Producers also got squeezed by the stars in front of the cameras, especially those managed by Jules Stein and Lew Wasserman of MCA, Hollywood's first powerhouse talent agency. Back in Chicago when Stein started the firm as Music Corporation of America, he was booking area bands and using a "union racketeer" to throw stink bombs in nightclubs that wouldn't take his acts. He was supposedly a silent partner with Outfit bosses in the hot spots where his bands played, and according to Russo, he would continue to blur the line between ownership and union influence throughout his career.And then it was on to illegal weapons sales to Islamic Republic of Iran.
Later, when Wasserman client Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency of the Screen Actors Guild, he helped push through a waiver permitting MCA to be the only agency that could also produce programs for the burgeoning TV industry. This competitive edge helped Stein and Wasserman gain control of Universal Pictures and create Hollywood's first multimedia behemoth. In return for the SAG waiver, Russo asserts, Wasserman secretly cut Reagan into production deals (counter to SAG rules) and helped transform him into the ubiquitous TV presence that launched his political career.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Mob Ties for Bonzo?
In his Tribune review of the book Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers, Hillel Levin recounts an often forgotten chapter in Ronald Reagan's rise to power:
- ► 2008 (244)
- ► 2007 (349)
- Hastert "Took Care Of" Foley's Pageboy Problem
- Mia Culpa
- State of Chaos
- Neck and Neck
- Peter Roskam: Worst Person in the 6th District
- The Bush Administration's Road to 9-11
- Roskam's Cut and Running-Off at the Mouth is Going...
- Roskam Supporters Cut and Run from Comments About ...
- By The Company You Keep
- The Prophecies of Old Bull Lee
- "To stress or emphasize."
- "Perruque En Vinyle Pour Enfants"
- Esquire: 6th Dist = America
- Mob Ties for Bonzo?
- At Home or Abroad -- Torture Simply Doesn't Work
- Creepy Pete: How Gigolo Can You Go?
- Unitary Executive
- That's Incredible!
- The Principled Mr. Hyde
- T-Minus Fifteen: Obama Speech at Georgetown (Upda...
- Your Crumbling Democracy Quiz
- Get Some Perspective
- But Not in the Eyes of Chicago Aldermen
- Baby Steps
- Not "Quaint"
- What Your Auto Says About You
- GOP Has Given Up On Immigration
- "I value traditional marriage so much I've had thr...
- Bush Plan for Midterms: Don't Stop Lying
- Chicago Magic
- Rumsfeld: No Need for a Post-War Plan in Iraq
- Obama: TCB
- Is that the Foul Stench of Karl Rove that I Smell?...
- Roskam Priorities v. 6th District Priorities
- Obama's Government Transparency Bill -- NOT a Big ...
- Before You Blame Clinton
- Maj. Tammy Duckworth on Creepy Pete Roskam
- About the Fruits of Your Labor
- Major Duckworth Opposes Amnesty; GOP Lies; Sun Ris...
- Yep, We're Still Getting Our War On
- The Bottle Rockets - "Nancy Sinatra" In this perf...
- Is This Not the Very Picture(s) of Appeasing Middl...
- Rubber Stamp Roskam
- ▼ September (43)
- ► 2005 (555)