Shaggy Dog Tale

Photo: Grayson Alexander/Retna, Ltd.

Shaggy Dog Tale
Among the thousands who showed up to protest the president Sunday, few were as popular as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who attended the march with Conan O’Brien staffers and growled at his admirers in the crowd. Things turned tense when a member of the pro-Bush Protest Warriors got into a heated debate with women from Billionaires for Bush near Broadway and 34th Street. As tempers flared, the cigar-chomping puppet tried to lighten the mood by pushing an enormous pink sex toy in the Protest Warrior’s face. While the women were aghast, the Bush supporter didn’t blink. “That’s all you got?” he cracked.

McGreevey for President?
Is Joe Klein still carrying a torch for Bill Clinton? At a Sunday roundtable, the Time columnist, who coined the phrase “the politics of promiscuity” to define Bubba’s style, claimed kinky leadership makes for a stronger America. “I’m a pro-peccadillo journalist,” Klein said. “I think presidents with more interesting sexual histories have been more effective. You want to elect somebody who has intimate knowledge of the human condition. Including its frailties.”

Seeing Red
As some 13,000 Republicans attending Sunday’s “Salute to Broadway” attempted to escape the notice of crowds of demonstrators waiting to shout at them, their task was made almost impossible by the bright-red gift bags they had been given inside the theater, courtesy of the Times. The bags, which read NEW YORK TIMES. EXPECT THE WORLD, included a baby T-shirt featuring the logo of the Times’ new style magazine, T, as well as coupons, gum, and a map. Some saw a left-wing conspiracy. “The New York Times screwed us!” Greg Mortimer, an alternate from Pennsylvania, laughed, adding, “We’re marked people!” The cheerful Keystone Staters, who had just seen Fiddler on the Roof, were accosted by jeerers. Meanwhile, despite calls for a boycott, Broadway actors proved immune to the “blue-state flu” meant to render the ranks of Actors Equity indisposed on Sunday. Spokesmen for the eight shows slated for the delegates reported no unexpected cast absences.

Photo: Frank Trapper/Corbis

Sharp Cards
For sale among W. posters and Bush-Cheney buttons at MSG’s concession stands are decks of Politicards that must have evaded Karl Rove’s notice. The cards poke fun at the Democrats: an image of Hillary Clinton titled “Queen of Denial,” John Kerry riding a Heinz ketchup bottle, clutching fistfuls of money. But the GOP also comes in for harsh treatment: Bush astride a war plane, Strangelove-style, holding a list of targets, including North Korea and Syria; Dick Cheney pumping gas into a tank; and Rove as puppetmaster, maniacally forcing the prez and VP to dance on a miniature stage. That’ll be $10, please.

CNN anchor Bill Hemmer at Gotham Bar and Grill, dressed in jeans and flip-flops, leaving his large group at the table to do shots at the bar with a friend … Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, virtually unnoticed at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue, waiting for the UFPJ march to begin … Ben Ginsberg, the lawyer forced out of the Bush-Cheney campaign last week after he copped to helping out Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, beaming as he waded through the crowd at the Time Warner Center media party … The Wall Street Journal’s Al Hunt—husband of CNN’s Judy Woodruff—telling a crowd at the Harvard Club that the country’s cable nets were to blame for hyping the Swift Boat story. “CNN—if they had done a better job that week, this story wouldn’t be out there.”

Shaggy Dog Tale