Friday, June 29, 2007

Tom Cruise and Germany: The News Media gets it wrong again

Too often these days, the news media seems incapable of printing the truth. The recent frenzy over Germany banning Tom Cruise from filming at German military sites is a perfect example of that. In fact, there is no such ban!

The initial feeding frenzy was very noisy, with "reputable" news sources such as Reuters spewing forth authoritative pronouncements like, "Germany has barred the makers of a movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler from filming at German military sites because its star Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, the Defense Ministry said on Monday."

Time magazine even had the bad taste to print an article entitled "Why Germany Hates Tom Cruise". In the article they quote an anti-religious extremist, Ursula Caberta, who has a history of corruption which includes accepting bribes to attack minority religions. Wow, the Time reporter really did his homework before putting finger to keyboard.

And now, big surprise! We find that the German Defense Ministry never said any such thing. The very same "authoritative" source, Reuters, now has this headline "Germany now would welcome Cruise production". And we discover that the source of all this nonsense was a posting on the web site of a right-wing German politician. Does the press ever check their sources? Did anyone bother to call the German Ministry of Defense to verify the claim before printing lurid headlines about controversy, conflict and hatred? I suppose we mustn't let mere facts get in the way of a good story.

Will Reuters or Time apologize for lying to the public? I very much doubt it. They just don't have time to do the minor stuff like checking facts or apologizing for errors. They have new headlines to produce, they have to keep the public's attention so they can make a profit and keep the shareholders happy and if the truth doesn't make a couple extra bucks then forget it!

I want to acknowledge that there are journalists who care about facts. Unlike the Time Magazines and Reuters of this world, I don't want to make my article into a generality of "all journalists". There are journalists around who care. Unfortunately, it seems they are in the minority.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Still My Favorite

Tom Cruise is still my favorite. One thing I love about him as an entertainment is the quality of his movies. There are a few stars you can always trust to pick a great script, work with a terrific team and come off with a film that was well worth seeing. He's one. I'm very much looking forward to seeing his new film, "Valkyrie."

And, by the way, despite the reaction to the film that's been carried in the press, the fact is that Scientology is thriving in Germany. The new Church of Scientology of Berlin, that opened earlier this year, is a model Scientology church and people are interested, looking into it, and loving what they find out.

A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists. — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Critics Love Travolta

The movie critic for the London Daily Mail raves about John Travolta's performance in his next movie, "Hairspray."

Here is one quote:

The film - and Travolta himself - is certainly not lacking in energy. As Nikki Blonsky says: "This was the job of a lifetime and I got to have John Travolta as my mum. Life doesn't get much better than that."

The review and an interview with John are here:

John Travolta is 'all woman' in remake of classic film Hairspray

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

News on the Tom Cruise movie "Valkyrie"

The World War II movie "Valkyrie" that will star Tom Cruise is still in pre-production, but just look at the cast they are building: Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten and Kenneth Branagh are all confirmed and, according to IMDB, Bill Nighy and Stephen Fry are in negotiations. Those are brilliant actors, every one of them.

The movie is about an assassination plot against Hitler and although we know it failed, with a cast like that the movie won't!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

John Travolta and Edna

In his next movie, Hairspray, John Travolta plays Edna, mother of teenager Tracy Turnblad who "teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show."

John has been getting great reviews for his performance and here is an interview in which he "opens up about his family, embracing middle age and what it was like to play Hairspray's Edna."

A fun interview: John Travolta, More Than a Woman.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Success from Tom Cruise's Detox Center for Ground Zero Rescue Workers

Here is a great article about the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project which was co-founded by Tom Cruise: Tom Cruise’s NY Detox Saved NYFD’s Joe Higgins

The media seems to revel in bad news about celebrities, so it's nice to find a positive article for a change.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tom Cruise still a Power Player

Tom Cruise is #8 on the "Forbes Most Powerful" list!

Last year he moved from being an actor to being an actor and director of a movie studio: United Artists.

United Artists was founded in 1919 by movie greats Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith. It has produced some of the biggest and best known movie franchises such as "Rocky," "Pink Panther" and "James Bond" as well as highly acclaimed films such as "West Side Story" and "Midnight Cowboy."

Last year, after Viacom chief, Sumner Redstone, refused to negotiate a new contract with the Cruise/Wagner production company because of the revenue loss to large pharmaceutical companies who advertise on Viacom's many subsidiaries (CBS, MTV, etc.) when Cruise, on prime-time TV, exposed the harm their drugs cause, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner formed a partnership with MGM to run their own studio. The big loser in all this was poor old Paramount Pictures which (according to estimates in Daily Variety) made 1/3 of its income from Tom Cruise movies.

The UA deal is a great boost for Cruise and will bring life back to a studio with an auspicious past that had been put into mothballs in recent years. Soon we will again see the UA logo on Hollywood Blockbusters.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Celebrity Slide Show

Here is a slide show of Scientology Celebrities from the website of a CBS TV station in New York. Not bad.

They also have a Celebrity Father's Day slide show which starts with Tom and Suri Cruise.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

John and Kelley Raise 1/2 mil for Narconon Hawaii!

Two really lovely people and great entertainers putting their energy into something that counts. Scientologists, John Travolta and Kelley Preston.

A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists. — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard

Suri Cruise Sends a Thank-You Note

Good manners is becoming something of a rarity in our modern society. When I open the door to let a woman go first I usually get reactions ranging from surprise to amazement. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I think good manners is an important lubricant for the smooth running of the machinery of human relations.

In his article "Manners," L. Ron Hubbard says: "Good manners sum up to a) granting importance to the other person and b) using the two-way communication cycle"

"A person's importance is made evident to him by showing him respect, or just by assuring him he is visible and acceptable. To see and acknowledge the existence of someone is a granting of their importance. ... People have value and are important. Big or small they are important."

Good Manners seems to be a part of Scientology that Suri Cruise is learning very young (with a just little help from her mother): Suri Cruise Sends a Thank-You Note