The Carter Question

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Jimmy Carter’s image as peacemaker-in-chief has been clouded by his recent comments about President Bush and especially by his recent book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” The book has been blasted for factual inaccuracies and for its slant, and while Carter has been staunch and public defender of its content, the controversy has not yet abated.

The latest: The CBS shareholders meeting, where the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America presented a proposal calling for new standards of fact checking at Simon & Shuster, the book’s publisher and a CBS division. The group’s treasurer, Carol Greenwald, is a CBS shareholder.

While it’s doubtful that such a move will go anywhere — shareholders often bring up a host of issues from far flung parts of media conglomerates, while the CEOs grin and bear it — Carter’s book is destined to stay in the fray. Director Jonathan Demme is working on a documentary, “He Comes in Peace,” that essentially follows Carter through his book tour earlier this year. It doesn’t have a release date, but the issues surrounding “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” are destined to be front and center in the doc. The title suggests that the movie will help rehab Carter’s image, but Demme has said that it will capture a “dialogue” over the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Demme got intimate access to Carter, but ironically was not given access to one of his speeches that could have ended the film. Brandeis University denied the filmmaker access to a speech there in January, what the university blamed on logistics but what Demme’s reps blamed on worries that the university would be cast in an unfavorable light.

A New “Truth”: “An Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim says he’s planning to discuss a follow up to the pic with Paramount officials, although it’s too early to talk details.

Thompson’s Role of a Lifetime: Time’s Mark Halperin profiles Fred Thompson, arguing that one of his big advantages is that he has stayed consistent in the roles he’s played. Halperin writes, “He is often cast as a person in power — a military official, the White House chief of staff, the head of the CIA, a Senator or even the President of the U.S. It could be called the Cary Grant approach to politics. As the legendary actor once explained his own style and success, ‘I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be, and I finally became that person.'” The premise only goes so far: Thompson appears as President Ulysses S. Grant in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” He’ll take the power, but chuck Grant’s legendary drinking habits.

Paul Simon’s Choice: The singer talks up Chris Dodd.

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