D.C.'s Latest Hearts-and-Minds Campaign
By Richard Leiby
Tuesday, July 13, 2004; Page C03
Today's drinking tip -- or, how to concoct yet another reality TV series:
Start with a big-hearted D.C. bartender, add two young ladies with wonky Washington careers, plop them in a house in Southern California, stir in a bunch of attractive actors, garnish with cleavage and gimmickry. The result: "Joe Schmo 2," airing on cable's Spike TV and claiming an audience of 1 million nationwide but nowhere more popular than at the Adams Mill Bar and Grill in Adams Morgan.
"We open up the second and third floors. We've got 18 TVs turned on," says Adams Mill bartender Tim Walsh, 29, who stars in "Schmo," a parody of other reality shows (viz. "The Bachelor," "Average Joe") now in its second season. At a viewing party tonight, Walsh plans to welcome fellow contestants Ingrid Wiese of Washington and Amanda Naughton of Arlington, who also compete on the show for alleged true love and a very real $100,000. Naughton, 25, works in government relations for an energy consulting firm; Wiese, 30, is an international relations consultant.
"I was recruited right off the street one night in front of the 18th Street Lounge," Wiese told us. "We said no, and they chased us down the street." She relented and auditioned for the show on a lark but has no intention of working in Hollywood. "On the show I keep trying to engage people in conversations about world affairs," says Wiese, who has passed the State Department's Foreign Service exam, served as an election monitor in the Republic of Georgia and done consulting work on Sudan. "I try to talk about Iran and Afghanistan," but the producers warned her: "You're killing the comedy!"
We'd tell you more about the story line of "Joe Schmo 2," but they're already five episodes into it, so perhaps the best summation comes from barkeep Walsh: "Party starts at 8 p.m., and $2 Miller Lites." All basic-cable-watching Schmos welcome.
The Kerrys: Can't You Just Feel the Love?
• Sen. John F. Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry had one of their mushiest public exchanges Monday at a fundraising luncheon that drew more than 1,000 Democratic women to a Boston hotel. "This woman has been unbelievable beyond words. . . . I publicly acknowledge, I married up," Kerry said to raucous applause. "She's grounded. She is pure woman: nurturing, loving, graceful, extraordinary in her reach, the way she envelops the world around her and people who come into contact with her. And so caring, so deeply believing that each of us and all of us can somehow change things and make a difference."
(Whew! And it's not even their anniversary!)
For her part, Heinz Kerry acknowledged "some initial doubts about my ability to be a good partner in this campaign. Whether or not I would hurt or I would help. Whether youth and strength is better than age and wisdom." Then she added, "I'm completely convinced that age and wisdom wins every time."
Heinz Kerry recounted her first meeting with the senator, a "young man," on Earth Day in 1990; she was introduced to him by her late husband, John Heinz. Both were scheduled to speak at an environmental rally on the steps of the Capitol. "About three years later, we kind of looked at each other as man and woman instead of environmentalist and environmentalist," she said. "When you get married when you're older, it's different from getting married as some young thing. . . . It's better, and it's not the same."
Love: the mystery, the magic, the quotability.
The Legal Thriller on The Cutting-Room Floor
• For more than two years, Atlanta filmmaker Eric Williams followed the Rev. Jesse Jackson everywhere. He was contracted, at $7,000 a month, to keep his camera rolling and rolling -- capturing the renowned activist's trips to Africa, political appearances across America, countless strategic, diplomatic and back-room financial sessions. Williams says he was even there when Jackson came clean about having a love child. He accumulated a vault of footage that would take a viewer three months of 24-hour workdays to wade through.
Now that tape, shot between 1999 and 2001, is the focus of a bitter legal dispute between the documentarian and his former subject. Only a fraction of what Williams shot was pieced together for "The Country Preacher: Keep Hope Alive," a year-in-the-life documentary that debuted at Cannes in 2001 but never attained commercial release. The outtakes have been impounded by a Georgia judge.
Two of Jackson's organizations sued Williams a year ago, claiming he absconded with substantial portions of the footage and breached his contract, which the filmmaker denies. Williams, in a counterclaim, says Jackson owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars for his services and equipment. Jackson's attorneys asked the court for permission to copy and inspect the tapes to determine what's on them. In granting a protective order last month, a judge put the tapes under lock and key in Gwinnett County Superior Court until the issue is resolved.
What great secrets are on them? "Politics, money, infidelity," Williams told The Post's Rebecca Dana. "I know the inner workings."
But Jackson's camp says they hold nothing incriminating. Jackson wants custody of the material because of its "significant historical and documentary value," according to his attorneys.
With Anne Schroeder
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Tim Walsh and Ingrid Wiese, both of Washington, are contestants tonight on Spike TV's "Joe Schmo 2."
Join new Reliable Source Richard Leiby Fridays at noon ET to share tips, chew the fat and discuss the dish in his daily column.