- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Barbie, the politically charged plastic icon, is celebrating the big five-O this year, and Washington will be on pink alert in another week as part of the festivities.

We hear that as part of the eternally youthful bombshell’s 50th anniversary, the Marriott Wardman Park in Northwest will host the Barbie Collector Convention (July 7 through 11). Fans can see custom-made dresses, the specially designed shoes by Christian Louboutin and, of course, an extensive doll collection showcasing Barbie’s amazing defiance of the natural aging process through the years.

Off-limits

If there’s one subject that will make Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Studios, squeamish, it’s the state of his personal life.

The debonair 30-something has been the subject of much scuttlebutt in the New York Post’s Page Six and in other media outlets, but, with drink in hand, was unguarded and affable with bar patrons at a recent soiree he hosted in Washington. He eventually made his way around to G2’s side of the bar, and, sensing his ease with small talk, we asked the dreamy bachelor about his relationship status. Sorry, not going there. With a tellingly embarrassed look, Mr. Silverman said, “Tell your readers I am very happy to be in Washington,” then turned on his heels and walked away. So we left without a scoop (or a rich and handsome studio exec).

Shucks!

Fightin’ words

One who won’t walk away from a good question or a good fight is boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, who testified on Capitol Hill about diabetes, which afflicts his father. When the conversation turned to boxing, we asked Mr. Leonard who he thinks would win in a battle between two scrappy politicos — Alaska Gov. and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.

“Because I’m a boxing promoter and because I’d want to have both on my list, it would be a draw,” he answered diplomatically. “A controversial draw.”

Song for a cause

Jon Bon Jovi is using his world-famous pipes to send a message across the globe to oppressed Iranians.

Mr. Bon Jovi collaborated with Tehran-born singer-songwriter Andy Madadian on June 24 to record a music video of Ben E. King’s pop classic “Stand by Me,” with vocals in both Farsi and English and backed by musicians including Mr. Bon Jovi’s lead guitarist, Richie Sambora. The video was posted on mydamnchannel.com and has had more than 45,000 hits since Saturday.

“It’s not meant to be on the Billboard charts, wasn’t meant to be a hit record, wasn’t even meant to be pressed on a CD,” record producer extraordinaire Don Was, who plays bass on the video, told Bloomberg News. “It’s intended to be downloaded and shared by the Iranian people, to give voice to the sentiment that all people of the world stand together.”

As has been reported, Iranian citizens who have tried to protest the outcome of the June 12 presidential election between Mir-Hossein Mousavi and incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been met with violence by Iranian police and officials.

Many of the protesters say the election was unfair and rigged.

Protest music queen Joan Baez also posted a message to her Web site for the people of Iran with a rendition of “We Shall Overcome.”

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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