Bin Laden or Jared Leto: Whose Career Looked More Promising In 2000?

Once upon a time there was a magazine. It was called Talk, and Tina Brown made it with her friend Harvey Weinstein. Tina must have had a magical crystal ball because, as we see in this month’s installment, the prescience displayed in this turn-of-the-century synergy handbook is something to behold.

In October 2000, Tina Brown celebrated Talk‘s new office: “After nearly two years in small and excessively intimate ‘temporary’ quarters in midtown Manhattan, we’ve moved downtown into spacious permanent digs in the Chelsea district, designed to our needs and specifications by architect Ross Anderson.”

Other new things celebrated in October 2000: Zooey Deschanel, “a straightforward and unbratty new star”: Battlebots, “homemade robots” beloved by “hobbyists, techies hipsters, [and] WWF enthusiasts”; Hooking Up, Tom Wolfe’s collection “including his devastating 1965 critique of The New Yorker“; and the Toyota Prius, “a remarkably stylish $19,995 full-size sedan.”

Osama bin Laden is a failure

“Since arriving in Afghanistan in the fall of 1999 I’d developed serious doubts about the general quality of the fundamentalists who’d rallied around bin Ladin [sic.]. After visiting Mas’ud’s prison camps, I suspected that most of the Saudi’s minions were poorly educated peasants who’d stick out like sore thumbs at the security controls of a first-rate international airport. Quite likely, bin Ladin bombed America in Africa because he couldn’t get away with it anywhere else.”—Blueprint For Terror, by Reuel Marc Gerecht.

Jared Leto is a star

“Now back in L.A., the actor, who began his career as Claire Danes’s boyfriend on My So-Called Life, and who last year played the blond Angel Face in David Fincher’s Fight Club, does not know what he is doing next—nor need to worry. Whatever else Requiem [for a Dream] does, it proves that Leto is a star.”—Talking Movies, Jared Leto, unbylined.

Spotlight on a new talent.

Ralph Nader will legitimize the Green Party

“There is no reason for anyone to vote for [George W.] Bush, since he has no accomplishments at all other than a passion for executions, which he shares with the country’s lowlifes. There is a feeling that a [Ralph] Nader race will make it possible to form a Greenish party that would get federal funding in 2004. This assumes of course that there will be an election then.”—Gore Vidal speaking to Adam Bellow, The Other Gore.

Marriage will end

“Even our language betrays the new attitudes toward marriage. A reluctance even to use the word seems to be sweeping the West.”—The Case for Marriage, by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher.

The Takeaway

In October 2000, magazines still didn’t have URLs on their covers, but you could run a photo of Sonny Mehta smoking at a party for Joe Eszterhas’ American Rhapsody. You could also run a story about Ben Affleck with the headline “Ben There,” since Twitter didn’t exist and no one could make fun of you. Synergy Watch: Ben Affleck starred in Bounce (produced and distributed by Miramax); ads for Padma Lakshmi’s “Easy Exotic,” Christopher Rice’s A Density of Souls, and Helen De Witt’s The Last Samurai (all published by Talk Miramax Books); short interview with The Last Samurai author Helen DeWitt; two-page ad for the Ford Escape that allows a sweepstakes winner to visit the set of a Miramax film.

Previously: Where Are Bill Clinton, Heidi Klum and Nicole Kidman Now?

Yeah, Matt Haber is still working through that stack of Talk magazines he found on Broadway near Canal this summer.