Hollywood on the Potomac
“There’s something terribly exciting about getting at the truth when powerful people are trying to conceal it,” Nick Davies told Hollywood on the Potomac about being an investigative reporter. Davies is an award-winning special correspondent for The Guardian and his book “Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch” is being made for the silver screen by George Clooney.
“It’s about the pivotal role the newspaper played in exposing the British phone-hacking scandal that forced the closure of Mr. Murdoch’s tabloid The News of the World, and cast an unforgiving light on the incestuous ties among the country’s most powerful media conglomerate, the police and the political elite.” New York Times “I guess they usually conceal it,” Nick added about powerful people, “because they’re abusing their power. It’s very satisfying to expose abuse of power I suppose.”
“Essentially I’m lucky because I’m freelance. Nobody tells me what to try and sniff out. It’s just a question of what appears to be important at any one time. I went through a phase of being very shocked about the scale of poverty in England. I ended up spending years writing stories about poverty in England and doing a whole book about it. Other times I got worried about the decline of our state funded schools. I spent several years on that. The war against drugs I thought was a very bad thing so I tried to expose that.
This book actually started like ten years ago. After the invasion of Iraq, I was frustrated by the fact that when it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction, new organizations reported that as though it was a problem created by governments and intelligence organizations. Whereas, clearly, the misinformation had a third player which was news organizations. I started looking at why news organizations produce so many stories which are false or distorted. I wrote a book about that called Flat Earth News. While I was doing that, which involved talking to reporters from other papers about the stories behind stories, some of them started telling me about illegal things they had been doing to get their stories. That then led on to looking at the illegality which produced the whole phone hacking scandal,” Davies explained.
The only thing missing from The Stroud Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities hoedown at the Georgetown home of Brooke and Stephane Carnot was Willie Nelson.
No one rode in on a horse – that we know of – nor did anyone bring their own banjo, but most guests showed up in full cowboy regalia and after a few ‘beverages’ hit up the dance floor for a little Do-si-do Square dancing and “yee-haws.”
There was lots finger-licking good eats: classic cowboy sides, barbecue baked beans, coleslaw and succulent chocolate fudge brownies all washed down with wine by the bottle …
The Stroud Foundation was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Washington DC’s favorite pediatrician Dr. Frank Stroud.
“Dr. Stroud cared for tens of thousands of children but he was particularly devoted to children with learning differences and their families. He consulted with Psychologists and Psychiatrists who specialized in Learning Disabilities, including ADD and ADHD; he consulted with schools, their nurses and teachers on behalf of the children he treated; and he advocated for children who needed someone that believed in them. He often said, ‘No child wants to fail'” according to the mission statement.
Frank and his wife Kandie lived for many years on the small block of 31st and O that was littered with lots of colorful media personalities: Rollie Evans, half of the “Evans-Novak Political Report” – Barbara Gamarekian, Society writer for The New York Times and assistant to President Kennedy’s press secretary Pierre E. Salinger who ironically lived across the street with his wife Poppy. So it was fitting that Frank’s daughter Brooke currently resides just a few blocks away.
“I’m on the inherited staff from the prior Secretary of State,” Sebastian Arcelus told Hollywood on the Potomac at the premiere screening of CBS’ MADAM SECRETARY event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington DC.
“I play Jay Whitman, her senior policy advisor who’s a bit of a hot head, a little direct. He’s a smart, very forward thinker, but he’s a bit results oriented. There’s a bit of a rub between her inherited staff and herself but they grow to really have an appreciation for each other. They think the same, they have the same intentions, but they also think a little different.”
“It’s very interesting to flip the script and join the stage department and get to be a part of this amazing piece with this remarkable group of actors and storytellers and taking on world events in a very realistically fictional way,” he added. “It’s really ambitious in the best way. We’re dealing with some major issues and not doing so in a political way but in a new exciting and human way.”