Gore 2008!At an Air America relaunch, Bill Clinton said Al Gore has the money to run for president. Rudy Giuliani is raising money in Jerusalem. Paul McCartney is playing new songs at a free Highline Ballroom show tonight. Tom Wolfe is worried Gus Van Sant’s adaptation of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test won’t do the LSD trips justice. Mel Brooks thinks Cloris Leachmen is too old to reprise her role in Young Frankenstein. Paris Hilton is naked online again. At the Apollo’s spring benefit, David Dinkins said he likes Kyra Sedgwick. Dumbo developer David Walentas will play polo with Adolpho Cambiaso, the world’s best player, in Bridgehampton this summer. Beyoncé wouldn’t sign a British fan’s painting. Britney Spears exposed herself again, and snuggled with gal pal, at a Hollywood club.
the morning line
A Bad Day for Daniel Goldstein*
• The key lawsuit seeking to block Atlantic Yards has been dismissed on a technicality. A group of tenants facing eminent-domain relocation failed to convince a judge they weren’t offered comparable housing. [NYP]
• Mark Green, the new president and one of the marquee voices of Air America, interviewed Michael Bloomberg for the network’s big relaunch next week; the ex-rivals were reportedly quite chummy, trading bad puns and agreeing on most of Bloomberg’s mayoral policies. [NYT]
• This is exactly what the torturously slow dismantling of the Deutsche Bank building was supposed to prevent: A fifteen-foot-long pipe fell 35 stories from the half-stripped skyscraper, plunging into a neighboring firehouse and sending two firefighters to the hospital. [NYDN]
• Bail for the domestic-enslaving Long Island couple was set at $2.5 million for the wife and $1 million for the husband; meanwhile, a raid on the mansion is said to have uncovered the instruments of torture, which include knives and a rolling pin. [Newsday]
• And, a bomb scare shook up an elementary school in the Putnam County town of Kent after a suspicious and fragrant package was delivered to the building. But not to fear: After a Hazmat team and bomb squad got involved, an X-ray revealed it was twelve pounds of marijuana. [WNBC]
* Or maybe not a bad day at all. As explained here, we totally misread this news.
‘GQ’: Is the Republican Party Invading Air America?Egads! There’s a Republican infiltration of liberal radio network Air America’s uppermost ranks, according to the new GQ, hitting stands tomorrow. The ailing talk-radio experiment may have been saved from obsolescence when developer Stephen Green — along with his brother, omnipresent New York Dem Mark Green — scooped it up at a bargain-basement price in January, but it turns out at least one member of Green’s team is a Bushie. Quoth Scott Elberg, the company’s chief operating officer: “I voted for George Bush. I’d been a Republican since I started making money.” Elberg now claims that the Iraq mess has turned him to forces of goodness and light — which, actually, might be the biggest shame of all. Isn’t a touch of old-fashioned, GOP, utterly unprincipled capitalism just what Air America needs in its executives?
CORRECTION, April 18: This item originally described Elberg as Air America’s “new” COO, brought in by the Greens to run the network, a characterization provided to us by GQ. The Greens inform us that Elberg worked at Air America before the purchase, GQ has acknowledged the error, and we’ve corrected the item.
Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of Air America
the morning line
DHS Now Officially Full of Shit• The federal formula used to allot New York its pitiful share of anti-terrorism funds has been officially discredited. A new GAO report says — in as many words — that Homeland Security officials lack methods to assess risk. Actuarial math aside, failure to classify the Empire State Building as a landmark was a bit of a giveaway. [NYDN]
• In related news, the Empire State Building is America’s favorite piece of architecture, according to the American Institute of Architects poll. The White House is number two. [WNBC]
• Meet Tom DiNapoli. As New York’s Chris Smith reported yesterday, state legislators reneged on a deal with Governor Spitzer and installed the assemblyman as the new state comptroller. On the upside, according to the Times, DiNapoli is apparently the nicest guy in Albany. [NYT]
• The plot thickens in the Long Island fake-cop case. The con man in question not only wore fake uniform and a prop badge; he owned a car complete with a siren, maintained the cop identity 24/7, and shook down criminals for a living. [NYP]
• And it’s official: The bankrupt Air America now belongs to real-estate mogul Stephen Green, brother of Mark. The price tag on the voice of the American Left? $4.25 million. We assume they threw in The Nation. [amNY]
it just happened
Mark Green’s Brother Buys Air AmericaTwo-year-old Air America, the “liberal radio network” currently languishing in Chapter 11 protection — and is it our imagination, or has it always been languishing in Chapter 11? — is in for a major makeover, according to news reports today. First, its current group of investor-owners are washing their hands of the ailing enterprise; it’s all but sold to Stephen Green, the founder of SL Green Realty Corp. and the brother of Mark (the former mayoral candidate). Second, the scratchy voice of the network, Al Franken, is leaving next month. Portland-based author Thom Hartmann, whom we don’t know much about but who looks strikingly like an SNL parody of a liberal, will take his time slot. Everyone agrees that Air America — whose noble attempt to counteract right-wing bloviators ran into the fact that liberals suck at yelling or being yelled at — can use retooling. But we’re more interested in two other items perhaps implicit in the sale. One, we’ve got to assume Mark Green is not as retired from politics as some have predicted, and, two, we’ve also got to assume Al Franken is definitely running for Senate.
SL Green Founder to Acquire Air America [Crain’s]
Fake-Lawyer Jokes Better Than Real-Lawyer JokesThe big news today in the city’s big businesses.
• Paralegal who claimed to be a lawyer (and was treated as such by Anderson Kill & Olick for two whole years) to be arraigned on Wednesday. [NYT]
• Aaron Charney, the gay associate suing his former firm for discrimination, hasn’t gotten the support he expected from New York’s Lesbian and Gay Law Association. [Above the Law]
• Alan Dershowitz gives his two cents on the Pentagon detainee debacle to the Times’ opinion page. While sharing the editors’ outrage, he smells just the faintest whiff of McCarthyism. [NYT via Law Blog/WSJ]
it just happened
Air America Declares Bankruptcy; Dog Bites ManAP is reporting — and CNN is giving top placement to — what is likely the least surprising news you’ll read all week:
NEW YORK (AP) – Air America Radio, a liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a network official told The AP.
It’s like an anniversary present to Republicans, whose let’s-make-it-harder-to-declare-bankruptcy bankruptcy reform went into effect a year ago next week.
Air America Radio Files Chapter 11 [CNN.com]