Hey everybody! Have a nice weekend? Get some rest? Watch a football game? Good for you. Unfortunately, not all of us had such a great time. Jeanine and Al Pirro let slip that they are getting a divorce. You remember Al and Jeanine — he was the guy who sabotaged his wife's political ambitions by earning a tax-evasion conviction and fathering a love child, and she was the one who was caught on tape asking Bernie Kerik to bug her husband's yacht to catch him philandering? Hm. Maybe it wasn't so much that the pair had a bad weekend — more like they've had a bad decade or so. Former Westchester D.A. Jeanine failed in her runs for U.S. senator, lieutenant governor, and state attorney general, and real-estate broker Al spent over a year in the clink, starting in 2000. It looks like their divorce has already been hashed out so at least this part might run smoothly, though All-Purpose Divorce Spokesman Raoul Felder claims "it's mutually assured destruction" (Felder, of course, represents neither party). It's times like these, when tabloid superstars hit rock bottom, that we turn to the one name we can trust: Cindy Adams. What does Lady C, who was pals with both parties, have to say about the Pirros' great love?
Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is, not surprisingly, a fan of Jack Bauer's 24 torture techniques. Mark Green is set to join Al D'Amato and Ed Koch on NY1's Inside City Hall program. Jeanine Pirro is set to star in a Judge Judy–esque show. Ellen Barkin and Ralph Fiennes have been canoodling. Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury gave $300 to a homeless man. The Olsen twins trekked to Atlantic City for a Bob Dylan concert. The late Kurt Vonnegut has a role in an upcoming DVD. A gay former CBS News producer filed a $10 million discrimination suit against his former employer because he felt the network didn't want his gay-bashing in St. Maarten to be publicized. Aussie golfer Greg Norman and his ex-wife-to-be have finally come to (undisclosed) terms on how to split up his $500 million fortune. Patti LaBelle didn't need a mike to wow a Carnegie Hall audience.
• At this year's 2007 Robin Hood benefit, philanthropic hedge funders paid $400,000 to sing a song with Aerosmith, and $1.3 million for dinner with Mario Batali. [NYT]
• Hafiz Naseem, a junior investment banker at Credit Suisse, was charged with insider trading after he tipped off associates in Pakistan about deals, including the TXU buyout, before they were made public. [NYT]
• Google is the No.1 preferred employer for MBA students, with more traditional companies McKinsey and Goldman taking the next two slots. [Fortune via CNNMoney]
We never thought we'd reach this point, but now we're starting to actually feel bad for Jeanine Pirro. Turns out that the fearless prosecutor and failed attorney-general nominee has a jewelry-making hobby; the "company" is called JP Styles and consists, from what we understand, of Jeanine herself, some thread, and some beads. And now the Feds are investigating it for tax fraud. (It seems that Jeanine sold some baubles, at a couple hundred dollars each, to "courthouse acquaintances," with profits earmarked toward charity. She also tried to put her handiwork on consignment at Neiman Marcus, unsuccessfully.) We don't know if JP Styles has paid its taxes or not; what we know is that we can't shake an image of Jeanine wistfully threading beads at home, alone, by nightlight, while Al is otherwise engaged. Poor girl.
Pirro's Jewel of Denial in Fed Biz Probe [NYDN]
In a splendid instance of New York Calls It, failed attorney-general candidate Jeanine Pirro has signed a $1 million deal to host her own syndicated TV talk show. There's no word yet on whether the program will be a legal shoutfest or a relationship-y weeper, either of which being well within her expertise. We're holding out for the former. "I can't imagine that Pirro has a statewide future," writer Steve Fishman told us back in November, fresh from profiling Jeanine and hubby Al for the magazine. "We're much more likely to see her hosting her own show on Court TV. She could easily have a Nancy Grace–like future ahead of her."
Chat's All It Is On Pirro's Talk Show [NYP]
Earlier:Jeanine Pirro's Future Is Bright, Somehow
Lest you thought we were all done with her, now there's a suggestion we may very well still have Jeanine Pirro to kick around. At least, that's what the state Republicans tell today's Times. One pol "can't see why she wouldn't be a wonderful candidate," and another says "[s]he definitely has a future in state politics." Oh? Could there be some untapped reserve of Pirromaniacs out there waiting to be engaged? Really? Well, maybe not.
"I can't imagine that Pirro has a statewide future," says Steve Fishman, New York's resident Pirro expert since he chronicled her attorney-general campaign and Dynasty-size marital troubles in October. "I mean, her scandal so hobbled her every step of the way, and so publicly. There's a playbook out there on how to destroy her. That said, she's proved herself to be a vote-getter in Westchester, where she's been reelected three times — the last time right after Al went to jail. So if there's an appropriate congressional seat …"
But, still, Fishman can't see why she'd bother with all that again. "We're much more likely to see her hosting her own show on Court TV," he says. "She could easily have a Nancy Grace–like future ahead of her." Great. Just what we need: Another Nancy Grace.
Don't Dismiss Pirro, Republicans Say [NYT]
Can This Marriage Be Saved? [NYM]
• As you probably know by now, Brazil's Gomes dos Santos won the men's side of the New York marathon yesterday in a massive upset; Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia defended her women's title. Lance Armstrong came in 856th. And, in a rare moment when the cliché actually makes sense, a good time was had by all. (Yuk yuk yuk.) [AP via NYDN]
• The Post, classy as ever, Photoshops a noose on Saddam's neck, as Republicans furiously milk the dictator's curiously well-timed death sentence for last-minute gains. [NYP]
• Jury selection begins in one of the weirdest murder trials in recent history: A one-legged Long Island man shot an arrow at a stranger he found threatening, piercing his heart and killing him. The alleged bow killer, although caught on the run, is pleading not guilty. [amNY]
• The Intrepid sails off! The museum ship — as familiar a fixture on the West Side as the Lincoln Tunnel, at least for the last few decades — is heading to Bayonne, New Jersey, for repairs. Eighty-eight-year-old Rear Admiral Lloyd Abbot Jr., who commanded it more than 40 years ago, will serve as skipper for the short journey. [WNBC]
• And Jeanine Pirro gets a late endorsement for attorney general where it counts: from the New York City Department of Correction Columbia Association (an organization of Italian-American prison workers). We don't even know which joke to go with here. [Empire Newswire]
In a pre-election week punctuated by acts of contrition, none was sorrier than John Kerry's mea culpa for seeming to instruct a group of college students to do their homework lest they "end up in Iraq." Having single-handedly halted Democratic momentum, Kerry said, "I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted." President Bush, who has lately donned a hair shirt over piddling aspects of his handling of the war, nevertheless vowed never to fire Rumsfeld or Cheney. Congressman Charles Rangel said he was sorry for calling the veep a "son of a bitch," but showed no pangs of conscience for observing that Cheney hadn't "shot anyone in the face lately." Remorseless campaigner Andrew Cuomo showed he had no hard feelings toward ex-rival Mark Green by accepting a $50,000 donation from Green's developer brother, Stephen, before scolding current opponent Jeanine Pirro's "shameful" paying of her driver $148,000 in county-funded overtime.
Alan Hevesi's 35-year career in New York politics is, as we all know, melting down (hitting a pothole? getting pulled over? stalling out? various other automotive metaphors?) over revelations he used a state employee to ferry his sick wife around the state. But here's the thing: Maybe what he did ain't actually so bad. According to the new Village Voice such droits de politician are more or less par for the course across in Albany. Astonished? Us either. Early and Often's Jon Dolan lays out all the dirty details.
Everyone's a Passenger in New York Politics [Early and Often]
The Jeanine Pirro–keeps–on–truckin' piece on the front of today's Times "Metro" section reports that the GOP candidate for attorney general "rides around in a silver Ford Explorer, teasing her staff, chatting about her pets." What it doesn't mention is what those pets are — two potbellied pigs, which the paper of record previously described as "pampered." It reminded us of something that has long intrigued us: Why would you want pigs as pets? And how do you pamper them?
• Mayor Bloomberg announced the city is buying a 24-acre parcel of land in Long Island City on which to build middle-class housing. Jerry Speyer preemptively bids to buy it in 50 years and turn it into luxury condos. [NYS]
• Con Ed technicians working at the ground-zero site yesterday discovered human remains and two wallets in an underground junction box that was allegedly searched years ago. Families groups, no doubt, are thrilled. [NYDN]
• Now a handwriting expert says Brooke Astor's signature on the 2004 codicil that bequeathed millions to her son was most likely forged. As if Astor family gatherings weren't awkward enough lately. [NYT]
• A job fair intended for Irish immigrants living illegally in the United States is instead drawing mostly Americans interested in working in Ireland, presumably seeking cheaper Guinness. [NYT]
• Jeanine Pirro is trailing Andrew Cuomo by 21 points in attorney-general race, new polls show. Campaign strategists now seeking a scandal that will actually win her sympathy. [NYP]
• Alas poor Mets. Sigh. [NYDN, NYP]
Another day, another vitriol-filled attorney-general debate. The latest iteration came yesterday morning in Rochester; it was broadcast locally on Channel 13 at the must-see hour 12:30 a.m. last night. Early and Often stayed up to watch and found that although the event itself contained all its expected fun — you're inexperienced! you're under investigation! — the highlight came after the debating was done. What Cuomo-mouthpiece dis did Early and Often label the best dig of the night? Click over and find out.
Pirro Zingers Fly Even After Debate [Early and Often]
Pirro and Cuomo Play the Hits [Early and Often]
When Jeanine Pirro's campaign for attorney general is over — or, to be cruel but precise, once she loses — she'll be going straight into marriage counseling, at least if her husband has anything to do with it.
New York's Steve Fishman profiled the Pirros' increasingly confounding marriage for this week's magazine, and he found Al Pirro, Jeanine's wayward husband — by all accounts a screamer, a bruiser, a brusque alpha male — surprisingly wounded and therapized, talking about his anxieties. Al knows he needs to be flattered, to be reminded that he makes more money than Jeanine, to feel generous (Fishman zeroes in on his compulsive need to pick up the check, even for parties of 30). He denies the infidelities that drove Jeanine up the wall (and into the dubious confidences of Bernie Kerik) while readily admitting something even more hurtful to a relationship: that he needs outside female companionship, be it platonic or not, because he doesn't feel encouraged, admired, or appreciated at home. And he knows the couple needs to work on these issues.
"He was essentially stewing," Fishman says. "He feels that he's been shut out, silenced, and attacked, both by the campaign and by his wife personally." Is there enough therapy in the world to get the pair past all that? Maybe, Fishman says. The real turning point for the relationship, he says, was Al's tax-evasion conviction. "But it was never a fake marriage. There's a basis of deep mutual admiration — hell, love."
Can This Marriage Be Saved? [NYM]
We didn't watch Sunday morning's debate between Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Cuomo — did anyone? — but now we're pretty sad we didn't. "When two candidates stand at podiums and list the names of persons both alive and dead their opponent should apologize to," as Early and Often recounts, it seems like the rare political debate that was perhaps actually worth watching. "The attacks were heavy-handed, light on the facts, personal, visceral, catty, mousey," E&O continued. And now we're disappointed we decided to sleep in. Early and Often, thankfully, did not.
A Sunday-Morning Mud Bath [E&O]
So you suspected your philandering, tax-cheating, speed-limit-averse husband was philandering anew. And so you asked your philandering (with Judith Regan!), corruptly apartment-renovating former-police-commissioner buddy to look into it. And you get caught, because the Feds are wiretapping aforementioned philandering, corrupt, former commish for entirely different reasons. How do you salvage your foundering law-and-order campaign for state attorney general? By releasing a new 30-second spot in which you masterfully play both victim and avenger, and, to top it off, falsely suggest your rival has a plan to offer "amnesty to criminals." Early and Often has Pirro's new ad, which leaves "you the viewer … apologizing for even thinking about counting her out."
Jeanine of Arc [Early and Often]