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October 8, 2015

Julian Assange

NBC Orders 'Glee' Competitor to Pilot, Matthew Weiner Still Without 'Mad Men' Deal and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 24th 2011 11:40AM
NBCCould 'Glee' have a musical competitor?

As we enter the thick of pilot season, networks have been greenlighting pilots to consider for the 2011-2012 season. One of the biggest in the works is NBC's 'Smash.' According to Deadline, it's based on an idea from Steven Spielberg about putting on a Broadway musical, and would feature original songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Among the other pilots picked up this weekend were a comedy called 'Vince Uncensored,' from Conan O'Brien's production company (it went to CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly), a thriller/drama called 'Exit Strategy,' starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua (snagged by Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter, along with two comedies, per Deadline), and David E. Kelley's previously D.O.A. 'Wonder Woman' (which landed at NBC, reports Deadline).

In other TV news ...

Matthew Weiner would love to start writing the fifth season of 'Mad Men,' if AMC would sign a deal already. "I have every intention of making the show when they decide to work out their business with Lionsgate," he said. "I can't wait to come back to work ... I am not looking for a new job." [EW]

Kevin Smith, Kevin Pollak and Adam Carolla will star in AOL's new nightly talk show. The web video series will team up with the actors' existing podcasts for new episodes every Monday through Thursday, with a best-of installment on Fridays. [AOL]

Could Keith Olbermann have a new gig already? 'The Social Network' writer Aaron Sorkin has been developing a comedy set behind the scenes at a cable news show. Now that it's getting closer to a pilot pickup and Olbermann is out of a gig, sources are speculating that he could contribute to the series. [EW]

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Julian Assange: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee Are Inciting "Murder" (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 23rd 2010 5:04PM
In an exclusive interview with Cenk Uygur, who was guest hosting 'The Dylan Ratigan Show' (weekdays 4PM ET on MSNBC), WikiLeaks president Julian Assange responded to comments made by Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee in which they called for the U.S. government to hunt him down and eliminate him for the publishing of classified information.

"Just another idiot trying to make a name for himself," was how Assange explained the comments by Palin and Huckabee.

"If we are to have a civil society, you cannot have senior people making calls on national TV to ... murder people," Assange argued. "They should be charged for incitement to commit murder."

While we certainly don't blame Assange for railing against individuals who have literally called for his execution, we're pretty sure that Huckabee and Palin -- who both already have name-first TV shows -- aren't calling for his death just to make a name for themselves.

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Greg Gutfeld: Julian Assange's Quest for Transparency Is All About Sex (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 22nd 2010 9:42PM
Last week, e-mails between Julian Assange and a unrequited crush from his pre-WikiLeaks days leaked. In the messages, Assange brags to the young woman about how he was able to obtain her license plate number and her home phone without her knowledge.

According to Greg Gutfeld on 'Red Eye' (weekdays, 3AM ET on Fox News), this suggests that Assange's motivation to promote transparency in government by leaking documents might be all about making it easier for the WikiLeaks president to stalk women.

"(Assange) doesn't want any information to be secret, because then he can't get lucky," Gutfeld hypothesized. "In the end there is nothing majestic, romantic or journalistic about Assange's quest for transparency; it's all about getting into your e-mails and, ultimately, your orifices," Gutfeld graphically concluded.

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Julian Assange Expects The United States to Charge Him With Espionage (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 17th 2010 6:50PM
Appearing on 'Today' (weekdays 7 AM ET NBC) WikiLeaks President Julian Assange told Matt Lauer that he believes "there is something like an espionage indictment being made secretly against me in the United States."

Lauer then suggested the indictment may be related to allegations that Assange didn't just receive stolen information from Bradley Manning -- the American soldier who has been arrested for passing on classified material to WikiLeaks -- but that Assange also gave Manning software which aided in his theft.

"I have no information about what you are referring to. We don't know what the grounds of that investigation is. In fact, like the Swedish investigation (for sexual assault of two women), the whole damn thing is kept secret."

Hearing Assange complain about being kept in the dark must surely have amused the world leaders and government officials whose secrets Assange has brought into the light.

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Stephen Colbert Asks -- Has WikiLeaks Started a 'Cyberwar'? (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 16th 2010 7:18AM
Stephen Colbert Asks -- Has WikiLeaks Started a 'Cyberwar'?WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, 'Operation Payback' -- this is a confusing time for Americans. Especially for an American who's as "old-school" as Stephen Colbert. So, what's it all about? Well, if you haven't been paying attention to the "WikiLeaks" controversy -- just bear with us while we bring you up to speed.

First, WikLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents on the Internet. Next, they were "cyber-attacked" and shut down. So then, in retaliation, WikiLeaks "cyber-attacked" back, shutting down websites belonging to MasterCard and Visa. And then things just got more and more confusing from there ...

On the new 'Colbert Report' (weeknights, 11:30PM ET on Comedy Central), Mr. Colbert -- who probably still uses an analog dial-up modem (that's a nerd joke) -- tried to figure it all out. Stephen talked to computer expert Omar Wasow, asking him this: "ARE WE AT CYBERWAR?" The answer: Yes! No! Maybe!

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Michael Moore: Sex Crime Charges Against Julian Assange 'Stink to the High Heavens' (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 15th 2010 12:05PM
Filmmaker Michael Moore has offered $20,000 to help Julian Assange make bail. The WikiLeaks president is currently in a London jail, and faces charges of "sex by surprise" in Sweden.

Moore discussed his support of Assange on 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann' (weeknights, 8 PM ET on MSNBC), telling Olbermann he has no problem posting bail for a man who has been accused of a sex crime, because he believes the charges are suspicious.

"This whole thing stinks to the high heavens, I got to tell you. I mean I wasn't born yesterday. . . We've seen this before. Now, to this guilt or innocent . . . what they say he did . . . his condom broke during consensual sex."

Moore, like others have, is suggesting Assange's legal problems are retribution for revealing state secrets on WikiLeaks. A pretty good counter to this conspiracy theory is that the charges against Assange are so bizarre and flimsy (as we currently understand them) that no self-respecting government would even considering using them to frame an enemy.

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Glenn Beck Turns on Sarah Palin Over Her Criticism of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 10th 2010 5:30PM
Over the past several weeks, Glenn Beck has emerged as one of the most ardent defenders of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, though Beck has made it clear he doesn't like the man personally and thinks he's trying to hurt America.

Beck has previously defended Assange against the sexual assault charges he is facing in Sweden, and on Thursday's 'The Glenn Beck Program' (weekdays 5PM ET on Fox News) he blasted a group of political figures who have expressed a desire to shut WikiLeaks down, or take Assange out.

Pointing to a chalkboard, Beck rattled off the following list of names: "Eric Holder, Senator McConnell, Senator McCaskill ... Senator Lieberman, Mike Huckabee, Senator Feinstein ... Senator Christoper Bond ... Sarah Palin," he added, with a pronounced sadness in his voice. Later, Beck criticized Palin for a statement she made urging the U.S. government to go after Assange like a terrorist.

Beck's reason for defending Assange seems to be that he believes Assange is merely a small, insignificant part of a (surprise, surprise) larger conspiracy.

Whatever the reason, a Beck/Palin feud would be great for Cable TV, Twitter, and would certainly add an extra layer of intrigue to the duo's much joked-about 2012 presidential ticket.

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Colin Quinn, Carrie Fisher Point Out Julian Assange's Resemblance to Neil Patrick Harris (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Dec 10th 2010 2:15PM
Neil Patrick Harris: Actor, singer and ... evil incarnate? Colin Quinn and Carrie Fisher joke on 'Good Morning America' (weekdays, 7AM ET on ABC) that WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is an unappealing character, particularly because of his resemblance to Harris.

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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Is Arrested for Having 'Sex by Surprise' -- and Jon Stewart Is Very Confused (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 9th 2010 9:30AM
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Is Arrested for Having 'Sex by Surprise' -- and Jon Stewart Is Very ConfusedJulian Assange is accused of violating U.S. national security. His WikiLeaks website has published classified information about U.S. human rights violations, and deaths caused by American troops. Some people think Mr. Assange should be executed; some people think he should get the Nobel Prize.

But now, Assange has been arrested and accused of something else: having "sex by surprise." And on the 'The Daily Show' (weeknights, 11PM ET on Comedy Central), Jon Stewart basically had this reaction to the news: ... Huh? Jon stared blankly at the camera and furrowed his forehead, blinking in confusion.

"Isn't 'Sex by Surprise' a drink special at 'Bennigan's'?" the host said. Well, that's actually 'Sex on the Beach' -- but still, a good question! So how do you have "sex by surprise," anyway?

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Glenn Beck Uses His Lady Voice to Explain the Julian Assange 'Sex by Surprise' Charge (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 8th 2010 6:45PM
On Tuesday's 'The Glenn Beck Program' (weekdays, 5PM ET on Fox News) Beck tried to explain the complicated series of events between Julian Assange and his two Swedish accusers that led to Assange's arrest on charges of rape, sexual assault and sex by surprise.

Using cut-out photos of Barbie dolls as props, Beck employed his infamous lady voice and recreated a twisted account of an entirely fictional conversation between Assange's two accusers.

"Hey, you should really meet her," Beck squealed, imitating they way he imagined Assange's first accuser introduced the WikiLeaks mastermind to his second accuser. "Even though we just had sex, you should meet her."

And it devolved from there. We would have preferred if Beck went all out and used his ever-present puppets in his fanciful recreation, but that would probably have gotten too dirty for his late-afternoon audience.

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Glenn Beck Tries to Link George Soros To WikiLeaks (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 2nd 2010 5:40PM
During Glenn Beck's weekly appearance on 'The O'Reilly Factor' (weekdays, 8 PM ET on Fox News), the two Fox News hosts discussed the latest cache of WikiLeaks documents, and the organization's controversial leader Julian Assange.

So how long did it take before Beck tried to tie Assange to George Soros, who Beck has been spending the last month railing against as the nefarious 'puppet master'? Not long at all.

"Assange is a guy who loves to have just all open society," Beck said near the beginning of the segment. "Sound familiar, 'open society,' Beck repeated, before making the point that Soros is chairman of a foundation called the Open Society Institute.

Then Beck added the Assange is represented by a lawyer who also does pro-bono work for the Open Society Institute.

Per usual, O'Reilly was fairly skeptical of Beck's conspiracy theories, although the two hosts were united in their belief that Soros represents a danger to society.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the segment was that Beck and O'Reilly didn't have nearly as much fun pronouncing Assange's perfect super-villain last name as other cable news figures have been lately.

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Wiki-Leaker Bradley Manning Should Get At Least 25 Years in Prison, Says Joe Scarborough (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 29th 2010 4:55PM
It appears likely that the latest cache of government secrets released through Wikileaks comes from 22-year-old US Army Intelligence Analyst Bradley Manning, who was charged earlier this year under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for giving classified material to Julian Assange's controversial media organization.

Manning currently faces a maximum of 52 years in prison if convicted, and on 'Morning Joe' (weekdays, 6 AM ET on MSNBC) Joe Scarborough suggested he serve at least 25 years.

"I'm sure he did it as a matter of conscience," Scarborough said. "I've got to say though, the government needs to lock him up for a very long time." (Mike Barnicle disagreed with Scarborough's assessment of Manning's motives, instead prescribing them to "anger.")

"Other people need to know if I do this, I'm going to go to jail for at least 25 years," Scarborough continued.

What do you think? Is 25 years about the right punishment, if Manning is guilty of what the military is charging him with? Or do you think he should serve more or less time?

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