- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2012

First lady on ‘Colbert Report’ to promote ‘Joining Forces’

First lady Michelle Obama appeared Wednesday on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” to plug the anniversary of her “Joining Forces” initiative designed to honor U.S. troops and their families, particularly by helping find employment for veterans returning from war.

“We have seen people hiring our veterans and finding wonderful flexible opportunities for spouses because employment is a key issue for these families,” Mrs. Obama said of the program she began with Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife.

Noting that unemployment for returning veterans is above the national average, she told host Stephen Colbert, “We’re seeing it decrease at some pretty significant rates.

“But until we get it to zero, we still have a lot of work to do. … These people are bringing in skills that actually improve the bottom line of companies because these are some of the most highly trained, highly skilled, disciplined people that we have in our society, the best this country has to offer. So we all need to do our part.”

Mr. Colbert suggested that hiring a vet, who will have war stories to tell, “will really make the interoffice complaining sound trivial” and will be good for office morale. “It’s hard to be a whiner around a veteran,” Mrs. Obama agreed.

Fox News ousts producer who wrote for Gawker blog

It took Fox News Channel less than 24 hours to find - and fire - an associate producer who began writing a column critical of his employers for the news blog Gawker, the Associated Press reports.

The network said Joe Muto, who worked on “The O’Reilly Factor” and said he had been working at Fox News since 2004, was identified and fired. Fox said it was “continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others.”

Gawker on Tuesday posted Mr. Muto’s initial column, written anonymously. It was primarily critical of a Fox website that he called “an unholy mashup of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting.” He also posted a previously unseen video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chatting with Sean Hannity about his family’s horses and other things.

Mr. Muto outed himself the next day, saying his bosses had tracked him down. The company found that someone using his computer login had accessed two videos that were posted on Gawker over the past few weeks, he wrote.

“I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me,” Mr. Muto wrote. “But as of today I am free, and I am ready to tell my story, which I wasn’t able to fully do for the previous 36 hours.”

He promised to be writing “much, much more.”

Fox pulls ‘Breaking In,’ will air ‘New Girl’ reruns

Fox has pulled sophomore comedy “Breaking In.”

Beginning April 24, the network will air encores of Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl” in its 9:30 p.m. time slot. The repeats will follow new episodes of “New Girl” until May 8, when the season finale is scheduled to air.

The remaining episodes of “Breaking In,” which stars Christian Slater and Megan Mullally, will air at a later date.

Created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, “Breaking In” has struggled in the ratings since it launched its second season in March, hovering around 3 million viewers. The show originally had been canceled last May, but was brought back by Fox for a slot on the midseason schedule.

‘General Hospital’ renewed; ABC cancels ‘Revolution’

It looks like ABC is not ready to totally give up on the soap opera genre. The network has renewed its one remaining soap, “General Hospital,” meaning it will be around for its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013.

The lifestyle show “The Revolution” is not so lucky. It has been canceled and will air its final episode in July, the Associated Press reports.

Cutting “The Revolution” makes room for Katie Couric’s talk show to premiere in September.

The news was first announced by the website Deadline Hollywood.

Former “One Life to Live” executive producer Frank Valentini took over at “GH” in January. He brought back veteran actors such as Finola Hughes, a Daytime Emmy winner, and introduced a few key “OLTL” characters.

“General Hospital” is the longest-running U.S. soap on TV.

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