‘This Christianity Thing Could Catch On’

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“So it’s not just Kirk Cameron and Stephen Baldwin and the kid from Two and a Half Men.” With A-list stars backing Jesus, who knows? This Christianity thing could catch on.” Those two sentences ended an article that ran in the New York Post back in June. Film critic Kyle Smith had just finished highlighting […]

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P!nk Unleashed

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P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

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Miley, What’s Good?

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Sunday’s MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards were, naturally, again all about Miley Cyrus. She hosted it and managed to dominate it as only a savvy, shock-centric self-promoter can. The online press spent yesterday talking about her outfits (their huge number and tiny size), her dizzying references to marijuana, her “accidental,” somehow-not-so-shocking-anymore wardrobe malfunction. But perhaps […]

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When Miley Met Hannah

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We often talk about how pop culture—movies, music, video games, TV, the Internet—influences young people who consume it. But what about those who produce it? Especially if they’re quite young, how does being the at the epicenter of a pop-culture phenomenon influence them? One supernova star whose influence—for better, for worse—we’ve chronicled over the last […]

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Eduardo Verástegui Talks About Faith, Little Boy and the Power of Media

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The New York Times ran “nearly 900 film reviews in 2013,” according to the Times itself. That’s not quite three films per day, but it’s getting close. With that huge number of motion pictures being made each year (and certainly the Times didn’t review every one), it might surprise you to know that Focus on […]

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A Country Chat With Garth Brooks

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On March 27, the first part of my two-part blog on Garth Brooks appeared here. Today, I’d like to give you a behind-the-scenes look into the questions and answers that occurred at this “pep rally” to dedicate a new teen area at a Denver hospital. What follows comes from two different interviews—one where I had a […]

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Ad and A.D. Add Up to a Big Easter on TV

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About 3.7 million people tuned in to watch Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus on the National Geographic Channel last Sunday—the most ever to watch a show on the network, and a 300% improvement on NatGeo’s typical Sunday-night ratings. It was a success. But it wasn’t a surprise. Jesus—or, rather, shows predicated on Him—is big business these […]

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Unpacking Madonna’s Spiritual Beliefs

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Madonna’s 13th album, Rebel Heart, includes quite a lot of spiritual imagery—sometimes couching temptation in terms of a struggle requiring divine assistance, other times merging erotic sexual innuendo and religious iconography in deliberately provocative ways. In a lengthy new interview with Rolling Stone, the Material Girl talked about some of her spiritual experiences growing up, […]

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