Monday, March 14, 2011

“Rep. Pete King rejects invite to see Julian Schnabel's movie 'Miral' at United Nations - New York Daily News” plus 1 more

Rep. Pete King rejects invite to see Julian Schnabel's movie 'Miral' at United Nations - New York Daily News

Rep. Peter King will not back down from his controversial hearings about Muslim radicalization.

Miller for News

Rep. Peter King will not back down from his controversial hearings about Muslim radicalization.

WASHINGTON - One person who won't be attending the U.S. premiere of artist Julian Schnabel's new film at the United Nations on Monday: Long Island Rep. Pete King.

Schnabel and writer Rula Jebreal had written to King after the kickoff of his controversial hearings about Muslim radicalization last week and challenged him to watch "Miral," which portrays a Palestinian woman who becomes radicalized against Israel.

But the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Committee gave seeing the movie a thumbs-down.

" I'm not going," King said. "I've got a lot of things to do. I've got to get back to Washington. "

Schnabel, a Golden Globe winner, and Jebreal were outraged by King's hearings.

"The targeting of Muslims at a House hearing that you called for dredges up some of the worst moments in American society when it comes to not respecting the principles embodied in the Constitution," they wrote.

They also wanted King to appear with them at the Q & A after the film.

"We challenge you to attend the U.S. premiere of the film in New York - and participate in a little bit of education," the filmmakers wrote.

King thinks he's getting all the education he needs from voters.

"It's the most positive response I've ever had," King said of reaction to the hearings. "I couldn't even walk to the bagel shop on Sunday. I was getting people stopping in cars, rolling down windows. "

He does not plan on backing down. He said his next hearing will focus on radicalization in prisons.

Theaters fight proposed calorie disclosure rule for movie snacks - Washington Post

Movie theater chains are fighting a federal regulation that would require them to disclose that their popcorn contains as many as 1,460 calories, or equal to almost three Big Macs.

Chain restaurants with at least 20 U.S. locations would have to post the calorie content of menu items under a provision in the health-care law. Regulators will propose rules by March 23 and can include concession stands and grocery stores, according to guidance that came out last year.

Movie theaters and grocery stores are lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to avoid the proposed regulation. Theater chains led by Tennessee-based Regal Entertainment Group generate as much as one- third of their annual revenue from concessions. Congress didn't mention theaters in the law and the idea of regulating them never came up at legislative hearings, said Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners, a trade group.

"In the basic history of the bill there is no real intent to include movie theaters that we could discern," Corcoran said. His trade group is recommending the FDA exempt companies that get less than 35 percent of gross revenue from food sales.

Grocery stores also shouldn't be subject to the rule, said Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel for the Food Marketing Institute, a trade group representing chains including Safeway Inc.

"There's no indication that the Congress ever intended to regulate supermarkets," he said. Teena Massingill, a Safeway spokeswoman, did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

Movie theater chains were supposed to be targeted by the mandate, said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who sponsored a food-labeling bill in the House that was incorporated into the health-care law. The requirement "is meant to let people know what it is that they're consuming," she said.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who sponsored a similar measure, aimed for a broad definition of retail food operations that included movie theaters and grocery stores because people often buy prepared meals at the establishments, said spokeswoman Justine Sessions.

Only prepared food such as popcorn and hot dogs sold at concession stands may be subject to the labeling requirements because packaged food already has nutritional labels.

If concession stands are exempt, a customer of McDonald's would know that a Big Mac meal with a medium order of fries and a medium soft drink has 1,130 calories while a theatergoer at Regal Cinemas would not know that a large popcorn with butter-flavored topping packs 330 more calories than the fast-food combo. A Big Mac alone has 540 calories.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed popcorn sold by Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and AMC Entertainment of Kansas City, Mo., in 2009 and found it contained from 370 calories to 1,460 calories depending on the serving size and whether butter- flavored toppings were added. A "moderately active" man who is 26 to 45 years old should consume 2,600 calories in a day, according to guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Food sales accounted for 26 percent of Regal Entertainment's $2.81 billion in revenue last year, according to the firm's annual report. Thirty percent of Cinemark's $2.14 billion in 2010 sales came from food and drinks, according to the company's annual report.