‘WSJ’ Reporter Gets Bitten by Michael WolffSo, last week, Wall Street Journal media reporter Sarah Ellison scored a deal to write a book for Houghton Mifflin about the News Corp. acquisition of The Wall Street Journal. Michael Wolff, who has been working on such a book, scheduled to come out next fall, is not amused. “The problem with someone from The Wall Street Journal writing a book is that they are inevitably conflicted,” he told the Post today. When we e-mailed him this morning, he was a little more snarly. “Doesn’t Sara Ellison work for the guy and for the company she’s proposing to write a book about?” said Wolff, whose own book, a big-picture title about Rupert Murdoch and his career, is based on extensive interviews with Murdoch. Unlike Ellison, he said, who is taking a year off to write the book, but not actually leaving the Journal, his reporting won’t be compromised by worrying about his next paycheck. “How exactly [will she] do that?” he said. Ellison did not respond to requests for comment, though presumably she’d say something like, “The same way I’ve been covering the Dow Jones takeover for the Journal since July.” There is one other thing that is potentially awkward: Ellison’s editor at Houghton Mifflin told the Observer some months ago that the book would have “new reporting,” which seems odd, in the same way that it was kind of odd when Washington Post editor Bob Woodward kept the fact that he had known all about Valerie Plame quiet until State of Denial came out. Anyway, let’s face it: These are not the most important questions. The most important question is this: Which one of these books is going to give us a reconstructed Rupert–Wendi sex scene? Yeah. Fight over that one.
Dueling Journal-ists [NYP]
in other news
Stayin’ Alive: Alan Patricof
Every so often you read a profile of an old person that seems like an obituary, even though the person is not yet dead. Such is the case with Fortune’s piece on 70-year-old venture capitalist (and early, not-so-dearly departed New York Magazine investor) Alan Patricof. This is not necessarily the fault of the author, Oliver Ryan. Patricof has been around so long that every story about him in the past twenty years has seemed like an obituary. Ryan uses Patricof’s new “web 2.0 life” — his second (third? fourth?) coming as an digital-media investor with Greycroft Partners — as a starting point for rattling off a laundry list of accomplishments: his co-founding of private-equity group Apax Partners, his fund-raising for the Clintons, yar yar yar. Ryan even calls him “the man who owns the Internet” and a “mobile maestro” — which is funny because Patricof’s ignorance of the Internet was at one point rather funnily documented. The whole thing is interspersed with testimonials from various celebrity friends that would sound like eulogies if they were in the past tense.
Blogs Not Stylish Enough For ‘Vogue’Valerie Plame allegedly canceled her upcoming chat with Keith Olbermann because her publisher wants to “maximize the publicity” when her book comes out. At a recent fundraiser, Bill Clinton attacked the New York Times for the paper’s treatment of his wife. (Who he thinks is “very electable”). Anna Wintour thinks the word “blog” is “garish-sounding,” and wants her staff to come up with an alternate word. Michael Wolff is going to Michael’s tonight for a party, breaking a two-year boycott after he was once denied a table. Famous folks continue to eat at the Waverly Inn. Lindsay Lohan has partied a lot since she came to New York last week.
Ask a Waiter
Liz Esqueda of Michael’s Is Not Impressed by Laura BushFoodies may not be familiar with Michael’s, but for Manhattan media movers, it’s the center of the culinary universe — from noon to 2 p.m., anyway. (Check out Fishbowl’s weekly rundown of boldfaced lunchers.) We asked server Liz Esqueda to take us into the belly of the beast.