Tales from Tinseltown: Lines blur between acting and politicking, and it’s PR nirvana

Hollywood publicists were kibitzing all over LA this past week.

Hollywood publicists were kibitzing all over LA this past week.

Hollywood publicists were kibitzing all over LA this past week.

Parties, cocktail hours, fund-raisers ... who has time for film

premieres when the Democratic convention is in town? This was the chance

for showbiz-obsessed flakes to schmooze with folks from a different walk

of life with different agendas ... from a different time zone, even.

The convention was marked, as expected, by the requisite glamour and

excitement of the entertainment industry. Politics and showbiz are the

best bedfellows, probably because politicians want to be movie stars and

movie stars want to be office holders. They all want to be rock


Clinton is a rock-star president. George Bush, if elected, might be a

country-singer president. Al Gore would be, well, Al Gore. But I like

him for that.

The convention was publicist nirvana, like Oscar night without the

boring four-hour prelude. My fellow flacks were determined to proclaim

their shindig as the ONLY place to be (the unofficial winner was Rob

Reiner’s bash for the Clintons and Gores).

And just as actors and politicians are thrilled to be in each other’s

company, so are Hollywood publicists and Washington spin doctors.

Perhaps it is just a morbid fascination.

I think Hollywood publicists have more leverage with the media than DC

spinsters, because movie stars sell more magazines than politicians.

Plus, politicos are more readily disbelieved. I don’t envy a political

mouthpiece having to explain why his client vetoed the same legislation

that he claimed at election time he would support. I guess it’s not much

easier for a celebrity publicist to explain that his client was merely

providing a personal taxi service for a transvestite - but at least it’s

taken less seriously.

The biggest PR issue at the convention apparently centered on VP nominee

Joe Lieberman, who presents a quandary for Hollywood’s considerable

Jewish community. Though many are encouraged that there is, for the

first time, a Jewish nominee for the second highest office in the land,

there also is recognition that Lieberman has been no friend of the

entertainment industry. In fact, he has infuriated some with comments

that smack of censorship - made worse because much of what he says is

true. The unspoken feeling among the Jewish moguls seems to be ’he may

be one of ours, but he isn’t one of ours.’

Alas, the lion’s share of convention fascination was held for the

President, who can still ’open’ a picture. I have a friend at Paramount

who got a chance to meet the Big Guy. ’My God,’ she gushed to me. ’He’s

got more charisma than Tom Cruise.’

Hmm ... this might be the best potential screen pairing since Newman and


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