In his farewell to the NY Times on Sunday, former entertainment reporter Bernard Weinraub offered up a litany of his Hollywood sins. He admits to some initial starfucking (hey, wouldn't you ditch Billy Bob Thornton to squeeze a quote out of Cameron Diaz?), falling asleep while interviewing Jim Carrey (mortifying!), and personal shame over driving his crappy beater to meet rich studio types (doubly mortifying!). In one anecdote, Weinraub admits to falling for the estimable charms of Jeffrey Katzenberg, who predictably dropped him like a dead kitten once he finally abandoned the movie beat after his marriage to rising studio head Amy Pascal proved too complicated for the Times:
When I finally asked to be taken off the movie beat in 2000, I laughed and said I felt like the Duke of Windsor. But I quickly caught a lesson in how chilly life as a former movie correspondent could be. In the past, I'd written about Jeffrey Katzenberg, then president of the Walt Disney Company. He returned every call quickly and often phoned me; he dished over pasta at Locanda Veneta about all the studios in town and became such a pal that I once showed him off-the-record comments made about him by Michael Eisner. That was wrong and foolish, and years later I still regret it. As soon as I stopped covering movies, Mr. Katzenberg stopped responding to phone calls. I was surprised but shouldn't have been.
Weinraub fails to mention whether or not he returned the custom-made throw pillows Katzenberg gave him (featuring both men's likenesses encircled by a heart and bearing the words "I love you, not just your beat") in exchange for a peek at the Eisner comments.
- 14 Years Later, My Hollywood Ending [NYT, reg. req'd.]