Reading the Globe #021: Garcetti Stumbles; Wallace Slams FNC
Schumer Hearts Dunst; Dune Triumphs
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People might assume that a politician who can get elected mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities, and win reelection four years later, is on the way to bigger things. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti won election in 2013 and then again in 2017. As Thomas Buckley details in a March 13 article in California Globe, Garcetti emerged during the 2020 presidential race as a vocal backer of Joe Biden, and expected something pretty important in return for his personal and political loyalty to the winning candidate. But the new administration passed over Garcetti for the role of Secretary of Transportation, a decision Buckley suggests may have had something to do with the severity of L.A.’s homeless problem. Garcetti has since emerged as Biden’s choice for the highly important role of ambassador to India. But Iowa Senator Charles Grassley has called for a pause in the confirmation process to allow the senator’s staff to do a proper investigation of charges that Garcetti mishandled the alleged sexual misconduct of a member of his staff named Rick Jacobs.
Wallace Slams Fox News
There is no love lost between Chris Wallace, the longtime host of Fox News Sunday, and his former employer. After nearly twenty years at Fox News, Wallace has moved to CNN, where he will host the new CNN+ streaming platform. An article in the New York Times on March 27 written by Michael N. Grynbaum quotes Wallace saying that working at Fox News became “unsustainable” as Wallace, a political centrist, increasingly heard views that he felt crossed the line from conservative opinion that he respected even if he did not always agree with it, into irresponsible stances on the supposed theft of the 2020 election and the hidden sources of the January 6 unrest in Washington. Wallace’s new gig at CNN+ will be an interview show whose acknowledged influences include such legends as Charlie Rose and Larry King.
Amy Schumer Loves Kirsten Dunst
Comedian Amy Schumer has issued a statement attempting to clarify that she meant no real disrespect to Kirsten Dunst, who was at the center of the second-most notorious incident at the 94th Oscars Ceremony on Sunday, March 27.
The incident provoked by Amy Schumer did not turn physical, but one can see how it easily might have. Schumer approached a couple of chairs on the floor of the event where Dunst sat with Jesse Plemons, her fiancé and co-star in the somber 2021 western film The Power of the Dog. She proceeded to call Dunst a “seat filler,” implying Dunst is a has-been B-list or C-list talent whom the organizers of the event brought on in a half-hearted and futile attempt to lend some prestige to the event and bump up its attendance numbers.
A March 29 New York Post article by Leah Bitsky recounts Schumer’s weak attempt to explain away the incident by saying that the event was choreographed—it was supposed to happen, see?—and affirming that she loves Kirsten Dunst.
A Dream Deferred
In further Oscars news, Quebec’s most famous living filmmaker, Denis Villeneuve, has a good deal to feel proud of at this time. His visually impressive, mega-budget opus Dune won awards in no fewer than six categories, including those for visual effects, cinematography, production design, editing, sound, and score. The win in that last category is not surprising given that the score is the work of legendary composer Hans Zimmer.
Some directors would no doubt be awestruck at winning the most coveted award in just one of these categories, let alone six. But fa March 28 article by Brendan Kelly in the Montreal Gazette notes that Dune did not win in the category of best picture. And not only did Villeneuve not win the award for best director, but he did not even receive a nomination in this category, something that could surely be a letdown at this point in his career, when you might think that Villeneuve is at the very top of his game.
But Kelly’s article says that Villeneuve has not expressed disappointment. On the contrary, he told the newspaper that he does not take a nomination in this category for granted, and that, as Villeneuve puts it, not receiving it is “maybe the best thing that could happen to me.” Villeneuve goes on to say that being the underdog is best for him as a director.