American Media has taken over the Website for Radar, which was shuttered last week. Already, radaronline.com is trafficking in celebrity news and paparazzi photos: An item today features a photo of Sienna Miller and Balthazar Getty making out, under the headline, “Sienna & Balthazar: Get a Room!”
“It’s not the web site I ran,” Radar founder and editor Maer Roshan mournfully told today’s Observer, prompting the paper to subsequently sigh that “The new website is meant to compete with TMZ, not the New Yorker.”
Indeed. It makes us wonder. With Radar gone, who will compete with The New Yorker? Who will challenge David Remnick and his team’s intellectual supremacy, regularly one-upping them with their searing cultural reporting, the way Radar did, with features such as “Gynecologists Say the Darndest Things,” “Disney Sex Tape Hits Web,” and “It’s Mini Britney, Bitch!”? That last story, an exemplary piece of New Journalism in which the writer immersed herself in the world of midget celebrity impersonators, is a particularly sore subject with Adrian Nicole LeBlanc,* who had spent four years on her knees following a troupe of mini–Pussycat Dolls as they toured Florida and the lower Midwest. After the publication of the Radar piece, her story and subsequent hardback nonfiction book, Kittens, were put on hold. Currently, she is in Los Angeles working on an in-depth piece about a little-known 1,000-pound gay porn star who goes by the name of Louie Jones. “Thank God that magazine is dead,” she said when reached by phone. “Louie told me that Neel Shah had been sniffing around.”
* This, and the following, is a lie.