Today in Gossip: Old Gals Go BananasElizabeth Taylor does tequila shots at the Abbey? Liz Smith compares Cindy Adams and Barbara Walters to Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus? Ian McKellen defaces Bibles? Shazam!
Matt Lauer Shows Us FDR’s Secret TrainCheck out the abandoned subway stop beneath the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where VIPs could travel in their own private train cars that, we assume, didn’t smell like urine.
Rudy Daughter Caroline Drops the ‘Giuliani’Plus, Joan Rivers and Barbara Corcoran bite at each other, Pat O’Brien only has one more chance at ‘The Insider,’ and Blake Lively is surprisingly normal — in our daily gossip roundup.
We May Be Losing a Natalie, But We May Be Getting a Kathie LeeWhen Natalie Morales announced on the Today show this morning that she was pregnant again, we were torn. On the one hand, we love Natalie Morales with all of our hearts (despite her participation in the soul-crushing fourth hour of the show) and think that the higher the percentage of babies in the world that have her for a mom, the better. On the other hand, this means that she’ll probably have to sit out the network’s sure-to-be-bonkers coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August, which saddens us. We were dying to see her forced into a synchronized-swimming competition with Matt or pulling Al around the streets of Beijing in a rickshaw. Our minds raced with questions — who would pick up the slack for her? Giada De Laurentiis? The sometime Today co-host didn’t seem to work out (plus she also got pregnant), so we haven’t seen her in a while. Tiki Barber? The delightful Amy Robach? The less delightful Jenna Wolfe? Not quite.
Zang Toi Incorrectly Assumes That Sharon Stone Wants to Meet More Gay DudesSomeone hacked into designer Zang
Toi’s computer and sent out an invitation to clients like Sharon Stone and Ivana Trump asking them to join Gayguyschat.com. Julian Schhabel wore pajamas under his jacket to the Critics Choice Awards. Duh. West Village neighbors of Tom Brady and Gisele are not happy that paparazzi now roam the blocks. Joey Buttafuoco is annoyed that a “friend” of his secretly filmed him having
sex with his second wife and is now selling the footage. Lizzie Grubman is unable to lend support to any of the candidates because she is a convicted felon and thus can’t vote. Barbara Corcoran is now nicknamed “The Usher of the Flusher” after appearing on a Today show segment on luxurious bathrooms.
early and often
The Candidates’ Last Words: New Hampshire Not As Cold As IowaWe woke up this morning and turned on the TV to find uncle-cute Matt Lauer interviewing dad-cute John Edwards on the Today show. It was a short interview, but long enough for Edwards to get across his main point: “Senators Obama and Clinton have over $100 million in their campaign chests,” he told Matt. “I am the underdog in this race, just like the middle class in America.” Bam! It was time, we realized, for every candidate to give his or her last word to New Hampshire voters (and no, the 11.5 voters in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, who “elected” Obama and McCain last night are not the final word). So what did they go with this time?
Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor began stumping around the state in front of a huge sign that said “WASHINGTON IS BROKEN.” It’s apparently his new motto (“Fix” is the new “Change!”). He also created a giant list of fifteen presidential to-dos that were supplied by New Hampshire residents he spoke to. He’s literally asking voters to write his platform, people. The list included things like “Make America Safer,” “End Illegal Immigration,” “Cut the Pork,” and “Strengthen Our Families.” Nos. 14 and 15 on the list were empty because nobody told him what to put there. So populist, so budget. [National Review]
early and often
George Bush Is a Little Mad About DadWhen President Bush’s press conference came on this morning, we were frankly a little grateful for the interruption during the fourth hour of the Today show. The vague chipper bitterness of those last few cooking segments has really begun to wear on us. Our favorite moment of the press conference was when a reporter asked Bush about Bill Clinton’s Monday statement that the first thing Hillary would do as president would be to send Clinton and the former President Bush (“41”) around the world “to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again.” So, what did the current President Bush think of that?
“41 didn’t think it was necessary,” he laughed coldly. “Sounds like it would be a one-man trip.”
Wait, it’s like we’re back watching Today again! Everybody’s smiling, but why is the air crackling with bitterness? We suspect we know: Ever since the uncomfortable lovefest between Bush 41 and Bill Clinton began, Bush the younger has been totally jealous. And then Bill tried to steal the president’s dad for his own team! Such melodrama. We can’t wait until Showtime makes this into a historical mini-series.
Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush Will Help Hillary [CNN]
in other news
Heather Mills Makes Us CrazyWas anybody else watching the Today show this morning? If so, did you find yourself wondering why the hell they let Heather Mills ramble on for ten minutes about her divorce from Paul McCartney and how the press is treating her badly? It was extremely difficult to watch (“I fell in love with a man, not a Beatle!”). Matt Lauer sat idly by as she ranted about how media coverage of her has driven her to the brink of suicide and how she’s been receiving death threats. She just wants the media to leave her alone! Which raises the obvious question: Why go on TV and make a fuss over yourself?
Padma: When in Doubt, Suck Face With SalmanA prankster made lewd comments to Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during a media conference call between TV writers and the Today anchors. Banker Rafael Follieri, boyfriend of Anne Hathaway, flew commercial from Atlanta to New York despite supposedly owning a private jet. Padma Lakshmi was overheard telling someone she still was “still trying to work the secret to a great relationship out” hours before she made out with Salman Rushdie at Bungalow 8. (Rushdie also almost fell asleep during a play at the Guggenheim on Saturday.) Ivanka Trump couldn’t get into East Village dive Black and White because she didn’t have an I.D. The smoking hot ex–First Lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy, is coming to visit New York with her kid.
Diddy’s Spectacular Fall From Hotness
Earlier today, we mentioned to a colleague the annual Labor Day fracas that is Diddy’s White Party — yes, that beloved(ish), A-list(ish) fête at the hip-hop mogul’s East Hampton home, for which all guests are required to wear white. “Did he even have the party this year?” the colleague asked, suggesting to us that Diddy’s status on the social circuit has indeed taken a turn for the worse.
Damn You, John StosselAt Live Earth, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and John Stossel continued their public feud over global warming. Ron Perelman and Gina Gershon are hanging out on Perelman’s yacht off the coast of Italy, but they may not be dating. Eliot Spitzer and Charles Schumer are weekend telephone buddies. Former Bronx congressman Mario Biaggi no longer holds a grudge against Rudy Giuliani, even though Giuliani successfully prosecuted him for bribery twenty years ago. Al D’Amato is happy he’s going to be a father again. Mel Gibson bought a $39.5 million estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. NBC accidentally featured Katie Couric in a Today-show promo. Hillary Clinton is hosting three Hamptons fund-raisers the first weekend of August.
This Movie Is Innnsaaane!Danny DeVito is trying to make a movie about Crazy Eddie. One of Lindsay Lohan’s MySpace friends sold online correspondence between Lohan and Samantha Ronson to Star magazine. Philip Roth complained about showing up in “Page Six.” Jane staffers stole a lot of stuff from the fashion closet after learning the mag was folding. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason may replace Don Imus as WFAN’s early-morning D.J. Gore Vidal is annoyed that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tore out his solar-power system. Congressman Charlie Rangel is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove he went on a “date.” Today show contributor Amy Jacobson was fired from her Chicago post after being caught on tape in a bikini at the house of a woman whose disappearance she was covering. Gisele and Tom Brady PDA’d at Palma on Cornelia Street. 50 Cent canoodled with Ciara.
Curb Your MarriageLarry David and his environmental-activist wife, Laurie, have separated. Today show staffers refer to Good Morning America as “Gay-MA”; GMA staffers refer to Today as “Yesterday.” Marc Jacobs is back on with boyfriend Jason Preston and even got Preston’s initials tattooed on his stomach. Graydon Carter thinks of Vanity Fair’s publisher as a dancing monkey. Eric Alterman claims his arrest was a “misunderstanding”; police claim they asked him to leave a private reception area seven times and that Alterman was “belligerent.” Vanessa Minnillo is gaining a rep with TV insiders as being difficult to work with, and photos of her posing with Lindsay Lohan and a knife aren’t helping.
Will Someone Please Call Family Services on Dina Lohan?Dina Lohan, the “white Oprah,” is in talks to do a reality show for E! in which she’ll try to turn her two youngest kids into stars. And Lindsay’s DUI arrest made it tough for underage girls to get into L.A. clubs after the MTV Movie Awards. Michael Moore has lost 30 pounds eating whole grains and sleeping more. Harvey Weinstein is an investor at Bungalow 8 doorman Armin Amiri’s new club, Socialista. Angelina Jolie is spending time with her children at the expense of spending time with Brad Pitt. Gwyneth Paltrow and David Byrne are bad tippers. Cameron Diaz gave André Balazs a neck rub.
Albrecht Out at HBOHBO chairman Chris Albrecht was forced to resign last night after allegedly beating up his girlfriend Sunday, likely because this wasn’t his first domestic assault. Harvey Weinstein had to explain to girlfriend Georgina Chapman that Elie Wiesel was notable for being “in a concentration camp” at the Time 100 fête. And Jessica Simpson dressed conservatively at the event to not draw attention from boyfriend and honoree John Mayer. Cameron Diaz went to a sex show at the Box the night before appearing on the Today show. Josh Hartnett and Helena Christensen sang karaoke together. Lorne Michaels sang karaoke at oil heir William Hess’s bar mitzvah. Nancy Grace is trying to get on The View now that she’s out at Court TV. NBC News’ David Gregory may be Don Imus’s replacement.
Picking On Little ArthurIn his new memoir, former Time Inc. editor-in-chief Norm Pearlstine accuses New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger of being more concerned with publicity than with the law during the Judith Miller saga. (Of course, Pearlstine was concerned with neither, happily capitulating to the prosecutor!) Tom Brady and Gisele went to Easter Mass in Little Italy. Disgraced former Miss USA Tara Conner has left New York for L.A. Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds now seem to be an item. Socialite Dori Cooperman was arrested and charged after she allegedly stole and cashed a $4,300 check. A Gawker editor had a tough time handling Jimmy Kimmel’s questions on Larry King Live. Giada De Laurentiis may be one of Tiki Barber’s co-hosts on the Today show.
Martha Stewart Is Scared of WestchesterMartha Stewart cancelled a book signing in Westchester because she didn’t want to deal with questions from residents as to why she was trying to trademark the name “Katonah.” Ellen Barkin played coy when asked about whether she slept with George Clooney. Some critics disagree with Out magazine’s decision to put Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster on the cover. The Clintons are going on vacation to the Dominican Republic to hang out with the de la Rentas. Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts are pushing up their nuptials so they can tie the knot before Watts gives birth. An NBC flack snapped back at CBS producer Steve Friedman for his comments about the Today show’s slipping ratings. Woody Johnson is making his 60th birthday party a costume affair so feuding family members Libet and Casey won’t recognize each other.
Judi, Judi, JudiAmong the skits to be put on by the city’s political journos at the upcoming Inner Circle roast is one featuring Judi Giuliani as a blow-up sex doll. Us Weekly, Star, and other weekly tabloids are upping their negative coverage of Brangelina because they are sick of getting scooped by People. A handful of people are angling for a portion of deceased Dr. Robert Atkins’s $600 million estate. Mike Bloomberg’s 98-year-old mother sometimes pretends she’s not related to him so people don’t ask her to hook their grandkids up with jobs. NBC’s Today show is losing serious ground to ABC’s Good Morning America and even CBS’s Early Show in the ratings game. Charlie Rose and Amanda Burden may not be broken up, despite reports they are. Jay-Z has plans to ink a deal with Champagne label Ace of Spades to replace Cristal as his drink of choice.
Presumably It’s a Pay-Per-View AudienceDon King will meet the Pope on March 21. Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a low-end fashion line. Judith Regan is in China signing a TV deal. New Line execs want Jake Gyllenhaal to play Captain Marvel, but they’ll have to get to him before he’s tapped for Spider-Man 3. Sushi joint Bond St is closing for a month due to an electrical fire. Jennifer Hudson and American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino hit the clubs in Chicago. The weekly paper City Hall asked pundits to nickname presidential candidates, and Ed Koch called Hillary Clinton “Lady Godiva,” though he meant Lady Guinevere.
it just happened
Grown-Up Tiki Barber Signs With NBC
And now it’s official: Tiki Barber will become a television broadcaster. The Times is reporting that Barber, the Giants running back who retired from football at the top of his game, will join NBC, serving as a news correspondent for the Today show and a commentator for football broadcasts. Last month, David Amsden profiled Barber for New York, looking at why he wanted to leave football and why he wanted to go to TV. The answer? Because he realized it was time to grow up.
Tiki Barber to Join NBC’s ‘Today’ Show [NYT]
Tiki Barber: The Exit Interview [NYM]
Lindsay Lohan, DumbstruckThe big news today in the city’s big businesses.
• Lindsay Lohan’s Miu Miu ads keep coming — now she’s a vibrant, dumbstruck dolly. [Fashionologie]
• There’s a bimbo logjam at the top of Mr. Blackwell’s annual worst-dressed list. [Downtown Darling]
• A Paris court dismissed Karl Lagerfeld’s claim against journalist Alicia Drake. He sued her for invasion of privacy — but really, people say, because she called him middle class. [WWD]
Now With Daily Gatecrasher!Rosie O’Donnell called Barbara Walters a “(bleeping) idiot” in the latest round of The View–related acrimony, according to “Page Six.” (Ben Widdicombe has a slightly more reserved account.) Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson are squabbling over custody of their cats but not dogs. The TV critic who wrote a book about Bill O’Reilly wants George Clooney to play the title character. Fox is giving James Cameron a cool $200 million budget for his next film, Avatar. Julia Roberts may be pregnant with twins again. Arnold Schwarznegger forgets how old his mother is. Breaking: The Gotti Boys wear a lot of hair gel, gaudy jewelry. The Insider’s Lara Spencer might join Today when it adds a fourth hour. Snoop Dogg to host a television documentary on his childhood. David Schwimmer made out with a girl in public, possibly a ploy by her to get into the papers. (Success!) Disgraced Miss USA Tara Conner flirted with a bunch of male photo assistants at a cover shoot for New York Dog magazine, though her stint in rehab means she won’t actually be on the cover. The owner of Star Room in East Hampton set to open a branch in the Chelsea Hotel, described it as “elitist.” Bono got drunk in Utah. Mary-Louise Parker, dumped by Billy Crudup while pregnant, hung out with him at their son’s birthday party. Jessica Biel drinks water and champagne to stay pretty. Cindy Adams says Bryan Adams says he loves New York.
Bob Dylan Criticizes What He Can’t Understand (At Least Until He Sees It)Bob Dylan claims that upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl falsely portrays him as the cause of Sedgwick’s suicide, threatens to sue unless he is allowed to see the film before it is released. Chuck Schumer wrote a book. An employee of Wyclef Jean was kidnapped in Haiti and held for ransom; he was released for free. An L.A. Times reporter scored an “exclusive” interview with Martin Scorsese, featuring quotes that are actually two years old. Popular Greenwich Village drinking hole Boxers lost its lease, is shuttering. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant partner, Phil Suarez, put on quite the culinary show at an apartment party he threw. Access Hollywood host Billy Bush might be leaving L.A. for the Today show here. Tom Brokaw made an “insensitive” joke about public housing that doesn’t really seem to be that offensive. Uma Thurman was bailed out of a stuck elevator by her buff bodyguard. Marc Jacobs and Jason Preston are officially broken up, according to Jacobs. The high-octane friendship between Paris Hilton and Britney Spears is over, because the latter was told to stay away from the former if she ever wants to make a comeback. Nancy Sinatra celebrated what would have been her father’s 91st birthday at his favorite restaurant, Patsy’s. Peter Boyle’s greatest regret was not taking the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. Mariah Carey is pitching a “lifestyle-type book-cum-pseudo memoir.” Let Meryl Streep eat steak!