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John Roberts

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The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of Course

MEDIA • "OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?" [NYT] • Josh Stein isn't actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo] • The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O'Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won't have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]

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GE Still Hearts NBC … For Now

MEDIA • General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said he'd postpone any decision on selling NBC until after the 2008 Olympics. Let's just hope 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights last that long. [FT] • Doris Lessing beat out Philip Roth, who was rumored as a top candidate, for this year's Nobel Prize in literature. It probably helps that Lessing's most recent novel doesn't involve an old geezer fucking a "luckless goy chick" in the face. [NYT, Hitchens/Atlantic] • FSG dominated this year's National Book Award finalists, with five out of ten in fiction and nonfiction coming from the tweedy publisher's lists. [NYT]

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Alan Greenspan: ‘Not My Fault’

FINANCE • Alan Greenspan says don't blame him for the credit crisis. He may not have understood the dangers until recently, but the former Fed chief claims there's nothing he could have done. [NYP] • Who needs Wall Street 2 when Gordon Gekko is already back in the guise of Steve Schwarzman? The Blackstone founder just bought a big stake in a firm called BlueStar, the same name as the central company in the original Wall Street. [DealBook/NYT] • Big surprise: Funds that invest in Vice typically do far better than those that insist on Virtue. [NYT]

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Jeffrey Goldberg Wants a Pony

MEDIAAtlantic owner David Bradley sent ponies to Jeffrey Goldberg's kids to help lure him away from The New Yorker. Seriously. [WP] • Just before the Dow Jones deal went through, the Bancrofts voted to double this quarter's dividend for themselves [NYP] • Murdoch and Ailes's next move? All-out war? (Wait, they're not at war with everyone else already?) [Newsweek]

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