I found that many of the people I spoke with suspected the real changes at [The New Republic] would come at the expense of Leon Wieseltier—who had his own charmed life as the oldest young man in the room…. Wieseltier ruled a sort of archipelago of learnedness in the magazine’s back pages—haunted by its own testy thoroughgoing-ness, dense with type and argument, and deliberately off-putting. “In the old days, I used to get shit from certain people about difficult words or references,” Wieseltier says. “The irony now is that I just smile and say, ‘Google it.’ I have no conscience about that anymore.” His culture section, which often [...]
There are very few people who deserve some measure of fame for appearing on reality TV. Johnny Weir, for one, clearly. And also New York fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone. So here's a very limited (and slightly rough) transcript of Bravo's press conference call today, in anticipation of her reality show "Kell on Earth" next month. (See also: how your tabloid sausage quotes get made!)
Slate's Jonah Weiner writes a good piece about why music magazines are dying. Part of the problem is what they like to call "access": "When I profiled BeyoncÃƒÂ© for a 2006 Blender cover story, I was granted one hour to interview her and one hour to observe her at a video shoot. I stayed on the set for three hours, hoping to wring some lively detail from the mundane proceedings, until a bodyguard showed me the door. BeyoncÃƒÂ©'s mother, Tina, gave me a warm goodbye, then called a publicist to chew her out for letting me hang around so long and accused me of 'going through BeyoncÃƒÂ©'s underwear.' (I'd [...]
There is no way this is true. This year, says the New York Observer, Vanity Fair and Bloomberg News are actually co-hosting an afterparty for the White House Correspondent's Dinner. (In previous years, they've been "competing" parties. Which is to say, one was at an embassy, the other was at Chris Hitchen's not-so-big apartment.) According to Vanity Fair's publicist Beth Kseniak, "the entire guest list will be trimmed to just 200 people." Highly unlikely!
It's never a good idea to go to Canada. And there were some other bad choices here-such as keeping the phone in "roaming" mode in a "foreign country," which, yes it is Canada but they do have a phone network. But no one should have to suffer like film publicist Reid Rosefelt: "I went to the Toronto Film Festival for 5 days and 4 hours and received a $1524 AT&T bill for data charges on top of the $199 paid for the first 200 MB. A total of $1723." And it ends… not well! "Eventually I found a sympathetic operator who filed a 4-page application for a full [...]
This profile of PR man Matthew Hiltzik today-and Hiltzik's relationship with his client Glenn Beck-is a fascinating thing. Hiltzik leapfrogged from Miramax to the New York office of Freud Communications to a time when he went missing in Florida for a while to his own firm. Along the way, he worked with Hillary Clinton and Katie Couric. Well. Hiltzik has, let us call it, a style that is remarkable. His technique consists of actually not being able to stop talking. He will call you on the phone and eventually you just have to hang up on him. He says now that he represents Couric and Annie Leibovitz and Alec [...]
AMC brought out the cast of Mad Men last night in L.A. (well, PASADENA) for the Television Critics Association hoo-ha. There was much Jon Hamm chasing (obvs), which did not go well, as handlers kept yanking him away. But things apparently got worse? Reports the LA Times: "There was nothing else to do but whine to a colleague from another major newspaper who then shared that while he was interviewing one of Hamm's costars, he was interrupted by a publicist who resorted to violence to end that interview. She had the nerve to strike him in the back!" I knew the publicists were out of control-but I do believe [...]
Goldman and Associates, the PR firm that just got a reporter fired from the Richmond, VA Style Weekly, is feeling that warm, winning feeling. The reporter, Chris Dovi, misfired an email to the PR person he was bitching about instead of to his boss. Jason Roop, the editor in chief with no spine, fired him, because Dovi USED A SWEAR WORD-Dovi referred to the PR person's client as "this blind fucker." Here's Chris Dovi's piece on a local transgender cop getting fired, a recent piece on gentrification and abuses of the community complaint system and one on the local Hasid population. He's available [...]
"Hollywood publicists are so used to journalists kowtowing to their every request that they no longer understand what journalism actually is." I bring that up because I just always like hearing people say that out loud! So yes, this was even the case when John Ortved was writing about 'The Simpsons' for Vanity Fair.
Dear ID PR professional publicity service representatives, I'm quite sorry that I referred to your staff as "girls." I was actually reeling at the moment, because one of you popped on the phone and interrupted your client mid-sentence, your Bernie-Madoff-victim client Kyra Sedgwick that I was talking to on the day Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. That reflexive, unacknowledged, totally random sexism on my part was realy uncalled for! Next time I will aim for "ladies" or even higher, like "women" or "people." Also some of you somewhere are probably men even! (Or boys, I guess.) Sorry! I guess at least I didn't go all [...]