Friday, October 31, 2008

Survivor's "pin-up" Sugar is a nude actress

Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, who made Survivor history last night by being sent to Exile Island five challenges in a row, is billed as a "pin-up model" on the CBS reality series, though" Sugar" is actually a veteran TV and movie actress who's been on shows like For Your Love, Undressed, and Gilmore Girls and, pictured below, in films like 2007's Sex and Death 101.

Muriel Reis, attorney in tabloid television heyday

Muriel Reis was the attorney for Fox Television when we at A Current Affair were breaking all the laws in the book in the early days of tabloid television. Muriel, who was featured prominently in the book Tabloid Baby, died on Wednesday. We last saw her at the Steve Dunleavy tribute in midtown Manhattan earlier this month, and all of us at TabloidBaby.com offer condolences to her family and friends.

From Legacy.com:

Muriel Henle Reis, beloved wife of Arthur Reis, Jr., for 55 years, devoted mother of Arthur Henle Reis, Diane Mary Reis and Pamela Robin Reis, and a trail blazer for women in the legal profession, died peacefully on Wednesday, October 29th, at her home in Manhattan.

The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

A legal expert on the First Amendment, libel law and the Federal Communications Commission, she worked on legal issues confronting the broadcast industry for more than 50 years. Upon her graduation from Columbia Law School in 1949, she joined the American Broadcasting Company's legal staff, and in 1958 she went to work for Metromedia, Inc., first serving as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary. In 1974, she became vice president of Metromedia's WNEW-TV and was named associate general counsel of Metromedia in 1985.

In 1992, she became vice president for legal affairs and East Coast litigation, at Fox Television (which had acquired Metromedia) and held that position until her retirement in 2005. During her tenure at Fox, she provided legal counsel to the upstart television program, "A Current Affair" and helped create the Fox News Network. In addition to being a leading First Amendment lawyer, she also worked as an on-air legal commentator, providing legal analysis during the murder trial of OJ Simpson. She hosted a public affairs program, "Sunday Night with Muriel Reis," was a guest host of the program "Midday Live," and made numerous appearances on "Good Day New York" as a legal expert.

She was honored in 1994 by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences by being inducted into the Silver Circle, an elite group of media professionals who made significant contributions to their industry and their community over a career span of at least 25 years. A lifelong and devoted New Yorker and a graduate of the Brearley School and Vassar College, she felt compelled to contribute to her community and the city she loved. She served on the New York Lawyers' Association Task Force on Judicial Independence and co-chaired the Media Subcommittee. She was a member of the Bar Association of the City of New York and served on its Communication Law Committee.

In addition to her pioneering work as a lawyer, she was a passionate advocate for disadvantaged children. Her desire to help those in need led to her to contribute her time and talents to the Children's Aid Society. She was also a valued member of the board of directors of CASA, an organization of court appointed special advocates working on behalf of children in foster care, as well as a tenacious CASA volunteer, who used her legal skills to help improve the lives of others. She had a brilliant mind, a loving heart and a spirit of generosity that extended to all who knew her.

She was loved by her four grandchildren, Chloe Reis Hyman, Mara Claire McCartin, Elisa Reis McCartin, and Lucas Henle Reis Hyman, her daughter-in-law Marianne McGeary Reis and her sons-in-law, Joseph A. McCartin and Kevin Hyman. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and professional colleagues.

Contributions in her memory may be made to CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, 50 Broadway, 31 Floor, New York, NY 10004.

Share your memories or condolences here at Legacy.com.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

John McCain is a confused old man II

At least Richard Nixon knew where to find his plumbers.

Dr. Ghoul's Realm of Bizarre Halloween News

The Realm Of Bizarre News 45: Halloween Special

Tabloid Baby pal, contributor, columnist and TV, movie and music video star Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. loves Halloween! So of course the Doctor (yes, that's him behind the mask!) has got a special Halloween edition of The Realm of Bizarre News.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Justice for Lana Clarkson this time?

Phil Spector went on trial today for the second time in the fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson on February 3, 2003.

Spector walked into court. Lana did not. The new panel of jurors will look at the photos below and try to decide if they believe Spector's contention it was suicide.

The New 30 hits stride in new Hollywood preview

No one was bold enough to show proof of Botox treatment to get free admission into the latest preview of The New 30 at the Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip last night, but that had to be the only disappointment, as another star-studded crowd of Hollywood notables and celebs laughed, cheered and begged for mercy as veteran comic Alan Bursky ripped through Eric Cohen's solo performance piece.

In what was only the second outing for the hilarious play about Baby Boomers and their attempts to cheat Father Time and beat the reaper, Bursky, who'd been honing his chops in at Harrah's Improv in Vegas this month, demonstrated an ease with and control of the material that reminded the audience they were in the presence of a pro as he sold the each and every line throughout.

Bursky's revival and career resurgence with this tailor-made role is a delight to the Hollywood comedy crowd and the stuff of Hollywood lore-- and even greater in light of the Hollywood lore Bursky has already contributed to in his fifty-something-- make that 30 something-- years (watch this space for our exclusive interview about his wild ride).

Cohen's play itself is tailor-made for a wide audience, as it tackles subjects that touch and unite us all (Hollywood narcissism, middle-aged vanity and America's obsession with youth are united in an overriding fear of death) with refreshing laughs that make the uncomfortable truths go down easily.

And with our pals at Frozen Pictures doing triple duty as technical crew, stage hands and gladhanding show business players, the show went off with nary a hitch-- and any hitches in this latest, fleshed-out version of The New 30 only drew more laughs and applause from an appreciative audience that included boldface names like comedy superstar Drew Carey, TV legend Chris Bearde, Laugh Factory owner and comedy guru Jamie Masada, actor Antonio D. Charity, producer Yasmin Brennan and Hollywood blogger Luis Calvo.

The group is still polishing this gem, so it's obvious there are even more new laughs to come . The show's got one more Laugh Factory preview on Thursday, November 6th. The Botox offer still applies.

Alan Bursky & Eric Cohen shortly before the show

Exclusive! The playwright watches his work:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Special offer! See The New 30 at half-price!

Double-click the poster, print it out and bring it in for half-price admission for the new hit solo performance comedy show, The New 30, tomorrow, Tuesday, October 28th, and/or Thursday, November 6th.

(Free admission with proof of Botox!)

MyHollywood team creams TMZ in Hudson story

Hey, credit where credit is due in coverage of the Jennifer Hudson family murder tragedy.

While the boys at the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com tinkled their jeans since the weekend, merrily stringing out details in the story among their usual clueless classless WeHo headlines like "Nice Cans," "Zac-- Ripped for Her Pleasure," "Ben Affleck Stumps Random Woman," "Goalie Eats It on Palin's Rug," and all-too familiar coprophiliac, scatological headlines like "Keanu Jury-- Filthy with Movie Doody" (seriously, Harvey, who's the scat freak?), it was the witty, attractive young Peyton Daley over at MyHollywood.com who scooped the shaved bronzed midget and everyone else by being the first to confirm that it was indeed the body of Jennifer's nephew Julian King that was found in an SUV this morning.

TMZ reported the discovery around the same time as the MyHollywood team, but didn't confirm it was Julian until 2 pm Pacific time. That was around the same time the "mainstream" media reported the news.

MyHollywood.com (the site you know from its hilarious banned Joan Rivers Emmy coverage) beat them all by more than seven hours.

The Hollywood insider site had the scoop at 6:45 am, with the to-the-point, uncute headline: Update: Jennifer Hudson's nephew found dead ("Police haven’t confirmed the body is Julian’s, but sources tell me that it is."). Simple, to the point, with better sources, they got the story and moved on.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bursky kills in Vegas on road to 'The New 30'

Legendary comedian Alan Bursky, star of the new solo performance show, The New 30 has wrapped a smash stand at The Improv at Harrah's in Las Vegas, and is headed from the Vegas Strip to the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for Tuesday's big preview of The New 30 at the Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip.

Acclaimed Vegas photographer Erik Kabik snapped the shots that were featured on Robin Leach's Vegas star blog. Expect more at the October 28th preview of a show that's already been hailed (by us!) as "a nonstop laughfest... hilarious and knowing... laugh-out-loud!"

Bursky is rising as the comedy comeback story of the year as this veteran stand-up is finding a new audience in Eric Cohen's laff riot of a play about baby boomers, Botox, Viagra and beyond (that's produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures).

Half price tix with the flyer below.

Watch this space for more on Bursky.

"Diva" Sarah Palin goes rogue

Former prisoner of war John McCain created a monster with his impetuous, reckless, cynical decision to name dangerously unqualified religious extremist and right wing ideologue Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. CNN reports that McCain advisers say Palin has stepped aside from the failing campaign, has gone alarmingly "off message" and is laying the groundwork for her future as figurehead of a divisive, racist Republican party.

In their words, the empty-vessel demagogue is "going rogue":

"McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate...

"A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

"'She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,' said this McCain adviser. 'She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

"'Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.'

"...Two sources... defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.

"'Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,' said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the 'hardest' to get her 'up to speed than any candidate in history.'"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

TV reporter Anne Pressly dies of attack injuries

Anne Pressly, the TV reporter from Little Rock who was beaten and stabbed in her bed by person or persons unknown earlier this week, has died of her injuries.

Her family won't release details, and police have not made an arrest in the mysterious attack on the woman best known for portraying a conservative TV pundit in Oliver Stone's George Bush biopic, W., and for an ambush interview with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Anne was just 26. Our readers had sent get well wishes to her Facebook page.

Her parents released this statement a little while ago:

"We are profoundly saddened to tell you that our dear Anne has lost her struggle for life. It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home. We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our Heavenly Father.

"The outpouring of compassion we have received is truly a testament to the way in which Anne has touched so many people in a positive way. Thank you for your prayers and your many acts of kindness. We are grateful for the wonderful care Anne received from her doctors, nurses and others at St. Vincent.

"Our lives will not be the same without her. We ask that you continue to pray for us as we struggle to move forward without our dear sweet daughter. We also ask that you give us the privacy we need at this very difficult time."

Guy and Patti Cannady

The parents of Anne Pressly

Nudes: GOP scum target Obama's dead mother

"It may not be true, but fuck it! 'Cause they're both dead!
And if it ain't true, nobody'll know!"

--Tabloid Baby, pg 10

Everybody knows you don't go after a person's mother.
--Tabloid Baby, pg 428

We were waiting to see how low the McCain campaign would go in its desperate attempts to drag down Barack Obama, but of all the lowdown tactics pulled by the angry old prisoner of war and his embarrassing, shockingly unqualified, empty-vessel demagogue attack dog of a vice presidential candidate, we didn't expect they'd go after Obama's dead mother on the same day he'd taken time to visit his dying grandmother. The picture above and a couple of more like it were unearthed, probably doctored and leaked to some operative blogsite with the claim that the woman pictured could possibly have been Obama's mother, Ann Dunham Soetoro, with bizarre analysis equating jazz albums in the pictures to communist ties and possible questions about Obama's true paternity.

After all the scare tactics about Obama being a terrorist (and black!), this is what they were holding back? The photos have no potential possible effect on Obama's campaign, so the entire reason they were posted was to throw more mud. And with a week and a half until the election, it's frightening to consider what the GOP, Fox News and Bush family-- with their decades of connections to the bin Ladens of Saudi Arabia-- might try in an attempt to shift some votes away from the next President of The United States. These are the kinds of scumbags who've got to be left behind.

And so what if she did pose?

John McCain is a confused old man

This week in Pennsylvania. Is there any wonder they spread the phony story of the Pennsylvania McCain worker who'd claimed an Obama thug carved a "B" in her cheek? The story was an obvious fake-- the "B" was backwards (done in a mirror-- see Tabloid Baby, pg 25), but even so, Drudge left it up as his lead story for a day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jerry Lewis says "fag," minces, doesn't get laughs

Oh, that Jerry Lewis. The Tabloid Baby comedy hero who is exposed in a very wonderful way in the book of the same name, has caused a real kerfuffle in Sydney, Australia today, where he let loose with another anti-gay slur at a press conference.

Jerry, whose onscreen relationship with Dean Martin and many subsequent film roles cast him in gay-tinged or effeminate light, is 83, so... here's the story from a very helpful Australian gay website:

At a press conference in Sydney today 83 year old comedian Jerry Lewis decided to let fly with the word ‘fag’. And what’s even more shocking, a major Australian news outlet didn’t even feel the need to edit the word out before televising the interview.

While speaking with a journalist from Channel Ten News, Lewis was asked “What do you think of cricket?” His response was, “Oh cricket is a fag’s game!” Lewis then proceeded to flounce about, using camp, effeminate gestures, pretending to hold a bat with a limp wrist, squealing in a high pitched voice “Ah! The ball is coming towards me!”

He may have intended for it to be amusing, but not everyone is laughing.

It’s not the first time Jerry Lewis has publicly used the word ‘fag’. Last year he used it during his annual Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy on American television. He issued a written apology afterwards, but it would seem he hasn’t learned his lesson at all...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dr. Ruehl costars in Ed McMahon's rap video!

Poor old destitute Ed McMahon is making some quick cash by starring in a couple of comedy rap videos for a credit report company. The good news is that Tabloid Baby pal, contributor, columnist and TV, movie and music video star Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. is a costar!

Writes the good Doctor:

"I am in part 2, RAPS 2, also separately listed as "McGangsta."

"I am seen with my repent sign and raccoon hat 38-42 seconds into it, and at the very end-- 55-56 sec-- in a pirate hat, dancing with others in his motel room."

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Dangerous Sarah Palin puts vote in God's hands

Sarah Palin said in an interview with evangelist James Dobson that she's not discouraged by the polls and again demonstrated that she is a dangerous religious extremist whom we can't get off the political trail and into a show on the Fox News Channel quickly enough:

"To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder. And it also strengthens my faith, because I'm going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on November 4th. So I'm not discouraged at all.

"When we hear along the rope lines that people are interceding for us and praying for us, it's our reminder to do the same, to put this all in God's hands, to seek his perfect will for this nation, and to of course seek his wisdom and guidance in putting this nation back on the right track.

"It is that intercession that is so needed and so greatly appreciated. And I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation.

"That filter (of the 'mainstream media') has to be erased. So we have to have faith in the wisdom of the people that they'll understand what our message is. But even bigger that then, I have to have that faith that God is going to help us get that message out there."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Network hypocrites could use tabloid morality

Word comes this afternoon that NBC News has paid $5,000 for an exclusive interview with Cindy Anthony, the mother of Casey Anthony, that woman in Florida who's in jail on charges she murdered her daughter Cayle Anthony, who's been missing for months.

Paid for an interview?

Network news?

An NBC mouthpiece says: "NBC News does not pay for interviews. NBC News paid a nominal licensing fee for photos, which is very common in the industry."

Last month, it was reported that a "major media organization" helped pay Casey's bail the first time she was in jail. An insider said that ABC News paid more than $200,000 to the alleged child killer to license images and video for a segment on 20/20 report. ABC wouldn't confirm the amount but admitted they licensed footage from "rights holders."

Be it Britney Spears or a murderer, network news operations pay for interviews. They cloak the payments with forked tongues, but they pay... and they don't make the distinction, as would a good tabloid operation, whether a victim or criminal gets the money.

After attack on Oliver Stone-linked TV reporter, Dr. Ruehl explores conspiracy theories in the latest installment of The Realm of Bizarre News

The Realm Of Bizarre News 44: Conspiracy Theories

In wake of the attack on Little Rock television newsreader Anne Pressly, who had a part as an Ann Coulter-type in Oliver Stone;s new film, W.,Tabloid Baby pal, contributor, columnist and TV, movie and music video star Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. looks at other recent politically-connected conspiracies and mysteries in this week's installment of The Realm of Bizarre News. Actually, he recorded the segment before the Pressly story broke-- but it all fits, doesn't it?

Anne is notable not only for her role in the Stone movie. As roving reporter for KATV's Daybreak and Good Morning Arkansas shows, she's the one who caught vice president Dick Cheney shopping in Macks Prairie Wings sporting outfitters in the town of Stuttgart, and interviewed him in the ammunition aisle.

Join us in sending your best wishes to Ann on her Facebook page.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Exclusive: November is George Carlin Month

Tabloid Baby pal Jeff Abraham sends us this exclusive news:

NEW BLU-RAY, DVD & CD Releases from the Legendary Comedian

“I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn
and cross it deliberately.”

--George Carlin
Having just celebrated his 50th Anniversary in show business last year and the recipient of the forth-coming Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on November 10th, legendary comedian George Carlin is once again providing to be the necessary voice in the world of comedy.

On November 25th, MPI Home Video is proud to announce the release of It’s Bad For Ya, Carlin’s Emmy nominated 14th and final HBO special from March 2008 on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s Bad For Ya features Carlin’s noted irreverent and unapologetic observations on topics ranging from death, religion, patriotism and big business to the pungent examinations of modern language and the “decrepit state of the American culture.” Blu-ray suggested retail is $24.98 and $19.98 for the DVD.

It’s Bad For Ya also includes a 30 minute featurette titled “Too Hip For the Room,” which is a wonderfully candid interview conducted by The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s Archive of American Television program where Carlin speaks about his early influences, philosophy, comedic style, major career milestones, and his legacy.

Carlin said of It’s Bad For Ya, “Doing new stuff is a point of pride with me. I can't do old material; I would feel like a failure. People may not consider it so, but stand-up comedy is one of the performing arts, and artists are supposed to grow and evolve over time. Through the years, my technique has sharpened, my writing has improved and even my observations have grown richer.”

And without question did comedian George Carlin grow as an artist. And now fans of Carlin will be able to examine that evolution with the November 4th CD debut release of CARLIN ON CAMPUS from Laugh.com. Long out of print since its 1984 LP release, CARLIN ON CAMPUS features such classic routines: Cars and Driving, An Incomplete List of Impolite Words and of course, Baseball and Football.

CARLIN ON CAMPUS was the first title released by the comedian on his own label Eardrum Records whose motto was ‘Stick It In Your Ear’ in 1984 and should not be confused with his 4th HBO special of the same name as the material on the original LP was different. Suggested retail is $12.98

During his half century career, Carlin starred in an unprecedented 14 HBO specials spanning four decades and released 22 solo albums (18 stand-up albums and 4 audio books), which have been nominated for Grammy Awards ten times and taken home the coveted prize four times.

And for the complete Carlin enthusiast; George Carlin: All My Stuff, a DVD box set of all the comedians' previous HBO specials, is also available from MPI Home Video.

Carlin will always remain part of the popular lexicon as his "Seven Dirty Words" routine were the subject of the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 5-4 decision by the justices affirmed the government's right to regulate spoken-word performances on the public airwaves.

Carlin was never afraid to push the comic envelope and make audiences laugh and think. In turn, George Carlin influenced generations of comedians from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock who all site him as an inspiration and “whose shoulders in turn the next generations of comedians will stand on.”


The comedian, musician, singer, film actor, producer and Blaxploitation legend died in Akron at 81. Tabloid Baby pal Ross The Boss Guidici directed the definitive Rudy Ray Moore documentary, The Legend of Dolemite: Bigger & Badder.

The Seventh Python joins election fray

Updated product from our pals at Frozen Pictures...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dr. Ruehl tackles cosmic depletion in Bizarre News

The Realm Of Bizarre News 43: Cosmic Depletion

Global warming? The oil crunch? Tabloid Baby pal, contributor, columnist and TV, movie and music video star Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. discusses the real environmental crisis: cosmic depletion, in this latest installment of The Realm of Bizarre News.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Does this count as a "negative" ad? Very funny...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dunleavy postscript: Once were warriors

Most apparent from the crowd at Steve Dunleavy’s retirement party earlier this month was its substantiality in terms of journalistic background and accomplishment. The number of editors, writers, reporters, media professionals, tabloid journos and pop culture stars was a reminder that the tabloid television genre began as something very different than what was mutated from its drippings, as show business and network news bystanders insinuated themselves into the mix, leaving a legacy of having, as The New York Times pointed out partially erroneously in its Dunleavy tribute, “inspired a lot of what is on television today, like TMZ.com, Court TV and Fox News Channel.”

True enough that Roger Ailes appropriated the tabloid template stamped by Peter Brennan and perverted it for sordid political ends that gave the world the war in Iraq and the increasingly desperate and hysteric GOP talking point parrot Sean Hannity, and though the Times erred in stating that Court TV is “on television today”-- it was replaced by truTV nine and a half months ago-- it’s saddest to think that what was begun in New York City’s grittiest and most legendary local television news operation and what shook the television newsworld to its very core would be reduced in Timesian arrogance to the slime of the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com and its inconsequential whitewashed syndicated television sister, who work in an amoral, immoral celeb-sucking netherworld that runs absolutely counter to the taboid teachings of the giants who gathered in the Bourbon Street Bar on West 46th Street on the evening of October 6th to say goodbye or at least pay tribute to the greatest giant among many.

TMZ? Read Tabloid Baby to learn the background of its shaved bronzed midget frontman and the women who nurtured his rise. And read Tabloid Baby to find what The Times and others in the "mainstream" dare not admit: that the true influence of Steve Dunleavy, A Current Affair and the tabloid revolution is reflected in the pages of the New York Times, the staffing and coverage of the network news organizations and stories and news that envelope our culture in a 24/7 cycle.

At that party earlier this month, Dunleavy himself sat with his back to the bar, roped off from the crowd at a high table with his wife Gloria at his side and behind her, always deep in conversation, Rupert Murdoch, looking very much like a rumpled newspaper boss, not the international billionaire mogul with the exotic young bride; his hair streaked Grecian Formula black and not the orange or aubergine we’d read about in the Vanity Fair article on the flight from LA a few hour earlier.

Jim Brady was a step ahead of us as we pushed through the crowd to greet Steve. Brady took Dunleavy’s hand, gave his shoulder a squeeze, told Steve he’d be missed and that now was the time for him to write the autobiography. Brady, a former Murdoch man who writes the celeb profiles for Parade and Forbes, broke the story of Steve’s infirmities. He wrote a belated tribute in Forbes last week which we reprint even more belatedly:

Brady On Media
Dunleavy And The Boss
James Brady 10.09.08, 6:00 AM ET

He's one of the last of the old-time big city newspaper leg men, and now the legs are shot, so last Tuesday, a rainy night at a vintage gin mill in Manhattan's theater district, a bunch of us got together to serenade the outrageous Steve Dunleavy into hard-earned retirement at age 70.

I don't know that many of the old press lords--Luce or Hearst or Joe Pulitzer or Jock Whitne--attended goodbye parties for booze-lubricated reporters in their employ, but Rupert Murdoch did. The Dow had plummeted by 777 points the day before, the Jewish holidays had just begun, Murdoch's New York Post was cheerleading for McCain and Palin, and there was Murdoch in a gray suit, coming in from the rain, past the bagpipers and firemen, the movers and shakers, the cops, the pretty girls and half the Post's city room, to say goodbye to a man who'd worked for him 40 years.

Dunleavy had commandeered for himself a familiar bit of bar, where he stood, sober if somewhat shaky, greeting well-wishers but refusing to rest his skinny butt on a bar stool. Steve, long ago, worked for me back on the National Star, a supermarket tabloid Murdoch launched in 1974, but I told that story in this column months ago, when Dunleavy first confessed his legs were going and he might have to pack in his column for the Post. (See "'Dirt' On TV.")

Steve's last week began in extraordinary fashion when The New York Times ran a thousand-word feature on him. The Post and the Times have been feuding so bitterly in recent years, this was the equivalent of a Tass editorial in praise of Capitalism. Tim Arango wrote the Times piece, quoting not only Murdoch but old rivals Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill, Post editor Col Allan, and Jonathan Mahler, author of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning.

I especially liked Jimmy's line, "Steve is one of the three people in America who loves Rupert Murdoch. In a time of listless reporting, he climbed stairs. And he wrote simple declarative sentences that people could read." Breslin then derided today's newspaper sentences, "52-word gems that moan, I went to college! I went to graduate school college! Where do I put the period?" Hamill, who once shared with Dunleavy a mutual distaste, appeared to have mellowed, saying of Steve, "He always had this energy. I always thought he was writing his columns like he was double-parked."

After I chatted up Dunleavy, urging him to write another best-selling potboiler while he was still alive, and demanding had he been, in Aussie slang, a "wanker" or a "poofter"? "I was a wanker, mate, but never a poofter." Then, with a bottle of Corona, I worked the room, chatting up editor Col Allan, who may not own a necktie, but who was actually jotting notes, covering the story; columnist Cindy Adams; lanky, red-haired reporter Cynthia Fagen ("the carrot"); and rock critic Dan Aquilante ("You gave me my start on Page Six!"). Also in attendance were firefighters' union leader Steve Cassidy; Ed Burns, the retired cop whose sons Ed and Brian make movies; PR guru Howard Rubenstein; former Post publisher Marty Singerman; Richard Johnson and Paula Froelich of Page Six; restaurateur Elaine Kaufman; some TV types and a gent from Bamberger's in Newark.

At the door, they were handing out eight-page mock-ups of the Post, packed with stories and pics of the evening's hero: Steve with Reagan; with Castro; holding the gun that shot Lennon; with Joey Buttafuoco; Mike Tyson; the Boston Strangler; Bill O'Reilly; at home with Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate; arm-wrestling with Mike Bloomberg; with Geraldo; asleep in a city room chair. Ray Kerrison, who was our racetrack columnist from those first days at the Star, wrote a loving reminiscence, headlined, "50 wild years of news and booze with the man who's king of both.

It's probably my fault for leaving the party early, but when I went out into West 46th Street, not a single punch had yet been thrown, a cop or fireman thrown out, an editor or publisher pummeled, an ear bitten off, or Rupert--standing there happily amid the scrum--cornered by any number of bores, but not being chewed by anyone. Not with Steve Dunleavy, shakily but faithfully, there at his side.

Loyalty most places is pretty rare, so it was nice being at the Bourbon Street Bar, remembering 1974 when I was broke, writing and hosting a New York magazine cable TV talk show for nothing, when Murdoch came to America to stay, hiring me to run his new tabloid, and nothing ever again would be the same. For me or for any of us.

"Dunleavy will be your chief reporter," Rupert said then. "Just don't go drinking with him." A week later, my "chief reporter" and I were having the first of many at Tim Costello's bar. As Dunleavy was quoted in the Times: "I always had dreams of dying at the desk. It's frustrating not doing what I love best, and serving--I know it sounds corny--the one who I admire the most. Murdoch. The boss."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Update: TMZ's coprophilia editor corrects copy

This morning on the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com:

Corrected this afternoon on the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com:

TMZ pitches political point by pushing porn

"I see huge opportunities in covering politics in a way that would be interesting and fun for people. People say you can't make politicians as interesting as Hollywood celebrities, because they're not as good-looking, not as well-known, not as entertaining. I totally disagree." --Harvey Levin, Playboy magazine

Remember when shaved bronzed midget Harvey Levin, frontman for the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com and its inconsequential whitewashed syndicated television sister was dishing about expanding his sewage site's scope to include Washington D.C. and politics? Well, we all woke up to the result this morning as TMZ continues its promotion of the porn flick Who's Nailin' Paylin, and we'd assume the Time Warner AOL overlords and their corporate cousins at CNN also got a whiff that Harvey and boyteam are bringing in pin money by pimping porn products (and don't tell us somebody's not getting a kickback).

It's another sign of trouble at TMZ, which we hear is experiencing corporate blowback over its subliterate and offensive ways, which to us, frankly, have gotten very boring, which is why we haven't posted much about the once-powerful bully pulp-- oh, and did we mention coprophilia? Check out this other "party" post from this morning where the thesaurus-wielding editor got to show off his kink by using the word "micturition":

It's not that TMZ hasn't expanded the boundaries. What other mainstream "family" television show allows its on-air talent to post photos like the one below that's featured on his MySpace page?

By the way, the caption is "He's had bigger!"