GOOD MORNING and welcome to a new way of life for Americans in the land of the free and home of the brave. Now we know how the Israelis live, wondering when/where the next cowardly attack will take place, where the next suicide killer will strike. Now must we check every exit in crowded theaters and hotel ballrooms packed for industry fund-raisers? Will we now look cautiously at the driver of the car stopped alongside us at a stop signal? Or wonder about the “foreign-looking” shopper/salesperson on L.A.’s upscale Westside and along Madison Ave.? … And what about security at the granddaddy of all events, the Olympics? Remember the ’72 event in Munich and the massacre of Israeli athletes (which was so vividly shown in “One Day In September”). Nothing focuses worldwide attention like the games. It is the highest-profile event, and the TV shows are the highest rating-getter. How will this event, which aims to promote international brotherhood, react to this week’s infamous massacre? Of the 202 nations in the world, 85-90 are to be represented in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. As of Wednesday, it was not known whether Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria will be participants. The theme of the Winter games is “Light the Fire Within” — i.e., find the inner strength to run the extra mile, jump the extra inch, etc. Don Mischer who is producing the opening (Feb. 8) and closing (Feb. 24) ceremonies, the biggest ratings-getter of all, says the opening ceremony will establish the theme for all 16 days. He admits he has to “anticipate anything that can go wrong.” Mischer has bowed out as a producer of the Kennedy Center Honors with George Stevens Jr.; he will now be involved with the Games from November through their finale. Meanwhile, as producer of the now delayed Emmy Awards, he met with the TV Acad Wednesday afternoon to discuss the new date. The Acad then decided to meet this morning with Les Moonves to make that decision. ATAS would like to air it as far away as possible. But Moonves told me, “I don’t think we should run away from it.” He is in favor of doing the show as a “live, audience-attended show; TV brings people together.” As for the start of the new season’s primetime sked, Moonves still plans to launch on Monday but reminds, “Scheduling is a moment-to-moment thing.” As for the Emmy show format (whenever it airs), Mischer says it will be “reverential: no highly produced musical numbers or comedy routines. It can, however, be very emotional and a chance to express the mood of the (showbiz ) community.”
“I FEEL I SHOULD BE BACK in America,” the Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier told me from London, Wednesday. He was to have continued on to Israel for the upcoming High Holy Days. “But I thought I should be back in America as a further show of solidarity.” He landed in London just as the second suicide plane crashed into the World Trade Center. While Rabbi Hier’s wife continued on (via El Al) to Tel Aviv, he checked into an airport hotel to await clearance for a flight back to L.A. In his hotel room, he watched President Bush’s TV speech to the nation in which he promised to “hunt down the terrorists and “those who harbor them.” Hier said Bush should have added “and those who cheer them,” pointing out the scenes of Palestinians “cheering while American blood was pouring on the streets.” He reminded that the torture aboard the planes, even before the crashes, was evidence of “ultimate evil.” “We put Hitler where he belonged, Stalin too, and we’ll bury these terrorists where they belong too,” he added. The Wiesenthal Center’s sixth Moriah Prods. film, “In Search of Peace,” narrated by Michael Douglas, about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, bows in theaters on the 21st … Memorial prayers for all faiths who perished in this week’s horror will be recited at Rabbi David Baron’s Temple Shalom for the Arts at the Wilshire Theater on Rosh Hashana eve services, Sept. 17, when Dr. Ruth Gruber is special guest. “Haven,” her story of saving 1,000 refugees in 1944 became a four-hour CBS mini nominated for three Emmys. Rabbi Baron notes, “Her presence on the New Year will reinforce the determination of people to help each other survive tragedy.” Further, her “Haven” is en route to B’way as a musical composed by William Goldstein, written by Jerome Cooperman and Joe Darion.
THE MOOD ON THE MOVIE LOTS was somber and sober Wednesday as some returned to work. Security checks were enforced. Paramount was particularly grim: it’s where “Frasier” films. David Angell, the series co-creator, and wife Lynn were among the passengers on American Flight 77. The show will not shoot until next week … Jay Leno tells me his return to his “Tonight” show has no set date. “It’s a day-by-day thing — when it’s appropriate.” He has also canceled his usual weekend gigs. “It’s hard to try and tell jokes at this time” … Among those whose flights also turned back: England’s Prince Andrew, who was to attend tonight’s (now canceled) N.Y. preem of “The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition.” HRH’s Outward Bound charity was one of those benefiting from the pic financed by Morgan Stanley — the firm that had 3,500 employees in the World Trade Center … On the pleasant side of the news ledger: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Wednesday accepted from Kevin Spacey the just-auctioned 1945 Oscar for music of “Anchors Aweigh” from the estate of George Stoll. It was expected to go for $10,000-$20,000 in the auction but went over the $100,000 mark with Spacey making the (anonymous) bid. The Acad’s Frank Pierson thanked him for joining the ranks of Steven Spielberg and Lew Wasserman, who have also saved Oscar from the hands of strangers.