- McConnell Campaign Manager Quits Amid Scandal
- Obama Weighs Delay in Action on Immigration
- Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
- Neck-and-Neck in Arkansas
- Judge Dismisses McDaniel Challenge
Posts in "TV Land"
August 29, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner reminds us of his love for tans, long hair and monkeys as Heard on the Hill concludes its 2014 look back.
August 22, 2014
As Heard on the Hill’s look back at 2014 rolls on, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid organizes his calendar, greases pigs and pays tribute to his favorite Americans — the Koch brothers.
Fake pol Gil Fulbright wants to cause real problems for Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown.
The satirical candidate — previously scheduled to crash a showdown at Kentucky’s Fancy Farm, attended by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes — is the face of the Represent.Us campaign to shake up Congress.
Mayday PAC is bankrolling this latest attack against the former Massachusetts Republican currently vying to return to Washington by taking a run at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
August 21, 2014
FXX is effectively hijacking the rest of any animation-lovers’ summer by airing every Simpsons in consecutive order — all 552 episodes plus the 2007 feature film — beginning Thursday at 10 a.m.
Some of you may be wondering what, if anything, can we stand to learn from a cartoon that’s run roughshod over competing sitcoms over the past 25 years?
The award-winning series (30-odd Emmys and counting) has poked fun at politics for decades. And it has typically done so with more wit and charm than its real-life contemporaries.
Some of the shining examples that immediately come to mind include:
Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington (Season 3, Episode 37)
Civic-minded Lisa Simpson learns the awful truth about lobbying in this send-up of Jimmy Stewart’s David vs. Goliath story.
Airing this Friday at 4 a.m.
Two Bad Neighbors (S7, E141)
Former President George H. W. Bush tangles with oafish dad, Homer Simpson, and born troublemaker, Bart Simpson, in a battle royal on Evergreen Terrace.
Airing Sunday at 8 a.m. Full story
August 15, 2014
John A. Boehner and crew can relax.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has taken one for the leadership team, completing the charitable #IceBucketChallenge thrust upon him by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., without redirecting the temporary discomfort further up the chain of command.
Rather than rain on his colleagues’ summer plans, Scalise punted the fashionable fundraiser toward his celluloid brethren, entertainer Kevin Spacey.
The Academy Award-winning actor, who famously palled around with Scalise’s predecessor, now-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to help flesh out his scene-chewing alter ego, House Majority Whip Frank Underwood, D-S.C., is reportedly hard at work on season 3 of Netflix’s runaway drama, “House of Cards,” just up the road in Baltimore. Full story
Heard on the Hill continues its look back at the best Hits and Misses from 2014, this week focusing on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s love for children, baseball and fist pumps.
August 11, 2014
He may be gone, but the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, is not forgotten. Not even by the routinely punchy raconteurs who spin their webs on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.”
The alcohol-fueled civics lessons captured by the show, which has already been renewed for a third season, typically feature tipsy storytellers recounting the exploits of prominent socio-political figures.
For Tuesday’s episode — airing at 10 p.m. — “Drunk History” turns its non-bloodshot eye on the Aloha State.
The saga of Inouye’s nearly life-threatening charge into enemy fire during World War II is sandwiched between segments chronicling British Captain James Cook’s “discovery” of the Hawaiian Islands and the tale of surfing legend Eddie Aikau.
“My favorite part of the story … is that he is the inspiration for [President Barack] Obama,” show co-creator Jeremy Konner said of Inouye’s legacy.
Per Konner, actor Steven Yeun, who after four seasons on “The Walking Dead” must be used to squaring off against bitey antagonists, had to wrestle with an entirely different kind of predator by stepping into the Inouye role.
“She said she’s never seen more rattlesnakes on a set,” Konner said of the professional snake wrangler’s assessment of their mountain side-shoot. (Guess it wasn’t filmed in Hawaii, which does not have rattlesnakes.)
Luckily, Yeun took it all in stride.
“Turns out, he’s a super funny dude,” Konner said.
No word on what other pols might pop up in future episodes. But Konner strongly suggested we stay tuned.
“I promise you there will be a president involved,” he said. “And there will be stories that invoke D.C. and the government.”
Whether gracing the silver screen (Mr. Sulu, you have the conn) or cracking wise from behind a touchscreen (Oh Myyy, that’s quite the universe of Facebook fans you’ve assembled), entertainer and political activist George Takei currently strives to live his life out loud.
But that wasn’t always the case.
The human rights champion would like to set the record straight about everything he’s experienced to date in the revealing documentary, “To Be Takei.”
Director Jennifer Kroot has been chronicling Takei’s incredible journey — a career trajectory that encompasses his breakthrough role as Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” as well as wildly successful forays into publishing, satellite radio (serving as guest announcer of the “Howard Stern Show”), social media and musical theater — for the past few years. The finished product, which will be released nationwide on Aug. 22, breezes into town next month for two special screenings (at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 4) at the AFI Silver Theatre (8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.). Full story
August 8, 2014
With the August recess underway, Heard on the Hill is looking back at the best Hits and Misses moments you may have missed — or just need to watch again. This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell focuses on nodding, smiling and clearing his throat.
It’s been far too long since we’ve had a Gene Roddenberry acolyte railing against societal injustices on the House floor.
But that could all change this fall— assuming North Carolinians are willing to stun political prognosticators and transport long shot candidate David Waddell to Capitol Hill come November.
Waddell made national headlines earlier this year after jumping ship from the Indian Trail town council using Klingon.
Per the Charlotte Observer, the starry-eyed pol has since secured enough signatures to guarantee his spot as a write-in candidate in the upcoming midterm elections.
Our politics team has tagged incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan as one of the 10 most vulnerable senators in the current cycle, but it sounds like Waddell is well aware he’s light years away from a lock.
“I’m not going to tell you I’m starting to pack [for Washington],” Waddell told the Observer. “It’s a mission to get a message out.”
August 4, 2014
As cell phones, rhetorical questions and Chinese drywall graced the House and Senate floor, some members prepped for “summer vacation,” while others just could not wait to get to Waffle House.
The Bill Maher Flip a District effort is going after Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, rounding out the final four Republicans the comedian wants to give the boot from Congress.
What’s interesting about the Coffman selection is he is the only lawmaker on Maher’s list actually representing a competitive seat.
Coffman’s race in the 6th District is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. The three others — Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, John Kline of Minnesota and Blake Farenthold of Texas — are in contests rated Safe Republican.
Maher said on the Aug. 1 summer finale of his HBO show “Real Time” that Coffman earned the final slot.
“That’s right, Mike is a deep-red conservative trying to keep pace with a district that’s turning purple and smokin’ green,” Maher said, grinning. “He once said that [President Barack] Obama is just not an American. Wow, you’d have to be high to re-elect a guy like that.”
That’s a reference to a May 12, 2012, fundraiser, during which Coffman reportedly said he isn’t sure about Obama’s citizenship. The Denver Post reported the quote as, “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”
August 1, 2014
As the Senate worked through a series of procedural motions and votes on Thursday night, one senator just wanted catch his flight home.
Caught on a clerk’s microphone as the roll call for a vote on the Highway Trust Fund patch was read, the senator tells the clerk it is time for “summer vacation.”
“We have a plane home … [at] 9:30,” the senator says to the clerk. “Bags are packed, ready to go … leaving on a jet plane.”
Although the Senate is in session today, the next vote series is scheduled for Sept. 8, when senators return from a five-week recess.
July 29, 2014
After years of randomly popping up on cable news shows, conservative documentaries and in single-season series, one-time GOP vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin is ready to build a programming empire all her own.
The former governor of Alaska has teamed with digital media platform TAPP to launch the subscription-based Sarah Palin Channel. The SPC marks the second outing by TAPP, which waded into the online market this past March with the religiously themed “New Life TV with Steve Arterburn.”
“Together let’s live life vibrantly, purposefully and boldly,” the Alaska Republican implores viewers in her welcome video.
A TAPP aide told HOH that Palin’s new project has been in development for several months, and currently features a series of “sample” video clips — watch her frag President Barack Obama in response to a reader-submitted query regarding political leadership and weave a pro-energy independence pitch through commentary about Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The company has plans to court additional constituencies (a word cloud touts “fantasy sports,” “addictions” and “paranormal” content as viable contenders) in the future.
For $9.95 a month, or $99.95 per year, subscribers get all the current content — selected “behind the scenes” videos; the word of the day from Palin’s mother, Sally Heath; a real-time countdown until the end of Obama’s second term — plus the ability to comment and contribute to Palin’s planned infotainment portal.
There’s also a two-week, no-obligation trial period for those unsure about the self-styled news aggregator.
Those who register before Aug. 1 are promised two additional months of free viewing. Military personnel currently on active duty are encouraged to email SPC (proudlyserving@SarahPalinChannel.com) to receive free access to the evolving site.
Per TAPP, programmers are still working on the exact formula for populating the channel. “It will be 95 percent original content,” our contact said.
But they are leaving the door open to revisiting some of Palin’s greatest hits. Full story
July 28, 2014
Bill Maher’s attempt to oust a Republican member of Congress is nearing its final stage, with the liberal comedian announcing July 25 on his HBO show that Renee Ellmers of North Carolina has made it to the final four of his viewer-driven “Flip a District” contest.
Ellmers joins John Kline of Minnesota and Blake Farenthold of Texas. Maher will announce the last of the quartet on Friday night, his final show before “Real Time” takes a summer break. The aim appears to be the selection of one Republican in the final stretch of the midterm cycle and then support for that lawmaker’s Democratic challenger with both money and attention. The Flip a District “loserest loser of all,” as Maher dubs it, will be announced when his show films from Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12.
He went after Ellmers, who was among the “tweet 16″ finalists, on July 25.