Hillary Clinton is raising a lot of money in Hollywood for her presidential bid, but where are her closest friends and what are they doing with their money?
Married actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen certainly present themselves as the closest F.O.H.'s. But guess what? Steenburgen, according to federal records, gave Hillary's rival John Edwards a $2,300 donation recently. Either Mary's very fickle, or she thinks Edwards is going to be Clinton's running mate. Either way, it's a little odd that she's busy funding her friend's competitor.
Danson, on the other hand, has ignored Clinton all together. He's made political donations totaling $19,750, but all of them were in 2003-2004 and none of the money went to Clinton. His biggest recipients were Howard Dean and John Edwards ($2,000 apiece).
Steenburgen, interestingly, gave Clinton a donation of $4,600 — the maximum allowed by law — on March 30, 2007, just a few days after she introduced the candidate at a fundraiser at Ron Burkle's Beverly Hills estate. But two weeks later, Steenburgen sent Edwards his check on April 13. Was she suddenly captivated by a new voice? Calls to Steenburgen through her manager went unanswered, so we may never know.
But Hollywood is an odd place when it comes to politics. Former Yahoo! chief Terry Semel, who ran Warner Brothers for years, was a Republican in 2003-2004. He and his wife Jane gave money to George W. Bush, but they attended the Burkle bash where Steenburgen spoke and each donated the maximum $4,600. Nevertheless, according to OpenSecrets.org, the Web site that monitors all this, Jane Semel sent Barack Obama a check for $2,300 as well.
Barbra Streisand is also hedging her bets. She has given $2,300 each to Clinton, Edwards and Obama, even though she's an avowed Clinton pal. Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw have done the same thing. But Mr. Streisand, James Brolin, has stayed away from political donations in this cycle.
For Clinton, though, there is one other strange piece of political donor news (or non-donor news): According to two databases, she's never received a penny from either Harry Thomason or Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the "Designing Women" producers who also were Clinton pals. Indeed, the Thomasons gave Bill Clinton only a little money in the early '90s, and then no more.
Maybe they're waiting to see if Delta Burke is going to run.
It's an ignominious end for a pop star.
As of this week, Enrique Iglesias, beau of hot tennis star Anna Kournikova, has sold fewer than 100,000 copies of his latest CD, "Insomniac." The album was released on June 12 and has yielded no hit singles.
Seven years is a long time in the pop world. That's how long it's been since Iglesias' last hit album, "Escape." That CD sold 267,000 in its first week when it was released on Oct. 31, 2001. "Escape" went on to clock more than 2 million copies. It bore the hit "Hero," which sounded innocuously like Mariah Carey's "Hero." (To paraphrase Tina Turner: We didn't need another hero.) But it didn't matter. "Escape" stayed in the top 20 well into 2002 and had a second run in the top 10 before it petered out.
What's the difference between "Escape" and "Insomniac"? Back then, Iglesias had a prominent mole on his face; now he doesn't. The mole may have been a correlation to the "bullet" you get when a single or album is climbing the charts.
No mole, no bullet, no sales.
Enrique's career has been a bumpy one. Although he performs live around the world, there has always been some question of whether he can actually sing. In a famous flap on the Howard Stern radio show a few years ago, Iglesias was heard wailing off-key in a most unappealing way. He protested, but in the end, the damage may have been done.
His next album after "Escape," called "Seven," entered the charts in December 2003 at No. 27, with 85,000 copies sold. It was downhill from there. Already missing: the mole. And, of course, a hit single.
Some pop stars can withstand two failures, but in Iglesias' case, he may have waited too long. (He released a Spanish album in the middle, which didn't help.) Whatever foothold he gained in the charts from 1999 to 2002 is now gone. It's almost like he has come full circle from oblivion and back again. Two strikes and he's out.
One pop star who will get a third chance at bat, so to speak, is Janet Jackson. Earlier this week, news filtered out that Janet had quietly moved, as expected, from EMI/Virgin Records to Island/DefJam. This had something to do with her perennial boyfriend Jermaine Dupri being head of Island/Def Jam Urban. It also falls into place for L.A. Reid, head of the label, who's been dying to oversee one of her records.
Reid has one shot left in Janet after her two back-to-back flops and the Super Bowl incident that nearly wrecked her career. The public still likes Janet Jackson and thinks of her as Marilyn to her family's "Munsters." God bless her.
If Reid can just give Janet the kind of adult production that made Mariah Carey's "Emancipation of Mimi" album a hit, Janet will be back in a flash. If not, she can always record a duet with Enrique.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and presumably last novel in the J.K. Rowling series, has hit the Internet. A purloined copy of the book was photographed and put on peer-to-peer file share networks. The pages are apparently legible enough to determine which characters live and die.
Of course, this is outrageous. "Potter" fans waiting for Saturday's release don't want to know the outcome of their faves before they have read every single last page in order. There will be those who read the last chapter first, of course, and then try to spoil the fun.
Personally, I don't have much emotion invested in this. Harry is nice enough. If he dies, it will be sad, but I doubt he meets his maker. Harry Potter is a hero, and J.K. Rowling is young enough that she may want to write another installment somewhere down the road. Also, there are two more movies still to be made. A dead Harry would take the air out of more films.
So, yes, my guess is Harry and his pals all live, while the villains come to grisly ends. Rowling said she cried writing the last chapters, but I'm sure it was because she has an emotional — if not financial attachment — even to the villains. Voldemort is as much one of her children as Hermione.
So close your ears and eyes. Stay away from sites where "Potter" info is available. If you don't, I'll be forced to tell you what happens to Anna Karenina once you are halfway through that book.