Jerry Seinfeld valiantly attempted to come up with a joke for the Post about the car crash he got into when the brakes on his vintage Fiat failed Saturday, but it turns out that near-death experiences may not be so funny.
A couple of weeks ago, back when Hookermania was in full effect, Cindy Adams wrote about how Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. Spitzer sexer "Kristen," was besties with a hooker called Natalia, whom New York once called the city's No. 1 escort.
Turns out it's not just Rupert Murdoch who's interested in buying Newsday; Mort Zuckerman, the real-estate magnate who owns the Daily News, and James Dolan, whose family owns Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks, are making bids as well.
Cindy Adams, columnist for the masculine organ known as the New York Post, apparently looked at Salman Rushdie askance when she saw the author and bon vivant "chugging a pink drink" at a party the other night, even though the party was, in her own words, "serving pre-prepared Cosmopolitans." What's next?, we imagine Cindy squawking to Salman. Hanging out with Elton John? "Look, it's what they've got," Salman said. "I'm easy." Let's hope not too easy, Salman. Cindy wouldn't want to have to write about you waking up in the back of Lance Bass's space shuttle some day.
Not Running Back, Tiki Offers Advice [NYP]
Eliot Spitzer is still holed up in his apartment in New York, where he and his wife, Silda, have been conferring with advisers since last night. He's weighing his options, and deciding whether to resign. Meanwhile, on the outside, the politicians and the media have descended into exactly the kind of feeding frenzy you would expect:
• The Post reports that State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno held back from reveling in his great rival's fall: "I feel very badly for the governor's wife, for his children," he said. "The important thing for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing."
• According to CNN, Republican state senators and assemblymen (and some Democrats) are aggressively calling for his resignation. So is the Republican Governors Association.
• If Spitzer doesn't resign before a deadline set by state Republicans, they've vowed to begin impeachment proceedings, reports WCBS.
In further proof that the Brooke Astor will debacle is the ultimate high-low glamour contest of the year, news surfaces today of a charming little related anecdote from overseas. The Post tells us the story of Lia Opris, Brooke's former maid, who is one of the only witnesses to the signing of two late codicils to her will (ones that favor her son, Anthony Marshall, heavily). Since the legitimacy of these codicils is contested, her testimony is very important. So important that a year ago, while she was recuperating from a car accident in her hometown in Romania, lawyers working for Marshall arranged to have someone visit her house to get her on the phone. That someone was Romanian prince Paul Philip. The ploy didn't work, but he tried again, this time bringing his wife, Princess Lia. The tab described it as "something akin to a work-a-day crime-scene witness opening her door somewhere in the United States and finding President and Laura Bush standing there, begging a small tactical favor," but let's be honest: It would be more like if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie showed up. It's kind of a romantic story, actually. So romantic, in fact, that the Post waxed all fairy tale on our asses:
There was no word if the prince was wearing his crown at the time — or on a subsequent occasion, when he returned to her door, his wife, Princess Lia, at his side. Told that Opris was at her sister's house, the royal pair hence proceeded thither. Again, the maid demurred.
"Thither"? "Hence"? We wonder what kind of words the Post would use if they wrote a story about us? Probably something along the lines of "fagatron" and "twatermelon."
Battle 'Royal' [NYP]
• The Post violated a man's privacy by publishing his name after he was injured in an S&M sex tryst. They also, um, called his wife and published where he lived. While activists protest, a spokesman says, "The Post will happily name every adult caught in a dog collar." One day we need to really start "happily" naming every married Post editor caught at a strip joint. [Portfolio]
• Sam Zell's Tribune Co. will cut staff by two percent. Is it the same two percent that he's already cursed out? [LAT]
• Times scribe Alessandra Stanley spends a column (a few days late) talking about how MSNBC's "Best Political Team on Television" is in disgrace. Sadly, it's CNN that incessantly uses the "Best Political Team" moniker, which causes Gawker to ask whether the TV critic actually "owns a TV." [Gawker]
• At least 75 Time Warner layoffs are expected to be announced today. The layoffs are among CEO Jeff Bewkes's first public tasks since taking the helm of the company from Dick Parsons last month. Earlier today, Time Warner announced a 41 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings. [MSNBC & AdAge]
• Maybe some of those Time Warner folks can hang their hats over at Condé Nast. The Observer evaluates Portfolio's recent spending spree, during which it recruited top talent from The New Yorker, the Post, and the Times. [NYO]
• (Product)Red, the love child of Bono, iPod, and the Gap, has raised more than $22 million for fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. But considering the big advertising bucks spent during the Super Bowl and elsewhere, some are arguing that it's not enough. [NYT]
Today in the Daily News, Rush & Molloy attempt to make the case that News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch is still on Team Hillary, despite the fact that his New York Postendorsed Barack Obama last week and trashed her in the process. "When it comes to putting money down, Murdoch poured $2,300 – the maximum allowed for a primary race – into her campaign six months ago," the husband-and-wife duo point out. "He gave Obama nothing." But the key phrase in that sentence seems to be "six months ago." Public statements of editorial independence aside, the Post simply doesn't do anything that Rupert Murdoch doesn't want it to do. The official policy of loathing Senator Clinton was reiterated even today, with a masthead editorial attacking both her and her husband. David Carr, in today's Times, seems to see the issue more clearly:
[Clinton] never once appeared before [the Post's editorial board — a customary act of tribute by local politicians — and her lack of deference was duly noted by the paper’s leadership
Last night, only moments after the Patriots stuttered out their last plays in Super Bowl XLII, the shouts began. From our window facing East 14th Street, we started to hear chants of "Eli! Eli! Eli!" A communal roar echoed out of bars like the Blarney Cove, Otto's Shrunken Head, and Mona's. A few minutes later crowds poured out of Stuyvesant Town and Alphabet City, walking down the street towards the First Avenue L stop. They whooped, they chanted — we even saw one guy dive tackle a friend into the (hard-looking) sidewalk, screaming "PLAXICO!"
This morning, when we woke up, we picked up the Daily News. Not being from New York originally, we've never really understood the rationale behind the "commemorative covers" that the tabloids put out sometimes. Do people in the city really have walls covered with Daily News and Post covers? But when we unfolded the paper to check out the giant photo of Eli Manning clutching the trophy, with a yell of triumph on his face, we thought to ourselves: "Huh. We'd better save this one."
Anyway, if tomorrow is Super Tuesday, today has definitely got to be Giant Monday. Leave us some comments! We want to hear where you were last night when Plaxico Burress caught the touchdown pass with 35 seconds to go, and what you did when Manning escaped from the Patriots' clutches to make that longshot pass to David Tyree. Oh, and which Super Bowl ad was your favorite, because ours was totally that Coke one with the Macy's parade balloons
Related:Underdog: The Rise of Eli Manning
We are still several days away from finding out results of the toxicology reports being done on Heath Ledger's body, but the New York Post is still having trouble with the fact that, as yet, there is no one to blame. Last week, we were surprised at all of the heat they brought on Mary-Kate Olsen. They put her face on the cover and claimed she was to be questioned by police (they stand by the story, but cops are now saying they won't be speaking with the actress). Olsen is involved, as even your golden retriever must know by now, because the masseuse who found Ledger's body mysteriously called her before calling 911. Olsen sent in her bodyguards rather than calling the police. After we and other Websites like Gawker.com pointed out the contradiction between the paper's story and what police were saying, we were e-mailed with a blusterous comment from Post editor Col Allan, which implied that the police were "afraid" of Olsen and that's why they wouldn't question her. Then, they followed up on Saturday with a photo-free cover, which asked "WHY" the police weren't questioning Olsen. There was an interior editorial that day explaining that the tabloid was receiving "dark communications" from Olsen's lawyers, threatening them.
Following our post this morning about how the Post's story on Mary-Kate Olsen being questioned by police turned out to be wrong, we just received this statement from Post editor-in-chief Col Allan, via e-mail:
We confirmed this story last night with an impeccable source inside the NYPD and we stand by our reporting. Almost immediately after the tragic passing of Mr. Ledger, Ms. Olsen’s attorneys began emailing us threatening letters. As has been well reported, there were a number of calls to Ms. Olsen from the masseuse before the NYPD arrived on the scene. We would find it strange if Ms. Olsen were not questioned at all. The New York Post will not be pressured and we find it odd that the chiefs at the NYPD appear to be terrified of 4-foot-11 inch, 90-pound Mary Kate Olsen.
We'll admit it: When we saw the cover of the Post today, we felt a little bad for Mary-Kate Olsen. Sure, it was weird that she didn't tell her masseuse to call 911 immediately after the employee found Heath Ledger's dead body, but everything happened quickly, and she did try to help. Why was it suddenly her responsibility to take care of things? She's only 13 years old for Pete's sake. The "HEAT IS ON MARY KATE" headline, followed by the "Cops to grill her in death" kicker, seemed a little aggressive. And, we've just found out, it's not even true. Both Us Weekly and TMZ.com are reporting that Mary-Kate will not be questioned. "We have absolutely no interest in talking to Mary-Kate," a police source explained today. Now, if you look closely at the Post story, buried at the bottom, another cop source said the same thing. "Law enforcement sources last night said they did not think there was anything suspicious about either [the masseuse's] or Olsen's conduct," their story said. So the heat, technically, was not on her at any time. Except, of course, from the Post.
Police Source: Mary-Kate Olsen Will Not Be Grilled Over Heath Ledger Calls [Us Weekly]
Mary-Kate Story Bogus [TMZ.com]
MARY KATE OLSEN ON THE HOT SEAT [NYP]
• Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has some big plans at Davos this year: "Number one on my list is world peace." [MarketBeat/WSJ, DealBook/NYT]
• Looks like Steve Schwarzman is green only with greed — his newest moneymaking scheme hinges on building huge coal plants in pristine locales in the American West. [Fortune]
• Société Générale, the second biggest bank in France, found that one of its "plain vanilla" traders had taken "massive fraudulent directional positions…far beyond his limited authority" that would ultimately end up costing the bank $7 billion. It is, according to the Times, "an exceptional fraud." Seriously! Quelle balls! [NYT]
Okay. We love the Post. We really do. And not even just the ironic way we "loved" it yesterday when a homeless person in a wheelchair was masturbating on the subway while we were on our way to work, and his shoe fell off and nobody on the train even noticed. Like, we actually look forward to the Post every day. But we have to say, there's something a little demented about its Giants coverage. At the beginning of the week, the tabloid devoted its entire cover to a Jessica Simpson look-alike, who they claim distracted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo into losing Sunday's game (Romo, for those of you lucky enough not to know, is dating the real Simpson and she's been credited with giving him bad luck when she attends games). This one stunt wasn't enough, though. They took the poor girl to New York this week on a victory tour, with an online video on Tuesday and another article on Wednesday.
And now today, the paper has another superstitious trick up its sleeve. After reports that the manager of a TV station in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will yank Eli Manning's favorite show, Seinfeld, from the airwaves while the Giants are in town to play the Packers, the Post talked Jerry Seinfeld himself into sending the Giants quarterback a complete DVD set. Seinfeld said he'd also be "dispatching George Costanza to be the new traveling secretary for the Packers." (Those of you who are fans of the show will get the reference.) It's funny coverage, sure, but it's just kind of getting lazy at this point. In fact, one of the "Giants fans" they quoted at the end of the article works for the Post. Come on, guys. Isn't there a brilliant pun headline you could have come up with instead of all of this? Or maybe a Photoshopped picture of Tom Brady's head on McLovin's body?
YADDA YADDA YADDA [NYP]
RelatedWhich Episode of 'Seinfeld' Should Eli Watch Before He Loses to the Packers? [Vulture]
Have you noticed that all of the news about the Great Condé Nast Reshuffling of 2008 has emerged from Women's Wear Daily? It's becoming the mouthpiece of the company's HR department. (Or maybe the news is all a little too boring for anyone else to care about.) After a week of updates about shifts and firings on the business side at Condé titles Vogue, Golf Digest, Lucky, Teen Vogue, and The New Yorker, WWD today tells us about Portfolio (this month's cover pictured here). Apparently the business mag's editor, Joanne Lipman, tapped recently departed Post metro editor, Dan Colarusso, to run its growing Website. Also, to fill new Portfolio publisher William Li's absence at Men's Vogue, Condé looked within its walls to Details associate publisher, Marc Berger. We'd walk you through all of the changes that came last week, but the most telling detail is already above: While the rest of Condé Nast continues to recruit talent only from inside the company, Portfolio continues to look outside for fresh ideas!
New Titles All Around [WWD]
After the Post's to-do today about Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman's search for a new editor, Portfolio scribe Jeff Bercovici spoke with current editor Martin Dunn about the whole thing (something Kelly, despite a source inside the News, did not manage to do). Bercovici wondered whether the search for a new editor meant anything was going to change for Dunn himself.
"I signed a new contract last year," [Dunn] says. "We were working on it from last September. There wasn't a great deal of rush because I wasn't going anywhere, anyway. So I'm definitely tied in for the next couple of years, at least, and probably longer."
Dunn also explained that he will remain editor-in-chief of the tabloid, which means that any high-profile British editor (like Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace, who Kelly reports has talked to the News and turned them down thus far) will have to fill a different role. "We've got some big announcements coming up in the first part of this year," Dunn said. "Major announcements, which are going to cause huge amounts of extra work." Ooh! Like what? Surely not another ill-fated weekly celebrity magazine. Perhaps a new Web presence to compete with PageSix.com? A full-fledged national edition? Ooh, ooh! We know! A Website with live streaming video: AllCopFuneralsAllTheTime.com!
Daily News EIC: Actually, I Have a New Contract [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
MIRROR ON THE WALL [NYP]