A man pushed to the ground by a police officer because he was locked out of his apartment. A cop who punched someone in the face for riding his bike on the sidewalk, and another who pulled his gun on a man for filming him. These are a few of the horror stories contained within a new report on NYPD use of force.
We hear that crotchety (or righteously pissed off?) Times Metropolitan Diary editor Michael Pollak is still so mad at Wesleyan student and WFMU intern Andrea Silenzi, he's written a letter to a dean of Wesleyan about her fake submission to his columns. Jeez, strict! Now Andrea claims that she and WFMU hosts Ken and Andy have managed to pull the wool over Pollak's eyes yet again. They say that their second fake submission made it into this week's Met Diary. We are trying to figure it out, and we have no idea which one it could be! They all sound fake! Even the names all sound fake! Seriously, Diane Fromhartz? Brenda K. Cooney? Janet Wagman LeMonnier? No wonder Pollak despairs of the column. We feel a little despairy thinking about having his job.
We hear that the WFMU v. NY Times incident might spell the end of the Metropolitan Diary column. (The incident: an WFMU intern submitted a funny fake item, lied when Times editor Michael Pollak called to verify, and got chewed out on the air after it was published.) We hear Pollak has been opposed to the feature for a while, even though it's the sole solace in the lives of some elderly New Yorkers, because he hates that the items in the column are impossible to verify. In the words of our informant, he "knows" that this isn't the first false item that's slipped in. We shudder to think that this prank might just be the ammo Pollak needs to convince his higher-ups that MetDi should close up shop. What will the old folk do for fun now? We hope it doesn't involve Saran Wrap.
We all had a good chuckle when WFMU managed to weasel a fake item into the New York Times's oldster-pleasing Metropolitan Diary. Unsurprisingly, MetDi editor Michael Pollak didn't find the situation so funny. He sent WFMU intern Andrea Silenzi, who'd vouched for the item's veracity, a mean email, in which he told her that the Times would print her name and that of Wesleyan's radio station (which he'd confused with WFMU.) But according to a tipster who caught the show (listenable here) last night, that wasn't where Pollak's rage ended.
A month ago, WFMU radio show hosts Ken Freedman and Andy Breckman asked their listeners to come up with a perfect entry for the Times's precious Metropolitan Diary. (You know: the Monday column that's like a cross between a sanitized Overheard In New York and a sanity-ized final paragraph of a Cindy Adams column). They crafted what they felt was a cutesy New York moment perfect storm — evidence is here, on their blog. Today, a very similar item appeared in the paper of record. Let's compare and contrast!
• If you can stomach it, an overly thorough explanation of Paris Hilton's inextricable connection to capital markets. We'd hate to think the twatzilla has that much influence, but we're convinced at this point that God is dead and anything can happen. [The Stalwart]
• Is New York mag's Jennifer Senior stupider? Inquiring, extra-smart Jew minds want to know. [Canonist]
• Times music wonk Jon Pareles angers our neighbors to the great white north by incorrectly stating the origin of Broken Social Scene. Shame on him for making the Mounties cry. [Toronto Star]
• GQ gets increasingly Details. [Towleroad]
• Howard Kurtz reads blogs; blogs write about Judy Miller; Kurtz turns blogs into Washington Post column. Ta-da! [WaPo]
• Once again, the Times' Metropolitan Diary DOESN'T MISS A BEAT. [NYT]
Inspired by our lovely commenters, we did a little "research" into the dark underbelly of Metropolitan Diary, the Overheard In New York for the leisure class. What we found may shock you:
• October 3, 2005: Without missing a beat, he replied matter-of-factly, "I wondered what that was."
• June 9, 2003: Without missing a beat, he said smoothly and with a perfectly straight face: "Jump."
• November 18, 2002: Without missing a beat, the man said, "New Jersey and California."
• May 8, 1996: Without missing a beat, my husband, Gerald, yelled out, "$100,000."
• August 2, 1989: Clerk (not skipping a beat): Honey, in New York they're a dime a dozen.
• December 24, 1986: Without missing a beat he said, ''Getting audited, eh?'' I nodded. ''You're the third person this morning,'' he added cheerfully.
• September 11, 1985: Self-assured customer (continuing on her way, not missing a beat): ''That's the chic look, you know. The Japanese influence.'
Total beats unmissed, 1985-2003: 48
Metropolitan Diary [NYT]