TALES FROM TINSELTOWN: NY flacks take back seat to cool LA PRexecs, especially if Lizzie drives

Publicists are accustomed to spinning clients' abysmal behavior, so

it will be interesting to see how Lizzie Grubman handles her own


I think the first step should be having Daddy take her out for a driving

lesson and reacquainting her with the concept of gears. Namely: forward

and reverse.

What the hell is going on back East anyway? Is it too hot this


You're asked to move your car and you freak? Geez. In LA we would just

quietly threaten to spread nasty rumors. Or maybe call a certain agent,

to make sure the offending doorman/valet/bartender's script never

reaches the eyes of a studio reader. But we do not plow our vehicles

into a crowd.

Grubman's tantrum - and I can only assume she angrily and accidentally

lost control - left me wondering about the worst sins Tinseltown

publicists have committed. Can we hold our own with Lizzie Borden? I

took a quick survey. It was not impressive.

One publicist admitted placing an anonymous phone call to a nasty

reporter, threatening to rat about his affair. "My wife already knows,"

he sniffed.

"We live in Brentwood."

My friend "Al," admits to giving a few magazines an unflattering photo

of a rude celebrity who insists all his pics be touched up. "I felt bad

about it later," Al confesses, "but the picture wasn't even used. I've

never really done anything else bad before. I keep things inside."

Great. The Hamptons Hellfire is grabbing headlines; we're


Based on my completely unscientific canvassing, I surmise Left Coast

flacks can't compete with the New York crowd. We're too soft, too

relaxed, too tanned. A waiter seats us at a lousy table, we merely

mutter, "Obviously you don't know who I am." Then obediently sit down.

Lizzie, I suspect, would throw an Etruscan vase through the window,

avowing, "Madonna shan't brunch here again."

Told our dry cleaning isn't ready, Angelinos simply threaten a lawsuit

and mutter, "Obviously you don't know who I am," and return later. You

think Tizzy Lizzie would accept that? I dare say not. Pity the hapless

Starbucks soul informing her the "double decaf cap with a raspberry

twist and whiff of mocha" is unavailable. He'll wear a coffee pot on his

head the rest of the day.

I spent a little time in the Hamptons a few years ago and was impressed

with the infrequency with which I encountered the sort of tattoo parlors

and psychics that litter Venice Beach. Had a great time. But then, I

wasn't dodging expensive cars while waiting in line for a frozen yogurt.

Now I'm afraid to go back. In Santa Monica, my only worry is whether the

chicken is free range. I can't possibly keep one eye on the kitchen and

another on the parking lot.

Do you see an MTV Celebrity Death-match in the making? First, we'll need

a Hollywood publicist tough enough to take on "Leadfoot Liz." I suggest

Terry Press, the shoot-from-the-lip badass at DreamWorks. Wouldn't mind

seeing those two pull each other's hair in a "whiner-take-all" fight to

the finish.

We'll hold the match at the defunct Forum. Valet parking mandatory.

Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and


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