The news that Judge James Peck was charged with assault after smacking his wife, Judith, horrified us even more than reports of domestic assault usually do, because the judge, 63, happened to be the selfsame judge overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff's collapsed investment firm, and his defense of himself was kind of eerie. "We love each other very much," Peck, who has been married for 42 years, reportedly told the cops when they showed up at his house. "I have never hit her before." He added, more spookily: "This was not about tonight." Yikes, we thought. Is Bernie Madoff contagious, and like in that horrible M. Night Shyamalan movie, can contact with him make you self-immolate?
But the rest of today's Madoff headlines set our minds at ease. Bernie Madoff has not inspired everyone to do evil. In fact, some have been inspired to do good! Ish. For instance:
• Post reporter Joshua Saul was inspired to commit an act of journalism and go undercover as a broker, there to assess the value of the apartment. He made it to the hallway just outside the Bernmeister's door, until he was busted— maybe because cops recognized him as "the dubious star of a Web site that included photos of him dancing in his underwear, chugging beer from a keg, wearing a woman's wig and balancing objects on his head," as the Daily News puts it? We're not sure. In any case, he was arrested, charged with trespassing, and issued a summons. [NYDN]
• Palm Beach residents were inspired to do the right thing and pillage through the belongings of their formerly rich neighbors for the greater good. “I feel bad for some of these people, but maybe we’re helping them by buying some of their things. Maybe it’s like charity,” said one attendee at an auction in Florida, where a porcelain guinea fowl fetched $1,250 and a crystal horse head was had for the bargain price of $3,850. [Wealth Report/WSJ]
• Berns has even inspired street art in Williamsburg! André the Giant, watch your back. [New York Shitty]
It's a Madoff world, isn't it?