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‘Community’s Joel McHale To Host White House Correspondents’ Dinner

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 7:14am PST

Joel McHale White House Correspondents DinnerThey’ve had late-night hosts for the past two years, but now the White House Correspondents Association Dinner is going primetime. Straight out of NBC’s Thursday lineup, Communitys Joel McHale will be the headliner at this year’s politicians and Hollywood-heavy event set for May 3. Of course, the real main attraction at the WHCA dinner is President Obama, but, as is the protocol, McHale will be the closing act. “We’re thrilled that Joel will headline the dinner when we celebrate our centennial,” said WHCA president Steven Thomma today via Twitter. “He’s sharp, funny and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans and especially the news media. Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing,” added the McClatchy Newspapers political editor. McHale, who has also been fronting E!’s weekly satire show The Soup since 2004, follows Conan O’Brien’s stint in the WHCD gig last year and Jimmy Kimmel in 2012. The last time a non-late-night host or regular was the WHCD headliner was in 2002, when Drew Carey had the job.

Related: Fan-In-Chief Obama Tweets “No Spoilers” For ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2 Debut

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Fan-In-Chief Obama Tweets “No Spoilers” For ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2 Debut

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 4:04pm PST

Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847__131217180859Well, guess we know what President Obama will be doing this long weekend while hanging out in Rancho Mirage after meeting with the King of Jordan: binge-watching the new season of Netflix’s House Of Cards“Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please,” tweeted Obama’s Twitter feed today of the 13 new episodes of the political drama set to premiere simultaneously at midnight tonight.

Now there was no “BO” after the tweet, which is the indication it came from the Commander-In-Chief himself, but we know Obama is a fan of the DC-based drama and its ruthless soon-to-be VP Francis Underwood. “I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of House Of Cards?” the President was heard asking Netflix’s CEO houseofcards__131213044101-275x106__131217181725Reed Hastings during a White House meeting in late December. After an offer from Hastings to do a cameo on the award-winning streaming series, Obama also made a crack that Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is “getting a lot of stuff done” and “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient” in the real-life DC. That drew a big laugh from Hastings, Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and the 12 other tech bosses in attendance. Maybe with this tweet, Obama is taking Hastings up on the offer. We’ll see in the recently formally announced Season 3.

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UPDATE: Stephen Colbert At Head Table For White House State Dinner; JJ Abrams, Bradley Cooper, Viacom’s Philippe Dauman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & CNN’s Jeff Zucker Also Attend

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 3:52pm PST

white_house-300x168UPDATE: 7:01 PM: Michelle Obama could have turned to the guy seated next to her at the head table during tonight’s White House State Dinner and asked if he’s heard any good jokes lately. That would be none other than The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert. Could it be that French-sounding surname earned him some juice with the protocol folks? Meanwhile, according to the White House pool report, Bradley Cooper was seen chatting with Secretary of State John Kerry, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus was asked her what her favorite part of the dinner was. “Look who I’m sitting next to,” she said, pointing to Vice President Joe Biden. The real veep swiftly jumped in with: “Hey, stop screwin’ around, she’s my date!” He promptly burst out laughing and said, “Just kidding.” Meanwhile, Mindy Kaling was tweeting and Instagraming her evening.

PREVIOUSLY: We knew a good grasp of French would come in handy for Bradley Cooper one day. The American Hustle actor will be one of the many Hollywood guests attending the State Dinner tonight at the White House that President Obama and the First Lady are hosting for French President Francois Hollande. Among the cabinet members and government officials joining the sparkling gathering on the South Lawn will also be CNN chief Jeff Zucker, HBO’s Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, HBO CEO Richard Plepler, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, and Star Wars director JJ Abrams and … Read More »

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White House Gives Shout-Out To Jay Leno: “End Of An Era”

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST

Obama Leno FinaleWhite House press secretary Jay Carney had some nice parting words for Jay Leno ahead of tonight’s taping of the final Tonight Show With Jay Leno. It’s fitting because Carney’s boss was the first sitting president to appear in late-night. In total President Obama visited Leno’s couch six times, the last in August that marked the show’s best ratings (3.8/10) since his last appearance in October 2012. That stint garnered the best Wednesday numbers for Leno since he returned to the show — until last night’s episode during this final week.

Related: ‘Tonight Show’ Draws Largest Audience In 4 Years With Final Full Week

“[Obama] is a fan and he has enjoyed his times on the set with Jay Leno,” Carney said in response to a question during his daily press conference. “And it’s just the end of an era I think for a lot of folks who have watched him on the Tonight Show over all these years. So the President wishes him well. We all do. And like I said, we’ve enjoyed — I’ve enjoyed being with the President in the times he has been out there. And I know he has enjoyed the experience.”

Related: Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

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Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Scores 4.2M Viewers With Obama Interview Round 2

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 1:41pm PST

ObamaSuperBowl__140202224238-575x323Things may have been testy between the participants at times, but the ratings for Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama last night on Fox News Channel were full of nothing but love. With 4.204 million watching the continuation of the pre-taped White House sitdown from the Super Bowl pregame show, The O’Reilly Factor at 8 PM ET drew its best total audience numbers since its coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Back in April 2013, Fox News drew 4.825 million viewers April 15, the day of the marathon attack, and 7.626 million viewers April 19 during a Shep Smith-hosted special in the slot on the night of the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ended with his capture. Last night’s Factor also garnered 626,000 viewers in the key adults 25-54 news demo.

Related: Obama Slams “Successful” Fox News Again In Taped O’Reilly Interview
Read More »

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UPDATE: Obama Slams “Successful” Fox News Again In Taped O’Reilly Interview

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 5:18pm PST

Obama Super Bowl InterviewUPDATE, 5:18PM: ”Absolutely, of course you are Bill but I like you anyway,” President Obama told Fox NewsBill O’Reilly tonight when asked if the cable news network host was “unfair” to him. “We just went through an interview where you asked about healthcare not working, IRS wholly corrupt, Benghazi,” Obama said referring to his testy live Super Bowel pregame interview with O’Reilly yesterday (see below). “The list of issues are defined by you guys in a certain way, but this is OK. If you want to be President of the United States then you know that you are going to be subject to criticism..” the President added. “But I want to know if it is unfair,” asked The O’Reilly Factor host to a smiling, laughing and deflecting Obama, “It’s my job to give you a hard time,” O’Reilly added. “Here’s what I would say, regardless of if it is unfair or not, it has made Fox News very successful,” responded Obama. “Here’s what you guys have to figure out, what are you going to do when I’m gone,” the President added. Today’s 10-minute interview shown on The O’Reilly Factor was taped immediately following the live 10-minute one-on-one the duo conducted Sunday. The taped interview also touched on support for veterans, the Keystone pipeline and how Obama thinks Richard Nixon was more liberal than he is.”Mr. President, always a pleasure to talk to you,” O’Reilly concluded the interview with. Afterwards, O’Reilly showed portions of the live interview from Sunday.

fnc1__131008010658-150x150PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: Things turned tense quickly today between President Obama and Bill O’Reilly in their Super Bowl pregame interview. “OK, Bill, you’ve got a long list of my mistakes,” Obama said to The O’Reilly Factor host near the start of their 10-minute live interview on Fox. That remark — in response to a question from O’Reilly whether it was the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency when he told Americans no one would lose their healthcare under Obamacare — was one of a number of points on which the two butted heads.  The duo sparred almost from the beginning in the interview live from the White House this afternoon. Obama also took on Fox News Channel when O’Reilly asked him about reports the IRS was investigating Tea Party-related groups for political reasons. “These kind of things keep resurfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” Obama said. “When you look there have been multiple hearings.” Obama denied any corruption, just some “boneheaded decisions.” Earlier, the Fox News host interrupted Obama with a “you’re not going to answer that?” as the President replied to a question about why he didn’t fire Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius after the botched online launch of Obamacare.

Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logoThe face-to-face marked the first time O’Reilly has interviewed Obama since Fox last broadcast the Super Bowl in 2011. The two covered several topics today including the Obamacare rollout, the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, and the IRS scandal. Obama wouldn’t offer a prediction for the game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. I can’t make a prediction, I don’t know, these guys are too evenly matched,” he said. “I think it is going to be 24-21 but I don’t know who is going to be 24 and I don’t know who is going to be 21.”  Just before the interview ended, O’Reilly told the President he thought his heart was in the right place. O’Reilly and Obama are set to chat more today for an additional taped portion that will be shown Monday on O’Reilly Factor.   Read More »

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First Lady’s Rescheduled L.A. Fundraiser Raises Over $650,000; Draws Barbra Streisand & LA Mayor

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 9:55pm PST

Obama And First Lady Host Event On Expanding College Opportunity At White HouseThird try is a big-ticket charm for the First Family and the Democratic National Committee when it comes to getting some Hollywood cash. Paying between $1,000-$32,4000 a pop, about 200 donors came out this evening for Michelle Obama’s DNC fundraiser at the home of Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and his wife, actress Monica Horan. As President Obama took to the road today to drum up support for last night’s State of the Union speech, Mrs. Obama made her long-awaited trip out West to raise money for the Democrats’ midterm election war chest and to add another voice to that chorus. The First Lady, who earlier pre-recorded an appearance on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show set to air Thursday morning, spoke for about 20 minutes tonight, hitting many of the themes of her husband’s speech before Congress yesterday. In her speech tonight, the First Lady urged the crowd to “write a big fat check. Write the biggest check you can possibly write,” according to the White House pool report.  ”I know some of you may be tired of always being asked for money, and I understand, because it’s not always easy to ask you for it. But we do this because writing the checks is the single most impactful thing you can do right now to affect the outcome of those midterms,” she told the Tinseltown audience. Among those in attendance were  longtime Democrat supporter Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin, Tim Robbins, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and his daughter, according to the pool report. The event is estimated to have raised more than $650,000 according to sources close to the DNC. The First Lady is the second major Democrat out in L.A. in a week after NY Gov. Andrew Coumo was in town last Thursday raising more than $600,000 for his re-election.

Related:
State Of The Union Address Clocks Obama’s Smallest Crowd Yet
Obama Name Drops ‘Mad Men’ In State Of The Union Speech

Here’s an abbreviated description of the evening from the White House pool report:
Read More »

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Obama Name Drops ‘Mad Men’ In State Of The Union Speech

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:17pm PST

US-POLITICS-STATE OF THE UNION-OBAMAWell, we know one thing for sure from President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight – somebody in the White House watches Mad Men. Maybe it’s Obama himself, who has expressed a preference for the Matt Weiner-created 60s-themed series as well as Showtime’s Homeland in the past, or maybe one of his speechwriters is really into the show. Either way, getting laughs and applause, the pop culture savvy President slipped in a very deft reference to the AMC series amidst a passage about equal pay for equal work. Check out how about halfway through tonight’s speech, Mad Men officially became part of America’s historical record:

Related: ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Willie Robertson Creates Quandary For TV Reporters Covering President Obama’s State Of Union Address

mad-men-logo-300x165__130123145542-200x110

Today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.  Women deserve equal pay for equal work.  She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job.  A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship.  And you know what, a father does, too.  It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a  Mad Men

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‘2016: Obama’s America’ Filmmaker Pleads Not Guilty To Campaign Contribution Fraud

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 12:21pm PST

DJP LEGAL BADGEDinesh D’Souza, co-director and star of the second-most-successful political documentary in American box office history, faced a federal judge in New York today on charges of campaign finance fraud. The 2016: Obama’s America 0A2K2031filmmaker pleaded not guilty to District Judge Richard Berman at a noon ET hearing in Manhattan. He was released on $500,000 bail as the case was pushed back to March 4. D’Souza’s 2016 has made more than $33 million since it was first released in July 2012. In an indictment handed down Thursday, the conservative author and former aide to President Reagan faces a maximum of two years in prison for allegedly donating more than $20,000 to the unsuccessful 2012 GOP Senate campaign of longtime friend Wendy Long through other people. He also faces a max of five years behind bars for causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission in connection with those contributions,” according the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Related: Anti-Obama Filmmaker Plans ‘America’ Follow-up Movie Read More »

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Bill O’Reilly To Interview President Obama During Fox’s Super Bowl Pregame Show

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 10:14am PST

O'reillyobamaThe primetime Fox News Channel host will conduct the live sit-down from the White House during the Fox Super Bowl Sunday pregame show February 2. Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama is set to begin around 4:30 PM ET. Following the live interview, said to cover a wide variety of topics as you’d expect, O’Reilly and Obama will talk more for an additional taped portion that will air the next day on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor.  The interview will mark the third time O’Reilly has gone one-on-one with Obama, the first during Obama’s first run for president  in 2008 and again during Fox’s 2011 Super Bowl pregame show.

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Michelle Obama Reschedules Hollywood Fundraiser At Phil Rosenthal’s Place That Got Nixed By Government Shutdown

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 3:36pm PST

Don’t try to get around town on January 29 — that’s the day first lady Michelle Obama has re-scheduled her scrubbed DNC fundraiser at the obamamichelleHancock Park home of Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and his wife, actress Monica Horan. This clambake previously had been scheduled for mid-October at same place but got nixed because the government shutdown made it seem icky — FLOTUS glad-handing Hollywood types who’d forked over $1,250 to $32,400 for the privilege, while many government workers aren’t collecting their paychecks just did not pass the cringe test. Back in October, she’d also pulled the plug on a planned San Francisco fundraiser.

Related: First Lady Subs For President Obama At Hollywood Fundraiser Read More »

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Obama Offered ‘House Of Cards’ Role By Netflix CEO: Video

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 10:18am PST

Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847Now this would be a cameo that would render even Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood speechless. Reed Hastings today publicly hit up President Obama to appear on House Of Cardsin which Spacey plays the loquacious, ambitious and ruthless U.S. congressman. A little less than two months before Season 2 of the show debuts, the offer from the Netflix CEO came during a photo op at the White House this morning as Obama met with Hastings and other tech company CEOs and bosses to discuss the troubled Obamacare website and the government’s national security surveillance efforts. According to the White House pool report, the President was overheard asking Hastings,  “I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of House of Cards?” The report adds, “the exec laughed and invited Obama to do a cameo on the series.” The President also joked that Spacey’s Underwood is “getting a lot of stuff done” and “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient” in the real-life DC. That drew a big laugh from Hastings, Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and the 12 other tech bosses in attendence. Listen carefully and watch the exchange between Obama and Hastings:

houseofcards__131213044101-275x106Obama isn’t the only prominent DC resident to be a fan of the show. House Of Cards has been a favorite of many politicians since its February 1 debut this year. So much so that Spacey even starred in a House Of Nerds video mocking DC at this spring’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Read More »

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Obama Set For ‘Steve Harvey’ Debut

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 1:41pm PST

President Obama Steve Harvey Interview Syndicated talk show Steve Harvey today received at least one early Christmas present this year courtesy of the White House. “Yes ! Dreams do come True! Don’t ever give up !,” tweeted Harvey about his taped interview with President Obama earlier today. The show is scheduled to air December 20. “Sitting down with the President is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, and I am honored to have the opportunity,” said Harvey in a statement. “I’m grateful to President Obama for welcoming me and I’m thrilled to share this experience with all my viewers.” The one-on-one with Obama promises to cover “family, fatherhood and his plans for the holidays,” says the show. Revving up the usual year-end interview rounds for the Commander-in-Chief in softball city, this is the first time Obama has appeared on the NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution talk show. Steve Harvey is now in its second season. Earlier this year, the Endemol USA-produced series, which has been up over Season 1 and averaging 2.5 million viewers this cycle, was reupped until 2016. No word yet if the President will be appearing on the other Harvey-hosted show anytime soon – Family Feud doesn’t seem the Obamas’ style.

Related: Obama Names Tom Rothman To Plum Arts Post

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Obama Names Tom Rothman To Plum Arts Post

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 2:51pm PST

Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450He launched TriStar Productions with Sony Pictures in August, and today Tom Rothman has another new gig. President Obama nominated the former Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO to join the National Council on the Arts. “These dedicated TomRothman__130801222930-200x285and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America,” the President said today in nominating Rothman and several others to administration posts. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” The National Council on the Arts’ main role is to advise the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on agency policies and programs. It also reviews and makes recommendations to the Chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and other similar initiatives. A contributor and bundler for Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Rothman is the latest in a line of Hollywood supporters to get appointments from the President since his reelection.

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After almost 20 years at the News Corp company, Rothman was ousted from Fox in a studio shakeup in September 2012 and formally exited a month later. As well as being Chairman of the TriStar TV and Film venture with Sony, Rothman is also a member of the Board of Directors of … Read More »

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Obama Tells Haim Saban “Israel’s Security Is Sacrosanct”

By | Saturday December 7, 2013 @ 10:57am PST

Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020“This is a regime that came to power swearing opposition to the United States, to Israel, and to many of the values that we hold dear,” President Obama told Power Rangers billionaire and staunch Israel supporter Haim Saban today about Iran. “But what I’ve consistently said is even as I don’t take any options off the table, what we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically.” Obama and Saban were speaking at the Saban Forum’s 10th annual conference in DC. Today’s conversation with the President is the first time the media mogul has actually conducted an interview at his own event. “Ultimately, my goal as President of the United States, something I’ve said privately and publicly, is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Obama also told Saban. “Our commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct.”

Related: Haim Saban Praises Obama’s Middle East Policy At Fundraiser

Obama Haim Saban IsraelInterviewing Obama onstage on a variety of Middle East related topics at Washington DC’s Willard Hotel, the big Democratic Party donor joked about the “very obedient President I have here today.” Obama cracked back that ‘it’s the Saban Forum, you’re in charge.” “I wish,” replied Saban with both noting to laughter that the media billionaire’s wife Cheryl who really was running things.

Related: Obama Teases Katzenberg During DreamWorks Animation Speech Touting Hollywood Biz

The exchange between the two comes just … Read More »

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UPDATE: Obama Teases Jeffrey Katzenberg During DreamWorks Animation Speech Touting Hollywood Biz

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 1:27pm PST

UPDATE, 1:27 PM WRITETHRU: President Obama took to the stage today for a speech on the economy at DreamWorks Animation, the company run by one of his biggest Hollywood bundlers Jeffrey Katzenberg. After being introduced by Mellody Hobson — the DWA board chairman from Aerial Capital Management, a Chicago native and longtime friend — he thanked Katzenberg for inviting him before launching into a pro-Hollywood and pro-economy message tailored to the crowd estimated at 1800-2000 that included DWA employees and pretty much every entertainment mogul in the city. “His place in the entertainment business is legendary … don’t need to puff him up too much he has a healthy sense of self”, Obama joked about Katzenberg, with the president adding that “my ears were the inspiration for Shrek”. The president called the entertainment biz “one of America’s biggest exports” and “one of the bright spots of our economy”, adding that he’s figured out what his next job will be. “I told Jeffery I’d like to work here”, Obama said to cheers from the crowd. As he wrapped up, after his customary “God bless America” line, Obama said, “Can’t wait to see your next movie”.

The Glendale stop, on the second day of a two-day LA fundraising swing, drew a who’s who of Hollywood moguls including CBS Corp’s Les Moonves, NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer, Jeff Shell and Robert Greenblatt, Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, Paramount’s Rob Moore, Fox’s Jim Gianoplulos and Peter Rice, Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer, Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara, Disney’s Bob Iger, Alan Horn and Anne Sweeney, LA Film Czar Tom Sherak and the MPAA’s Chris Dodd. Those execs participated in a closed-press meeting with Obama ahead of his speech, with a White House spokesman describing it as an “opportunity to discuss the economy and highlight the entertainment industry as a bright spot in our growing economy. The President discussed the impact that broader economic conditions has on the industry. He also touched on piracy and intellectual property rights, which are chief concerns of participating film industry leaders.” The moguls were hard to pin down on the meeting, with Meyer telling me only that “it was great, really great”. Read More »

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UPDATE: Haim Saban Praises Obama’s Middle East Policy At Fundraiser

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 10:37pm PST

Power Rangers billionaire and staunch Israel supporter Haim Saban tonight offered strong support to President Obama for his efforts to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his recent initiative in negotiations with Iran. “We’re out of Iraq, we’re out of Afghanistan and the military and intelligence cooperation with Israel — our staunchest ally in the Middle East, arguably in the world, has never been deeper and the president’s commitment to Israel’s security has never been stronger,” Saban said in his introduction to Obama’s remarks tonight at his Beverly Hills home, according to White House pool reports. “And “If Iran is at the negotiating table today, make no mistake about it, it is only because of President Obama’s resolve in striking them with the most crippling sanctions ever.” The event was the second fundraiser of the night for Obama and the first Saban has hosted for the President directly. (He’d hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last month.) About 120 people attended tonight’s dinner — including Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and wife Wendy, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos — with tickets going for $16,200 each. (Read an edited and condensed version of the White House Pool report and official WH Press Office remarks from both of tonight’s fundraisers below.)

Related:
VFX Protesters Will March To DWA On Tuesday

Obama Traffic Snarl Alert: Street Closures Set

Earlier in the evening, Obama was the headliner at a fundraiser at Magic Johnson’s Beverly Hills house. About 160 people including Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton paid $2,500-$15,000 a ticket hear the commander-in-chief speak at the reception. Tomorrow morning the president will be attending a $32,400-per-guest breakfast event at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman (take a look at the original invite here). After that, he will visit and give a speech on the economy and the entertainment industry at big donor Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s DreamWorks Animation HQ, as well as meeting with studio bosses. Obama’s Southland visit, his first since August, is partially a makeup for a planned swing in September that was scrapped because of the Syria crisis.

Here are the pool reports: Read More »

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UPDATE: VFX DreamWorks Animation Protesters To March Tuesday; Katzenberg, Obama Not Target Of Rally

By and | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 6:20pm PST

President Obama DreamWorksUPDATE: Organizers of the VFX artists’ protest scheduled during President Obama’s visit to DreamWorks Animation on Tuesday say they now plan to march between Griffith Manor Park and the street. The group has also announced the name of its CVD campaign coalition: Association of Digital Artists, Professionals & Technicians (ADAPT).

PREVIOUS, 1:34 PM: Barack Obama’s visit to DreamWorks Animation tomorrow will be matched by a protest by the VFX professionals behind an anti-subsidy tariff campaign, but the organizers say they don’t have the president — or DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg – in their sights. “We are not trying to embarrass DreamWorks Animation at all,” the industry blogger known as VFX Soldier told Deadline. “This is about raising awareness about what is happening outside the walls of DreamWorks: The absolute collapse of VFX employment.”

Obama is in town today and Tuesday for midterm election fundraisers as well as his DWA appearance. After a studio tour and a meeting with industry leaders, Obama is expected to speak about the economy and the strength of the entertainment industry in his DWA address scheduled for 12:15 PM Tuesday. During his DWA visit VFX supporters will gather just under a mile away at Glendale’s Griffith Manor Park. The VFX activists are aghast that Obama would praise employment at a studio hit by layoffs in the last year to an animation and VFX community that’s struggling to survive. Pink slips delivered by DWA earlier this year were the result of changes in the studio’s production schedule, not outsourcing or similar activities. Sources tell Deadline that many of those let go from DWA have since been rehired as the studio has new films in the pipeline. Still, everyone in VFX feels the instability of the industry. “We’re trying to prevent the embarrassment,” said VFX Soldier. “Why would you go to L.A.? This is ground zero.”

Related:
Obama Traffic Snarl Alert: Street Closures Set
‘Good Dinosaur’ Delay Leads To Pink Slips At Pixar

DreamWorks Animation Obama VFXWhile the president won’t see the protesting VFXers, the White House is clearly sensitive to perception about Obama speaking at the HQ of his biggest donor bundler. “DreamWorks obviously is a thriving business and is creating lots of jobs in Southern California and the fact of the matter is Mr. Katzenberg’s support for the president’s policies has no bearing on our decision to visit there. Rather, it’s an opportunity to highlight the success of one business and the success that they’re having in creating jobs in Southern California,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest today on Air Force One according to pool reports. Similar to the fundraiser last week for Gov. Jerry Brown at Disney Studios boss Alan Horn’s home, a number of other studio chiefs such as Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara and CBS’ Les Moonves are expected to attend Obama’s speech at DWA.

Read More »

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Obama Traffic Snarl Alert: Street Closures Set For Today & Tuesday

If you aren’t attending the two big-ticket fundraisers President Obama is headlining in Beverly Hills tonight, you might want to stay out of West LA today. Because of Obama’s two-day visit, the LAPD says there’ll be street closures from the 405 Freeway to La Cienega Boulevard and from Santa Monica Boulevard south down to Venice Boulevard today from 4:45-10 PM. There will also be closures from Fairfax to Western and from Beverly Boulevard to Pico from 8-10:45 AM Tuesday for a Hancock Park fundraiser. Also expect delays in the Glendale area from 10:30 AM-1:30 PM when the President heads over to big bundler Jeffery Katzenberg‘s DreamWorks Animation for a speech on the economy and the entertainment industry.

Related: Obama Set For DreamWorks Animation Visit Nov. 26

Today, Obama is set to fly into LAX at 4:30 PM and then chopper over to the Veterans Administration building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd near UCLA. Coming to town from San Francisco, POTUS will head first to a $2,500-$15,000 a ticket gathering at Magic Johnson’s Beverly Hills house; Obama is scheduled to speak at the event around 7:10 PM. Staying in the neighborhood, the President will then head to the home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl for a $16,200-a-person or $32,400-a-couple dinner. A longtime Democratic Party supporter who had an event with Hillary Clinton last month at his house, this marks the first fundraiser the Power Rangers billionaire has held with Obama directly. After delivering remarks at 8:20 PM, Obama will head to a hotel, likely the Beverly Hilton, for the night. Read More »

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