Friday, June 26, 2009

Is This Interview Over?

Like every other print magazine in the world, Interview continues to have problems.

Their September relaunch isn't working out and, according to Women's Wear Daily, the owner, Peter Brant is taking time away from running the magazine that Andy Warhol built to deal with his divorce from Stephanie Seymour Brant.

Sounds like someone needs a Michael Jackson tribute issue. They may not have Time and Rolling Stone's deadline excuse, but they're sure to do something creative ("Mm, Bjork's pretty, but I want a massive, multicolored tear falling from one of her eyes.") with his face on the cover

Family Affair at the Times

Richard Johnson / NY Post

THE New York Times has become one big promotion machine for the family of Lynn Dolnick, who's on the paper's board of directors. As reports, husband Edward Dolnick's new book, "The Forger's Spell," about a Dutch art forger, got picked as an "editor's choice" by the Times and was praised on its "Paper Cuts" blog as a "delightful book." But there's no mention of the author's connection to his wife, or that Lynn is a cousin of publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. Last year, the Times carried an op-ed piece by Ben Dolnick, which helped promote his book "Zoology," without informing readers he's Lynn's son. Times rep Catherine Mathis said: "We would disclose the family relationship if the author was employed by the company, a member of the board or otherwise influential in the operations of the company."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

TMZ: Governor Hit the Bar with the Mistress

Governor Mark SanfordWe've been on the hunt in Buenos Aires, Argentina and found the bar where Governor Mark Sanford brought his mistress -- so how do you say PDA in Spanish?

Carlos Soto, the owner of Guido's Bar, says he's seen Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur there several times over the last few months -- most recently last week.

Soto says they were "all over each other" last week in his bar, "kissing, holding hands and drinking wine."

Soto was impressed with Maria, saying she has "un cuerpazo'" -- translation: a banging body.

Soto also said Maria has green eyes and dirty blonde hair.

Gawker: Wife Of Editor Gets Another Times Book Plug

Safariscreensnapz003-14Emma Gilbey Keller's new book "The Comeback" is, in part, about emerging from under the shadow of her husband, Times editor Bill Keller. Good luck with that. In the insular world of publishing, the Times Book Review still reigns supreme, and the positive Sunday notice on Emma Keller's title has already arched some eyebrows. Sure, the Keller family connection is disclosed. But people are already wondering about self-dealing at the Times after recent gushing praise for a book by a New York Times Co. executive and four separate plugs for a book by the husband of a company director — whose book-writing son also got notice in the paper. Then there's the efficient praise theTimes had for Emma's last book. Newspaper gossips will remember it from the author.

It was Bill Keller who in 1995 wrote, "the childhood of [Winnie Mandela], according to Emma Gilbey's meticulous 1993 biography, 'The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela,' was 'a blistering inferno of racial hatred.'" (Emphasis added.)

Those kind words ultimately led Keller and Gilbey to meet for the first time — and to begin an affair that would see Keller split from his wife, according to a 2006 New York magazine profile.

This time around, the Observer seems to wonder about the qualifications of the reviewer on the basis of her limited journalistic output over the past 11 yeas.

It's worth reviewing how things turned out the last time the Times was accused of favoritism. By mid July, the paper had published a positive early review, editor's choice recommendation, blog write up and page A4 plug for a book by Edward Dolnick, husband to Lynn Dolnick, a Times board member and cousin to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. It had published nothing on a contemporaneous book on the exact same topic (an art forger who copied Johannes Vermeer) by historian Jonathan Lopez and published by Harcourt.

Both the Chicago Tribune and New York Sun reviewed Dolnick and Lopez's books side by side, and seemed to find the Lopez title more comprehensive and, for some readers at least, engaging. The Tribune wrote:

Dolnick is content to paint a vivid, gossipy picture of feuds and backbiting among scholars and curators more eager to discredit their rivals and burnish their reputations with sensational finds than to carefully examine works about which they should have been skeptical. Lopez's portrait of the art market is fuller and more damning...

Those with a more serious interest in the subject will close Dolnick's book feeling that it leaves out a lot, an impression amply justified by Lopez's more detailed and thoughtful work in "The Man Who Made Vermeers."

At least this time around there's disclosure, unlike in the Dolnick case. That openness, and the fact that her notice is in the ostensibly independent Book Review, gives Emma Keller at least a slightly better shot at emerging from her husband's shadow — once her press tour is over and she's done talking about that shadow.

[Times via Observer]

via ABC News)

Gawker: Mark Sanford's Hilarious Emails of Seduction

The State somehow got hold of emails between South Carolina's cheating governor and his Argentine mistress. It turns out Mark Sanford was quite the sweet-talker, what with his whispers about diesel engines, and swamps.

The State didn't say where it obtained the emails, which were attached to Sanford's personal account. But the paper told CNN it has been sitting on the correspondence since December, trying to authenticate it. Apparently one byte at a time.

Perhaps the governor inadvertently leaked the emails by sending them for consideration at some literary review, as beautiful poetry:

Here is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the back ground, the tranquillity that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh...

Or maybe Sanford dictated the love letters. You have to love his enumerative style:

One, tomorrow leave at 5 a.m. for New York and meetings...Two, mutual feelings .... Three... we we are in a hopelessly... impossible situation...Lastly... if you have pearls of wisdom on how we figure all this out please let me know

Sigh. No wonder "Maria" found it "hard to believe even for myself" she was in love with the dork.

UPDATE: It's possible Sanford only confessed because The State, which has a stringer in Argentina, was finally ready to publish its emails after Sanford was spotted returning from the country this morning. It's not clear if the paper made such a decision. Thanks to Mister Hippity in the comments for pointing this out.

Full emails, via The State:


From Gov. Sanford,Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 12:24 a.m.

"One, tomorrow leave at 5 a.m. for New York and meetings. Will think about you on its streets and wish I was going to be there later in the month when you are there. Tomorrow night back to Philadelphia for the start of the National Governor's Conference through the weekend. Back to Columbia for Tuesday and then on Wednesday, as I think I had told you, taking the family to China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand and then back through Hong Kong on world wind tour. Few days home then to Bahamas for 5 days on a friend's boat for the last break of the summer. The following weekend have been asked to spend it out in Aspen, Colorado with McCain - which has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home ...

Two, mutual feelings .... You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ...

Three and finally, while all the things above are all too true - at the same time we are in a hopelessly - or as you put it impossible - or how about combine and simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightening strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes ...

Lastly I also suspect I feel a little vulnerable because this is ground I have never certainly never covered before - so if you have pearls of wisdom on how we figure all this out please let me know... In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul."


From Maria,Wednesday, July 9, 2008 8:14 p.m.

"As I told you I shouldn't have done this trip but I would have felt worst if I wouldn't have come because it was too over the date, he is a very nice guy, great heart ... but unfortunately I am not in love with him ... You are my love ... something hard to believe even for myself as it's also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation. Sometimes you don't choose things, they just happen... I can't redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you."


From Gov. Sanford,Tuesday, July 8, 1:42 a.m.

"Got back an hour ago to civilization and am now in Columbia after what was for me a glorious break from reality down at the farm. No phones ringing and tangible evidence of a day's labors. Though I have started every day by 6 this morning woke at 4:30, I guess since my body knew it was the last day, and I went out and ran the excavator with lights until the sun came up. To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the back ground, the tranquillity that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds - and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt."

Conflict of Interest at the New York Times

Andy / Galleycat

Back on July 11, Gawker reported on the favorable treatment of The Forger's Spell by the husband of Times board member Lynn Dolnick who is also the cousin of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. A Times rep responded on July 12 to allegations in the New York Post's Page 6: "We would disclose the family relationship if the author was employed by the company, a member of the board or otherwise influential in the operations of the company."

However, according to a tipster:

Ms. Dolnick's husband (Edward I. Dolnick) *IS* "influential in the operations of the company." Per Times 2008 SEC filings he controls 30,685 Class A shares of NYTimes Corp (voting shares reserved for Sulzberger family). He also controls jointly with his wife 10,300 more Class A shares. In total, Edward Dolnick, who received 4 favorable notices for his new book in NYTimes in 2 weeks, controls 40,985 Class A shares of NYTimes Corp. See page 7, footnote 5: This conflict should have been disclosed clearly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gawker: Sanford's Presser - Instant Classic

Mark Sanford's press conference. Did you watch that performance? Wow. He just... he just kept going. How did it compare to some classic political meltdowns of the past? Favorably!

He was 24 minutes late to the podium and then he rambled, just straight-up rambled, apologizing to literally everyone he's ever met, talking about dinosaur sheets and "Adventure Trips," becoming tearful, and wasting a full ten minutes of rambling before finally admitted to cheating on his wife. He cheated on his wife for a year with some friend from Argentina, and his wife has known for five months, and the affair just continued, while he worked on his marriage, and it was not until he disappeared on Fathers' Day (to spend "five days of my life crying") and the media caught wind that something might be up here that he decided it was time to apologize to his family and maybe stop the affair.

It was a bravura live political meltdown. Though it was dissimilar in tone, it was a cousin to Blago's classic presser. Not the first one, with the poetry, but the classic Friday afternoon performance about the children with cancer. Or maybe the oneabout cowboys? But while Blago filibusters and mugs and grins, Sanford just bared way, way too much of his soul.

It blew away Spitzer's one minute apology—He took questions! His wife was at home!—and Clinton's initial denial and eventual apology were, in comparison, boring.

It was Terrell Owens-esque, actually. Sure, he could've blamed outside forces, like when Mark Foley's attorney blamed booze and priests. But no. He had no excuses. That made any sense.

It was reminiscent, especially with the wife's glaring absence, of the pre-9/11 Rudy Giuliani classic, "I am telling the press about my separation from my wife before I tell my wife."

Sanford didn't have a single sound bite as classic as Nixon's "last press conference" (well, maybe "the biggest self of self is indeed self"), but it will provide us with many days of joy, until Tim Pawlenty's "I am addicted to meth" conference next month.