By Risë Birnbaum

Call me nearsighted (I am), but I just do not see how anyone believes a word Donald Trump says.  The latest kerfuffle happened today (it’s a daily thing now), and involves the new luxury hotel he’s building in downtown DC.

The Washington Post recently stated there are illegal immigrants working on the hotel, so Anderson Cooper decided to ask Trump directly about the allegations.  Trump’s answer:  “I can’t guarantee that all the workers I employ have legal status in the United States, but if I were to discover any illegal immigrants…we’d get rid of them immediately.”

I guess the same illegal immigrants that Trump believes are “raping our women” are OK to have around as long as they help him put up his luxury hotels.  Remember, this is the same guy who re-tweeted that “Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife.”  Where does this guy come off?  And he doesn’t regret a word.  Nope.  Not one, single word of his nonsensical rants.  He also called conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer a “rodeo clown.”  Now, Krauthammer is not my favorite guy in town and maybe he should cut down on the hair dye, too, but he sure doesn’t deserve what Trump dished out.  Neither does Jeb.

Really, folks, can anyone out there actually take their precious vote and pull the lever for this guy?  If anyone’s a clown, it’s Trump, and if our country is going to get through this election cycle, he either better take some xanax, or we should.  Some noise-cancelling headphones would help, too.

Ex Geek Makes Good

Blogging is fun.  I love thinking about the world and either poking fun at something really obvious or throwing my opinion out there with a gazillion others.

But, my favorite blogger in the world is Andy Borowitz.  This guy is the best at taking real news and juggling it to make it laugh-out-loud funny every single day.  And who couldn’t use a serotonin high these days?  Add Borowitz to lexapro and you’re happy for about 8 hours straight (did I say straight?).

Here’s a taste of some of Borowitz’ recent headlines:

“Blind Chinese Dissident Sick of Kardashians”

“North Carolina Weighs Ban on Electricity/Soap”

“Hookers Downgrade US Credit Rating”

“Fox News Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction”

“In Possible Gaffe, Romney says People “Taste like Chicken”

See what I mean?  Is this guy funny or what?  The Cleveland native and Harvard Lampoon publisher packed up his lava lamp and day glo posters and took off to the left coast right after college and managed to start writing sitcoms in a flash starting with Archie Bunker.  But, after about a decade, soon after The Fresh Prince (which Borowitz produced and wrote) he decided to pack it in and go back east to NYC.  Word from the King of Copy is that he was tired of the Hollywood treadmill where his next hit had to be bigger and his next house had to be fancier and his next dog had to be cuter (he actually said that on a CBS interview).

So, Andy hopped off the LA red carpet train, took some time off to read and think (lucky guy had the bank account to do that) and then kinda reinvented himself as a comedian, blogger, author (which he’s great at).  I mean, this guy can really do schtick.  And America knows it.  Andy has 244,801 Twitter followers, 47,793 Facebook friends and 72,302 blog subsribers.  After you read this, check out and up his numbers a bit.  The “Mad Magazine”-inspired dude deserves it.

As a former ABC Network news correspondent, screenplay writer and now PR exec, I know it’s not easy to be funny when you need to be.  And Andy is funny 365 days a year.

If there’s a beefy news story, Borowitz will have the best blog in the galaxy within hours (maybe minutes).  And he’s also the coolest ex geek I’ve ever seen.  Can’t ask for more than that.

zcomm : The Oscars Edition


the Academy is voting for those lucky actors, producers, directors, et al who
get to pick up a golden statue, we decided that the zcomm staff should do the
same and make a few predictions before they roll out the red carpet.  And,
just to keep things on the up and up, we asked our accounting firm of RSMI
McGladrey to oversee our balloting process.

now for our results:


  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • An Education
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air

@risezcomm: Hurt Locker. Kept
me on the edge of my seat!

@kimblelayne: I think Up in
the Air should win. Avatar is new and exciting (which everyone loves; no other
movie came out in IMAX 3D-it’s not just a movie, but an experience) but UITA
tells such a real story. It’s one of the most relatable movies of the year.

@mindofmcn: Avatar seems
like the safest pick, biggest movie ever and Academy loves Cameron

@robinhlane: They should
just re-name the category cool and shiny movie of the year because Avatar is
going to win.  I haven’t even seen it but
the commercials alone… anything this flashy, and blue, will win. For the
record, I really liked District 9, though I doubt anything will break through
the shiny that is Avatar.

@P_C_M: I almost never get a chance to go to see
“the moving picture show.”  I’ve heard “the talkies” are quite popular
nowadays but.. Avatar – I actually saw this flick.  And, given James
Cameron’s track record, I’m thinking he’s got a good shot at it.  Blue
folks are always a winner…didn’t you love the Smurfs as a child?

@nicolesoufi: Avatar has
won everything so far, so I expect it’ll win this as well. I’d love to see it
go to Inglourious Basterds though!


  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up In The Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman, Invictus
  • Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

@mindofmcn: Jeff Bridges,
Crazy Heart – probably the best category, I think it comes down to Bridges and
Clooney, but I think Bridges has gotten more Buzz lately

@risezcomm: Jeff Bridges.
Who knew the guy could sing?

@nicolesoufi: Jeff Bridges. Again, he’s
won everything else already so I think he’s a safe pick. George Clooney would
be a close 2nd though.

@P_C_M: George Clooney, Up In The Air – Does it
count if the role was written specifically for you?  I mean, he does a
great job, but it’s not like it was a huge stretch


  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based
    on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

@mindofmcn: Gabourey
Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire – Seems like it
could be anyone from this category except Streep who is always nominated but
never wins anymore, Sidibe seems like the best story

@robinhlane: I’d really
like to see Sandra Bullock win. Oh come on, she’s come a long way since Speed.
I can say I wasn’t a huge fan of Streep in Julie & Julia- could have been
because I was on a plane for 8 hours and cranky. That said, I have no idea who
will actually win maybe Helen Mirren

@risezcomm: Carey
Mulligan. This Audrey Hepburn lookalike has star power.

@nicolesoufi: I think Gabourey has been overlooked! She
was spectacular in this movie and really deserves to win!

@P_C_M: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire – Given
that I saw none of these movies, I'd thought I'd go with the
independent flick. Plus, a little bit of diversity never hurt anyone.
And, for the record, "blue" doesn't count as diverse no matter what I
said earlier.

Supporting Actor

  • Matt Damon, Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer, The Last
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious

@mindofmcn: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
– this award has been going to the best villain

(Ledger in Dark Knight, Bardem
in No Country), and the Nazi’s are the best villains ever

@risezcomm: Christoph Waltz. Brilliant!!

@nicolesoufi: Christoph Waltz. No contest. He speaks
about 5 languages in the movie, how can he NOT win?!

@kimblelayne: Waltz!

@P_C_M: Matt Damon,
Invictus – he’s hot and apartheid sucks.  I got nothing else…

Supporting Actress

  • Penélope Cruz, Nine
  • Vera Farmiga, Up In The Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air
  • Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the
    Novel Push by Sapphire

@mindofmcn: Anna
Kendrick, Up In The Air – No idea who to pick here, but I think they’ll want to
honor Up In The Air so it will either be screen play or one of the actresses
(if they don’t split the vote).

@robinhlane: Is it bad that I’m voting Maggie Gyllenhal
to win, because I think she’s cool? Hope not, because she gets my vote! 

@risezcomm: Vera Farmiga.

@nicolesoufi: – Mo’Nique should win it. She made me gasp
and cry more times than I remember with her performance.

@P_C_M: Vera Farmiga,
Up In The Air – As an adulterous workaholic who gets “turned on by elite
status” Vera rocks out.  She’s open, she’s out there, and she’s in the
only movie I saw in the category.

I’d like to thank our panelists. And
don’t forget to follow us @zcommunications and each of our esteemed panel of
judges on Twitter for more thoughts on this year’s Oscars …and I guess we’ll
throw in some PR thoughts too.