COLUMNS

“Crashing” the anti-terrorism genre

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • March 14, 2006

by Karen Feld

buzz
Paul Haggis — Hollywood’s hot- test director since the sleeper film “Crash,” which he also co-wrote, picked up the surprise Academy Award for best picture — is now in talks to direct and produce “Against All Enemies.” The film, which will likely be made by Columbia Pictures, is based on former U.S. ter-rorism czar Richard Clarke’s anti- Bush memoir. No word yet as to who will portray the president or Clarke this time.

JACE THE ACE IN D.C.

Hunk Jason Ritter — he’s the son of the late actor John Ritter and grandson of country star Tex Ritter — partied at Left Bank in Adams Morgan with other entertainers, including Ron Silver and Giancarlo Esposito, who came to D.C. with the nonprofit Creative Coalition to lobby on Capitol Hill against the Bush advocated budget cut in arts funding. Ritter, 26, talked about the bad timing of the visit: “With Dubai, not music, on everyone’s mind, it was like throwing pennies in a well.” But Robin Bronk, executive director of the group with celebrity cachet, reassured everyone that the message didn’t go unnoticed.

SO, WHO RUNS THE GRIDIRON?

President Bush stayed up past his bedtime Saturday evening because, as 121-year tradition dictates, he was the final speaker at the annual off-the-record Gridiron Dinner at the Capital Hilton. This is the kind of function where the prez can win over the press by making fun of himself, at least for a few hours. “You know there are all these conspiracy theories that Dick runs the country, or Karl runs the country,” President Bush said. “Why aren’t there any conspiracy theories that I run the country? Really ticks me off.”

AIMING SHOTS AT ‘VP’S SHOT’

Vice President Dick Cheney took his share of “shots” about not being such a good “shot” in good spirit when Bush said: “Dick, I’ve got an approval rating of 38 percent, and you shoot the only trial lawyer in the country who likes me.”

AND THE ELEMENTS AT THE RITZ

While the Washington bigshots were gathered at the Gridiron Dinner at the Capital Hilton, R&B greats Earth, Wind and Fire were sighted at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown on Saturday evening.

WONK’S SPIN ON ‘LIVING LARGE’

For Democratic strategist Mike Berman, president of the Duberstein Group, “diet is a lifetime.” In his candid new book, “Living Large,” Berman writes of living with a disease — food addiction — and how he went from 8 pounds, 13 ounces, on April 9, 1939, to his current 243 pounds in 66 years. Only in Washington would a man keep not only a detailed food diary, but careful documentation of his weight and diets by important life markers — political campaigns. Now we know he tipped the scale at 288 during the 1964 Johnson presidential campaign, 306 during the 1968 Humphrey presidential campaign, 295 during the 1976 Carter presidential campaign, 332 during the 1984 Mondale presidential campaign, 280 during the 1988 Dukakis presidential campaign, and 302 during the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign. We’re not sure if this is an indication of which campaign had better burgers and chips.

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