Pat Kiernan is the aw-shucks boyish news anchor on NY1 and everybody loves him. His is the gentle face we all see first thing in the morning, easing us into the day with good cheer and sobriety. He reads from the city's newspapers in a soothing 8-minute segment every morning called "In The Papers," which has captivated thousands and thousands of people. It's really quite impossible to explain to outsiders just why Pat Kiernan is the greatest newsman in New York, except for his jolly, bumbling colleague Roger Clark. Anyhow, Doree (the nice ex-Gawker one) wrote a profile of the man for the Observer, full of interesting Kiernan trivia. Did you know he hosted The World Series Of Pop Culture on VH1? We did, because there's a clip of him reading the lyrics of "My Humps" in his competent, Canadian voice. What are you gon do with all that ass inside them jeans, Pat?:
So, uh, Kelly Cutrone is basically one of the coolest, scariest (and one of the New Yorkiest) persons ever, judging from this week's brief but fascinating Observer piece. The head of hip PR firm People's Revolution, Cutrone has gained some notoriety of late for her acidic, bitchy, demanding taskmaster presence on MTV's reality soap The Hills. While overseeing that show's Whitney Port (and, to a lesser degree, its star Lauren Conrad), Cutrone cut a dashing, intimidating figure. She was at turns warm and helpful, and at others brash and terrifying. This enigmatic, enjoyably jarring persona is only deepened by the Observer piece, but there's just too much interesting info provided to summarize succinctly. So, I've bulleted some of the more intriguing tidbits about Ms. Cutrone after the jump.
Those photos of actress and pop singer Lindsay Lohan nuzzling her "close friend," DJ Samantha Ronson, have attracted surprisingly little attention. A lot of female celebrities pretend to have girl crushes—it's edgy—and at first we automatically dismissed the images as publicity-seeking. Even the confirmation of a relationship by Lohan's semi-estranged father can be dismissed as his own quest for attention. But the relationship between the freshly rehabbed star and her lesbian friend is quite extraordinary, and here's why:
Here is a prime candidate for immediate cloning: John Clifford, a 6'4, quick-tempered former police officer and a lawyer whose greatest pleasure in life seems to be riding the Long Island Rail Road and aggressively screaming at jerks who are talking too loud on their cell phones. Clifford was just found not guilty of charges stemming from his latest enforcement action, when he cussed out an obnoxious cell phone user he described as "a 19-year-old nitwit waking up one girlfriend after another." But this isn't even close to being the first time he's had to regulate on some yapping nitwits on the train:
Why do I get the feeling that if I don't stop reblogging Ryan Adams, I might get stabbed en route to the Beatrice? (Or get stabbed inside, when Emily Brill shows up.) Young Manhattanite and former Gawker mastcot Andrew Krucoff concedes that Ryan Adams's music is kind of great: "Up to that point, I only knew him as the loose-boarded alt-country-whatever musician." But? "Now - NOW - he ups and quits his precocious-for-a-33-yr-old Tumblr??"
Marc Jacobs got in a spat with his new "boy toy," the intriguingly named Austin A., at a Los Angeles nightclub over the weekend, but later on they made up and made out all night. Except for when Marc was necking with some other random dude across the bar. After that, he trotted off to see Lindsay Lohan. And God love him for it. Unlike most celebrities, who are afraid of seeming rakish or sexually adventurous, the fashion designer just airs his delicates all over this great land of ours, not caring who clucks their tongue and says "What's to be done with this Marc Jacobs?" We should all aspire to that same ballsiness: to suck face with strangers and date former hookers and porn stars (dumb as they may be) with wild abandon, for anyone to see, all the while making sacks of money, hand over fist. If everyone was this open there would be no place for gossip and scandal and I'd be out of a job, but we'd all be free! Marc Jacobs is leading the revolution. The sex-filled, maybe a bit dangerous, revolution. Christian Siriano has big shoes to fill.
The New York media scene is a bitchy place. Most people are quick to dismiss early success as dumb luck and/or good connections. But the fact is, at the highest levels, practically everyone has leveraged some kind of connection. Is having your father get you an interview more odious than having a friend from college do the same? After the interview, it's still up to you to prove yourself. After the Sarah McGrath-Margaret Seltzer disaster, people were quick to blame Sarah's connection to father at larger, Charles McGrath, which the Times Public Editor (and Gawker) dismissed as absurd. The same criticism could be leveled against his son, Ben, who is one of youngest staff writers (if not the youngest) at the New Yorker, where Dad was once fiction editor. But nepotism couldn't get anyone to write something as entertaining and exuberant as Ben McGrath's profile on Lenny Dykstra in this week's New Yorker.
Nick Denton to email@example.com, Subject: John Mayer, How about a herogram? The guy's pretty talented musician. Seems to be able to handle fame pretty well. Deals with paps. And still seems normal! Okay, and he's hot too, but that wasn't the reason. Anyone a fan?
No, Nick. I'm not a John Mayer fan. But I will say that John Mayer is unfairly hated on.
Now that Ryan Adams has taken down his YouTube page and ignored my emails asking him to do video commentary, and Whitney from The Hills kinda scared me, I've been wondering who else to inappropriately stalk. But I think I finally figured it out! (Didn't have to look any further than a pic torn from Nylon on my bulletin board.) Michael Pitt, the young actor best known from The Dreamers, Last Days, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is often described as a "bad boy." But that's just lazy journalism! Mr. Pitt used to live in a Chinatown one-bedroom with about nine other dudes, hates the Hollywood machine, and every interview he does takes on a pained, "oh, the indignity of it all" tone. And, as I recently discovered in the latest issue of Mass Appeal, he lives in nearby Bushwick! (Update! Our former managing editor Choire Sicha once profiled him.)
When asked about her night of partying after her Oscar win, specifically at Prince's house party,
British English-born, Scottish-living actress Tilda Swinton said "Steve Wonder sang 'Superstition,' for God's sake. It was absolutely fantastic." There's a certain tone there, one of a "well, duh!" familiarity that makes us think we might want to be friends with her. She's funny, smart, a bit bizarre, and she's amorously adventurous. It's fun to think that she can be like this, out-there but also grounded, especially after her scary, brilliant turn in Michael Clayton.
Carine Roitfeld, French Vogue's editor for the last seven years, is the cooler, slightly younger, doesn't-give-a-fuck version of uptight American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. And hey: nobody made a moviebook about how bitchy she is. Not only is Carine totes different, but her whole magazine is pretty much better. Everybody in the fashion industry knows this already, but she very Frenchily explains what's wrong with American fashion editors to New York mag. (Oh, and: contrary to popular belief, she does not weigh her female staffers, but it is true that she doesn't know how to use a computer).
Before I started writing for this here publication, I didn't really know much or care about Paris Hilton. The drunken, showbiz dabbling heiress just didn't catch my fancy because, really, what was the point?? Well I've been covering her for over a month now and, as it turns out, I sort of love her. The woman is unflappable. Her big, starring-role movie tanked (making about $76 per theater), but it doesn't seem to have slowed her one bit. Look! Just today came an announcement that she's doing a surprise performance with the Pussy Cat Dolls in Las Vegas. Why? Because she's promoting some sort of shoe line. Also, because why the hell not. She was recently given a mock award by the Harvard Lampoon, and she took it in self-deprecating stride. Sure she went to jail, had a sleazy night-vision sex tape, set a shitty example for her twinkish brother Barron, and is most likely a vainglorious monster, but I really don't care.
Sam Zell comes off a little touched in the head, sure. The 66-year-old new Tribune CEO has a short fuse and a fast mouth, both of which landed him in hot water this week with close observers of his first steps at the helm of the sprawling media company. Did Zell declare it "un-American not to like pussy" while defending his plan to allow strip club ads back in the LATimes? Entirely possible! But so what?
The Financial Times profiled literary critic, new New Yorker staff writer, and Harvard professor James Wood this weekend. He's also the husband of The Emperor's Children author Claire Messud, and has an upcoming book, How Fiction Works. (One of his previous books was once criticized by Slate as being "too well written.") Some literary luminaries, like novelist/critic Cynthia Ozick, have called him "our best critic, he thinks with a sublime ferocity." We love him because he nerds out with phrases like, "Novelists should thank Flaubert the way poets thank spring: it all begins again with him. There is really a time before Flaubert and a time after him."
When it comes to the Olds Getting It Right, African humanitarian/party animal Zelda Kaplan's got it figured out. She's all over Fashion Week, wearing crazy-print wraps and just being all, "What?" Her website lists her as "humanitarian, dancing queen, adventurer, and citizen of the world." She's 91, and goes out a few nights a week. Everybody wants her at their party because she totally brings it. [Guest of a Guest]
Barry Diller has, for a corporate titan, always had a fondness for colorful language. The IAC boss calls executives "sweetheart" (usually with a touch of queeny menace) when he's not telling them (with more macho aggression) to hit the fucking sidewalk and sell the ads themselves. In today's email to employees of his languishing internet conglomerate, obtained by Gawker, there's a new vocabulary. He dismisses an attempted corporate coup by IAC's biggest shareholder as "shenanigans", and John Malone's charges are "hogwash". (Like Britney Spears, Barry Diller affects an English accent when under stress.) Update: We had assumed the Anglicisms were inspired by Jonathan Sanchez, the New York internet group's chief communications officer and a favorite at the court of Diller. But an insider tells us Sanchez, known for introducing the word "cunt" into the IAC lexicon, was canned at the weekend. Damnation!
53-year-old Village Voice gossip columnist, Michael Musto, is a faintly ridiculous figure: his trademark oversized glasses lending a frog-like air to his face, awkwardly schmoozing the flighty fashion fags at Beige on Tuesdays, all in the service of a gossip column for a newspaper that few read, about downtown figures even they haven't heard of. Whatever. La Dolce Musto, his column for the New York altweekly, is at least more lively than pretty much any other feature in that storied but now moribund publication. Musto has transcended any mockery to become something of a downtown icon. There's no point in saying he's ridiculous. That's an integral element of the persona, as Musto shows in this terrible gay pop video, in which he attempts to portray a razor-wielding lunatic, quickly charmed by a naked boy in a shower. (Click here for the screenshots.) Musto may be a relic of an era when the downtown gay scene had wider cultural significance. But he understands the first rule of modern fame: a willingness to make a fool of one's self, before that vast internet public. Which means that we have high hopes for his new blog, La Daily Musto. (Sample post: a roundup of trashy gay reactions to the death of Heath Ledger.) SCREENGRABS >>
One of the most talented producers in television, Michael Hirschorn, may or may not be leaving VH1, the entertainment channel he revived with shows like Best Week Ever, Flavor of Love, and I Love New York. The New York Post says the Viacom exec is in discussions with a number of rival networks, but he might just move into another role at Viacom, the company that owns VH-1. So, why should you care?
The bespectacled magazine publisher, who ran the New Yorker's marketing and ad sales before being roped in to help Joanne Lipman launch Portfolio, has done better than merely surviving the new year's massacre at Conde Nast. He's now the leading candidate to replace Chuck Townsend as chief executive of the elite magazine group. Nobody wins corporate infighting without making critics but, if Carey has them, we can't find them. "Everyone wishes there was some dirt on David Carey, but there ain't," says one Conde exec. The Portfolio publisher doesn't even get the blame for the business magazine's troubled launch.