Hollywood Connection for Eliot Spitzer's Gal Pal?

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2008 12:30 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hollywood Connection for Eliot Spitzer's Gal Pal?
2. Paul McCartney's Head-turning Fish Tale
3. Oliver Stone, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Judge MoveOn Obama Ads
4. Richard Gere's Kiss Off India's List
5. Real Fake Memoirs

1. Hollywood Connection for Eliot Spitzer's Gal Pal?

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer's "call girl" friend once had another famous client.

When Ashley Dupre was 19-years-old, she purportedly donned a costume for a session with actor Charlie Sheen. So says the U.K. Daily Record.

Jason Itzler, the newpaper's source, is in the business of arranging employment for ladies of the night. Itzler claims he sent Dupre (under the pseudonym Victoria) along with another one of his employees to an appointment with the "Two and a Half Men" star.

Itzler tells the Daily Record, "Sheen got the girls to dress up as cheerleaders and chant his name while performing sex acts."

Although Sheen had previously admitted using call girls, he denied the Itzler story when it was reported two years ago.

In a bad judgment call of the political kind, Sheen made news a short while ago when he publicized his conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.


2. Paul McCartney's Head-turning Fish Tale

We now know how Paul McCartney came to be a vegetarian.

Those who thought there was something fishy about the former Beatle's commitment to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been proven right.

McCartney is now part of the celebrity team (along with Pamela Anderson, Casey Affleck, Alicia Silverstone, Forest Whitaker and others) that PETA is using to advance its causes.

A new PETA poster that is promoting vegetarianism features the famed bass player from Liverpool and reads as follows: "Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, ‘I am killing him - all for the passing pleasure it brings me.' Something inside me clicked."

Paul probably wishes something inside him had clicked before he took Heather Mills as his bride.


3. Oliver Stone, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Judge MoveOn Obama Ads

Looking to become a political ad writer and snag $20,000 worth of video and editing equipment in the process?

You might consider entering the MoveOn.org Barack Obama advertising contest called "Obama in 30 seconds."

MoveOn has endorsed Obama and is using the contest to help promote the Illinois senator's campaign.

Celebrity judges including Oliver Stone, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, all of whom are Barack supporters, will pick the winner.

The deadline to create the half-minute Obama ad is April 1, no joke.

The winner will receive the video production gear and will have his or her ad aired nationally.

One rule prohibits ads from containing "personal attacks on anyone."

I think that pretty much eliminates MoveOn members from participating in their own contest.


4. Richard Gere's Kiss Off India's List

Richard Gere is in the clear.

The highest court in India has ordered that an arrest warrant against the actor be suspended.

Indian Supreme Court Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran have indefinitely stayed the warrant, which had been issued against Gere for allegedly violating public obscenity laws.

It turns out that while at a 2007 AIDS awareness event, the actor publicly embraced Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and gave her a big kiss.

Hindu activists had filed three cases against Gere and Shetty, alleging that the two had offended the sensibilities of India's culture.

An unauthorized spokesperson for Gere suggests that the actor should never have been held responsible for his slippery lip behavior since he has an inherent condition that causes him to offend sensibilities the world over.


5. Real Fake Memoirs

A woman brings a manuscript to a book publisher, which tells of her early life as a Jewish orphan girl who is saved during the Holocaust when she's adopted by a pack of wolves that protect her from the Nazis.

The prank played on the book publisher isn't fictional, but the writer's manuscript turned out to be exactly that.

You'd think an editor would have checked out the story, but the ball was apparently dropped.

The author of "Misha: Memoire of the Holocaust Years" presented her memoir to Mount Ivy Press. It turns out, though, that she wasn't adopted by wolves and wasn't Jewish either.

Another book that was critically acclaimed and Oprah-magazine approved is "Love and Consequences." In the work, the author tells of being of mixed race and becoming a drug dealer for an L.A. street gang. In truth, she grew up as a Valley Girl and is not of mixed race after all.

Her publisher ended up having to recall 19,000 copies of the whopper-laden tome.

Back in 2003, James Frey's Oprah-endorsed memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," was so embellished the publisher ended up having to cough up a million little refunds.

What in the world is going on?

Well, in my book-loving opinion, it all has to do with money, media and morality.

Money

Authors are tempted to "juice up" stories and editors are tempted to turn their backs on aggressive fact-checking because books based on real life get more news coverage and more endorsements, which translates into more sales.

Media

In our modern-day media milieu, we're inundated with tabloid print, "scripted" reality TV, phony documentaries and historically wobbly films. The line between truth and fiction has virtually been redacted.

Morality

As values in society slide sideways, departure from the truth is more prevalent. We see evidence of this in politics, business and even religion, so it shouldn't surprise us that prevarication would seep into the publishing world.

The law speaks of reasonable expectations of the consumer when determining whether or not a product is defective.

When a book buyer picks up a memoir from the non-fiction shelves of a bookstore, the reasonable expectation is that the content is true.

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