Full text of the Leo/Potus ABC
Earth Day 2000 special interview
April 7th 2000: Leo gets embroiled in a controversy at ABC News:
Next day President Clinton makes light of the whole thing at Washington Correspondents dinner. As he walked up to the mike, the theme music to the Titanic played on.
"ABC doesn't know whether
Leo and I had an interview,
a walk-through or a drive-by.
Don't you newspeople ever learn?
If it isn't the mistake that kills you,
it's the coverup."
(US Weekly, April 24th 2000)
(Leo Update April 12th 2000: http://www.egroups.com/message/endsecrecy/489)
(New York Post announced April 13th that the full transcript of the Leo/Potus interview will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov after the broadcast of the Earth Day special on ABC. Hey. I'll give Denis and Leo this much, they sure milked this thing for what it was worth. But is this generating interest in Earth Day or trivializing it?)
(April 14th 2000: Yet more from NY Post gossip columnists:
Leo's article in Time magazine's special Earth Day 2000 edition:
The Washington Post article that leaked Leo/Potus meeting:
April 16th: Denis Hayes's timid answer to the Leo question:
New York Post: April 19th 2000
From the Cindy Adams column:
Leo DiCaprio, reluctant hero.
This DiCaprio-White house ABC kerfuffle which finally airs in microcosm on Saturday?
Elizabeth Vargas was pressed into service as co-host, her participation being so it wasn't just those two handsome dudes, Leonardo DiCaprio and Chris Cuomo, starring in the piece. My information was the job was first presented to Diane Sawyer and she declined. ABC tells me my information is wrong.
Invariably, Leonardo gets rapped as being pompous. Full of himself. In this case, he did not muscle in. He actually agreed reluctantly to put his rear on the line in order to punch up the environment. His friend Chris Cuomo is a TV journalist. A rising star at ABC. The network flipped at the idea of an Earth Day special.
They wanted him to go site to site. To be the roving reporter on the scene. He said uh-uh. He'd be resented for trying to be a working newsman. They wanted him as the sole host. The more Leo, the better. Soup-to-nuts as if it were Leo's Hour. He said thanks but no thanks. He'd be just a presence. A flash attraction. They wanted a full-scale, sit-down big-time presidential head-to-head. He said no, no, no, a thousand times no. He knew how he'd feel if he heard some movie actor was conducting a major interview with the prez.
More prudent than capricious, his judgment calls were right on - not theirs.
But what's such a bad idea? Masses of humanity ain't normally tuning in to hear about the Earth. They prefer "The Simpsons." Controversy helps ratings, and the use of a celebrity is a device. Maybe the suits at ABC news aren't as dumb as they seem? And wouldn't that be a kind of irony?
To which Denis Hayes replied in an email after I sent him the text:
> Thanks Remy. I needed this on the eve of the big event. (Who'd have
> thought I'd have to turn for common sense to Cindy Adams?)
(You see, Cindy doesn't post her columns online, so I typed it up myself and sent it to him.)
Does anyone have this New York Times article as a text file? I'm Just trying to save myself $2.50.
When Celebrity Hearts Bleed
By Michele Willens
The public image of Leonardo DiCaprio, circa 1998: a party boy with a
reserved table in every V.I.P. room, hopping from Moomba to Chaos to Veruka
in a Lincoln Navigator with his posse of male friends. The image of Leonardo
DiCaprio, circa April 2000: the chairman of Earth Day, leading a four hour rally in Washington...
April 16, 2000, Sunday
Styles section , 2170 words
Sunday April 23, 2000 10:30 PM EST
Leonardo DiCaprio, Earth Day Chairman
Leonardo DiCaprio, Chairman of Earth Day 2000, opened the first anniversary in the new millennium of the day dedicated to saving the planet from the increasing destruction of the global environment, with a brief statement yesterday in the Washington D.C. Mall before an assembly of what authorities estimated was a gathering of approximately a half-million people.
DiCaprio was introduced by Mayor Anthony Williams who called him a "friend of our environment" and a "friend of us in fighting global warming."
"Ever since I was a kid, environmental issues have always sparked my interest. So let me start off by saying that the problem with doing a speech concerning our environment is that there's so much to say about so many issues."
One of the issues Leonardo did not address was the serious environmental harm done by the sinking of the Titanic in the North Atlantic in April of 1912.
Leonardo doesn't care about that - because he made lots of money off that environmental disaster!
He also lost lots of money off his relationship with Chris Cuomo, son of the former New York governor.
According to Fox News' Roger Friedman, Cuomo "is DiCaprio's former money manager and business adviser."
Friedman says, Chris, who now works as a correspondent for ABC's 20/20, "worked for now-jailed money manager Dana Giacchetto as an attorney at the Cassandra Group. At this time last year, DiCaprio and Giacchetto were bestest friends, practically living together in Giacchetto’s downtown loft. Small world, huh?"
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