Friday, April 13, 2007
I went to see The Hoax, in which Richard Gere plus a fake nose, plays the role of Clifford Irving, the conman who had won a million-dollar advance from McGraw-Hill in 1971 for writing an "authorized" biography of the reclusive super zillionaire Howard Hughes. Irving never met Hughes, but he was able to convince a bunch of sophisticated business executives,the New York publishing community and the American media and public that Hughes was his pen pal and great buddy. I know, I know. It's difficult to imagine that in this open society, with free media, checks and balances, etc. that someone can get away with this kind of lies and deceptions, like getting most Americans and their representatives in Congress, as well as the media, that Saddam had ties to Osama, WMDs and he was about to nuke Cleveland. Irving, whose hoax cheated McGraw-Hill out of a million bucks but didn't lead to the killings of thousands and to the waste of resources, ended up serving two years for fraud and giving back the money he had stolen. The other hoaxer, Paul Wolfowitz has landed on a lucrative job in the World Bank where he helped divert money (mostly paid by U.S.) to his lover. In any case, I enjoyed The Hoax, which is an intelligent thriller and great acting by Gere.