By Liz Smith, Tribune Media Services
9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
"Journalists ... know perfectly well that it is almost impossible to consider their activities for any period of time without laughing out loud." -- Alexander Cockburn
LIZA MINNELLI is the latest big star to step forward and support the NOH8 Campaign. This is a photographic protest created in response to the passage of California's Prop 8, which amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Photographs show celebs with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing voices being silenced. Liza joins others in this protest, such as Deepak Chopra, Fran Drescher, Audra McDonald, Ashlee Simpson, Cindy McCain, Tori Spelling, Greg Louganis and Kim Kardashian.
Liza, long a champion of gay rights, says: "Here's what I believe. No shame. No blame. No guilt. Be who you are."
Powerful words. And oddly enough they could stand as the personal mantra of her life!
Today, Mika Brzezinski, the usually bare-armed, well-toned blond who tries to calm down the unruly frat boys of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" -- will appear at the MDC Partners Innovation Centre. Mika will be promoting her candid new book, "Obsessed: America's Food Addiction -- And My Own."
Mika, who seems to have an easier time of it on-air these days, what with Joe Scarborough taking more chill pills, has apparently struggled with a variety of issues concerning her weight, self-image and her relationship with food.
"Obsessed" is published by Weinstein Books. Harvey Weinstein, along with comic David Steinberg, will host the event. Harvey says, "I am so proud of Mika and this book!"
The big question -- will Mika wear one of her well-known sleeveless little dresses to her book party? If she does, it'll be fine. Unlike some women (and some clueless men who walk around in tank tops) Ms. Brzezinski has the arms for it.
TWO-TIME Olympian Nick Symmonds, an American middle-distance runner, is being pursued by ABC to become its new hot "Bachelor" on the still-popular reality show. Nick is an Eagle Scout from Boise, Idaho, and likes to go fishing when he isn't sprinting. He's charming and good-looking (natch!) and the kind of guy "any girl could introduce to her parents."
Well, a girl could introduce any kind of guy to meet her parents. But Nick seems to be a genuine sweetie.
ROBERT DOWNEY Jr. must feel he is living under a lucky star. The brilliant actor soared fast and high, and then plummeted faster and lower than anybody could have believed. He seemed to be forever lost to drugs.
But he came back, slowly but surely, first as the great actor he has always been, and now, incredibly, as the star of the "The Iron Man" films. Each one of these is more phenomenally successful than the last. Already, after the astounding weekend of "Iron Man 3," talk of a fourth and even fifth film, is already being discussed -- in the press, at least. Men tend to have an easier time rehabilitating themselves in the public eye, so that helped Downey. But it was his talent and intelligence that were his real assets.
I'm glad for him. Now, let's see what rehab lockdown does for Lindsay Lohan.
AD WEEK features Keith Richards, back in 1980, holding a big open bottle of Jack Daniel's. They say marketers love this sort of look back into nostalgia and that consumers are "drinking it up!" So everything old is new again, like they keep saying.
Also in the magazine, multimedia celeb Michael Smerconish is asked to talk about how he has changed in going for sat radio over his former 80 stations: "This will allow me to deliver a program without regard for the fact that I'm surrounded by people who want to kick the crap out of Obama whether he deserves it or not. ... I am now an independent. I'm a believer in the death penalty. I believe in a strong defense. I'm a firearms owner. But I'm also pro-choice. I believe we should legalize pot and prostitution."
Michael also appears on MSNBC, writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer and has written several books.
ENDQUOTE: From Sally Kellerman, promoting her coming autobiography, "Read My Lips." Why didn't she seem to take advantage of her "M-A-S-H" success? Sally says, "I began to believe my own publicity. I'd been this overweight, not very confident girl, and now everybody was telling me I was the greatest. All these interesting people wanted to write for me, work with me. But instead I thought, 'I've got this acting thing down. Time to work on my music.' I wanted to go on the road, get some soul. I wanted to be like Billie Holiday, but without the drugs. Well, maybe just a little grass."
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
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