Candidate Eminem, Stumping Up a Storm
Republicans have never been too fond of Eminem -- Lynne Cheney once denounced his lyrics as "hateful to women," "shameful" and "despicable" -- and now the rapper has fired back with a vitriolic anti-administration video playing on the Internet and MTV. It assails President Bush on tax cuts and the Iraq War while commanding young people to march to the polls Tuesday.
But could the made-in-Detroit superstar be positioning himself for political office? During a highly theatrical "nominating convention" in New York on Thursday night, Eminem's label, Interscope, assembled Bono, Little Steven, P. Diddy, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and other luminaries to support an Eminem campaign.
"People gave nominating speeches, including Donald Trump and Busta Rhymes," MTV spokesman Graham James, who was at the Roseland Ballroom event, told us. "It was all about nominating Eminem to some higher office, but it was not specified. He gave an acceptance speech." The rapper talked about his "Shady Party," named for his other alter ego, "Slim Shady."
James assured us: "It was all very tongue-in-cheek." MTV was taping the proceedings, and Eminem's performance of old and new songs, for a Nov. 13 special.
Clad in a suit and tie and pink furry slippers, Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) looked much like the animated character that represents him in the video for the song "Mosh," an Internet sensation and instant MTV favorite since its release early last week. Its heavy political message is a departure from most booty-and-bling video offerings. Even techno musician Moby, who has been needled by Em over the years, called it "the best thing that I've seen all year." In his online journal, Moby declared, "It's an amazing song and an even more amazing video. Please go watch."
Though it's late in the presidential game, would MTV promote a pro-Bush video, too? Sure, James said: "If another artist who's relevant to the MTV audience submitted a music video with an opposing or different point of view, we would air that as well."
The Usual Suspects
An occasional feature revealing the secret lives of oft-quoted experts
SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Occupation: Legendary reporter and author of the new book "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib."
Born: April 8, 1937, in Chicago; married with three grown children.
If I weren't an investigative reporter, I'd be: "Hapless."
Best political costume this Halloween: "Dick Cheney on the hustings. No mask needed."
Who I'd cast in the movie version of "Chain of Command": "Edward James Olmos as Richard Perle and Jack Palance as Rummy."
Who would play me: "Tab Hunter."
Favorite films: " 'Dr. Strangelove,' 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' and every Humphrey Bogart film with Lauren Bacall."
Favorite superhero: "Captain Marvel."
Favorite quote by anyone: "From the mother of Paul Meadlo, one of the My Lai shooters: 'I sent them a good boy, and they made him a murderer.' "
Best piece of advice I've ever gotten: "Read before you write."
The first line of my obit should read: "Seymour M. Hersh, who survived the editorships of A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times and David Remnick of the New Yorker . . . "
What I'd call Washington's new baseball team: "The Washington Orioles, to justify Peter Angelos's paranoia."
If I could interview anyone living or dead, it would be: "George Bush, of course."
Nominate a Usual Suspect by e-mailing email@example.com.
With Anne Schroeder