Nate Bloom blogs on this week’s Jews in the News
“Nate Silver is the only white male winning tonight.”
—So tweeted “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” producer Gavin Purcell on election night, after it became clear that Obama would win.
Kudos to these 2012 election journalists: NATE SILVER, 34, DAVID KORN, 53, and CHUCK TODD, 40. Silver, a statistical analyst who writes the “Five-Thirty-Eight” blog for the NY Times, correctly predicted the winner of 49 out of 50 states in the 2008 election and the winner of all 50 states in 2012. Silver’s mathematical modeling and evaluation of state and national polls was criticized by many on the political Right—but now we know that he was right. Silver’s father, BRIAN D. SILVER, is a Michigan State political science professor. His mother, Sally, isn’t Jewish. Silver calls himself “half Jewish.”
Korn, chief of the Washington Bureau of “Mother Jones” magazine, became much better known after he released the now-famous Mitt Romney “47%” video. James Earl Carter IV, Pres. Carter’s grandson, located the maker of the video (a small, blurry section of which was on the web) and put that person in touch with Korn because, Carter said, he had worked well with Korn before. Korn then worked directly with the video maker and got him/her to release it in full to Mother Jones. No doubt, it influenced the election’s outcome. (The name of the maker of the video has not yet been released).
Todd, who was raised in Miami, is the NBC political division chief, and host of the MSNBC show, “The Daily Run Down.” He distinguished himself with his informative, “down the middle” analysis of the race. He also worked to make sure that NBC’s polls were well-done—and they turned out to be among the most accurate. Todd, whose mother is Jewish, was raised Jewish.
Lincoln and Vampires
These movies open on Friday, Nov. 13:
“Lincoln,” directed by STEVEN SPIELBERG, 65, and written by TONY KUSHNER, 56, covers the last eight months of the President’s life, as he worked to end the Civil War and abolish slavery forever via a constitutional amendment. Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis, 55, stars in the title role. Day-Lewis is the son of an Irish Protestant father (the late poet laureate of England, Cecil Day-Lewis) and an English Jewish mother (the late actress JILL BALCON). While secular as an adult, I cannot ignore the fact that Day-Lewis was baptized as a boy and, for the purpose of this column, I don’t consider him Jewish.
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, 31, co-stars as Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s son. The younger Lincoln, the only child of the president to survive him, finished college and became a Union Army officer a year before (1864) the president’s assassination. Interesting footnote: Robert Todd Lincoln arrived in Washington the day before his father was killed, and while he wasn’t in Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was shot, he was nearby and rushed to his father’s deathbed. He was present at the 1881 assassination of President Garfield (he served as Garfield’s Sec. of War). He was also present (!) at the assassination of President McKinley (1901). Robert Todd Lincoln was aware of this grim track record and refused presidential invitations after McKinley’s death.
Another footnote: Robert Todd Lincoln’s grandson, who died in 1985, without children, was the last “undisputed” direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. However, sports broadcaster WARNER WOLF, 74, who was born in Kentucky, claims collateral descent from Lincoln. Wolf, who now works for the radio/cable TV show “Imus in the Morning,” and has worked for the ABC TV network, as well as local ABC and CBS TV affiliates, is the son of a Jewish father and a mother who converted to Judaism. Wolf says his mother is a descendant of a member of the family of Nancy Hanks, the president’s mother. Tom Hanks, the actor, is also distantly related to Nancy Hanks.
Some people claim Lincoln, himself, had Jewish blood. I find the evidence dubious. But African Americans were spot-on when they referenced the Bible and called him “Father Abraham.”
Well, it’s finally here, the twilight (i.e, the end) of the “Twilight” movie series about vampires. The official description of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Down—Part 2” says that it: “illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.” Like the previous four films, the screenplay for this film was written by MELISSA ROSENBERG, 50. NIKKI REED, 24, reprises her co-starring role (“Rosalie Hale”). By the way, the first four films brought in $2.5 billion in movie ticket sales, alone. As the Brits would say, “that’s not bloody bad.”
Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities, broadly defined, that appears in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the Cleveland Jewish News, the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the Detroit Jewish News, and the New Jersey Jewish Standard. It also appears bi-weekly in j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California. Most of the items in Bloom’s weekly newspaper column differ from the items in his bi-weekly column on interfaith celebrities for InterfaithFamily.com. If you wish to contact Nate Bloom, e-mail him at email@example.com . The author welcomes questions and celebrity “tips,” especially about people you personally know.