Did you feel something special in the air yesterday? It was former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s first day on the job as chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America! Dodd is now Hollywood’s top lobbyist in Washington. It’s an obvious move, since he is known for his traffic-stopping good looks and charisma.
Dodd isn’t just a pretty face, however. He also has sophisticated taste in cinema: He told two McClatchy reporters this week that his favorite movies include “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “On the Waterfront.” What a snooze! It’s hard to imagine safer, more middle-of-the-road choices. Show me an American who doesn’t like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and I’ll run that person out of town because they are not, in fact, American. Come on, Dodd. How about “Brown Bunny” or “Ishtar”? Let’s spice things up a little!
While we wait for Dodd’s earth-shattering impact to be felt in Hollywood and Washington, let’s take a look at what happened this week in the wonderful world of celebrity political nonsense.
TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE
Susan Sarandon, star of “Elizabethtown” and current girlfriend of a professional ping-pong player (seriously), lashed out at Wisconsin governor Scott Walker during a protest in Madison over the weekend.
“It’s a great opportunity that this idiot, uh, Walker has given us, to remember our strength and to remember that we are the many and they are the few,” the one-time Ralph Nader supporter said. “Even though they have the wealth,” Sarandon, a millionaire, continued, “we have something which is as important if not more important. And so I came just to say thank you and to remind them that we are watching, even if the media hasn’t been on top of it as much as they should have.”
MR. JONES & ME
A Texas lawyer has launched an effort convince actor Tommy Lee Jones to run for Senate, proving that there’s not enough law business to go around in Texas.
Lawyer Geoff Berg, who is also a left-leaning radio host, has set up a website to enlist the star of “No Country for Old Men” (and college roommate of Al Gore!) to run for the seat to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. “I can’t think of another Democrat in Texas,” Berg told the Texas Tribune, “that has the necessary name ID, that has positive name ID, that would be able to raise money, and that would have at least the potential to attract string voters and a substantial number of Republicans.”
So far, Berg hasn’t heard a peep from Jones himself. That doesn’t bode well. Then again, Texans do go for the strong, silent type.
CHUBBY VS. HUBBY
New Jersey governor and GOP favorite Chris Christie unwittingly entered the world of reality television this week when he suspended Albert Manzo, the husband of one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” from the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission. The commission was found the next day at the bottom of the Newark Bay.
The issue was that Manzo said he lived in Peterson, N.J., despite the fact that his gaudy Franklin Lakes home is frequently featured on the show. Albert and his wife, Caroline, also own a restaurant called the Brownstone in Paterson. “Do you really believe he’s sleeping on a cot at the Brownstone in Paterson?” Christie asked. That’s a good line! Fingers crossed that Christie makes an appearance on the next season.
FULL HEARTS, EMPTY MINDS
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried landed in hot water this week when he tweeted a series of insensitive jokes making fun of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last week. He was swiftly fired from his gig as the voice of the Aflac duck. Good news for whoever has the second most excruciating voice in America!
Meanwhile, other celebrities showed their vague support for the people of Japan. “Japan~ images roll before my eyes throughout the days since you were ravaged… We are all one & together we will overcome… Deepest love,” tweeted actress Eliza Dushku in a typically eloquent celebrity missive.
Others found “special” ways to help: Linkin Park musician Mike Shinoda designed a tee-shirt. Lada Gaga is selling some bracelets. The Black Eyed Peas “dedicated” their latest music video to the natural disaster victims, which is another way of saying the Black Eyed Peas “promoted” their latest music video. Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock donated $1 million to relief efforts, which, ok, is actually significant and impressive.
These efforts pale in comparison to the lifelong humanitarian efforts made by Paris Hilton, who will be presented with something called the Heart of Gold Award at a ceremony next week. The award celebrates “individuals who have a deep commitment to children and generous hearts.” As far as I can tell, she won the award for spending one day in 2009 with some sick children, an event at which she drew used markers to draw a large picture of herself and the words “I LOVE ANIMALS.” Then she “designed” some tee-shirts for Forever 21 whose proceeds were to be donated to the foundation that’s giving her the award.
Now that’s how lobbying is done. Chris Dodd, I hope you’re paying attention.