Entertainment

When a Jewish laborer took on 20,000 US Nazis in Madison Square Garden

A new short documentary compiles archived footage to recall an event held in New York on the eve of World War II in which tens of thousands of people gathered at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden venue to cheer on US Nazis at what was billed as a “pro-American rally.”

Documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry’s latest work includes the moments when a Jewish man was beaten to the floor as he tried to rush past dozens of uniformed Nazis on the stage in a failed attempt to disrupt the main speaker.

The seven-minute “A Night at the Garden” is made up of various clips showing the drama on the night of February 20, 1939, when 20,000 people packed into Madison Square Garden for a rally organized by the German American Bund, a Nazi movement led by German-American Fritz Julius Kuhn.

The film was recently screened at 22 US cinemas in the Alamo theater chain.

Curry made the film for the documentary unit Field of Vision after learning about the history of the rally a year ago.

In an interview published last week on the Field of Vision website, the director talked about the film and its significance to modern society.

“Events like this should remind us not to be complacent — that the things we care about have to be nurtured and defended regularly — because even seemingly good people have the potential to do hideous things,” he said.

American neo-Nazis and US white supremacists made headlines recently after an August nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, dissolved into clashes and deadly violence when an alleged white supremacist drove his car into counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

In the black and white footage from 1939 rally, uniformed American Nazis carrying swastika flags are seen parading up to the stage, where a 30-foot-high poster of George Washington is surrounded by US flags and swastika banners. During the proceedings the crowd also sings “The Star Spangled Banner.”

At the time the rally was held, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler was already operating several concentration camps as part of the persecution of Jews and political opponents that led to the murder of six million Jewish people across Europe. On September 1, 1939, German invaded Poland, launching World War II, which the US joined in 1941 after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7 of that year.

Kuhn, who was born 1896 in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany, moved to the US in 1928 and became a naturalized citizen in 1934, took to the stage wearing a Bund military-styled uniform. In German-accented English he mocked the “Jewish media” and then, to wild applause, called for a “white, gentile-ruled United States… gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish Moscow-directed domination.”

“It really illustrated that the tactics of demagogues have been the same throughout the ages,” filmmaker Curry explained. “They attack the press, using sarcasm and humor. They tell their followers that they are the true Americans. And they encourage their followers to ‘take their country back’ from whatever minority group has ruined it.”

A group of protesters was permitted to stand at the side of the stage during the Bund event and tens of thousands more gathered outside. As Kuhn addressed the audience, Isadore Greenbaum, 26-year-old Jewish plumber’s helper from Brooklyn, jumped onto the stage and tried to rush the podium. He was set upon by Bund members, was beaten and had his pants pulled off. Police waded into the melee and pulled him from the room. He was fined $25 for disorderly conduct, equivalent to about $430 in today’s currency.

“The magistrate asked him, ‘Don’t you realize that innocent people might have been killed?’ And Greenbaum replied, ‘Do you realize that plenty of Jewish people might be killed with their persecution up there?’”“There was a debate at the time over whether the Bund should be allowed to have a rally, which – like so many things about the event — seems eerily contemporary,” Curry said, citing a New York Times article from the time. “Greenbaum explained to the judge the day after the rally, ‘I went down to the Garden without any intention of interrupting. But being that they talked so much against my religion and there was so much persecution I lost my head, and I felt it was my duty to talk.’

Despite the opposition to the rally, the American Jewish Committee was in favor of letting the Bund event go ahead, Curry said. At the time, the AJC told the New York Times that while the Bund was “completely anti-American and anti-Democratic… because we believe that the basic rights of free speech and free assembly must never be tampered with in the United States, we are opposed to any action to prevent the Bund from airing its views.”

“New York Mayor [Fiorello Henry] LaGuardia, for his part, ridiculed the event as an ‘exhibition of international cooties,’ and said he believed in exposing cooties to the sunlight,” Curry noted.

According to Curry, the German American Bund “had a significant presence in the 1930s, with training camps in New Jersey, upstate New York, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and a huge march down East 86th Street in Manhattan. But their mainstream appeal was reduced by their leaders’ German accents and culture.”

In December 1939, Kuhn was imprisoned for embezzling Bund funds. He was stripped of his US citizenship and after the war sent to West Germany. He died in 1951.

“The Bund disappeared soon after the start of World War II,” Curry said.

“To me, the most striking and upsetting part of the film is not the anti-Semitism of the main speaker or even the violence of his storm-troopers,” said Curry. “What bothers me more is the reaction of the crowd. Twenty-thousand New Yorkers who loved their kids and were probably nice to their neighbors, came home from work that day, dressed up in suits and skirts, and went out to cheer and laugh and sing as a speaker dehumanized people who would be murdered by the millions in the next few years.”

“This point is less an indictment of bad things that Americans have done in the past, than it is a cautionary tale about the bad things that we might do in the future,” Curry warned, and then quoted prominent American Methodist minister Halford E. Luccock as saying, “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism.’”

Advertisements

Harvey Weinstein Ousted From Motion Picture Academy

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood’s de facto governing body, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to “immediately expel” Harvey Weinstein, breaking with 90 years of precedent and turning one of the biggest Oscar players in history into a hall-of-fame pariah.

The academy’s 54-member board of governors made the decision at an emergency session after investigations by The New York Times and The New Yorker that revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against him going back decades.

In a statement, the academy said the vote was “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority.”

It added, “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”

The academy said it would “work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all academy members will be expected to exemplify.”

Mr. Weinstein, who was fired by the movie and television studio he co-founded, the Weinstein Company, has denied rape allegations while acknowledging that his behavior “caused a lot of pain.”

Although largely symbolic, the ouster of Mr. Weinstein from the roughly 8,400-member academy is stunning because the organization is not known to have taken such action before — not when Roman Polanski, a member, pleaded guilty in a sex crime case involving a 13-year-old girl; not when women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby, a member, of sexual assault; and not when Mel Gibson allegedly went on anti-Semitic tirade during a drunk driving arrest in 2006 or pleaded no contest to a charge of battery against an old girlfriend in 2011.

Now, the academy may be forced to contend with other problem members.

Scott Feinberg, the longtime awards columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, said, “This may well be the beginning of a very tough chapter for the academy. The next thing that is going to happen, rightly or wrongly, is that a wide variety of constituencies are going to demand that the academy similarly address other problematic members.”

Mr. Feinberg added that he was speaking of academy members like Mr. Polanski and Stephen Collins, the “7th Heaven” actor who admitted in 2014that he molested teenage girls in past decades, which resulted in police investigations in New York and Los Angeles but no charges.

Before Mr. Weinstein — who built two studios on the back of the Academy Awards, securing more than 300 nominations for his movies — only one person was known to have been permanently expelled from the academy. Carmine Caridi, a character actor, had his membership revoked in 2004 for violating an academy rule involving Oscar voting. He got caught lending DVD screeners of contending films; copies ended up online. (In the 1990s, a couple of people were temporarily suspended for selling their allotted tickets to the Oscar ceremony.)

The academy’s board, roughly 40 percent female, includes Hollywood titans like Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, the Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, Tom Hanks, the documentarian Rory Kennedy and Jim Gianopulos, the chairman of Paramount Pictures.

In an example of Mr. Weinstein’s reach, at least 10 governors have worked on films that he produced or that his studios have released. One board member, Christina Kounelias, now an executive vice president at Participant Media, started her career at Miramax, working in publicity for four years.

The board’s president is Jim Bailey, a cinematographer whose credits include “Ordinary People,” a winner of the 1981 Academy Award for best picture, and “Groundhog Day.” Lois Burwell, who is listed as its first vice president, is a makeup artist who won an Oscar in 1996 for her work on “Braveheart.”

The meeting of the board was called on Wednesday. In the days leading up to it, as the industry was grappling with new public accusations against Mr. Weinstein published in The New YorkerThe Times and on social media, some board members spoke among themselves to see if they could reach an informal consensus on how a vote on the mogul’s status would go.

Ms. Kennedy, an eight-time Oscar nominee, told fellow board members that she was outraged by the allegations, according to a person briefed on advance discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to comply with academy confidentiality strictures. But Ms. Kennedy was also said to be aware that pushing him out could put the academy on a slippery slope.

The Saturday meeting began at 10 a.m. It was held inside a colossal conference room on the seventh floor of the academy’s mirrored-glass toweron Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

In outlining duties for the board of governors, the academy’s bylaws say, “Any member of the academy may be suspended or expelled for cause by the board of governors. Expulsion or suspension as herein provided for shall require the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all the governors.”

At a typical meeting, one board member said, some of the participants appear on video screens and others participate on speakerphone, since they are often scattered across the world. Those who do attend in person sit at a large oval table or else in a chairs closer to the wall during sessions when the room is crowded. There is a buffet area with pastries and coffee.

No person has been more closely associated with the Academy Awards in recent decades than Mr. Weinstein, who won a best picture Oscar in 1999 for “Shakespeare in Love” and who orchestrated campaigns that resulted in more than 80 statuettes for films released by the studios he ran, including five best picture Oscars for “Shakespeare in Love,” “The English Patient,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.”

The adulation afforded him power — so much power that many women feared reporting his alleged abuses — and gave him the credibility he was able use as a shield whenever rumors of his behavior started to swirl.

Starting in 1990, when he pushed a pair of foreign films, “My Left Foot” and “Cinema Paradiso,” to Oscar glory, Mr. Weinstein became famous for sharp-elbowed, ethics-be-damned campaign tactics. According to “Down and Dirty Pictures,” Peter Biskind’s 2004 book about the independent film movement spurred by Mr. Weinstein’s Miramax studio, he once courted voters at a movie industry nursing home.

Initially horrified, the Hollywood establishment soon copied his playbook, turning Oscar season into a free-for-all. But Mr. Weinstein remained the maestro, peaking at the 2003 Oscars, when he had a hand in four of the five films nominated for best picture. (Miramax’s “Chicago” was the winner.)

Mr. Weinstein was such a force that year that The Los Angeles Times nicknamed the ceremony “the Harveys.”

He alternately charmed and bullied the trade press and glossy magazines, and the lavish parties he threw on the night before the Oscars ceremony became a status destination in Hollywood. The most recent Weinstein Company bash, held in February at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel, included among its guests Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

In total, Mr. Weinstein has overseen campaigns that resulted in five best-picture Oscars, for “Shakespeare in Love,” “The English Patient,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.”

His fall has come hard and fast. The first article to appear in The New York Times on women’s accusations against Mr. Weinstein was published on Oct. 5. While the authorities in New York and London are investigating Mr. Weinstein, no charges have been filed against him.

Pressure had been building on the academy to purge Mr. Weinstein. Earlier in the week, as actresses including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow came forward with horrifying tales and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts kicked him out, the academy essentially punted, releasing a statement condemning Mr. Weinstein’s alleged behavior as “repugnant, abhorrent” and saying it would meet on Saturday to discuss “any actions warranted.”

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences worked to corral its vast board, members started to come forward to demand action. A Change.org petition demanding that the academy banish Mr. Weinstein gathered more than 160,000 signatures.

The emergency academy meeting took place after employees and several board members are fleeing the boutique movie studio Mr. Weinstein helped found as talk of bankruptcy swirled around it. On Friday, one person at the Weinstein Company, which has roughly 150 employees in New York and Los Angeles, described an operation in chaos, with phones going unanswered and some staff members in revolt.

Bob Weinstein, now scrambling to salvage the Weinstein Company, is facing mounting questions about what he knew about his brother’s behavior and why he did not intervene. In a Hollywood Reporter interview published Saturday, he said, “I find myself in a waking nightmare. My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls I say this with every bone in my body — I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed.”

The Producers Guild of America was also scheduled to meet on Saturday to discuss revoking Mr. Weinstein’s membership. Late Friday, the group abruptly moved the special meeting to Monday. Under that group’s bylaws, Mr. Weinstein will have two weeks to respond to any action. The same guild gave the Weinstein brothers its Milestone award in 2013, citing their “historic contributions to the entertainment industry.”

In a sign of the international nature of the condemnation of Mr. Weinstein, the French government on Saturday said it had started a process that could strip him of his Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian distinction. (He received it in 2012.) Earlier in the week, a government spokesman had said that France would wait for definitive legal action before considering such action.

The production studio has also felt pressure from people in the creative community whom it once championed, with the creative forces behind the musical “In the Heights,” Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes, publicly calling on the Weinstein Company to relinquish its movie adaptation rights.

The Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of “The Current War,” a Weinstein Company film that was supposed to be marketed as its main 2017 Oscar contender, said in a statement on Tuesday that he was “utterly disgusted” by Mr. Weinstein’s “horrifying and unforgivable actions.”

Apple has ended plans for a Weinstein-produced series about Elvis Presley, and Amazon announced on Friday that it would not move forward with a Weinstein-produced mafia series from the Academy Award-winning director David O. Russell that had previously received a two-season commitment and was to have been budgeted at an estimated $160 million.

When Hitler sent his minions to LA: The true-life Nazi plot against Hollywood

https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-hitler-sent-his-minions-to-la-the-true-life-nazi-plot-against-hollywood/I

 

t reads like a scene from a nightmare Hollywood script: Nazis in Los Angeles plan to kill some of the most beloved names in show business — including Charlie Chaplin and Busby Berkeley — and use the mass execution to launch pogroms against Jews in the US.

But this nefarious scheme and others like it were all too real in LA during the 1930s and 1940s. And they were all thwarted thanks to a spy ring run by Leon Lewis, a founder of the Anti-Defamation League.

Lewis and his network are the subjects of a new book, “Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America,” by University of Southern California professor of history Steven J. Ross.

“Hitler and the Brownshirts, in the 1920s, got disgruntled veterans of World War I to join their organization,” Ross explained. “If they could get Americans who could attract other Americans, all military men, they would train other Americans for the day there would be a putsch in America.”The book, which will be released by Bloomsbury Press on October 24, illustrates how Nazi agents operated in LA — beginning shortly after Hitler became Reichschancellor in January 1933 and continuing through World War II. The agents’ goal in the early 1930s was chillingly clear.

Nazi agents arrived in LA in March 1933 and created Friends of New Germany, a lobbying and recruitment group for Nazis in the US. (After 1936, the group was called the German-American Bund.) The first Nazi meeting in LA took place that July. From the beginning, Lewis was vigilant.

“The Nazis had known since 1933 that Jews were spying on them,” Ross said. “Leon Lewis was the main Jew. They called him ‘the most dangerous Jew in LA.’”

A World War I veteran and a founding executive secretary of the ADL, Lewis “had seen enough” in wartime of the evils that men could do “when properly motivated,” Ross said.

“As far as Leon Lewis was concerned, he could not take a chance,” Ross said. “It was not just talk. He was certain it was for real.”

In the fall of 1933, he learned of a plot to seize the armories in San Francisco, LA and San Diego.

“In a couple of days, all three would be taken over and Jews executed,” Ross said.

Lewis shared the plot with LA police chief James Davis. But two minutes in, Ross said, the chief told Lewis, “Stop. You don’t get it. Hitler’s doing the right thing. The real danger is all the Jews in Boyle Heights, where all the Communists are.”

Several years later, in 1936, Lewis himself became a target of a Nazi plot.

“They would ignite the Nazi Party in early 1936 by killing 20 men in teams of four,” Ross said. “It would be like Kristallnacht. They would hang prominent Angelenos, including Busby Berkeley,” Lewis himself and Mendel Silberberg, “the most powerful entertainment attorney in the US.

“They would be hung and shot, their bodies riddled in what was described as a ‘hail of lead,’” said Ross. “They fully expected, once this happened, to have pogroms throughout America and the beginning of mass violence against Jews.”

The chief plotter, Ingram Hughes, had written anti-Semitic tracts for the American Nationalist Party “calling upon fellow Christians to create a ‘Final Solution’ in 1935 for Jews,” Ross said. “The Final Solution was to involve, basically, a unified fascist front around the country, all these fascist groups across America. Nobody was paying attention. Officers were too busy looking for Reds. They never considered that Nazis or Silver Shirts [an American fascist group] were a danger to them.”

Ultimately, Hughes called off the plot. “At one point, Ingram Hughes was afraid they had been penetrated,” Ross said. “He did not know who the spy was. He did not want to be arrested for attempted murder. It was postponed. Temporary [postponement] became permanent.”

One year later another Nazi plotter, former British military officer Leopold MacLaglen, conceived a scheme to kill 24 Angelenos — “Hollywood’s biggest stars,” Ross said, “producers and their two big Jewish friends, Charlie Chaplin and James Cagney.” (Though Chaplin wasn’t Jewish, the Nazis believed that he was.)

The scheme consisted of MacLaglen, three Americans, “as well as some Nazis,” Ross said.

He described their premise: “When you hang Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn and the most famous man in the world, Charlie Chaplin, and they’re shot, like Hughes [had planned earlier], it will start pogroms throughout America and lead to the mass extermination of American Jews.

“They were told the police would turn their eyes,” said Ross. “Many in the police and sheriff’s department were sympathetic to the Nazis and fascists.”

MacLaglen was unaware that his right-hand man and one of his three American cohorts was Lewis’ spy Charles Slocombe.

Slocombe, like many of Lewis’ spies, was Christian. He was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Silver Shirts.

“He rose up to a very high [position] within the California Klan,” Ross said. “He was [Lewis’] highest-placed spy for 12 years.”

Slocombe felt “there was a difference between anti-Communism, which simply opposed it, and being a Nazi or fascist who actively wanted to kill Jews,” Ross said. “[Slocombe] just wanted Communists under surveillance. Once he saw what the Nazis were up to, he felt it was un-American.”

When the plotters compiled a list of their 24 targets and divided it in half, Slocombe got one half of the list for safekeeping.

“Slocombe sends his half to Lewis with the other names he remembers,” said Ross. “With Lewis’s encouragement, Slocombe talked to the other Americans [in on the plot]. He said [MacLaglen] was ‘a schemer and con artist who was blackmailing a wealthy Santa Barbara millionaire. Maybe later he’ll turn on us, go to the police, squeal and get off scot-free, and we’ll be arrested for attempted murder.’

“He convinced the two other guys to go to the DA’s office. At the office, they testified in exchange for immunity,” Ross said.

MacLaglen was arrested and eventually deported. But the charge was extortion for blackmailing the millionaire. The plot was never mentioned.

And, Ross said, “in this plot, Leon Lewis covered up police involvement. He did not want to embarrass them.” Lewis reasoned that “if he covered it up, they owed us a favor.”

“They became more and more espionage or sabotage,” Ross said. “After September 1 [in 1939, when the war began], the Nazi secret agents were Gestapo agents who not even the German diplomats knew about.After Kristallnacht in 1938 and the subsequent Nazi buildup to WWII, Lewis faced plots of a more military character.

“It was easy to get spies, money and property through the Port of Los Angeles. New York, which they called ‘Jew York,’ was closely guarded by mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, a devout anti-Nazi who was half-Jewish.

“They would go through the port of LA. Lewis’s spy network was inside, at the Deutsche Haus, where the Nazis met. There were several instances of potential sabotage. They got names of potential fifth columnists from surveillance from within. They were sending all these names. The FBI was doing nothing. They sent them to the FBI, to Army military intelligence, naval intelligence and the FBI, in the hope that one day, someone would use them,” Ross said.

Ross credited Gen. George C. Marshall with using material that Lewis’s ring compiled. And after the US entered WWII, the FBI did use Lewis’s lists.

“The question I ask myself is, if government officials had ignored them at the time, how did they know who to arrest after Pearl Harbor?” Ross reflected.

Lewis worked as a spymaster through the end of WWII.“They had taken the lists that Leon Lewis and [his associate] Joseph Roos had been sending them since September 1939. I went to the National Archives, to the military intelligence records. The FBI retyped Lewis’s lists, with their three sections, as if they had done all his undercover work. Lewis did not care, as long as they arrested all the Nazis,” he said.

“Anti-Semitism, much to my surprise, went up after Pearl Harbor went down,” Ross said. “The America Firsters, the nationalists, who said that Jews were trying to get us into war, said when we get into war, we’ll get these Jews. Lewis kept his spies going after December 1941 till the end of the war. Jews in LA were still under threat.”

He and his children were targeted by Nazi agents, and three of his spies died “very suspicious deaths,” Ross said.

Following the war, Lewis left LA and went into private practice. He continued to be active in Jewish community affairs. In 1965, while driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, he died of a heart attack at age 54.

His spy ring showed that Jews and Christians could unite to stop hate.

“It was never presented as an opportunity on behalf of Jews, it was an American cause against hate groups in America calling for the death of certain people — whether Jewish-American or African-American or even later on, Catholic-American,” Ross said. “All these first parts [before the] hyphen were the adjective. What mattered was the noun — the American.”

For Trump, the Reality Show Has Never Ended

WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, President Trump was accused by a Republican senator of running the White House like a “reality show.” In the 48 hours that followed, this is how the president rebutted the characterization.

He called out the offending senator for being short and sounding like “a fool.” He challenged his secretary of state to an I.Q. contest and insisted he would win. He celebrated the downfall of a critic who was suspended from her job. And his first wife and third wife waged a public war of words over who was really his first lady.

Mr. Trump’s West Wing has always seemed to be the crossroads between cutthroat politics and television drama, presided over by a seasoned showman who has made a career of keeping the audience engaged and coming back for more. Obsessed by ratings and always on the hunt for new story lines, Mr. Trump leaves the characters on edge, none of them ever really certain whether they might soon be voted off the island.

“Absolutely, I see those techniques playing out,” said Laurie Ouellette, a communications professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied reality television extensively. “Reality TV is known for its humiliation tactics and its aggressive showmanship and also the idea that either you’re in or you’re out, with momentum building to the final decision on who stays and who goes.”

Among those on the in-or-out bubble in this week’s episode was Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the frustrated Republican who described — and derided — the conversion of the White House into a virtual set for “The Apprentice” and, for good measure, expressed concern in a weekend interview with The New York Times that the president could stumble the country into a nuclear war.

Mr. Trump, who hosted “The Apprentice” on NBC for 14 seasons, dismissed Mr. Corker on Tuesday by mocking his height and suggesting he had somehow been conned. “The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!”

In labeling Mr. Corker “liddle,” the president was evidently returning to a theme. He considered Mr. Corker for secretary of state during the transition after last year’s election but was reported to have told associates that Mr. Corker, at 5-foot-7, was too short to be the nation’s top diplomat. Instead, Mr. Trump picked Rex W. Tillerson, who is several inches taller but whose own relationship with the president has deteriorated to the point that he was said to have called Mr. Trump a “moron.”

Mr. Tillerson initially did not deny it, but later he had a spokeswoman insist that he did not say it. Mr. Trump chose to believe the denial, or at least said he did, but in an interview published Tuesday, he insisted that even if it was true, he could prove that he was actually smarter than his secretary of state.

“I think it’s fake news,” Mr. Trump told Forbes magazine. “But if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare I.Q. tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

Mr. Trump later denied that he had demeaned his secretary of state. “I didn’t undercut anybody. I don’t believe in undercutting people,” he told reporters, in a comment that must have amused the many people he has undercut since taking office. Asked if he still had confidence in Mr. Tillerson, Mr. Trump said simply, “Yes.”

At the time, Mr. Trump was sitting next to Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state who happened to be visiting the Oval Office on Tuesday. To be sure, Mr. Kissinger would hardly tower over Mr. Corker on the basketball court, but Mr. Trump, perhaps wisely, did not risk challenging the former diplomat to an I.Q. contest.

Photo

Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that he still had confidence in Rex W. Tillerson, his secretary of state.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

After the meeting with Mr. Kissinger, the president headed to a lunch with Mr. Tillerson, who was joined by a mediator, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said they “had a great visit” and denied that Mr. Trump was serious about the I.Q. test. “He made a joke, nothing more than that,” she said.

Mr. Trump was not joking when he took a shot earlier in the day at Jemele Hill, the ESPN host who has called him a white supremacist and was suspended on Monday for suggesting a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers if the team punished players who protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

“With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

He made no mention of the other dust-up in his household. In an interview aired on Monday to promote her new memoir, Ivana Trump, his first wife, told ABC News that “I’m basically first Trump wife, O.K.? I’m first lady, O.K.?”

That did not sit well with Melania Trump, his third wife and the actual first lady, who issued a retort through a spokeswoman dismissing what she called “attention-seeking and self-serving noise.”

Andy Cohen, the creator of the “Real Housewives” reality television show franchise, found that too rich. “This is actually happening,” he wrote on Twitter. “All the wives are fighting. Even I AM SPEECHLESS.”

Mr. Trump’s gibe at Mr. Corker echoed his name calling during the presidential campaign when he labeled Senator Marco Rubio of Florida “Little Marco,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas “Lyin’ Ted” and Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary.” He has used belittling nicknames to diminish political foes since taking office, as well — think “Cryin’ Chuck” Schumer, “Psycho Joe” Scarborough and “Little Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un — but has generally avoided doing so with powerful Republican committee chairmen who control appointments and legislation.

It was not clear what Mr. Trump meant when he said The Times set up Mr. Corker by recording him. Angry that Mr. Corker had suggested he was an agent of “chaos,” Mr. Trump lashed out at the senator on Sunday by saying he “didn’t have the guts” to run for another term. A Times reporter then interviewed Mr. Corker by telephone and recorded the call with the senator’s knowledge and consent. Mr. Corker’s staff also recorded the call, and he said he wanted The Times to do the same.

“I know they’re recording it, and I hope you are, too,” Mr. Corker told the reporter.

During the interview, Mr. Corker said Mr. Trump’s advisers were struggling to keep the president under control. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” he said. He also said Mr. Trump’s reckless statements could put the country on a path “towards World War III.”

Mr. Trump on Tuesday rejected the suggestion that he was risking a nuclear war. “We were on the wrong path before,” he said, presumably referring to North Korea. “All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem, a problem like this world has never seen. We’re on the right path right now, believe me.”

But what a path. Ms. Ouellette, who has written or edited several books on reality television, including “Better Living Through Reality TV,” said Mr. Trump the president had gone even further than Mr. Trump the reality show star ever did.

“This has exceeded what would have been allowed on ‘The Apprentice,’” she said. “It’s almost a magnification. It’s like reality TV unleashed. Yes, he was good at it, but I always felt like he had to be reined in in order not to mess up the formula. Here, he doesn’t have that same sort of constraint.”

Netflix wants more: Will raise prices on two streaming plans

LOS GATOS — You’re going to have to dig a little bit deeper into your wallet to pay for the privilege of watching “Stranger Things,” “House of Cards” and everything else on Netflix.

That’s because the internet-based TV company is raising the prices on two of its video-streaming options.

Netflix said Thursday that the price of its most popular plan will go from $9.99 a month to $10.99. That plan allows for simultaneous streaming and HD viewing on two internet-connected devices such as an iPad and a Roku set-top box. Another plan that lets viewers watch shows on up to four devices at a time, and includes 4K Ultra HD video, is going up by $2 a month, from $11.99 to $13.99.

Netflix said it will start sending out notifications by email to its subscribers beginning Oct. 19. Based on a customer’s billing cycle, Netflix will give a subscriber 30 days to either accept the price increase, change to a lower-priced plan, or cancel service.

It will be the first time Netflix has implemented a price increase since October 2015.

There’s no real secret behind the reasons for Netflix raising its prices. The company is banking much of its future on original programming, and has said it will spend $6 billion in this year alone to acquire and produce original and exclusive programs.

Michael Pachter, who covers Netflix for Wedbush Securities, noted that the price increase is only in the U.S. and estimates that the company will take in about $700 million in new revenue from the new pricing structure. Pachter based his estimates on the approximately 50 million Netflix subscribers in the U.S., along with revenue from new subscribers who sign up next year.

“I don’t think most existing subscribers will even notice (the increase),” Pachter said. “Netflix has been really good about notifying subscribers of price hikes, so everyone will receive an email, but it’s unlikely that many will care, even if they read it. I think that most subscribers consider the service a great value.”

Original programming has become a marquee area of focus for Netflix and its streaming rivals such as Hulu, and Amazon, with its Prime Video service. In September, Hulu stole some of Netflix’s thunder when its show “The Handmaid’s Tale” won the Emmy award for Best Drama series. It was the first time an internet-streaming program won the Best Drama Emmy Award.

With its price increase, Netflix now charges more on a per-month basis than similar plans offered by either Hulu or Amazon. Hulu’s service starts at $10 a month, while Amazon’s can be had for as low as $8.25 a month, based on its $99 annual membership fee. Netflix still offers a subscription plan for $7.99 a month, but that only allows for streaming on one connected device at a time and doesn’t support HD streaming.

Netflix has also had a mixed history of price increases. Back in 2011, the company saw hundreds of thousands of customers drop its service after it said it would no longer include streaming and DVD rentals in a single subscription.

The last time Netflix increased prices, the company took the step of grandfathering in prior customers at their old rates for two years before they would see their subscription fees go up.

Pachter thinks Netflix’s price increases would be more likely to dissuade potential new subscribers, and that Amazon and Hulu may draw those customers to their services instead.

“I expect both competitors to exploit the fact that they are cheaper, and expect households below median income to notice,” Pachter said. “I don’t think we’ll see an immediate impact (on Netflix subscriber numbers), but this could affect subscriber growth in the first or second quarters (next year) for Netflix.”

The price increase also comes 11 days before Netflix is scheduled to report its third-quarter results. The company has said it expects to add 4.4 million subscribers in the quarter, which would give it 108.4 million subscribers worldwide. Some Wall Street analysts say recent business trends suggest Netflix may even surpass that number when it reports its results.

Investors approved of Netflix’s move to boost its revenue, and sent the company’s shares up 5.4 percent, to close Thursday at $194.39.

NY film screening on Kurdish fighters sells out despite terror threat

JTA — Despite a reported terror threat by the Islamic State, 500 people attended a sold-out screening in New York of a film about Kurdish fighters and a talk with its director, the French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.

Police provided heavy security for the screening Monday of “Peshmerga” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, including sniffing dogs and dozens of officers. NBC had reported that the authors of the threat claimed to be affiliated with the terrorist group.

Levy, who has produced a number of films in conflict zones, spent many months documenting the fight of the Kurdish male and female combatants for whom the film is named against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. A supporter of Kurdish sovereignty, Levy was in the Iraqi-Kurdish capital of Erbil last month when a majority of voters in a controversial referendum supported independence.

He was able to board one of the last flights out of Erbil and arrive in New York before the Iraqi government blocked the airspace of the Kurdish enclave as punishment for the local Kurdish authorities’ decision to go through with the referendum despite Baghdad’s opposition.

The State Department said it was “deeply disappointed” by the Kurdish regional government’s decision, warning the vote could “increase instability.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Wednesday that his country was not involved in any way in the referendum, apart from having a “deep, natural, longstanding sympathy of the people of Israel for the Kurdish people and their yearnings.”

Israel’s public position on Kurdish national aspirations has been influenced by its desire not to sour the country’s now strained relations with Turkey.

Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president and leader of the Islamist ruling party, opposes Kurdish independence both in Iraq and in Turkey, which has a large Kurdish minority that international observers say is oppressed.

Levy told JTA that Israel should embrace an independent Kurdistan, where he said he witnessed many expressions of solidarity and admiration for Israel, including during the vote Monday.

Although supporting Kurdish independence may complicate Israel’s relations with the Turkish government, which have declined amid expressions of hostility by Erdogan in recent years, doing so will not alienate millions of secular and liberal Turks, “who also recognize the Kurdish right” to nationhood, Levy said.

For Kurds, he added, the relationship with Israel “goes beyond an alliance. It is a brotherhood.”

Levy was among several Westerners in Erbil who saw Israeli flags being waved on the day of the vote — a gesture he interpreted as reflecting “a sort of admiration for Israel” and a sense of kinship felt by many Kurds toward the Jewish state.

“I had never seen anything like this anywhere in the Middle East — except Israel,” said Levy, who travels the region extensively and has toured Libya during its bloody civil war in 2011.

The 7 million Kurds living in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are “a minority surrounded, besieged by 200 million people and hostility. And you can’t compare their situation to Israel, it’s different, but there are similarities and they feel those similarities.”

More generally, he said, a viable Kurdistan “represents a triumph for moderate Islam. For women’s equality and for the values that many people in the West, and Jews especially, share with Kurds.”

Marvel’s The Punisher Pulled From New York Comic Con Following Las Vegas Mass Shooting

http://www.tvguide.com/news/marvels-the-punisher-nycc-panel-canceled-las-vegas-shooting/

 

Marvel and Netflix have decided to pull a planned New York Comic Con panel for the upcoming drama Marvel’s The Punisher following Sunday’s tragedy in Las Vegas, TV Guide has confirmed.

The series, which stars Jon Bernthal as a vigilante hero with a penchant for firearms, was going to be presented to fans by cast members and producers at NYCC this Saturday. But due to the content of the series, and what possibly could have been a preview of the violent series, Netflix and Marvel opted to cancel the panel.

“We are stunned and saddened by this week’s senseless act in Las Vegas,” Netflix and Marvel said in a joint statement. “After careful consideration, Netflix and Marvel have decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for Marvel’s The Punisher to participate in New York Comic Con. Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy.”

Marvel’s The Punisher Leans Into Military Angle in New Teaser

On Sunday, Oct. 1, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers outside of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, killing 59 people and injuring hundreds more. It is the most deadly mass shooting incident in the history of the country.

Netflix did not have comment on whether the series would be delayed or whether a premiere date announcement — which many assumed would be revealed at the NYCC panel — would be postponed.

Marvel’s The Punisher does not yet have a premiere date.

DirecTV Delivers Devastating News to NFL

If you really want to get someone’s attention, hit them where they feel it: Their wallet.

That’s exactly what many football fans are doing to the NFL in the wake of the growing disrespect by playersduring the national anthem.

In an unprecedented turn of events, one of the biggest premium TV providers in the nation has just made a stunning announcement: They’re providing full refunds to customers who cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket packages because of the protests.

The ESPN network — hardly a bastion of conservatism — confirmed on Tuesday evening that DirecTV is altering its own policy which normally prevents package cancellations after a sports season has started, and will return the full amount of money for any viewer who wants to cancel their NFL bundle.

Those viewership packages allow die-hard sports fans to watch games that are outside their local viewing area, and run about $280 per season.

DirecTV’s surprising move came after President Donald Trump spoke out about professional players who kneel or make other disrespectful gestures during the national anthem.

Over the weekend, one team refused to even leave the locker room or face the United States flag while the anthem played, while dozens of players acted out in other ways.

Unsurprisingly to anybody but the league, red-blooded Americans were not happy.

“At some stadiums, fans booed the players. Others took to Twitter to say they were canceling their Sunday Ticket subscriptions,” ESPN reported.

It seems like tone-deaf liberals — including millionaire sports players who believe everything is about themselves — have completely lost touch with the rest of country.

Just like left-leaning news networks before them, sports leagues have been hiding in their own echo chambers for so long that they have no idea how frustrated millions of citizens are with their hurtful antics.

They’re about to have a serious wake-up call, and groups like the NFL will have no choice but take notice when their revenues begin deflating faster than a Tom Brady football.

Free speech does not shield people from the consequences of disrespectful and asinine actions. Now that one of the biggest broadcasters of football games is giving refunds, teams will re-think their priorities… and patriotic Americans will be the ones left standing tall.

Russian TV series claims Jewish Trotsky masterminded bloody 1917 revolution

A hundred years after the Russian revolution, the Russians are claiming that a Jew was behind it — at least according to a new television drama.

An eight-episode series entitled “Trotsky” argues it was Jewish revolutionary Leon Trotsky — and not Vladimir Lenin — who masterminded the revolution that brought the communists to power. The film also blames Trotsky for the execution of the Russian royal family.

The upcoming televised drama will be screened on Russian TV in the beginning of November, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

“You can say that Trotsky wrote the music, and Lenin sang to it. Trotsky made the revolution happen; Lenin only lead it,” said Alexander Kott, the Jewish co-director of the TV series.

“I hope the public view on Trotsky will change when the film comes out because no one remembers him. Everyone knows Lenin, but everyone forgot Trotsky,” said Kott.

Kott said that there are documents that prove Trotsky was more influential than Lenin.

“He signed all the orders,” Kott said. “I found out a lot for myself too. I didn’t know that Trotsky was in charge [before working on this series].”

The idea for the TV series came from Konstantin Ernst, the chief of Channel 1, Russia’s most popular TV network.

Although Trotsky masterminded the revolution, he could not serve as its public face because of his Jewish background, Kott said.

“The people wouldn’t have followed a Jewish leader,” said Kott. “For the factory workers, he was a stranger. So he did everything and then he stepped aside.”

He was a cannibal and a tyrant

The TV series presents Trotsky as a ruthless man who was responsible for the execution of the Russian Tsar, according to Kott.

Trotsky fought to reinstate the death penalty after it was abolished by Russia’s provisional government, which made it possible for the Bolsheviks to shoot the Tsar’s entire family including his children, according to Kott.

“He was a cannibal and a tyrant,” Kott said. “He was up to his elbows in blood. Under his orders, entire villages were burned down.”

An anti-Semitic production?

But most historians don’t accept the new theory that it was Trotsky who masterminded the Russian revolution.

“This is utter nonsense. It doesn’t fit in with any historical facts. I totally disagree,” said Gennady Estraikh, a New York University professor who specializes in Jewish history in Russia. “It smells like anti-Semitism, the claim that the Jews were responsible for the revolution rather than the Russians. It’s very strange.”

Joshua Rubenstein is an Associate of the Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies who wrote a book about Trotsky. He also said that there is no question that the leader of the Bolsheviks was Lenin.

Trotsky only joined the Bolshevik party a month before the revolution, while Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks throughout, Rubenstein pointed out. The fact that Trotsky joined the Bolsheviks late is something that Stalin used against him during the power struggle that followed Lenin’s death, he added.

I wonder what their intention is by putting an explicitly Jewish figure like Trotsky at the center of the story

“I’m intrigued by the idea that the producers would put Trotsky in the center of the narrative and not Lenin. I wonder what their intention is by putting an explicitly Jewish figure like Trotsky at the center of the story,” Rubenstein said.

Rubenstein also said that Trotsky was not responsible for the execution of the Tsar.

“If they’re saying that Trotsky was behind the execution of the Tsar, that’s simply not true. Lenin and Sverdlov executed the Tsar,” he said. “If they’re saying it was Trotsky, then I really question their motives because this is a very sensitive point.”

As the leader of the Red Army, Trotsy was at the front and most likely was not even in Moscow when the decision to execute the Tsar’s family was made, according to Rubenstein.

“Trotsky always wanted to bring the Tsar to trial and serve as a prosecutor,” Rubenstein said. “The Tsar is an honored figure by the Russian Orthodox Church — to say that a Jew was behind his execution is a very incendiary accusation.”

Trotsky, the Jewish savior?

Although Trotsky had blood on his hands like the other revolutionaries, he also saved thousands of Jews from the pogroms during the Russian civil war when he was the leader of the Red Army, said Rubenstein.

“We believe that 150,000 Jews were killed and it was the Red Army that stopped it,” Rubenstein said. “Trotsky was absolutely opposed to any physical attacks on Jews.”

Whether the Russian television series about Trotsky is intentionally anti-Semitic, or is only trying to attract more interest from the public by presenting a new angle on a famous historical event, is something that remains to be seen. The Sreda Production company that made the series did not allow The Times of Israel access to the show before the premiere.

The director of the drama said he does not think his film is anti-Semitic. In fact, Kott said he would be happy if the series aired on Israeli television, too. He does not worry about an anti-Semitic reaction in Russia, he said.

“I tried to be objective,” he said. “In Russia, there is no anti-Semitism anymore. Half of the Jews immigrated and the anti-Semitism that existed in the Soviet times doesn’t exist at all now.”

Creepy New Netflix Show Sexualizes Children While Pedophilia Runs Rampant in Society

http://www.renegadetribune.com/creepy-new-netflix-show-sexualizes-children-pedophilia-runs-rampant-society/

 

Renegade Editor’s Note: Guess who is behind this disgusting show.

It’s just a coincidence!

By Buck Rogers

There is a cultural revolution taking place right before your very eyes. It involves the overturn of sexual values and an agenda to normalize pedophilia.

The signs are everywhere.

Nick Kroll

Major sex-trafficking rings and pedophile prostitution networks are being exposed with shocking regularity. The Catholic church is involved at the highest levels, and Hollywood insiders continue to speak out about the dark side of the entertainment industry. Gender neutrality is the new buzz word and sex robots are the latest in must have consumer devices. Free speech and truth news is being censored from the internet while pornography is utterly pervasive all over the web, widely available to children. Meanwhile members of the political class and global elite continue to be exposed as pedophiles and sexual predators.

Against this backdrop, Netflix is pushing the boundaries of what is culturally acceptable with a new comedy about the sexuality of children.

Exploring the primary theme of puberty, Big Mouth is a new show by producer Nick Kroll in which a cartoon cast experiences the changes that come at this awkward stage in life. Although this subject is undoubtedly uncomfortable for young people, and is traditionally taught by parents and/or sexual education programs in schools, the new show turns puberty into a comedy for adults.

As noted by Vigilant Citizen:

For some bizarre, disturbing and upsetting reason, the sexualization of children is also part of that agenda. Slowly but surely, new content keeps pushing the envelope, slightly going too far, chipping away at moral decency to make the sexuality of children fair game. Why? Because Hollywood and the world elite are full of children lovers and they want to normalize their derangement.”

This view is not the mainstream however, and most big media organizations are praising and happily promoting this show, in spite of the fact that the 3 minute trailer features some truly disturbing moments.

Here, a father explains to his son that it’s okay to kiss a penis.

“A father creepily tells his boy that he could “kiss a penis very lightly.”” ~Vigilant Citizen

Speaking to Time magazine, Kroll explains a bit, saying, “As open as society is, there are still certain things that we feel like are too awkward to talk about, and those are the things that we wanted to zero in on specifically.”

He goes on about the creative leeway he was given by Netflix, pushing their limits to find the right balance of perversion and acceptability for a network which recently featured Bill Nye’s now infamous episode of Bill Nye Saves the World on ‘The Sexual Spectrum,’ introducing the concept of gender neutrality to kids.

Netflix gave us incredible latitude in going for it. In fact, [they] encouraged us at almost every stage to just go for it. In that first episode, Nick sees Andrew’s penis. Now there aren’t probably a ton of animated shows where you’d see a 13-year-old boy’s penis. But it’s incredibly important to the story that you see this other boy’s penis and how it makes him feel because his penis doesn’t look like that yet.

There [was] one moment in [a different episode] where Netflix was like, “Hey this is too far.” I won’t even explain it because it was too graphic. And we agreed, we were on the same page. We knew we had an opportunity to show and talk about stuff that really has never been discussed as directly as we hoped to do. So we leaned into it.”

Here, a very creepy grown male monster with a penis shaped nose invades the boys’ bedroom to tell them about nocturnal emissions.

And here, a young girl has a conversation with her vagina.

“This prebuscent girl talks to her vagina.” ~Vigilant Citizen

No longer bound to the strict traditionalist formats of broadcast television, producers no longer have to use subtlety to promote an agenda, and in this case the agenda is changing the sexual values of a society to normalize the once perverse. Furthermore, as this show is aimed at adults, it serves to legitimize children’s sexuality as a form of entertainment.

Television programming is called programming because it seeks to program the cultural values of a population. It is social engineering, and when looked at in the context of the world today, a show like serves to further the agenda of sexual perversion and predation in a society which is already on the brink of moral annihilation.

Watch the disturbing trailer for yourself, here:


Buck Rogers is the earth-bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com.

This article (Creepy New Netflix Show Sexualizes Children While Pedophilia Runs Rampant in Society) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Buck Rogers and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.