What Does Not Kill CNBC Makes It StrongerIt’s hard to pick just one beautiful moment from today’s rollickingly emotional story about CNBC’s success, despite, or perhaps because of, the introduction of Rupert Murdoch’s rival Fox Business Network. But pick one we did.
Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick Are Just Roommates, Okay?!Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick says he and co-star Chace Crawford aren’t gay; they just live together. Oprah BFF Gayle King moved into a $7.1 million penthouse on East 57th Street that was purchased in name of Oprah’s dead dog, Sophie. A nude portrait of France’s current First Lady Carla Bruni taken back in 1993 will go up for sale at Christie’s next month.
in other news
Greenwich Police Chief Disappointed That Real Police Work Not Like TVAndrew Kissel, the real-estate developer who was found tied up and stabbed to death two years ago in his Greenwich, Connecticut, home after being found guilty of fraud, probably hired his driver to kill him. Yeah. It’s actually a really dramatic, juicy story, but Greenwich detective chief David Ridberg can’t tell us about it, even though he’s dying to. But he can tell us about his TV-watching habits.
early and often
Because He Got HighLast night, David Paterson told NY1 that he has used marijuana and cocaine “a couple of times.” Not that he’s hitting the chronic before looking over the budget, mind you — this was a while ago. “I don’t think I’ve touched marijuana since the late seventies,” he said. He doesn’t think! But who can be sure? Can we? Do we care?
Toxic Wind Blows From GowanusConstruction in Gowanus blows a fetid wind across the land, babies terrorize Upper East Siders, and Chelsea residents tear apart Barnes & Noble with their bare hands in our daily roundup of neighborhood news.
Ashley Alexandra Dupré Continues to Haunt New YorkReal celebrities are riled by sightings of Eliot’s lady friend; Simon Doonan gets his own TV show and pretty people buy expensive homes in our daily roundup of the news from New York’s best gossip columns.
Eliot Spitzer: Disgraced Governor, Chronic ExpectoratorThe rapidly deteriorating economy, the five-year anniversary of Iraq, and new governor David Paterson’s seemingly limitless libido all may have distracted you from what’s going on with our fallen former governor. But news is still dribbling out about the Spitzer affair, and perhaps more importantly, so are sexy pictures of hookers!
it happened this week
InfidelsFor another week, almost all politics was both local and sleazy.
The Epic Battle for Bear Stearns’ Soul, and Other Day-Three StoriesIt’s been two days since Bear Stearns was sold in a fire sale to JPMorgan, and things are still messy and emotional. Whose fault was all of this, and if it’s no one’s fault, whom can we blame? What will happen next? And what will the impact be, not just on Wall Street, but on the little people? Several stories in the papers today shed light on these questions, even as they raised more questions. Below, a handy cheat sheet to keep you current:
in other news
Heath Ledger’s Family Fights for the Right to His MoneyIt’s been two months since Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose in his Soho apartment, and despite the salacious details of his death, everyone involved has remained somewhat tasteful about it. Memorial services in Australia and Los Angeles were tasteful, low-key affairs, and family members and friends (and Mary-Kate Olsen) have all kept their mouths shut about it for the most part. Until now. Ledger’s family (not including Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter Matilda) has exploded into squabbling over the management of his estate.
Adam Duritz Probably Should Have Married Jennifer Aniston When He Had the ChanceCounting Crows lead singer Adam Durtiz laments the fact that he’s 43, single, and sits home a lot. Alan Greenspan is worried about the economy, but he can’t be that worried: He celebrated his 82nd birthday the other night with a pricey dinner at Le Perigord. Jimmy Kimmel says he bought his ex-wife an engagement ring from Costco. Bill Clinton says his favorite movie of the year was Michael Clayton, but that he hasn’t seen There Will Be Blood. Defense attorney Mickey Sherman says he uses Otter’s “It’s the system’s fault!” speech from Animal House to justify defending shady clients. Tina Fey thinks she’s funnier than Jon Stewart.
in other news
Ashley Dupré: Overachieving Ho?We suppose it was inevitable that Girls Gone Wild head honcho Joe Francis would get involved with the whole Eliot Spitzer mess. But even we couldn’t have predicted the depth to which “Kristen,” a.k.a. Ashley Dupré, had penetrated the promiscuity market. Imagine Joe’s surprise when, after he offered $1 million to Dupré to film her, a Daily News reporter called him and told him that she already starred in one of the GGW movies! Francis told the Post: “I personally remember Ashley. She was really at her peak back then. I’m glad I got to her before Spitzer — she looked a lot better at 18.” You can judge for yourself in the tabloid’s online photo gallery of Ashley from the movie (they’re pretty tame, nothing like the “very good shower scene that alone is worth the money” Francis describes). So let’s review. Ashley Dupré was a high-class call girl and, by the age of 22, had arranged for an expensive topless photo shoot for herself, and had gotten it on with another girl for the Girls Gone Wild cameras when she was 18. And you thought there was only one gifted go-getter in Room 871.
early and often
Oh La La! Les Frenches React to Le Spitzer ScandaleThe other night when David Paterson announced, in a rather blasé way, that both he and his wife, Michelle, had had multiple affairs during their marriage, we all (except the Post) basically shrugged. “I’m not shocked by anything a politician does anymore,” one gentleman, interviewed in front of the New Jersey T.G.I.Friday’s where Dina and Jim McGreevey had allegedly met their limo driver for their Freaky Fridays (or whatever they were called), told the CW. Cool, we said. We’re turning into France! But we may have overestimated the French’s tolerance for les liaisons. Today, the Sun interviewed New Yorkers of the Gallic persuasion about the recent spate of gubernatorial sexing, and while they were indeed laissez faire about affairs — “It’s a well-known fact that some of our politicians have extramarital affairs or an active sexual life,” Pierre Battu, the founder of something called French Tuesdays, yawned to the paper — using prostitutes is not okay, even in France. “The Spitzer case is a deep problem,” said Laurent Guerrier, a French headhunter. In France “it would have been a big thing also.” Especially because that Ashley Alexandra Dupré clearly did not know how to tie a scarf or make a cassoulet.
French Shrug At Paterson, Gasp at Spitzer [NYS]
Earlier: David Paterson Had an Affair! But It’s Okay Because His Wife Loves Him. And We Do Too!
early and often
Barack Obama’s Speech Fails to Unite America … Over His SpeechYesterday we compared Barack Obama’s Philadelphia address on race in America to Mitt Romney’s recent last-ditch speech on faith. But as the New York Times points out, it’s really more like JFK’s 1960 speech on religion. It came at a time when Democrats, and probably even Republicans, were bored with the current political dialogue and thirsting for some honesty and something new to talk about. Indeed, yesterday and last night, hordes of people were writing and discussing. The overarching question: Will it matter? Will it change the course of Obama’s candidacy? Will it change the course of America? A lot of that is up to the press, not the people. But even the editorial boards of The Wall Street Journal, the Times and the New York Post professed not to know what the effects would be.
early and often
Chris Smith: Are Voters Ready for Civil Rights Redux?Senator Barack Obama gave a brave, powerful, important speech yesterday in Philadelphia, but he was forced to deliver it by the greatest crisis of his candidacy: the furor created by the incendiary remarks of his former Chicago pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
in other news
In Which Ethan Hawke Tells Us All About How He Is SO Not Over UmaAt first, when the sound equipment failed and random musicians began taking the stage for impromptu sets between the 24-Hour Plays being performed at the Atlantic Theater, it was grim. Between the first two plays, a person who may or may not have been a stagehand came out and performed an Ani DiFranco song. (We knew it was that, because we went to college.) Later, she sang an Irish ditty, it being Saint Patrick’s Day. We looked around. What torture would come next? Then something inexplicable and magical happened. Out of nowhere, actor Ethan Hawke hopped up onstage, strapped on an acoustic guitar and bared his soul to the audience. “Someone I know wrote this song while shooting a movie in Paris during his divorce,” he said. We, along with the rest of the audience, gasped. He was totally talking about himself, and more important, Uma Thurman!
Tina Brown Thinks Bubba Will Recalibrate; Peter Hermann Thinks It’s Best to Watch His Sex Scenes in PrivateWhen we caught up with Tina Brown at last night’s Atlantic dinner and State of the Union–viewing session, we were curious as to what she thinks about Hillary Clinton lately. The senator, after all, is going to be one of the subjects of Brown’s just-announced book, The Clinton Chronicles. “I think [her campaign so far] is a complete high-wire, absolutely astonishing, ever-changing drama,” Brown explained. “I think a lot of it, too, is a construct as well. Whenever I see so-called Bill Clinton eruptions, they’re not eruptions at all.” Man, she’s already dissecting them like fetal pigs! Awesome. “I think that he will definitely recalibrate,” Brown added. “I think you will probably see less of him in the next two weeks.” Elsewhere at the party, Law & Order: SVU heroine Mariska Hargitay lounged with her husband, Peter Hermann, one of the male stars of Cashmere Mafia. So, Peter, what does Mariska think of your steamy Cashmere sex scenes? “We go do other things when it’s on, and then I rewind the DVR and watch them in private,” Hermann explained carefully. “Then we talk it through and let it all subside a little bit and then we move on.” He laughed then and showed his megawatt smile (Mariska has one, too, but she’s not allowed to show it on TV). “We’re working through it.” Good for them, but too bad for us. How great would it be if Mariska kicked down a studio door and shoved a 9mm in Miranda Otto’s face? We love it when she does that. —Jada Yuan
Get more dirt from Andy Borowitz, Bronson van Wyck, and Rick Lazio at our complete coverage of the Atlantic’s State of the Union Dinner.
Earlier: Tina Brown to Publish a New ‘Chronicles’
Meg Ryan Has Been in the Business for 2,000 Years “I’ve been in the business for like 2,000 years,” Meg Ryan said when we hunted her down her at the Hollywood Life House after-party for her Sundance movie The Deal. Ryan, notoriously reclusive these days, had skipped the red carpet, and to find her we had to slip into the house undetected, evade three bodyguards, several clipboard-toting publicists, and her co-star William H. Macy, and stand for 45 minutes behind a large Chinese urn clutching a giant bunch of flowers while we waited for the precise moment to slip unnoticed into the room she was in. And there we were, face to face with the sweetly smiling blonde we remembered from When Harry Met Sally and other nineties romcoms. She sounded like a crotchety old man. “It’s absurd,” Ryan said, of making movies. “It’s an absurd way to spend your time.” But, she said, it’s also rewarding. “There’s a lot of really great, creative people,” she said. “There’s a lot of maniacs, idiots, too.” Present company excluded, we’re sure. “I run into maniacs and idiots all the time,” she continued, looking at us warily. (We were only kidding about the urn part, by the way.) Ryan excused her exhaustion by saying she had just finished making four back-to-back movies. “After you extend yourself like that, you want to hibernate,” she said. We asked where she would be curling up for the rest of the winter. You know, just in case we needed to get in touch. “I’m not going to tell you,” she said. Then she walked away. —Darrell Hartman
the sports section
Breaking: The Mets Snag Johan SantanaIf USAToday.com is to be believed, the Mets, after eating the Yankees’ dust all off-season, have just become the National League East favorites — and Omar Minaya has once again become a hero. The general manager who presided over the greatest-September-collapse-ever last season has apparently stolen Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins and out from under the Yankees and the Red Sox. (You’ll recall, Hank Steinbrenner had been full of bluster about a potential Yankee deal for Santana for months, though lately he’s been claiming he doesn’t care.) Yes, the Mets are trading away four highly rated prospects: outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. But odds are that two, at most, will become big-league regulars, let alone stars. Santana, on the other hand, is the best lefty in the bigs, in his prime, and exactly the ace that’s missing from the Mets’ rotation. Supposedly the only hurdle is a contract extension. Here’s betting that the Wilpon family gives Santana everything he wants, up to and including his name on the new ballpark. Heck, the way things are going on Wall Street, he’ll be worth more than Citigroup. —Chris Smith
Twins agree to deal Santana to Mets for prospects [USAT]
Earlier: Hank Steinbrenner Talks Himself, Twins Into a Tizzy
Robert A.M. Stern Likens New Larry Silverstein Development to the ‘Titanic’Developer Larry Silverstein says his new deal to build a Four Seasons hotel and condo tower downtown will help steer lower Manhattan through the banking industry’s crisis, but not everyone in his circle is matching his strut. At a civic-alliance breakfast this morning, Silverstein presented his plan to replace the stately former Moody’s headquarters, up Church Street from the Woolworth Building, with a 912-foot stone tower by 2011, creating the city’s tallest residential building. The building’s design is by neoclassicist Robert A.M. Stern, who worked up 15 Central Park West — which, Silverstein crowed, “broke all records for sales.” But this morning, after some lukewarm talk about assisting in the rebirth of lower Manhattan “in a way that I’m comfortable with,” Stern betrayed some major butterflies. “I never thought when I was growing up in New York that I’d get to design a building taller than the Woolworth Building,” he told us. “That makes for sleepless nights and exciting mornings — I’m like a guy on the Titanic, and I just hope we don’t crash.” —Alec Appelbaum
They Should Call It ‘Burrow Hall’!Bronx: Okay, okay, so this isn’t hood-specific … but how cool is it that there’s gonna be an online mag, called Cross Bronx (get it?), featuring writers and artists in the Boogie Down? [Talk Bronx]
Brooklyn Heights: The rats around Cadman Plaza are so out of control it seems the city’s called in a private exterminator, which may be wise judging from the massive size of those rat burrows. Burrow Hall? Ha-ha! [Pardon Me for Asking]
East Village: The old lady who sits next to Gino the tailor all day in his 14th Street shop is quiet when people come in, but when they leave, she yells at him about all the things he does wrong. Reportedly. [Vanishing New York]
Tinsley Mortimer Never Misses a Press Line Tinsley Mortimer, hair styled, full face of makeup, popped into a nail salon yesterday afternoon for a new coat of Ballet Slippers. As you can see, the nail salon she chose happens to be Iris Nails on Madison Avenue. Which happens to be next door to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. Which happens to have been surrounded by photographers since early yesterday, when Heath Ledger’s body was taken there to await burial. We’re just saying.
Tinsley Mortimer’s Grim Photo-Op [Socialite Life]