Sunday, November 23, 2008

Milking the Coyote

Marriage on the Rocks
Published: November 22, 2008

A full two weeks after the election, Maureen Dowd has stopped obsessing over Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton long enough to focus on another election day travesty. The passage of Proposition 8 in California and the imminent release of Sean Penn bio-pic Milk is so strikingly ironic that it takes Dowd an entire paragraph to explicate the Dowdversion™.

The movie, chronicling the rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces in the ’70s to prevent discrimination against gays, is opening amid a rancorous California fight of gay activists against church-backed forces to prevent discrimination against gays.
The news peg for turning a freebie film screening into a column long Movies With Maureen™ is the building backlash boycott against supporters of Prop 8.
Now that donor information can be found on the Internet, gay activists have called for boycotts of anyone who contributed to the law’s passing, from businesses small (El Coyote restaurant in L.A., where Sharon Tate had her last meal and Fabio and George Clooney nearly came to blows) to large (Utah ski resorts and Park City, Utah, theaters where Sundance movies are shown).
Here at DowdCentral we are unfamiliar with the haunts of the Hollywood heavy-hitters, but El Coyote seems to be a popular if slightly notorious hot-spot. The Manson family connection is detailed on the Haunted Hollywood website. The Clooney-Fabio slapfest was detailed in Defamer about a year ago, but they put the fight at rival restaurant Madeo.

But what would cause Maureen to conflate these two celebrity incidents that are wholly incidental to the Prop 8 debate. Perhaps the Dowdster is a fan of Huffington Post and Firedoglake contributor Lisa Derrick who had this to say on November 11th:
Marriage rights advocates are calling for a boycott of Los Angeles' legendary El Coyote Cafe where Sharon Tate ate her last meal, and Penelope Cruz and U2 have had much more successful dining experiences, though George Clooney and Fabio came to blows in the naugahyde upolstered dining room after the Italian romance model called Clooney "a diva."
From the gossip rag of record, the New York Post had this to say about the Clooney-Fabio incident:
On Friday, Clooney and gal pal Sarah Larsen were having dinner at L.A. eatery Madeo next to Fabio and a group of women. {snip} Clooney, assuming the woman was taking snaps of him, asked her to stop - prompting Fabio to explain that the shots were of his group, not Clooney, and to tell the superstar, "Stop being a diva." Clooney started arguing back, and he and Fabio then got into a shoving match.
Both Maureen Dowd and Lisa Derrick got their details wrong. I bet some fact-checker gets upbraided. Hopefully Lisa Derrick is proud to be Maureen Dowd's uncredited and unpaid research assistant. Otherwise, I see another fight erupting over El Coyote.

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