Mirvish, Gorlin create fake pundit

Media runs with 'Martin Eisenstadt' hoax

Indie filmmakers Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin have written a new chapter for the How to Get Ahead in Hollywood handbook: Create a political pundit, make him famous and then confess that he doesn’t exist.

The tale of “Martin Eisenstadt” broke in the N.Y. Times on Nov. 13, detailing how the McCain pundit who publishes a blog, operates a D.C. consultancy and is the subject of YouTube videos as well as the apparent subject of a BBC doc, is actually the creation of Mirvish (co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival) and Gorlin, whose “The Holy Land” won the Slamdance grand jury prize in 2002.

Eisenstadt was created for a sitcom Mirvish and Gorlin are pitching, “The Pundit.”

With Gorlin portraying the character in popular YouTube videos, the myth remained relatively intact throughout the election cycle; sources ranging from CNN to the Huffington Post took his existence on faith.

But Mirvish and Gorlin decided to reveal their handiwork when reports surfaced that an anonymous John McCain source said Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa is a continent.

“Someone said it, but it wasn’t us,” Mirvish says. “So we took credit for it.”

Mirvish posted the claim on Eisenstadt’s blog on Nov. 11 and then headed to the AFM for a few hours. By the time he got home, MSNBC’s David Shuster was reporting the Eisenstadt-Africa connection as a breaking news story.

Eisenstadt’s political career may be over, but Mirvish and Gorlin’s has just begun. They already have an offer from the publishers of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s “Borat” book.

And, says Mirvish, “We still think (Eisenstadt’s) a brand. We’re doing meetings next week. Eisenstadt still has to carry on.”

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