Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A Little of the Old In and Out

In: Michael Musto. Sometimes we take Michael Musto for granted, we are so used to his charm, his scoop, and his sense of fun. This is not such a time. Today he has a feature in the Village Voice that is simply magnificent:

"And speaking of confusion, the biggest shocker of all is that McGreevey's gay-gay-gay revelation has somehow spelled unemployment for him but so far not anything resembling marital termination. In fact, right after the admission, the scandalized politico and his missus went away for some quality time together. Where�to the Fire Island 'Meat Rack'? What's it gonna take to break up this arrangement? The whole point of a fake marriage, people, is to keep it going only until people find out it's fake. And you certainly wrap it up when the wife finds out it's fake!

"But�someone's gotta say this�Dina's no dummy and he's no genius of discretion. She had to have known! Everyone else, from reporters to Web posters, had buzzed about the supposed liaison for years, so how could she not have gotten the memo? Despite the anonymous source running around claiming that Arianna, I mean Dina, was homo-clueless, I bet the McGreeveys have a de-lovely, we-know-what-it's-about situation and enjoy sharing a home base, even more so when power is tasted. Did you see wifey's face at the press conference? This was no Mrs. Kobe Bryant�type squirmer. The woman almost looked proud! She practically seemed at peace with his having gotten a piece! Maybe this is the marriage of the future�one completely open in its duplicity. "

Isn't this why we've all loved Musto for years? You have to read this.

Out: The LA.com blog's blind item is a bit mild, and we prefer our gossip salsa spicy, but it is a goodie:

"What's causing many a sleepless night for a well-known producer of high-profile TV projects? It seems Mr. Big-Time Producer�s famous minx of a wife has been staying home way too much lately to indulge in her all-consuming obsession--which isn't plastic surgery, drugs, booze, younger guys or women, as have been rumored. It seems the deep-pocketed lady has taken to spending every waking hour outbidding anyone who dares cross her path on eBay. Her junkin� jones started with little tchochkes, but now she�s buying high-ticket items, overpaying enough to make her husband gently but firmly suggest therapy. Apparently, she believes her face and name are so well-known that she�s better off on Internet auctions than showing up at live auctions. Talk about deluded. "

Fuck if I know who this is, but I'll make a blind guess at Barbara Bosson, wife of Steven Bochco. votes for Mrs. Asaad Kelada go here.

In: Cheap Chic. Doesn't it seem like every magazine is now doing a piece on how women buy knockoff designer bags to keep up in our acquisitive capitalist culture? And, frankly, the phenomenon is so large as to actually be considered the norm. That's "cheap chic," I suppose; needing to be competitive in "postmodern" America with the designer handbag, but not having the scrilla, hence, the knockoff boom, which is technically illegal, but only if they catch you in the act.

Anyhoo: Although Vogue has targeted the "no knockoff" high end fashion world, AP writes of them:

"Vogue magazine's powerful editor Anna Wintour may be an ambassador to the rarefied world of haute couture, but the fur-wearing trendsetter says she has nothing against the growing trend of 'cheap chic.'

"'When you see that someone like Isaac Mizrahi is designing for Target and also doing his couture line, or Karl Lagerfeld is designing for H&M, that's all to the good and to the benefit of our industry,' said Wintour, clad in a Chanel tweed shift dress and sitting in her pastel-toned office overlooking Times Square. "

They continue:

"Vogue has enjoyed a 10.5 percent newsstand circulation increase in the first half of the year, compared with a year ago and its 832-page September issue hitting newsstands this week is the magazine's biggest ever, with 647 ad pages and weighing around 4 pounds."

Which, coincidentally, is roughly the weight of an editorial assistant at said magazine.

Out: Kevin Costner is not an ass. He is a prick, actually, if you must know. According to FlyOnTheWall (link via Defamer):

"Aging former A-list actor Kevin Costner, not Jennifer Aniston, was the reason first-time director Ted Griffin recently was fired by Warner Bros. the first week into shooting the Graduate sort-of-sequel, according to a crewmember who witnessed the onset fireworks. (For background on the movie, see The Fly's earlier story here.) Griffin's sudden termination has been one of the hottest Hollywood gossip topics of late, and many media outlets have blamed Aniston, the untitled film's star, for the firing.

"'It's totally Costner's fault, not Jennifer's,' the crewmember confided to The Fly. 'He was constantly in Ted's face about what he was doing wrong, criticizing him repeatedly about his setups in front of Paula [Weinstein, one of the film's producers]. He said several times loudly to anyone who would listen, 'this movie'll take a year to shoot if you don't get rid of Ted.' It was more and more difficult for Ted to maintain any kind of respect from his crew with Costner constantly bitching at him around the clock. Finally, Ted asked Costner rather firmly, but not loudly, to return to his trailer. Costner screamed, 'I will not! Not until you change the lighting set-up like I told you!' At that point, Griffin wrapped filming for the day, notwithstanding that nothing had been shot. He was fired that evening.

"'Kevin acted like he was directing the movie,' our spy reports. 'He repeatedly rubbed it in Ted's face that he had directed three movies. I heard him say at one point, 'I won an Oscar for directing, Ted, so listen to me.' (For those who may have forgotten, Costner also lists 'director' on his resume, having helmed the Oscar-winner Dances With Wolves before ruining his career with the box office stinkbomb The Postman.)

"Costner's arrogant behavior also bothered co-star Shirley MacLaine at one point, who commented loudly to Mena Suvari, 'There once was a time when actors respected their director.' Costner reportedly turned to MacLaine and shouted, 'You keep out of this!' For her part, Anniston spent most of her time in her trailer rehearsing her lines, according to the eyewitness. 'She was always very sweet to Ted when she was on the set,' the crewmember reports. Rob 'Meathead' Reiner has been hired to replace Griffin. Filming is on hiatus until Wednesday."

Hold on, Shirley MacLaine is still alive? That is a newsflash. Those rat packers, still causing a ruckus, even after Old Blue Eyes quietly decomposes. But this Flyonthewall tips appears to me to be someone in the Anniston camp dumping a bowl of hot spaghetti on Costner's ass. You'll not how Anniston, in this account, was just 'innocently reading her lines in the trailer.' Hmm. A likely story.

In: New York City Subway Scams. Who would have thought that there are so many subterranean subway scams going on? Those dirty, shifty people underground. We prefer taxis, but they are so goddamned expensive lately. The otherwise cheery crowd at Gothamist.com kicked it a little sinister today when they started discussing their personal familiarity with hustlers, scam artists and genuine lowlives, and the tension only grew:

"(The old bait and switch) happened to my mom. We were going in the subway, and she was having trouble swiping the all-day card she had bought moments before -- it kept giving her errors. Suddenly a guy appeared out of nowhere to "help" her. He grabbed her card, swiped her through and handed it back.

"Unfortunately, he pulled a switch. A few hours later when she tried to go into the subway again, the turnstile said her card was empty.

"Hope the free day of subway rides that guy stole from her was worth the eternal damnation he's in got in store.

XXX Aug 17, 2004 10:16 AM

"It really sucked. I lost $70!"

"XXX Aug 17, 2004 10:45 AM

"I had the exact same thing happen to me as well, even though I knew�I knew!�there was something fishy going on and I should swipe the card myself instead of letting him do it. This was in the 16th Street entrance to the 14th Street F station, downtown-bound side, and when I got to Second Avenue, I checked my card and reported it immediately. I even spoke with a cop, too, but nothing ever came of it. But I bet that if you staked out that station around 2-ish every afternoon, you could find the guy doing the exact same scam. Anyone wanna bust a scam artist?"

XXX Aug 17, 2004 10:52 AM

"Yeah, I had the same thing happen. I had a very large suitcase that I was trying to manuever through the station. A guy offered to help me through the service gate instead of using the turnstile. He said he'd swipe my card through and then hand it back to me, but instead of the seven-day pass that I handed him, I got back an expired card. Luckily, I had only a couple more days left on it, so I wasn't out much. Now, I never hand my card over to anyone I don't know."

XXX Aug 17, 2004 10:54 AM

"It sucks if you're traveling for the next couple of days, but if you buy the unlimited cards with a credit card, you can call a number and they'll give you a pro-rated refund if the card gets lost (or stolen or whatever). Which came in handy the time I lost my monthly two days after I bought it."

XXX Aug 17, 2004 10:57 AM

"XXX-- it happened to me in the same area of the station. It seemed like the guy had keys to the locked main turnstile area, though someone suggested to me that he might have picked the lock and it just looked like he was unlocking it.

"I wish I could buy my monthlys with a credit card. Transit Checks don't allow you to do that-- you have to hand in paper tickets at the booth.

XXX Aug 17, 2004 11:47 AM


"Damn, I soooo want to put the sting on that guy. I wish I was a cop. How can we get this guy? Thinking about this puts me in a vengeful mood."

Out: Neil Strauss, generally had a good week, garnering respect for the excellent Tom Cruise Rolling Stone cover story, but on Mediabistro, where he speaks on the craft involved in writing the Jenna Jameson biography, he fucked the whole shit up. I was almost a Neil Strauss man until this little chestnut right here:

"I just tried to spend as much time with her and in her world as possible. And that means everything from spending weekends going through photo albums and meeting her family to writing films for her with her husband, Jay, to watching photo shoots, interviews, and Internet chats to just hanging out in Vegas or water-skiing on the lake. To write a book for someone who's a complete stranger beforehand, you need to try to absorb every facet of his or her personality."

Okay, Strauss: the job of the biographer does not include writing porn films for Jenna Jameson with her husband, Jay. Don't even try to sound journo about that, Mr. "Pick Up Artist."

In: Brown Bunny Premiere. I was not a fan of Vincent Gallo, but goddamn, this guy knows how to handle the media. I've never seen anyone consistently wrap the newspapers, the gossip columnists, the hip magazines, the tv shows, the film festivals around his finger like Gallo. He's out of hand.

Anyhoo: The Gawker gang crashed the Brown Bunny Premiere and came away with some interesting pics and, no doubt, wicked hangovers.

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