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Let Them Eat Fruit

January 17, 1988|Jane Lieberman \f7

Yes, they have bananas. But where's the beef?

That was the sentiment of several of the 30 local press invited for a daylong do at the "Rambo III" set in Yuma, Ariz.

See, a steak lunch was promised. But the Question/Answer session ran long through the lunch hour. The crew ate and then the Lower Lights Mission in Yuma, which comes daily to pick up leftovers for the needy, got the press' portion!

But a publicist, quick to the defense, said there was plenty of left-behind cake, yogurt and fruit (including bunches of bananas): "The press didn't starve. I resent the fact that a meal is all-important when the job was to get interviews done."

The newsfolk have other complaints. One (apparently out of shape) reporter, asking anonymity, was upset that they had to hike across the desert for nearly a quarter of a mile, then climb a hillside to reach the area where some of the final battle sequence was filmed.

"It could have been a visual wonderland, but we didn't get to (take pictures) of any of it," said the reporter. "I can understand them not wanting to give away the ending but they shouldn't have taken us out there then."

To assure no photo hanky-panky, the reporter said, about six pistol-packin' security persons hovered nearby. Still, Antonio Chavez, a reporter for the Yuma Daily Sun, posed as an Afghanistan refugee extra--and came out with secreted photos.

The publicist said the stunt was "one of the oldest ruses in the business. It's prostituting the profession (of journalism)." He added that there was no way to prevent it, what with some 600 extras, 200 military personnel, 200 locals and wranglers and horse riders from California and Arizona.

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