Saturday, October 14, 2017

Me On CNN | Lefsetz Letter


Katherine Kendall was on after me.

I was driving to the Troubadour the night before, flipping the news channels on Sirius, and I heard her story, about Harvey Weinstein chasing her around his apartment, about hiding out in a bar to get away from him.

And here she was.

I don’t work it, I wait for the call. And yesterday, since no one really calls anymore, I got an e-mail from CNN, did I want to come on and talk about Eminem?


But my logistics were off. I was in Santa Monica having lunch with Chris Moore and my electric razor was in Sherman Oaks at Felice’s house. I’d been planning to spend the rest of the day on the Westside, catching up, and now my schedule was blown to hell.

I hate to shave. And only do so once in a while. Not because I want that hipster look, but because the Beatles all said they hated to shave in one of those teen magazines and I’m bad at it to boot, I haven’t got the patience.

So I answered 279 e-mails, wrote twice and hot-tailed it to Sherman Oaks to shave and get myself together.

Whereupon I got into the provided car and they whisked me to CNN’s studio in Hollywood, an edifice that was once famous for its music residents, but no more.

And they’ve got tight security, as you can imagine, but if you’re on the list, you’re golden. That’s what life’s all about, being on the list.

So I was immediately ushered in to makeup. Whereupon I got the life story of the artist. That’s what inspires me most, people’s stories. They’re each unique, and they’ll all tell you, because they want to be known, so few people ask, and the facts are secondary to the nuances. How did they get from there to here, what inspired them, how did they make that choice. And along the way you find points that bond you, unexpected ones, life experiences that are embedded inside that you rarely get to talk about, like being impacted by suicide.

And as we were discussing people taking their own lives a couple entered the room to be cleaned up. They were jovial, connected, only they weren’t.

There was the resident psychological expert. And the attorney. And both were dressed up in business attire, looking sharp for the show, and we all live in L.A., not New York, where I haven’t been to a doctor wearing a tie in memory. And the suit was sharp. Not an Armani, but something au courant that said something about its wearer.

They were there to talk about Harvey Weinstein.

That’s all they were talking about on Tucker Carlson’s show, which I was listening to on the way from Santa Monica to Sherman Oaks, a hellish escapade on the freeway, L.A. traffic is insane, even at 8 PM.

And you’d have thought the Weinstein case involved world peace. Tucker kept excoriating the silent left, the Hollywood hypocrites. He insisted the government investigate tinseltown, to root out this behavior. Huh?

The government ain’t gonna crack down on Hollywood. And what exactly is the crime here anyway? Carlson wasn’t talking about the culture of harassment so much as the silence with regard thereto. But if you were listening to him you’d be all fired up, that bad Harvey Weinstein, wreaking havoc.

With his daughter calling 911 and Harvey evading the cops.

And the expert?

Harvey Levin.

That’s right, the majordomo of TMZ, that’s how far we’ve sunk. And Tucker’s railing that Weinstein’s escaping to France, to evade the long arm of the law, and it’s Levin who’s got to reel Carlson back in, saying no crime has been charged and as a matter of fact Weinstein is not going to France. Yup folks, on Fox the gossip columnist was the voice of reason, correcting the bloviating blowhard.

I’m just wondering what Tucker Carlson would be like in real life. Would he really say these things? Maybe he’s one of those bulldozers who never backs down, abhorred in every day life, but really, is Harvey Weinstein’s sexual behavior the most important thing happening in our country, does it Trump North Korea?

On Fox it does.

And then I’m called in to do my spot and what you forget is for the anchors this is a job, they’re there all night, I’ve been on before, they’re busy talking through their earpieces, but then the light goes on.

And we hit it just that fast.

You can see the results above.

But one thing is I was running so fast yesterday that I didn’t Google myself. Yes, I do that regularly. So I didn’t know that doofus in the “Atlantic” had written about me, I was caught off guard, and you always want to be prepared.

But then as the anchor read the words I started to laugh, genuinely, THIS IS THE CRITICISM??

And I was complimented when we were done, told we put ten minutes of news in a five minute bag. They were happy, and that’s the essence of work, you want to keep the customer satisfied.

And I ambled back to the makeup room to have my face removed and…

Someone was sitting in my seat.

And another woman was right by her, she came for moral support.

So who was this?

The aforementioned Katherine Kendall!

I told her I’d just heard her on the radio the night before.

But I couldn’t remember the outlet.

Then she listed all the ones she’d been on. You see when you’re news, they swoop down and pick you up, and then they drop you off soon thereafter. You see news is a business, and it’s not called OLDS, so when your five minutes is done, it’s back to obscurity (like me!)

And Katherine was 24 when this happened. It sapped her drive. She had a career, she’d been in “Swingers,” but if this was what the industry required to make it, she was not up for it.

And we’re truly getting into it, the war of the sexes, her decision to go on the record, but what was utterly fascinating was watching the physical transformation. Now don’t get me wrong, Katherine is a very attractive woman. But by time Kristina, the makeup artist, was done with her, she was the untouchable beauty from the cover of a magazine.

Maybe it was the instant curls from the hot iron.

Or maybe it was the eyeshadow.

But I’m thinking it was the lipliner and lipstick. When Kristina was done, Katherine Kendall was…

A movie star.

You see it’s all an illusion. Kinda like those kids at home trying to replicate stunts they see in the movies. Oftentimes they’re not real, they’re done with special effects, but they don’t know that.

And I’m b.s.’ing with Kristina and Katherine and Katherine’s friend and everybody’s being open and honest because I’m inside the club.

One often wonders, is it Tucker Carlson’s desire to get inside the club? Believe me, being a right wing pundit doesn’t get you far in Hollywood.

Nor does being a left wing one. All those writers in the newspaper, they ain’t got the fame of the movie stars and musicians.

Which is why when Eminem speaks, everybody listens.

Trump is still silent on Marshall.

A politician is no match for him.

But a musician?

It’s no contest.


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