Jewish World Review May 5, 2004 / 14 Iyar, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Burger brouhaha over meat movie; the Age of Adu; what a difference an indictment makes; more | NEW YORK — I came into the office Tuesday morning and found a box of meat on my desk.

Not just on my desk, but on half a dozen other desks around the newsroom.

And not just meat, but buns and American cheese, too: Six "microwaveable" cheeseburgers, frozen to the consistency of hockey pucks and packaged in 5 pounds of dry ice.

And not just at the New York Daily News, but also at hundreds of media outlets nationwide — more than 6,000 cheeseburgers were rushed across the country like donor organs bound for operating rooms.

All to promote New Line Cinema's 2,500-theater July 30 release, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," a movie in which John Cho and Kal Penn play "two likeable underdogs," according to the accompanying press materials, "who set out on a Friday night quest to satisfy their craving for White Castle hamburgers and end up on an epic journey of deep thoughts, deeper inhaling and a wild road trip as 'un-PC' as it gets."

A little too un-PC for the folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"They can't say that no animals were harmed to make this movie," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told me Tuesday. "It sounds like it could be disconcerting and rather sad and bloody. This is the new PG-13: Pathetic, Gross and 13 kinds of gut bacteria."

Newkirk — who believes that a cow is at least as worthy of consideration as an actor — said the addition of cheese is particularly distasteful: "Mixing the baby with the milk of the mother is unkosher and unkind."

Reps for New Line, which ginned up the novel meat-for-movie campaign, and White Castle, which paid to ship the burgers, reacted to PETA's broadsides Tuesday with shock and awe.

"Well, let them decide their feelings," White Castle marketing director Jamie Richardson told me. "Our feeling is that this is just a fun way to promote the movie."

New Line veep Clare Anne Conlon said: "PETA has every right to express themselves. But most Americans are hamburger-loving Americans."

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Is D.C. United professional soccer star Freddy Adu really and truly just a lad of 14?

"He seems a lot more mature than his age, doesn't he?" Ted Allen of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" mused to this column's Hudson Morgan.

They were at the Hammerstein Ballroom Monday night as the Ghanaian-born phenom (his birth date is a matter of speculation) was being honored as an "Innovator" — along with rocker David Bowie, actor William H. Macy and author Azar Nafisi — by the folks from Conde Nast and Audi.

Adu's mother, Emilia, monitored warily — like a hawk-eyed stage mom — as this column interviewed her sports prodigy.

Q: "What do you think of Posh and Becks? Are you going to date a Spice Girl?"

Freddy: "Hell naw! Hillary Duff's next for me."

Q: "Who do you like better, Hillary Duff or Lindsay Lohan?"

Freddy: "Both. I don't know a lot of girls my age."

Q: "Which presidential candidate would you vote for, if you could vote?" Freddy (cagily): "I don't know. I don't follow that stuff."

Q: "Are you going to play for Manchester United?"

Freddy (more cagily): "Maybe."

Q: "Where do you hang out in New York?"

Freddy (even more cagily): "MTV."

Young Master Adu is either very well media-trained, or, um, a very old soul.

Also at the party — the highlight of which was Bowie's half-hour set featuring hits such as "Rebel Rebel," "Ashes to Ashes" and "Ziggy Stardust" — were Brad Pitt, Bowie's wife Iman, Edie Falco, Moby, Larisa Bond, Jason Patric and, of course, Ted Allen — who was caught apparently stiffing the men's room attendant.

"You know what, I can totally understand how that would look," Allen said Tuesday when asked why he didn't tip the guy who was passing out towels. "I was in the bathroom with my boyfriend (Columbia College journalism professor Barry Rice). Barry went ahead of me, and he did the tipping. Barry tipped him handsomely. We tipped him even though he knocked my cocktail into the sink! I'd never want to stiff someone who's doing a job like that."


WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN INDICTMENT MAKES: Us Weekly reports that Six Flags Magic Mountain has snubbed accused child molester Michael Jackson, refusing to grant his request for VIP treatment when visiting the Valencia, Calif., location with his three children. Things were initially all set for Jackson & Co. to have a three-hour visit before the park opened to the public. But management pulled the plug at the last minute, even denying the beleaguered pop star's plea for VIP access during regular hours. "They've done special things for him before," a source told the mag. "But now the stakes are too high."

EASY LISTENIN': That was Ray Liotta — on his day off from the Broadway comedy "Match" — stocking up on CDs Monday afternoon at J&R Computer World in downtown Manhattan. Spies told me that he bought Puddle of Mudd's "Life on Display," Prince's "Musicology," Barry White's "Greatest Hits" and Seal's "IV," not to mention four titles by Sade.

VARSITY MENDACITY?: With all the controversy about John Kerry's Vietnam medals and ribbons, who'd have thought that loyal George W. Bush aide Karen Hughes would be the one to catch the president fibbing about a supposed varsity letter? In her new book, "Ten Minutes from Normal," Hughes recounts a conversation with Bush after Russian President Vladimir Putin grilled him on his Yale days. "President Putin knew you had played rugby, but he didn't have the context. I mean, you just played for one semester in college, right?" Hughes said. Bush corrected: "I played for a year, and it was the varsity." On Tuesday, a Yale spokeswoman confirmed that there's no such thing as varsity rugby at Yale — not when Bush was an undergrad in the 1960s and not today.

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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
04/16/04: Does this ‘Apprentice’ need some etiquette lessons?; Kerry's laff-riot stepson; fully baked?; more
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?
01/14/04: Busting on the "cult buster"; Sarsgaard thinks globally; one angry woman; more
01/08/04: Sitcom star won't be excused from Blake murder trial; fierstein on fire; Drudge & Blumenthal, together again
01/07/04: Bono hits a brick wall; Britney, before the nuttiness; the Arianna primary; more
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
12/10/03: Man & wife, interruptus; pepperoni has feelings, too; more
12/05/03: The knives are out; Who's sorry now?; JWR in the news
12/04/03: The war of the gest-minnellis; something borrowed, something cashmere; fashion trendsetter, nailed!
12/03/03: Colombian grace under pressure; Lord of the Screwups; more
12/02/03: Curb your anti-Semitism?; fame fatigue?; bowing to pressure?; more
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
11/24/03: Georgette's pilfered baubles; prosecutor of pop?; absent but not missed?; Norman Mailer's prescription for education reform; more
11/20/03: Is a movie career in store for Maria Bartiromo?; People for the Unethical Treatment of Humans?; more
11/19/03: Scientologists on Razor's edge?; picking a winner?; source on a hot tin roof?; more
11/18/03: Clay Aiken neuters PETA?; THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!; a mural for Joe
11/17/03: When networks attack!; leaky Fawcett; forget the Paris Hilton video!; more
11/13/03: Publicity hounds; Prophetic priest; Dumb and Dumber
11/12/03: Not so Rosie; do you believe in miracles?; catalogue of sins; My Heart Belongs to Koppel
11/10/03: Gen. clark on the Subway diet; life of the party; MTV's Dumb and Dumber?; the hug issue; but does the $6,000 shower curtain convey?; red faces at Buckingham palace?
11/06/03: Let them eat pita?; verbal jousting; pretenders to the throne?
11/05/03: Will Harvey Weinstein and Gregg Easterbrook now be pals?; crazed Quentin; more
11/04/03: Herding off the hipsters; more
11/03/03: Dean's tell-all on himself?; Lisaraye vs. Mya?; the odd couple; no need to panic; just don't call him "Scooter"!; Rosie scenarios
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
10/28/03: It's Cher calling!; Brown Alert
10/27/03: Paparazzi uncensored!; where's Aaron Brown?; postcards from the middle; invasion of the party snatchers?; House flooded when not afire?; suspenders of disbelief?
10/23/03: Ace up Howard Dean's sleeve; Woody's ordeal; Paul Simon's kid makes good; the non-beginning of a beautiful friendship?
10/22/03: Showing the flag; Joe Frazier, smokin'!; see Carville bruised-up — sort of
10/21/03: Morris & Jaci's charm offensive; Hell hath no fury; Wintertime for Hitler
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?
10/15/03: Kerik into the breach?; holiday pander?; "the Dink" corrects the record; more
10/14/03: Madge gets mad, lips are sealed; the candidates who listen; he who hesitates is Beatty
10/13/03: Clothes, but no cigar; New Yorkers put a Sox in it; mad at Matalin?; more
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