Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 7, 2009


NY Post- Bill Clinton's triumphant return from North Korea with two rescued US journalists had Hollywood written all over it -- from the Burbank airport to the big-time producer who bankrolled the expedition to the celebrity public-relations firm that orchestrated the homecoming.

A key player in Clinton's high-flying diplomatic mission to rescue Laura Ling and Euna Lee was entertainment mogul Steve Bing, a longtime "Friend of Bill" who lent the ex-president his private Boeing 737.

The multimillionaire mogul paid about $200,000 in fuel and other costs that came with the trans-Pacific flight.

Bing's Shangri-La entertainment firm also funded a major logistical effort to carefully showcase Clinton's arrival in Tinseltown -- which featured Ling lauding the former president while almost in tears.

The company knows a blockbuster when it sees one, having produced Tom Hanks' "Polar Express," "Beowulf," starring Crispin Glover and Angelina Jolie, and Martin Scorsese's 2008 Rolling Stones rock-umentary, "Shine a Light," filmed at Clinton's 60th birthday bash at the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side.

Hollywood p.r. firm Rogers & Cowan, which represents Bing along with a bevy of A-list celebs, began organizing the arrival ceremony after it got word Tuesday morning -- while Clinton was still on the ground in Pyongyang -- to get ready, according to a Hollywood source.

The firm chose as its venue Hangar 25 at Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, a solar-powered facility that has hosted other press events.

Bing is a major financial backer of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and environmental causes, and has a business constructing environmentally friendly hangars. . .

The p.r. firm closely coordinated with Bill Clinton's foundation, which worked with former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV to have family members on hand for the homecoming.


Anonymous robbie said...

...says the New York Post.

Maybe it was a campaign event in a way, showing everyone that if you're an American trapped in an "axis of Eeevul" country don't expect any Republicans to do anything about it.

August 7, 2009 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, here's that little problem with your sources again, Sam. They're all screwing us, Republicans or Democrats---when they say we, they don't mean you or me.

August 7, 2009 2:47 PM  

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