Forrest Clinton

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Turns out that President Clinton is one of the stars of "Contact," the new Robert Zemeckis film about communicating with an alien civilization, and his attorneys are not amused. The movie twice uses footage of existing Clinton speeches to imply that the President is speaking about a message from the aliens, an extension of a tactic Zemeckis used in "Forrest Gump," where the protagonist was cut into historical footage so that he appeared to be talking to everyone from LBJ to Nixon. Clinton lawyer Charles Ruff says Zemeckis effectively gave the President a role in the film without his authorization, and has sent Warner Brothers a letter charging the film improperly manipulated the President's statements and used his image for commercial purposes. A Warner Brothers spokeswoman says the company wants Clinton to see the film before passing judgment. The more disturbing news, of course, is that Zemeckis didn't have to ask Clinton to play a part in order to cast him using existing footage. The President of the United States gives such bland speeches that with a few snips they can just as easily be about national security, human cloning, the ongoing budget talks or a message from an alien civilization.