December 25, 2012 in Nation/World

Petition calls for deporting Morgan

From Wire Reports

(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.

Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his “Piers Morgan Tonight” show an “unbelievably stupid man.”

Now, gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution” by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for “exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

Morgan seemed unfazed – and even amused – by the movement.

“If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?” he wrote in a Twitter message.

Gandolfini happy with smaller roles

In the five years since “The Sopranos” ended, James Gandolfini has eschewed the spotlight, instead disappearing into a heap of character actor performances that, while they may lack the heft of Tony Soprano, have only further proved the actor’s wide-ranging talent.

This season offers a gluttony of Gandolfini, albeit in bite-size parts. In Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama “Zero Dark Thirty,” he plays Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In David Chase’s ’60s period drama “Not Fade Away,” he plays the old-school father of a wannabe rocker. And in Andrew Dominick’s crime flick “Killing Them Softly,” he plays an aged, washed-up hit man.

None of the roles is a showy lead man, and that’s just fine with Gandolfini.

“I’m much more comfortable doing smaller things,” Gandolfini said in a recent interview. “I like them. I like the way they’re shot; they’re shot quickly. It’s all about the scripts – that’s what it is – and I’m getting some interesting little scripts.”

Though Gandolfini’s achievement playing Tony Soprano for eight years is unquestioned (he won three Emmy awards), the sensation of the show – and the long time spent playing a violent, sometimes loathsome gangster – grated on Gandolfini.

The birthday bunch

Actor Gary Sandy is 67. Singer Jimmy Buffett is 66. Country singer Barbara Mandrell is 64. Actress Sissy Spacek is 63. Singer Annie Lennox is 58. Country singer Steve Wariner is 58. Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson is 54. Singer Dido is 41.

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