Karl Rove to Finally Profit From Professional Secret-KeepingMEDIA
• Here come the NBC News pay cuts: Jeff Zucker plans to slash anywhere between $20 and $40 million, including an entire level of MSNBC management. And thanks to the writers’ strike and fears of recession, future cuts may only get worse. [NYP]
• Karl Rove may be offered $3 million for a memoir, in which we may find out how much he got in exchange for his soul. [NYP]
• At least one person thinks the press did a heckuva job in reporting the lead-up to the Iraq war — former top White House communications adviser Dan Bartlett. [NYO]
in other news
The Life of HsuWe’ve been obsessed with Norman Hsu, the Chinese immigrant and would-be clothing entrepreneur who became one of the biggest Democratic fund-raisers in the nation, ever since he was arrested earlier this fall for running a “massive” Ponzi scheme. The Wall Street Journal today closes the book on Hsu with a lengthy and at times cinematic profile that begins with Hsu partying with politicos in his Soho loft and ends with his attempted suicide on a cross-country Amtrak. “Am I in jail?” a sleeping-pill-addled Hsu reportedly asked the conductor. “No, you’re in Colorado,” the conductor replied. But our favorite part of the retelling of the Life of Hsu was his interaction with a goon called “Shrimp Boy.”
Raymond Chow, who acquaintances call Shrimp Boy, says he confronted Mr. Hsu in 1990 on behalf of friends who had invested in the glove business. Mr. Chow — who stands 5-foot-4, is heavily muscled, and has a dragon tattoo on his torso — says that at that time he was an enforcer for the Hop Sing Tong, an association that prosecutors have said was involved in crimes ranging from prostitution to heroin trafficking. Mr. Hsu suggested they collect money stashed at his house. Mr. Chow took the wheel of Mr. Hsu’s new, white Toyota 4Runner; Mr. Hsu rode in the passenger seat.
Following Mr. Hsu’s directions, Mr. Chow made an illegal turn and was pulled over by police. “I’m being kidnapped,” Mr. Hsu told the officers, according to police reports. Mr. Chow and two associates were arrested. But Mr. Chow denied the charges and Mr. Hsu refused to testify, so the case was dropped. “He outsmarted me,” recalls Mr. Chow, who abandoned his collection effort.
And promptly after that, he goes and throws a birthday party for Hillary Clinton. If that’s not the American dream, we don’t know what is.
How a Business Flop Became a Political Force [WSJ]
Earlier: Intel’s coverage of Norman Hsu
Video: Take a Walk Through 40 Bond
Ian Schrager’s 40 Bond has barely opened, and already someone wants to sell. New York’s S. Jhoanna Robledo takes you inside a $3.6 million apartment at 40 Bond that’s on the market. Prospective buyers, keep in mind that most other owners at 40 Bond have their own plane. However, you will have access to common spaces clad in cedar and the graffiti-inspired façade that is both beloved and loathed. And if you need dinner, you can get room service from the Gramercy Park Hotel. This apartment is actually starting to sound like a steal.
Video: Inside 40 Bond
Spitzer to Split Up Control of New York’s Three Racing TracksAs one of the many controversy-spurning agenda items Eliot Spitzer has to deal with, we hear some progress being made in the ongoing discussions with Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno over Bruno’s pet issue: the future of the New York horse-racing industry. One source involved in the private talks tells us that the tentative plan is to split up control of each of New York’s three horse-racing tracks: Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct. The New York Racing Association (which faces an expiration date at the end of this year) will get to keep control of the track in Saratoga, and thus stay alive. This would help the Spitzer administration avoid a potentially lengthy lawsuit.
‘Brothers and Sisters’ Star Dave Annable Plays Wii All DayName: Dave Annable
Job: Playing injured Iraq vet Justin Walker on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters.
Borough: Annable grew up upstate, went to SUNY Plattsburgh, and earned his acting chops in the city with the Neighborhood Playhouse, living in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
After studying at the “library,” N.Y. pizza at 2 a.m.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Play the Nintendo Wii.
Hartnett and Co. Go Bowling, Get Rejected by GutterIt’s always exceptionally weird when you see a celebrity doing something almost normal, like bowling, in a normal place, like Williamsburg. But it’s even weirder when you see one getting rejected like a normal person. That’s what happened to Josh Hartnett this Saturday night around 2 a.m. He rolled up to Williamsburg bowling bar Gutter with another guy and two girls (even mix of guys and girls, good!). To his chagrin, one girl was turned away when she told the doorman she had lost her ID (traveling with people who might be underage, bad!). Hartnett briefly entered the bar (maybe to try to smooth-talk the management? Maybe to bowl a quick strike?) only to emerge to tell the woman it was a no-go, but not to worry— he and his friend would drive her home. In bowling parlance, we’d call that a spare. —Daniel Maurer
Imaginary Eavesdropping on Lance and Ashley’s DateOkay, so we know it’s totally possible that “Page Six” has been exaggerating the crap out of this Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen relationship. Like, we heard from an eyewitness that they weren’t actually making out at Rose Bar the other night, they were just whispering. But anyway, they were spotted again at Waverly Inn on Tuesday, so maybe there’s something to it. For our own amusement, we tried to imagine the conversation they had over delicious chicken pot pie at the trendy restaurant:
Lance: You know, I’ve been a fan of yours since Full House.
Ashley: Aw, thanks. That’s so sweet. I was so fat then!
Lance: I thought you were adorable. I watch the reruns with my kids. You really pulled off all of those matching baby jumpers! I never dreamed I’d get to actually make out with you.
Ashley: I get that a lot. I really admire what you did with, you know, your ball cancer. You took lemons and made them into lemonade..
Miss Anna May, In Fact, Like Fat PeopleA movement is afoot to regulate the body weight of runway models in New York City, and Anna Wintour is leading it. Blood Diamond director Ed Zwick took Russell Simmons to task after Simmons went on diamond-industry press junket to South Africa and Botswana and claimed the diamond trade there to be mostly beneficial. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin put their Tribeca pad on the market, but only for one day. The Hilton sisters don’t get much love from their potential in-laws. (One suspects the feeling is mutual.) ABC anchor Charles Gibson thinks Mayor Bloomberg will run for president. Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld admitted in court that he did not know the difference between a markup and a gross profit margin. The Little Dog Laughed star Julie White got a ticket for bringing her dog on the subway. Brazil’s first lady wants to adopt a child. Demi Moore dragged Ashton Kutcher to Fashion Week in September, but all Ashton wanted to do was watch football. The duo behind holiday show What I Like About Jew have gone their separate ways. Dakota Fanning thinks her next film is wonderful, despite the fact she’s raped in it. Matthew Fox and the cast of SNL hung out late night. Victoria Beckham styled Katie Holmes for a magazine cover shoot, and the 300-plus people involved were (allegedly) instructed not to make eye contact with the ladies. For reasons entirely unclear, Brett Ratner’s grandmother has her own realty show on VH1. Cindy Adams hates on Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto (although she hasn’t seen it), and Liz Smith loves James Lipton.