TMZ reporters can't identify Mikhail Gorbachev, Sen. Charles Schumer can't stay off his cell phone, Matthew Weiner can't stop laughing, and James Franco can't forgive Hollywood. You can't resist today's Smart Set.
- Reporters at TMZ are savants when it comes to identifying obscure celebrities, but they do not know their Cold War-era Soviet leaders. The on-screen newsroom gang thought Mikhail Gorbachev was alternately "that guy from Sex in the City" and "a chick." [TMZ]
- Sen. Charles Schumer, who once called a flight attendent a "bitch" for asking him to turn off his cell phone, was on the horn again at Geraldine Ferraro's funeral. While he didn't go so far as to answer a call during the service, he didn't leave the church after the service before whipping out his pocket pal and getting back into the conversational flow. [Page Six]
- Could the environmental backlash against the pending budget have been the result of a misheard acronym? Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on Thursday that reports that the White House would go along with Republican riders superceding EPA rules was a mistake. "“Somebody got confused. I think people got EPA and ECZ mixed up.” And ECZ is, apparently, also a mistaken acronym. At issue were community empowerment zones, or CEZs. [Politico]
- James Franco has finally addressed the speculation that he was stoned when he hosted the Oscars. He said it was because Anne Hathaway was so energetic. "I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway," he told David Letterman during a taping of the Late Show. He said he did his best, and he took a swipe at Hollywood's chattering class: "Here's the hypocritical thing: Leading up the Oscars, I couldn't hear enough about how, 'Oh, people don't care about the Oscars anymore; it's dead, it's boring, it's at the end of a long awards season, who cares about it?' Well, as soon as you don't host the way they want you to, they suddenly care and won't shut up about it!" [PopEater]
- Martin Sheen went to Capital Hill to do some lobbying on behalf of his pet cause, drug courts. The alternative legal institutions that focus on treatment rather than punishment have gotten some negative press, of late, in particular from This American Life, which profiled a seemingly out-of-control Georgia judge in its most recent episode. Sheen got pretty grandiose, talking about "a dream that helps lift up this nation and all its people to a place where the heart is without fear and the head is held high and knowledge is free." He did not mention Charlie. [Reliable Source]