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article imageOp-Ed: The Entertainment Industry's Non-Coverage of Team Oscar In Iran

By Johnny Simpson     Mar 27, 2009 in Entertainment
Media coverage of Roxana Saberi seems scarce, given her dire straits. Yet Roxana is practically up on billboards compared to Show Biz Press coverage of the historic Team Oscar trip to Iran. Now that's gold-plated PR silence you can't buy! Or can you?
The Roxana Saberi Hostage Crisis, Week Three and Counting. I hope she stays alive.
And I thought the press coverage on Roxana Saberi was skimpy! What has happened to Team Oscar in the ubiquitous Show Biz Press? Where oh where have they gone? Remember, people, Team Oscar is not just on a cultural mission, but a diplomatic one as well. BIG news! Even bigger silence. Hmm. Curious.
A search of Variety, the vaunted William Randolph Hearst of the Show Biz Press, revealed as its most recent entry only a link, to Nikki Finke's story of Team Oscar getting punked off the plane in Tehran over 300 and The Wrestler. Hmm. Interesting coincidence.
Hey, I'm not sayin' they got any gold-plated phone calls after that. I'm just sayin'. They know where they're bread is buttered a hell of a lot better than I do. Variety did, however, report on on Iran's Big Brother-like blocking of the Internet from February 18th of this year. Considering Iran now executes bloggers and will soon make "Death To Offensive Bloggers!" law, it looks like they have both ends of the 'net wrapped.
Boy, they sure do a lot of that Death To stuff, huh? But I digress.
A search of the Hollywood Reporter, the Arthur Sulzberger of the Show Biz Press (the original, not Punchy), revealed nothing, actually. It's kinda tough with no search engine and having to use a sitemap when all the links are down or rerouted. This is their Global Film, Foreign TV page. How helpful is that?
HR, join the 21st Century and get a goddamn search engine up and running, will ya? Anyway, no news, good news. I'm not sayin' that's what they're doing. I'm just sayin'.
The latest entry on Iran at Entertainment Weekly is a book review from December 10th of last year bearing the curious title, "Things I've Been Silent About." Again. Just sayin'. The latest entry in Billboard on Iran is actually a very interesting piece about an Iranian rock band called Hypernova, that always has to keep one eye on the door for the Goons. Along with blogging, being gay or a woman, life is Hell in modern-day Iran.
No recent coverage on Team Oscar, however. Yet I do commend them for this article, yet another Iranian Thugocracy eye-opener of many out there. Too bad people ain't lookin'. Too busy being hopeful, I guess.
On to Rolling Stone. Did Team Oscar Make The Cover? Hell, it doesn't even look like they made it inside the back cover! Here's a search of their Politics section. They do, however, have a February 6th interview of Oscar Bad Boy and Gay Hero Sean Penn. No current Iran coverage.
In fact, you won't find much on Team Oscar in Iran in the press at all. Yet here is a story full of countless twists and dramas. As Team Oscar gives film seminars to propaganda stooges in Tehran, American citizen Roxana Saberi is slowly dying in Evin prison, right across town. Also, Team Oscar's hosts have since slapped the video olive branch out of Obama's hand while they're still there.
Could Team Oscar see the resulting Death to America rallies from their gilded cages in Tehran, as they might have watched the colorful genocide parties for Omar Bashir?
Worse, did Team Oscar members see nothing wrong with either of those revolting developments? I would have left after either one. Hell, I would have left the country after the punking on 300 and The Wrestler! Not Team Oscar. And one key question I have is, did they apologize to their hosts for Hollywood slanders in film? If not, why were they granted access so shortly after they were denied? Hmm. Curious. If they did, it was all very Hush Hush, Off The Record and On The QT. Not sayin' that they did. I'm just sayin'. Loose end.
This Team Oscar in Iran misadventure has more twists and turns than a Guy Ritchie movie, yet nobody is reporting on it! I have to scour the earth for my reports! Hell, one of my best sources has been the Tehran Times! How wild is THAT? Must also give credit where credit is due. The Huffington Post Iran section is the best around. Always updating, too. And I never thought in my life I would be praising HuffPo for anything!
Bang-up job, guys! Keep up the great work, ya crazy bunch of Lefties! I LUV ya!
Anyway, rather than repeating myself on Team Oscar in Iran, you can find out a lot more (more than you'd care to, actually) on my reporting on Team Oscar and Iran. Some of it's pretty rough stuff, so be warned. But nothing can be rougher than the truth. I've got my evidence backed up. Lastly, I have to wonder. Is this the Big Gold-Plated Machine clamping down on a PR disaster of epic proportions with Team Oscar?
This a MAJOR event in the history of the Academy, guys! Yet it's like it isn't even happening. I'm not sayin' anything screwy is really going on here. I'm just sayin'. That's what opinion pieces are. The assimilation of the facts and evidence, and the projecting of speculations on said facts and evidence. Or lack thereof.
Should you want the REAL skinny on Team Oscar's Iran Follies, I suggest you get it from the Gold Plated Horse's Mouth: AMPAS. They don't seem to be very interested in answering my phone calls lately.
Maybe they'll answer yours.
Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams, Everyone!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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