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Obama Hires Hillary's Stage Sage, Fields Teen's Bieber Dream

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 10 May 2011 07:08 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama Vows to Fulfill Teen's Bieber Dream
2. Lady Gaga Gripes About Arizona's Immigration Law
3. Jon Stewart Disses White House Over bin Laden Pic
4. Bin Laden: I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille
5. Obama Hires Hillary's Stage Sage


1. Obama Vows to Fulfill Teen's Bieber Dream

President Barack Obama has made a lot of promises over the last couple of years. Now he's made one to a young girl that is presenting him with quite a challenge.

A few months back, Payton Wall, a 14-year-old who lost her father in the 9-11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, sent a Twitter message to her teen idol, Justin Bieber. She wrote, "Hey! I have an awful life story and without your music I don't know if I could have survived. Do you think I could send you a letter?"

Like the zillions of other tweets that routinely flow Bieber's way, this one went unanswered.

Payton decided to send a second message to someone she thought could help her, the president of the United States. After all, if the prez were delivering meals, cars, and even houses to folks all over the land, why not a Bieber tweet-back?

Payton penned a letter to Obama and received a surprising reply, asking her to join him at the recent Ground Zero ceremony. There, not only did did she get a hug from the president, who told her he knows Bieber, she also got a promise that he would set up a meeting.

There's one problem for the president, though. Now he's going to have to deal with an outfit that's got an even tougher reputation than a lot of the terrorist groups out there — the Bieber handlers.

2. Lady Gaga Gripes About Arizona's Immigration Law

Not content with slamming Christians, as she did with her Judas love song, Lady Gaga is poking supporters of legal immigration in the eye with her recent remarks.

Madonna's copycat stopped over in Mexico City for two shows on her Monster Ball tour. During a news conference, Gaga insisted that she has a strong relationship to Mexican culture, adding "I don't stand by many of those unjust immigration laws in my country."

The barb was aimed at the Arizona law, championed and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, which facilitates the enforcement of our immigration laws by state and local police.

Gaga said that she wrote the song "Americano," which is included in her upcoming album "Born This Way," as a response to the citizens of Arizona — who, incidentally, are trying to protect the borders and follow the laws that the feds are largely choosing to ignore.

The singer/three-ring-circus act decided in 2010 not to cancel an Arizona concert even though other stars, including Jessica Alba, Kanye West and Eva Longoria, were bad-mouthing the Grand Canyon State's law.

Gaga said that a boycott by "dumb pop stars" would not "collapse the economy in Arizona."

Which just goes to show you that in the land of Gaga, money speaks louder than feigned principle.

3. Jon Stewart Disses White House Over bin Laden Pic

The young, mostly liberal audience of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" got an unexpected jolt when the Comedy Central host actually disagreed with the Obama White House on an issue that involved the death of Osama bin Laden.

Stewart carped about Obama's decision not to release the photos of bin Laden's corpse.

"I'm all for healthy skepticism and even though bin Laden's widow positively identified the body to Pakistani authorities, why wouldn't we release the headshot of bin Laden's head… shot?" Stewart asked.

"Maybe we should always show pictures. We can only make decisions about war if we see what war actually is," the host said, noting that graphic images of people killed by the U.S. military already routinely appear on networks such as al-Jazeera.

Stewart pointed out that the president's decision to spare the public the gruesome details doesn't jibe with the wound-riddled images shown on prime-time shows such as "Bones" and "CSI."

He could have mentioned, too, the horrific videos released by terrorists over the years.

Competing talk show host Conan O'Brien quipped that "the Obama White House has changed its mind and decided to release those Osama photos — on a set of commemorative plates."

4. Bin Laden: I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille

As it turns out, Osama bin Laden wasn't just a video maker. He had actually become quite enthralled with television, especially when it came to seeing his own face on the little screen.

The bin Laden we grew to know and loathe appeared in a series of videos that were released one after another, sort of his version of a terrorist reality show. Interestingly, though, he had not released a video since 2007.

But now we have access to outtakes of Osama's propaganda presentations, part of a cache of materials retrieved from the walled compound by the extraordinary Navy SEALs unit that took bin Laden down.

One video, titled "Message to the American People," shows the terrorist boss switching channels with a remote pointed at a satellite cable box. Officials have confirmed the presence of a satellite dish for television reception.

In a segment of the footage, which was made public without audio, bin Laden appears seated on the floor, watching himself on the tube. Clips also show him rehearsing for his onscreen moments.

It turns out that the videos were produced Hollywood-style, with written scripts, takes and retakes, redone until bin Laden was satisfied with the performance and lighting.

The al-Qaida leader even dyed his beard and precision-cut it for the lens. Guess it proves that image is everything, even for terrorists.

5. Obama Hires Hillary's Stage Sage

It seems that President Barack Obama is obsessing over his image, too, and the White House is sparing no expense in trying to improve it. It has hired the best image booster in the biz — on the taxpayer's dime, of course.

In addition to the $600,000-plus for Obama's speechwriters to grease the teleprompter skids, the White House is laying out big bucks to retain Michael Sheehan, the most prominent media coach in the country.

Hillary Clinton dubbed Sheehan "an extraordinary media coach who made Herculean efforts to teach me to use the teleprompter." It was Sheehan who helped transform Hillary from shrill first lady to smooth-talking presidential candidate.

Sheehan has a unique background in the world of image consultants, which suits the Obama administration to a T. The man is a theater and drama expert, having earned an MFA from Yale School of Drama. Additionally, he serves as a Yale lecturer in theater management.

Before taking office, Obama made a pledge that he was going to end no-bid contracts by requiring competitive bidding on contract orders that exceeded $25,000.

That was then, this is now. Sheehan Associates, which has been providing occasional speech and consulting services to the White House since 2009, may receive more than $100,000 under a current contract.

After all, Hollywood stagecraft doesn't come cheap.

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama Vows to Fulfill Teen's Bieber Dream 2. Lady Gaga Gripes About Arizona's Immigration Law 3. Jon Stewart Disses White House Over bin Laden Pic 4. Bin Laden: I'm...
Obama,Hires,Hillarys,Stage Sage,Justin Bieber,lady Gaga,Arizonas immigration law,Jon Stewart,bin laden Pic
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 07:08 PM
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