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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

U.S. Drama Series by ‘Homeland’ Writer to Be Filmed In Jerusalem

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

A new drama series to be aired on the NBC subsidiary USA Network will be the first American television series to be filmed  in Israel, and most of the scenes will be in eastern Jerusalem.

“Dig” will be filmed in the City of David national park located in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem as well as the Old City. The series will be produced by Gideon Raff, screenwriter of the Israeli series “Hatufim,” which is aired in the United States as “Homeland” and co-written by “Heroes” writer Tim Kring, a co-creator of “Homeland.”

The first six episodes have been purchased without buying a pilot.

The series, which will feature Israeli and American actors, deals with an American FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who uncovers a conspiracy while investigating the murder of an American archaeologist.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who worked to bring the project to Jerusalem, said, “The new series is a significant milestone on the road as Jerusalem becomes an attractive location for international productions. Jerusalem’s rich history attracts series and films with great stories to tell.”

The filing in Silwan will present challenge for security forces because it has been a source of hundreds of violent rock-throwing attacks on Jewish motorists and has caused several serious injuries to drivers and passengers who sometimes barely escape ambushes on narrow streets in the area.

Obama’s Priorities: Immigration, the Economy, Energy, Taxes; Hagel Still Front Runner for Defense (Video)

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Because we’re the Jewish Press, we’ll start with the Chuck Hagel nomination for Secretary of Defense, and move down from there. Speaking with David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press, President Barack Obama voiced strong support for the former Republican Senator from Nebraska. The president insisted, however, that he was yet to make the final decision on the nomination.

In preparation for the nomination dance, Hagel released a statement Friday apologizing for comments he made in 1998 about a gay ambassadorial nominee. Hagel had come under fire in recent days for calling James Hormel, President Clinton’s nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg, “openly, aggressively gay.”

Sounds dangerous…

Hagel’s statement was published by the Washington Post: “My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

Emphasis on “military.”

Last week, Miami Beach’s Jewish elderly population’s favorite presidential candidate Pat Buchanan endorsed Hagel’s nomination.

Among Hagel’s many qualifications, Buchanan wrote, are his views on Iran, and if the president himself decides against going to war, he’ll have to make the case regardless of whether he nominates Hagel: “If Obama does not want that war, he is going to have to defeat the war party. Throwing an old warrior like Chuck Hagel over the side to appease these wolves is not the way to begin this fight. Nominate him, Mr. President. Let’s get it on.”

Buchanan admitted that Hagel had a few Jewish skeletons in his closet. Like when he told author Aaron David Miller that the “Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up” on the Hill. Or when he urged the U.S. to talk to Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Or when Hagel said, a few years back, that “a military strike against Iran … is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.”

Both Buchanan and Hagel have been accused of anti-Semitism, Hagel for saying the Jewish lobby wields too much influence on Capitol Hill and Buchanan for—oh, take your pick…

He’s how the president approached the subject of Hagel nomination on Meet the Press, courtesy of policymic.com:

GREGORY: “Former Senator Chuck Hagel has come under criticism for some comments he’s made including about a former ambassador nominee during the Clinton years that being gay was an inhibiting factor to being gay to do an effective job. Is there anything about Chuck Hagel’s record or statements that’s disqualifying to you, should you nominate him to run the Defense Department?” …

OBAMA: “Not that I see. I’ve served with Chuck Hagel. I know him. He is a patriot. He is somebody who has done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate. Somebody who served this country with valor in Vietnam. And is somebody who’s currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job.

“So I haven’t made a decision on this. With respect to the particular comment that you quoted, he apologized for it. And I think it’s a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of people’s attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country. And that’s something that I’m very proud to have led.”

* * * And now, because there are other things of concern happening in the world other than the question of whether a non-ally of Israel replaces Leon Panetta, here are some quotes from today’s interview:

GREGORY: “If you go over the cliff, what’s the impact in the markets?”

OBAMA: “Obviously, I think business and investors are going to feel more negative about the economy next year. If you look at projections of 2013, people generally felt that the economy would continue to grow, unemployment would continue to tick down, housing would continue to improve. But what’s been holding us back is the dysfunction here in Washington. And if people start seeing that on January 1st this problem still hasn’t been solved, that we haven’t seen the kind of deficit reduction that we could have had had the Republicans been willing to take the deal that I gave them, if they say that people’s taxes have gone up, which means consumer spending is going to be depressed, then obviously that’s going to have an adverse reaction in the markets.”

* * * GREGORY: “How accountable are you for the fact that Washington can’t get anything done and that we are at this deadline again? … You’ve had a tough go with Congress.”

NBC’s Jewish Reporter Kidnapped in Syria, Freed in Gunfight (2 Videos)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, 39, and two of his  production crew members who were kidnapped in Syria and held for five days, were freed early today, December 18.

Engel, who is Jewish, was interviewed this morning by NBC, shortly after he arrived in Antakya, Turkey.  The American news crew was taken there after they were freed, following a shootout between their abductors and Syrian rebels.

Engel explained that on Dec. 13, he and his crew were in an area of Syria they believed was held by rebels, when, as they drove along a road, “a group of heavily armed gunmen jumped out of the trees and bushes.”  The captors dragged the journalists out of their car, shoved them into a “container truck,” and killed on the spot one of the rebels with whom the NBC crew had been traveling.

During the five days they were held in captivity, the NBC crew were kept bound and blindfolded.  Engel said that while they were not physically beaten, they did undergo psychological torture.

The American journalists were told they had to “pick which one of the three should be killed first,” Engel said.   When they refused, the captors picked the producer, Ghazi Balkiz, and told the three that he would be killed first, and then fired their guns into the air.  Because all three journalists were blindfolded, they believed Balkiz was shot, just as Balkiz believed he was about to be shot.

On Tuesday, the journalists were in the back of what they described as a minivan being moved to another “safe house,” when the captors were surprised by a checkpoint manned by Syrian rebels.  A shootout ensued, and the journalists escaped through the back of the van.  The NBC crew was then taken to Turkey by Syrian rebels, where the journalists were able to make contact with their families and their employer.

In an understatement, an unshaven Engel said during his live NBC interview this morning, “I’m very happy that we are able to do this live shot this morning.”

Although they cannot say for sure, Engel told NBC that their captors spoke openly about their loyalty to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Engel said he believes their captors are part of the pro-regime “shabiha” milita, which is allied with Hezbollah, and trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

According to an NBC report, Engel and his crew understood that their captors hoped to exchange the journalists for comrades held by the rebels.

Engel grew up on the upper East Side of Manhattan.  He attended Stanford University and is fluent in Arabic.

There is another American journalist whom American officials believe is being held in Syria by the Assad regime.  Austin Tice, a 31-year-old freelance reporter, disappeared while reporting from a Damascus suburb on August 13.  A video of Tice turned up on September 26, neither Tice’s family nor anyone else has been contacted about him or told of his whereabouts.

The Tice family set up a website in the hopes that someone will be able to provide information about their son.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Bob Costas Facing Wrath of Gun Owners After Gun-Control Comments

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Following his comments on Sunday night football advocating for greater gun control, NBC sports announcer Bob Costas is facing growing anger by gun owning football fans who are calling on the NFL to ban Costas.

The angry fans have started a Facebook page, entitled “The NFL Should Ban Bob Costas.” The page has over 1500 likes and is growing by the minute.

According to the page, “Bob Costas is just another liberal mouth piece for the NBC socialist media. The NFL is supported by a large number of gun owners that are sick of this anti-liberty rhetoric. It is time for the NFL to make a statement. Do you want our business or not?!”

Following a murder-suicide carried out by Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher over the weekend which left him and his girlfriend dead, Costas advocated for stricter gun control regulations during the halftime segment of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, quoting an article by a Fox Sports columnist.

Why Bill Cosby is a Great Man

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Comedian Bill Cosby has had a monumental career in show business. From the very first time I heard his “Noah” routine, I never stopped laughing at his humor. What is so great about this man is that he knows the truth when he sees it and is not afraid to tell it like it is. He has in fact been criticized by some leaders of the black community for unfairly (according to them) speaking some of that truth.

But that isn’t the only reason he is great. About a year or two before he had his mega hit TV series in the 80s – the board of directors of Arie Crown Hebrew Day School had asked him to do a show for us as one of our fundraisers. He accepted. His fee was reasonable (and affordable for us) but he tacked on a condition that he could get out of his contract with us if something better came along. We agreed.

Shortly thereafter he received an offer to headline a show in Las Vegas that made it impossible for him to do a show for us in Chicago. He took it. But being the Mentch that he is, he promised us a show for next year at the same price.

Sure enough, one year later he gave us one of the funniest comedy performances I have ever attended. I don’t recall an audience laughing so many times or so hard. Arie Crown principal at the time, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, was doubled over with laughter. I don’t think I have ever seen him laugh so hard – before or since.

What was great about that show is that it did not contain any off color humor. Not even scatological humor. It was G rated and as funny as could be. Cosby is known for that. One might think that his standards are not our standards and that what he considered perfectly clean humor would be off color by our standards. Unfortunately Arie Crown had trusted other comedians’ promises to keep things clean. But to our dismay what was clean to them was off color to an Orthodox Jewish crowd.

Bill Cosby’s jokes were funny and clean by even our standards. The year after that comedy show, he went on to his mega successful series on NBC.

But that too is not all. I had never seen the video clip that is currently running on Aish. This was first broadcast on NBC way back in 1971 in an earlier TV series. It shows he truly understands anti-Semitism. And that he was not afraid to demonstrate what he saw as the cause of it on his own show. Thanks to Aish for finding this rare TV Clip and featuring it on their website.

Courtesy of Aish.com

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Edon, ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinalist, Getting Free Kipahs

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A New Jersey store reportedly is sending free yarmulkes to Edon Pinchot, the kipah-wearing former contestant on “America’s Got Talent.”

Cool Kippahs in Teaneck, N.J., is sending Edon several free yarmulkes in honor of the fact that the teenager wore them during all of his performances on the NBC reality show,  the TMZ website reported. Edon, a singer and pianist, was eliminated last month in the semifinals.

Edon, a student at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, is Sabbath observant and keeps kosher. His kipah made him a focal point for viewers.

Mekhi Phifer (‘ER’) Checks Out the Cobra

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Mekhi Phifer is no stranger to fake action, having portrayed Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC’s medical drama “ER,” FBI agent Ben Reynolds on Fox’s “Lie to Me,” and CIA agent Rex Matheson in “Torchwood: Miracle Day.” This week, Mekhi had a rare opportunity to try the reral thing, on a vist to an IAF base in Palmachim, south of Tel Aviv.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/mekhi-phifer-er-checks-out-the-cobra/2012/05/11/

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