They Waterboarded Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens getting waterboarded,at last. Photo: Vanity Fair

MEDIA
• Christopher Hitchens got waterboarded to find out if it was torture. He pretty much hated it. There's video. [VF]
• The ad pages for Condé Nast's big cash cows, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Glamour, all fell flat in the first half of the year. But apparently ad pages aren't the industry's thermometer. "Although we're losing pages, our market share is up," says Glamour publisher Bill Wackerman. "Market share is the new up." [NYP]
• Hearst magazine Quick & Simple bites the dust, to the surprise of pretty much no one. [WWD]
• "I’ve restricted myself to playing myself. It’s Pat Kiernan playing himself. If they’re doing a story that Pat Kiernan and New York 1 would conceivably be part of, and New York 1 approves the script and isn’t embarrassed by the content, I’ll generally play along and do the Pat Kiernan–as–himself thing.” [NYO]

FINANCE
• You know the economy is bad when Warren Buffett falters: The demigod's Berkshire Hathaway has slumped almost 20 percent since December. [Bloomberg]
• Is Goldman Sachs going to take over the federal government? [WSJ]
• How low will it go? Lehman Brother's stock continues to drop. [NYP]

REAL ESTATE
• From his jail cell, Conrad Black, the media tycoon who was accused of siphoning money by buying Hollinger Media group's corporate Park Avenue apartment for $3 million when it was really worth $8.5 million, settled a lawsuit with Sotheby's International over the $10.5 million sale of his digs. [NYP]
• The city's first new construction codes since 1968 took effect on Tuesday. The revamped rules include stronger design requirements for steel and concrete buildings and the expansion of automated sprinkler systems. [City Room/NYT]
• Meanwhile, many of the city's biggest construction projects were halted yesterday owing to a cement truck driver's strike. [NYT]

LAW
• Skadden Arps dethroned Sullivan & Cromwell as the top legal adviser on mergers and acquisitions. Skadden dispensed advice on six of the ten largest deals in the first half of the year, unlike last year, where the firm didn't participate in any of the top deals. [Bloomberg]
• Is this the summer of legal vindication? [WSJ]
• A New York court affirmed sanctions against Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton for allegedly trying to convince a non-party witness not to attend a deposition. "We continue to believe that all of our attorneys acted properly and professionally and regret that the Second Circuit did not reverse the decision," a Cleary statement said. [Law.com]