Robert Rodriguez, Dave Grohl Dish on Palling Around with President Obama

If he's not on the golf course during his downtime, President Obama is likely to be found either at a Democratic fundraiser or chatting up some celebrities, or sometimes both.

And if he has to sidestep the illegal-immigration crisis at the border to hobnob with a celeb pal, all the better.

On day three of the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Breitbart News and the assembled press got to hear from a couple of showbiz folks who recently had sit-downs with the POTUS.

(Frankly, it’s a little surprising that the POTUS hasn’t shown up at the TCA Press Tour yet. I mean, Karl Rove was here a few years ago, and Obama does drop by L.A. on a regular basis to snarl traffic and collect checks from the entertainment elite.)

Anyway, director Robert Rodriguez was on hand on yesterday to talk to about his El Rey television network and one of its new shows, a spy drama called Matador (which got renewed for a second season in advance of its first-season premiere on July 15).

(For FIFA fanatics, it’s about a DEA agent who goes undercover for the CIA as a player for the LA Riot soccer team. Yep.)

But before Rodriguez hopped on a plane to Los Angeles, he played host to President Obama, who dropped by at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday night at Rodriguez's lavish castle home in Pemberton Heights, an affluent neighborhood of Austin, Texas.

Rodriguez raised the topic, mentioning he was "just talking to the president about it last night," during a conversation about Latinos in America wanting to see themselves represented in entertainment.

Calling having Obama in his house “an amazing experience,” Rodriguez said he’s updated the Commander in Chief on what’s been going on at the El Rey network.

“We’ve talked a lot with him,” said Rodriguez, “identity and belonging and the need for something like this. And he asked to be updated as things went on.”

Even though Obama has been known to skip the odd security briefing, it’s comforting to know that he’s fully up to speed on the inner workings of El Rey.

But, Rodriguez, perhaps for reasons of national security, couldn’t elaborate further.

“That was the gist of it,” he said. “I won’t go into too much details now, because I might have to save that somewhere” … here a word was lost in the press-conference transcript … “but it was pretty amazing. It was really a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

Incidentally, Obama wasn’t in Texas to make a visit to our embattled border, but for yet another high-priced Democratic fundraiser. But one of the reporters had a question, not about the whys and wherefores of all these unaccompanied minors, some with communicable diseases, somehow crossing the southern border of Mexico and then traversing the entire country to get across the southern border of the U.S, but about some conspiracy theory he said he’d heard, regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Here’s that exchange in its entirety:

QUESTION:  If I can ask another Obama question, just because it's pretty cool that that happened, he also met yesterday with the governor of your home state --and I want to try to get this right--who has said that Obama is either incompetent or part of a conspiracy to bring children from south of the border across the border to--for some purpose.  I'm not totally clear on how it would work. Did you talk at all about that theory and how he's--the pressure he's gotten on immigration in general?

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ: I didn't talk to him about that theory in particular, but I can't really say what we talked about right now. I hadn't heard that theory.

But that wasn't the last the TCA members heard about the president. Late in the day, during an extended presentation of new HBO shows, Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl took the stage to talk about a new series he's directed, written and executive-produced--along with doing host duties- for the pay cable net.

It's called Foo Fighters: Sonic Highwaysand it airs in October. Grohl and the band celebrated their 20th anniversary by documenting an eight-city recording odyssey that produced their most recent, and eighth, album. By visiting Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York, the series delved into the unique musical contributions of each city.

Also, each visit contributed ideas--and appearances by local legends--to one new song for the album, written by Grohl on the last day of the session, incorporating words and impressions from the experience.

By way of background, Grohl has been a public supporter of Obama, dedicating his song "My Hero" to the president during a performance at the 2012 Democrat Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the course of filming, Grohl had a chat with Obama, who apparently impressed him less than meeting a a musician he admires from his youth, the guitar player of Austin punk band the Big Boys.

“I could sit with the president,” said Grohl. “He’s cool, man. I know that guy. But the guitar player of the Big Boys? Scared the hell out of me.”

One might wonder why Grohl had to seek out Obama to talk about music in America–aside from the president’s demonstrated crooning talents while singing an Al Green tune, which had reporters gushing.

Said Grohl, “Because I wanted him to talk about America as a country, where you have the opportunity to start with nothing, like Buddy Guy, make your guitar from strings and wires in your screen porch, and then become a blues legend that’s inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, or be a high-school dropout from Springfield, Virginia, that winds up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or being a kid from Hawaii that winds up becoming president.”

He continued, “All of these people are really brave, driven, focused, passionate Americans. Most of them started with nothing, zilch, no training, just a dream. So I thought”…at this juncture, Grohl broke into a wide grin…“Well, God, who better to talk about that than my friend, President Obama?”

Who, indeed? One supposes he could have asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – whose Cuban-immigrant parents worked at such jobs as bartender and hotel maid – or Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a child of divorce raised by his single mother.

But they’re not lucky enough to be pals with a Foo Fighter.


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