Ian Spiegelman, the gnomish ex-Postie, is blogging about politics on HuffPo. (Seriously, who isn't blogging on HuffPo these days? Their contrib index is like the 1998 Census. Even I'm there.) Anyway, Spiegelman is half-blogging, half-plugging his book How To Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative. In his post Spiegelman rails against Republican gerrymandering and fraud for a while and then this: "[L]ast week I stopped by the Board of Elections in Kew Gardens, Queens, filled out a new voter registration form, and declared myself a member of the Republican Party." If Spiegelman acts like he did at the last party he went to, the Republican Party will soon have a knock-down profanity-laced shoving match on its hands.
Today's Page Six leads with what looks like your average "I'm a friend of Richard Johnson's" book plug item, the heartwarming story of one Robert Schimmel, a comic, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2000. Schimmel wrote a book called "Cancer on $5 a Day" and it seems mostly concerned with how to get laid whilst coping with cancer. Whatever, kind of heartwarming right? Not really! The item veers between life-affirming and creepy, like a drunk driver caroming down the moral highway in a blizzard. (The blizzard is cancer, the driver is Schimmel, and on one side of the road is the sweet release of death and on the other is the married Schimmel's banging of his daughter's best friend.)
Last night, Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby wonderfully displayed her utter inability to use email. (Once again, we question how this woman founded an internet company and sold it for $23 million.) Rebecca Fox, Mediabistro's managing editor, had sent out an email alert that News Corp. had bought Beliefnet.com. Rebecca did not bcc the email list—and so her boss Laurel replied to all. Which started a most unholy email chain!
It's a pleasant surprise, but we actually love Lloyd Grove's profile of New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allan in this week's New York. Allan, a saucy Aussie if there ever was one, comes off as a pugnacious tyrant who is driven by a desire to win at all costs. Also, he likes a drink every now and again. Mostly now. Read the whole piece: There's a ton of detail, and Grove's knowledge of the tabloid industry may not have saved his job at the Daily News, but it is put to good use here. Our handy highlights follow.
Nightline looked at the Page Six dust-up last night, and in addition to finally learning just how much weight New York Post chief Col Allan has put on lately, we also learned that Page Six honcho Richard Johnson and company basically just made shit up. We also learn that, somehow, T.V. feels sleazier than print! Oh, also, funny that talking head commenter (and the man most likely to always be wrong!) Michael Wolff's hot daughter is totally a reporter at the Post!
"Lies & Smears Aimed At Post," blares the headline in today's Page Six. The item lists a whole bunch of allegations against Page Six by a former employee, Ian Spiegelman, that he'd made in an affidavit to fellow former Postie Jared Paul Stern's lawyer. Things like Post honcho Col Allan was "said to have received sexual favors" from strippers at Scores, and that Nello Balan (the restaurant and club owner) had given Page Six's Richard Johnson a $3,000 bribe in 1997.
We're at the epistolary stage of the Dow Jones story: Rupert Murdoch sent a letter to members of the Bancroft family offering them "a seat on News Corp.'s board and pledging to safeguard the editorial integrity of The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones editorial properties." The letter promoted Murdoch as a family man (well, he does have three) with a passion for newspapers. The Bancrofts—about 80 per cent of whom "rejected Mr Murdoch's $60-per-share bid two weeks ago"—seem unimpressed, although there remains a faction that wants to meet with him. The Guardian notes that Murdoch's offer to set up an independent board for the Journal mirrors a promise he made when he purchased the Times of London years ago; that board since "has long been disbanded."
Worried that you haven't seen former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein's name in the news in about five days or so? Fear not! The 'Toos has hired acclaimed PR firm Rubenstein Public Relations. WWD, which reports the story, snidely suggests that the 'Toos is in good company (the firm is "known for its crisis management expertise (as in the current Michael Richards brouhaha)"), but we're going to be a bit more charitable: the 'Toos has "lots going on" what with her early exit at Hearst. And who better to help her out than the other Rubenstein, described by one wag as
So just how well are those gossip-biz inspired memoirs and novels selling? For the most part, things look bleak — save for MSNBC quasi-gossip Jeanette Walls. The lesson learned: if you're willing to sell out your parents as dumpster divers, you're golden.
In the accompanying photo, observe journalist, author, and verbal pugilist Ian Spiegelman in 2003, making doe eyes at publicist Katie MacIntosh, while the visage of Radar editor Maer Roshan lurks in the background. Spiegelman looks so cheerful! He's positively beaming. Why, then, is he so shovey of late? Poor Toby Young got his book party upstaged by Spiegelman's antics, which is ironic considering Young's own unfunny staged play-beating. All that aside, what do you need to know about Ian Spiegelman, should you spot him in the wild? More than you would ever care to learn, and then some, after the jump.
As half-soberly reported in the wee hours of this morning, former Page Sixer Ian Spiegelman and hebrophobe writer/flack Doug Dechert came to blows last night at Soho House. What follows is a recap of what went down, complete with the requisite "he said, she said" accounts and an analysis of the "fucking pussy" factor.
Apologies for yesterday's to-do list, in which we suggested that you head over to the Bubble Lounge for some free champagne and readings from a slew of gossip writers. As it turns out, everyone backed out of the event — former Postette Bridget Harrison, Dana Vachon, Elizabeth Spiers, and Deborah Schoeneman all cancelled, leaving only ex-Page Sixer Ian Spiegelman at the podium (assuming he showed up, if only for the booze).
Having not been the subject of any of his tempramental emails, the Observer was thus not banned from former Page Six reporter Ian Spiegelman's party for his new novel, Welcome to Yesterday. And good thing, or we'd never gain such insight into the mind of a literary talent. Some of Spiegelman's quotables:
Would it be Page Six without entirely gratuitous drama? Of course not. Jossip is reporting that former Sixer Ian Spiegelman, who is being feted tonight for his newly released novel, Welcome to Yesterday, managed to get his old colleagues banned from attending the party. How did he allegedly do this? It's complicated; follow closely. Spiegelman gave an interview for Simon Dumenco's Monday Ad Age column, and apparently he subsequently came to believe that Post editor Col Allan was miffed over some of the things he said. (It's unclear whether any actual miffage had occurred.) So Spiegelman sent Allan an aggressively defensive email, sort of apologizing for the misunderstanding but mostly not.
• Ian Spiegelman tells Simon Dumenco that Page Six is in fact like the Mafia, that its writers at least feel bad writing homophobic items, and that China and Nicole Kidman are off-limits. Also, though his novel's protagonist takes cash for good coverage, he does not believe the JPS charges. [Ad Age]
• Sulzberger apologizes to graduates for not stopping war, achieving equality, and protecting Roe, and legalizing gay marriage. Next week, he'll apologize to his reporters for giving right-wing anti-Timesers a huge trove of new fodder. [Daily Freeman via Romenesko]
• Things suck at ABC News. [LAT]
• Newspaper people — even David Carr's young friends — worry how much longer they'll have jobs. [NYT]