Friday, June 17, 2005
Hollywood on the Potomac
by Janet Donovan
Celebrities and politicians "spring from the same DNA". Jack Valenti
When The Governor of Montana offered me his silver neckpiece at Rock the Vote's 15th Anniversary Gala at The National Building Museum, I knew I was at the right party. "This seal is on every government door knob", quipped Brian Schweitzer, the state's first Democratic Governor since 1988. However, the thought of resembling a door knob at a chi-chi party prompted me to politely decline the offer in favor of a future purchase on the state's website.
How did a Democrat get elected in a Red State? "I spoke to Bubba. He liked me." Bubba, of course, refers to the 42nd President of The United States who has been known to influence an election on sheer charisma. As for what part of Montana 42 liked best is anyone's guess but here, take a crack at it: clean air, clean water, great hunting, great fishing or liberal Marijuana laws.
"There are Republicans in Blue States and Democrats in Red States. We have to have a little fun and lighten up," continued Schweitzer on the intensity of politics so prevalent in society today.
Sounds like a plan. Too bad The Supreme Court just overturned state marijuana laws.
As for Bubba, he was a no show which didn't bother Jack Kemp who was more than happy to share temporary rock star status with Senator John McCain.
Kemp, the former American Football League All-Star turned Congressman turned Secretary of HUD turned Republican Vice Presidential candidate turned free market advocate, was in splendid form.
Referring to Rock the Vote protesters, he queried: "What's wrong with encouraging young people to vote?" He then compared the "rent-a-crowd" noisemakers to right-wing nuts. It was an odd statement coming from a man so closely aligned with The Heritage Foundation, Washington's foremost ultra conservative stronghold. Perhaps it's true that his name is being floated for a presidential bid in 2008.
Kemp and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe bantered about bi-partisanship at the award presentations. "I may be for Hillary and I may be for McCain." TMc "Let me as a Republican salute Obama." JK "The point is to get out the vote." TMc "Let's do something really popular and get out of here." JK
Rock the Vote is an organization that empowers young people as a political force and the evening raised around $700,000.
Overheard: "They left him alone in the Green Room and forgot he was there." Sister 2 Sister Publisher Jamie Foster Brown on the disappearing act of headliner Senator Barack Obama. Former RIAA honcho Hillary Rosen: "Jack Kemp needs to get down with The Black Eyed Peas later cause they have more in common than they know." Former Rep. Susan Molinari on her fabulous handbag sporting photos of her two children: "My husband gave it to me for Christmas," referring to her husband former New York Congressman Bill Paxon.
Seen: Rep. Mary Bono with long dark hair and bangs looking very Cheresque. Senator John McCain , surpise surprise holding court.
Photo: The Governor of Montana: Washington Life photographer Douglas Sonders
The Garden Party
Ricky Nelson would have been pleased with The Garden Party at the home of National Journal Publisher John Fox Sullivan and his talented wife Beverly held in honor of Bob Merry, Publisher of Congressional Quarterly.
Guests were relieved to know their so called "family feud" was just folklore. The two publishing rivals have actually remained good friends all these years and get a kick out of the so-called discord. So how did this rumor start?
According to Merry, The National Journal was founded by disgruntled CQ employees in 1969 and the competition began. "John and I never pass up an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in what is a very brutal market to out maneuver the other at every turn." This night was an exception. The only maneuvering going on was getting to the bar in a hundred plus crowd including political pundit Mark Shields, Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, and author Jim Dickensen.
SANDS OF EMPIRE, Merry's just published book, is receiving kudos from both sides of the political aisle, although not lacking in high voltage controversy.
Well, gotta go now and help find Obama, so that's all folks!
Yup. That's All!
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Hollywood on the Potomac
by Janet Donovan
Celebrities and politicians "spring from the same DNA." Jack Valenti
At first blush, the unmasking of "Deep Throat" was like chicken soup for the soul.
W. Mark Felt's confession to Vanity Fair that he was indeed the anonymous tipster in the Watergate scandal that contributed to the demise of President Richard Nixon was both shocking and settling.
The revelation was shocking because Felt was a high level insider at the F.B.I. where loyalty and trust is everything and it was settling because it gave finality to a decades old mystery.
Or did it?
No sooner had the confession been made to V.F. when reporters began spinning another conspiracy theory: Can it be proven that he was Deep Throat? Do Woodward and Bernstein
It's like getting the last chapter in the Jimmy Hoffa mystery, but no one wants to close the book.
Pat Buchanan was furious. The former Nixon aide claims that Felt was "bitter" about the FBI because he never got the top dog leadership post at the Bureau that he so coveted. Divulging secrets was Felt's means of retaliation. "He's a snake." said Buchanan. He further claimed that Felt was probably responsible for the death of thousands of Americans posted in Vietnam since the turmoil on US soil ultimately led to the evacuation of our troops. Wow!
As for John Dean, former legal counsel to President Nixon whose testimony aided Nixon's downfall, even he had scratched Felt off the list long ago. If Dean couldn't get it right, who could? After all, Dean was Deep Throats' most avid hunter.
As for Kissinger, Halderman, Colson, Buchanan, Ziegler, Gergen and all of the other potential throats, they're just happy to get off the yellow brick road that led to Throatsville.
When Dean was asked how he felt about the unveiling of Deep Throat, he said he was waiting for an epiphany. As for me, I'm waiting for this story to go away so I can find out what The Runaway Bride REALLY did in Vegas!
The Rita Show
Hollywood on the Hudson
The spin doctors at Fox News Channel dispatched a press release with such rapidity regarding the "imminent" departure of Rita Cosby you'd think they were in a NASCAR race bolstered by performance enhancing drugs. The massive effort to ensure her departure looked like she was relieved of her duties was ironic since they were racing to the finish line solo. A statement from the other folks came much later in the day.
While the FOX press release was factual, it's tone and wording created an onslaught of cloaked "poor Rita" condolence messages to my in-box. Having known of her switch to NBC prior to the FOX announcement, it took me by surprise. The press jumped in: "Rita Cosby, host of two weekend shows on Fox News Channel, is departing mmediately."
"Daily Variety reports that Cosby and the cable network were unable to agree on terms for a contract extension."
"Fox has made no announcements yet on a Cosby replacement or on whether the shows will continue with other hosts."
Relief for Cosby showed up around 4 PM when MSNBC released the following: "Three-time Emmy Award winner named MSNBC anchor and special correspondent."
SECAUCUS, NJ - Rita Cosby will join MSNBC, it was announced today by Rick Kaplan, President of MSNBC. Cosby will start with the network in June and will anchor a daily evening program. In addition, she will serve as a special correspondent. Cosby's program is in development and will debut in the fourth quarter."
So what does this all mean? Geraldo gets to upgrade, MSNBC goes blonde, Rita gets her own primetime show, FOX loses a good reporter and MSNBC gets one. And the winner is? Ta da.........hey, I report, you decide!
Mr. Thompson Goes to Washington
Fred Dalton Thompson, Tennessee lawyer turned actor turned Senator turned actor, was the honored guest at The Motion Picture Association of America's private screening of "LASTBESTCHANCE".
Billed as a gripping docudrama that illustrates the threat posed by vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials around the world, the film is a wake-up call to secure and destroy nuclear weapons and materials before it's too late.
While the film focused on al Qaeda, many guests were focused on John Bolton, the nominee for the coveted and sensitive United Nations post, then and currently still dangling in Congress.
The Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security, is amidst rather contentious hearings due to his reputation for lacking diplomatic finesse, which of course is what the post is all about.
When CNN Founder Ted Turner breezed by, it was appropriate to ask him what he thought of the Bolton nomination. Turner, as you may recall, created the UN Foundation in 1998 and pledged a personal donation of a billion dollars as an "investment in the future of humanity."
Needless to say, it was somewhat shocking that he responded that he thought it was a great choice. Say what? After querying my circle of friends which included Betsy Fisher, Executive Producer of Tim Russert's Meet the Press, I decided to ask again. "I'm a bit hard of hearing," claimed Turner when asked to verify his comment. He's probably glad that his original response was not recorded as fact..... and probably equally as glad his second response is not being recorded here just in case I'm hard at hearing.
The film was a bit discombobulated going from time zone to time zone, language to language, skipping around to so many dark and secretive places you'd think we were back in Throatsville. The essence of the film was how easy it would be to unlock the secret code that would lead to the world's destruction.
In all fairness to the film, I left early when the guest in front of me cramped my legs with his chair. Not to worry though, we each received a take out copy.
Anxious to see the ending, I went to unwrap the DVD which was guarded by a chain and paddle lock and was unable to open it because I didn't have the password. I called the MPAA to find out the code. "That's easy, just dial 0000." Indeed it was, which is exactly the point.
Well, gotta go now. Don't want to miss Dr. Phil who is probably in Deep Thought analyzing Deep Throat to death by now. So that's all folks!
Yup, that's all. have notes to confirm that it was Felt? Were there other Deep Throats involved in this puzzle palace such as mini throats or junior throats?