SCHUMER SHOWS HIS PRIMARY COLORS
Maybe Senate hopeful Chuck Schumer should stick to shaking hands and kissing babies. At a recent gathering of the Queens Gay and Lesbian Democrats, Schumer exploded after being asked about his vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, which states that the federal government will only recognize heterosexual marriages. When James Reilly, a gay man in his fifties, explained that he and his longtime partner feared they would one day be placed in separate nursing homes since they have no legal status as a couple, Schumer totally lost control, says the soft-spoken Reilly. He kept shouting, after all Ive done for you people, you people keep harassing me because of this one damn issue. Matt Foreman, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, present at the event, took Schumer to task. I told him he needed to respond in a sensitive manner and show some respect and compassion for that mans emotions, says Foreman. Schumers apology -- when it finally came, about twenty minutes later -- was qualified and couched, says Reilly, like Im sorry if it seemed like I didnt understand your concerns. Responds Hank Morris, Schumers spokesman, Chuck has spent his career fighting for gay rights, from writing the hate-crimes law to creating housing for aids victims. He simply wanted to discuss those issues as well. And whens the last time any politician said they were sorry -- whether in twenty minutes, twenty days, or twenty years?
LOVE LOCKED OUT AT WESTMINSTER
Every dog is supposed to have its day, but dont tell that to Champion Dachsmith Loves Ajax and Champion Dachsmith Loves Diomedes. The two dachshunds didnt even get their fifteen minutes at last weeks Westminster Kennel Club dog show -- even though their humans, archaeologist Iris Love and columnist Liz Smith, hosted a dog party at Tavern-on-the-Green. Love and Smith were among a group of owners who thought their dogs were in when the checks for their entry fees were cashed. Then, just days before the show began, they discovered their dogs werent registered after all, evidently because of a clerical error. It is disturbing that the most prestigious dog show in the world would have entries handled this way, and that a result is for several of the top dogs . . . to be absent, one disgruntled owner wrote to the shows superintendent. Chester Collier, the head of the Westminster Kennel Club, was the stickler who wouldnt let the dogs in even when the mistake was discovered, according to one insider. Love is particularly upset for Ajax, her retiring champion. He never even got his last show, she says. Neither Collier nor representatives for the Westminster club returned calls.
They may be getting ready to compete for readers, but right now the folks behind Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine have only the sincerest forms of flattery for one another. When ESPN created a prototype for its new sports title -- set to debut on March 11 -- it featured three spreads of sports photographs on the opening pages, before the table of contents. The idea is to capture the reader immediately, with stunning photographs, explains an ESPN spokesperson. But before that idea could see the light of day, Sports Illustrated hit the stands February 9 with an issue featuring . . . three double-paged sports photos placed at the beginning of the magazine. Coincidence? ESPN staffers didnt think so -- lets just say its very interesting, says one insider -- but theyre undaunted. We remain committed to showing sports in a different light, says the ESPN spokesperson. A Sports Illustrated rep sees the similarities in a different light. Their prototype idea was identical to our Olympic Preview issue from two years ago, when our new editor, Bill Colson, first used that photo format at the beginning of the issue. He did it two years ago, and has been toying with that element ever since. Responds the ESPN mouthpiece: This incident doesnt concern us anymore. Were concentrating on the launch.
GIORGIOS FLAT; CINDYS SPAT
A/X TO THE LETTER: Wonder how Giorgio Armani landed that $3 million Central Park West penthouse in a building so tony it wouldnt even entertain Mariah Careys application? The designer went all-out on his co-op board application, submitting reference letters not only from Liam Neeson (who lives in the building), Lauren Hutton, and Jonathan Tisch but also from those who really know his business, like Condé Nast chieftain S. I. Newhouse, Vogues Anna Wintour, and Liz Tilberis of Harpers Bazaar. The letters evidently worked: Armani just got approved.
CINDYS LINE OF CREDIT: Who says Rudy Giuliani doesnt have a sense of humor? Not Cindy Adams. The Post columnist told Cristyne Lategano that shed be sending a $500 check in to Mayor Rudy as an advance against future jaywalking tickets. Lategano reported back to Adams that the mayor thought that was hilarious. Adams has been crusading against midtowns pedestrian barricades, which force her to cross five streets on the two-block walk from NBC to Le Cirque. I hate being in this pedestrian prison, says Adams. I have almost gotten to the point where I would have voted for Al Sharpton. But the canny columnist tempers her tantrums against the mayor. I always say, Our Lord High Emperor, the Commandant of New York, explains Adams. I treat him in ultra-respectful terms, so he doesnt make me a citizen of Bulgaria.
FROM BAD GIRL TO JUST ORDINARY
Barry Manilow isnt the only disco dinosaur heading to the Great White Way. Seventies siren Donna Summer is hoping to bring a new musical, Ordinary Girl, to Broadway next year, after a fall tryout on the road. The show, which Summer co-wrote and plans to star in, is about following your dream, says Summers rep. Its loosely autobiographical, because the message is that if you have a talent, you have to be true to it and be empowered by it. Audiences shouldnt hope for a show-stopping finale of She Works Hard for the Money. Ordinary Girl will feature twenty new songs, but theyre still vintage Donna. Summer, who is apparently committed to the show for a yearlong run, is still scouting for a producer.
THE MOTHER OF ALL ITEMS
The latest trend among New Yorks gossip elite seems to be impending motherhood. Hot on the heels of Daily News columnist Joanna Molloys pregnancy comes word that The Posts Jeane MacIntosh is six months pregnant; the father is an Australian from Rupert Murdochs empire. Quips MacIntosh: Im spawning a hybrid tabloid warrior. MacIntoshs bundle of joy, a girl, is due at roughly the same time as Molloys baby, a boy, fueling speculation about a possible future dream team of dish. MacIntosh isnt the only Page Six alum with a new project on the way. The columns former writer and editor, Susan Mulcahy, has signed on as the new West Coast editor of Self. Ive done everything -- newspapers, the Internet, living in a trailer in Oregon, you name it, says Mulcahy, who founded the Internet gossip site Mr. Showbiz. Finally, Ive found a job that will pay me for going to yoga class.
CHARLIE ROSES 60 MINUTES LESSON
Never give a top banana second billing. When Mike Wallace was recently slated for the late slot of The Charlie Rose Show, he did some fast talking and got the segments switched. While Charlie Rose interviewed Henry Kissinger, Richard Holbrooke, Michael Bloomberg, and Barbara Franklin on the International Monetary Funds efforts to cope with Asias economic crisis, Wallace was listening in the green room. On the way into the studio to tape his segment -- a discussion of The Gay Metropolis with the books author, Charles Kaiser, and former mayor Ed Koch -- Wallace told Rose how boring the first panel had been. Well, Ive seen a lot of boring 60 Minutes segments, too, Rose jabbed back. When the segment was over, Wallace started needling his host again. All right, Wallace, said Rose. Just this once, Ill let you produce my show. Rose reshot his transitions and flipped the order for broadcast. Rose explains that hes got huge respect for Wallace: You just say, Dear God, please let me be like Mike is when Im 80.
DOUGLAS HAS HAD ONE TOO MANY
The martini-swilling crowd at the Royalton was in for more than the usual rubbernecking when Eric Douglas, troubled brother of Michael Douglas, was caught up in a fracas in the hotels chic Vodka Bar. When Eric arrived at the hotel a few weeks back to meet his attorney, Allan F. Friedman, a bartender ran over and, according to Douglas, violently attacked the actor. Both of us were completely sober, Friedman insists. But this guy grabbed Eric, shook him, and started shouting these accusations -- that Eric always caused trouble and was no good -- and told Eric to step outside with him. Douglas refused and took a seat. Says Friedman, It made me cry. Honestly, I was driven to tears. After the incident, Douglas and Friedman wrote to the Royaltons proprietor, Ian Schrager, denouncing this mans behavior and demanding a retraction of his accusations. Friedman says he then received an anonymous phone call, giving me the address of the bartender, and telling me to get that bastard. While Douglas hasnt resorted to street justice just yet, his patience is wearing thin. Between bartenders and airline hostesses -- enoughs enough, he protests. Im really sick and tired of being punted like a football. A spokeswoman for Schrager pointed out that any complaints would automatically be directed to Brian McNally, the bars owner. McNally said he had no knowledge of the incident.
Additional reporting by Kate Coyne and Emily Spilko.