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In The Ides of March, which hits theaters Friday, an up-and-coming press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a major political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate (George Clooney)'s shot at the presidency.

While some have drawn parallels to the Rielle Hunter scandal that derailed the career of John Edwards, Clooney tells Movie Fanatic in an interview that his character and the story at large were not based on any particular politician.

Moreover, the film is more about moral choices than politics.

George Clooney in The Ides of March

"We're reflecting the mood of our country and our world," Clooney said. "If the film reflects some of the cynicism, that's probably good, it's not a bad thing to hold up a mirror to our politicians. But that wasn't what the film was designed to do."

"There isn't a person you have met that hasn't been met with moral questions," he adds. "Everyone makes moral choices to better themselves and hurt others along the way and whether the means justifies the ends."

Clooney discussed the movie's complex themes and raved about its cast, which includes Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

For the legendary actor's take on the film, read Movie Fanatic's exclusive George Clooney interview. Then watch The Ides of March trailer below ...

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Monday Night Football was missing its familiar theme song last night after ESPN opted to pull the classic intro. Controversy over Hank Williams Jr.'s comments on Fox News about President Obama was the obvious catalyst.

Williams' singing "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" had been a MNF staple - an American signature, even - for over 22 years. Then Hank had to go compare Obama to Adolf Hitler and ruin everything.

"While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through Monday Night Football," ESPN said.

"We are extremely disappointed with Hank Williams Jr.'s comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."

If you missed it, Williams weighed in on the politics of the day.

"It'd be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," in reference to Obama golfing with House Speaker John Boehner.

"They're the enemy! Obama, Biden... the three stooges!"

Continue Reading...

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Are you ready for some insanity?

When Hank Williams Jr. stopped by Fox & Friends this morning to discuss politics (absurd in itself), few could have imagined the views that the country music singer and longtime voice of Monday Night Football espouses.

Williams described this year’s “Golf Summit” between President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner as “One of the biggest political mistakes ever.” Sadly, that was Hank's high water mark for intelligence:

When the co-hosts asked Williams to explain, he offered this scintillating insight: “Come on! Come on! It would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu!”

To the Fox News panel's credit, they were clearly dumbstruck, turned off and unsure of how to respond to such an outrageous comment in a live interview.

Still, you have to question the wisdom of having this guy on your show in the first place. You can't find an intelligent conservative voice to talk politics?

Your take: Is Obama a socialist?

 

UPDATE: ESPN has yanked Williams, saying in a statement: "We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast."

UPDATE #2: ESPN has fired Hank for good. He dubiously claims he quit, citing a violation of the First Amendment, which is just a ridiculous statement. Either way, he's out.

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Sarah Palin says she didn't mean to insult Herm Cain ... Herb Cain ... Herman Cain ... aww shucks, whatever his name is in an interview on Fox News this week.

When she called the presidential candidate "the flavor of the week," Palin was criticized by supporters of the Georgia businessman and Republicans in general.

Well, Palin took the time to clarify that, saying she wasn't suggesting that Cain was about to fade, but merely commenting on her arch-nemesis, the press:

  • Herman Cain Picture
  • Sarah Pic

"What the media tends to do is propel this flavor of the week ... I am not saying that Herman Cain is the flavor of the week. I’m one of his biggest fans and I would never dismiss him or speak negatively about him."

"I’m saying the media always has to gin up some controversy and intrigue so viewers tune in and there’s a lot of competition in the media world in this quasi-reality show it seems that’s being created in the GOP primary."

"It’s just the nature of the beast right now and I think anybody would hard-pressed to argue against what I observed," Palin explained.

That's actually a fair point. But it's still funny because:

  1. Sarah Palin has actually been on a reality show.
  2. She profits from 24/7 media coverage, exploiting it to remain in the spotlight long after she lost any relevance and despite having no plans to run for office.

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Levi Johnston is running his mouth again. This time, the occasion is his book tour (yes, we're serious) for Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs.

While there are no bombshells quite up there with a Sarah Palin-Glen Rice tryst, Levi does reveal more than Alaska's most famous family would ever want him to.

Some excerpts from a recent interview he gave about the book:

Levi Johnston Book Cover

On the prospect of a Palin presidency: "'President Palin' is a phrase that scares me. She is apparently only 5 percent behind Obama right now and that's frightening me. I'm figuring I might have to move to Canada if she wins."

On his baby mama's book: "I didn't read Bristol's book (Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far). I heard a lot of things out of it, as far as "I'm a gnat" and how I stole her virginity. Her book is just flat out lying, it's disgusting."

Continue Reading...

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Chalk it up to East Coast bias? Not enough coffee? Sleeping through 9th grade geography?

Whatever the reason, the press corps traveling with President Obama on a campaign swing out west this week were given a map identifying Wyoming as Colorado.

The two rectangular states do look similar, but come on. Colorado is not only crucial to Obama's re-election, it's where he gave his '08 convention speech. Weak!

Colorado vs. Wyoming

Obama's three-day swing took him to Washington, California and Colorado, where he held public events and private fundraisers for his 2012 re-election bid.

Tuesday in Denver, an audience saw a speech on Obama's jobs program.

The larger point of the trip was to help Obama reconnect with voters and gain media coverage in Colorado, which is expected to be a swing state in 2012.

As for Wyoming, Obama lost by 32 PERCENT to John McCain in '08. Maybe subconsciously he blocked that out and forgot the state exists, resulting in this error.

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In Monday's THG Caption Contest, we asked readers to come up with the best one for this photo of Presidents Clinton and Obama on the golf course.

You had plenty of material to make up funny captions here, and you did so. Our winner is zinnnnnnnng. Nice work The winning entry appears below.

Honorable mentions go out to apindep, alisa and Kimaras30. Thanks to all of you for playing as always, and best of luck in our next contest!

Clinton and Obama Golfing

"Man, your poll numbers are going down faster than Mon ... hey, nice putt."

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Welcome, gossip fans, to another edition of THG's Caption Contest! Oh, to be a fly on the wall (or a fly in the sand trap, more accurately) in this round.

What did former President Bill Clinton say to President Barack Obama?

That's not a joke, we're asking you to tell us the answer in the latest edition of THG's Caption Contest! Come up with the best caption for the photo here!

All you have to do to play is click "Comments" below and submit your best caption(s). Go to it! We will announce a winner Tuesday. Best of luck, all ...

Clinton and Obama Golfing

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Herman Cain will never occupy the Oval Office, but he's become a popular figure on the campaign trail this fall, and as an African-American, his rebuttal to Morgan Freeman's controversial comments about the Tea Party carries some weight.

If you missed it, Freeman called the Tea Party racist on Piers Morgan Tonight Friday, criticizing the conservative movement's disdain for President Obama.

GOP presidential candidate Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, disagrees.

Appearing on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, the Hermanator said:

"Well, first of all, I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who's a great actor, has ever been to a Tea Party. Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties... about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party."

"I just think that it's sad that they're so short-sighted understanding what the Tea Party citizen movement is all about. I'm not offended by it, because it doesn't slow down my momentum. It doesn't slow down the reaction I get from people."

Cain, whose campaign is riding high after winning the Florida straw poll, added, "Name-calling is something that's going to continue, because they don't know how to stop this movement. And this movement is making a big difference in politics."

"A lot of the traditional Democrats are moving to the center or moving over to vote for conservatives. They're taking another look at a Herman Cain."

What do you think? Is the Tea Party racist?

 

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To say Morgan Freeman is not a fan of the Tea Party movement would be putting it mildly. In an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Freeman labels Tea Partiers radicals whose sole aim is to oust President Obama from office.

"But it's not a racist thing?" asked Morgan.

"It is a racist thing," replied Freeman.

Morgan Freeman Image

"Their publicly stated policy is to do whatever it takes to see that Obama serves only one term. What underlies that? Screw the country," Freeman lamented.

"We're going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here."

"We're supposed to be better than that. It shows the weak, dark underside of America," said the Oscar-winner of those "controlling the Republican Party."

There are plenty of racists out there, but the whole Tea Party? We'd be more concerned that these people think hurricanes result from God judging gays.

What do you think? Is the Tea Party racist?