Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Brown’s exposure owes at least as much to, well, his exposure. Back in 1982, when he was 22, he posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine, which named him the sexiest man in America. The layout of the photograph skimped on some key information, but the accompanying interview made space for his fantasies, which he said turned to women who were “tall, athletic and have longish hair and beautiful legs . . . hmmm, I’m getting excited!”
Nearly three decades later, as he campaigned for the Senate, that article drew widespread notice, as did the fact that Brown, at 50, seemed as plausible a centerfold as ever. An obsessive exerciser, he competed in more than six triathlons, both abbreviated and full length, in the first half of 2009 alone. The trim, muscular results of all that swimming and sweating explained an atypical addition to the Washington press corps that shadowed him during a visit to the nation’s capital just after his victory. A reporter for the gossip site TMZ was on hand to ask him if he was “bringing sexy back to the Republican Party.”He’s certainly bringing it a résumé and panache that aren’t the norm. And he’s transporting them — in the unlikely event that you haven’t yet heard — in a green GMC Canyon pickup truck. Seldom has a politician got more mileage out of a vehicle, and I don’t mean Brown’s crisscrossing of Massachusetts during the campaign.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Pellegrino fell for a story from a guy who claimed he was a last minute substitution on an A-bomb bomb and told the story of a partial "dud" -- made up out of whole cloth. The author now says he will revise the book ASAP. Here's an excerpt:
That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.
But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an imposter.
Facing a national outcry and the Corliss family’s evidence, the author, Charles Pellegrino, now concedes that he was probably duped. In an interview on Friday, he said he would rewrite the book for paperback and foreign editions.
“I’m stunned,” Mr. Pellegrino said. “I liked and admired the guy. He had loads and loads of papers, and photographs of everything.”
The public record has to be repaired, he added. “You can’t have wrong history going out,” he said. “It’s got to be corrected.”
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
More importantly, financially: It was optioned for six figures by Universal and Playtone for Tom Hanks. Scripts were written, including one where I was re-located from Nyack, N.Y. to Berkeley, Ca. and got a new career -- as a writer of celeb profiles for People magazine. So you can see: I am a good sport. Anyway: that option has elapsed so the book is now available for a new option. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been posting here this week on other books that seem suitable for new film interest. You can find those two posts by scrolling down the main page here. Thanks! And play ball!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As recently as last month I wrote a column for Huff Post on James Cameron visiting one of the few Japanese to survive both atomic bombings just before he died – and then purchasing the film rights to the new book on the survivors, although he may just have a TV documentary in mind.
I’ve written about all aspects of
Anyone interested should start with my lengthy piece about the film coverup at Huff Post (a much shorter version is in the Hiroshima in America book). In a nutshell: A special U.S. military film crew was sent into the atomic cities shortly after the bombing to record the devastation – but their footage was locked up for decades so the American people never got a true glimpse of the effects of the bomb during the whole period of the nuclear arms building up and testing from the 1940s to 1980s. (We also seized all of the Japanese footage.) Hollywood produced hokey versions only. I interviewed both the director of the
It’s a great, human, story focusing on two fascinating men (one shot other footage for Hollywood and the other went on to a pioneering CBS job) and their struggle, all in the context of the
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In issue No. 602 of Captain America, the hero and his ally the Falcon find themselves at a rally where protesters hold signs that read “Tea Bag the Libs Before They Tea Bag You!” and “Stop the Socialists!” Captain America remarks that the assembly appears to be an “anti-tax thing,” and the Falcon, who is black, says he probably would not fit in with “a bunch of angry white folks.”The sequence incited complaints from Tea Party officials who say it is an unfair criticism of their movement. In an interview with FoxNews.com, Michael Johns, a board member of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, called the characters’ apparent jabs “juvenile,” adding: “The Tea Party movement has been very reflective of broad concerns of all Americans. Membership is across ethnic, religious and even political lines.”
Hollywood also made its first real plunge into politics, as the studios threatened to move to Florida, forced all of their actors and workers to contribute to the GOP candidate – and Irving Thalberg, of all people, created the first “attack ads” for the screen. This, in turn, sparked the outrage that led to the seemingly permanent leftward tilt in Hollywood.
But the uproarious campaign, which took part in the depths of the Depression, was much more than that. The cast of characters who played roles reads like a who’s who of the era: FDR and Eleanor, Louis B. Mayer, W.R. Hearst, Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, H.L. Mencken, Billy Wilder, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Cagney and on and on. You can click on this Amazon link to read much more. My email is: email@example.com
The book has so many fun and wacky elements it inspired a serious attempt at a Broadway musical. It was hailed by leading magazines and newspapers, excerpted in Newsweek and The New York Times and got a full page in Vanity Fair. And Leonard Maltin on Entertainment Tonight raved, "Fascinating -- I can't recommend it more highly. A great story well worth reading." (He showed the Thalberg "attacks ads" that I uncovered on TV for the first time.) But it has special relevance today, of course, during the worst economic period since then – and there’s even a governor’s race in California this year as the state faces a crisis similar in some way to what it had to deal with in 1934 when Sinclair led his End Poverty in California (EPIC) movement.
I was chief adviser to a wonderful PBS documentary that was largely based on the campaign back in 1993, and there have been a number of feelers from Hollywood over the years but now may be the time for a feature or HBO film, with the film industry angle a good commercial angle. Anyone interested in the book or film rights can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Blogs and tweets lit up with commentary and evidence of Sarah Palin at tea party affair checking out her left hand for notes during interview session -- after rapping Obama for using a teleprompter. Now a closeup of her hand has emerged with words like "energy" and "tax" and "lift spirits" on it.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I was alerted to this by a current subscriber, who forwarded an email he had just received, along with the note that he would NOT be renewing. Here's the pitch from the email:
Your subscription to Editor & Publisher is about to expire. In order to extend your service, we need only a few moments of your time. To verify that we have your correct information, please click below. You will be prompted to your personal renewal page where you can manage your account and ensure continuous service to Editor & Publisher in print and online.It's signed, "Greg Mitchell, Editor."
Now, I could object on several grounds, but added to that, what about making me look bad as a writer? Consider the closing line: "We look forward to continuing your service to Editor & Publisher." Now that's really going too far. -- Greg Mitchell
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Real reporting, grounded in a commitment to justice and empathy, could have informed and empowered the public as we underwent a corporate coup d’etat in slow motion. It could have stimulated a radical debate about structures, laws, privilege, power and justice. But the traditional press, by clinging to an outdated etiquette designed to serve corrupt power structures, lost its social function. Corporations, which once made many of these news outlets very rich, have turned to more effective forms of advertising. Profits have plummeted. And yet these press courtiers, lost in the fantasy of their own righteousness and moral probity, cling to the hollow morality of “objectivity” with comic ferocity.
The world will not be a better place when these fact-based news organizations die. We will be propelled into a culture where facts and opinions will be interchangeable, where lies will become true, and where fantasy will be peddled as news. I will lament the loss of traditional news. It will unmoor us from reality. The tragedy is that the moral void of the news business contributed as much to its own annihilation as the protofascists who feed on its carcass.
Today, Lopez writes that "Mr. Ayers" as he calls him has gone into the studio to cut his first CD, with the help of two players from the L.A. Philharmonic -- and Flea, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There's even a video. Lopez writes:
I picked him up on skid row and packed his bass, cello, violin, guitar, trumpet and flute into my car. He left his viola, French horn, keyboards and trombone in his room, perhaps saving them for his second CD.
On the way to Silver Lake, Mr. Ayers was nervous but game. He wanted to know how the day would play out, and I reminded him there was no strategy other than for him to jam on as many instruments as he cared to play. Steven Argila, a pianist and owner of the studio, had met Mr. Ayers before and was ready to go with the flow, and the same was true of Stephen Krause, the recording engineer.
Bass player Flea and drummer Scott Gold, my mate at The Times, beat us to the studio. I think it's fair to say Mr. Ayers had never met anyone named Flea at Juilliard, but musicians are musicians, and they were all playing together before long.
Last night, the candidate Joe won a surprise upset.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
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