Hollywood political watch: Paltrow opposes budget, Baldwin likes free elections but thinks Hiroshima shows how unsafe nuclear energy is, and Jolie incites a riot

Ruth Graham Contributor
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Let’s start with some disappointing news: Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin’s planned joint testimony before Congress was canceled this week! Boring old budget debates got in the way. Now how will we ever know whether or not these two famous actors are in favor of federal funding for the arts?!

Luckily Baldwin stuck around Washington to offer his much-needed opinion on a totally different issue. The “30 Rock” star joined Connecticut representative John Larson and Illinois senator Dick Durbin – Surprise! Both are Democrats — to reveal a new campaign-finance bill called the Fair Elections Now Act. The bill would create a system in which qualifying candidates would receive grants and matching funds to operate their campaigns, in exchange for agreeing to low fundraising limits.

Baldwin has been keeping busy. The press conference came just three days after he penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post titled “The Big Lie of ‘Clean’ Nuclear,” and it’s a doozy. His problems begin with the fact that the first “sentence” of the thing isn’t actually sentence per se. Things get worse when he uses the fact of the devastation at Hiroshima – in which a nuclear bomb was deployed, on purpose, to destroy a city – as evidence that nuclear power can never be safe. Then comes the following paragraph, a magnificent piece of mangled logic:

If I told you that the chances that you would get AIDS from one act of unprotected sex with an infected partner were one in a million, would you do it? (Actually, according to a report by researchers Norman Hearst and Stephen Hulley in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the odds of a heterosexual becoming infected with AIDS after one episode of penile-vaginal intercourse with someone in a non-high-risk group without a condom are one in 5 million.) The answer is no. Because, if you took that bet and lost, you’d get AIDS.

Nukes are a similar bet.

What a load of hooey. I wonder if Alec Baldwin rides in cars or planes (which might crash!), or uses condoms (which might fail!), or walks near manholes (which might explode!). The measure for whether a risk is worth taking is not, “Is it mathematically possible that something bad might happen?” but rather, what exactly are the odds of that, what exactly are the consequences, and what exactly are the alternatives?

However, let’s not let Baldwin in on this little secret. If we can persuade him that going outdoors is too big of a risk, he might never leave home again! (I’m hoping science will advance enough that he do his work on “30 Rock” in front of some kind of green screen installed in his home.) (But what if the green screen collapses on him and suffocates him?! Too risky.)

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ANGELINA JOLIE WENT TO TUNISIA Angelina Jolie went to Tunisia! Angelina Jolie went to Tunisia! ANGELINA JOLIE WENT TO TUNISA!!!

Clearly, it is time to start paying attention to this “Tunisia” place. The actress popped up on Tuesday on the Tunisia-Libya border in her capacity as a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commission of Refugees. She praised Tunisia for its treatment of the Libyan refugees that have been streaming over the border, and posed for extremely awkward-looking photos with Tunisian Foreign Minister Mouldi Kefi, whose name I am absolutely determined not to make fun of because I’m a civilized person.

At least one report had Jolie sparking a “mini-riot” with crowds chanting “Angelina Jolie, we want to die for you!” And that was just at LAX. (Just kidding. It was in Tunisia.) Jolie was apparently forced to take shelter in a tent, and required protection by 30 machine-gun-toting military personnel.

But let’s get to the real news: She also displayed a new tattoo, with mysterious latitude and longitude symbols that might correspond to partner Brad Pitt’s hometown but also might mean she’s adopting a new child. OMG.

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THE GLAMOUR…IT’S TOO MUCH Are you ready for the White House Correspondents Dinner? It’s only 22 days away! Seth Meyers is going to be the host! And put on your sunglasses, because the stars will be shining bright: David Arquette and Eliza Dushku were just announced as guests. Get excited!

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ACTRESS IS EXPERT IN HEALTHCARE, ANNOYANCE It is a well known fact that Academy Award winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow knows everything about everything. In her weekly newsletter GOOP, she informs her readers about things like the $80 artisanal organic European macrobiotic honey that you simply MUST try. Her new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter,” informs us that she was turned off of factory-farmed meat by a 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio. Having recently signed a $900,000 recording contract with Atlantic Records, she also became professional country music singer.

Now, you’ll be relieved to know, she also has an opinion about reproductive health! Even better, she deigned to share it with we plebes via YouTube:


“I’m Gwyneth Paltrow and I stand behind Planned Parenthood,” she says smugly, turning off legions of people who might be inclined to sympathize with her support of the organization’s preventative health-care services.

Meanwhile, this week’s issue of GOOP is about protecting yourself from radiation poisoning. The experts’ tips are things like “Start incorporating seaweed, such as hijiki or kelp, into your diet.” Doesn’t that just make you want to go out and be poisoned just to spite her?