Who Will Save Christmas From the Gay Grinches?For the past 21 years, gays of all stripes have flocked to the annual Holi-gay “Toys for Tots” charity event, where they’ve drunk and flirted and the only price of admission was a Malibu Barbie or fire truck to be donated for poor city children. Last year, over 4,000 hairdressers, publicists, and lawyers packed into the Metropolitan Pavilion, breaking fire-code regulations. And so this year, the organizers decided to charge a $35 admission (plus a toy). The fee was introduced in order, the organizers said, to defray costs and stay under capacity, but a number of gay New Yorkers were disgruntled and boycotted the party, saying the “gay elite” was trying to price out less-affluent homosexuals.
early and often
‘Vanity Fair’ Makes New Giuliani Ad Seem Even Nuttier
It’s not all Spitzer for Vanity Fair: The current issue also contains a towering Rudy profile, “A Tale of Two Giulianis,” by Michael Shnayerson (whose sister Maggie is now the longest-serving editor at Gawker). In a lower-key fashion than last week’s dueling Newsweek and Village Voice features on Rudy’s supposed terror ties, Vanity Fair delivers a series of excellent mini-scoops on the man’s business practices. Case after well-researched case shows Giuliani peddling bits of his 9/11 reputation to just about any taker, from foreign governments to “typical denizens of the penny-stock world — dreamers and the occasional scam artist.” Shnayerson follows Giuliani’s paid-up crusade for the makers of OxyContin, first as a lobbyist, then a lawyer; his shilling for Nextel; etc. More disturbingly, he then catches Rudy putting plugs for his clients into his political speeches, which are then reported as legitimate news. The choicest tidbit, however, is the one where the author quickly settles a personal score.
early and often
Worst Prez-Candidate Profile You’ll Read All Year — We Hope!New York’s cynical presidential contenders might be floundering, but hey, have you heard that Dennis Kucinich has a hot wife? The Washington Post thinks you haven’t. Witness “The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich,” an annoyingly “voicey” feature on the candidate’s martial bliss. (“No Wonder the Candidate Saw a UFO. He’s Been Up There on Cloud Nine.”) The narrative’s the same as it’s always been: He’s a troll, she looks like Natasha McElhone with a tongue stud, and the marriage works because they’re both New Age weirdos. The Post even opens with that old chestnut about how Kucinich has “already won,” which might have been authored by the candidate himself, but still, as we’ve mentioned before, makes us feel weird when the papers run with it: There’s something awfully locker-room about it, this notion of a filly as a consolation prize. Or, rather, something out of Mad Men. “He is short, at 5-7,” we’re informed for the thousandth time in that retro-swinish cadence, “And she is — wow, she just keeps on going.”
For Viacom Freelancers, Neither Happiness Nor Health for ChristmasMEDIA
• Viacom screws over its army of freelancers by rolling back benefit programs drastically. Merry Christmas! [MixedMedia/Portfolio]
• The Washington Post is sending veteran reporter and inveterate partier Keith Richburg to town to take over the paper’s New York bureau. He’s well known for throwing parties with, get this, as many as 30 people! Will Manhattan will be able to handle it? [NYO]
• No holiday party at Time Inc. or the New York Times. Suckas! [Radar]
in other news
‘Chinese Defense’ Unravels, Jennifer Wang and Ruben Chen Sentenced for Insider TradingFormer Morgan Stanley financial analyst Jennifer Wang and her husband, former ING analyst Ruben (Ruopian) Chen, were sentenced yesterday for insider trading. Using an account in the name of Wang’s mother, Zhiling Feng, who lives in Beijing, the couple made over $600,000 trading in three companies advised by Morgan Stanley’s real-estate subsidiary before they were busted, then pleaded not guilty. Rather awesomely, their lawyer attributed their crime to “cultural differences.” “In People’s Republic of China insider trading is only rarely, and not until very recently, prosecuted as an offense,” she told judge Colleen McMahon, who was having none of it. “I know what it is to be a professional exposed every day in countless ways to inside information,” McMahon said. “You can’t possibly not know that you are not allowed to do it.” Wang wasn’t too Chinese to understand the verdict; according to Reuters, she “wept silently” as the judge handed down an eighteen-month sentence to her and her husband, which they will serve one after the other so that at least one of them can be with their son, who was born this summer.
Ex Morgan Stanley Analyst and Husband Get 18 Months [Reuters/Portfolio]