The Los Angeles Times is facing a firestorm of criticism from supporters of Arnold Schwarzenegger who have accused the newspaper of showing bias against their candidate by publishing women's complaints that Schwarzenegger sexually harassed them. "Regrets? Not one," responds Times editor John Carroll. "Personally, I knew the stories were solid as Gibraltar. ... Among those employees whose misfortune it is to answer the phones at The Times, there is a consensus that our angriest critics haven't actually read the stories.
Arts / Culture
"It may have been Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory celebration, but the crowd around him at the Century Plaza Hotel on Tuesday night easily could have been the receiving line at an NBC stars' picnic," notes Greg Braxton. Prominent faces at the celebration included his wife, "Dateline NBC" correspondent Maria Shriver; actor Rob Lowe of NBC's "Lyon's Den"; Pat O'Brien of NBC's "Access Hollywood"; and "Tonight Show" Host Jay Leno.
Brent Bozell, whose Media Research Center spends its days looking for "liberal bias" in the media, has decided to take on the Justice League of America.
"Throughout his career as a bodybuilder and action-movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger has shaped his public persona much as he once sought to sculpt his champion muscles - with a domineering determination," write Dion Nissenbaum and Eric Nalder. His obsession with controlling his image goes even beyond the practices of other Hollywood celebrities. "Arnold's entire career has been manufactured," said Arthur Seidelman, who directed Schwarzenegger in his first action film. "He is very much in control of his image and has shaped that image every step of the way.
"HBO is turning its lens on the Beltway this week with the debut of a new reality-based series about Washington lobbyists," PR Week reports. "K Street mixes working politicians and lobbyists, including the likes of Michael Deaver, Mary Matalin, and James Carville, with a cast of actors playing lobbyists. ... The 10-part series from executive producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh will grab plotlines from the headlines, and film only one week in advance in an attempt to remain as timely as possible.
The Motion Picture Association of America is courting two Congressmen involved with deregulating the movie industry's corporate parents. Up for grabs is MPAA's $1.15 million lobbying job. Top candidates for the post are Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who oversees the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the House and champions an FCC ruling loosening station ownership limits, and Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), who is on
the record opposing efforts to roll back that FCC ruling in the Senate. "It's obscene for Tauzin and Breaux to be in the running for the MPAA, the
Who are the figures behind actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign to become the governor of California? Max Blumental looks at the behind-the-scenes political operatives who have orchestrated the state's recall election. Schwarzenegger's high-priced consultants, George Gorton and Don Sipple, have worked with Republican operatives including Howard Kaloogian, David Gilliard, and former Enron pollster Frank Luntz, who "devised a strategy for the recall campaign centering around negative character attacks and avoidance of policy discussion," Blumenthal writes.
"A tobacco company is offering a free lifetime supply of cigarettes to celebrity smokers as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to raise the public profile of its recently launched brand," the Associated Press reports. "In a tersely worded pitch, Freedom Tobacco International Inc. said it was seeking to 'seed' its cigarettes with adult celebrities. The appeal was made Tuesday to publicists through a Web-based network subscribed to by hundreds of public relations agencies. ...
"I'm so public about this because I've been asked to do so and because I painfully felt that the anti-war movement was being ignored," comedian and anti-war activist Janeane Garofalo told The Progressive's Elizabeth DiNovella. "It became abundantly clear that no one was getting on TV talking about this. ... I can't stand watching history roll right over us.
New Mexico high school teacher Bill Nevins is fighting a March 17 suspension from his teaching job, after a student on his poetry team read an anti-war poem over the school's closed circuit TV system. School administrators have accused him of "permitting" students to participate in after-hours poetry contests at a local bookstore without school permission. (Kids these days. Why can't they just watch TV like decent folks?)