Author Assembles Rollicking Roundtable of Entertainment Journalists

The format of Francine Brokaw’s breezy 182-page book Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, available next Tuesday, is exceedingly straightforward. Under various themed chapter headings, the veteran Family Magazine Group reporter and current member of the TCA asks a group of colleagues to recall Strange Interviews (Chapter 4), Twilight Zone Moments (Chapter 5) and Off the Record (Chapter 10) detours.

Her panel of junket-savvy experts includes everyone from David Sheehan (KCBS) and George Pennacchio (KABC) to Hahn Nguyen ( and Mike Reynolds (various). One journalist who stands out by virtue of being unafraid to name celebrity names is the New York Post’s Sean Daly. Here for example is the beginning of his entry for How Rude! (Chapter 9):

Harrison Ford is the rudest a-hole in show business. Followed possibly by Tommy Lee Jones. I have actually seen Ford call reporters out for asking what he thinks are “stupid questions”…

And here is Daly writing about (his) Strange Interviews:

One of the most memorable interviews happened at a movie junket with Tara Reid in about 2003. She walked into a small roundtable—maybe three journalists—and as she sat down, her publicist made the HUGE mistake of showing her an article in a magazine that just came out that quoted Tara saying “I am still in love with Carson Daly.” Well, she absolutely freaked out! Started crying, shaking… Someone asked her a question about the movie, and she ended up having a complete meltdown: “Why does everybody hate me?”

It’s clear that a number of Brokaw’s participants did the Q&A deed via email, which may bother some but did not offend FishbowlLA one bit. At $11.99, Beyond the Red Carpet is the perfect item for anyone who likes to read just beyond the bathroom shower mat. With Sheehan definitely winning the prize for most impressive Favorite Anecdote:

Funniest to me was when I invited some friends and Shirley MacLaine and Marlon Brando to my Mulholland bungalow for a dinner party and to watch one of my shows on the air that night. Marlon came to the back door in jeans and a sweatshirt, and the cook in the kitchen thought he was a delivery man. So he pretended to be one for a few laughs.

[Jacket cover courtesy Sourced Media Books]