Jewish World Review Oct. 16, 2003 / 20 Tishrei, 5764
George Clooney and intolerable Drudgery; Cameron goes native; and you thought the war in Iraq was nasty?; now it can be revealed; star wars?
http://www.jewishworldreview.com | NEW YORK When "K Street" co-creator George Clooney invited Matt Drudge on his HBO show the other day, Drudge declined. On that much the two men agree.
But on Wednesday the movie star and the cybergossip gave me widely differing accounts of Clooney's recent phone call to Drudge at his Miami Beach apartment.
Clooney, the star of the movie "Intolerable Cruelty," says he phoned Drudge after the Drudgereport.com Web site published a photo of "K Street" regular and Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin in a rogue's gallery of suspects in the latest Washington leaking scandal -- over which Bush administration official outed former ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent.
"Drudge put Mary's picture on his Web site along with Karl Rove and George Bush with a headline that said something like 'Who leaked?' " Clooney told me. "I can't remember the exact phrase. But when you clicked on the link, you got a story about Dick Cheney that had nothing to do with Mary. So I called Drudge personally and said, 'Do you want to come on the show to defend yourself for putting Mary's picture up there?' And he said, no, he didn't want to do our show.
"When I pointed out that he was putting Mary's picture up there simply to make people think she was a suspect, he said, 'Yeah. Sneaky!' "
Drudge vehemently denied making the "sneaky" remark, but acknowledged declining Clooney's invitation, " 'Don't take it personally, but no,' I told him. He was very persistent, kept asking me to do the show. Finally, I told him, ' "No!" is a complete sentence.' "
Clooney insisted that it didn't happen that way.
Drudge, meanwhile, vowed to go to court and file a "cease and desist" motion if "K Street" continues to use his likeness and images of his Web site. Last Sunday's episode did just that, and featured "K Street" regular James Carville, Matalin's husband, leaving a profanity-laced message on Drudge's voicemail.
"This is not a news program! This is an entertainment program, and they can't just use it without my permission," Drudge said. Clooney, for his part, said the show's lawyers have advised otherwise.
CAMERON GOES NATIVE
Cameron Diaz clearly values her Indian roots.
The 31-year-old movie star, whose mother, Billie, traces her ancestry back to the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, has just forked over an astonishing amount of wampum for various high-end accessories: two pairs of moccasins, three leather bags and a belt, to the tune of $12,000.
Apache designer David Jet Black Horse sold Diaz the goods at his Murray Hill studio last Thursday, and threw in a freebie: a Native-American name. The 50-year-old designer dubbed the actress "Firedancer."
"She never had an Indian name before," Jet Black Horse revealed. "I called her 'Firedancer' because it's so perfect for her. The woman is on fire, and she loves to dance! She got emotional. We all did. She really liked it. It's so cool."
Cameron Diaz's publicist, Brad Cafarelli, did not return phone calls.
AND YOU THOUGHT THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS NASTY?
NBC and ABC are trading blows over who's getting the real scoop on the Jessica Lynch saga. NBC News operatives are touting Friday's "Dateline" interview with Iraqi lawyer Mohammed Al Rehaief -- who helped U.S. troops rescue the severely injured Army private, and then took money from NBC Entertainment as a consultant on an upcoming docudrama. An NBC News type claimed that Diane Sawyer's much-hyped exclusive sit-down with Lynch next month won't be reliable because Lynch can't remember what happened to her.
"That's pretty humorous when you consider the unseemly and ultimately unsuccessful attempts by NBC to throw money at Jessica Lynch in a vain effort to get her to consult on the movie and grant an interview to NBC News," an ABC News operative fired back. "Ultimately, viewers can decide if they want to see fiction on NBC, or the first interview with Jessica Lynch on ABC News."
The NBC combatant responded: "Mohammed Al Rehaief's story is far from fiction. Given the conflicting reports that initially came out after Jessica Lynch's rescue, his 'Dateline' interview provides a first-hand account from the man behind this heroic story." Katie Couric interviews Lynch the morning after Sawyer's "Primetime" get.
THE BRIEFING NOW IT CAN BE REVEALED: Not even Arnold Schwarzenegger knows his political staff's private nickname for him. The California governor-elect's loyalists apparently don't want to risk his ire by addressing him as "Governor Schnitzel."
STAR WARS?: "Living It Up! With Ali and Jack" cohost Ali Wentworth, in a galactic ratings battle with the daytime talk show empire of "Live with Regis & Kelly," lunched at Michael's yesterday with Yoda, er, Kathie Lee Gifford.
10/15/03: Kerik into the breach?; holiday pander?; "the Dink" corrects the record; more