A Blockbuster Director, Proud Of His 'Flop'
Director David Zucker is your basic Prius-driving, tree-hugging Hollywood type. A lifelong Democrat, he informally advised candidate Bill Clinton during one of Bubba's early visits to Tinseltown. He voted for Al Gore in 2000. Maybe you've seen one of Zucker's movies -- "Airplane!," "Naked Gun," "Scary Movie 3," "Ruthless People" -- and now you can see the first political commercial he's ever directed.
It's very slapstick. It assails John Kerry.
Zucker says he considers the Democratic nominee "brilliant," but tells us, "I just don't trust him to protect the country. . . . I fear Kerry more than I fear Bush."
He laughed when we called him the Zell Miller of Hollywood.
"I've always been a typical Hollywood liberal -- I'm on the board of an environmental organization, I've toured the country for pro-choice groups, I support stem-cell research -- but I think I was changed, like a lot of people were, by September 11. Security trumped every other issue."
Working with people he met through HollywoodRepublicans.com and the Los Angeles Republican Jewish Coalition -- "that sounds like an oxymoron," Zucker wisecracked -- the director and other volunteers shot the 30-second spot, titled "Flip Flop," for $3,000. It depicts a groom at the altar ditching his bride in favor of a voluptuous bridesmaid, then lunging for an elderly organist. In another scene, a bomb squad member can't decide which wire to cut to stop an explosion -- until it's too late.
"John Kerry has changed his mind time and time again," the narrator intones. The attack ad was embraced by the Club for Growth, a Washington conservative advocacy group. It's posted at ClubforGrowth.net, which is also funding the ad's rollout starting Monday on Fox News Channel.
The 57-year-old showbiz veteran expects to lose some friends now that he's uncloaked himself as a Bush voter. "This is going to be bad for me," he said with a sigh. "Ed Begley Jr. is a good friend of mine, but I don't think he knows about me yet." (Begley, like Zucker, is a big anti-nuker and proponent of electric cars.)
"I'm living a weird life. I don't feel like I'm a Republican," Zucker said. "I feel a little like Dan Rather: If I uncover any evidence that I'm a Republican, I'll be the first to break the story."
Dubya's Hyperextended Family
* "Because blood is thinner than oil!" That's the slogan of a group of blood-related Bushies -- second cousins anyway -- who are backing the Democratic ticket on a new Web site, BushRelativesForKerry.com.
The Bush family tree, like most, is complicated. Siblings Tracy Cannon, Hilary House, Chris House and Sheila House and another set of sibs, Henry Kimsey-House and Jeanny House, break it down like this on their site: "Prescott Bush is the father of George Herbert Walker Bush (the former President) and the grandfather of George Walker Bush. Prescott Bush had a sister, Mary Bush, who married Francis E. House Jr. All of the people on the site are the grandchildren of Mary Bush and Francis E. House Jr."
Okay, got that? The relatives implore: "Please, don't vote for our cousin!" Writing on the site, Hilary House says of Bush: "His economic policies have destroyed lives, and his military policies continue to result in death on a daily basis." She even went so far as to write a (private) letter to Kitty Kelley, saying she enjoyed her book "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," Kelley told us. But it's fair to point out that none of the cousins was pro-GOP to begin with. "As far as I know, we've always been Democrats," Hilary House said Friday from Seattle.
The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign is unfazed. Spokesman Brian Jones told us: "They have met the president; they're not particularly close. Therefore, their statements don't seem particularly relevant."
From Eminem, the Rap on Bush
* We keep hearing about those wily, undecided swing state voters, and the sleuths at Rolling Stone magazine have tracked one down: rap superstar Eminem. The 32-year-old Michigan resident says he plans to vote for the first time this year. "Bush is definitely not my homie," he says in an interview in the mag's latest issue. "But I'm still undecided. Kerry has been known to say some things that's caught my attention, made a few statements I've liked, but I don't know."
On his new album, Em lays down this anti-Iraq war lyric: "Let the president answer on higher anarchy / Strap him with an AK-47, let him go fight his own war / Let him impress daddy that way." As for how he'll use his voice on Election Day, he dropped this hint to Rolling Stone: "Whatever my decision, I would like to see Bush out of office."
Elizabeth Drew's New Connection
* Eve and the Apple: Veteran political writer Elizabeth Drew and computer techie David Felton were quietly married on Oct. 14, she confirmed on Friday. She's 68 and he's 50. It's the third marriage for Drew (who outlived two husbands) and the first for Felton. The happy couple resides at the Watergate.
"I was telling all that I was a single lady, that I was done with that sort of thing," she told us. "That changed when he came to fix my computer." They met last Dec. 23 after her Macintosh crashed and Felton, a consultant who calls his business Mac the Night, came to the rescue. "He's very cute," Drew said. "Sparks flew and the rest is history."
With Anne Schroeder