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Ruth Graham
Ruth Graham
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      Ruth Graham

      Ruth Graham is a writer and editor in Brooklyn, NY. She is a former features editor at the New York Sun, and has written for publications including the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and City Journal.

Hollywood Political Watch: George Clooney is the $700 billion TARP man, Bieber gets ditched by Israeli prime minister

Terrible news for peace in the Middle East. Justin Bieber, visiting Israel as part of his ongoing world tour, was all set to meet up with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A true meeting of the minds! But the plan fell apart, possibly because the wee pop star’s handlers didn’t like the idea of his participation in the event after Netanyayu also invited some children from a town frequently struck by Palestinian rockets. That would be too political, you see. So now the Bibi-Bieber meeting

Hollywood Political Watch: Brave actors say no to hunger, yes to food

12:20 AM 04/01/2011

This column has naturally focused mostly on Hollywood’s intersection with American politics so far, but this week we see an A-list actor becoming embroiled in the international political scene. George Clooney – movie star, international activist, and all-around handsome guy – may be called to testify at the trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Hollywood Political Watch: Damon’s latest rambling fireside chat, Palin vs. Griffin and activist Affleck

12:33 AM 03/11/2011

Matt Damon’s crusade of vaguely miffed disenchantment with President Obama continued in an interview with the British newspaper the Independent this week. In last week’s column, we saw Damon interviewed on CNN about his views on Obama’s handling of Wall Street, education policy, and the war in Afghanistan. Though he said there’s no way he would run for office, that apparently hasn’t stopped him from continuing this series of rambling fireside chats.

Hollywood Political Watch: Matt Damon, Charlie ‘Winning’ Sheen, and Gaddafi’s angels

12:02 AM 03/04/2011

Surely most red-blooded Americans agree that Matt Damon is a generally likable man. But he’s most likable when he’s kicking ass or dressing up as a cowboy, not when he’s musing about education policy. So it pains me to report that Damon appeared last night in a taped interview on CNN to discuss that very topic, among others, with former “America’s Got Talent” host Piers Morgan. Turns out, Damon is disappointed in President Obama’s performance as president so far, because Obama “misinterpreted his mandate.” President Obama, I hope you are listening. Every time a move star becomes disillusioned with a sitting president, an angel loses his wings.

Hollywood Political Watch: Bill Clinton is so dreamy, Lohan talks Egypt, and Bieber on abortion

12:04 AM 02/25/2011

If there’s one thing Americans want Hollywood stars to provide, it’s insight into current events and public policy. That’s why Los Angeles is the moral and intellectual capital of the country. And that’s also why this new column will be devoted to finding out answers to pressing questions such as: What does Miley Cyrus think about public sector unions? What’s Shia Lebeouf’s take on corn subsidies? Does the popular young cast of “Glee” think unemployment benefits should be extended beyond 99 weeks?

Keith Olbermann loves a good conspiracy theory: We watch, because we’re paid to

9:59 AM 12/17/2010

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10: Kicking off a spectacular week of sensitivity toward women’s issues, tonight Olbermann giddily crowed over the fact that two BBC reporters mispronounced “Secretary of Culture Hunt.” Then he told a story about the time that he himself made a pronunciation error in reporting on air about a “quail hunt.” GET IT? He repeated it several times in case you didn’t, almost bouncing out of his chair with excitement over the cleverness and hilarity of it all.

Keith Olbermann, we demand details: We watch, because we’re paid to

9:11 AM 12/10/2010

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3: “Countdown” viewers witnessed a small but historic moment tonight when Keith Olbermann tacitly admitted he is a giant pain in the Keith Olbmermann. The admission came during his nightly “Tweet of the day” segment, when he reads aloud Twitter postings that are either funny (to him) or flattering (to him). Tonight’s tweet addressed his tiff last week with Bristol Palin: “Aww, Keith, Bristol is pissed at you,” a woman named Sabrina Brown wrote. “To Ms. Brown and Ms. Palin, I worked for ESPN for a total of seven and a half years,” he replied on air. “‘Bristol is pissed at me’ is my default setting.”

Keith Olbermann, we know you aren’t a plagiarist: We watch, because we’re paid to

8:53 AM 11/19/2010

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12: Tonight’s “Countdown” was most notable for what wasn’t said: Keith bragged about having canceled a segment on the supposed plagiarism in George W. Bush’s new book. “Only when I saw the actual books just before air tonight was it evident that a lot of these so-called similarities appear only when some very selective editing is done, either in Bush‘s book or the other ones. So the segment is dead.”

Bring me an aspirin, Keith Olbermann: We watch, because we’re paid to

9:13 AM 11/05/2010

Election week on “Countdown”! I’ll give you three guesses as to whether it ended in elation or a splitting headache. Or perhaps it ended with the revelation just this morning on Politico that Olbermann made three $2,400 contributions in the recent election, violating both NBC policy and basic principles of journalism. One donation, to Arizona representative Raul Grijalva, took place on the same day Grijalva appeared on “Countdown.” The other donations went to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and another Arizona representative, Gabrielle Giffords. (You will definitely want to read this.) But meanwhile, here’s the week that was:

TheDC Review: Keith Olbermann’s ‘Pitchforks and Torches’

12:13 AM 11/04/2010

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s new book, “Pitchforks and Torches: The Worst of the Worst, From Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin and Other Posturing Republicans,” has a lot in common with Olbermann’s daily television show: It’s built around the overwritten, overwrought meanderings of a smart but lazy man better known for anger than substance, who fancies himself an avenger for justice but is really just a thin-skinned tyrant in pundit’s clothing. Also, both feature hilarious images of Keith Olbermann’s face.