It's obvious why a Washington magazine for foreign-policy wonks would feature on its cover Bob Zoellick, the deputy secretary of state; Yuliya Tymoshenko, the new prime minister of Ukraine; and Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom's chancellor of the exchequer. But screen heartthrob Johnny Depp?
"The goal is to cover foreign policy and have a good time," says Robert J. Guttman, owner and editor in chief of Transatlantic magazine, a bimonthly based at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where he's a senior fellow. "I want it to look totally different from Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy," two of his competitors.
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The latest issue's cover story hypes 20 institutions and people "who will make a difference in transatlantic relations in 2005," as Guttman writes in an editor's note. Deciding to spread the glory to "less obvious choices," he included France-based actor Depp, "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling, seven-foot-tall German basketballer Dirk Nowitzki (who plays for the Dallas Mavericks) and Spanish actress Paz Vega, star of "Sex and Lucia" and more recently seen in "Spanglish" as the Mexican housekeeper for Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni.
"I rented 'Spanglish,' " Guttman tells us, by way of explaining one of his research methods. A 58-year-old veteran editor of political and policy mags here and in Europe, he chose Depp in part because of his teenage daughter's excitement about seeing the actor as Willy Wonka in the forthcoming "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Says Guttman: "We hope to reach a younger and broader audience. You can't get more different than Johnny Depp and Bob Zoellick." Well, we're sure some people must think the No. 2 person at the State Department is kinda sexy.
He Talks, You Walk:
The Larry King Mall Tour
Not content with humdrum travel guides? Now you can tour the Mall with Larry King! No, the 71-year-old CNN host hasn't switched careers. It's a cell-phone walking tour titled "The Washington Mall: Symbols of America," available at www.talkingstreet.com, which boasts that the best way to see a place is with an "ultra-savvy resident."
Never mind that King no longer lives here -- he's based in Los Angeles. But he did long enough, about 20 years, to know the territory. When his agent pitched the project a few months ago, "I said sure, sounded like a great idea," the talkmeister tells us. "Reading it was fun."
Tour segment prices start at $5.95. King's walking tour "seems to be very well-received among tourists and D.C. residents," says a spokeswoman for Candide Media Works. "It's one of our most prominent tours."
King seemed flattered to hear that: "Maybe I could come out to guide people. I'd need a little uniform -- tell them I want a Washington Nationals uniform and we'll do the tour live."
Peas de Résistance
At Rock the Vote's
Hard to believe, but Rock the Vote has been around since the days when Sinead O'Connor warbled "Nothing Compares 2 U," Janet Jackson gyrated to "Rhythm Nation" and everybody got down to Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance." Yes, folks, we're talking 1990.
Last week the youth-mobilization outfit announced that it will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a big awards dinner in Washington on June 8. Black Eyed Peas, who brought down the house at the Democratic convention, will pick up an award, as will former president Bill Clinton -- but given his schedule he'll have to accept via satellite. To keep its nonpartisan luster, the group will honor Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), too.
No word yet on the entertainment headliners, but since tickets run from $250 to $1,000, there had better be big names -- and we don't mean Deee-Lite or Roxette!
Former newsman and diplomat Dick Carlson (Tucker Carlson's dad) returns to the airwaves tonight with a new weekly radio show, "Danger Zone," focused on terrorism. He and co-host Barbara Newman, an author and former NPR correspondent, will do their taping at Carlson's favorite haunt, the Palm restaurant, on Thursdays. Guests on the inaugural show (9 to 10 on WMAL-AM) include Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, and James Kallstrom, a former FBI assistant director. Both hosts are based at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank, but Carlson says of the show, "We have complete editorial control over it."