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Hollywood's Top 10 Political Stories
December 28, 2006

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

It was another banner year in the wacky world of politics and Hollywood.

Here are my picks for 2006.

10. Hollywood's Face Saving Formula

What do you do if you're a big-name Hollywood celeb, like Michael "Kramer" Richards, Nicole Ritchie, Mel Gibson, or Danny DeVito, and you find yourself in deep doo-doo?

Put on your most contrite face, call a press conference and repeat the following:

1) I'm sorry.
2) It was my fault.
3) I'm goin' to rehab.

9. Rosie O'Donnell's Vicious 'View'

After outrageously slandering Christians, Rosie O'Donnell managed to inflame gays, "Regis and Kelly" viewers, and Clay Aiken fans.

The former "queen of nice" slammed Kelly Ripa for reacting to guest Aiken's muzzling of her mouth with his hand after he had high-fived half the audience.

O'Donnell labeled Ripa's response as homophobic.

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Ironically, by using the term, Rosie effectively outed Aiken, a guy who has repeatedly let it be known that he wishes to keep his sexuality private.

At the pace O'Donnell's going with her insults, the 2007 audience of "The View" may end up being punier than Katie Couric's.

8. Britney Spears' Panty Faux Pas

Britney Spears proudly appeared in photos in undies-free fashion.

Unfortunately, in the age of MySpace and YouTube, the pop princess's panty-less pose went viral on the Net.

This apparently offended even Rosie O'Donnell.

"I went shopping for [Spears] yesterday. I got her these," O'Donnell said on "The View" while holding up an undergarment. "Can you see?" O'Donnell asked. "It says, ‘No peeking.'"

I suspect we'll be seeing Britney adopt the Hollywood Face Saving Formula any day now.

7. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins Rebuff Hillary

Aligning herself with some in the Democratic base and the Hollywood left, actress-activist Susan Sarandon followed in her significant other's footsteps (those of Tim Robbins) and publicly slammed the presidential candidacy of none other than Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It wasn't that long ago that Robbins said Sen. Clinton could kiss his you know what.

Sarandon was a bit milder in her comments: "I find Hillary to be a great disappointment, "Sarandon told More magazine. "She's lost her progressive following because of her caution and centrist approach."

As for me, I believe Hillary has that one special attribute that will cause Sarandon, Robbins, and other left coast luminaries to fall in line — she's not a Republican.

6. John Kerry's Comedy of Errors

During John Kerry's 2004 losing bid for the presidency, he was portrayed as a war hero.

But in 2005, Kerry publicly claimed that members of the military who were fighting in Iraq were "going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night" and "terrorizing women and children."

Adding to his unpopular status with the nation's armed forces, Kerry ticked off the military again in 2006 while speaking to students at Pasadena City College.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," Kerry said.

Initially, the Massachusetts senator refused to apologize claiming that his statement was "a botched joke."

Kerry did finally offer a statement but shifted responsibility.

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform," he said. "And I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended."

Kerry was apparently against apologizing before he was for it.

5. Paris Hilton's Empty Head

Paris Hilton has revealed a secret that's so shocking, people may never look at television the same way again.

Hilton informed the public that "The Simple Life," the TV show in which she stars, "is a reality show and people might assume it's real. But it's fake. All reality shows are fake basically. When you have a camera on you, you are not going to act yourself."

Hilton also claimed that she created the character on her show by mixing together the personalities of the characters on "Legally Blonde" and "Clueless." She then combined them "with a rich girl all-in-one."

So, not only is she a hotel heiress, pop singer, and consummate partier, "The Simple Life" makes Hilton a real reality television insider, capable of giving viewing audiences reality TV programming insight.

Guess this means that Hilton's fans will have to adjust to the fact that she's even less intelligent than her TV alter-ego.

4. Madonna's Baby Buy

David, the baby that Madonna recently adopted, was reportedly offered up for adoption without his father's knowledge.

David's photo, along with pictures of 12 other "suitable" male infants, had been e-mailed to the famed pop princess.

Prior to the adoption Yohane Banda (the baby's father) had made statements that indicated he was unaware of the famous celebrity who wished to become his son's mother.

Evidently, he was unfamiliar with Madonna's music, image, and, more importantly, her Kabbalah faith.

Curiously, Yohane was told that the prospective mom was "a very nice Christian lady."

3. Al Gore's Hollywood Hot-Air Hit

Former Vice President Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," deeply resonates with the Hollywood left.

A theme that runs through the flatulent flick is that America is responsible for global warming. It's also what many of Hollywood's celebrity activists believe.

When "An Inconvenient Truth" opened in L.A., Larry David, Sharon Stone, David Duchovny, and Garry Shandling were among the celebrities who turned out for their hero.

According to Gore, the world will end in 10 years unless we avail ourselves to the only hope we have to survive.

The answer to our earth shattering problems? Gore himself.

Personally, I think a more appropriate title for the film would have been "A Convenient Whopper."

2. Tom Cruise, From Kook to King

It may have been the couch jumping on Oprah. Or his professed fondness for eating placenta. Or his public feud with Brooke Shields.

But Tom Cruse's relationship with Paramount Pictures came to an abrupt end.

Chairman of Paramount's parent company, Sumner Redstone, said, "It's nothing to do with his acting ability; he's a terrific actor. But we don't think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot."

Redstone claimed Cruise's antics had hurt his box office draw.

But two months later Cruise landed a brand new gig as the top gun of a movie studio.

The fabled studio, United Artists, which was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks, is now headed up by Cruise and his business partner, Paula Wagner.

No doubt Cruise, wife Katie Holmes, and baby Suri will continue to make news in 2007.

1. Brangelina's Namibia Takeover

The war in Iraq, border security, runaway congressional spending? Fuhgetaboutit.

The Brangelina baby is what's really important.

After Angelina Jolie gave birth by Caesarean section in a Republic of Namibia hospital, there was a proposal to make the day a Namibian national holiday.

A mere day of observance wasn't enough for the media who proceeded to elevate the arrival of Brad Pitt and Angelina's infant to a sacred event. But Brad and Angelina didn't exactly take a pacifist-style approach when it came to negotiating their baby's birthplace.

Known mainly for its poverty, Namibia is now known for relinquishing control of its borders and air space to the celebrity couple.

From a sealed-off luxury beach villa where they spent a couple of months, Brad and Angelina told the Republic of Namibia they wanted some control over the country or they would find another that was better to their liking.

When the government of a sovereign state yields to the demands of Hollywood stars, celebrity power takes on a whole new meaning.

Do you think maybe Brad and Angelina could pay a little visit to Iran?

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Copyright © 2006
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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