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Andrea Peyser

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Heath Ledger: The Day-Two Stories

Heath and Michelle
Perhaps inevitably, as print outlets struggle to find a way to expand their coverage of Heath Ledger's death without many new details (multiple timelines! medical analyses!), we find that writers are turning to a new angle: the real-estate effect. The story of the Australian actor's life in the past couple of years is truly a New York story. He hit the hottest spots, he changed the face of neighborhoods, and he became a familiar figure to the regular city dwellers who surrounded him. Gridskipper.com has a geographical guide to his final months, since he moved out of Boerum Hill. The Daily News talked to his Soho neighbors, who described his usual uniform as "ragged jeans, an old jacket, brown boots and a stubbly chin." He used to wander the neighborhood and stop into restaurants and bars alone, and many didn't even know he was a superstar. But in the Post, we get the opposite story. Andrea Peyser, shockingly, is the first person to push the "Is it too soon?" boundary.

Dolan's Faith in Thomas as Delusional in Court as on Court

Pricks
Just when you thought their sexual-harassment trial couldn't get any more damaging for the Knicks, they shoot themselves in the foot. In a taped deposition by Madison Square Garden head honcho Jimmy Dolan, shown yesterday in court, the burly boss explained that plaintiff Anucha Browne Sanders was fired because she made sexual-harassment charges. And incidentally, at the Garden, it's not harassment to use the N-word to describe a black person (this was revealed by aging exec Rusty McCormack. Andrea Peyser, back on her game since yesterday, describes McCormack as having "the complexion the approximate shade of ripe cheese.") Of course, the question blaring from every news outlet is "Why are they still in this trial? Settle already!" The answer is simpler than you think.

In Knicks Drama, Peyser and Ridley Enter the Tabloid Ring

Pricks
Has anyone noticed that the Daily News is turning senior features writer Jane Ridley into a more reasoned version of Andrea Peyser? Today, the pair take on Isiah Thomas's weird double standard of debasement (it's not okay for a white man to call a black woman a "bitch," but if it's a black man, it's not so bad, goes the logic). "He should have shut up," Ridley writes of Isiah's videotaped deposition. "But his mouth, which matches his outsize ego – if not his brain – just kept on moving." Zing! "A gazillion dollar salary might get you designer suits and the best table in the restaurant, but it can't buy class and judgment," she adds. Pow! "What we saw for ourselves of Thomas yesterday was not only ugly, but pathetic." Splat! We eagerly flipped to Andrea to see her splenetic spin but were vastly disappointed. "Hang in there, Anucha," is all Peyser musters. "They fired the wrong person." Well, well, well. We're sure it was an off day, as Peyser is by far the best in the bile business. But Ridley appears to be gaining – and if she'd just replace her cute, smiley columnist photo with something more ghoulish, we might have a real battle here! Isiah Shows His True Colors – in Black and White [NYDN] The Twisted Racial Logic of a Knicko Sicko [NYP]

In Death, Leona Helmsley Continues to Confound

Leona Helmsley and Andrea Peyser
The Times' normally staid City Room blog has racked up a lot of nasty comments on yesterday's lengthy Leona Helmsley postmortem. "Ironic how one can die of heart failure when one has no heart," wrote "Erica," in one of over 120 reader responses. "Many former employees will be dancing on her grave," added "Veggie." " She looks like the Grinch who stole Christmas … hmmmm, how appropriate," chimed in "Becca." And "Joe" even mused, "Perhaps she is now being told that 'only the little people make it to heaven.'" Yipes, stripes! That's pretty harsh for the normally painstakingly respectful Times, which claims to moderate all Web comments. We almost felt bad for the old gal! Then we read Andrea Peyser's love letter to the "Queen of Mean" in the Post. "Leona Helmsley was one of a kind," Peyser writes, cracking her stony façade for a moment. "Soar in peace, darling." Wait, the Times reveals a nasty side, and Andrea Peyser is showing love? We just don't know what's real anymore… Remembering Leona Helmsley [City Room/NYT] I'm Mourning Woman World Loved to Hate [NYP]

The New York ‘Times’ Hates Children

This morning, in her always thoughtful and eloquent Post column, Andrea Peyser finally blows the whistle on the New York Times' long-standing bias against children.

Please Call Andrea Peyser a Bimbo

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Wednesday we pointed out what might well be the best New York Post cover ever, a Photoshop job of adoring throngs lifting a fresh-out-of- prison Paris Hilton. But we also noticed a curious coincidence: "Paris Liberated, Bimbos Rejoice," read the cover line — and inside the paper marquee columnist Andrea Peyser was, in fact, rejoicing. Was the Post calling its own writer a bimbo? And, if so, how would she feel about that? From today's e-mail:
From: Peyser, Andrea [SMTP:xxxx@nypost.com]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 11:00:56 AM
To: intel
Subject: bimbo? I love you!
Oh, we love you, too, you little bimbo. Earlier: 'Post' Either Loves or Hates Paris Hilton

‘Post’ Either Loves or Hates Paris Hilton

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Just wanted to make sure you got a good look at what might well be the single greatest New York Post cover ever. "If Paris wasn't born, she would have to be invented," Andrea Peyser writes in her column. "If she did not form naturally, we'd have to build one of her." We can't tell if Peyser's "we" refers to American society, dismissively, or to the Post's circulation execs, appreciatively. Maybe a little of both? (Also: Isn't that cover line effectively calling Peyser a bimbo? Fun!) She's the Naughty Gift Who Keeps on Giving [NYP] Related: Paris Was Pig in a Pokey [NYP]

In Case You Haven't Been Screwed Enough By the MTA...

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• Wait, now there's a $3.9 billion surplus?! Just weeks ago, the city was projected to be mere $2 billion in the black. Bloomberg warns that the city's become "very dependent" on transfer taxes from huge real-estate deals. Whatever. We want free cabs for a week. [NYT] • A "wacky" judge "ranted" "bizarrely" against a death-penalty case on his hands, preferring that the prosecutors shoot for life-in-prison instead. And that's just the news story; you should see the epithets in the editorial. [NYDN] • Today the massed forces of NYPD will once again do furious battle with the evil swarm otherwise known as hippies on bicycles: Critical Mass is coming to town. Interestingly, Brooklyn cops appeared far more supportive two weeks ago: Officers even rode alongside the cyclists. [amNY] • The Post's Andrea Peyser, having finally cracked, roams the floors of a Bed, Bath & Beyond waving photos of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Paris Hilton. It's a "social experiment," apparently. [NYP] • And City Hall is about to, um, roll out official New York City condoms. "Memorable packaging" may include the iconic subway map. Is the mayor getting frisky with the budget surplus already? [AP]

Something's Gotta Give

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• Just in time for Bloomberg's $150 million help-the-poor initiative, the Times unloads a "Giving" section. It comes complete with an attempt to launch a word ("philanthropreneurs," and, um, keep trying) and, best of all, a graphic titled "Bono's Beneficent Universe." [NYT] • A shocking! new! poll! has Hillary Clinton pulling ahead of Giuliani and McCain in a presidential matchup. Buried in the cover story's eighth graph: Her advantage falls within the margin of error, so it's a tie. But you've already bought the Post. [NYP] • The good news is that you are now able to swipe your cell phone at subway turnstiles. The bad news is that it necessitates "a consortium of credit card and wireless providers." So the future is now — if you're a Cingular customer with a Citi card. [amNY] • Andrea Peyser, a noted expert on Crips and Bloods, is disappointed that not enough gang members showed up to a Sean Bell protest, because the press release promised gangs. Oh, just read it. [NYP] • And Brooklyn hip-hop scenesters mourn the closing of Beat Street on Fulton, an iconic vinyl store; everyone cites digital age as the culprit. This is the store where Fannypack formed — is nothing sacred, iTunes? Is nothing sacred? [NYDN]

Plane Crash, Gay Bash, and Mary Jo Kopechne

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• Not much new was revealed overnight about the plane crash that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and gave a jolt to the UES. Turns out the hit building's tenant list is full of semi-boldface names including, weirdly, the Mets' third-base coach Manny Acta. [NYT, NYDN, NYP] • In a repellent turn to a repellent story, a suspected racial-bias attack turns out to be a gay bash turns out to be a robbery. Four Sheepshead Bay youths are charged with luring a man via e-mail to a Plumb Beach cruising spot to rob him; the victim broke free, fled, and was struck by a car. Prosecutors say the hate-crime tag still applies. [amNY] • Rep. Chris Shays, the GOP congressman from Connecticut, achieves the impossible by somehow managing to lower the discourse level of the Foley scandal. How? By bringing up, apropos of nothing, Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick incident. Early and Often's take here. [NYDN] • The Columbia Queer Alliance is puzzled by the light attendance of the public-makeout event it staged on the university's Low Library steps. The turnout reportedly shrank ten times compared to last year's, despite an effort to involve the shy and the single (who were offered apples to kiss). [Bwog] • And the Post's Andrea Peyser unleashes a jaw-dropping attack on "sluttish, revolting monster" Madonna for "raping Malawi" (by adopting an African child). Choice quote: "Madonna has traveled far beyond her... loser antics to grab attention — and flesh." Don't worry, a slave auction gets mentioned too. [NYP]