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June 18, 2008

Kick, ball change

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Talk about incongruous -- looks like a guy who's worked his way up the food chain at the New York Times from clerk to reporter to Broadway beat writer will be going to war.

But Campbell Robertson had something important to do before shipping out, according to the New York Observer and its interview with the Times' Baghdad bureau chief Jim Glanz:

"We were out last night and he was picking my brain on Iraq. He said that people have been asking him when he's going to Iraq. And he said he'll go once the Tonys are over!"

If that's not the strangest quote you read today, please let us know.

We're not sure if this means there's a radical change in how the Times intends to cover the war (could this be a new use for all those laid-off movie reviewers?) or if it's a testament to this guy's hutzpah. Both?

Robertson didn't speak to the Observer about his new assignment, but he did a few years back talk about how he'd risen quickly at the paper by following his gut:

"I just ignored what everybody was saying for so long. It might have been wildly inadvisable."

The guy's got moxie and probably just as much chance as many journalists to give us some stuff from the war that we actually want to read. Keep your head down, pal, and you may never have to cover another musical song-and-dance extravaganza again.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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