More Brangelina babies might mean more charity dollars


July 15, 2008|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,Tribune Media Services

SOME PEOPLE seem compelled by unkind fate to parental servitude for life. There is no form of penal servitude much worse than this," said 19th-century novelist Samuel Butler.

Mr. Butler never married, never had children, and could never have anticipated the likes of Angelina Jolie. Miss Jolie is the Mia Farrow of the 21st century, gathering up and bearing children willy-nilly, nurturing the world.

Jolie finally gave birth to her twins last weekend. I say "finally" because as many of you know, Entertainment Tonight insisted more than a month ago that Jolie had already delivered, spawning media hysteria and confusion when the star appeared in public, obviously still in the gravid state. So it only seems that Jolie has been pregnant forever. ET finally fessed up on July 3.

By then it had become something of a parlor game - when would they concede Jolie had not yet given birth? Would they ever? Eh, they were anxious to give the world happy news. In this time of global trauma, who can blame them?

Now, everybody in the universe is thrilled for Angie and Brad Pitt. And that includes the employees at Nice's Lenval Hospital, where Jolie delivered. But, they'll be happier once the famous star is gone.

Oh, no. Not that she was a problem. She's a doll, personally. But the entire hospital staff was exhausted by the intense media interest. Journalists leapt out of bushes, lurked in dark corners, begging for scraps of gossip. This begging came with astronomical financial offers. The good people at Lenval - a 133-bed establishment - were being worn down. Even the extra security didn't cool the heat. (Hollywood hospitals, such as Cedars Sinai, leak like a sieve. If you are hospitalized in Tinseltown, your records and even your meals are likely to be up on TMZ by the end of the day.)

However, facilities around the world should stay on high alert, perhaps perform "Angelina Jolie drills." The beautiful actress has already said she's not through making babies.

P.S. And if magazines are crazy enough to pay upward of $15 million or $20 million for photos of Angie's infants, I say, you go girl! This money is funneled to her various charities. Let the media howl.

Shaking Oprah's world

Oprah Winfrey's O magazine got itself a new editor, the woman who once headed up Golf for Women. She is Susan Reed following in the very big footsteps of the one and only Amy Gross, who insists that retirement is the one thing she wants.

Speaking of Oprah. This woman could do no wrong for so long that it must come as a shock to now find herself being lectured by the likes of Fox columnist Roger Friedman. He took exception to her promos wherein she referred to Lisa Marie Presley as "my cousin."

Friedman berated her: "Whatever in the world would possess the otherwise sensible Winfrey to dub Elvis Presley's daughter in this way? More importantly, how does she not see that these wild infatuations with celebrity Scientologists such as Presley, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley - all wildly out of proportion to her interests in other celebrities - mitigates her important endorsement and enthusiasm for things like charitable giving, her South African school and Barack Obama?"

But don't think Roger is just beating on the Big O. He regularly massacres Madonna's interest in Kabbalah and mocks her charity endeavors in Malawi. Roger is an equal-opportunity cynic.

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