Displaying all articles tagged:

Trends

  1. in other news
    Hillary Clinton’s Secret Is in the Stars Last night, Vanity Fair astrologer Michael Lutin did something that nobody has yet been able to do sufficiently: He explained Hillary Clinton. The secret to Clinton’s murky, buttoned-up, hypercompetitive personality is centered upon one simple thing: She’s a Scorpio. Wait, wait, wait, take this seriously for a minute. We’re not usually into astrology or anything like that. Normally when we talk to someone about their zodiac sign, the person always ends up talking about the spiritual lives of animals or reincarnation or something cringe-worthy like that. But this guy Lutin is talking some sense! He explains: • “The whole Congress-health care fiasco was a disaster, partly because Scorpios do lack subtlety when they have a goal.” • “Scorpios always have not only Plan B, but they usually have it figured out all the way up to Plan Z.” [Ed: From now on, your Plan C is “Cry.”] • “In the end, foreign or domestic policies notwithstanding, Scorpio always turns out to be an issue of gender. ” • “When situations are dire, enterprises failing, businesses stalling, empires falling and extinction is right around the corner, Scorpios get turned on. Only they can walk right down into the Valley of the Lepers with bagels and cream cheese and think nothing of it.” • “It should come as no surprise that Hillary Clinton came out swinging after her defeat in Iowa. After all, it was in the stars: she is a Scorpio and Scorpio rules the instinct for survival. Scorpio also rules cockroaches. Did you ever try to spray or drown them? They can hold their breath and play dead until you walk out of the kitchen and turn out the light.” • “Hillary has a higher agenda to help her survive the worst bites, kicks, slaps and cuts. She knows she would rise up again in a brand new incarnation to make her betrayer serve her needs.” Oh. Well, never mind. This conversation about astrology ended like all the other ones, it seems. Hillary’s Horoscope: Her Comeback Was in the Stars [HuffPo]
  2. it just happened
    Marion Jones Gets Jail Time, ProbationMarion Jones, the five-time Olympic-medal-winning track-and-field star, was sentenced this morning to six months in prison, followed by two years of probation for perjury. Back in October, Jones pleaded guilty to lying to a federal investigator in 2003 about using performance-enhancing drugs to help her win three gold and two bronze medals in the Sydney Olympics, and to lying about knowledge of her ex-boyfriend’s scheme check-forging scheme. She returned her Olympic medals and made a tearful plea to the press: “I have been dishonest, and you have the right to be angry with me. I have let [my family] down. I have let my country down, and I have let myself down.” Her lawyers had tried to keep her out of prison, arguing that she had been punished enough, but instead, White Plains judge Kenneth Karas gave her the maximum sentence recommended by prosecutors. We bet she’ll take the sentence better than Paris did. Jones’s Soaring Career Now a Cautionary Tale [NYT]
  3. company town
    Steve Schwarzman Takes the Fun Out of BuybacksFINANCE • Steve Schwarzman found yet another way to stiff his investors, using the GSO deal as an elaborate cover to buyback shares of Blackstone without the typical benefit a buyback program gives to other shareholders. No wonder the Chinese, who have lost $1 billion on Blackstone, hate him. [DealBook/NYT] • Bank of America bought Countrywide Financial, the huge mortgage company teetering at the edge of bankruptcy, for $4 billion in stock. Some observers worry the deal will take the bank down, but considering Countrywide was worth $30 billion before the mortgage meltdown, it may yet make B of A CEO Ken Lewis a king. [Deal Journal/WSJ] • Merrill Lynch will likely take a $15 billion write-down next week, far in excess of the $12 billion some already bearish analysts had predicted. John Thain is looking to rescue the bank with still more foreign investment capital, but with the Senate getting anxious, that stream dry up. [NYT, NYP]
  4. intel
    Some Necessary Advice for Sam ZellToday Business Week’s Jon Fine has a bunch of advice for new Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell. It’s all about how to make the most of his recent acquisition and includes counsel like “Outsource all printing,” “Don’t fall for the mirage of synergy,” and “Don’t be afraid of price hikes.” Very technical stuff, and probably very useful. But come on. Zell is a new media baron. He has much more important changes to worry about, like how to change his personal life and habits in order to fit the role! Not just anybody can be a press lord. It takes a specific breed of crotchety old men with unique sexual proclivities and horrendous progeny to fit the bill. So we’ve come up with some advice for Zell that has actual practical applications. Without further ado: • Dump your wife of many years and immediately marry a much younger, much more Asian version. • Pit your children against one another in a battle to become your heir apparent, in which none have any hope of winning. • Start getting mad about Israel. • Get to work on that gin-blossom look. • Begin hanging around with Tom Wolfe or an equivalent writer who will fictionalize you and talk appropriately about your masculinity. • Get anointed as a member of the Order of Letters or Knights of the Garter from a foreign nation. Then insist upon being called “Lord.” • Pick a nemesis, preferably one whose company is already weakening. Then attack! • Sleep with Jane Fonda. If possible, make her feel bad about herself. Come on, Sammy! Get started! Those kids won’t disinherit themselves! You’ve Got Tribune. Now Do Something [Business Week]
  5. in other news
    ‘Times,’ Toilet Meet CuteWhen we heard about futuristic new self-cleaning public toilets that the city unveiled, we went right to our favorite sources for this type of coverage. “WHAT A RELIEF,” the Daily News said, under a headline that read: “AND A-WEE WE GO” The Post led with “Helle-LOO-jah,” and a headline of “TOILET IS GOOD TO ‘GO.’” But imagine our surprise when we found that the best write-up of all was in the New York Times. They go through the experience of using the toilet in detail, in a style that can only be described as architectural-review-meets-anthropological-study: There are two architectural flourishes, both on the roof: a small pyramid of glass, like a little model of the Louvre, and an anachronistic metal stovepipe, reminiscent of a cozy shanty or an old outhouse with a crescent moon carved into the door… Sadly, these little surprises are forgotten with the first look at the toilet itself, an imposing, metal, cold-looking receptacle in the corner. There is no little stall around it, and so it looks exposed, like the facilities available in many prisons. It, too, is quite damp, for perfectly good reasons explained later, but the image first evokes a dungeon or a scene from one of the Saw pictures.
  6. intel
    Hey, MSNBC, Stop Trying to Make ‘Tsunami Tuesday’ Happen Has anyone else noticed that since the December 2004 tsunami that killed over 200,000 people, most networks have shied away from using the sometimes-mentioned Super Tuesday nickname “Tsunami Tuesday”? It has been used to describe February 5, the day when a crazy amount of states will be holding their primaries. But since the word “tsunami” is sort of synonymous with, um, mass death, it’s hasn’t really built up much steam. Except for on MSNBC. They’ve really been trying to make “Tsunami Tuesday” into a buzz term. It’s on all their ads, in their Web editorial language, and used on the air. We have to say, we’re not quite ready to bring the term back into common parlance. What’s next, an election countdown to “Nagasaki November”? Will Tsunami Tuesday be an afterthought? [MSNBC]
  7. party lines
    Sarah Polley Will Call You Fat to Your Face If You Give Her a Bad ReviewWhen New York ran into Sarah Polley the other night at the Film Critics Choice Awards, we asked the Away From Her director if she’d ever confronted a critic who had given her a bad review. “Yeah, I have,” she laughed. “He came to a press lunch for a film that I knew he hated, because there was really good free food, and it was in Cannes. He was kind of famous for doing that. And so I sort of confronted him on how much food he had on his plate; not necessarily about the review, but just how gluttonous he was.” How did he react? “He was pretty good-natured about it,” she said. “We actually ended up becoming friends.” Oh, yeah? So … who was it? She wouldn’t say. We tried another tactic: Was the film one she directed or one she was in? “It was a film I was in,” she said, before floating off in that ethereal way she has. And so we put the question to you, dear readers. Who was the freeloading film critic shamed by Sarah Polley? To help you guess, after the jump, we’ve compiled some choice lines from reviewers who haven’t exactly fallen at her feet.
  8. early and often
    Bill Clinton Accuses Obama Camp of Preparing Dirty Financial AttacksSo we have been watching Bill Clinton’s blistering anti-Obama rant from a New Hampshire rally today, and it’s really juicy. You know, the one in which he calls Obama’s campaign a “fairy tale”? (And not in the good way?) Well, if you listen (and we transcribed below), Bill accuses the Obama camp of secretly drudging up old Clinton financial concerns and preparing a memo about them that was never released. Plus, you know, he goes bonkers. Which is fun enough on its own. “That is the central argument for his campaign: ‘It doesn’t matter that I started running for president less than one year after I got to the Senate from the Illinois State Senate. I am a great speaker and a charismatic figure, and I am the only one that had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning, always, always, always.’”
  9. neighborhood watch
    After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble HillClinton Hill: What? You say you weren’t at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year’s Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it’s not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it’s a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We’ll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]
  10. early and often
    Meredith Viera Plays the Sinbad Card Meredith Viera: “But when you mention something like Bosnia people have responded, yeah, but she went to Bosnia, for example, with Sinbad.” Hillary Clinton [Trying to act like this is not the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to her since Monica]: “That’s right, mmmm-mm.” Meredith Viera [Making frustrated noises]: “That wasn’t really establishing any kind of foreign policy.” Hillary Clinton: “Oh, you know…” Meredith Viera: [Practically snorting with laughter now]: “I mean, I’m not saying that traveling to a war-ravished country with a guy who played the condom in Malcolm Jamal-Warner’s classic after-school special Time Out: The Truth About HIV, AIDS, and You wasn’t an experience, it’s just probably not the kind of experience the American people are looking for in their next president.” (Actually, she didn’t say that last thing. But she might as well have. And the rest is real.)
  11. early and often
    Noncandidate Bloomberg Just Happens to Have Better Ideas Than the Real CandidatesAs far as Mayor Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions are concerned, we are gluttons for punishment. He keeps toying with our emotions, teasing us, and leading us on — and we come back for more. It’s like we’re Carrie to Bloomberg’s Mr. Big, except, you know, it matters. This weekend, for example, when Bloomberg announced his attendance at a bipartisan political conference in Oklahoma, we chewed our fingernails into a pulpy purple mush. And today is no different. When Hizzoner lashed out at the current presidential candidates in a press conference (and did you know there is some caucus thing going on in Iowa tomorrow?), we rubbed the sand out of our eyes, wiped the spit off our chin, and jumped to attention. During a chat with reporters at City Hall about reduced teen smoking rates in the city, the Observer reports that Bloomberg bitchslapped at the current field of runners on the topics of free trade and health care: “Some people are in favor of free trade and then walk away from it. It’s no one candidate. Don’t say Bloomberg is criticizing A, B, or C on either side. It’s all of them. And I think that’s the frustration you see among a lot of independently minded people from both sides and the middle of the aisle, and that’s why I’m thrilled to be asked to participate in the conference in Oklahoma.”
  12. company town
    Condoleezza Rice and Martin Scorsese Go Way Back, Didn’t You Know?FINANCE • Stephen Schwarzman, Lloyd Blankfein, and David Rubenstein got down with Bush, Condi, and friends (including Martin Scorsese?!) at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. [NYP] • Barron Hilton decided to donate almost his entire $2.3 billion fortune to the family foundation, including the proceeds from the recent sale of Hilton Hotels and Harrah’s casinos. Does this mean we’ll have to stop calling Paris an heiress? [NYT] • If private equity is the smart money on Wall Street, then why have Blackstone’s shareholders lost so big? The Times gives the easy answer: “What Wall Street is about is smart guys thinking about ways to make money from dumb ones.” Good work, Steve Schwarzman! [NYT]
  13. early and often
    Chelsea Clinton Stonewalls 9-Year-Old ReporterWe couldn’t help but notice the following moment in a scantly picked-up AP story last night: Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and “kid reporter” for Scholastic News, has posed questions to seven Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls as they’ve campaigned across Iowa this year. But when she approached the 27-year-old Chelsea after a campaign event Sunday, she got a different response. “Do you think your dad would be a good ‘first man’ in the White House?” Sydney asked, but Chelsea brushed her question aside. “I’m sorry, I don’t talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you’re cute,” Chelsea told the pint-sized journalist. It sounds like Hillary’s campaign is taking its maniacal obsession with press control a wee bit too far. Come on, Chelsea, throw the little girl a bone. Don’t you remember when you were a cripplingly awkward preadolescent who was just trying to be taken seriously? Because we remember it. We remember it all too well. Chelsea Clinton Guards Her Words [AP]
  14. vu.
    Celebrities Hot for One Brooklyn Bridge ParkWhat is it with One Brooklyn Bridge Park? A tipster says three celebrities are checking out the luxe 449-unit condo project, whose former incarnation was headquarters for the decidedly un-luxe Watchtower, a magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witness. Model Bridget Hall was recently spotted at the building, presumably for a tour, as has another catwalker, now turned reality-TV-and-talk-show host Tyra Banks. Hilary Swank is said to be interested in the property, too, and is apparently expected for a look-see soon. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the building’s transformation has piqued such interest that its waiting list of potential buyers was 3000 strong earlier this year. Real-estate doyenne Elizabeth Stribling bought two units there, and now her posh brokerage firm, Stribling & Associates, helps market the project. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
  15. intel
    We’re Back!Welcome back to us, that is. Like many of you, we spent most of the last ten days or so in the isolation tank that is our homes, eating butter and sugar by the fistful, drinking, and willfully ignoring the outside world; the only newspaper headline that passed in front of our bleary eyes was one that said, “War Hero Harry Bailey Returns to Bedford Falls.” We were happy, and all was right with the world. That is, until this morning, when we were cruelly deposited back into the cold, cookie-less world we lived in before, blinking, five pounds fatter, and approximately ten times stupider. We thought some of you might be in the same position, so we’ve quickly pulled together a list of what we think might have happened last week while we were napping. •Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup all got foreign money in their Christmas stockings. •Serena and Dan started dating in real life, sending our Gossip Girl Reality Index numbers flying off the charts. •Benazir Bhutto was killed.
  16. early and often
    Bloomberg: Primary? What Primary?Just in time for the Iowa caucus, Mayor Bloomberg has firmly planted himself in the headlines again as a possible presidential candidate. After a Washington Post report about his attendance at a gathering of bipartisan political leaders yesterday, the New York daily papers have competing stories about how this indicates his continued interest in a White House run. The University of Oklahoma conference will be hosted by “well-connected Democrats and Republicans who could help launch him as an independent presidential candidate,” reports the New York Post, and will give Bloomberg “a potential launching pad for a presidential bid,” according to the News. Which sounds like speculation, basically, except the Times assures us that “Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.” Wow. We assumed he was at least titillated with the idea. But enchanted? This must be serious.
  17. it happened this week
    Cloudy Future As thousands of European budget travelers swarmed the rainy city and prepared to gaze at the big crystal ball in Times Square, many New Yorkers had already moved on to 2008. Bill Clinton worried about Mayor Bloomberg’s buying his way into the presidential race: “He could spend $1 billion and hardly miss it,” said the former president.
  18. in other news
    We’re Never There for You When You Need UsWell, thank God that’s over. You okay? Honestly, the holidays always leave us a little shaken. The forced smiles, poorly spiked eggnog, and unmitigated hell of an hour-long cab line waiting for us upon our return — there’s just been so much silent sobbing these past few days. And now our eyes are all red and puffy, so we’re going to take the rest of this week to recover. Come Monday, we’ll be back for the typically grand New Year’s Eve action.
  19. in other news
    Benazir Bhutto AssassinatedAs you’ve most likely heard by now, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today at a rally in Rawalpindi. As the opposition leader, she was a leading contender to be reelected prime minister during the early January elections. There’s a lot to be said about this tragic turn of events, but we’ll instead direct you to New York’s own interview with Bhutto, published in late September, in which she has some advice for Hillary Clinton. Nuturer-in-Chief [NYM]
  20. intel
    PETA Shakes Up Anna WintourThe folks at PETA are really outdoing themselves this year. First, there were the Hairy Kate and Trashley dolls. Now, they’ve reverted to their old standby, Anna Wintour, whom they’ve stuck in a snow globe this holiday season — you know, so you can “shake some sense into her.” Inside the virtual globe, fearsome opera plays as Anna drifts through a fiery netherworld inhabited by workers in Karl Lagerfeld glasses whose job, it seems, is to skin shrieking animals and toss their carcasses into a massive pile for “pelt pusher” Anna’s future coats. It’s creepy, of course, but it’s still kind of fun to shake the globe and watch “Anna” bounce around in the snow. Until you realize that, whenever she falls, her neck bends at a disturbing angle. PETA’s Holiday Snow Globe [PETA]
  21. white men with money
    Did Cayne Miss Yesterday’s Conference Call Because He Got High?So, yesterday Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne announced the investment-banking firm’s first quarterly loss in its history, on the tail of announcing a $9.1 billion write-down. He was apologetic, sort of: He said the results were unacceptable and declared that neither he nor his management team would be taking bonuses this year. Then he then proceeded to entirely skip the conference call with investors. “You’d think the circumstances might have merited a show of contrition,” noted The Wall Street Journal today. Yeah. Especially since, the other day, Charlie Gasparino reported “sources” were saying the Bear Stearns board has been talking about a successor for him. We can’t, er, bear this idea: We’ve grown fond of the Jimster, he’s like our pot-smoking, bridge-playing, possibly pervy uncle. Which is why we have to assume that Cayne skipped the conference call not because he didn’t feel bad, but because he couldn’t deal with all that bad energy. Bad News for Bear Stearns [WSJ]
  22. cultural capital
    Julian Schnabel’s Hands Would Like ‘GQ’ to Run a Correction Julian Schnabel has a bone to pick with Andrew Corsello’s Schnabulous profile of him in GQ this month, one Boston Globe reporter found when he went to interview the director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Perhaps, you might say, Schnabel took issue with being called a “fat, famous, hairy, rich, name-dropping blowhard”? Not so much. What troubled him was something else. “Look at these hands,” he urges, laying them flat on the table. In the profile, Andrew Corsello describes Schnabel’s hands as “thick, unpretty, blue-collar” and his fingers as “scratched, filthy with dirt and paint, medium-sized.” “Do these look blue collar?” Even after the Globe reporter assures him that Corsello was way off and honestly in the dark someone might mistake his fingers for those of Muffie Potter Aston, Schnabel is still clearly obsessing. He puts out his hand for a shake, and then holds on. It’s actually not much of a handshake. In his grasp, Schnabel keeps the embrace for a good 10 seconds, making sure he’s able to show the softness of the skin. “These are delicate hands,” he says. Big Man on Canvas (screen, too) [Boston Globe] Earlier:Julian Schnabel is Numero Uno!
  23. company town
    Let the Bear Blame Game BeginFINANCE • Bear Stearns followed up yesterday’s Morgan Stanley announcement with its own $850 million loss, again the first quarterly deficit in the bank’s history. [DealBook/NYT] • Is former Bear Stearns exec Ralph Cioffi, the guy behind the two Bear funds that imploded this summer, the main culprit in the subprime crisis? New reporting suggests his team set off the plague of dirty debt that cost Citi and other top banks billions. Oh, and Cioffi’s under investigation for pulling out a couple mil before anyone else got the chance. [Business Week] • What a mensch: David Rubenstein, the former lawyer turned Citadel private-equity master, decided to keep his new copy of the Magna Carta on display at the National Archives. Rubenstein paid $21.3 million — chump change for a guy worth around $2.5 billion. [Law Blog/WSJ]
  24. 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]
  25. early and often
    Hillary Clinton Is Way Beyond Being Damaged By Her Deadbeat BrotherToday’s Post is very proud of itself for breaking the story that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony, is behind on alimony and child-support payments. The story is full of innuendo that this news will affect her presidential race. It “won’t be a welcome development for Hillary Clinton, coming as the too-close-to-call battle for the Democratic presidential nomination reaches a fevered pitch,” the paper explains. But what we can’t help but appreciate is that this story probably won’t matter for Hillary. Sure, it’s a good story – the ex-wife that Anthony Rodham is stiffing is the daughter of California Senator Barbara Boxer. That’s gotta lend itself to some awkward Democratic holiday-party chatter. But stories like this (Mike Huckabee’s Son Killed a Dog! Rudy’s Daughter Is Voting for Obama! Obama’s Real Estate Buddy Is Shady! Mitt Romney’s Son Is a Little Gay-Seeming!) just don’t seem to take hold this year.
  26. white men with money
    Morgan Stanley Loses $9.4 Bil; Mack Gets KnifedJohn Mack thought that by offing co-president Zoe Cruz last month, he himself might be spared the guillotine over Morgan Stanley’s mortgage-related losses. But lo, it is not so easy. It’s dark times out there on Wall Street; the cobblestones are stained with blood. And after Mack’s announcement yesterday that Morgan Stanley would be taking a $9.4 billion write-down, the people are clamoring for a new sacrifice, and the writing is on the wall for John Mack. Also, it’s in the papers. “He’s a chronic destroyer of value,” Kevin Murphy, a retired Morgan Stanley airline analyst who recently sold his stock, told the Wall Street Journal today. “He’s a nice person, but you put this guy in the corner office and there’s an x factor where he hurts himself.”
  27. intel
    A Very ‘Gossip Girl’ ChristmasOur mind-shatteringly detailed guide to what in this week’s episode of Gossip Girl could pass for real-life New York experience, what seemed kinda fake, and what really put the “Jesus Christ” back in our Christmas.
  28. gossipmonger
    Underwear Model Hits the FloorA publicist for model Annabel Vartanian claims that the model fainted at a La Perla party because “she wore herself out,” not because she has an eating disorder. Kim Cattrall is donating all the furs she wore in the Sex and the City movie to PETA, which in turn will give them to charity. Cindy Adams is taking credit for breaking Enquirer’s John Edwards–is–having–an–affair story. East Village landmark dive bars Sophie’s and Mona’s are both going up for sale after the holidays. Police commish Ray Kelly says he won’t make a decision about running for mayor until after the presidential scrum plays out. Donald Trump will be David Letterman’s first guest back when he goes live on January 2. Model Selita Ebanks, who may have been dating James Blake, was at a Knicks game with Giants lineman Osi Umenyira.
  29. ink-stained wretches
    Christopher Hitchens Is Bad SantaAre you hating this Christmas season? Feeling Scrooge-like, or just … fat? Well, then, you might enjoy this uncomfortable-making video in which Christopher Hitchens, smooth-balled author and proud heretic, entertains the crowd at Reason magazine’s “Secular Christmas” party Monday night. The Hitch arrives with a Santa hat perched on the large decorative gourd that is his head, but he’s drunk and he clearly hasn’t brought any presents. So, he entertains them the best way he knows how — with song. Click the image to view.
  30. intel
    Hello, Kettle? This Is Bonnie. You’re Black.We’re a little confused by Bonnie Fuller’s Huffington Post tirade about Lynne Spears. Just a month ago, Fuller wrote a column on the Website thanking celebrity moms for making real moms feel better about themselves. “Every time that our girl [Britney Spears] cluelessly tries to whitestrip her toddler’s teeth instead of brushing them or runs a red light with the court-appointed monitor and her two sons all strapped in her car,” the tabloid queen wrote then, “working moms across the continent can set back our own personal guilt-meters about our mothering skills.” Aw. Perhaps that’s a little demented, but we can appreciate the sentiment. But today she no longer loves celebrity mothers. She hates them. Specifically, Britney’s mom, Lynne, whom she accuses of not properly teaching her daughters about the birds and the bees, and inadvertently causing her young daughter’s pregnancy. “Were you too busy pushing their careers to ever have this heart-to-heart with them?” the Star editorial director demands. “Were you too tied up lining up meetings with record company executives, TV networks, publicists and tour managers to check on whether you were instilling personal values and self-esteem in your daughters?”
  31. party lines
    HBO’s Sheila Nevins Is Confused by Tina Brown, Bored by Hillary So, what exactly is Tina Brown doing at HBO? We asked Sheila Nevins, head of HBO’s documentary division, when we saw her at last night’s Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Launch Dinner. “I don’t know!” she said. “You tell me! I thought I’d read it in New York Magazine!” Nope, it was Liz Smith. “Here’s the hot skinny on the queen of buzz,” Liz wrote yesterday. “The amazing Tina Brown is in a newly struck, first-look deal to bring projects and story ideas to HBO.” We can see how you’d confuse us, though. Anyway! Would Nevins be open to discussing ideas with Tina? “I talk to anybody! I like to work with anybody,” she said, although she rejected the idea of a Princess Di documentary inspired by Brown’s book. “There are too many Diana documentaries,” she said. Yeah, people said that about the book, too. How about something on one of the presidential candidates? Hillary? “Well they say Hillary’s tough to get good access to,” she said. “I think actually what’s her name tried. [Alexandra] Pelosi tried. But I don’t think she got in the door. Candidates are boring. I think real people are more interesting. I’m into sort of human things, beating the odds. Ordinary people that crawl out of manhole covers. I like to lift manhole covers. And womanhole covers.” —Amy Odell
  32. white men with money
    There’s Hateration in Goldman’s Dancery!Will no one let Goldman Sachs enjoy their moment? After news of their record earnings (and hefty compensation packages) broke yesterday, today the Goldman backlash begins in earnest, proving you can be too successful, too rich, and too pretty. “How long can Goldman keep it up?” Andrew Ross Sorkin asks on the Times DealBook blog. Meanwhile in the business section, Jenny Anderson uses Goldman CFO David Viniar’s remark yesterday about being “cautious” in the short term to go all negative Nancy. “For now, Goldman and its employees have much to celebrate,” she writes, going on to quote an analyst saying the bank can’t possibly do another “Houdini hedge escape” next year. That’s riiight. It’s never to early to worry about your future! Thanks, mom!
  33. company town
    Morgy Says, ‘I’m Too Old to Retire!’LAW • Robert Morgenthau called a press conference in response to a “Page Six” item about him stepping down after 33 years: “I’m too old to retire.” The man is 88! [NYT] • Big-time Mayer Brown partner Joseph Collins, who maintains offices in both New York and Chicago, has been indicted for fraud in the Refco case. [Above the Law] • Which court is the worst “judicial hellhole” in the country? [Law Blog/WSJ]
  34. photo op
    Subliminal Messages in the HBO Store WindowIf you’ve walked up Sixth Avenue recently, you’ve probably noticed that there is what seems to be an odd boutique specializing in Sex and the City merchandise. What it turns out to be is the HBO store, which has tarted up its window display in honor of the upcoming SATC movie. It is “striking, innovative and fashion-forward” boasts a press release we just received in our in-box. It’s also continually playing the movie trailer, which was recently released. But in the still image above, without the flashy preview clip, we can’t help but be distracted by this question: How many of the objects in that window are sex toys? Earlier: The ‘Sex and the City’ Trailer Arriveth
  35. in other news
    Questioning the ‘Times’ DogsThere are a few things we can’t wrap our heads around with this whole story about Blackwater shooting one of the New York Times’ dogs in Baghdad. One of them is, why does the Times bureau have dogs? It wasn’t someone’s personal pet, according to the stories. It was a pet shared by the residents of the Times compound. Even a Huffington Post blogger who was bitten by one of them doesn’t explain why they are there. Another question is this: On a day when Britney Spears’s 16-year-old sister gets knocked up, who at the Post thought it would be a good idea to split the cover between the pregnancy story and a drawing of a doghouse with “Pooch Sulzberger” written on it? The Spears family is like the mother lode (ha, they’re all mothers now) for the Post. Over the years, the paper’s probably devoted more ink to hating them than to hating Al Gore. But somehow a cheap joke comparing Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger to a dead dog elbowed Jamie Lynn halfway off the cover. And finally, how come everybody who has written about it gets to use a “this time the deadly shooting in Baghdad was of a dog” joke? How is that, in any way, appropriate? Ha-ha! Murders are so common here, it’s funny when something dies that isn’t an American! That’s a real home run. New York Times in Iraq: Blackwater Shot Our Dog [Reuters]
  36. gossipmonger
    Um, Jamie Lynn Spears Is PregnantLindsay Lohan has been hanging out a lot with Courtenay Semel, the daughter of Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and a “power lesbian.” Also her dad, Michael Lohan, played Joseph in a Times Square Nativity scene. Dennis Miller and Jon Voight are among the Rudy Giuliani supporters in Hollywood. The Spears line continues: Britney’s 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, is pregnant. Is Damon Dash’s junk mind-blowing? A woman is claiming that he made her bipolar when he exposed his genitals to her.
  37. early and often
    The ‘Times’ Issues a Verdict on Bill Clinton’s PresidencyToday the New York Times caved to the onslaught of Bill Clinton stories around the country (Secretly he’s the one running against Obama! He kept Hillary waiting at a grocery store! Even other countries noticed it was awkward!) and posted online their massive Bill Clinton story that will run in this weekend’s Times Magazine. They did that weird thing where they publish things into the future (its pub date is listed as December 23). It’s a behemoth of a story by their political blogger and writer Matt Bai. In it, Bai exhaustively retells the story of the Clinton presidency and then throws in some details on how it may affect Hillary. But we thought that the most telling of Bai’s anecdotes was this one: When I asked Bill Clinton about this issue, during an informal meeting in South Carolina, he readily agreed to sit down for a longer interview on his legacy’s role in the campaign. A few weeks later, however, and at the last minute, Hillary’s aides canceled the interview. Famously controlling, they would not even allow the former president to talk about his record. Hillary’s advisers were probably trying to stop the onslaught of Bubba coverage, which they knew would inevitably become the main story if it got too big. Unfortunately for them, it looks like this week, they failed in that effort.
  38. white men with money
    Cayne & Co. Will Not Bogart the BonusesChristmas is a time for giving, and lest we forget, it is also a time for sacrifice. This year, James Cayne and the other top executives at Bear Stearns are making the ultimate sacrifice: They’ve decided to forgo their year-end bonuses. Because they have enough money? Because they decided to donate it to the children of Darfur? Because J.C. hit it big at bridge? Eh, no. Ostensibly this decision has come about because they’re gearing up to announce some pretty shameful fourth-quarter results tomorrow, and after losing $1.6 billion in investor money this year, pocketing what little is left would look kind of bad. So instead they’re divvying up the small pool left over from what they didn’t blow on subprime mortgages and giving it to players in the firm in hopes that they don’t jump over to, say, Goldman Sachs. Bear Stearns Chiefs to Skip Bonuses [WSJ] Update: It’s a trend! After announcing a $9.4 billion writedown, Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack is foregoing his bonus, too. Somewhere, Zoe Cruz is snickering.
  39. intel
    ‘Happy Is the Lawyer Who Dwelleth in the House of Unroch’s Blog’You remember William Unroch. He’s the lawyer representing possible transsexual Maximilia Cordero in her lawsuits against Jeffrey Epstein and the Post; a blogger; a sometime Daily Intel correspondent; and a genuine crazy person. William read our post earlier on the Wall Street Journal’s story about the large percentage of lawyers who suffer from depression and the Websites that have sprung up to help them, and he decided to put his two cents in on the subject. Lawyers are Sad because they do not read Unroch’s blog The Spirit World (you known the site). Guilt and misery are common byproducts of most lawyers. Vicious is as vicious does. The Spirit world will cleanse them. Happy is the lawyer who dwelleth in the house of Unroch’s blog. Hm. Actually, lawyers are depressed because they have insane billable-hour quotas and are constantly fighting with people. That said: Unroch’s musings on “dead pig vapor,” “Devil Midgets,” and Mike Huckabee (“Sounds like a good guy. But does he accept the Space Pig?”) do make us smile. Happy holidays, lawyers! William Unroch’s Blog [Attorneys NYC] Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of William Unroch and Maximilia Cordero
  40. neighborhood watch
    Malcolm Gladwell: Big Hair, Big Feet, Big Heart?Upper East Side: Malcolm Gladwell revealed his big feet, gesticulated intensely, said people shouldn’t be allowed to say where they went to college, and stole bloggery hearts at the 92nd St. Y the other night. [UES Informer] Bushwick: Now the hipsters are staging Punk Rock Pillow Fights. Will their crazy, ironic, lo-fi fun ever stop? [Brooklyn Rink via the vaguely anti-Semitic BushwickBK] East Harlem: A principal at a high school here sent teachers a memo telling them to dumb down their standards for the kids. Uh-huh. [NYDN] Harlem: Amid its massive, seventeen-acre expansion in the hood’s west side, Columbia says it won’t tear down the Cotton Club on 125th after all. That’s Christian of them. [NYP]
  41. the sports section
    WNBC Plays the DopeYesterday WNBC beat everyone to the punch by printing the much-sought-after list of doped-up baseball players in the Mitchell Report. They ran their list online at 11:23, nearly three hours before the press conference, smugly scooping everybody but the blog Deadspin.com, which published the same names just seven minutes earlier. Unfortunately for our local NBC affiliate, the list of names was fake. It included Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra, and a whole bunch of other players who weren’t fingered in the Mitchell Report. And unlike Deadspin, WNBC didn’t publish them with the caveat that they weren’t sure it was real. So fifteen players who were on their list, but not in the report, had their names smeared (as yet without apology) for several hours yesterday. The Smoking Gun has the full fake report, and MLB.com has the real one. We don’t know who made the screwup of posting the WNBC list, but we’re betting they’re Yankees fans. Theirs hits the Red Sox much harder than the real one. WNBC’s Bogus Steroids Scoop [Smoking Gun] Earlier: MLB Steroid Report Fingers 29 New York Players Update: WNBC has a correction on their site. “There were a number of discrepancies between our list and the Mitchell report, and we mistakenly listed several players that did not appear in the report,” they explain. “[Reporter] Jonathan Dienst and WNBC.com regret the error and sincerely apologize for providing the incorrect information.”
  42. in other news
    Macy’s Hosts Your Holiday After-partyMacy’s announced this week that they are going to keep eight of their locations, including the Herald Square flagship store, open at all hours of the day and night from December 21 to Christmas Eve. From the Staten Island Advance: Shoppers will be greeted with the ongoing sales Macy’s has been holding since Black Friday, said spokeswoman Elina Kazan. “The most important thing about being open 24 hours is that it makes shopping convenient to people with different schedules,” she said. “This gives everyone a little extra time.” Company officials have been planning the shopping marathon for months to ensure there is enough manpower and merchandise. Everyone is saying this is so nice of Macy’s to open the store so everyone, no matter what their time constraints, has a chance to shop. Now, once all the crowds have gone for the day, customers will be able to wade through the dunes of scattered merchandise in peace. What a great Christmas present. And just think of all the homeless people who will have a nice bed of jumbled merino V-neck sweaters! At Macy’s, A Shopping Marathon [SI Advance]
  43. intel
    Trying to Save Part of Edward Hopper’s New YorkWhen much of Greenwich Village was landmarked in 1969, the low-rise sprawl of humble Italian-immigrant groceries and tenements southeast of the neighborhood, along Sullivan and Thompson streets and even Seventh Avenue South, didn’t make it inside the designated historic safety zone. The area, while not full of great monuments, has its own quiet claims on history. The artist Edward Hopper lived there most of his life, and his paintings like Early Sunday Morning were set there. On December 10, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the local community board convened more than 100 people inside Our Lady of Pompeii Church to figure out how to get the city to landmark the area to keep its Hopperness intact. GVSHP’s Andrew Berman points out that it’s filled with gems like Macdougal Street’s Provincetown Playhouse, which launched Eugene O’Neill, and a nearby rowhouse where Louisa May Alcott may have worked on Little Women. Parts of the façade are all that remains of Edgar Allan Poe’s house on West 3rd, which NYU subsumed into a big new building, raising alarms.
  44. office-party patrol
    ‘CosmoGIRL!’ Parties Like It’s Freshman Year All Over AgainLast night saw loads of magazine parties: The blazered GQ staff boogied down at Passerby, Wenner Media rocked out at Madison in the meatpacking district, and W celebrated its continued existence at Death & Co. We didn’t go to any of those, because we were at New York’s own fiesta at the Cub Room. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about that, partly because we’re not allowed to but mostly because we can’t remember much — except that we were pleased to learn that our co-workers like to party. And that Jessica Coen will do the splits if you ask her nicely. But we can offer you a report from inside the CosmoGirl soirée, held at the decidedly un-girlie Rumours, a tinsel-decked, wood-paneled sports bar on Eighth Avenue in midtown.
  45. party lines
    Fern Mallis and Simon Doonan’s Tips on TippingAttention shoppers! It’s that time of year. Yes, the Tipping Time, wherein you must give of your bounty unto all those little people who make your world go round (even if it makes you a little morally queasy). But what to give, and to whom? Well! We ran into Barneys creative director Simon Doonan and Fashion Week overlord Fern Mallis several weeks back at the launch for our New York Look fashion magazine (which, we might add, yet again, is pretty fucking fantastic), and asked them how they treat the help when the holidays come around. What we discovered was a highly detailed system of reward, based on equal parts anger, fear, and compassion, which we’ve made into a handy list, below. 1. If you subscribe to fashion magazines, be generous to your postal carriers. As every girl or gay knows, September fashion magazines are heavy enough to be used as doorstops or murder weapons. You’ve seen your coffee table buckle under the weight. Now imagine the spinal discs of your poor postal carrier, forced to lug a 5,000-page Vogue to every apartment in your building. And then there’s Bazaar. And W. Oh, God, that W. Feel guilty yet? Doonan does. “Every postal worker who has ever delivered to my building has gone on sick leave with hernia from lifting magazines. It’s a really disastrous situation,” he says. His tipping solution: at least $25. “But I do raises, so [my postal carrier] is making a fortune now.”
  46. photo op
    Chelsea Clinton Floored at Starbucks Yeah, hey, it’s me. I’m at Starbucks. Guess who’s sitting right behind me. [Whispers] Chelsea Clinton. She’s sitting right behind me. I don’t know, she’s typing on her laptop. She’s sitting on the floor. She looks hot these days. Totally hot. I mean, way hotter than when she was like … 13. No, I’m at a table. What? You think I should give her my seat or something? No fucking way, dude. Chelsea Clinton at Starbucks: We Have Soooo Been There [Jezebel]
  47. neighborhood watch
    You Aren’t the Only Person Who Comes Home to Find Random People Smoking in Your StairwellClinton Hill: Beware of undesirables who sneak into your apartment building to smoke butts, do drugs, copulate, urinate, and drink coffee. Because it’s happening. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The latest bank branch hopes that if it puts up a big photo of the hood in Ye Olden Days, no one will notice that it’s filled mostly with bank branches now. [Vanishing New York] Flushing: Local Quaker farmers demand freedom of worship! Well, they did in 1657. But the tatty document in which they listed their demands, called “The religious Magna Carta of the New World,” is on display up in here. [NYT]
  48. in other news
    Your Council Speaker Is Totally Crushing on Valerie Bertinelli In 1978, before we knew we really like boys, we had the mad hots for our bubbly 13-year-old babysitter, Lisa, who rocked gym shorts, knee-length Jox socks, and two perfect, feathered brunette wings over her forehead. But why did we really worship her? Because she was a dead ringer for Valerie Bertinelli, that spunky Italian nymphette who, back then, played youngest daughter Barbara on One Day at a Time. (Today, she duels with Kirstie Alley in those Jenny Craig commercials.) So, in this new NY1 clip, when our (sometimes) bubbly, openly lesbian City Council speaker Christine Quinn said that she likes to chill out by watching Lifetime flicks starring the adult, still-perky Val, we knew just what she was talking about: “Anything with Valerie Bertinelli is usually a good show because there are struggles,” said Quinn, who also did the usual dodge of the usual probe into her mayoral ambitions. “They are strong women, and it usually ends on an up note.”
  49. intel
    Who Will Save Christmas From the Gay Grinches?For the past 21 years, gays of all stripes have flocked to the annual Holi-gay “Toys for Tots” charity event, where they’ve drunk and flirted and the only price of admission was a Malibu Barbie or fire truck to be donated for poor city children. Last year, over 4,000 hairdressers, publicists, and lawyers packed into the Metropolitan Pavilion, breaking fire-code regulations. And so this year, the organizers decided to charge a $35 admission (plus a toy). The fee was introduced in order, the organizers said, to defray costs and stay under capacity, but a number of gay New Yorkers were disgruntled and boycotted the party, saying the “gay elite” was trying to price out less-affluent homosexuals.
  50. early and often
    ‘Vanity Fair’ Makes New Giuliani Ad Seem Even Nuttier It’s not all Spitzer for Vanity Fair: The current issue also contains a towering Rudy profile, “A Tale of Two Giulianis,” by Michael Shnayerson (whose sister Maggie is now the longest-serving editor at Gawker). In a lower-key fashion than last week’s dueling Newsweek and Village Voice features on Rudy’s supposed terror ties, Vanity Fair delivers a series of excellent mini-scoops on the man’s business practices. Case after well-researched case shows Giuliani peddling bits of his 9/11 reputation to just about any taker, from foreign governments to “typical denizens of the penny-stock world — dreamers and the occasional scam artist.” Shnayerson follows Giuliani’s paid-up crusade for the makers of OxyContin, first as a lobbyist, then a lawyer; his shilling for Nextel; etc. More disturbingly, he then catches Rudy putting plugs for his clients into his political speeches, which are then reported as legitimate news. The choicest tidbit, however, is the one where the author quickly settles a personal score.
Load More