Rupert Murdoch Isn’t Ruining the ‘Journal’ — the Reporters AreMEDIA
• You know how the stories in The Wall Street Journal have gotten punchier and shorter? Yeah, well, apparently it is not the great soft hand of Rupert Murdoch making these changes. The journalists are cleaving to him of their own free will. “Our people are doing this in advance, I think, to make him happy,” a reporter told the Washington Post. [WP]
• “Is the Hillary Clinton campaign staffed with morons or do they just not care anymore? It is unbelievable that on the night before the Texas and Ohio (and Vermont and Rhode Island) primaries they would set up an impromptu press room in a freaking men’s bathroom, complete with urinals.” [HuffPo]
• Fox and CNN to go head-to-head. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
ESB Suicide Discovered When Leg Found on 33rd StreetThis just in from the Associated Press, and more than a bit disconcerting:
NEW YORK (AP) — A man jumped to his death Friday out the window of a 69th-floor law office in the Empire State Building.
Police responded to the New York City landmark shortly before 3 p.m. after a 911 caller reported seeing a severed leg — covered in a gray sock — on the street below. The rest of the body was recovered from a setback on the 30th floor.
Apparently more than 30 people have jumped to their deaths from the 76-year-old tower. The AP does not report how many dismembered themselves in the process.
Man Jumps to Death From Empire State Building [AP via NYT]
the morning line
DHS Now Officially Full of Shit• The federal formula used to allot New York its pitiful share of anti-terrorism funds has been officially discredited. A new GAO report says — in as many words — that Homeland Security officials lack methods to assess risk. Actuarial math aside, failure to classify the Empire State Building as a landmark was a bit of a giveaway. [NYDN]
• In related news, the Empire State Building is America’s favorite piece of architecture, according to the American Institute of Architects poll. The White House is number two. [WNBC]
• Meet Tom DiNapoli. As New York’s Chris Smith reported yesterday, state legislators reneged on a deal with Governor Spitzer and installed the assemblyman as the new state comptroller. On the upside, according to the Times, DiNapoli is apparently the nicest guy in Albany. [NYT]
• The plot thickens in the Long Island fake-cop case. The con man in question not only wore fake uniform and a prop badge; he owned a car complete with a siren, maintained the cop identity 24/7, and shook down criminals for a living. [NYP]
• And it’s official: The bankrupt Air America now belongs to real-estate mogul Stephen Green, brother of Mark. The price tag on the voice of the American Left? $4.25 million. We assume they threw in The Nation. [amNY]
Some 216 brave souls high-stepped it up 86 floors in New York Road Runners 30th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up event yesterday morning. We caught up with four novice runners after they survived 1,576 quad-burning steps and a blast of nine-degree weather as they crossed the finish line on the observation deck — in just their sweat-soaked T-shirts and shorts.
Random Fact of the Day: Don’t Worry About Falling Pennies
Here’s a bit of information we’re passing on to you for no good reason except that we find it moderately interesting (and that it was sent to us by a pretty high-level editor at the magazine, and we feel we ought to humbly accept his advice): Contrary to received wisdom, a penny dropped from the Empire State Building cannot kill you. “A penny isn’t the most aerodynamic of weapons,” says the Website LiveScience, which is owned by the folks behind Space.com. “A combination of its shape and wind friction means that, tossed even from the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, it would travel fast enough merely to sting an unlucky pedestrian.” We’re thrilled to have one fewer thing to worry about as we journey through midtown. Now if LiveScience could only do something about crowds of slow-moving tourists.
A Penny Dropped From the Top of a Tall Building Could Kill a Pedestrian [LiveScience]
the morning line
Work Hard. Fly Right. Land Wrong.
• A Continental pilot misses the runway at Newark, and the Post, still giddy from yesterday’s circulation figures, lands a scoop. The jet skidded to a stop on a short, narrow taxiway instead of a proper landing strip. Everyone’s puzzled as to why and how. [NYP]
• Bloomberg spent Monday in Connecticut, spreading his independent, bipartisan, post-ideological magic — in other words, shilling for Joe Lieberman while trying to convince the voters he’s not laying groundwork for a presidential bid at all. [WNBC]
• Over 2,000 HIV-positive needy people will avoid a steep rent raise in their subsidized housing — but only at the last possible minute and after a heated battle in court. Housing Works, which you know as a kind of high-end Goodwill, sued the city on the tenants’ behalf. [amNY]
• OMG! There’s a barge in the East River! And there’s a swimming pool right on the barge! How darling! And just in time for, well, the time of year when you won’t get us into an outdoor pool with a shotgun. [NYT]
• Finally, a public service announcement: The Empire State Building will keep its observation decks open unusually late — until 2 a.m. — all through the holidays. So feel free to reenact your favorite moments from An Affair to Remember — or King Kong, if that’s your fancy — in bitter December cold at 1 a.m. [NewYorkology]