Murdoch to Regan: J’accuse!Oh, see? Now it all makes sense. It’s not that Judith Regan was fired for offending Rupert Murdoch’s notoriously delicate sensibilities by trying to publish a faux-confessional by O.J. Simpson. Today comes the news that Regan was fired for offending Murdoch’s deep commitment promoting civil discourse by tossing off a few anti-Semitic remarks in a fight with lawyers. Reports the Times:
Rupert Murdoch personally ordered the dismissal of Judith Regan, the publisher of a widely criticized O. J. Simpson book, after he heard reports of a heated conversation Ms. Regan had with a company lawyer on Friday that included comments that were deemed anti-Semitic, according to two people familiar with the News Corporation’s account of the firing.
Mark Jackson, a lawyer with HarperCollins, a division of the News Corporation that includes Ms. Regan’s imprint, reported the alleged comments from a phone conversation with Ms. Regan to Jane Friedman, HarperCollins’s president and chief executive.
“And then Jane called Rupert and Rupert said he won’t tolerate that kind of behavior,” said one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Think of it as Murdoch’s Hanukkah present to the Jews. (Query to research department.: Any cable or satellite deals currently pending in Israel?)
Fired Editor’s Remarks Said to Have Provoked Murdoch [NYT]
in the magazine
One More Reason to Love New York Right Now
It’s a week before Christmas, and it’s nearly 60 degrees. Now if only global warming could make it a little sunnier out.
Reasons to Love New York Right Now [NYM]
in other news
You’re the ‘Time’ Person of the Year, and Joel Stein Has Penis Envy
Oh, happy day. After weeks — nay, months — of buildup, Time’s Person of the Year issue is here. And if that’s not exciting enough on its own, it gets so much better: We’re the Person of the Year! (And so are you! And you! And even you, little Timmy!) Yep, that’s right: This year’s Person of the year is “You” — which is to say, the blogger, Flickr’r, YouTube uploader, Wiki contributor, and hive-minderer who the flagship title of a massive media company has now decided actually holds the keys to the Information Age. Naturally, then, Joel Stein takes a spin through multiplayer virtual world Second Life to find out what the hell You’re up to — which, this being Joel Stein reporting, is sex:
I spent the next 4 1/2 hours with Cristal as she took me to a waterfall, a snowy Christmas scene, a shipwreck and a sex club. At some point, she offered me a free penis. Much as I didn’t want to take it, it’s damned hard to tell even a fake woman that you don’t want the free penis she’s giving you.
The Freudian reading of this is unavoidable, that castrated Old Media is strapping one on just to stay in the nubile Web 2.0 game. It’s also terrifying. Because if print media’s wandering off to have sex online while leaving bloggers to handle the real reporting, we foresee much less coverage of Baghdad and much more of the Lower East Side.
My So-Called Second Life [Time]
the morning line
It’s Shelly’s Turn
• The fate of Atlantic Yards now rests with State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, who controls one of three votes on the Public Authorities Control Board, which requires unanimity to pass a project — and he boasts an impressive megaproject kill ratio, having already done in the West Side stadium and put the brakes on Moynihan Station. If we were Ratner, we’d find some Lower East Side charities to fund right about now. [NYT]
• Rudy Giuliani is out being presidential — or presidential candidate–ish, really. He’s hitting the fund-raisers for “friends and family money,” whatever that means; the first round starts tomorrow in midtown. He also booked a major appearance in California — the keynote address at the state GOP convention. [NYP]
• The News’ New Yorker of the Year: Bloomberg. Hizzoner is picked, among other things, for “restoring civility,” the gun-control crusade, encouraging major construction, and defusing the Sean Bell situation. [NYDN]
• Except we’re not sure that last one’s such a done deal: There’s a growing push for police commissioner Ray Kelly to resign and for a special prosecutor to replace the Queens D.A. on the case. [amNY]
• And, hardly anyone’s New Yorker of the Year: Isiah Thomas, the underperforming Dolan hire who can’t fire up the Knicks to win a game — but evidently has no trouble goading opponents into brawls. [NYDN]
it happened this week
Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” was tapped as a finalist for the Grammy for Record of the Year, which certainly seemed appropriate, since, as 2006 ran out, the whole world appeared headed for a rubber room. Presidential front-runner John McCain, sometimes accused of having a few screws loose, told the Yeshiva University Hanukkah Convention that Iran’s leaders were “possibly deranged.” Tehran rebutted the charge by hosting a convention of Holocaust deniers, including an Israeli-flag-burning Rockland County rabbi and kooky ex-Klansman David Duke. Leisure nut President Bush decided he’d be out of his mind to try to tackle the Iraq problem before the New Year. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s national-security adviser, suggested that his country’s lunatic army take over the asylum of Baghdad. Mayor Bloomberg painted a Hieronymus Bosch scenario of the city’s future including insane all-day rush hours circa 2030 then unveiled some out-there solutions that seemed just crazy enough to work. A British tabloid floated the wacky idea that the U.S. intelligence services were holding secret info on paranoid Princess Di that could cause “exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”
First Exhibit: Building the Canarsie Museum
Canarsie: Home of the new Canarsie History Museum! [Brooklyn Record]
Greenpoint: Christmas decorations, ‘Point-style (right). You should have seen the crèche. [New York Shitty]
Park Slope: Need another reason to mock the Slope? Festivus Party. Go. [Brooklynian]
Red Hook: The waterfront tries on the nuclear-wasteland look. Strictly temporarily, of course. [Curbed]
Union Square: A resounding “no” to a seasonal (in the Shake Shack sense, not the Per Se sense) restaurant. [The Villager]