The Hollywood Reporter has been honored with 48 nominations — more than any other news organization -- for its original reporting by the Los Angeles Press Club's 57th Southern California Journalism Awards.
...Seth Abramovitch, senior writer, earned a feature, magazine nomination (over 1,000 words) for How Dr. Heimlich Maneuvered Hollywood Into Backing His Dangerous AIDS "Cure."
(The awards) will be handed out at a gala ceremony on Sunday, June 28, at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
|Seth Abramovitch (source)|
Via Seth's August 14, 2014 THR article (based on documents my wife Karen and I obtained from the Henry J. Heimlich Archival Collection, donated by my father to a University of Cincinnati library):
At the height of the crisis, the inventor of the famous anti-choking technique claimed HIV could be cured by injecting patients with malaria. New documents reveal how stars like Jack Nicholson and Ron Howard gave thousands to his cause.
...As his fundraising machinery hummed along, Dr. Heimlich drew up a new version of his institute letterhead, which now boasted its star-studded "Hollywood Support Committee." Alongside the names of (Bruce) Davison, (Jon) Voight and (Amy) Irving were those of Ed Begley Jr., Ted Danson, Anjelica Huston, Muhammad Ali and Bette Midler, none of whom would comment for this story. Richard Dreyfuss, also listed as a committee member, tells THR that he never met Heimlich nor did he ever support his malariotherapy efforts. But Asner, whose name also appears as a backer, does recall Heimlich with fondness: "I respected him as a worthwhile scientist," says Asner.
|Paul K. Bronston MD (source)|
...Hopeful that an effective AIDS treatment was within reach, all the guests (at Joanne Carson's fundraising event) buzzed, except for one: Dr. Paul Bronston, an ER doctor and chair of a medical ethics board who had tagged along with his friend, actor Bruce Davison, an Oscar nominee for the 1989 AIDS drama Longtime Companion. Bronston says he went to Carson's house that night with the intention of meeting the legendary man behind the Heimlich maneuver, knowing only that the topic was vaguely AIDS-related. But as the guest of honor spoke and video cameras captured every word -- Heimlich had commissioned a documentary about himself, according to correspondence with director Lisa Pelikan in 1993 -- Bronston couldn't believe what he was hearing. (Pelikan declined to comment.)
"I just f--ing hit the ceiling," Bronston, 63, tells THR. "I went f--ing crazy. It was dangerous, it was total bullshit. His proposal was giving malaria-infected blood to people who had AIDS. It doesn't take a genius to know that you don't give an infectious disease to somebody who has a suppressed immune system."
|Jeanie Pyun (source)|
Big congratulations to Seth and to THR editor Jeanie Pyun, who, when I first contacted her, immediately grasped the importance of the information and then shepherded the story through publication. Keep up the great work and good luck at the awards gala!