Hollywood Political Watch: Anna Wintour hearts the first lady, Dick Cheney The Movie and bye, bye Mrs. Senator

Ruth Graham Contributor
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This was a bad week for glamour in Washington. In other news, a dog recently bit a man.

Ok, so every week is a bad week for glamour in Washington. But how about this bombshell: Bravo has pulled the plug on the not-so-hit reality TV show “The Real Housewives of DC.” Gasp! Now we’ll finally figure out the answer to the age-old riddle: If Michaele Salahi sneaks into a state dinner and no TV crew is there to film her, did she really wear a sari?


HBO is developing a miniseries based on Barton Gellman’s 2008 best-selling book “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency.” The series follows former VP Dick Cheney from the Nixon administration onward, focusing on what producers call “single-minded pursuit of enhanced power for the presidency [that] was unprecedented in the nation’s history.”

So it sounds like a standard-issue political drama. That means those of us you hoping for a Western-themed erotic horror musical about the Cheney vice presidency will just have to keep waiting.

Meanwhile, the same network announced this week that Ed Harris had signed on to play John McCain in the film version of “Game Change,” John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s account of the 2008 presidential election. Last week we found out that Julianne Moore would play Sarah Palin. This will be the greatest combination of Moore and Harris since Michael Moore ate beloved actor Neil Patrick Harris.

In case you were wondering, Harris has donated about $20,000 to various Democratic causes over the decade, according to public records. Lucky recipients include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, MoveOn, Rand Paul opponent Jack Conway, the Al Franken Recount Fund, New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen, and the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, and, yes, Barack Obama. But playing McCain will probably be his biggest contribution yet.


Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour told the Wall Street Journal this week that the person she most looks up to is Michelle Obama. Funny, I would have guessed she’d pick Asma al-Assad, gorgeous wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The magazine ran a glowing profile of Asma, praising her as “glamorous, young, and very chic–the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” and politely neglecting to mention her husband’s absolutely horrible human rights record and refusal to admit nuclear inspectors to his country. But at least she’s a “a thin, long-limbed beauty” who “dresses with cunning understatement.”

Hey, so is Anna Wintour! In this moral universe, skinniness trumps character.


Sullen actor Jason Patric, the star of “Speed 2,” has some ideas about urban planning, and about how rich people are ruining everything. He tells New York magazine:

“The gentrification has just excelled to a point now that it’s really hard to find the New York people think they heard about or read about.”

Jason Patric has homes in Santa Monica and New York’s West Village. Life is hard for him, mostly because of gentrification.

Patric also calls actress and activist Ashley Judd “a lazy and arrogant actress.” Then, almost in the same breath, he brags about turning down a lot of movie parts (lazy?), including the starring role in “The Firm,” and says that Mel Gibson wanted him to play the lead in “Braveheart” (arrogant). I can only hope Jason Patric’s friends are helping him get treatment for his dangerously low levels of self-awareness.


Def Jam founder Russell Simmons recently showed up at something called a Peace Week rally, where he spoke against gun violence. Then on Tuesday night he tweeted the following:

Ah, yes, Chris Brown, “good kid” who beat the crap out of his girlfriend that one time but who really cares about that? Chris Brown, who had, the very morning Simmons praised him, thrown a temper tantrum at “Good Morning America,” broken a window, and stormed out of the building shirtless. Luckily for Brown, however, Simmons’ standard for being a “good kid” is being personable at a dinner party. Well done, Chris.

That tweet was just the beginning. Simmons went on to publish a long account of his dinner with Chris, calling him “one of the greatest performing artists of his time” and lamenting that he’s “troubled by the people, critics and members of the media who drag Chris away from his art.” I’m more worried about the people who drag Chris away from jail, where he should be.

Let’s remember this incident next time Russell Simmons is preaching to us about violence.


Meanwhile, as Hollywood mourns the loss of actress Elizabeth Taylor, let’s not forget that she was also once just a simple Washington housewife – or close enough. Republican Senator John Warner became the star’s sixth husband in 1976. Taylor caused a sensation everywhere they traveled during his 1978 campaign for the Senate, and she once wore a tiger-striped pantsuit to a Virginia state convention. But her romance with D.C. didn’t last long. “Being a senator’s wife is thoroughly debilitating,” she later wrote.  “I don’t think I’ve ever been so alone in my life as when I was Mrs. Senator.”