In today's New York Times, Obama family biographer Jodi Kantor writes about Obama's perfectionism and intense competitive spirit. While it's comforting to have a commander-in-chief so concerned with success, it's possible Obama takes it a little too far at times. Here are some of the more interesting factoids from Kantor's article.
Have you had the opportunity to settle down with the hot new political gossip book of the past several days, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor's The Obamas? The Gawker Political Desk rarely consumes these White House reporters' bound anecdote collections but, for mysterious reasons, both obtained and made it through 200 pages of Kantor's offering before having to stop due to a total lack of interest in continuing.
• It's official: Will Ferrell is the most overpaid man in show business. [THR]
• Layoffs: BusinessWeek's cuts kicked off today; layoffs now loom at Time Inc. as the company awaits word on how many volunteers will accept buyout packages; and there's a bit more detail on this week's cuts at the AP.
• MSNBC's Joe Scarborough isn't exactly on fire at the moment. [NYO]
• Palinitis: The ex-governor's sit-down with Oprah on Monday generated the talk show queen her highest ratings in two years; Fox News clowns Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity are now at war over their respective Palin interviews; and people are still talking about that Palin Newsweek cover, for some reason.
• Vivendi has tossed a last-minute complication into the NBC deal. [NYT]
• Times reporter Jodi Kantor has landed a seven-figure book deal. [NYO]
• Breaking! The Emmys are moving from September to August. [THR]
• CNN's Candy Crowley is speaking out about her weight loss. At last! [LAT]
We hear that Hollywood reporter Sharon Waxman, who's been based in Los Angeles for years (before her stint at the Times, she wrote for the Washington Post from the West Coast), will definitely be joining Joe "Private Dancer" Sexton's Metro desk when her book leave is over later this year. (Until now, Sexton had not committed to taking her on.) We've heard (from a single source) that Waxman will be on the religion beat. Her current editor, Culture honcho Sam Sifton, said he wouldn't comment on personnel matters, to us "or to anyone else." Waxman responded via email from Cairo, where she is doing research on her book: "I have no comment because Gawker has not shown itself to function by accepted journalistic rules."
Poor New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead. Her new book, One Perfect Day, is a takedown of America's overblown wedding culture, but it keeps getting reviewed by ladies who either just had or are planning an overblown American wedding. The latest is the Times former Arts 'n' Leisure chief Jodi Kantor, who takes issue in the Book Review with Rebecca's characterization of "registering—for water glasses, an ice-cream maker, the usual tchotchkes" as "an exercise in 'licensed covetousness.'"
• Katie Couric gets her nun on. [Tabloid Baby]
• Seth Mnookin wants some context from the press. Here's some context for ya: Seth Mnookin rides a scooter. [Seth Mnookin]
• "When we launched For Me a little over a year ago, we thought that there was a market for a young woman's lifestyle magazine which was not focused on gossip." Well, that's your problem right there. [FishbowlNY]
• Jodi Kantor gives you the angle on airports that Greg Lindsay couldn't. Don't try and do everything on your first day back, Jodi. [NYT]
• How much do we love Slate's "investigation" of brunch? Um, a lot, actually? Almost as much as we love their look at Chuck Klosterman? Slate, we're sorry we've been mean lately, full stop. [Slate]
Big news today: Former Arts & Leisure doyenne Jodi Kantor, having officially abdicated her editorial throne, has her first post-reign byline. Congrats, Jodi! Welcome to the, uh, fold!
• NYT Arts & Leisure czarina Jodi Kantor gives up the big job for a reporting slot at The Way We Live. "After a couple of years in the building," she says in the memo, "I'm dying to get out and actually report some stories myself." Sure. And Willy Loman was dying to drive from city to city and make no sales. [Romenesko Memos]
• The removal of the couch shows that Jon Stewart is trying to take on Ted Koppel. Or something like that. [LAT]
• Fairchild interns think Fairchild's new dress guidelines make no sense, reports Fairchild's WWD. [WWD, fourth item]
• Like the Catholic church and sinners vs. sins, Seventeen chief Atoosa Rubenstein doesn't hate blogs. Just the no-longer-anonymous bloggers she nearly hires to work for her. [Jossip]
• More fun with maybe/once-anonymous bloggers: Hot on the trail of Imaginary Socialite, Daily Transom builds us to a great climax. Then, natch, it doesn't finish. Sigh. [Daily Transom]
Howell Raines wants to put the arts and leisure back in the Arts & Leisure section of the NYT. He hasn't picked an editor yet, but Slate's Jodi Kantor is rumored to be the leading candidate. Raines says he wants to be "as good at telling our readers the history of CBGB as we are about telling them about the Metropolitan Opera." Demonstrating that he's truly hip with the kids, Raines adds that he liked the Eminem movie, 8 Mile, and says that this East Coast/West Coast rap shit is whack, yo.
Howell Raines: may a thousand critics bloom [Observer]
Yo, yo, yo Times [Buzzmachine]