New Jersey and You: Skinnier Together
• Channel 7 is back on the air after a Sunday-night fire at its Upper West Side headquarters forced the staff to flee the studio. No victims, but the Live With Regis and Kelly set is kaput. [NYDN]
• It doesn’t take extraordinary political perception to guess that Governor Spitzer and the Senate majority leader Joe Bruno hate each other; leave it to the Times, however, to treat it as an odd-couple comedy setup: “Mr. Spitzer’s eyes pierce. Mr. Bruno’s wink.” [NYT]
• The Circle Line, which runs ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, has unveiled a noiseless electric vessel complete with a “solar sail.” It will be operational in a year and a half, provided the whole green vogue doesn’t blow over. [AP via WCAX]
• New Jersey is launching an Office of Nutrition and Fitness, the nation’s first; the Garden State leads the nation in obese children under 5 (a stunning 17.7 percent). [NYP]
• And who’s paying for the slimming of N.J. kids? Well, maybe you: Governor Corzine is considering a tax hike that will put the end to the state’s famously low gas prices and institute more toll roads. [amNY]
Hevesi Looking for New Car, Job
• Reelected or not, Alan Hevesi may be on his way out, and soon: The Times reports that governor-elect Eliot Spitzer will most likely be asking the State Senate to remove the wife-chauffeuring comptroller. Spitzer then gets to hand-pick and name his ex-ally’s successor. [NYT]
• At least Hevesi reimbursed the state for the misused 88 grand. It’s less clear how we get back the $1.3 million NYPD spent fighting bicycles that’s right, bicycles. That’s how much money the recent crackdown on the annual Critical Mass bike ride cost, according to an economist who tracks cops’ expenditures. [Streetsblog]
• Lest you think the police are only battling hippies on bikes, the NYPD issued a somewhat bizarre, 2002-style scare statement telling business owners to be “on the lookout” for female jihadists who can “hide explosives by faking pregnancy or sweet-talk their way past security officers.” Finally, a glorious merging of xenophobia and misogyny. Better check if their breasts are real, too! [NYDN]
• In a lurid Post front-pager, a Brooklyn man caught a cemetery caretaker urinating into a vase on his grandmother’s grave and got into a scuffle with him. The Post then proceeds to piss puns all over story, including “‘Relief’ Grief” and “Mourner Pee-ved.” [NYP]
• The rival Daily News, meanwhile, does an impressive job smearing Rupert Murdoch and by extension the Post with Nicole Brown Simpson’s blood; at least four indignant items are devoted to the Fox TV special and HarperCollins book wherein O.J. flippantly what-ifs the murders. [NYDN]
Stars Amped for Laser ZeppelinTonight’s boldfaced parties:
• American Museum of Natural History gala. Central Park West nr. 79th St., 7 p.m. Featuring a performance by Paul Simon in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Guests to include Steve Martin, Mariah Carey, Rupert Murdoch, Caroline Kennedy, Alec Baldwin, Tom Brokaw, Tom Freston, David Koch, Lorne Michaels, Steve Brill, Helen Gurley Brown, Susan Lyne, Lesley Stahl and the entire cast of Saturday Night Live. In short, a concert for tuxedo-clad celebrities and billionaires in the aquatic wing of an epically cavernous museum. The New York gala scene is so trippy!
in other news
John Tierney, Contrarianly, Has Shortest ‘Times’ Op-Ed Tenure Ever!With Times op-edster John Tierney’s surprise announcement Tuesday that he’d be departing what is generally considered the most valuable real estate in American journalism — or at least used to be considered that, in the pre-Internet, pre-TimesSelect era — we were struck, as many no doubt were, by the brevity of his term. Tierney, who joined the page last year, replacing William Safire, was undoubtedly the shortest-serving current columnist. But, we wondered, was he perhaps the shortest-serving op-ed columnist ever? After some quality time with Nexis and the Times archive, we can now report that, yes, he was. After the jump, what we think is a complete list of all Times op-ed tenures since the page’s inception in 1970.