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Shady? Obama campaign deputy paid to promote Oscar nominee


In the days leading up to this weekend's annual Hollywood love-fest, Obama's campaign reelection deputy Stephanie Cutter actively promoted Best Picture nominee "Silver Lining's Playbook."  Twitchy highlights Cutter's promotional tweets and comments here.  And while it's possible that Cutter may just be a big fan or have a massive girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence, it's also possible that her professional connections to President Obama and big-time donor Harvey Weinstein also played a role.

According to Vulture, Cutter was paid to promote SLP by the film's producer, The Weinstein Company.  In case you were wondering what Glenn was talking about this morning on the radio when he wrote off the Oscars as nothing more than "politics and money," this would be a good example (emphases mine):

With top rivals Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty both having big political angles that resonated beyond Hollywood, our sources tell us that Cutter was hired to tout SLP not just as a well-made movie, but a culturally relevant and especially politically significant film that was shaping the national conversation about mental health triggered in part by the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Indeed, in the run-up to the Oscars, Silver Linings seemed to undertake a series of self-administered pats on the back “for making progress towards removing the stigma of mental illness,” as proclaimed by a February Center for American Progress press conference featuring Silver Linings star and Best Actor Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, along with two Democratic pols, Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and former Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

Then, less than a week later, Cooper and his director, David O. Russell, met with Vice-President Joe Biden in his office, again to chat about mental-health reform. ...

But that's not where the Obama-Weinstein links end.  According to Deadline Hollywood, Weinstein was also responsible for first lady Michelle Obama's surprise Oscar appearance:

(Image: White House)

The idea of getting the First Lady on the show first came from Lily Weinstein, who mentioned it to her big Obama contributor dad Harvey, who suggested it to the Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Academy president Hawk Koch. The group flew to DC a week and a half ago to put the logistics together with the White House. The Oscar producers told Deadline’s Pete Hammond earlier this week that they “were being like the CIA” about a couple of surprises on the show, keeping things top secret. In towns like Hollywood and DC where people love to talk, they pulled it off...
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