Over the past month, the Los Angeles Times has started delivering the Sunday circulars to my doorstep, along with every other doorstep in the neighborhood.
While I’m not sure of an official reason, one could posit that subscriptions to the Time are so far down that they must meet their obligations to advertisers and get the glossy fliers out to a certain amount of people. Whatever the reason, along with the fliers for the big box stores was an edition of USA Weekend. On top, it read Los Angeles Times | Times Select.
In it was the typical Hollywood news (‘Justified’ is being renewed!), some consumer report-type articles, and a big feature on kids being healthy and happy. Also mixed in were two stories of less than 500 words each. One was meant as an homage to leftist dogma, the other a flat-out lie.
First, the dogma showed up in a 150+ word article about actor Ian Somerhalder. The actor plays Damon on CW’s ‘The Vampire Diaries’ (before this, he played Boone on ‘Lost’). In the piece, they talk about him being a heartthrob, about how down home he is, as he comes from Louisiana. They even mention he was teased as a child. His football teammates at his Catholic high school dubbed him a “pretty boy” because of his career as a model. All of this set up showing Somerhalder as a regular guy to get to the hit, when he proclaims that he is an “environmentalist,” stating:
We humans are like cancers: We multiply and take, take, take. Now I want to give, give, give.
An article that was quick to point out his TV cred, as well as the near 1 million Twitter followers he has, is highlighting his environmentalism – where he calls human beings “cancer.” Is USA Weekend aware of how dangerous this kind of talk is?
The last person to talk of human beings this way was James Lee, also an avowed environmentalist, who tried to take hostages at the Discovery building in Silver Spring, MD. Along with planting bombs on himself, and around the building, he had a list of demands for Discovery channel, which included:
The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs….where solutions to save the planet would be done…. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions.
“Parasitic human infants.” “Cancers.” This is who USA Weekend wants our kids to look up to and follow on Twitter.
The second article focused around actor Kal Penn, who can be seen in the third installment of the Harold and Kumar films, ‘A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas’ starting Nov. 4th. Penn is also noted for leaving Hollywood during a stint on the popular Fox drama ‘House.’ Penn’s character was killed off (via suicide) so that the actor could go to work for the Obama administration in the Office of Public Engagement in 2009. In 2011, Penn was back in Hollywood making his third movie in the stoner comedy series. Asked about his return to filmmaking, Penn said:
It’s sort of like the yin and the yang. What I love about D.C. is the intellectual focus, and what I love about L.A. is the creative focus. It’s nice to be back and working the other part of your brain.
I don’t know Penn, but as an outsider looking in I don’t buy this response. Penn believed so much in Obama that he campaigned for him and gave up a starring role on one of the highest rated shows on TV at the time to work for him. Less than two years later, he returns to Hollywood to pick up his movie career.
What happened to serving the people? Or, more to the point, what happened to serving Obama? Or buying into the Obama thesis – that the private sector is bad? Was no thought given to the words of the First Lady, who chastised Americans for engaging the private sector, telling them to make less money working in the public sector for the good of their nation?
Penn’s return to Hollywood isn’t about being creative; it’s about the money. The creative side of the brain can be expanded anywhere. He could paint. He could write in a journal. He could be a mime on the weekends, entertaining crowds of people on the National Mall. But he chose to return to Hollywood to make a living.
There is nothing – NOTHING – wrong with that. But it’s the lack of honesty and transparency that makes the USA Weekend piece so off-putting. His choice to return to a million-dollar career was not mentioned, just his desire to return to “creativity.”
After these two articles, it’s no wonder the LA Times is dropping circulars on my doorstep each Sunday without me having to subscribe.