Ezekiel Emanuel blames Maureen Dowd for why he had to write his new memoir "Brothers Emanuel." "Right after President Obama was elected and my brother was appointed to be the chief of staff ... she called me up said, 'I have to meet your mom ... I have to find out what she put in the cereal for all of you guys,' " Emanuel recalled. Dowd, columnist for the New York Times, called again and asked the same question when Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago. "This book is an answer to that question," Ezekiel told a crowd gathered at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in downtown D.C. on Thursday night.
Ezekiel, the eldest of the three Emanuel brothers and a leading bioethicist in the country, has two siblings that have inspired pop culture. Some of Josh Lyman's "West Wing" story lines were based upon the antics of middle brother Rahm, while "Entourage" character Ari Gold was inspired by his baby brother, Hollywood uber-agent Ari Emanuel.
But for Ezekiel, having a Hollywood counterpart isn't even on his radar. "You're asking the wrong guy, I don't have a TV, I'm not a movie fanatic and I couldn't name a whole lot of movie stars," Ezekiel said. "I will say, though, I did actually play myself once."
Indeed, back in 1981 when Ezekiel was working on his graduate studies at Oxford he was recruited to appear on the British reality series, "Now Get Out of That." "Which is, as best as we can tell, the first reality 'Survivor'-type show," he recalled. "They video us doing all sorts of crazy, crazy things -- skinning rabbits, swimming in lakes," he continued. Unfortunately, being the sole American on a BBC show didn't win Ezekiel a lot of fans. "I was the American they could rally around and hate," he laughed.