Preppy Ladies Gone Wild?You have to love crime coverage in New York. When two preppy ladies are caught going into open-house viewings at ritzy apartments and making off with pursefuls of trinkets, it’s not a paragraph in the police blotter. It’s a page-four story with the headline: “THELMA&LOUISEBUSTED!” Never mind that in the film Thelma & Louise, the two women drive off a cliff to their doom to avoid getting caught by police (as opposed to just driving into traffic away from a real-estate broker on foot), they also killed a man in a bar parking lot. But aside from this old-school take, the Daily News coverage of the string of apartment robberies is quite forward-thinking! They downloaded a picture of Jennifer Jones, one of the accused thieves, from Facebook.com. And she’s doing yoga, no less! Now, the News clearly isn’t one of Jennifer’s 73 friends — otherwise you can imagine all of the Vampire applications they’d be using on her (“Start biting chumps!”) — so we can’t be sure whether the flexible woman in question is, in fact, a robber. But ever since Virginia Tech, when message boards on Facebook were often the only accurate listings of the missing and wounded, have you noticed that the Website has been adopted as an acceptable, reliable way for news outlets to research young people? Interesting, huh? Also interesting: the fact that Jennifer Jones is 33, and therefore way too old to be on Facebook in the first place.
Two women arrested for posing as apt. buyers, then swiping luxury goods [NYDN]
Grudgingly, Editors Open the Door to J-School Students
Normally, editors at the city’s august publications roll their eyes when they receive calls from bright-eyed Columbia Journalism School students eager to begin plying their trade. But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance seems to have created an alliance between those young whippersnappers and their journalism elders. Since attendance for the much-anticipated speech has been restricted to students, who had to register for places in advance, and few reporters, the New York Times and the Daily News, among other news outlets, have hired a few enterprising student stringers to beef up their coverage. “I know a lot of people called the papers and offered their services,” said New York’s own intern-on-the-inside. “It’s a great opportunity for us.” Aw, that’s sweet. But we don’t want to be around when the Times stops returning their texts and changes their Facebook status to “It’s Complicated.”
Restaurant Girl Has a Face for Reviewing
Ooh, boy! Danyelle Freeman, a “new breed of restaurant critic, a maverick whose face accompanies her weekly reviews,” was introduced to the city this morning in the Daily News. And not only is her face front and center, but she comes complete with glamour shots! Freeman gave Gemma 1.5 stars in her debut review, but the real gem is the News’ accompanying article explaining Restaurant Girl’s need to show the face behind the reviews. “I’ve felt like the ‘Dear Abby’ of food for years,” Freeman said, noting that she has been blogging since January 2006. Grub Street, for one, welcomes our new recognizable critics. With pics like those, how couldn’t we?
New Food Critic Faces Her Public [NYDN]
Gemma’s Cuisine Takes a Backseat to Hip Downtown Scene [NYDN]
Restaurant Girl News Makes Commenters DishYesterday’s Eater news of the installation Danyelle “Restaurant Girl” Freeman as the Daily News’ new restaurant critic unleashed a torrent of snarky hostility on the site’s message boards. Sadly, the comments were infinitely more entertaining than anything the victuals vixen is likely to write in the paper. A few choice selections are after the jump.
‘Daily News’: Mayor’s Gal Pal Is No Mere Gal PalNormally it takes a cop’s funeral, or a fireman’s funeral, or a big win by a local team, or maybe even Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, for a story to make its way to the cover of the Daily News. But today, mysteriously, the paper devotes its front page to a profile of Diana Taylor, Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, former State Bank superintendent, and recently appointed Hudson River Trust chief. So what new and exciting news does reporter Heidi Evans, who earlier this year won a Pulitzer for the paper with her 9/11 reporting, elicit from the city’s quasi–First Lady to merit this page-one placement? Um, actually, nothing. Evans had a breakfast of “oatmeal and blueberries” with Taylor, and a side order of girl talk. The only thing we learned from the article — not that we didn’t know it already — is that Diana Taylor is much too successful in her own right just be called the mayor’s “Gal Pal.” This is apparently big news to the paper — it’s called her that at least sixteen times since 2002.
She’s Not Just His ‘Gal Pal’ [NYDN]
Today in Albany: Spitzer’s on Defense, Bruno’s on Offense, and the ‘Post’ Hates Everyone
The latest news from Albany finds the principals in the Spitzer-Bruno-Cuomo battle defining and refining their positions. Last night, the governor finally abandoned what New York’s Steve Fishman called his “silly business-as-usual tactic” and deigned to hand-feed his side of the story to the Daily News. New York’s Hometown Paper reports today that Joe Bruno’s constant requests to use state aircraft were well known in Albany even before Day One; they became “almost a punch line” after Spitzer inauguration, when, the governor says, people would “just roll their eyes.” Still, Spitzer didn’t know his own top aides were scheming to expose Bruno, he told the News — and even if he did, the State Senate doesn’t have subpoena power over the executive branch anyway. You may notice that these three statements clash with each other slightly, but, hey, he’s new at this weaseling-out-of-tight-spots thing. He’ll get better.
How Now Dow Jones?
• Thirty or so Bancrofts are converging on a Boston Hilton today to discuss whether they’d like some more money. (Actually, spread across the clan, the estimated $500 million in profit a Dow Jones sale would bring doesn’t sound like a staggering amount.) [NYT]
• Councilman and former Black Panther Charles Barron (he of the “Sonny Carson” avenue-renaming idea Bloomberg called “the worst ever”) announced he’s running to replace Marty Markowitz as the Brooklyn beep. Should be a lively campaign, as they say. [NYP]
• In rapper-arrest news, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule have been picked up on separate (!) gun-possession charges in busts an hour apart. [WNBC]
• Midtown businesses that lost money to last week’s steam-pipe blast will not see a red cent from Con Ed — not even restaurants that lost their supplies to spoilage when the power was cut. Some are threatening to sue. [NYDN]
• And the Yankees beat the Devil Rays 21-4 last night, which both tabs agree puts the team in the “21 Club.” Yuk yuk yuk. [NYDN, NYP]
What Does Shelly Have Up His Sleeve?The Daily News’ Daily Politics blog reports that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office is calling up members of his Democratic majority as we speak, and asking them to return to Albany tomorrow. Exciting! Also, puzzling. The News deems this “a significant development,” but we know it can’t be to suddenly pass the now-scuttled congestion-pricing idea — unless Mayor Bloomberg just found some pictures of Silver riding in Alan Hevesi’s limo or on Joe Bruno’s horse. So what does Shelly need the Assembly for? Some theories:
1. The Lower East Side is dangerously low on pickles and herring; the LES Preserved Foods Preservation Act is in order.
2. He loves to mess with people’s vacations, just as a test of loyalty.
3. He read the last page of the leaked Harry Potter and has no one to discuss it with.
4. He just brainstormed a law, retroactive to 2001, that would make it illegal for media-company owners to run for mayor.
5. He needs help getting the gigantic bug out of his ass.
Breakthrough? [Daily Politics/NYDN]
A Royal PainPrince’s highly publicized performance at the Ross School in East Hampton didn’t exactly get the crowd going. And he wouldn’t attend the after-party until everyone else left. Padma Lakshmi has been spending a lot of time with billionaire Teddy Fortsmann. Hillary Clinton has a subscription to the Post but not the Daily News. Jon Lovitz put a beating on Andy Dick at an L.A. comedy club during an argument over murdered SNL star Phil Hartman. Paris Hilton drugged her newest boyfriend with pills. Naomi Campbell gets to throw a temper tantrum in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial directed by Zach Braff. Some staffers don’t like the cubicles and the food-paying system in the new New York Times building.
‘Daily News’: America Likes Mike (a Little)
The Daily News traveled beyond the Hudson to ask America about Mike Bloomberg, and they come back with some news: The country doesn’t hate him. The mayor’s aw-shucks joke is to pronounce his unelectability as “a short Jewish billionaire from New York.” But the News poll, the paper says today, shows that a quick recitation of his achievements bumps his numbers from 10 percent who’d vote for him to 13 percent. (Oddly, the initiative that seems to most resonate with the heartland is the school cell-phone ban.)
The ‘Daily News’ Is Not an Extraordinary Conglomeration of Multi-Functional PersonnelIt’s no secret that enterprising Webtrepreneurs often buy Web addresses just a few characters away from popular ones, counting on typos to deliver you to their penis-enlargement pitches or AdSense agglomerations. But, as we discovered this morning, those seeking the Website for the New York Daily News, which is at www.nydailynews.com, should make especially sure to get the full address in. A sleepily typed www.nydaily.com took us not to our Hometown Paper but to 123 Escorts, which offers Kim (“Just arrived in town!”) and Evian (“Here for a short time!”) among its “extraordinary conglomeration of bright, amiable, multi-functional personnel.” It’s not that we think such things will offend News readers’ delicate sensibilities. We’re just concerned they won’t be able to handle the porn site’s vocabulary.
How to Make Easton Ellis’s Imaginary Lit Feud More InterestingGod, are literary feuds lame lately — even, or especially, fake ones. Watch, for example, today’s Daily News try to imply there’s some beef afoot between Bret Easton Ellis and mentee Jeff Hobbs. What happened? Ellis didn’t show up to the book party (at the Box, natch) for Hobbs’s novel, The Tourists, about misbehaving Yale grads. The third paragraph casually mentions that Ellis lives in L.A., and the best evidence Rush and Molloy can dig up on the rift is that Ellis and Hobbs haven’t seen talked in “three or four weeks.” Say it ain’t so! If they’re determined to find a fight, we suggest they pick up on Ellis’s quote in which he says Hobbs “has a lot of interesting things to say about that generation’s fluidity about sexuality,” and then plainly, just this side of legally, allege Ellis’s own “fluidity” with Hobbs: Why else would he even be expected to fly cross-country to the Box in the first place? Then, suddenly, the news item’s joke about “the well-endowed (um, with literary talent) Ellis” doesn’t, um, dangle.
Odds of a Rift Between Ellis and Protege: Less Than Zero [NYDN]
Shamed Analyst Sues Fox Over ‘Borat’FINANCE
• A former JPMorgan analyst is suing Twentieth Century Fox for Borat-related “public ridicule, degradation, and humiliation.” [DealBreaker]
• Wachtell, Lipton sent around a memo to clients explaining a tax loophole that makes CFO salaries over $1 million tax deductible. Thus was the first rule of the tax-loophole club broken. [DealBook/NYT]
• In a study of hours worked in developed nations, the U.S. only ranks sixth. Somehow, we got beat by Australia and New Zealand. [CNNMoney]
Man the Buckets! Long Term Capital Is (Sort Of) Back!FINANCE
• Some of Long Term Capital’s former executives are making another go of it with a new fund, Quantitative Alternatives. [Bloomberg via DealBook/NYT]
• Morgan Stanley will pay $8 million to settle federal fraud charges over its alleged failure to get the best prices possible for retail stock investors. [AP via NYT]
• The SEC will announce Monday whether it will appeal a court ruling that overturns the “Merrill Lynch” rule, allowing brokers to offer fee-based services to clients without being registered as financial advisers. [NYP]
Sprung From Cages on Highway 9
• New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine apologized from a wheelchair for the careless driving that led to his crash. Then he rode home from the hospital, fifteen miles over the speed limit. [NYP]
• In the meantime, perennial bridesmaid Richard Codey is easing into his third acting-governor gig in six years — this time, unlike during the McGreevey denouement, without a personal staff and with an elected leader watching over him. [NYT]
• Owner Hilly Kristal is having second thoughts about the CBGB-in-Vegas thing, turning down investor after investor because “the focus has to be on new acts, new interesting things.” We could certainly use that thinking for, let’s see, the last fifteen years of the original CB’s. [MetroNY]
• After losing two men in a week to freak train accidents, MTA has decided to halt all track work pending a safety review. Workers say that a lack of two-way radios may be to blame. [amNY]
• And “as a thank-you to our readers,” the Daily News costs 25 cents this week — starting, that is, the exact same day the Post began charging 50 cents again. The extreme-skinflint demographic is theirs! Temporarily! [NYDN]
We Want to Work for the Port AuthorityToday’s Daily News takes a look at the Port Authority’s payroll, and the only possible reaction to the findings is this: “Where do we sign up for a job there?” The paper made Ralph Berlangieri, a gardener who took home $102,700 in 2006, the exposé’s marquee star, but there is a wealth of talented supporting players. One electrician, for instance, earned $124,000 last year; 50 Port Authority cops take home more than $200K. Of course, police officers and electricians put their lives on the line, albeit in two different ways, so perhaps deserve big paydays. But then there’s the toll collector making $86,000, a garage attendant with a $67,000 salary, and not one but two full-time salad makers at $40,000-plus each. But, hey, don’t worry about it: The Port Authority’s got plenty of money to spend. After all, it’s not like they have to keep cutting back the big downtown PATH station for lack of sufficient funds. Oh, wait.
103G(reen) Thumb [NYDN]
Related: Career Opportunities [Port Authority]
Pulitzers Announced; ‘Times’ Only Wins OneThe Pulitzer Prizes were announced about a half-hour ago, and let’s put it this way: It’s a good day for Hassan Elmasry. The Times snagged only one award this year, in the Feature Writing category. That’s the same total as the Daily News and Newsday — and for that matter, the Oregonian, the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times — which all also won one prize, but without the pesky dual-class ownership that Elmasry so dislikes and we’d all like to argue protects the paper’s superior journalism. Then again, it was a year without any big winners, and the only paper to win two prizes — the Wall Street Journal, with Public Service and International Reporting — is a dual-class paper, too. Congratulations, Bancrofts.
The Pulitzer Prizes 2007 [Pulitzer.org]
We’ve already established that today is contemporary- art day in New York. But is it possible that seemingly bottoming-out Britney Spears is actually mounting a shockingly highbrow and witty performance piece? Consider: At left is Ms. Spears on the cover of today’s Daily News; at right is half of Pipilotti Rist’s Ever Is Over All, a 1997 video installation in MoMA’s collection. Coincidence? —Karen Rosenberg
Brit Freaks Again as Train Wreck Rolls On [NYDN]
Pipilotti Rist. Ever Is Over All. 1997. [MoMA.org]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of the Armory Show
Not Leavin' on a Jet Plane
• Jet Blue, the generally beloved low-cost carrier, made a lot of people’s shit lists last night: It stranded hundreds of JFK passengers on the tarmac — on immobile planes — for up to ten hours. On Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope, at least, some romance bloomed in the forced close quarters. [amNY]
• The Daily News is issuing a Cesar Borja mea culpa. The paper that had lionized the late cop the most says it had no factual basis for calling him a “volunteer” (he wasn’t) or implying he had rushed to the WTC site on 9/11 (he didn’t). [NYDN]
• In a development the Post — and just about only the Post — finds “shocking,” it turns out Hillary Clinton had signed a $200K contract with a consulting firm headed by a prominent South Carolina politician days before said politician endorsed her. [NYP]
• That classic New York boogeyman — stray sidewalk electricity — is back. This time, the victim is a pet. Not even twenty minutes of mouth-to-mouth CPR could save the terrier named Boston Bob, apparently electrocuted when he stepped on a manhole cover. [NYDN]
• And speaking of classic boogeymen: Apparently, Son of Sam’s apartment in Yonkers is a bit of a tourist destination — with a Times profile that eerily smacks of a real-estate listing. (“Apartment 7E, a studio with sweeping views of the Hudson River …”) [NYT]
Rupert Knows Whether Judith Regan’s Kids Are Actually Honor StudentsLawyers for HarperCollins are in possession of Judith Regan’s financial statements, will, divorce papers, photographs of her children, unopened Christmas gifts, and a 20-by-30-foot painting of her, among other things. Because she left them all at that office. Ralph Ellison didn’t like Norman Mailer and his beat pals because they reduced the world to sex. As Harvey Weinstein was buying the rights to her movie, Mandy Moore was making out with D.J. AM. Hugo Chavez tried to meet Gisele when they were both in Rio, but she shot him down. Owen Wilson hung out with Kate Hudson in Australia.
One Day, Everything Will Be Named for the ‘Daily Show’ Host
• The Post has “Mob scion” Chris Colombo on tape waxing nostalgic about the days of former New York A.G. Dennis Vacco: “Spitzer is the worst. Vacco was the best. He didn’t care about anything. I had a hook in him.” Oh, the election ad that would have made. [NYP]
• So there’s JFK, La Guardia, Newark and … Stewart? With the Spitz’s blessing, the Port Authority is about to buy an underused airport 60 miles north of the city and turn it into the region’s fourth international hub. Pataki, apparently, hated the idea. [NYT]
• We suppose it was inevitable: The issue of how to list the names of WTC victims on the 9/11 memorial — alphabetically, at random, in weird associative clusters — is now fodder for hysterical TV ads running on NY1. [amNY]
• So there’s this $140 million police-radio system the MTA had been installing in the subways for ten years. It’s done, but the cops won’t use it: Everything sounds “as if you’re talking through a glass of water.” A $140 million glass of water. [NYT]
• And the Daily News somehow “learned,” unprompted by any recent developments, that Thor Equities is planning to redevelop Coney Island as a “glitzy playground” — a plan in the works for years. Let’s not tell the paper about the whole WTC memorial thing; it might upset them. [NYDN]
Also, Andrea Peyser Wears Combat BootsAs an astute young writer recently pointed out, there’s a tabloid war going on in New York City, and it makes fine spectator sport for all of us. Which is why we were so pleased to pick up this week’s Advertising Age to find this ad for the Daily News, boasting that the paper has a higher in-the-city readership than its competition and also, unless we’re reading it wrong, implying that the Post’s reportage is at least somewhat fictional. Oh, snap. And such fun! Your ball, Mr. Murdoch.
Because While Other Cities Are Losing Their Papers, New York Still Has a Tabloid War [NYM]
Eating — and Eating! — With the ‘Daily News’; Drinking and Dancing With ‘Star’With less than a week left till Christmas, company-holiday-party season is nearing its end. But for a last few fabulous nights, it keeps going strong — and naturally crasher extraordinaire Julia Allison is there. Last night she hit the Daily News do at the Copa and the Star shindig at Dirty Disco. Which one had a face-painter? Which one had only caffeinated vodka? Julia’s reports await.
It’s Shelly’s Turn
• The fate of Atlantic Yards now rests with State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, who controls one of three votes on the Public Authorities Control Board, which requires unanimity to pass a project — and he boasts an impressive megaproject kill ratio, having already done in the West Side stadium and put the brakes on Moynihan Station. If we were Ratner, we’d find some Lower East Side charities to fund right about now. [NYT]
• Rudy Giuliani is out being presidential — or presidential candidate–ish, really. He’s hitting the fund-raisers for “friends and family money,” whatever that means; the first round starts tomorrow in midtown. He also booked a major appearance in California — the keynote address at the state GOP convention. [NYP]
• The News’ New Yorker of the Year: Bloomberg. Hizzoner is picked, among other things, for “restoring civility,” the gun-control crusade, encouraging major construction, and defusing the Sean Bell situation. [NYDN]
• Except we’re not sure that last one’s such a done deal: There’s a growing push for police commissioner Ray Kelly to resign and for a special prosecutor to replace the Queens D.A. on the case. [amNY]
• And, hardly anyone’s New Yorker of the Year: Isiah Thomas, the underperforming Dolan hire who can’t fire up the Knicks to win a game — but evidently has no trouble goading opponents into brawls. [NYDN]
We’re Dreaming of a Wall Street Christmas
• Goldman Sachs is about to set a Christmas-bonus record by lavishing its employees with $16.5 billion after posting a 93 percent jump in quarterly earnings. Top traders and investment machers will be taking home up to $50 million (per Times) or even $100 million (per Post) each. Well, someone has to buy apartments in that William Beaver nonsense. [NYP]
• It wasn’t just driving, you know. A settlement agreement between Alan Hevesi and the AG’s office discloses that the state worker who chauffeured Mrs. Comptroller also shopped for her and “helped her rehabilitation from knee surgery” (code for “foot massage”?). [NYT]
• A man stole a delivery truck, tooled around Manhattan sideswiping taxicabs, and finally crashed into the lobby of an Upper East Side building. John Doe was DOA. Some crime just really, really, really doesn’t pay. [amNY]
• The News gets results! The paper has tut-tutted City College into stripping the name of Assata Shakur, a militant and a convicted cop killer, from a student center. Of course, it also accidentally re-triggered discussion of whether Shakur was framed. [NYDN]
• The Transportation Department publishes, and Gothamist annotates, a fascinating schematic of which subway lines are taxed to capacity now and which will be by 2030. Alarmingly, in the latter drawing, the Second Avenue line is still not on the subway map. [Gothamist]
The ‘Times’ Answers Our Financial QuestionsSee, this is why we love the Times. (And why we love our readers, who called the Times piece to our attention.) Yesterday, while bestowing due huzzahs upon the delightful news that the MTA will not raise fares in 2007, we were tripped up by an unexplained statement in the Daily News. “The agency gets revenues from real estate transactions,” New York’s hometown paper baldly asserted, going on to claim that the mammoth Stuy Town sale will result in a windfall for the Transit Authority. How, we wondered, does this happen? In today’s Times, William Neuman, bless his metro-y heart, explains:
Mr. Kalikow spoke yesterday at a meeting of the authority’s board, at which officials announced that a tax windfall from the sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village would help pay for new paint jobs in 200 subway stations.
The $52 million needed to paint the stations will come from a total of $81.6 million that the transportation authority will receive in mortgage and transfer taxes from the sale, which totaled nearly $5.4 billion. The authority receives a percentage of the transfer and mortgage taxes collected on real estate sales in New York City, and the taxes have become an important part of the agency’s financing.
And now you know.
Walkway Between Subways Is Promised for Transit Hub [NYT]
Earlier: MTA Won’t Raise Fares, Thanks, Somehow, to Stuy Town
‘Post’ Beats ‘News,’ FinallyThis morning Rupert Murdoch’s dream — well, one of Rupert Murdoch’s dreams — came true. The Audit Bureau of Circulations, the gang that measures sales of U.S. newspapers and magazines, released its latest numbers, and the Post has finally overtaken the Daily News in weekday circulation. (The News still kills on Sundays.) Some relevant numbers:
Average weekday circulation of the Daily News in the six-month period ending September 30, 2006, as announced today: 693,382
Average weekday circulation of the New York Post in the six-month period ending September 30, 2006, as announced today: 704,011
Average weekday circulation of the Daily News in the six-month period ending September 30, 2005, a year ago: 686,274
Average weekday circulation of the New York Post in the six-month period ending September 30, 2005, a year ago: 669,663
Lloyd Grove Gives to Panhandlers, Won’t Settle for Less Than 600 Thread Count
Name: Lloyd Grove
Age: None of your damned business
Job: Unemployed gossip columnist
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Geraldo Rivera, who fits all of the above categories.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
The grilled calamari at Gennaro, washed down with a bottle of Sangiovese.
What’s the one-sentence explanation of what you actually do all day in your job?
Ruining lives and destroying reputations when not hawking products and creating temporary stars.