Jess Cagle Heads To People
Time's Hollywood correspondent, the homosexual Jess Cagle who recently gave a glowing Time cover profile of Tom Cruise, is headed to People. Jess got sick of his Time New York editors turning down 95% of his story ideas. He will probably earn more than $200,000 a year at People. Cagle worked at Entertainment Weekly before Time, where he earned more than $100,000. All the magazines are owned by Time Warner.
The Bastards Are Coming To Get Me
I've run out of my anti-paranoia medication and I sit trembling under my desk as I write these words. The bastards are coming to get me.
My last week in Iraq for the CIA was nothing compared to this.
The infamous XXX producer is on his way to my bunker. Dave Robb is downing his final beers. Anita Busch is revving her car for a drive-by.
Anita, dear, you've got to listen to me. My lights may be on but nobody's home.
I clutch my cricket bat. Oh Lord, it looks like the final over. This is one sticky wicket. For G-d and country. The grim bowler is approaching the wicket. He bowls short. The ball is rising fast towards my head. The crowd is on its feet. The man at silly mid-on crowds me. The bastards are coming to get me.
My Latest Disorder
It seems like the Los Angeles Times, ever few days, publishes a long article on another disorder I believe I suffer from. Monday it's bipolar disorder:
Screenwriter Rodger Jacobs writes Gene Ross: "Luke claims to have a problem with CFS - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My contention is that he has a problem with manic-depression that he's not revealing. I'll talk with him a couple of times a day and I'll see the mood swings. When he started the poofters and pansies thing he was absolutely giddy. He asked me how do you spell 'poofters.' I said, Luke, 'What are you writing?' He starts giggling. I told him he shouldn't be posting something like that. I talked to him later on that same day, and the giddiness was gone. I know some people who are clinical manic-depressives, and I see the same behavior in Luke."
Oh Lord, Why Do You Tempt Me So?
So this afternoon I was on my way over to the home of that Jew David Poland. As I walked up to his abode, I saw a tall lithe attractive woman with obviously Gentile genes coming up the gate carrying a bag of groceries.
I fled up David's stairs seeking to avoid the shiksa temptation. But she followed me. She came right up the stairs.
I pounded on David's door. "Let me in," I wailed. He opened just in time and I fell inside, breathing hard. His beautiful neighbor turned the key in her lock and went inside.
David and I were watching goyim knocking themselves silly on that Jewish medium of television. David called his goyisha friend Jeffrey Wells to teach him about the Seven Laws of the Sons of Noah, which apply to all Gentiles.
My Jewish cell phone rang, playing the goyisha tune of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
I answered. It was that Jew from Toronto, Marc W.. A Jew he was supposed to meet at 1PM had become sick. Marc was footloose and fancy free. I agreed to pick him up and bring him over to Poland's house where we could convene a meeting to go over the The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
So I go to do a mitzvah and pick up Marc. I knock on the door. Marc answers and invites me in. He drains his glass of orange juice. He chews a carrot. We're getting ready to leave when I hear footsteps dancing down the stairs. Around the corner comes the beautiful Moxie.
She's slim and blonde and has obviously Gentile genes. Oh Lord, why do you tempt me so?
I flee with Marc. We meet up with David and walk to the Grove. It's filled with more women with obviously Gentile genes. I can feel the tug in my breast to abandon the strictures of the Oral Law and pursue the lusts of my eyes. Oh Lord, why do you tempt me so?
Hello From The Hovel
So I was hanging out with David Poland Sunday watching the scintillating Cowboys-Lions matchup. I get a call from journalist Marc W., who's staying at the home of the beautiful Moxie. I pick him up and park three block's from Poland's. It's 12:50PM. The game is coming to a close. I run ahead.
Marc: "I'm glad I'm not a woman on a date with you."
Luke: "I'm glad too.
"Go Cowboys! Go Cowboys! Run Marc, run."
Marc: "Cowboys? Is that a gay bar?"
Hurry up Marc. Now W. is a Jew who is not exactly built for speed.
Marc: "The courteous thing is to walk beside your guest, not three blocks ahead."
Cowboys lose in the last two minutes 9-7.
Marc to David: "He runs like a monkey with some ironic enthusiasm for football. I've corresponded with him for three years. I didn't know he cared about football."
Luke: "I have a unironic enthusiasm for football. Marc's staying with a beautiful shicksa."
David: "Luke, I don't want to batter you with your issues. It's so odd that your interest in non-Jewish [sporting] partners as a primary interest in life conflicts with your orthodox Judaism."
Marc: "But that's showing he's a real Jew. He's willing to go outside the tribe to find suitable sporting partners."
David: "He's willing to penetrate the exterior of [false] religions... I don't know with Luke if it is a social issue or a physical issue or both."
Marc: "He's willing to stand up and say, even though I'm Jewish, I'm willing to date outside my faith."
Luke: "Because the hot looking successful Jewish women reject me."
Marc: "But the hot looking successful women of any religion will reject you."
David: "There you go."
Marc W. writes on www.W..com: I am typing this entry from the garage that serves as the residence of online journalism legend Luke Ford, who is currently passed out on his "bed". (In actuality, couple of sleeping bags tossed on the floor--Luke's hand is draped over one of them as if it were a woman sharing this "bed".) This legendary converted garage, in the 90211 neighborhood, is where many show business stories have been broken--formerly regarding the porn industry, now somewhat diversified--in no small part due to the numerous Jewish religious books on the shelf behind this desk. We had a fun gum-flapping brunch on the patio of Swingers restaurant on Beverly with David Poland [Hot Button], an Internet movie industry journalist whose greater respectability has afforded him a much swankier pad, with two teevee sets running simultaneous NFL games. Luke, whose domicile offers fewer such frills, just offered to show me his gun. I respectfully declined.
W. writes the Luke Ford Advisory Committee: Finally, the entire advisory committee has met the legend that is Luke. Our afternoon began with a visit to the home of David Poland, where Luke was displaying an unnatural enthusiasm for the afternoon's NFL contests, perhaps a means of ingratiating himself to legitimate hollywood journalist extraordinare (and a supernice guy) David P.. Not only did luke fret about having to miss a few minutes of the game in order to pick me up in his white van, he sprinted blocks ahead of me in order to return to the couch where he could watch the game. Does this sound like the Luke Ford that any of you have ever met?
On more than one occasion today, I've been admonished by Luke for speaking too loudly in public, specifically when i was discussing things I've read on his site through the years. He was humbled in the presence of David Poland, though, an internet journalist who boasts that he tries really hard to never say a bad word about anyone ... Good thing luke picked up the check (+ 10 per cent tip) at Swingers restaurant. As long as i never have to hear LF shout "GO COWBOYS! GO COWBOYS!" again, all will be alright.
Khunrum writes: Young W., Yes, Luke is somewhat of a kiss ass. He dearly wants to make it in legitimate Hollywood. Luzdedos has struggled long and hard to break the door down in so many different ways. A sycophant to industry types (Poland comes to mind). His producer interviews (all those contacts for nil). His conversion and romancing of Hollywood Jewesses (also a dead end). Luke has the matinee looks (albeit fading, late thirties coming up) the intelligence, the drive (when he is not having an attack of hypochondria). He dresses the part. So what can we deduce from these efforts which seemingly have gone nowhere? It must be damned difficult to have a decent career in Hollywood, California I say. Come now Advisory Committee, add your thoughts. More insight is needed...
It is possible that in 200 years or so every American will be obliged to make the journey to Luke's Hovel (a National Shrine) Stranger things have happened. And to think we got there first.
Helpful writes: Oddly he did this [showed his piece] to me upon our first visit. I feared it was a blatant homo come on and pepper sprayed him immediately. Sorry about that Luke.
Luke is simply too proud to blow David Geffen and so he idles away. That's the way Hollywood works.
Marc, keep your head down just in case Anita Busch tries a drive-by on the hovel. She sounds pissed.
Caution! Luke's modus operandi is to offer his guests a glass of rice milk spiked with Roofies. Skip the rice milk. Your ass will thank you.
Marc W. writes on his site about his Halloween night: Myself and Australian blogging icon Tim Blair, who drove someone else's car all the way from New York City for the express purpose of drunkenly badgering fellow foreigners 'round a 4 a.m. campfire in the backyard of Ken Layne and Laura Crane.
Tim: You should just move to Australia, mate. Get out of Canada while you can, because it's a horrible place. I was there in 1992, in Toronto and Montreal. All people were talking about were margarine tariffs, tariffs between the different provinces, what color the margarine could be, how much the tariffs were costing everyone. Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs, nobody would ever shut up about these stupid tariffs.
Khunrum writes about the pompous self-righteous Dave Robb: "Luke, I would get a restraining order against this drunk."
Rob writes: "Relax Rum. This is clearly not a threat of violence, but a romantic offer. This is Hollywood not Texas."
PT writes: Why do you hate Anita Busch?
Luke says: I don't. She's done nothing to me or to anyone I care about. She's simply a subject I write about. I have no feeling about her one way or another. It's like asking why Mike Medavoy or why Amy Pascal or why do I write about Lynda Obst. I've chosen to write on entertainment and the people in the industry.
Anita's just an interesting story that doesn't go away. She's a case of a story just trucking along, always new drama. I've never paid any attention to Anita, then I started lukeford.net on hollywood and her name just kept popping up. Now I've been receiving letters threatening me for defaming Anita. To each letter I've requested details on what specific things I've written about her that are incorrect. So far, not one critic has responded with specificity.
Jeffrey Wells writes: "With the dead-fish thing behind her and all of us getting used to L.A. Times reporter Anita Bush getting on with her gig and back in the groove, she's now quitting to pursue a business venture of some kind -- not entertainment-related, apparently -- in which she'll have an equity stake and be in a position to make some big dough. Entertainment news coverage will be less tempestuous in her absence."
'Muhammad' Movie Sets Out Religious Hurdles for Makers
From the Los Angeles Times:
A half-dozen years and upward of $10 million in the making, the film had to fight objections by Islamic clerics concerned about how their holy story of Muhammad and the Koran would be handled by a moviemaking technique associated with Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.
For openers, director and producer Richard Rich -- selected by Harithy because of his animation experience and track record of successful religious films -- faced an obstacle that few moviemakers encounter: His hero could not appear on screen.
Islamic law considers it a sin to display images of Muhammad, the 7th century prophet who spoke out against corrupt political and military leaders in Mecca, was driven into exile, and later led a battle to liberate the holy city from nonbelievers.
The ghost of the 1976 "The Message," another biopic of the prophet, starring Anthony Quinn (as Muhammad's uncle, Hamza) hung over the production. The Quinn movie drew protests from Islamic fundamentalists incensed over a rumor that Charlton Heston or Peter O'Toole would play Muhammad.
The Moroccan government withdrew permission for filming, and the company took refuge in Libya under the sponsorship of Moammar Kadafi, which only increased the controversy. The effort was a financial flop.
Moustapha: "The media runs the world. Absolutely. No tanks or planes. The media and the public companies. This is what The Protocols of [the Learned Elders of] Zion [is all about. The Protocols are famous anti-Semitic forgeries.].
"The Zionists, last century, were persecuted in Europe. So they immigrated to the United States. They had a target. They were united. And they did not permit [statements] critical of Zion. They went all the way to control the world and to control the minds of the people through the media. There's a lesson to learn from them.
"They have control of the media here. We know it. They did not do it through tanks or machine guns. They planned of course. They united. Did you see Pat Buchanan's book [The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization]? He makes sense."
Luke: "Yes, he's a sharp guy. He doesn't mind telling it like it is, no matter how controversial."
Moustapha: "There is a red line if I get into the issue of Israel but the Jews, like everyone else, wants to make money. Hollywood is not ethnic. There's English, Irish, Spanish, French, Roman..."
Luke: "But movie and TV producers are 70% Jewish."
Moustapha: "Yes. The studios are. That control is financial but not the creative aspect. You can't be more Jewish than Miramax [owned by Disney and operated by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, distributed last two Halloween films]. They financed me and I did it. But probably if I did something about Israel, they would not. So I get financing from overseas, such as when I did The Message."
Read this Anti-Defamation League link on Jews in Hollywood, and the Protocols of Zion.
Moustapha is best known for producing the eight movies of the Halloween franchise. He also directed two movies about the Arab-Islamic world, which have made him a hero in that part of the world - 1976's The Prophet and 1980's The Lion of the Desert.
I found these interesting links about Akkad on the net:
From Kult Movie Maximus: "Moustapha Akkad?", you might wonder. "Wasn't he the guy that produced John Carpenter's Halloween series and never done anything else?" Well yes and no. Akkad is a Syrian-born filmmaker who has two ambitious epic films to his name. His first, the relatively forgotten film The Message, detailing the coming of Mohammed and the Koran, was understandably a huge success worldwide. Over the next four years, Akkad somehow persuaded Libyan dictator Molomar Qaddafi (sp?) to invest $35 million dollars into the sweeping war epic Lion of the Desert... which upon its release grossed about $1 million dollars worldwide. One of the largest financial disasters in history, though one of the greatest films I've seen... how does this make sense? Beats me..."
From Laurie Goodstein's article in the November 1, 1998 New York Times: After years of virtual invisibility, Arab-Americans are finally finding prominence in Hollywood movies -- as terrorists and villains. They are only the latest in a long line of ethnic groups and nationalities cast in stereotypical bad-guy roles, from American Indians to Germans to Japanese to African Americans to Russians.
"We cannot say there are no Arab and no Muslim terrorists," said Moustapha Akkad, an Arab-American producer and director who was born in Syria and who has worked in Hollywood for 45 years. "Of course there are.
"But at the same time, balance it with the image of the normal human being, the Arab-American, the family man," Akkad said. "The lack of anyone showing the other side makes it stand out that in Hollywood, Muslims are only terrorists."
Earlier in his career, Akkad produced and directed two films portraying Muslims as heroes. "The Message" (1977) told the story of the beginning of Islam, and "Lion of the Desert" (1981) starred Anthony Quinn as the real-life Bedouin leader Omar Mukhtar, who fought Mussolini's invading troops in the deserts of Libya. But Akkad said that raising money for such films was difficult, and that to achieve financial success and creative freedom, he had had to turn to another genre. He is now better known as the executive producer of all seven movies in the "Halloween" horror series, the most recent, "Halloween H2O," released in August.
Luke: "How did you come to make your 1976 book The Message [about the founder of Islam, the prophet Mohammed]?"
Moustapha: "I was making documentaries all over the world. I thought I needed to do something about Islam, which is not understood. At first I thought I'd make a documentary. Then I met Irish scriptwriter Harry Craig. He convinced me we should do it as a feature. I was able to raise the money from the Arab world."
Luke: "How was it received?"
Moustapha: "It was received fantastic but it was not American commercial [fare] for two reasons. You can not see the prophet. I get upset when I see Jesus or Moses portrayed by an actor. To me, you don't touch these things. The film is about Mohammed but he's not portrayed. Therefore, the camera takes subjective angles. It's good for those who know the religion. The movie was a big hit on video.
"Then two years later, I got into another one."
Luke: "How did you raise the money from Moahmar Khaddafy for Lion of the Desert?"
Moustapha: "It was easy. I had the credentials now. And the subject pertained to the Italian occupation of Libya. I had the freedom to work with the material. It was not religious, where you can't show this, you can't say this..."
Luke: "Why do you think it didn't do better at the box office?"
Moustapha: "Publicity about Khaddafy hurt. They politicized it. The critiques [of the film] were good. I believe in the audience. If the audience do not come, I can not [boost the film]."
Luke: "Who distributed the film?"
Moustapha: "This is another thing. We had a hard time finding a distributor because of Khaddafy, prejudice, whatever... United Artists distributed it [around the time of the Heavens Gate debacle]."
Rupert Murdoch To Richard Riordan: 'I'll Crush You'
Fox titan Rupert Murdoch warned former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan that if he starts a newspaper in Los Angeles, Murdoch will come in within days and crush him. Rupert is considering a New York Post-like tabloid for LA. He'll start publishing and distributing the New York Post in LA soon.
Matt Welch and Ken Layne, two aggressive talented journalists who run www.laexaminer.com, are trying to start up their own tabloid for LA. They were due to come in to New Times LA and run things but that paper shut down a few weeks ago. They were due to start a paper with Riordan but he's dithering. Surely one day their boat will come in.
Jim Bellows, author of the autobiography THE LAST EDITOR, has had more frustration in raising the funds to start a monthly magazine covering Los Angeles.
Withbacon writes: I would ____LOVE____ Murdoch to start a paper in LA!!!!!!!! The LA Times is such a drek! An absolute socialist sh--rag, a piece of garbage, written at the level of a 6-year old from Watts who has been munching on lead paint chips for years...
Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose
Rabbi Gadol, Keeper of the Oral Law, writes: I have seen and cataloged Luke's possessions, and what is it the kids used to say in the 60's - "Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose"? Well, Luke is a free white man, and an adult. Since we confiscated his teffilim, he owns nothing of monetary value that any Hollywood weasel can get his greasy dusky hands on. But just think how much these showbusiness people (who are like no people I know) have to lose from wrasslin' old Luke, in a tight cinch, subjected to the power of discovery (Lawyer Fred, are you listening?) and the keen interest of the broader media (Globe, Star, Enquirer etc.). I know I wouldn't want to go there.
Luke, you survived a bout or two with the Angry White Gentile. You are made of tougher stuff than these Hollywood people know. At the very least, you ought to make clear that the only way to shut you up is to offer you a decent job.
Blatant Racial Discrimination - Never Again!
Good people, I can no longer remain silent about blatant racial discrimination going on before our eyes in a supposed bastion of liberalism - the sex industry.
Today I received this disturbing email. Why I received it, I do not know. Who knows, maybe I was put here on earth for such a time as this.
Note the lines: "Please, no black or Asian girls."
We Jews may not stay silent about this if we truly believe in - Never Again!
Remember, first they came for black and asian hookers, and I said nothing. Then they came for me...
I am sending a copy of this email to the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the ADL and every other liberal group and ask them for their comments.
I plan to contact the Saudia Arabian embassy to ask them why their men do not want to pork black and asian hookers as much as All American blonde girls.
Chaim writes: "Jews Clearly Are More Catholic in their Tastes. Consider this: the ad for girls willing to ---- jews is by its wording inclusive, going to great pains to specify that both jews and nonjews are welcome to apply (thereby taking in attractive women of all races). The ad directed to the service of Islam explicitly excludes the Third World. GOYIM! What more do you need to know?"
Here is the email, uncensored:
*ALL AMERICAN GIRLS*
EARN $15,000-$27,000 PER MONTH!
The world's #1 modeling agency is looking for girls to entertain our most exclusive clients in Europe and the Middle East. You must be exceptionally beautiful with fresh, all American looks, 18-24 years old, 5'6" or above, thin, reliable, discrete, open minded, available on short notice for 2-4 week assignments, and have a passport.
Gorgeous European and South American girls may apply too! Please, no black or Asian girls.
To apply, e-mail at least six current pictures, your name, proof of age, physical description and credits to: ALLAMERICANMODEL@aol.com
Pictures must be at least 800x600 pixels, full color, and include close up facial and full body. Acceptable proof of age would be a copy of your driver license, state issued identification, passport or birth certificate. If you are chosen for an interview you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours with further details.
No scanner or e-mail? Take your pictures to KINKO'S! No pictures? THEN DO NOT APPLY!
Attention photographers and agents! Earn a 10% commission for each lady you refer who meets these requirements!
Demand Grows For Anita Busch
Anita Busch Fan In Houston writes: "Luke, I am a big Anita Busch fan. Would it be possible for you to put some sporting pics of Anita on your site? Strategically whited out of course... And don't worry about that drunk David Robb. I hear he punches like a pansy."
Khunrum writes: "Luke, I urge you not to do this. The crazy producer will threaten you with court action, the two beer drunk will punch you and god knows what Anita will do. My E mail was just meant for fun."
Luke says: Robert, could you dummy up some tasteful and attractive Anita Busch pictures? She's in her early 40s...Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Rob writes: So that you may infuriate yet another Hollywood big shot who could crush your career like a paper cup I humbly submit this JPEG. Fred, can Luke avoid litigation by saying it's a photo of Anita B*sch?
Chaim Amalek writes: Honestly, I have no idea who this "Anita Bush" or "Busch" is, or what this dispute is about,but if she looks like that . . . MEOWWWWWWW
By the way, Luke still might get sued by "Anita Bosch" of Bremerhaven, Germany.
PS Luke, could you tell me in ten words or less who this person is and why anybody cares?
Luke says: She is my rival and she must go! This town isn't big enough for the two of us. One by one I will take down my rivals until I am editor of Variety and I have access to all the beautiful and rich gedolim of Hollywood.
We still haven't gotten any replies from Dave Robb, even though we've called him a pansy.
A Touchy Subject
Dear Ethicist: I write a weekly column on ethics for a national newspaper and I recently inflamed an entire ethnic group (to which, coincidentally, I happen to belong) when I suggested that observing a tenet of its religious practice was unethical, and perhaps even illegal. Some in the community have responded with name-calling, even going so far as to label me an antisemite. Whose behavior is more egregious?
Randy Cohen's Ethicist column in the NY Times Sunday Magazine.
Luke Prays He Doesn't Meet Up With The Fearsome Dave Robb
Journalist Dave Robb, whose firing from the Hollywood Reporter a couple of years ago prompted the resignation of editor Anita Busch, writes Luke: "Sir: You are a liar and an incompetent reporter. You should be ashamed of yourself. You obviously don't know anything about Anita Busch, whom you continue to libel and insult with your stupid little column. You should hope you never run into me at a party after I've had two beers. Dave Robb"
Journalist Ross Johnson told me a few weeks ago: "One problem the Hollywood Reporter had was the Dave Robb situation. He was the only one there who understood how to report a legal story. Everybody else threw their hands up on legal news and said, 'Talk to Dave Robb.' When I worked there, I saw that if he wasn't there to report legal issues, there could be trouble. Now he was personally involved in the story and they weren't sure how to handle it. Every lawyer I talked to said he had every right to investigate a fellow employee but a paper opens up all kinds of black holes running a story about an employee."
Dave Robb wrote the poor man's version of the Peter Bart story (when compared to the job Amy Wallace did in Los Angeles Magazine) in an LA Weekly cover story about seven years ago. Robb hates Bart.
Why do I keep getting threatened by Hollywood types on behalf of Anita Busch? I guess she has some powerful friends. An angry Hollywood producer called me on September 5 and 6.
XXX: "You have a fucking death wish?"
XXX: "Between me, Medavoy and Anita Busch, you are going to have a lot fucking problems because I am going to finance everybody's lawsuit against you. Let's see how much money you have to go fucking do depositions and the rest of the shit.
"Secondly, you are so fucking inaccurate, you can't even get names right. Your spelling and your fucking listing of names is just fucking unbelievable. So let me tell you something. I'm now making it a career to go after you and break you.
"Anita Busch is not too happy with you and neither is Mike Medavoy. So if you think you can come into this town you little snot-nosed fuck and just put shit like that up there, let's see how much you can afford fucking lawyers. I'll own your fucking shirt when I'm finished because I can just afford to keep your fucking ass in fucking depositions for the rest of your fucking life. Do you understand that?"
"I'll break you the fuck down like you've never seen in your fucking life. You want to see some shit? Let's see how much fucking money you have. You'll never have a fucking dime as long as you live. Because that's how long I'll fucking keep you in court. And I don't give a fuck if I lose. I'll just keep going after you in fucking court. Do you understand that? I'll make sure that every fucking penny you earn for the rest of your life will go in fucking lawyers. I can finance that with my residuals.
"Lose my fucking name. If I see one more word with your name attached to me, and you're fucking dead. Do you understand that? You can tape-record that. You can put that as a threat and anything else. You're financially fucking dead. Ok, and if I were you, I'd leave Anita Busch alone. She's got a lot of fucking friends in this town. And right now they're not real happy with you.
"You think it's funny with Medavoy's letter and Anita Busch? You're playing with the wrong people. I want my whole thing down. I want nothing to do with you. I'm fat with a pot belly? Who the fuck do you think you are? I can make you not fucking breathe. Everyone else will be polite and send you a letter like Medavoy did. I'll stop you from breathing. Do you understand me? You can put that up there and quote it. I'm just telling you something right now. We will crush you with fucking lawyers. And that will just be the fun part. That will be the part of your day that you fucking enjoy when you run out of fucking money. Now take it the fuck done. You came in here under false pretenses. Take the whole fucking thing down. And you've got that shitty thing on Anita Busch up there. What the fuck is the matter with you? Do you want to win friends here and get any kind of cooperation? I'll put your name all over this fucking place. I'll send out emails to everyone in this fucking town and nobody will take your fucking calls when I'm finished. I'm just telling you something. You're fucking with the wrong guy here. You put up all the times I've been arrested. They were for assault pal.
"You twisted things. You got things wrong. I'm just telling you I want it down. I want nothing to do with you. Don't write about me. I will sue the shit out of you. I don't give a fuck if I lose. I'll just resue you. You can't afford the lawsuits. I'll fucking hire a lawyer fulltime right out of fucking law school whose job will be nothing but to file depositions and shit on you and make you defend yourself. I'll break you."
Nikki Finke writes in the LA Weekly about her mirror image: For months, [Anita] Busch bombarded L.A. Times editors with e-mails about what she could do for entertainment coverage. Then, signed in June to a short-term contract, Busch, by all accounts, served mainly as a "tip" service since she's a far better reporter than writer.
[Busch's contract with the LA Times expired October 13.]
Newsweek entertainment correspondent John Horn gave notice Monday to move into the cushy movie-reporting job with the Times' Calendar section.
Horn's hiring took 18 months of lobbying by pal Patrick Goldstein, a Calendar columnist. (For years, the two reporters from supposedly rival publications have co-hosted weekly lunches where they co-interview filmmaking's elite.)
If Busch leaves print journalism (she's talked about starting a Web site), she'll join an ever-expanding school of show-biz reporters who've recently given up entertainment reporting. Many have floated into entertainment flackery, including Busch's best friend Beth Laski at Universal, Richard Natale at Sony, and Chris Petrikin at the William Morris Agency.
LUKE WONDERS: How many jobs has Anita burned through in the past year or so? Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, Los Angeles Times. Previous employers include Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
'If They're Orthodox, They'll Only Want To F--- You'
I met a non-Jewish woman who works for a secular Jew. The secular Jew encouraged the non-Jewish woman to go to a Jewish singles function. She imparted this advice, 'If they're Orthodox, they'll only want to f--- you [not marry you].'
This is not how it should be. Sex outside of marriage for a Jew, be it with a Jew or a non-Jew, is equally forbidden by Jewish Law.
It is with great sadness that I report that I found the following on CraigsList.com NY, Casual Encounters.
"We are a newly established escort service seeking young women to work as escorts, strictly within the jewish community. all clients are young jewish men, upscale, clean, and responsible. looking for girls, 18-33 years old looking to make good money on the side and grow with us as the business expands. Only serious responses please. Applicants need not be jewish themselves. Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org"
Producer Franklin Lett
Manager-producer Franklin Lett lives with his actress-preacher wife Della Reese in a huge house located at the top of Bel Air. We sit outside under pine trees overlooking the Stone Canyon Reservoir on October 14, 2002. Franklin drinks coffee and I suck on a water bottle.
He's a light-skinned Christian black man and I'm a dark-skinned Jewish white man.
Luke: "Tell me about your childhood."
Franklin speaks without a hint of a ghetto accent: "I'm from Detroit, Michigan. My father worked for the Board of Education and my mother worked for the United States Army as a clerk. In high school, art was my favorite pastime. I also participated in a singing group called the Mark Five Quintet. We weren't quite Doo-Wops. We were more similar to the Four Freshmen. We sang at parties and the openings of different plays. We performed at the annual Beaux Arts of Detroit Theater. Tony Brown, who had a syndication television talkshow on PBS for many years dealing with black issues, is from Detroit. He started the Beaux Arts Ball.
"My public high school was 70/30 white to black. It was 50/50 when I graduated. There weren't private schools available for blacks then as Detroit was extremely segregated in the 1950s. The East side and West side were the territories for the black community. There was no black suburban life. As the blacks moved into the white neighborhoods, the whites moved out. It's the old exodus game that makes all the real estate people happy.
"I graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a degree in art, minor in German. Fisk is one of the historically black universities. I started off premed because in Detroit you must aspire to be one of the holy six professions - doctor, dentist, undertaker, minister, lawyer, school teacher."
Luke: "Whites and blacks aspired to this?"
Franklin: "This is the Detroit black group I call the Strivers. They strove to get ahead. They were bootstrappers. If you got into one of the holy six professions, your folks felt secure about you."
Luke: "It sounds Jewish."
Franklin: "If you look at ghettoes, regardless of religion or skin color, the values are the same."
Luke: "It seems that almost everyone at my synagogue is a doctor or a lawyer or some type of professional.
"After college, I married a [black] girl from Nashville. She still had one year to go to get her bachelors and another year for her masters [degree in psychology], so I taught school for two years in Nashville. We were married from 1960-79. We had two kids. Both of them live in Los Angeles. My son, Frank Lett III, is a computer graphics artist. My daughter Dominique Lett Wirtschafter is a screenplay writer.
"We moved from Nashville to Chicago in 1963 so I could go into advertising. When I was getting my degree in fine art, I knew I'd never make any money from it, so I decided to go into commercial art. It was explained to me that I wouldn't get a job in Nashville [because it was so segregated]. They would take my money at the evening courses I took at the extension school. The gentleman who taught it told me that I needed to go to New York or Chicago. He said, 'I could give you the greatest recommendation in the world but they're not going to hire you here. As soon as you walk in the door, they're going to say no.'
"I went to Chicago and I couldn't get on with any advertising agency. So I started with a small Jewish chain of community newspapers, the Economist Group. Within a year, I became general manager of the Hyde Park Herald. I was with the Economist Chain from 1963-70, then I started my own advertising agency. It eventually became the number three black agency in Chicago.
"It began primarily as a consulting firm for some white agencies who needed to talk to black consumers. I worked behind the scenes. I was asked to come up with ideas and graphics and do creative shoots so the white agencies could make their pitches about how they planned to reach the black consumer in their general marketing campaigns. They would get the accounts worth millions and we would get thousands. It kept the kids in private school and the house together and kept gas in the car.
"In 1973, I stepped out of anonymity to found my own ad agency. In 1979, I lost the company. I was not the greatest manager. I was more into the creative. I got stung by the stinger of death. One of the major presidents at Bordens (huge food company) did not like me. I was not his kind of black man. He strung me along for six months before telling me he wasn't going to authorize my budget. By that time, Borden's was 70% of my business. That closed my agency."
Luke: "You've spent much of your life as a middleman between the black and white communities?"
Franklin: "That's right."
Luke: "Just like the Jews in the Middle Ages who acted as middlemen between the Christians and Muslims."
Franklin: "That's a good analogy. I don't think we had the life-threatening tightrope they had in those days. But it is two cultures that were living together, working in the same direction, but were afraid of each other."
Luke: "It's still the same way."
Franklin: "It is.
"I met Della [Reese] in 1978. I'd tried to hire her. Bordens had just bought Creamettes Macaroni and they needed a spokesperson who appealed to black and white. I interviewed Della and I found her to be one of the most natural women I've ever met, almost like a life force. We became good friends. As she was going through legal and recording problems, she'd call and ask for my advice. After my agency closed, I looked at different job offers. Della asked me to help her recording career. We were already close.
"I moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to help Della and to be with her. I realized that her biggest problem was that while she was still trying to position herself as an established singer, the industry had changed. She had the pipes and the experience and the core audience but the industry had changed. They wanted a younger demographic. I called on the recording industry for about nine months, then I told her that she needed to do something else. She needed to get more into TV.
"TV programming had a scarcity of blacks but that had to change because my advertising research told me that blacks were 20-30% of the viewing audience even though they only made up 12% of the population. With the help of the William Morris Agency, we got her guest appearances on almost every series. She got a series with Redd Fox. For the last nine years she's been locked into CBS's Touched By An Angel.
"We married in 1983."
Franklin began his movie-producing career with two highly regarded movies for television - 1998's The Secret Path and 1999's Anya's Bell. His next TV film, 2000's The Moving of Sophia Myles, was a disappointment.
Franklin: "Through her agent at William Morris, we've been pushing for her to get more into the movies. I realized that 35% of your movie-going audience is black and that Della crossed several age and race demographics. I was asked to produce a movie for television as part of a package deal. I said, 'Realize that I am not a person who will sit and watch. I'm going to be involved in everything from script choice to rewrites to casting to budget.'
"[Director-producer] Bob Greenwald called to say that he had a script [for The Secret Path] but CBS had passed on it for being too dark and heavy. I read it and said, this is good. It's a story that needs to be told. Usually it's black vs white when you're dealing with the old South, and this is one time where black nurtures white. Unlike the mamie who did the breast feeding while the white mother was in the parlor with her guests, this story was about a poor black woman helping a poor white child overcome a white trash family.
"We went to CBS to pitch. The young lady who was supposed to make the pitch got sick that morning. As we were walking up to the CBS office, Bob said I had to make the pitch. That was my first step as a producer. I showed CBS how we could take the darkness out [remove the incest and child prostitution] and focus more on the dynamic relationships between black and white, young and old. That would make it comfortable for television censors, the network, the viewers, and the advertisers, and still keep the guts of the story. CBS said yes. As we were leaving, I said, 'Bob, we're talking about [a higher credit] co-executive producer [credit instead of co-producer] because I just did your job.' And he said fine.
"I then worked with the writer and the executive producer from Bob's office and explained to them that the determining factors in selling the pitch had to be honored. I said to the writer Quinton Peeples, you may not understand this, but in representing historical elements of the black culture, I've got to see that they are correct for black people. And I've spent enough time within the white culture to know what is acceptable to them and what they're going to back away from. They listened to me and we came out with a good script.
"I wrote music as well. There was a scene where a black quartet sang in the black church. The producer Phil Kleinbart wanted a certain song but he found out that the worldwide rights were going to cost too much. They could only afford domestic rights. I volunteered to write a song for foreign distribution. As we were on location in Toronto, and the musical "Rent" was in town, we hired four guys from it. I wrote the song overnight and it worked."
Luke: "Do you speak a different way to white people than to black people? If I were doing this interview over the phone, I wouldn't know that you were black."
Franklin: "If I wanted you to know, you would know it. I'm in the process of optioning a play that I want to turn into a feature film. The black playwright did not know me but I knew of her. I knew she was suspicious of the film industry. I didn't want to say I'm black, instead, I wanted her to feel comfortable with me as a filmmaker. When we were talking, I could sense from her distance that she thought she was talking to a white man, so I had let her know I was black. From my giving certain inflections, she knew that I was black. Then the whole thing smoothed out and we could really deal."
Luke: "Tell me about Anya's Bell."
Franklin: "[Polygram executive] Karen Danaher-Dorr sent me over the script for Anya's Bell. I like Karen. She's feisty. She has a good mind. She works well with people, even though the industry has bruised her. I loved the script. It was delicious. I didn't want to position Della as the bridge between two cultures again but to show how afflictions can build bonds between opposites.
"There were four executive producers on Anya's Bell. It was done by committee. I didn't agree with some things. Being naive to the industry, I didn't always follow protocol. For instance, I'd speak to the director and say, 'For more dramatic impact, don't you think it would be better if you did a front and back of Della, blind, stumbling to the gate, rather than just a short snippet?' I will never forget the look on everyone's face when I did this in front of the crew. 'How dare he? What's he doing?' The director didn't agree with me. I talked to the other executive producers. They didn't all agree with me, and they thought it was the director's choice. I lost.
"I wanted an Emmy moment for Della. If I had gotten it through, it would've been just that, an Emmy moment for Della. That scene would've been the most memorable thing in that entire movie."
Luke: "The Moving of Sophia Myles."
Franklin: "I was going through ten scripts a week [looking for a good project for Della]. We needed to get another film made and we didn't see anything. William Morris sent over The Moving of Sophia Myles. Della's a minister in her own right. In this film, Della was playing a widow of a minster who becomes the force behind his ministry. We needed to talk to Della's audience and let them know what happens when the collar comes off.
"I'm now looking at several scripts and plays for us to produce. They would not necessarily star Della, but they will be star driven."
Luke: "What do you love and hate about producing?"
Franklin: "I like dealing with concepts for movies. I like taking a concept in my mind, visualizing an audience and its impact on them, and the road it has to travel to get the reaction you want from the audience. What I hate most is the waiting. I like making pitchs and working with writers. I like planning the budget and casting. The only problems I have on the set is the waiting.
"Bruce Pittman directed The Secret Path. I will work with him anytime. We didn't have any 14-hour days because he knew what he wanted."
Luke: "Do you have to do things just for appearances?"
Franklin: "Yes. We have to go the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes, the Emmys...and that's primarily for appearances. I thought Secret Path would win [an Emmy] for us. That's the one time I went with expectations."
Luke: "What would winning an award mean to you?"
Franklin: "I wanted that more so for Della. I don't think my producer's fee would rise much. If I had 12 movies of the week, and four were considered for Emmys, then maybe it would make a difference. I've only done three movies. I was asked to step in by the package deal [for actress Della Reese]. Only after the first package deal did I have a value. I wasn't just a manager who wanted to drop his name out there but someone who was going to put his hands on there. I've got another five or more films to make before any awards will have a financial effect."
Luke: "Do you have any producers who've mentored you?"
Franklin: "Bob Greenwald, Phil Kleinhart, and Karen Danaher-Dorr. I've had a presence on Touched By An Angel for eight years. I occasionally produced music for the show. I talk all the time to CO-executive producer Jon Andersen, either about the show or about some of the projects I'm doing. On a show I developed, I was considering using prosthetics and he said to stay away from it. You might get the look you want but you will lengthen your shooting time and go over budget and you can't do that on a $4 million TV movie."
Luke: "Do you regret going public in 1997 with your complaints about CBS's lack of pay increase for Della?"
Franklin: "No. If you believe you're right, you need to dare to do what's right."
From Variety 10/7/97: "Touched by an Angel" co-star Della Reese went on the offensive Monday against CBS, holding a news conference to call attention to her salary dispute with the Eye web (Daily Variety, Oct. 2). Reese, 66, said she is in a state of "wonderment" as to why costar Roma Downey received a 100% pay hike this season while she received only a 12.5% increase. Reese, who declined to reveal her salary, said she learned of Downey's sizable increase from her costar "I am very hurt," she said. "There's no reason for me to be treated this way."
Reese complained that CBS brass won't talk to her or her husband- manager, Franklin Lett, about salary matters, forcing all negotiations to be handled by her William Morris Agency reps. Reese questioned how strongly those reps would back her. "William Morris has a lot of clients that work for CBS, so they're not going to jump out of the window for me," she said.
Franklin: "If you're going to take a stance, damn the consequences. We both knew she could lose her job. I knew that my name would be mud, at CBS particularly. With the way the industry works, that would spread. 'Don't touch him, he's...'
"The strategy we used saved the day. I can not go into the strategy. It goes back to my marketing experience. If we didn't do anything, Della was going to be pigeonholed as a certain dollar-quality actress. She deserved better. From the audience poitn of view, Della carried Touched By An Angel for the first four years."
Luke: "Did you get a reputation as troublesome?"
Franklin: "No, just a few individuals, mid to upper-level management people had problems with me. They were concerned that they were blindsided and embarrassed. It worked in such a way that the embarrassment continued. It kept them off balance. There are a few who are polite but their eyes tell me exactly what they still feel. I had some delays in some things I wanted to do, and I understood why. This was the payback. But I don't regret anything we did and today I have a good relationship with the people at CBS with whom I need to work."
Luke: "Did anyone call you uppity?"
Franklin laughs: "Like the uppity negro? No. I don't think it had much to do with my being a Negro It was how dare we, as new people to the industry, attack. My personae usually goes past race. That makes it easy for me to work both sides of the street. Della has been without race for years."
Luke: "What would your peers say about you?"
Franklin: "New kid on the block. He's only going to hit this level. They don't understand - I'm going past that level.
"The entertainment industry is still stratified and insulated. But if you have something they need, the door will open a bit. If they need it a lot, the door opens wider and you'll find open arms on the other side. Simply put, prepare for your success."
Dennis Prager Update
DP commented on the funeral for Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone. It is hard to imagine a funeral for a conservative being turned into a political event. But for liberals, liberalism is a substitute religion, hence you will get a politicized memorial service. Politics is their life.
Interesting that the Wellstone children asked that Vice-President Cheney stay away. If a Republican senator died, do you think his family would request that a Democratic VP stay away from the funeral? Of course not.
Senator Trent Lott was booed when his picture was shown at the memorial service. Classy crowd.
The Democrats told the Republican he can't campaign while they politicize the memorial.
Dennis Prager celebrated the Anaheim Angels baseball team:
I prefer Orange County's values to San Francisco's. No offense intended to the fine Giants organization, but the thought that the Bay Area, home to many of the most radical folks in America, would be celebrating a win over the traditional folks of Orange County was too painful to contemplate. And when San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown announced that San Francisco would "be embarrassed to lose to Anaheim," rooting for Anaheim became a moral obligation.
I did not like all the little sons of players in the Giants' dugout. Whether it was manager Dusty Baker's idea -- his 3-year-old son was so ubiquitous, he had to be lifted by Giant J.T. Snow after the player crossed home plate lest the tot be trampled by another Giants player running right behind him -- or just another San Francisco idea to be different and overthrow tradition, it reeks of narcissism. Perhaps when the nation got to see Dusty's little boy crying hysterically when his dad's team lost, the idea may have lost some of its cuteness even to fans who liked it.
And am I alone in finding Barry Bonds standing still after he hits a home run obnoxious (not to mention narcissistic)? Mere mortals run the bases when they hit home runs, not stand around and then slowly trot around the bases.
DP read from today's WSJ editorial:
President Bush will decide any day now how many Americans will be able to get smallpox vaccinations. Let's hope he is guided by facts and freedom, rather than by the zero-risk mentality that dominates today's public health community.
So far the health bureaucracy has focused only on the risks if it allows Americans to get the vaccine, rather than the risks if it doesn't. Two weeks ago the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that Mr. Bush restrict the vaccine to 510,000 hospital workers. This is an improvement from its initial recommendation of 20,000, but barely. What's striking about this is that the people charged with protecting public health are so unwilling to trust the public.
It is true that smallpox is riskier than most other common vaccines. Doctors usually cite a one-per-million death rate and note the serious, if rare, side effects that can accompany the vaccine. Take a closer look at the numbers, though, and the risk to healthy patients looks a lot less severe.
William J. Bicknell, a public health professor at Boston University, recently went back to look at statistics from 1968, the last time the U.S. collected data on mass smallpox vaccination. Of about 14 million people vaccinated, 5.6 million received first-time vaccinations and 8.5 million were re-vaccinated. Of the 14 million, nine died, and another 572 had complications.
DENNIS PRAGER then ripped into Randy Cohen's Ethicist column in the NY Times Sunday Magazine:
The courteous and competent real-estate agent I'd just hired to rent my house shocked and offended me when, after we signed our contract, he refused to shake my hand, saying that as an Orthodox Jew he did not touch women. As a feminist, I oppose sex discrimination of all sorts. However, I also support freedom of religious expression. How do I balance these conflicting values? Should I tear up our contract? J.L., New York
Randy writes: This culture clash may not allow you to reconcile the values you esteem. Though the agent dealt you only a petty slight, without ill intent, you're entitled to work with someone who will treat you with the dignity and respect he shows his male clients. If this involved only his own person -- adherence to laws concerning diet or dress, for example -- you should of course be tolerant. But his actions directly affect you. And sexism is sexism, even when motivated by religious convictions. I believe you should tear up your contract.
Had he declined to shake hands with everyone, there would be no problem. What he may not do, however, is render a class of people untouchable. Were he, say, an airline ticket clerk who refused to touch Asian-Americans, he would find himself in hot water and rightly so. Bias on the basis of sex is equally discreditable.
Some religions (and some civil societies) that assign men and women distinct spheres argue that while those two spheres are different, neither is inferior to the other. This sort of reasoning was rejected in 1954 in the great school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, when the Supreme Court declared that separate is by its very nature unequal. That's a pretty good ethical guideline for ordinary life.
There's a terrific moment in ''Cool Hand Luke,'' when a prison guard about to put Paul Newman in the sweatbox says -- I quote from memory -- ''Sorry, Luke, just doing my job.'' Newman replies, ''Calling it your job don't make it right, boss.'' Religion, same deal. Calling an offensive action religious doesn't make it right.
Madonna Riles Torah Jews
From the NY Daily News: Some scholars of Judaism are riled by the sacred text and religious objects that appear in her violent new video, which showcases the theme song to the James Bond movie "Die Another Day."
The video features Madonna with Hebrew letters tattooed on her arm and tefillin - small leather cubes, containing biblical verses and worn with straps during morning worship - while she's being electrocuted by Nazi-like goons.
Ken Jacobson, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League, says he doesn't find the video "anti-Semitic," but argues: "There are some people who can be - and are - offended by using Jewish religious articles for these purposes. Many Jews, especially Orthodox, believe it is not a tradition for women [to use tefillin]. There are certain sensitivities that are offended by what she did. Then there is the question about the Hebrew lettering, and what they mean."
Rabbi Sue Fendrick, managing editor of MyJewishLearning. com, adds: "To a very traditional Orthodox Jew, even the mere image of a woman putting on tefillin might be offensive. This really seems to be about a non-Jewish person putting on a symbol for purposes of entertainment. Some people won't find it interesting one way or another. Others will find it deeply offensive to Judaism and Jews."
LUKE SAYS: I know that Madonna wanted to study kabbalah with Orthodox rabbi Yitzhock Adlerstein and he turned her down. He doesn't feel comfortable teaching Jewish mysticism to non-Jews.