It’s a shame that Gloria Allred doesn’t represent herself in court. That way, she could work with both her favorite attorney and her favorite client.
Actually, Allred does represent herself every time she calls a press conference with some aggrieved woman or another—whether it’s one of Tiger Woods’ heartsick mistresses or the maid who for nine years worked for former ebay CEO and failed California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, whom Allred wanted to see lose.
And it’s so essential that we re-elect President Obama because the alternative is just unthinkable.
Nearly 20 years ago, when I was writing frequently for the so-called newspaper of record, I got an assignment to write a story about Hollywood celebrities and their pet political causes. It was a good idea. Those were the days of heady activities, with groups like Emily’s List forming to, as I was told, “take back the country”; actresses testifying in front of Congress about farm issues and alar in apples; and power players, like David Geffen and Richard Dreyfus, hiring personal political consultants.
Four things happened that stayed in my memory. The first was interviewing Jon Voight, whose pet cause was freeing Jonathan Pollard. What a mensch.
The second was laughing uncontrollably after learning that something called the Environmental Communications Office was giving its annual hero award to Mikhail Gorbachev. After all, the recently defunct Soviet leadership had left Russia and the republics in such pristine shape. Chernobyl, anybody?
The third was talking to Cybill Shepherd, who’d just come from testifying in front of a House subcommittee on abortion. I asked if she felt used by the group that had flown her in, knowing that congressmen would flock to the chamber to hear her. Indignantly, she said, “If you think that the only reason I was asked to testify on this important subject is because I’m famous, you’re naive.” Yes, I was the naive one.
Fourth was my call to Gloria Allred, who’d been recommended by a number of people in Hollywood as someone I should include. So I called her office.
“Ms. Allred, please,” I said to the receptionist.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but she’s in an important meeting.”
“All right,” I said, “would you please tell her that Joel Engel of the New York Times is calling?”
One thousand one, one thousand two… “Hi, this is Gloria, how are you?” she said cheerily, as though we were old friends.
What we actually talked about is irrelevant, though I still sometimes laugh about her answer to a question that had nothing to do with Washington: “As I said just the other day to President William Jefferson Clinton, in my private meeting with him in the Oval Office,” blah blah blah.
A country that takes Gloria Allred seriously is not a serious country.