Ed Koch is turning 84 today. Happy birthday, Mr. Mayor! Jennifer Connelly is 38. Actor Tom Wilkinson is turning 60. Hollywood powerhouse Paula Wagner is turning 62. Fox Business anchor Liz Claman is 45. Rory Kennedy, the youngest daughter of Bobby Kennedy, is 40. Model Bridget Hall is turning 31. Dionne Warwick is 68. Mayim Bialik (yes, Blossom) is 33. And your favorite game show host ever, Bob Barker, is celebrating his 85th. Weekend birthdays below!
State Senator Malcolm Smith is giving up on negotiating with Senators Pedro Espada Jr., Carl Kruger, and Ruben Diaz Sr. So no one knows who will run the New York state senate and what will happen to gay marriage and whether those three assholes will remain Democrats or what. Smith's is a frustrating but morally correct decision, and only one of those modifiers usually describes doings in Albany. Diaz was typically incoherently dickish in a message to a reporter:
Last week, crazy former New York Mayor Ed Koch delivered the best put-down of Rudy Giulinai since Joe Biden mentioned Rudy's inability to speak a sentence that doesn't have "9/11" in it: Koch noted America's Mayor's "maniacal laugh" and declared that it reminded him of the unsettling giggle of Richard Widmark "carrying out his role in the movie Kiss of Death. I saw once again the scene in which Widmark, playing Tommy Udo, a killer, pushed a wheelchair in which an old woman was sitting and, laughing maniacally, shoved it off the top of the stairs with its occupant still in it." That's our Rudy! In case you're not familiar with either the film in question or Rudy Giuliani, our video team spliced together the relevant menacing giggles. Enjoy!
Ed Koch endorsed Barack Obama for president this morning, news that came as something of a surprise considering he endorsed Bush in 2004. So what made up his mind? Obama's views on gay rights, perhaps? Koch says it had more to do with his distaste for Sarah Palin: "Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency." [NY1, Politico]
Ed Koch, lovable weird old probably gay former New York mayor, is a Democrat, yes, and wrote a book about how much he hated Rudy Giuliani, but lately he's been talking a lot about how great the Bush administration is (when he is not reviewing movies), so most people assumed he'd endorse ol' John McCain for president this year. But then something funny happened! McCain selected this woman named Sarah Palin to be his Vice President. So today, Koch endorsed Barack Obama! What's up with that? Koch's written statmeent says Barack Obama will protect us from terror, and help the poor people, but to really understand why he endorsed Obama we turn to his statement to Politico's Ben Smith: "Any time someone goes to the library and says, 'I want to ban books,' and the librarian says 'no,' and she threatens to fire them — that's scary." She's speaking of Sarah Palin, of course. But it might not be just the book-banning that turned ol' Ed off! See, Sarah Palin is a super-Christian self-described "pitbull" whose church is maybe trying to convert all the Jews. Also Ed Koch just proved us 100% correct. She terrifies the old Jews who might otherwise be wary of that Obama kid. Time to invest in more Florida air time, Axelrod! Even more awesome: according to Radar, Koch had the best critique of Giulinai's Republican National Convention speech ever:
Cameron Diaz leaving a nail appointment ... Jennifer Aniston with Alec Baldwin on the set of 30 Rock ... Liv Tyler dressed up for a party sponsored by Samsung ... Miley Cyrus walking around Midtown ... Adrian Grenier with his grandmother at the Entourage season premiere party ... Kim Cattrall sitting with with Star Jones at the US Open ... Naomi Watts with her baby on Lafayette Street ... Ed Koch standing in Midtown ... and Kelly Ripa leaving the ABC studios with a cup of coffee in hand...
As you may have read in Vanity Fair, the Village Voice, The New Yorker, or on this very site right here, Rudy Giuliani was kind of a capricious dick back when he was mayor (and probably before then too, but who cared?). Today the Times joins the season-long pile-on, just as it becomes increasingly likely that America's Mayor won't win a single primary. The best illustrative anecdote appears early: When a chauffeur's call to Giuliani's radio show to complain about a police-rigged red light "yielded no results," the driver took his case to the Daily News. It made the front page, and then the chauffeur was arrested, that morning, and taken to court on a 13-year-old traffic warrant. Then a police spokesman falsely claimed to the Daily News that the driver had been convicted of sodomy. "Then," the Times writes, "Mr. Giuliani took up the cudgel."
"So who says that book people don't know how to throw a great party!" crowed Nancy Bass Wyden, the glamorous blonde lady who, improbably, is the third-generation owner of New York's most beloved and endearingly crappy used book store. 'Everyone,' said the crowd with their eyes and wan applause. No offense to Nancy or the Strand! But by the time (8:00ish on Saturday night) she made her dramatic declaration, the book people were nearing the end of their annual spate of book people parties, and the Strand's valiant but sweltering contribution to the glut wasn't making much of an impact. There were cold cuts, though, and pickles, and photos by Nikola Tamnindzic and Ed Koch's reliable wackiness, and little Adam Gopnik!
Unless you subscribe, you'll have to visit your local newsstand to read this week's New Yorker profile of P.R. megastar Howard Rubenstein. Is it worth going out into this arctic wonderland and dropping $4.50, or is the piece, as Nikki Finke puts it, just "the usual CEO porn that [Ken] Auletta spins out on a semi-regular basis"? We donned our overcoats and headed into the freezing tundra of SoHo to find out. Here's what we learned when we thawed:
We're constantly being pressed by our corporate overlords to provide more identifying details about the people we cover, so, in the event that our previous item on new Press hire Ed Koch left you wanting to know more about the man, please enjoy the following additional information, courtesy of, er, the New York Press.
Ed Koch has been at loose ends since getting kicked out of Gracie Mansion. The former mayor spends his days hanging out with old pals, endorsing every Republican who comes down the pike, perfecting his Frank Perdue impersonation and, as it turns out, going to the movies. Koch recently caught The Devil Wears Prada, and found it wanting: "It is a ridiculous flop. The script is among the worst of the year and the acting is very trite and ordinary." Koch also found Meryl Streep to be "a one-trick pony." The film has been generally well reviewed, so we're not sure what caused this level of vituperation. Maybe the movie just sucked. Maybe Ed was in a bad mood when he went to see it. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that the only major gay role was played by Stanley Tucci. Could be anything, really.
Former mayor (and, arguably, former Democrat) Ed Koch has long had a little sideline as a movie critic. These days he's emailing his reviews to anyone who has made it onto his distribution list — including, apparently, the random journo type who forwarded last week's installment to us. The big news? Koch hated Basic Instinct 2. "It is the absolute worst," he declares.