainly would have treated it where it is. All it requires is some infractions in procedures, and all of sudden, it’s spread,” he concluded.

NASA: GLOBAL WARMING TAKES A VACATION

The nation’s space agency his noticed an inconvenient cooling on the planet lately. On Tuesday, NASA’s Langley Research Center atmospheric scientist Norman Loeb presents a talk titled “The recent pause in global warming: A temporary blip or something more permanent?”.

The lecture “explores how global warming may be on vacation,” NASA helpfully explains.

Uh-oh. Paging Al Gore.

Mr. Loeb’s presentation will provide recent research related to a slowdown in surface warming referred to as the “global warming hiatus.” Over the last 15-years, the global mean surface temperature of Earth has increased at a rate that is roughly one-third of that over the past 60 years, NASA notes.

RE-INVENTING ‘COMBAT JOURNALISM’

The Washington Beacon has shed its privately owned nonprofit status and gone over to the free market.

Founded in 2012, the precise collection of investigative journalists began as a project of the Center for American Freedom to rattle the realms of public policy, government affairs, international security and errant media.

Now there will be investors and advertisers for the for-profit journalistic enterprise. Chairman Michael Goldfarb and editor in chief Matthew Continetti vow that it will never become an intrusion or distraction for readers. Their original mission to provide “combat journalism” is intact.

“We have been devoted to producing high quality, hard hitting investigation journalism. Becoming for-profit allows us to be more effective. We hope to expand, and we also hope to be fully credentialed by the Senate Press Gallery the White House,” Mr. Continetti tells Inside the Beltway.

“People on the Left believe journalism is a form of political warfare, and they target Republican donors in particular, intending to frighten them away from supporting conservative causes. We think someone should now reverse this and go after liberal donors. And that’s why we call it combat journalism,” Mr. Continetti continues.

“The mission of the Free Beacon remains the same. To uncover the hypocrisies, scandals and insipid politics of the nation’s capital through tough and original reporting. We call it combat journalism. And we’re loaded for bear,” say the chairman and editor in an initial mission statement.

DROP ‘THE BEAR IS LOOSE’

Bloomberg News political columnist Al Hunt recently chatted up a dozen top Democrats, he says, and has emerged with advice from allies of President Obama. Among the helpful hints the friendlies offer:

“The premium should be on trying to stay presidential. Bragging that ‘the bear is loose’ when you go off for unscheduled visits to restaurants or allowing senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer to sound the impeachment alarms isn’t elevating,” the columnist says.

“On foreign policy, it seems there are crises everywhere that don’t have a lot to do with U.S. policies. We understand why you’re intervention-shy: Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya offer sobering lessons on the limits of American power. But don’t just react to Russian President Vladimir Putin, take the offensive against him more,” Mr. Hunt later adds.

“With all due respect, you have to broaden your circle of advisers; the episodes we’ve cited reflect White House insularity. Mr. President, you still have the biggest megaphone in the world and 900 days left to use it. Seize every one.”

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of registered U.S. voters say Congress is “very unproductive.”

24 percent say the lawmakers are “somewhat unproductive”; 20 percent say they are “somewhat productive.”

3 percent say Congress is “very productive.”

43 percent of voters would prefer to see Senate Republicans in the majority; 41 percent prefer Senate Democrats.

43 percent would prefer Congressional Republicans as the House majority; 41 percent would prefer Congressional Democrats.

Source: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of 634 registered U.S. voters conducted July 28-31.

Nervous laughter, stern recommendations to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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