"Nora Ephron's Final Act," the New York Times Magazine story about the final days of writer/director Nora Ephron and the cancer that led to them, is as adoring and intimate as you'd expect coming from her accomplished writer son, Jacob Bernstein (he contributes regularly to the Times and his father is Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame).
This editor's note concerning a recent Jacob Bernstein profile of Hollywood gossip Nikki Finkke ran in today's Women's Wear Daily. According to Keith Kelly, WWD won't repost the story because "there is a legal question about whether one blanket 'yes you can tape [the conversation]' covered all subsequent follow-up interviews." Our immediate reaction was on what planet? But the planet is California. So we guess it's a cautionary tale for New Yorkers interviewing Californians. Or anyone interviewing Nikki Finke. Update: The whole story is online elsewhere.
The significance of holding last night's party to celebrate the New York Observer and its new website at the Four Seasons restaurant was intentional, obvious, and not at all lost on anyone. Despite its recent Frank Bruni demotion to two New York Times stars, the restaurant remains the symbolic and probably actual center of New York old-guard media power. After so many years of playing gadfly to the media, politics, and real estate elite of this city, the Observer and its boy-owner and his advisers chose to make a very specific sort of statement.
Wynn-Picasso leak update: After favorite suspect Jacob Bernstein came forward to say it was actually his poker- and punk-playing brother Max (pictured) that their mother Nora Ephron had told about Steve Wynn poking his Picasso, we added Max to the suspect poll. This cleverly spread out the Bernstein suspicion among the two brothers, leading to Barbara Walters taking the lead. Now Max writes in to defend himself as well, and he brings a new character into the scenario — Arianna Huffington:
Yesterday, we expressed curiosity as to who might have leaked the story about Vegas casino boss Steve Wynn damaging his $139 million Picasso right before selling it. Witness to the event Nora Ephron claimed it was "very clear" who talked to Page Six, but she did not ID the leaker by name. We have our suspicions, and we admit to throwing out another Ephron quote a little disingenuously — the one where she told one of her sons about it, but that it wasn't a violation of the secrecy pact because her son is "completely trustworthy."
• Mike Myers and his wife of the past 12 years, Robin Ruzan (whose Jewish mother was the inspiration behind Myers' Linda Richman character on Saturday Night Live), have filed for divorce. What went wrong? By using the clues in Gawker Stalker, you can piece together the decline of a marriage and the rise of an alcoholic. Which is exactly what we designed the feature for. [The Apiary]
• A court has lifted a Santa Fe woman's restraining order against David Letterman, who, she claims, used code words during his show to give her instructions on how to eat crayons and wear tinfoil hats. [AP]
• When bloggers turn unreasonably nasty on commonfolk, nobody wins. It's akin to cannibalism, snarking on one's own kind. [Perez Hilton]
• Yes, we know that horsey 90210 alum Tori Spelling is engaged to a new beau, despite being not yet divorced from her ex-husband. May her new man enjoy riding her around the Spelling mansion. [Us Weekly]
• Patrick Swayze is delving into hip-hop, using "rap rhythms as an emotional undercurrent for ballads." We always felt Dirty Dancing would be profoundly improved with the addition of gold teeth and bitches. [AllHipHop]
• You may consider yourself a gay wino, but are you gay and drunk enough to own a collectible bottle of Madonna's "Confessions on a Dance Floor" wine? [Celebrity Cellars]
• A new sense of pity for Women's Wear Daily reporter Jacob Bernstein, whose mother Nora Ephron will never be happy until her baby boy finds her a cabbage strudel. [NYT]
The reporters on the media beat, before whom even magazine editors quake, get a taste of their own medicine. Us Weekly, with some blurby and occasionally snarky reviews of their characters and reporting. So a media weblog, linking to a review of journalists who themselves cover the media: an
object lesson in swallowing one's own tail.
· Jacob Bernstein of Women's Wear Daily is "excitable" and, yes, that's his dad
· Matthew Rose of the Journal: "the hottie of the bunch"
· David Carr of the New York Times is "a merry prankster"
· Keith Kelly of the Post is "sufficiently bitchy", and right 70% of the time
· Sridhar Pappu's nickname is "Binky"
The Big-8 Media Gossips Exposed! [Us Weekly via I Want Media]