March 29, 2019

Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, HGTV and several other cable networks are refusing to air a commercial for the anti-abortion film Unplanned, writes The Hollywood Reporter. Fox News is the only mainstream network to allow the ad airtime.

Lifetime and several networks owned by Discovery opted not to run commercials for the film due to the "sensitive nature" of the movie, per the Reporter.

"Most of the networks didn't go into detail beyond citing the subject matter of the film and that they didn't want to get into politics. But we don't believe we're in the political category," said Joe Knopp, an Unplanned producer.

Unplanned is based on a memoir written by a former Planned Parenthood worker-turned-pro-life activist, and it has been hailed by some critics as pro-life "propaganda."

The movie is being distributed by Christian-oriented production company Pure Flix, and it marks the first time the company has tried to distribute and market an R-rated movie. In an unconventional advertising attempt, Pure Flix debuted the movie at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.

The movie has also had trouble with some music labels, failing to win music licensing from Disney, Universal Music, Sony/ATV and Round Hill Music, writes the Reporter. Marianne Dodson

8:59 p.m.

The billionaire former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has been slammed by his Democratic primary opponents for allegedly "buy[ing] his way into the debate[s]." On Tuesday night, he nearly admitted to buying a whole lot more than just that.

The Freudian slip came as Bloomberg was bragging about spending $100 million in the 2018 midterm elections to back 21 of the 40 Democrats who were elected to the House. "All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bought — I got them," Bloomberg said, quickly correcting himself.

Bloomberg is self-funding his campaign, the most expensive in presidential history; he broke the $500 million mark in ad spending on Monday. Read more about the former mayor's possible attempts to "buy an election" here at The Week. Jeva Lange

8:43 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden pulled a Joe Namath during Tuesday night's debate in Charleston, South Carolina.

Biden, the frontrunner in the Palmetto State, was quiet for the first few minutes of the debate before he was asked about his shrinking lead ahead of Saturday's state primary. The vice president, though, wasn't lacking any confidence about his chances, despite having previously described South Carolina as his campaign's firewall.

He said he was determined to win the state and would maintain his support among African American voters, but he eventually went into a full-on Namath-style guarantee when he was asked if he would drop out in a scenario where he didn't emerge victorious. Biden never answered that question directly, opting only to say "I will win South Carolina."Tim O'Donnell

8:37 p.m.

With Super Tuesday looming, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has cemented himself as the man to beat in the Democratic primary. During Tuesday night's debate in South Carolina, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren rose to the challenge in her most direct attack on her progressive colleague to date. "The way I see this is, Bernie is winning right now because the Democratic party is a progressive party and progressive ideas are popular ideas," Warren began. She then added in no uncertain terms that "Bernie and I agree on a lot of things, but I think I would make a better president than Bernie."

Warren explained that "getting a progressive agenda enacted is going to be really hard and it's going to take someone who digs into the details to make it happen." She went on to site her record on battling big banks and health care, emphasizing that "I dug in. I did the work. And then Bernie's team trashed me for it."

As Sanders shook his head in disagreement, Warren finished: "Progressives have got one shot and we need to spend it with a leader who will get something done." Jeva Lange

8:24 p.m.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's campaign manager Mike Schmuhl wants to be realistic about Super Tuesday.

In a memo sent Tuesday, Schmuhl said the goal for next week when voters in 14 states, including Texas and California, head to the polls is not to win, but "minimize" frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) margin of victory. But, fear not, Buttigieg supporters, that doesn't mean the campaign is giving up. Schmuhl added that the subsequent Tuesdays on March 10 and 17 are where the mayor really has a chance to shine, pointing out that while Super Tuesday accounts for 34 percent of available delegates, those two voting slates account for 28 percent.

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver thinks the memo is admirable in that it sets "realistic expectations," but he also argues it means Buttigieg might eventually have to rely on a contested convention to win the nomination, because without a healthy amount of delegates on Super Tuesday it will become incredibly difficult to win outright. Tim O'Donnell

8:16 p.m.

A juror in the Roger Stone trial is setting the record straight.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Tuesday night, Seth Cousins wrote about the allegations being leveled against the jury. Last year, they found Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to President Trump, guilty of obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress. Since then, Trump has accused the foreperson, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012, of being "totally biased," and Stone's lawyers have claimed he did not have a fair trial.

There is a "striking irony" to this, Cousins wrote, because the foreperson "was actually one of the strongest advocates for the rights of the defendant and for a rigorous process. She expressed skepticism at some of the government's claims and was one of the last people to vote to convict on the charge that took most of our deliberation time." The jury followed all instructions, examined evidence, and made sure each voice was heard. "Roger Stone received a fair trial," Cousins said. "He was found guilty based on the evidence by a jury that respected his rights and viewed the government's claims skeptically. Our jury valued truth, plain and simple."

An estimated 1.5 million Americans serve on juries every year, and "elected officials have no business attacking citizens for performing their civic duty," Cousins said. "When the president attacks our jury's foreperson, he is effectively attacking every American who takes time off work, arranges child care, and otherwise disrupts their life temporarily to participate in this civic duty. His attacks denigrate both our service and the concept of equal justice under U.S. law." Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

7:03 p.m.

Michelle Janavs, the heiress to the Hot Pockets fortune, was sentenced to five months in prison on Tuesday after admitting to paying bribes to a fixer who promised to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California.

She is the 15th parent sentenced as part of the college admissions scandal, which rocked Hollywood and wealthy enclaves across the United States. Janavs, 49, of Newport Beach, California, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit laundering. "I'm so very sorry I tried to create an unfair advantage for my children," she told the court on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors said she agreed to pay Rick Singer, a college admissions consultant, $100,000 to improve her daughters' ACT exam scores and $200,000 to have one of her daughters admitted to USC as a fake beach volleyball recruit. Janavs must also pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release after her stint in prison.

Prosecutors had recommended Janavs serve 21 months in prison. Her defense lawyers argued that she was the victim of Singer's "manipulative sales tactics," and her public embarrassment was enough of a punishment. Catherine Garcia

6:45 p.m.

The second Democratic debate in a week — and the last before the South Carolina primary on Saturday — airs Tuesday evening on CBS News from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. The debate will also mark the candidates' last chance to appeal to voters ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3, when residents of 16 states and territories will have the opportunity to cast their ballots.

Appearing on the stage in Charleston will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who stands as the decisive frontrunner after the Nevada caucuses last Saturday, as well as former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg; former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; former Vice President Joe Biden; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, who returns after having not qualified for the Nevada debate stage six days ago. CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King are set to moderate.

The debate will air live on CBS stations (you can find yours here) and stream on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV via CBSN. The debate can also be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, or watched below on YouTube. Jeva Lange

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