Tuesday, August 27, 2002

A Blast From the Past How did I miss this?

Recently I found myself browsing through the poorly tended web site of the Richard Mellon Scaife-funded Center for the Study of Popular Culture, an apparently nearly defunct outfit operated by David Horowitz and Peter Collier, albeit one that still maintains a posh West Los Angeles address, and possibly even office space, for everyone’s favorite sandals-and-suit-clad red-diaper baby.

During my visit I ran across a notice advertising a past event sponsored by something called the “Wednesday Morning Club” that I am very sorry to have missed: “Political Satire and the Clinton White House.”

According to the alluring invitation for the event, “Political satire and the Clinton White House is the subject of our next luncheon featuring two powerful [sic] Washington insiders from opposite sides of the political spectrum, former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, and conservative [sic] columnist Arianna Huffington, author of a new book, Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom.”

Sounds captivating, doesn’t it?

But you haven’t heard the whole story.

The real draw for the event was neither Myers nor Huffington, but TONY DANZA!

“We are pleased to announce that Tony Danza will be moderating the event. Join us for a lively discussion and book signing -- our last event before the summer break,” Horowitz’s invitation breathlessly brags.

Yes, Tony Danza! Yes, that Tony Danza! The savvy political satirist and former star of “Who’s the Boss?” and “Taxi.”

The event was held on Thursday, May 21, 1998, and began at 11:00 a.m. Tickets for the luncheon were priced at $50, with an extra $30 required for the one-half hour “photo reception,” presumably with Danza and Horowitz hugging and mugging for the camera.

Location? The very heart of the “real” America, of course: The Sunset Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, California.

If anyone has a transcript of this historic event, please let me know.

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