Jewish World Review June 30, 2004 / 11 Tamuz, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Paul Bremer's rich narrative; lonely rich guy?; Jessica Simpson, patron airhead?; more | NEW YORK — This week, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III — our man in Baghdad — presided over the handover of sovereignty to the latest government in Iraq.

But in coming weeks, this career public servant is looking at a different kind of handover — namely, of large amounts of cash into his personal bank account.

The 62-year-old Bremer, who spent most of professional life in the State Department and braved the past year in a well-defended bunker as the U.S. proconsul in Iraq, has enlisted International Creative Management founder Marvin Josephson to sell a book about his experiences.

Bremer is also in the market for a high-powered lecture agent to broker well-paid speaking appearance dates.

But at least one prominent publisher probably won't be in the hunt — Public Affairs Books honcho Peter Osnos.

"There's a phenomenon in America where people who have spent a lifetime in public service, and then at the first sign that they can do a book they try to cash in," Osnos told me Tuesday, noting that he has never paid higher than a $75,000 advance.

"The reflex is that a moment of service justifies a big reward. The Clintons are the ne plus ultra of that. After leaving the White House, they've made $30 million — that's around $4 million for every year in office, about what the CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes. But what happened to public service for it's own sake? In our system, public service is a privilege."

Bremer's literary agent, Josephson, chuckled at Osnos's observation.

"This is America," Josephson told me Tuesday. "Either you believe in the marketplace or you don't. . . . I don't think Ambassador Bremer will be selling his book for $75,000."

Josephson continued: "I don't want to put any numbers on it, but I am talking to publishers about whether they have an interest in meeting with Ambassador Bremer, and we have gotten a very positive response. He has an extraordinary story to tell."

Josephson added that Bremer can expect to earn lecture fees on the scale of such ICM clients as Henry Kissinger, Tommy Franks and Colin Powell.

"He has not picked anyone to represent him for lectures, but he'll be meeting with a number of top people in that field," Josephson said.

What about a network television contract?

"It's way premature on that," Josephson said. "He's first going to be dealing with getting a book done and making speeches."

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Chris Heinz might be one of People magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors," but apparently he's not getting any action.

Or so the 31-year-old ketchup heir wants the world to believe.

"I think I'm the only person who hasn't hooked up because of the campaign. Because I'm deathly afraid to," Heinz confided to this column at Monday night's posh fundraiser for stepdad John Kerry at furniture mogul Eric Villency's TriBeCa palace.

"Campaigns are very young, but I only meet people for one or two nights at a time, max, unless I'm here in New York or in L.A. That's not a good model for me" — presumably he meant "model for living," not supermodel Karolina Kurkova. "I've never been that guy. I wish! Or I used to wish, anyhow. I don't wish now."

Was that a tone of mild self-pity creeping into the handsome, single millionaire's celibacy claim?


What about all those promising reports about a relationship with "Troy" actress Diane Kruger?

"That's a rumor," Heinz lamented. "She's a friend of mine. We all run in the same group here. I do know her, but I'm single. I should be so lucky!"

Can somebody, please, get this guy a date?


HISTORY LESSON: The epic movie "King Arthur" isn't just escapist eye-candy about gallantry and courage in a mythical time gone by. Megaproducer Jerry Bruckheimer told me at Monday night's premiere party that the fact-based screenplay — about a brotherhood of knights who bravely stood their ground in Britain while their Roman clients fled from the Saxon hordes — "was really about Vietnam when it was first turned in. There have been Special Forces all throughout history." Then came the trouble in Iraq. "History keeps repeating itself."

JESSICA SIMPSON, PATRON AIRHEAD?: The ditzy star of "Newlyweds" has apparently saved an entire Argentine village by constantly wearing various locally made crocheted, hand-dyed knit wraps on her hit MTV show. Us Weekly reports that the humble people of Florencia Varela, a dirt-poor town just outside Buenos Aires, are working overtime to meet popular demand for shopaholic Simpson's signature fashion accessory. "My business has grown like crazy!" says Argentine designer Cecilia De Bucourt, who sells the wraps for $200 apiece. "I can't keep up with demand!" As for her workers, they once had trouble feeding their children. But now "the kids in (De Bucourt's) village can eat, and they can go to schools that they couldn't go to," says Simpson's mom, Tina.

WOMEN AT WORK: Fifty-five of the nation's top CEOs — including Oyxgen's Geraldine Laybourne, Court TV's Henry Schleiff and Playboy's Christie Hefner — have agreed to grant hour-long audiences to the winners of Women for Hire in the Boardroom, a contest in which more than 2,000 applicants are competing for executive facetime and high-dollar jobs. Interview prospects have till July 16 to make their pitches at, and a panel of judges will choose. Kinda like "The Apprentice," but slower.

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06/25/04: "Don't jump!"; Rocco's rocky night; Rules? Which rules?; more
06/18/04: NBA numbers crunch; rap reversal?; strange bedfellows; more
06/19/04: I caused Howard Stern to go berserk
06/16/04: Lindsay Lohan is so, um, differently abled; Bill (O'Reilly) is busted!; naughty Natalie; more
06/04/04: Gwyneth gets hers in the U.K.; lost — and found — in translation; ladies who lunch — and the men they won't eat with; more
06/02/04: Stern warnings; X-Tina, the brand name; separating the Olsen Twins
05/28/04: "Sly Fox" outwits New York Times review; talk to the animals; Can't this man be stopped?; more
05/25/04: Picking over Bones; "W" this!; Motherhood, anyone?; more
05/21/04: Not so Ruff Ryders; fantastic voyage; sweeps month stunt?; more
05/19/04: A hex on 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'?; girls just wanna get mad; more
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05/13/04: The young (and snarky) JFK; Did Ford have a better idea?; more
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05/05/04: Burger brouhaha over meat movie; the Age of Adu; what a difference an indictment makes; more
04/23/04: Ahoy, Katie!; Barbara and Martha, together again!; unreality TV?; more
04/21/04: Things don't go better with Coke?; swipes from the grave; "Mami" to the rescue; more
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04/14/04: Dick Clark's diabetes; Barbara Walters' $6 Million book; reality (television) bites; more
04/09/04: S-e-x and the Koran; PETA targets Beyonce; more
04/08/04: Stephen King vs. ABC; trapping the love rat; Liv-ing it up; more
04/02/04: Don't mess with Brooke Hogan's dad; lawyers dancing on the head of a pin?; Trump vs. Trump?; more
04/01/04: D'OH! "Simpsons" actors in dispute with Fox; Diane Sawyer and Janet Jackson won't be bosom buddies; Condi and Maxim?
03/31/04: Hair-raising day on Wall Street; Foxy lady loses 50 Cent; How do you say "party animal" in Hebrew?; Rev. Al and Janet Jackson; more
03/26/04: Bye, bye Banfield; from porn to politics?; more
03/24/04: The perils of film criticism; Dole-ing out compliments; but what about a cure for career lag?; more
03/19/04: Trump trumps everything; Mario vs. Joe; Trudeau pays up; more
03/17/04: Remembering Hillary %*&$#! Clinton; PUT AWAY THAT KRYPTONITE!; more
03/12/04: OOPS!, did Jayson Blair do it again?; skewing Young; more
03/10/04: The laugh that dare not speaks its name; Mistaken identity? NAH!; Is this a great country or what?
03/05/04: Bush vs. Kerry: a Skull session; Kramer vs. The Times, scorch session; enthusiasm curbed; (Tina) Brown-nosing?
03/03/04: Oscars memorialize Hitler's fave filmmaker; baubles, bangles and Kelly Osbourne; moonwalking through cyberspace; more
02/27/04: Regan rebellion; Ed Limato strikes again!; tears for Tom; more
02/26/04: McCain predicts a nasty campaign; the misdirected missive; Janet Jackson, the interview; more
02/20/04: Introducing the Kerry sisters; cyberflap!; Snoop Dogg v. O'Reilly?; more
02/18/04: John Kerry's Friendster?; On the mend?; food for fraughtm; more
02/13/04: John & Carolyn, redux; Zell Miller shows the flag; kill Quentin?; more
02/11/04: HE FEELS BAD!; Dick Cheney, still not dead; more
02/06/04: Glittering Grammys; a laurel for Janet; Haryl's heart
02/04/04: Shriver quits NBC; "Marshmallow" Mike Tyson?; Super Bowl propriety?; MTV's next production?; more
01/30/04: The political forehead front; Alies meets Franken; the art of the hype; arrested career development?
01/28/04: Eyebrow-raising politics; call him indescribable; Woods vs. Williams; more
01/23/04: Eyebrow-raising mystery; who's punk'd anyway?; don't curb your enthusiasm; more
01/21/04: Ridiculous lives of the self-important stars; long arm of the law; all's fair in love and literature
01/16/04: Global warming at a glacial pace; targeting pop culture; Is 'the price of loyalty' too high?
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01/02/04: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio!?; "Bachelor" bruises; Returning to the scene of the crime?
12/31/03: Disaster for the defense; no-war Omar; the shoe must go on; more
12/19/03: Bob Shapiro's free commercial?; Are sophisticated and hip New Yawkers easily duped?; Positive Saddam fallout?; Ratty insult?
12/17/03: Magic Mystery Tour?; Russell Simmons battles ink by the barrel; Would it have killed her to say 'get well soon'?; no Gest room
12/12/03: Karenna defends her dad; now she tells us!; say it ain't so, Mo!; more
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12/01/03: Dennis the Menace strikes again; first literary feud of the holiday season; Norma Jean & Hef in heaven?; the fog of McNamara; more
11/26/03: Catherine Crier raps Jacko's TV defender, refuses on-air hint of racism; At 50, Tina's in full cry; STAY OUT OF HER WAY!; more
11/25/03: The mogul strikes back?; go ahead, make Harvey's day; more
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11/18/03: Clay Aiken neuters PETA?; THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!; a mural for Joe
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10/30/03: Autumn of the editor?; Cynthia Nixon's split may be costly; 'Burning' questions
10/29/03: Ah-nold, unauthorized!; a dilemma for Melissa Gilbert? not even Frank Gifford can help him now!; nobody wanted Elizabeth Hurley
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10/22/03: Showing the flag; Joe Frazier, smokin'!; see Carville bruised-up — sort of
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10/20/03: Isn't it rich?; men (and the occasional woman) behaving badly; peacenik John Lennon supporting the U.S. military?; courageous Connie
10/16/03: George Clooney and intolerable Drudgery; Cameron goes native; and you thought the war in Iraq was nasty?; now it can be revealed; star wars?
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10/09/03: Gray Davis goes to the movies; Ali Wentworth, working blue; Law & Order?; pot of gold at the end of the rainbow room?
10/08/03: Art-time for Hitler; the actress who hates movies; lying "Liam"
10/07/03: Pond scum of the rich and famous
07/24/03: Ali and George, living it up; Mel Gibson's Washington power play
07/21/03: White House smear?
07/17/03: Yet another intern scandal; it's her party and she can pay if she wants to
07/14/03: On the auction block: JFK'S boxer shorts; love bytes the maestro
07/10/03: A hairy situation at Homeland Security; Van Susteren v. Orth
06/30/03: Rep. Patrick Kennedy: I've never worked a (bleeping) day in my life; Drudge's dressing down; Ken Lay's Kerry connection
06/26/03: Rapping the beat
06/23/03: Another Watergate scandal?; AL GORE TV!
06/19/03: Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate
06/16/03: Missing dog, ransom demand, Hollywood ending
06/12/03: Giving both parties the needle
06/05/03: Incoming from Barbara Bush?
06/02/03: Bob Dole's plan for fighting unemployment
05/29/03: Newt's new novel
05/27/03: Hitchens & Blumenthal, together again; He still believes in a man called Hope
05/09/03: Close, but no cigar; Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending?; Geraldo to help Heebs?
05/05/03: So Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw walk into a coffee bar . . .; hotel hell; more

© 2003, Creators Syndicate