Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thomas Friedman got ready for his close up

If there's one thing worse than his writing, it's a photo of my husband Thomas Friedman.

Mrs. K called yesterday to ask me about it. Seems Nicky K couldn't stop laughing.

"Betinna, what look is he going for?"

"What look do you see?"

"Well, honestly, he looks like Angela Landsbury in the midst of dance rehearsal for a road tour of Gypsy."

That's exactly the look I was going for.

I didn't sell Thomas Friedman on it that way.

But I told him his blonde highlights would really be set off by a simple black jersey. I explained that it was "very Audrey Hepburn" and that's really all it took. After an hour of listening to him speak of his own understanding of "empathy."

He claims it was Funny Face that set him on his current course. He was a young 12 year-old boy who happened to come across Funny Face late one night and decided that he too was an empathatic. Or at least that he wanted to be someone "who the whole world wanted."

He can dream, right?

I told him I was just glad that was his first Audrey Hepburn film. Imagine what would have happened if he'd seen Roman Holiday first?

He got very nervous and told me "someday" he'd tell me all about his initial encounters with William Safire.

So what did the New York Times' "empathatic" write about most recently?

Staying the course in Iraq?

It's an unpopular position so it's a natural for Thomas Friedman.

Or as I put it, "People will love your brave voice."

Flattery gets you everywhere with Thomas Friedman.

So he heaped hate on Iran and urged staying in Iraq.

Except for correcting his repeated use of the term "Iranese," I just hailed it as "brilliant."

He wasn't going to praise fellow war pornographer Michael Gordon but I convinced that the paper would keep presenting his underwhelming The World Is Flat as the second best selling book regardless of how Gordon's pornography sold.

He's really scared Gail Collins pretty good if she keeps arguing for it be at number two despite the fact that it's not selling. Or maybe it's just her own little joke: saying his book is a "number two."

It does tend to stink up a room.

"Is it really brilliant?" Thomas Friedman asked of "America's Iran Policy: Iraq."

"It's as brilliant as your carefully manicured nails," I offered. "And as needed."

"Oh, Betinna," Thomas Friedman smiled, clasping his hands together in such a manner as to show off his carefully groomed and clear-polished nails, "You're too good to me."

I truly am.

That's why I didn't even point out, as he twirled around the room singing, that "I'm the Greatest Star" is from the film Funny Girl, not Funny Face.