‘Playboy’ Profits: Going Down?Plus, ‘02138’ graduates to a new publisher, Bush goes online, and Skadden makes big bucks — all in our daily industry roundup.
Dog Sculptor Jeff Koons Is in the DoghouseJeff Koons’s porn star ex-wife says he’s a deadbeat dad, protestors storm Bear Stearns ineffectively, and Vogue is in all kinds of trouble in our daily roundup of Law, Finance, and Media news.
Tina Brown Thinks Bubba Will Recalibrate; Peter Hermann Thinks It’s Best to Watch His Sex Scenes in PrivateWhen we caught up with Tina Brown at last night’s Atlantic dinner and State of the Union–viewing session, we were curious as to what she thinks about Hillary Clinton lately. The senator, after all, is going to be one of the subjects of Brown’s just-announced book, The Clinton Chronicles. “I think [her campaign so far] is a complete high-wire, absolutely astonishing, ever-changing drama,” Brown explained. “I think a lot of it, too, is a construct as well. Whenever I see so-called Bill Clinton eruptions, they’re not eruptions at all.” Man, she’s already dissecting them like fetal pigs! Awesome. “I think that he will definitely recalibrate,” Brown added. “I think you will probably see less of him in the next two weeks.” Elsewhere at the party, Law & Order: SVU heroine Mariska Hargitay lounged with her husband, Peter Hermann, one of the male stars of Cashmere Mafia. So, Peter, what does Mariska think of your steamy Cashmere sex scenes? “We go do other things when it’s on, and then I rewind the DVR and watch them in private,” Hermann explained carefully. “Then we talk it through and let it all subside a little bit and then we move on.” He laughed then and showed his megawatt smile (Mariska has one, too, but she’s not allowed to show it on TV). “We’re working through it.” Good for them, but too bad for us. How great would it be if Mariska kicked down a studio door and shoved a 9mm in Miranda Otto’s face? We love it when she does that. —Jada Yuan
Get more dirt from Andy Borowitz, Bronson van Wyck, and Rick Lazio at our complete coverage of the Atlantic’s State of the Union Dinner.
Earlier: Tina Brown to Publish a New ‘Chronicles’
P.J. O’Rourke Is Down to His Nose in FilthDon’t feel bad if you’ve ever called P.J. O’Rourke a shithead. It’s not so far from the truth. On November 8, O’Rourke showed up at the bash for the Atlantic Monthly’s 150th anniversary with a giant scab on the bridge of his nose. “I’ve been waiting all night for someone to ask me what happened!” he told us. So? While cantering around a friend’s polo field in Virginia, says O’Rourke, “my horse, Pronto, and I had a kind of parting of ways … He simply came to a stop and I did not.” O’Rourke went flying. “It was a one-point landing, face first,” he says. To add insult to injury, O’Rourke’s friend had just fertilized the field. “Most of this scab is from me scrubbing the stuff off,” O’Rourke explained. “I essentially fell face-first into shit. It was a classic situation: ‘With this much shit, there must be a pony around somewhere.’ And there was!” —Jada Yuan
Earlier: The ‘Atlantic’ 150th-Anniversary Party: A Play in One Act
Zoe Kravitz Shows Some Leg Lenny Kravitz complained that his 18-year-old daughter’s skirt was too short. Nancy Reagan wants Mayor Bloomberg to run for president. New York Ranger Sean Avery may be cheating on Mary-Kate Olsen with ex-flame Lake Bell. Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson may or may not have made out at the Beatrice Inn. A lady clamoring to see Jessica Simpson at the Waverly Inn knocked over a table and tumbled into the fireplace. Leroy Barnes, a drug-dealing competitor of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), says American Gangster, portrayed him inaccurately. An ex-cop made a board game that highlights the incompetence surrounding the rebuilding of ground zero.
The ‘Atlantic’ 150th-Anniversary Party: A Play in One ActThe curtain rises on an empty stage, set with just one large circular bar in the center, manned by four bartenders dressed in black. The house is empty, so the hundreds of red velvet chairs cast an eerie crimson glow on to the party. Revelers drift in, including the writer Tom Wolfe, Amanda Burden, Moby, P.J. O’Rourke and Atlantic editors. A Boy Reporter and Girl Reporter from New York Magazine drift in. In actuality, they had arrived at the party too early and had to go across the street to get drinks at a noisy club. So they are both a little sheepish. And drunk. The pair begins to look for famous people to interview and spot Mayor Bloomberg, who arrived on the same elevator as drag king Murray Hill.
Girl Reporter: Mayor Bloomberg, hello! We write for New York Magazine. Could we-
Mayor Bloomberg: I subscribe to New York Magazine. I pay your salary.
Girl Reporter: Oh, um, thanks! So, we were wondering [Mayor Bloomberg walks away]
Boy Reporter: Good try!
Girl Reporter: Eh, let’s get a drink.
‘The Atlantic’ Brings the Media Party to Its Gruesome, Inevitable ConclusionAfter 150 years of really great ideas, The Atlantic has come up with one that makes us uncomfortable. To celebrate their anniversary milestone, reports WWD, they’re going to throw a big party with stars you’d expect, like Tom Wolfe, Arianna Huffington, and Moby (er ), but they’re going to put the whole thing onstage. The audience will be whoever wants to stop by and watch journalists and luminaries get together and schmooze. “It’s the cocktail party as performance art,” said Atlantic Media consumer media president Justin Smith. First of all, didn’t Gawker already have this idea when they had a live feed from their book party? At least at their version, people were doing drugs and trying to hook up. And second, can The Atlantic possibly believe that people, even readers, would want to watch journalists frolicking in their natural habitat*? This is not a good sign. If you’ve ever wondered whether Andrew Sullivan or Matthew Yglesias is better over canapés, you are truly, truly demented. Or, you know, a blogger. Are we really at the point that people are throwing parties solely to pander to us? Somehow we imagined this would feel more satisfying.
*Open bars on someone else’s dime, naturally.
Life of the Party [WWD]
‘The Atlantic’ Declares War on QuirkinessHey, you! Yeah, you, the “Gen-X indie” guy in Austin, Madison, or Adams Morgan with the ironic facial hair! Michael Hirschorn at The Atlantic has a problem with you and your insufferable quirkiness.
Jeffrey Goldberg Wants a PonyMEDIA
• Atlantic owner David Bradley sent ponies to Jeffrey Goldberg’s kids to help lure him away from The New Yorker. Seriously. [WP]
• Just before the Dow Jones deal went through, the Bancrofts voted to double this quarter’s dividend for themselves [NYP]
• Murdoch and Ailes’s next move? All-out war? (Wait, they’re not at war with everyone else already?) [Newsweek]
Breaking: Banks, Bankers Make a Lot of MoneyToday’s big news in the city’s big businesses.
• J.P. Morgan had a very good fourth quarter, but is $4.53 billion enough to top Citigroup? Answer on Friday. [DealBreaker]
• Projected versus actual 2006 Wall Street bonuses. Either way, they were big. [BankersBall]
• Taking a cue from its bonus-giddy brokers, Bear Stearns looks to invest in some Manhattan real estate. [NYO via DealBook/NYT]
in other news
Nearly One in Three Influential Americans Are New Yorkers!Proving that even highfalutin big-thinkers can indulge themselves in newsstand-boosting top-X rankings, the new issue of The Atlantic brings a list of, as its cover proclaims, “The 100 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” By our count, 31 of them are New Yorkers. (FDR, at No. 4, is the top-ranking New Yorker.) That includes those who were come from the city (say, Teddy Roosevelt, No. 15, born on the East 20th Street, just a few doors down from Danny Meyer’s not-yet-existent Gramercy Tavern, in 1858) and those born elsewhere who lived and made their mark here (say, Hartford-born Frederick Law Olmsted, No. 49, the designer of Central and Prospect Parks). Prominent death here — or, at least, a prominent tomb here — works, too. (Hello, No. 12 Ulysses Grant.) We didn’t cross state lines to include the suburbs (New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson, No. 10, does not make our list), but we were willing to go upstate (we’ll include Betty Friedan, No. 77, who made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut-butter sandwiches with her children, and chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies in Rockland County). Other states may lay claim on some (San Simeon might make one think of William Randolph Hearst, No. 80, as a Californian), but there’s good reason to call them New Yorkers, too (Hearst Corporation is headquartered in midtown, and the Chief ran for mayor and governor here). And lending your name to a school in Riverdale does not make you, by our standards, a New Yorker. (Sorry, Horace Mann, No. 56. School notwithstanding, you’re a Massachusetts guy.)
After the jump, our 31. Did we miss anyone? Include someone we shouldn’t have? Let us know.