Nov 21, 2007

Pre-turkey Update

Ø Really? Former WH press secretary Scott McClellan says in his forthcoming book that he was fed lies about the Valerie Plame case to convey to the media by the everyone from the president on down? Shocking.

Oh, but now his publisher is backpedaling, saying he "did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him." Problem is, it's exactly what the excerpt from his book says, at least for now.

Ø Since reports from Iraq are emphasizing the downturn in violence compared to a few months ago, coupled with the determination of Democrats in Washington to choke off funding for military operations, one would hope that the stasis of the Iraqi government would end.

But this, from an LAT article about reigning in and prosecuting murderous, rogue private security contractors in Iraq, leaves little hope for that.
Attempts to prosecute could prove problematic because Iraqi law grants immunity to foreign contractors under an order issued by U.S. officials in 2004.
After a September shooting that involved guards from Blackwater USA, the company that provides security to U.S. Embassy officials, and that left at least 17 Iraqis dead, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki last month proposed a law that would repeal contractors' immunity. The Iraqi parliament has not yet acted on the measure.
Ø Low Standards Report: The acoustically challenged, sight line-deficient Kodak Theater is being thrown to the tourists, becoming the home for a "permanent" show by Cirque du Soleil.

According to LAT,
Shaul Kuba, founder and principal of the Kodak's owner, CIM Group, said the Hollywood themed production will be a tourist attraction, like Universal Studios or Disneyland, rather than a Broadway-style experience. "It's one more thing that the tourists can do that will be a little bit different," he said.
Wow, his excitement is contagious, innit? Zzzzzzzz...

Ø Secret shame of closeted scab writers revealed!
Several agents have asserted that their clients will quietly work away on their open projects but wait until a strike's end to turn them in.
One writer pointed out that, hypothetically, anyone could finish a script during the strike, then sit on it for a few weeks after the strike's end and claim it was written then. Even the guild's Script Validation Program couldn't police that maneuver. "I don't know how you get around that," this writer says. "Are you gonna seize the computers?"
A mordant joke at one agency has it that the desperation of a strike will provoke the kind of mind-blowing original scripts that writers only seem to turn out when they are starving.
Ø Don't piss of Liz: Elizabeth Taylor thinks that striking writers
...wouldn't dare hold up her AIDS benefit performance of A.R. Gurney's play Love Letters next month. Taylor insists striking TV and film writers will put down their picket signs on the Paramount Pictures lot as a mark of respect to the aged actress.

But the 75-year-old star says she won't cross picket lines if they are still up around the Paramount lot.

She wants strikers to put down their signs for the night of December 1st, World AIDS Day, so that she and her celebrity friends can raise money for AIDS research "with a clear conscience."

Hmm, self-interested entertainment types vs. a worthy, important charity headed by an internationally loved star-- shouldn't be too hard to figure out who will win this on a PR level.