McCain Campaign Rewarding Commenting Spammers

MEDIA
• If citizen journalists "spread the word" about John McCain on Websites, they can earn prizes, such as autographed books, preferred seating at campaign events, and even a ride with the candidate on his bus. [WP]
• A New York Times newsroom staffer says the broadsheet's reader survey that was unearthed by Vanity Fair yesterday was written by "some knucklehead in the business department." [VF, Plank/New Republic]
• The Bulletin, an alt weekly out of Texas, has been ripping off articles from Slate by reprinting Slate pieces with different bylines. [Slate]
• Judith Miller reemerges…at Reader's Digest. [Gawker]

FINANCE
• Citigroup is buying back more than $7 billion of auction-rate securities from investors to settle claims that it misled clients about the dangers of the investments. [DealBook/NYT]
• Most hedge funds have been staying away from Hollywood's bright lights since the credit crunch hit, but not the publicly traded Fortress Investments. The group plunked down $300 million to back film-finance house Grosvenor Park. The first film to be produced with Fortress money? Disaster Movie. Meanwhile, Fortress is set to announce its second-quarter earnings today and results are expected to be grim. [FT, WSJ]
• Lehman Brothers' Dick Fuld is talking to private-equity and foreign investors about raising more capital as he tries to offset a sale of $30 billion in mortgage assets. [NYP]
• Blackstone president Tony James says the economy isn't going to recover anytime soon. "We expect the economy to continue to be weak well into 2009 and possibly into 2010," he says. [NYP]

LAW
• A letter from a midtown recruiting firm saying that it refuses to touch Cadwalader candidates made its way onto the Web, thus sparking an Internet catfight. [Above the Law]
• The number of female general counselors at Fortune 500 companies is growing. While female GCs are spread around the country, New York has the most, with fourteen. [Law.com]
• The credit crunch has hit law firms. [Legal Blog Watch]

REAL ESTATE
• Philip Seymour Hoffman just bought a $4.25 million Jane Street pad with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Meanwhile, Edgar Bronfman Jr. is selling his Amagansett estate, and the asking price is $14.7 million. [NYP]
• The MTA looks for clever ways to pull itself out of its financial crisis, including lining up corporate sponsorships for subway stations. Disney Times Square anyone? CitiStation? It's amazing no one thought of this before. [amNY]
• Two Gold Street, a 51-story tower with a sunbathing lawn, is FiDi's version of "Dormandie" Court. [Curbed]