Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2004 / 28 Tishrei, 5765

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

Leonardo as Natural Man; Fake news vs. real news; The politics of Botox?; more


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Leonardo DiCaprio apparently finds it easy being green.


I hear the 29-year-old actor and ecomaniac is planning to launch his own production company dedicated to making environmentally friendly documentaries.


Word is that DiCaprio is teaming up with Global Green USA President Matt Petersen, with whom he collaborated on a global warming campaign last year, as well as Tree Media Group, helmed by Petersen's wife Leila.


On Tuesday, Matt Petersen confirmed to this column, "The three of us are partnering to produce a film on climate change and the need to see water as a basic human right, and we've had conversations about documentary possibilities."


Petersen, who was in town for Monday night's Global Green awards honoring Mikhail Gorbachev and "The Day After Tomorrow" director Roland Emmerich, added: "It's nothing to announce publicly, just conversations about documentaries about the environment and the need to reach people to take action to do something."


DiCaprio's PR rep, Ken Sunshine, told this column: "It's the germ of a great idea at its most preliminary stage, which eventually may happen."


I hear that the venture could present a contractual conflict with DiCaprio's existing film production company, Appian Way, but either way, Leo isn't waiting around to find out: Today he'll be campaigning in Madison, Wis., for John Kerry and will deliver two environmentally themed speeches on the candidate's behalf.

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FAKE NEWS VS. REAL NEWS


It looks like "Nightline's" Ted Koppel and "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart — who had words on the air during the Democratic Convention over who's to blame for a badly served viewership — still aren't ready to kiss and make up.


"I wouldn't touch him," Koppel told TV Guide's Stephen Battaglio, who asked if the ABC News star was willing to give the satirist a hug.


Stewart also begged off. "If I had known," he said, "I would have showered."


The two squabblers got together in New York to revisit their original "Nightline" argument, where Koppel noted that too many viewers were watching Stewart's "fake news" for the truth, and Stewart retorted that Koppel and other mainstream journalists had only themselves to blame for not getting the answers that people want.


In their latest encounter, Stewart argued: "There is something to the idea that the news media could be doing a better job of being arbiters of hypocrisy or absurdity. Ted — with the credibility he has earned over the years — could take a more activist role."


Koppel answered: "To the degree we have any disagreement, he's pushing me to be more opinionated on the air. . . . The minute the opinion expressed is anti-Bush or anti-Kerry, that person who feels skewered will immediately say, 'Well, "Nightline" used to be a legitimate news program.'"


Stewart insisted: "As long as you stick to your barometer of truth — if you're a guy that goes out there night after night and demonstrates your integrity and your credibility — you can pull it off."


THE BRIEFING


THE POLITICS OF BOTOX?: Hollywood denizens Mike and Irena Medavoy — who just lost their Botox malpractice lawsuit against dermatologist-to-the-stars Arnold Klein — are solid Democrats who support John Kerry, even though they initially backed retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark. So how would they feel to learn — as this column hears — that Botox user Teresa Heinz Kerry is among Klein's loyal high-profile patients? "If she's going to Klein, it's none of my business," producer Mike Medavoy told me Tuesday. "Irena and I have never said that nobody should use Botox." As for whether they'll appeal the jury's verdict in the suit — in which Irena Medavoy claimed that Klein and Botox maker Allergan poisoned her — "we're leaving that up to the lawyers. I think we made our point."


LOVE AND MARRIAGE, KATIE & TOM?: Star Magazine reports that now that fabulously wealthy television mogul Tom Werner — of Carsey-Werner Productions — has obtained a divorce from his wife of 28 years, friends are speculating he'll pop the question to his longtime girlfriend, Katie Couric. "Don't be surprised if you see them tie the knot very soon," a Werner pal tells Star. Of course, nothing surprises me anymore — including that reps for Werner and the "Today" show star had no comment.



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© 2003, Creators Syndicate