William F. Buckley Jr. Dies at 82William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative columnist, humorist, and well-loved literary character, died today at his Connecticut home. He was 82. Though he suffered from diabetes and emphysema, the cause of his death is so far unknown, according to his son Christopher. The New York Times has already posted their lengthy obituary of the National Review founder. He died while seated at his desk in the study of his home. “He might have been working on a column,” his son said.
William F. Buckley, Jr. Dead at 82 [AP]
Video: ‘Daily Show’ Audience, Writers Face Off
One week ago, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report returned to production, without writers. Would the shows be any good? Would anyone watch? The reviews were mixed, as were the ratings. But what about the audience? Daily Show diehards, who have waited months for their free tickets, now receive unexpected lessons in labor relations. Plus, they have to face picketing writers while waiting outside the studio. Awkward! Late last week, we sent intrepid video correspondent Tim Murphy to try to broker peace. And while the strike continues, at least the audience doesn’t have to feel scabby about it.
Video: Comedy on Strike
Related: The Daily Show: Jon Stewart Displays His Strike Guilt, Unibrow
Blogging the Colbert Report
‘Gossip Girl’ Giveth and ‘Gossip Girl’ Taketh AwayYou might expect that we feel some solidarity toward the TV and film writers who are striking this week, since we’re writers too and all that. Yeah, not really. Actually, we have always kind of resented TV writers since they get paid way more than we do (damn them for making such a smart career choice), and we suspect that most other print/Internet-y people feel the same way. Or, at least, their mothers do. Basically it’s kind of like a Serbs-versus-Croats situation. But now we at Intel have a real reason to be pissed at those guys. Our too–small–to–write–for–the–Harvard Lampoon brains just realized that because of the strike we may be deprived of future episodes of GOSSIP GIRL. Although (thank you sweet Jesus Imitation of Christ) new episodes will air tomorrow night and next week, the L.A. Times is reporting that the CW only has 13 of the 22 planned episodes for 2007–2008 in the can, which means that, depending on how long the strike lasts, we could run out of new episodes by February.
in other news
Further Adventures in Fierce, Low-Stakes Battles: Do You Care If the Rushkoffs Leave Brooklyn?
Has any mugging generated a higher word count — both written and aural, now that there’s a WNYC audio clip available — than the fateful moment that parted writer Douglas Rushkoff from his wallet? We’ve read the writer’s original Christmas Eve post, “Merry Christmas: Gimme Your Money” (on his own blog, now temporarily disabled), which led to blanket coverage and furious discussion on other city blogs. We’ve read his wife, Barbara, also a blogger, thrice denying the Borough of Kings: “Brooklyn, Schmooklyn. Yeah, it’s pretty here, but we are surrounded by crime … It costs $2,000 a year to insure my wedding ring.” One can hear the faint rustle of public sympathy falling away at this point. “Nah, I am not liking it here much now … We outta here.” (That original post is now gone, too). And we’ve read well-meaning bromides from the Rushkoffs’ colleague and neighbor, Steven Berlin Johnson, who’s trying to keep his friends from leaving: “Where else in the country can you go from the houses of world-famous authors and movie stars to Hasidic Jews and working-class African-Americans all in the space of about twenty blocks?” (Um, ever cross 110th Street?)
Malcolm Gladwell, 4-Year-Old Sheriff
So we happened past New Yorker scribe Malcolm Gladwell’s blog today — don’t ask; we have no good excuse — and we were struck by what we found there. It seems Gladwell is in a big ol’ blog fight with professional conservative Steve Sailer, and the argument has driven the extravagantly coiffed author — heretofore known for his incisive journalism, his best-sellers, and, well, his exuberant coif — to adopt another claim to fame. Perhaps, from now on, he will be known as the Internet sheriff who saddled up on his blog and roped one errant hive-mind contributor like a straggling baby calf:
Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that Steve Sailer doesn’t allow readers to comment on his posts. Can you believe that? Here we have the aggrieved Steve Sailer, donning the cloak of victim as he decries my attempt at censorship. Here we have the allies of Steve Sailer, speaking out on behalf of the virutes [sic] of the free exchange of ideas, the importance of confronting one’s critics, the necessity of fighting the good fight in arena of free speech. And all the while their leader is cowering behind the gates of a comment-free blog.
Oh my. Is it possible that in addition to everything else, Steve Sailer is also a chicken?
See? That’s what’s so revolutionary about the Internet: It can turn a dude with a camera phone into a photojournalist, some dorky grad students into billionaires, and, it now seems, Malcolm Gladwell into a 4-year-old.
Imagine My Surprise … [Gladwell.com]
‘Village Voice’r Outspells Famous Novelists
Just because you’re a great writer doesn’t mean, as it turns out, you’re also a great speller. This was the disappointing lesson of “A Better Bee,” a literary-celeb-studded spelling bee held at Exit Art in Chelsea last night to benefit the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.
Contestants included big-name writers like Garden State author Rick Moody, The Position scribe Meg Wolitzer, and Prep’s Curtis Sittenfeld. (Last year’s champion, Ghost Town author Patrick McGrath, couldn’t attend and was instead represented by a Hello Kitty doll.)
Luc Sante Prefers ‘Linner’ to BrunchName: Luc Sante
Neighborhood: Ulster County (but formerly Park Slope, Lower East Side, Upper West Side)
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Bartleby the Scrivener.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Salt-and-pepper shrimp at a place on the Bowery below Canal, the name of which I no longer recall.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Put together sentences.
Clinton! Books! Movies! Concerts!We’re not saying they’re open to the public, and we’re not saying you’ll necessarily be able to get in if you show up. But here are the big-name parties on tap for tonight. Expect to hear about them in the next few days’ gossip columns.
• T.J. Martell Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway at 45th St., 5:45 p.m. Bill Clinton receives the award from fading top-40 chanteuse Sheryl Crow. It’s like the setup for a 1997 Jay Leno punch line! Also promised to attend: Russell Simmons, Clive Davis, Ed Bradley … and Vince Neil. A silent auction will include the chance to win “one-of-a-kind experiences” with “Hilary Duff, the New York Yankees,” and Buzz Aldrin. And yes, we made that sound more interesting than it is through selective press-release-editing.