suntimes
ALOOF 
Weather Updates

Obama kids allowed to watch reality TV as long as they take right lessons

In this image released by White House President Barack Obamhis daughters SashMalileft first lady Michelle Obamwatch World Cup soccer game

In this image released by the White House, President Barack Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia, left, and first lady Michelle Obama, watch the World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and Japan, from the Treaty Room office in the residence of the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

storyidforme: 19991199
tmspicid: 7445712
fileheaderid: 3387873

Updated: November 21, 2011 10:21AM



‘I never thought I’d see the Kardashians and the Obamas being mentioned in the same sentence,” a White House insider quipped Wednesday, referring to first lady Michelle Obama’s comments about the famed reality TV family and daughters Sasha and Malia’s television-viewing habits.

“The Kardashians — when they watch that stuff, [President Barack Obama] doesn’t like that as much,” the first lady told iVillage.com, “but I sort of feel like if we’re talking about it, and I’m more concerned with how they take it in. What did you learn when you watched that? And if they’re learning the right lessons — like, that was crazy — then I’m like, OK.”

But with some further sleuthing, this column learned that both Obama parents share concerns about the impact so-called reality TV is having on the nation’s youth.

“Let’s face it, so much of what’s out there is pure trash,” the source said. “So, if kids see it, it’s important to point out why it’s inappropriate or sleazy behavior that they might be watching on some of those shows.”

† Some have noted the president’s personal dislike of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” may be influenced by the politics of the show’s father figure. Republican Bruce Jenner’s outspoken opposition to the president is no secret.

That said, a veteran Hollywood pro who knows the Kardashian clan very well noted Wednesday, “I know a lot of staunch Republicans out here who also have issues with their kids relating to the stuff showcased on the Kardashians’ various shows!”

† Speaking of the Kardashians, family spokesfolks are laughing off as totally false stories claiming problems in Kim Kardashian’s newly minted marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries — as well as tales of Kim disrespecting her husband’s Minnesota family.

MEDIA MOGULS: Perhaps it’s not surprising the ongoing cell and computer hacking scandal plaguing Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has increased tension and strife within his family — especially involving his son and designated heir James Murdoch.

While many are predicting the imminent departure of the younger Murdoch from News Corp.’s leadership, longtime friends of Rupert’s stress his lifetime obsession with keeping his company’s management in the hands of family members.

That could all change if the media empire’s chief operation officer, Casey Carey, is tapped by Murdoch for the CEO slot.

FLASH FROM PAST: Actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose 18 years ago — famously on the sidewalk outside Hollywood’s Viper Room nightclub, then partly owned by Johnny Depp.

Now comes word his final, unfinished film will be released early next year. Dutch director George Sluizer has persuaded Joaquin Phoenix — whose voice virtually matches his late brother’s — to do the needed voiceovers to help finish “Dark Blood,” which also stars Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis.

FILM FLAM: Last May, there was that Chicago look-alike crime, with the crooks wearing nun costumes as disguises — inspired by Ben Affleck’s “The Town” film, which snared Jeremy Renner a best supporting actor Oscar nomination last year.

Now, New York police have caught a Big Apple theft ring that snared nearly $220,000 in a series of robberies — also copying details from the movie, including dousing ATMs and cash drawers with bleach to eliminate DNA evidence.

INTRIGUING TWIST: After seeing so many attractive, articulate twentysomethings on TV being interviewed in the various “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations, MTV producers have reached out to some of them, seeing if they’d be interested in auditioning for the 27th season of “The Real World.”

FEST COMING HERE: The Tribeca Film Festival — co-founded by Robert De Niro to promote his beloved New York neighborhood in the wake of 9/11 — is sending a mini-version of the fest here in mid-November. Partnering with American Express, the “On the Road” weekend will kickoff with a special screening of “Janie Jones,” plus a Q&A with the film’s star Abigail Breslin, director David M. Rosenthal and the movie’s producers at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas, 2828 N. Clark, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11.

GETTING IDEAS? Considering Jessica Simpson reportedly is working on a new costume jewelry line to sell on one of the home shopping networks, it’s not surprising she spent a lot of time last weekend checking out a special pre-auction exhibit of Elizabeth Taylor’s fabulous collection of gems — prior to the upcoming Christie’s auction of the late film legend’s jewels and clothing in December.

FASHION FLASH: Our Town’s fashionistas likely will be front ’n’ center for the “Dream a Little Dream” fashion show and luncheon Nov. 13 at the Rosemont Convention Center. Society scribe Candace Jordan is honorary chair of the event that benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and features an appearance by “Project Runway’s” Peach Carr.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.