My Life as Barack Obama

For an Actor, Impersonating the President Is an Exciting Gig, and an Unexpected Gift

Celebrity impersonators get a lot of strange press. They get blamed for crimes, sometimes falsely. In L.A., there have been recent stories about cop impersonators. Does this mean that the life of the ordinary impersonator is filled with drama and scandal?

I don’t think so. I suspect it’s more like mine. You’re an entertainer who stumbles into something for which you have an unexpected knack. Then you see where it takes you.

I first became Barack Obama in 2007.

I was taking a camera hosting class in L.A.—literally a class in which you …

TMZ’s Charles Latibeaudiere

A Bronx Native Embraces Los Angeles (Just Don’t Tell the Folks in New York)

Charles Latibeaudiere is co-executive producer of TMZ and a co-host of TMZ’s television show. Before participating in a panel on infotainment and journalism, he talked about his dream TMZ scoop, …

You Can’t Fight Infotainment

Journalists Figure Out The Brave New World of Celebrity, Politics, and the Internet

Joe Mathews, Zócalo California editor and author of The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger And the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, learned about the perils entertainment culture can hold for political journalists …

The Giving Back Fund’s Marc Pollick

A Small-Town Guy Stuck in the Big City

Marc Pollick is the president and founder of The Giving Back Fund, which manages foundations for a number of celebrities. Before participating in a panel on whether celebrities help Haiti, …

Paparazzi: They’re Just Like Us

A Discussion of the Strange But Maybe Semi-Defensible Business Of Star Stalking

Actor Adrian Grenier sees the paparazzi as storytellers. Us Weekly editor Carolyn Davis publishes their photos to entertain. And celebrity photographer Galo Ramirez is just trying to make a living. …

Face It, You Love Snooki Pix

Why Do We Crave What the Paparazzi Have To Offer?


If you’ve never picked up an Us Weekly or Star, then you must be an eccentric, a liar, or a North Korean. Tabloid photos of the rich and famous filling …