DHS's Casting Couch

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Remember the old "$100,000 job" bit from Albert Brooks' super-duper flick, Lost in America? It was the oversized compensation figure that Brooks' assoholic former ad man character cited to a bemused paper-shuffler in a small-town unemployment office.

Well, the folks at the Department of Homeland Security have their own version of a $100,000 job, and it's a doozy. From the Wash Times:

the Department of Homeland Security has hired former actress Bobbie Faye Ferguson, as DHS's 'liaison to the entertainment industry,' " says a memo from the Republican Study Committee.

Salary for the GS-15 position "could top $136,000 plus benefits. Ferguson's new role as Homeland's connection to the stars began in October 2004," reports the committee, which is the Republican conservative caucus on Capitol Hill.

The Hollywood liaison's job description includes "reviewing movie scripts" and identifying "opportunities for proactive outreach to the entertainment industry," according to the memo.

Whole thing here (scroll down). The Times' notes that Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) is trying to kill the position and redirect the dough allocated for it elsewhere. "'With $100,000, America's first responders could purchase … 165 bulletproof vests or 40 Level A [hazardous material] protective suits,' according to Mrs. Musgrave's office."

For a taste of Bobbie Faye's filmography–we loved her as "Cranky Lady" in parts 1 and 2 of the legendary "Bees Can Sting You, Watch Out" sequence on the watershed comedy Hearts Afire–go here.

And then weep for your country, your Constitution, and your sitcoms.

The worst part of this? They could have gotten Margot Kidder for half that much. Or, for that matter, Albert Brooks, the sole person involved in Finding Nemo to see his Q score tank faster than Billy Zane's did after Titanic.

NEXT: Did Hanoi Jane Pass Notes Handed to Her by US POWs to Vietnamese Captors?

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  1. A General Service (GS) 15 grade in the federal government is the absolute highest grade a civilian employee can get without entering the Senior Executive Service (SES).

    What a fucking plumb.

  2. “The Hollywood liaison’s job description includes “reviewing movie scripts” and identifying “opportunities for proactive outreach to the entertainment industry,” according to the memo.”

    What, exactly, is she supposed to be reviewing the scripts for? Are we talking about stuff the current admin would find “unpatriotic” or perhaps, in the wake of the Newsweek flap, things that might lead to violence? Next thing you know, in addition to the age ratings, movies will come conviniently color coded.

    And despite the Hollywood left mouthing off about anything that offends their sensibilities, does the Federal gov’t really think it’s necessary to have an “outreach” program?

  3. “What, exactly, is she supposed to be reviewing the scripts for?”

    Based on what similar offices located in the Pentagon and branches of the armed services do, she will be identifying movies that DHS will provide assistance for in exchange for the scripts reflecting a “positive” view of the department.

  4. SR,

    So, is there anything to the rumor that the DoD was all set to help with Independence Day, given its positive view of the military, but backed out when the producer refused to remove the reference to Area 51?

  5. Hmm, that’s interesting. I had no idea that this sort of machinery was already in place, although I might have guessed. Any knowledge of which films have traded gov’t funding for editorial control?

  6. *Insert incoherent, profanity-laden rant here.* I

  7. If washed-up actresses cannot land cushy government jobs, then the terrorists will have won!!

    And why does Rep. Musgrave hate America??

  8. I don’t know about military areas trading money for editorial control, but it’s certainly been done in the government. There was this huge program a while back where the Drug Czar’s office was paying producers for scripts with the “right” drug message. “ER,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Chicago Hope,” “The Drew Carey Show,” and “7th Heaven” were some of those who played along.

    Daniel Forbes’ excellent investigational series exposed that one.

  9. All Government agents in all films will now have thier guns digitally replaced with walkie-talkies.

    I actually think the fact that most portrayals of Government officials in film tend to be negative probably came as quite a shock to those in Washington. The efficient, innovative U.S. military from Hunt for Red October is a rarity.

  10. Pete-I thought Carey was a libertarian, and anti-drug war. Hell, he even used to scatter copies of Reason around the set.

    If that is true, I am very, very diappointed.

  11. Number 6, apparently even the writers of the shows didn’t know what the real deal was. When a producer tells you to do something, you do it even if it’s your name on the show. Also, the DCS show revolved around blanket drug tests at work, which seems slightly different than your typical “downward-spiral” motif.

  12. Any knowledge of which films have traded gov’t funding for editorial control?

    Evidently the Pentagon backed out of supplying technical support for The Abyss back in the day because of the movie’s peacenik message.

    All Government agents in all films will now have thier guns digitally replaced with walkie-talkies.

    If only we could be so lucky in real life.
    Windows media video of DEA Agent who shoots himself in the leg while giving a demonstration to a classroom of kids.

  13. Holy crap, that guy shot himself in the leg in front of a classroom full of kids!

    What kind of an idiot waves around a loaded gun in a classroom full of kids?

    Then he has the nerve to get huffy when the kids start leaving when he picks up the assault rifle.

    Yep, that drug free America thing’s going to happen any minute now.

  14. Am I the only one who doesn’t see any problem with this? Perhaps that’s because I read, on a daily basis, through the federal job listings at USAJOBS. This salary doesn’t seem excessive in comparison to other postings.

    Also, I was under the impression that NASA and the DoD have had media/entertainment liaisons for ages. Since most Americans know what they know about NASA from the movies, and since DHS is one agency certain to be portrayed in future movies, they SHOULD have a representative there to collaborate.

    And you can’t expect this actress to be all chummy with Hollywood on less than $136,000, now, can you? 🙂

  15. Government waste at its best:
    The War on Drugs
    The War on Poverty
    The War on Terrorism
    The War on the Hollywood Lefts Rabidly Anti-Republican Ideology.

    ——
    P.S. Hey STRETCH, where you a member of RiSC? Rise in superior couriering?

  16. Joe-

    The best part of it was the DEA’s official response. I’ll give you one guess who they blamed for the incident.

  17. “P.S. Hey STRETCH, where you a member of RiSC? Rise in superior couriering?”

    Maybe I’m dense. I don’t get it.

  18. Stretch is an interesting handle choice… I was hoping you may be an old friend… sorry — back to the thread at hand.

  19. “I’ll give you one guess who they blamed for the incident.”

    I’m seriously drawing a blank here. The gunmaker?

  20. Ah, sorry BattleAx, it’s just a nick I’ve had for awhile now.

    I’m gonna guess the DEA blamed the kids. After all, they were probably on drugs.

  21. Joe-

    The DEA sent out a press release blaming, of all people, the person running the camera. They claimed that the agent worked undercover operations, and as a result of the video, he no longer could. You know, since his face is on a blurry video on the intarweb he might be in danger from drug dealers or something. (Nevermind that he’s obviously far more in danger from a distinct lack of safe gun handling skills.)

    More info and righteous indignation than you can shake a stick at here:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=128533&highlight=room

    Local nooze coverage of the event after the fact:
    http://www.local6.com/news/4299670/detail.html

  22. I look forward to an hilarious buddy sitcom where TSA agents at airport security checkpoints force mothers to drink breast milk, penguins to walk through metal detectors, etc.

  23. The government’s been doing this with the War on Drugs for years. They basically give shows money to do “very special” episodes. Does anyone remember the Saved By The Bell where Zack and Screech find the joint in the boys bathroom? Apparently that was written practically at gunpoint to get some of that sweet DEA moolah.

    Also, and I can’t confirm this one, but that Family Ties episode where Alex gets addicted to speed kinda seems suspect now, too.

    Also, as I’m sure you all can tell, I have no life.

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