In your hijacked Friday media column: Tina Brown has breasts and used to do it, sexually speaking, to Martin Amis; the Washington Post Co. falls from the profit curve; Robin Roberts may or may not be too tall for morning television, and Howard Kurtz once again acquits himself with the dignity and effortless charisma we've come to expect from him.
It's probably safe to say that occasionally racist British author Martin Amis won't be throwing a Royal Wedding party at his place, after his remarks in the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur. He makes some good points, actually, about how such intense media scrutiny can ruin a young person's life, and shows sympathy towards William and Harry. And besides calling the royal family a bunch of "philistines," he also said:
Remember when absurdist Brit novelist Martin Amis said a Racist Thing in the London Times Magazine back in 2006? "There's a definite urge—don't you have it?—to say, 'The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.' What sort of suffering? Not let them travel. Deportation, further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or Pakistan... Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children." Now he's given an "Exclsuive [sic] interview" post-debacle to the Huffington Post (why them? It's as puzzling as his poorly-chosen remarks). His excuse?
Think of how easy it might have been to understand Arianna Huffington's bloggy animus toward Tim Russert if there were a book out chronicling all the sordid details of their decade-and-a-half-long secret feud. (There is.) Every gossip-mongering gadabout should know the full backstory on every spat, falling out, and long-running mutual antagonism in media. Below are the volumes no shelf should be without.
Gossip blogs have a poor sense of history. The writers are too young to have accumulated much background information; turnover is too rapid for institutional knowledge to build up; and nobody has enough time to search the archives let alone dig into the bibliography. (And who cares which old people shagged eachother in the 20th century?) But the amnesiac blogs are missing out on some delightful sidenotes. For instance, former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown dated both novelist Martin Amis (kudos!) and dead comic Dudley Moore (hunh?) while she was still at university-according to Judy Bachrach's biography of the celebrity editor and her husband, which I'm just reading. That inspired me to put together a gallery of the most unlikely couplings among media personalities. Your suggestions in the comments or in email, please! After the jump, what Tina Brown thought of the Arthur star in bed.
Kinda racist author Martin Amis got called out in the Guardian for being kinda racist against Muslims by author Ronan Bennett. But in a letter this week, airport-y author Ian McEwan totes has his back. "You may not like what you hear, but reasoned debate is the appropriate response, not vilification by means of overheated writing, an ugly defamatory graphic, and inflated, hysterical pull-quotes." Snap!
It's going to be a warm and sunny weekend, which is a good thing considering that you're not going to be indoors reading the Sunday New York Times. If the Big Three sections (Arts, Books, Mag) are any indication, you'll quickly scan the sports scores and then head out to the park for some ultimate frisbee or whatever. So now we will helpfully describe to you, rapid-fire, what you'll be skipping over so you can sound all smart next week. You're welcome!
Is it Oversharing Day or what? In a wide-ranging interview with surly British novelist Martin Amis, Radar's Chris Lehmann (DISCLOSURE: We are friendly with Lehmann, so it kills us to type that) ranges all the way to Amis' college affair with formerly buzz-worthy Maer Roshan mentor Tina Brown. Apparently she cured him of unfuckableness.