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Obama Volunteer Stars in Hillary's 'Red Phone' Ad

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 11 March 2008 12:55 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Jack Nicholson's Oscar Show Analysis
2. '10,000' Thumbs-Down for Film Critics
3. Obama Volunteer Stars in Hillary's 'Red Phone' Ad
4. Will Hillary's Campaign Be Hurt by Hollywood Trial?
5. Anthony Pellicano's Troubling Tactics

1. Jack Nicholson's Oscar Show Analysis

Record low ratings for the Academy Awards telecast don't trouble Jack Nicholson.

The small audience for the Oscar show "doesn't sadden me," Nicholson tells the Los Angeles Times. Nicholson likes aspects of the Academy's approach.

"I like the spirit of the Oscars," he explains. "I think what happened this year was the Oscars had an indigenous quality. The acting categories were tremendous." Still, the Oscar winner admits that voting members of the Academy are out of touch with the public. "The pictures themselves were not necessarily pictures that the public connected with. I like the Oscars because it's not exactly the way I want it," Nicholson says.

Batman's nemesis had a couple of other gripes to vent.

The Best Song nominations were not up to snuff, according to the actor. "As far as the show goes, I don't know how they get the song nominees. You could make a living lampooning them," he says.

Nicholson also apparently believes we've reached an awards show saturation point. "I do think there are too many other awards shows," he acknowledges. "There are too many self-congratulations."

Somehow I don't think red carpet manufacturers are worried.

2. '10,000' Thumbs-Down for Film Critics

Film critics gave the prehistoric adventure film "10,000 B.C." some scathing reviews.

The San Francisco Chronicle called the movie "completely ridiculous."

The Washington Post said it was "just plain nuts."

The New York Post said audiences would be "sorely disappointed with this bloodless PG-13 adventure."

USA Today called it a "bombastic bore."

Despite the hurling of insults by film critics, the public ignored the gibes and flocked to theaters. The cavemen confrontations with woolly mammoths, saber toothed tigers, and other prehistoric predators were just too compelling.

The flick was No. 1 right out of the box, with a weekend take just shy of $36 million in North America and just over $25 million overseas.

In the most explicit terms, the Newark Star Ledger warned anyone who was even thinking of seeing the film to "Yabba-dabba-don't."

In a clear response, no doubt to the chagrin of film critics across the nation, the public "Yabba-dabba did."

3. Obama Volunteer Stars in Hillary's 'Red Phone' Ad

The political ad that may have turned the tide for Hillary Clinton in Texas and Ohio featured a White House telephone ringing at 3 in the morning.

Casey Knowles, the first young girl shown in the ad, was working at the time as an extra. She is now 17 years old. Knowles it seems, however, is an Obama fan.

"I've been campaigning for Barack Obama for a few months now," Casey confessed. "I was actually a precinct captain at the caucuses a few months ago. I attended his rally a few months ago and I'm a very, very avid supporter."

As is typical of advertisers, the right to use the scene was obtained from a company that specializes in footage of this kind; in this case, Getty Images.

When the ad aired during an episode of the Jon Stewart show, Casey's brother was surprised to see his sis.

"I looked and saw a girl that looked like my sister and we rewound it, and sure enough it was my sister," Brady Knowles said.

Interestingly, Casey turns 18 in April and will be eligible to vote in the fall.

She told Seattle television station KING, "It's really sort of ironic that my image would be used to advocate for Hillary when I myself do not."

Guess it just goes to show, you can only scare some of the people some of the time.

4. Will Hillary's Campaign Be Hurt by Hollywood Trial?

Anthony Pellicano, private detective for the rich and famous, is currently on trial in Hollywood. He's charged with wiretapping and racketeering.

As the legal proceedings move forward, they're causing a lot of anxiety among stars, executives, and even politicians.

The U.S. attorney's office witness list looks like a red carpet roster.

Celebrities who may have to head to court and raise their right hands include Sylvester Stallone, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Farrah Fawcett, and Keith Carradine. Top and former execs from Universal, Disney, and Paramount may also make the prosecution's roll call.

Pellicano's personal client list was star-studded. In addition to the above-named celebs, it included Elizabeth Taylor, Kevin Costner, Roseanne Barr, Michael Jackson ,and O.J. Simpson.

But curiously, Pellicano's most famous client is being largely overlooked by the mainstream press; and that would be none other than Hillary Clinton.

This is the same mainstream press that were accused by the Hillary campaign, and "SNL" jokesters, of being hard on Clinton and soft on fellow Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama.

Federal prosecutor Kevin Lally started off the trial by telling jury members Pellicano had masterminded a criminal enterprise, which discredited and attempted to destroy rivals of his famed clients.

It turns out that Pellicano was the audio "expert" who discredited Gennifer Flowers' tape recordings so that the press could do what they desired at the time — disregard the voice of a certain former governor of Arkansas as he engaged in unseemly conversation with Flowers and disparaged Mario's Cuomo's Italian heritage and reputation.

That's right: In 1992, in a bid to discredit, among other things, Flowers' audio recordings of conversations with William Jefferson Clinton, Pellicano was hired by Bill and Hill.

5. Anthony Pellicano's Troubling Tactics

Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch, who had been investigating a story of an actor's dispute with some Mafia types, was approaching her car on a sunny morning in June 2002.

There on the hood of the reporter's car was a dead fish with a long-stemmed rose in its mouth. A sign taped to her windshield contained a single word, "Stop."

Terrified that she was the target of a hit, Busch hid in numerous hotels while the police and FBI investigated the matter.

Ex-convict Alexander Proctor admitted to the feds that he had been hired by a private detective to threaten and intimidate Busch. The detective was Anthony Pellicano.

In November 2002, FBI agents raided Pellicano's West Hollywood office. They found a surprising collection of contraband that included $200,000 in cash (most of it bundled in $10,000 wrappers), thousands of pages of transcripts of illegal wiretaps, two handguns, explosive devices, two hand grenades and enough C4 plastic explosive to blow up a car.

Pellicano is the same guy who years ago bragged of his prowess in dirty dealings to GQ magazine. He recounted beating one of his client's enemies with a baseball bat.

"I'm an expert with a knife," the detective boasted. "I can shred your face with a knife."

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Jack Nicholson's Oscar Show Analysis2. '10,000' Thumbs-Down for Film Critics3. Obama Volunteer Stars in Hillary's 'Red Phone' Ad4. Will Hillary's Campaign Be Hurt by Hollywood Trial?5. Anthony Pellicano's Troubling Tactics1....
Tuesday, 11 March 2008 12:55 PM
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