The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Harvey Weinstein loves his speech at 273 below...

The last time, it was Gregg Easterbrook and his Kill Bill review [1].

From memory, on that occasion, Weinstein was more of a bit player - the role of the lead villain being taken by Mickey Mouse's boy, Michael Eisner, on account of Eisner's hacks canning Easterbrook from his ESPN gig. Anticipating the Great Man's wishes, rather than on his orders, I think is the better view.

Now, we get some speech-chilling news on Weinstein, courtesy of (of all places?) Women's Wear Daily:
When Vanity Fair contributor Peter Biskind was working on "Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film," Weinstein first tried to bribe him.

According to the forward of Biskind's book, Weinstein asked him, "Don’t you have a book idea that’s really close to your heart?" When Biskind innocently responded that he’d always wanted to write a book about the science of politics, Weinstein told him, "Great. We could sell a million copies! Forget about that other book."

Evidently, Biskind didn't.

So, WWD continues,
a worried Weinstein did a couple of things. First, according to two sources who spoke with Biskind about the matter, a person close to Weinstein masqueraded as a source for Biskind, took copious notes on the book’s contents and brought them back to the Miramax boss. Then, according to another source, Weinstein turned to David Boies, the famous attorney who won the Microsoft anti-trust suit and repped Al Gore in the Florida presidential recount, and they appealed all the way up to Viacom boss Sumner Redstone and had a less-than-successful mogul-to-mogul talk.

One gets a warm glow to think of the owners of CBS [2] declining to yield before the blandishments of private interests.

(Remember the Reagan miniseries farrago?)

And Weinstein doesn't seem to have done more than ask nicely (or, perhaps, not so nicely) for the book to be pulped. A necessary element to the speech-chilling crime would be the use of some means of extortion. Like threatening to fire someone. Or cancel contracts. Or dump stock. Or tell tales to regulators. Or squeeze advertisers. Or hijack talent.

Harvey wouldn't do anything like that, would he?

  1. Last discussed here on January 8 - where find links back to several earlier pieces here.

  2. The Who Owns What? page on the CJR site is worth bookmarking.

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