The glitzy Toronto event that linked Bill Clinton, Shakira and Eugene Levy

The glitzy Toronto event that linked Bill Clinton, Shakira and Eugene Levy

The skybox on the front page of yesterday’s Toronto Star featured a bunch of gold stars with the faces of famous people: Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, John Travolta, Shakira and Elton John. The bold, all-caps display copy reads “STAR STUDDED,” and the underline pitched a story on the front page of the business section: “Bill Clinton fundraiser in Toronto draws big names.” The piece itself was a slavering paean to the fundraising abilities of the former president and his Canadian partner, mining billionaire Frank Giustra. To wit:

The wine was flowing while a convoy of stretch limos arrived at the Harbour Castle Westin Saturday night as Hollywood’s A-list and a select crowd of 1,200 mining industry types and Bay Street bigwigs attended a splashy fundraising gala at the invitation of former U.S. president Bill Clinton and his pal, Vancouver mining mogul Frank Giustra.

The duo is raising big bucks for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, whose mission is to provide foreign aid to developing countries, particularly in Latin America, affected by mining.

“I don’t know the mining business, so I did my own research and rented Coal Miner’s Daughter,” quipped Canadian comedian Eugene Levy, the evening’s MC.

Etc. and so on.

What the article fails to mention is what a Washington Post editorial calls a “cozy [presidential] back-scratching with self-interested businessmen and distasteful regimes.” The Post was referring to a lengthy investigative piece in The New York Times in January that looked at the relationship between Giustra/Clinton and Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev—an infamous human rights abuser and all around megalomaniac.

I wonder what hilarity Eugene Levy would spin out of that. Toronto Star readers want to know.

After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton [New York Times]•