Excuse us if our English major past compels us to notice that, in the extensive coverage of the decline and fall of Judith Regan, there are by now certain recurring themes emerging. We’re not entirely sure why — either certain Judith peccadilloes make the best copy, or reporters are lazy, or the woman really only does six things — but in the new Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff’s latest addition to the genre hews strictly to the storyline. Indeed, there’s no need to read the article; we’ll tell you the latest updates on the standard plotlines.
The Jew thing:
“I do know that one of her former lovers, no shrinking violet himself, says he finally broke up with her because he couldn’t stand her Niagara of obscenities anymore, but the stuff about Jews, for instance — one of her perennial themes is that Jewish men run the media world and they need special handling — never bothered him (he’s Jewish).”
Inappropriate project proposals:
“They were often her idea, written by her ghostwriters (once she had the very unlikely idea that I should ghostwrite Howard Stern’s book: ‘You’ll sit next to Howard by his pool on Long Island and write while he talks,’ she instructed, which is when I begged off)”
Inappropriate use of exes:
“In the tumble of ethics charges that surrounded Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and business partner of Rudy Giuliani, when he was nominated by President Bush to be the homeland-security chief, in December 2004, it was reported that Judith was his second mistress (he was cheating on his wife with Judith, but on Judith with his first mistress), trysting with him in a special Ground Zero apartment and working out in the gym with him. It seemed to be part of her tough-guy thing: men are brutes, so go with the most brutish of them … Indeed, when Judith lost a cell phone on the set of her TV show, she was able to have N.Y.P.D. detectives sent out to the homes of the production-crew members she suspected of having snatched it.”
Being Rupe’s girl:
“Even before she began making money for him, Murdoch was enamored of her. The deal she made when she came from book publisher Simon & Schuster — where she famously claimed to have stored, several years before Monica Lewinsky, one executive’s DNA sample — included not only an imprint and promises of a television show but also a substantial personal stake in her enterprise.”
“And then there’s the sex thing. Judith is obsessed with her disadvantages as a woman — and she would reasonably point out that no man, no matter how graphic his conversation, would ever be described as advancing his career through sex. Still, Judith’s sex talk is not only unstinting, disturbing, and subversive, but also what makes her sui generis. She’s vulgar but uncommon. Powerful men — the list is long — can’t resist Judith’s vagina monologues. Perhaps because her sex talk is not just dirty but, fundamentally, about power. And control. (’What’s my secret?’ she once snarled at me. ‘I’ll tell you my secret. I never let them come!’)”
But … she’s going to have a comeback:
“As she had left New York for Los Angeles, her friends were saying she was leaving Los Angeles for London, the tabloid capital of the world, to make it on her own.”
See, the whole thing, in just a few hundred words. Was that as good for you as it was for us?