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.
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.
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]
The Night We Shared a Moment With ‘The Captain’
We had just arrived at Morandi last night when a pair of older, Sopranos-looking gentlemen sitting at the end of the bar got into a spat with some other patrons and stomped out. “You wanna start something with me?” the one with a pompadour snarled. “C’mon, Paulie, let’s get outta here,” his friend said, and they slammed their glasses down and stomped out. “Weird,” our friend said, as we settled into their seats. “Do you think Keith McNally paid those guys to be here, like Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding?” But we were too distracted to ponder this possibility, because right then, at the other end of the bar, directly in our line of vision, was a face that over the past five months and five days we had come to know, and indeed, to love. “Look,” we whispered to our friend. “It’s The Captain.”
Alan Cumming, ReporterWe know Alan Cumming has had sex with journalists. But would he ever like to try being a journalist, like Naomi Campbell, who recently interviewed Hugo Chavez for British GQ? “I’d love to ask certain questions to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” he said at the launch of the Italian Commission’s Made in Italy ad campaign at the Hearst tower. “I’d like to know where they stand on equal rights for gay people. I’d also like to interview George Bush, just to watch him squirm.” (Maybe he could ask him, “You’re into your cock, aren’t you?”) But what about the people who really matter?, we pressed. Which celebrities would he like to interview? “I’d like to find out who all those blonde girls are — there’s a whole lot of them who look the same, the ones from The Hills, and that Hayden, um, Pan-i-tare? She’s everywhere,” he said. “And who’s that one, that Kim Ka-shi-shen?” Kardashian? We said. The one who made a sex tape with Brandy’s brother and now has a TV show? “Yes! My friend told me she’s a skanky whore, and I’m like, ‘Wow, she’s a lot more interesting than I thought she was.’” Like any ambitious reporter, Cumming would like to land the big story. “I’d love to interview Britney,” he said wistfully. Then he changed his mind. “But I’d rather her do it with one of those E! TV people, or Oprah.” That’s it, Alan Cumming will take care of Hillary and Barack. Let the professionals handle Britney. —Amy Preiser
Col Allan Is Not Afraid of Mary-Kate Olsen!Following our post this morning about how the Post’s story on Mary-Kate Olsen being questioned by police turned out to be wrong, we just received this statement from Post editor-in-chief Col Allan, via e-mail:
We confirmed this story last night with an impeccable source inside the NYPD and we stand by our reporting. Almost immediately after the tragic passing of Mr. Ledger, Ms. Olsen’s attorneys began emailing us threatening letters. As has been well reported, there were a number of calls to Ms. Olsen from the masseuse before the NYPD arrived on the scene. We would find it strange if Ms. Olsen were not questioned at all. The New York Post will not be pressured and we find it odd that the chiefs at the NYPD appear to be terrified of 4-foot-11 inch, 90-pound Mary Kate Olsen.
Related: In Ledger Mystery, ‘Post’ Goes After Mary-Kate. Cops, Not as Much
Skeletons Found in Washington Square ParkGreenwich Village: Renovations in Washington Square Park have uncovered human remains, and not for the first time in the park’s history: The site used to be a graveyard for the poor. [Gothamist]
Bedford-Stuyvesant: You all know cool little Brownstone Books in Stuy Heights, right? Well, it’s going to take over the bookstore at BAM, too. Wowza. [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Carroll Gardens: Some streets here will probably be reclassified as “narrow,” rather than “wide,” in order to impose new building-height limitations in these quaint parts. [Gowanus Lounge]
in other news
In Ledger Mystery, ‘Post’ Goes After Mary-Kate. Cops, Not as MuchWe’ll admit it: When we saw the cover of the Post today, we felt a little bad for Mary-Kate Olsen. Sure, it was weird that she didn’t tell her masseuse to call 911 immediately after the employee found Heath Ledger’s dead body, but everything happened quickly, and she did try to help. Why was it suddenly her responsibility to take care of things? She’s only 13 years old for Pete’s sake. The “HEAT IS ON MARY KATE” headline, followed by the “Cops to grill her in death” kicker, seemed a little aggressive. And, we’ve just found out, it’s not even true. Both Us Weekly and TMZ.com are reporting that Mary-Kate will not be questioned. “We have absolutely no interest in talking to Mary-Kate,” a police source explained today. Now, if you look closely at the Post story, buried at the bottom, another cop source said the same thing. “Law enforcement sources last night said they did not think there was anything suspicious about either [the masseuse’s] or Olsen’s conduct,” their story said. So the heat, technically, was not on her at any time. Except, of course, from the Post.
Police Source: Mary-Kate Olsen Will Not Be Grilled Over Heath Ledger Calls [Us Weekly]
Mary-Kate Story Bogus [TMZ.com]
early and often
The Republican Debate Made Mildly Interesting!Last night’s Republican debate at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton was about as feisty as knitting lessons at the community center. It was as if the candidates, who mostly avoided attacks, were tired from the heat. Many observers handed Romney the victory for his smooth answers on the economy; McCain also did well. But Giuliani and Huckabee, while they didn’t do poorly, didn’t do much to break out of their second-tier positions in Florida. For those who missed it, we sifted the platitudes for the stuff that really matters.
Has Al Gore Been Touching Bono in a Bad Way?
Bono says that being with Al Gore is like “being with an Irish priest.” Mel Gibson supposedly distanced himself from Heath Ledger after Ledger chose to play a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain against Gibson’s counsel. Celebs like Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey may like Hugo Chavez because of his drugs.
Margaret Truman Gets $2 Million Per FloorWhen she announced she was putting her Park Avenue apartment on the market last spring, writer and First Daughter Margaret Truman had banked on the triplex maisonette’s “brush with presidential history” helping to sell it, according to the New York Times. Apparently, it worked eventually. Truman, who authored a spate of murder mysteries set in the nation’s capital and was married to late Times editor Clifton Daniel, had offers by the beginning of fall. In October it had gone into contract, a deal that, according to a source, finally closed today. It took some price cuts, though: The triplex maisonette, which has four bedrooms, four baths, and a working fireplace, had an initial asking of $8 million but was slashed six weeks later to $7.5 million. The final price: $6 million. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Examining Our First Fashion Week Survival KitToday, publicists for Peroni Italian Beer, a sponsor of Fashion Week, sent us a very generous survival kit to help us make it through the coming two weeks. It included a lot of useful things that will keep us feeling healthy enough and looking unhealthy enough to fit right in at the tents at Bryant Park. But some of the objects had us scratching our heads. What on earth, for example, do we need a gift certificate to a spa in Miami for? Below, we’ve divided the contents of the kit into two categories: things that we know the uses for and things that, well, we’re not quite as sure about.
Thanks, guys! This will really help!
1 tube deluxe body crème [For feeling soft while we look sharp.]
1 packet Emergen-C [For energy.]
1 pack Peroni mints [Because try as we might, we always end up having to talk to people.]
2 packets Advil [Since the above effort always gives us a headache.]
1 emery board [To sharpen our talons, of course.]
1 box TipToes [Well, we’re certainly not going to be wearing flats.]
in other news
Fox’s John Gibson Apologizes for Insensitive Remarks About Heath LedgerThe blogosphere has been churning all day over Fox host John Gibson’s comments on his radio show yesterday about the death of Heath Ledger. To recap: Gibson played the “I can’t quit you” clip from Brokeback Mountain; said, “Well, I guess he found a way to quit you,” to much laughter in the studio; then followed up with a barrage of the sort of tasteless banter we have come to expect from these shows. “I don’t know why a 28-year-old guy is thinking about death,” Gibson said disparagingly, referring to a quote from an interview Ledger gave in 2007 in which he said his daughter caused him to “look at death differently.” “Maybe he was a deep thinker,” a female co-host chimed in. “Maybe he was a weirdo,” Gibson said. He laughed, then played another clip from Brokeback, in which Ledger’s character says, “We’re dead,” several times. The clip made its way to Gawker, Newshounds, and other blogs, who dug up clips of Gibson’s remarks about Brokeback Mountain (“I just think most people do not want to go into a darkened room with a tub of popcorn and munch away watching two guys get it on,” among others), and now GLAAD is leading a protest against Gibson and Fox. The Intelligencer hears that Gibson will address his remarks on his television show, The Big Story, at 5 p.m. Watch this space for updates.
UPDATE, 6 p.m.: Indeed, Gibson closed out The Big Story tonight by reading an apology: “I have received many complaints regarding my comments on my radio show about the death of Heath Ledger,” he said. “I’m sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive. I am aware that Ledger has a family, and I am sorry if I offended them and those who knew him, but most of all I am sorry for the loss of a young man I understand was a fine actor and human being. Once again, to those offended by my comments, I’m sorry.” Will this be enough to keep the wolves at bay?
early and often
Diva Debaters: Which One Is Bigger?Hey, everybody! There’s an update in New York’s patented 2008 Electopedia. In our exhaustive look at New York’s presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, we’ve already compared the two in categories ranging from “First Love” to “Relationship With Offspring.” Today’s matchup is “Best Debate Smackdown.” Think you know when Giuliani’s elbow (or Hillary’s voice) was at its sharpest? Click through to read all about it.
Best Debate Smackdown [Electopedia]
The 2008 Electopedia [Main Page]
The Bronx to Get Another Golf Course in 2010Today the city issued a request for proposals to create a public golf course at Ferry Point Park, a patch of covered landfill at the Throgs Neck waterfront, in two years. Would-be developers have eight weeks to propose how that course will lie. (That’s golf talk, isn’t it?) Plans for an eighteen-hole links course at Ferry Point Park predate Mayor Bloomberg’s overarching PlaNYC, but if it gets done soon, it would be a good centerpiece for the master plan. Like many PlaNYC projects, including the conversion of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill into a huge and sumptuous park, this aims to green up a dead place. It’s no easy task: Trees won’t grow on old landfill (hence the brilliance of a golf course), and the winning developer must propose an irrigation scheme to tax the city water table as little as possible. And it must harmonize with “the principles of green design,” which presumably means extra points if a windmill on the course generates electricity for the South Bronx. Is there a Bobby Jones out there for this bog? Your city needs you. —Alec Appelbaum
Construction of a tournament-quality golf course at Ferry Point Park in the Borough of the Bronx [PDF]
Why Heatherette Canceled Their Show: Our ReasonsWe love, love, love Heatherette — even though their show is a glamorous debacle every year, and even though we’re not always sure where to buy their clothes. Traver Raines and Richie Rich, the house’s creative team, are nice, fun, energetic, and brilliant. Every season their train wreck of an exposition is the highlight during Fashion Week. That’s why we are hit hard by the news that they won’t be showing this February. They were supposed to show at Roseland Ballroom this year, too, which would have meant that everyone could have come, and the after-party would have been glorious. We’re trying to find out why they’ve bailed (they “prefer not to comment,” but we’ll get it out of them — we run with the same gays, after all), but in the meantime, we’ve compiled a top ten list of reasons they might have called off the show:
1) They’re only doing a “Cruise” collection this year.
2) They, like so many other small fashion houses, fell victim to great glitter shortage of 2008.
3) The only chaps they could find had asses.
4) Tinsley ate something.
5) Boy Meets Boy went back on the air.
6) A six-foot-eight drag queen has Richie and Traver locked up in a basement somewhere in the Village because she didn’t get into their last fashion show, even though she WAS INVITED.
7) Lady Bunny ate Lydia Hearst. Totally kidding. She flossed with her.
8) Someone actually wanted to buy something from last season’s show, and they had to figure out how to make it again.
9) Richie broke an axle. On his roller skate.
10) Their Amanda Lepore popped.
Heatherette Cancels Fashion Show [Fashionista]
white men with money
Know Your Hedge-FundeseHedge-fund managers use a lot of lingo. The reason they do this is to trick you into thinking what they do is really complicated, and you are too dumb to understand it. Because after all, if everyone knew what “g-7 crosses” were, everyone would start trying to make piles and piles of money, and then there wouldn’t be as much left for hedge-fund managers! But n+1 was not fooled by their trickery. Recently, they sat down a hedge-fund manager and wrung out of him the meaning of some of his people’s most confounding words. After the jump, a starter guide to the Secret Language of Money.
The Left Bank Moves to the Right VillageBedford-Stuyvesant: Can’t tell a hanging corner turret from a hanging corner bay from a tripartite bay? Read this post and you’ll never walk illiterately through brownstone Bed-Stuy again. [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Cobble Hill: Council member David Yassky didn’t want a middle school going in a Dumbo apartment tower (’cause it could block views of the Brooklyn Bridge), but he might support selfsame school sharing space with the jail here on Atlantic Avenue. Way to put the kids first, Yaz. [Brooklyn Paper]
East Village: The alley behind the new Avalon condo on 1st Street is supposed to become a boutique-filled “slice of the Left Bank,” but right now it’s just a dump. [Vanishing New York]
in other news
Morning Shows Go Nuts for Iowan Family, Cause Them to Hightail It Back to IowaYou can imagine Jane Hambleton was pissed when she found booze under the front seat of her son Steven’s car, and grounding did not seem like enough of a punishment. “I’ll show that little bugger who’s boss,” she said to herself. And she put an ad in the local paper, the Iowa Register:
OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.
Well! She thought she would get a response but didn’t think it would be from all the way in New York! First, Good Morning America flew the family out to appear on the show. Then Jane got a call from Today — apparently they were so charmed by the Hambletons, they were going to break their hard and fast don’t–touch–it–if–it’s–been–breathed–on–by–Diane Sawyer rule. But then Oprah called, and she wanted exclusivity. Then Ellen called, and she wanted exclusivity. Everyone wanted a piece of the Hambletons! What would they do? They threw up their hands. “These people are crazy!” they said to themselves. “Let’s go back to Iowa to figure it out. Things are simpler there.”
‘Meanest Mom’ Sells Son’s Car, Family Gets Quite a Ride [WP]