Louisiana's next U.S. senator?8:04 AM, Mar 8, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Louisiana’s showing up a lot on cable TV these days. There’s the History Channel’s Swamp People, a hit series documenting the lives of Cajun alligator hunters in the swamps of coastal Louisiana. Over on A&E, you can watch Duck Dynasty, which features a self-professed family of rednecks who turned their northeast Louisiana-based duck call business into a multi-million dollar company. Tune into Country Music Television to catch one of three Louisiana-themed shows: Bayou Billionaires, My Big Redneck Vacation, and CMT’s newest program, Swamp Pawn, which is not to be confused with History’s Cajun Pawn Stars, a creole-flavored spinoff of the popular parent series. Sons of Guns, filmed in Baton Rouge, is the Discovery Channel’s second Louisiana show after the now-cancelled Ragin Cajuns. And this spring, A&E has a new reality series, The Governor’s Wife, which focuses on the third (much younger) wife of Louisiana’s 85-year-old convicted ex-governor Edwin Edwards.
Jay Dardenne, a Republican who may try to take Democrat Mary Landrieu’s Senate seat next year, probably wouldn’t take credit for all of the recent attention Louisiana’s been getting, but he might as well. About a decade ago, Dardenne, then a state senator, co-authored a motion picture tax credit, providing the incentive for Hollywood and the TV networks to film in Bayou State. In his current position as lieutenant governor, he oversees the state’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism—which means Dardenne is Louisiana’s chief salesman. And those popular TV programs have been a great sales aid.
“I’ve worked very closely with the Swamp People guys and the Duck Dynasty folks in promoting Louisiana,” the 59-year-old Dardenne tells me in a phone interview. “It’s been beneficial to us from a tourism standpoint because people are fascinated by what they’re seeing on their shows and people are interested in authenticity. And we have a lot of authenticity in Louisiana. As I tell people all the time, you can’t stereotype everybody in Louisiana based on Uncle Si [on Duck Dynasty] or Troy Landry on Swamp People, but they are authentic, real people from Louisiana.”
Dardenne loves Louisiana. So much so, in fact, that it makes it difficult to believe he’d ever want to leave. But a PPP poll released last month showed him just three points behind Senator Landrieu, who is up for reelection in 2014. For a Democrat in an increasingly Republican state, Landrieu is a scrappy fighter with a familiar name, and knocking her off could be a deceptively tough task for the GOP. Dardenne’s strong showing in the poll (43 percent said they would vote for him against Landrieu’s 46 percent) has led the lifelong Baton Rouge resident to “ponder” moving to Washington.
“You can’t help but ponder it when you see some numbers like that and it gets people talking and wanting to know what you may be interested in doing,” Dardenne recently told Roll Call. “I guess ‘pondering’ is the best word—at least for right now.”
That set off a flurry of speculation about Dardenne’s political future in Louisiana. Many had thought Dardenne was looking instead at running for governor in 2015. “I had assumed all along that he has decided he was going to run for governor,” says Bob Mann, a professer at LSU and a former Democratic operative who is friendly with Dardenne. “This poll has given him some pause.”
Dardenne himself still says he’s more likely to run for governor.
“People are more ambitious for me than I am for myself,” he tells me. “I don’t have a particular timeline, but my main focus is on the 2015 governor’s race. That’s what I’ve anticipated looking at. This [Senate race] has kind of been a recent occurrence.”
11:34 AM, Feb 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a press release, USA Network announces that is has "[Launched] Characters Unite Month to Combat Hate, Intolerance & Discrimination."
2:24 PM, Oct 22, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
What to watch tonight? There is the debate, of course, upon which hangs the fate of the nation if not the world. That's important. And, then, there is the seventh game of the National League playoffs, with the winner going to the World Series. And, on Monday Night Football we have the Chicago Bears vs. the Detroit Lions, a tough divisional match-up.
10:33 AM, Sep 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama has released a new two-minute ad that will serve as a closing argument of sorts as early voters begin to go to the polls in several states.
5:25 PM, Apr 18, 2012 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Rock 'n' roll may be here to stay, but the impresarios who brought it to us are only human. Bill Graham of Fillmore fame was killed in a helicopter crash in 1991. The two Dons, Kirshner of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and Cornelius of Soul Train, died recently in their mid-seventies. Now, the “World's Oldest Teenager,” Dick Clark, has ceased being the world's oldest teenager, aged 82.
Beverly Kim of 'Top Chef' says it's not personal, it's strictly cooking.8:12 AM, Jan 20, 2012 • By VICTORINO MATUS
What a week for headlines: An oceanliner keels, Rick Perry quits the race, Newt Gingrich's ex-wife talks about open marriage, and Rick Santorum wins Iowa. But the biggest news of the week is without doubt Beverly Kim's elimination from Top Chef: Texas. Yes, I'm joking, but as Beverly said over the phone yesterday, when a group of mostly strangers are put together in living and cooking quarters, what matters to them isn't exactly what matters in reality. "It's unnatural" and "not real life," said Beverly, who is the chef at Aria, a modern Asian restaurant, in Chicago. "Every challenge felt like life and death." Thankfully, life does not actually hinge on how you sear a halibut.
8:53 PM, Oct 31, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In two television interviews taped for Monday evening, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain denied any wrongdoing as he tried to clarify his story about the allegations he was accused of sexual harassment while serving as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. In these interviews, Cain was more forthcoming yet still vague about the details surrounding the allegations than he and his campaign had previously been since the story broke Sunday evening.
Geena Davis's crusade to clean up TV. 12:55 PM, Apr 13, 2011 • By PATRICK COOKE
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran a special section reporting on the paper’s recent conference entitled “Women in the Economy: An Executive Task Force.” One of the taskforce members was Geena Davis, the Academy Award winning actress and more recently founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The Journal noted that Ms. Davis, “has become an advocate of gender equality in children’s entertainment” and a critic in general of gender portrayal in film and in preschool programming.
About that "special relationship" between Germany and Israel. 3:15 PM, Jul 13, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Last week, executives from two public German television channels hosted Ezzatollah Zarghami, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Zarghami allegedly has ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp, an organization designated as a global terrorist entity by the U.S. government. Regardless, the IRIB's 'news' website has done its part to help propagate lies about the Jewish state.
France gets an assist.4:33 PM, Feb 5, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
As if the French offering to sell Russia an amphibious assault ship wasn't bad news for Georgia, Eli Lake at The Washington Times reports that:
The Republic of Georgia is charging a Paris-based satellite provider with caving in to Russian pressure after the company blocked a Georgia-based Russian-language station from broadcasting into the Caucasus region.
‹‹ More Recent