Lyss Stern is a "mommy blogger" and founder of mom-centric events company Divalysscious Moms. With those journalistic credentials, you may be shocked to learn she's accused of trying to trade a "puff piece" for $45,000 in dental work.
The NY Daily News reports that a Manhattan dental practice, Lowenberg & Lituchy, is suing Stern, saying that she promised to write a softball story about how great they were in exchange for $45,000 in cosmetic dentistry—but failed to deliver.
"Elyssa Stern, as editor in chief of the New York Observer magazine, agreed to publish a four-page article in the December 2009 issue of the magazine profiling the achievements and advancements in the industry of [Lowenberg & Litcuchy]," the suit says.
Not even an honest crook, allegedly. Stern doesn't appear on the current NYO masthead, but this 2009 story describes her role as head of Observer Playground, a parent-targeted NYO spinoff. "The magazine is written entirely by mothers with a staff that includes seven contributing writers. Stern likes to call them 'mom-tributors.'" (Current NYO editor Kyle Pope tells us, "She edited an advertising supplement; wasn't on the editorial staff.")
Update: An Observer Media PR rep at Rubenstein PR adds: "Observer Playground is produced by a custom publishing division of the Observer Media Group and has no editorial relationship to The New York Observer or The Commercial Observer."