February 08, 2012
I knew that John F. Kennedy was a compulsive, even pathological adulterer, given to taking outlandish risks after he entered the White House. I knew he treated women like whores. And I knew he had more than a few issues with his father about toughness and manliness and all that. But before I read in the newspaper that Mimi Alford's just-released memoir, Once Upon A Secret: My Affair With President John F.
Bobby Thomson (1923-2010)
August 18, 2010
Bobby Thomson did not recognize his own renown. No matter that the home run he had hit in a Harlem horseshoe on October 3, 1951, remained 49 years later the unsurpassable highpoint of a national pastime, a life marker for a generation of Americans who remembered where they were when the Giants won the pennant (the Giants won the pennant!) as vividly as they did the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the assassination of Kennedy.
The Gospel According to Luce
July 23, 2010
The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century By Alan Brinkley (Knopf, 531 pp., $35) I. Sometimes human beings bring sociological theory to life. Consider the career of Henry Luce. A child of Presbyterian missionaries in China, he pursued wealth and power with unremitting zeal, creating the media empire that dominated American journalism for much of the twentieth century: Time, Inc. Yet Luce never lost touch with his didactic origins, never abandoned the conviction that his magazines should teach Americans the right way of thinking about the world.
The Hurt Locker
January 11, 2010
If you don't follow the NBA, the name Stephen Jackson might not immediately ring a bell. Allow me to reacquaint you. Jackson was the kindly Samaritan who followed his then-Indiana Pacers teammate Ron Artest into the stands to slap some fans around during a 2004 brawl with the Detroit Pistons. For this Jackson received a 30-game suspension. It turned out to be such a life-altering experience that Jackson would never again use his hands as a weapon in public. Not even close. The next time Jackson chose to disturb the peace, he would brandish a bona fide weapon--a 9 mm pistol.
The Turning In Of Fathers, The Turning In Of Sons
December 30, 2009
Brooke Astor's son, Anthony, whom the Daily News called a “convicted swindler,” was accused by his own son Philip basically of “elder abuse.” It's quite likely that Philip hated his father even than more than he may have loved his grandmother whom, we were told ad nauseum, all New Yorkers adored. This mass of people was represented in the court proceedings by just plain folks like Henry Kissinger and Annette De La Renta. Their accusations against the Astor fortune heiress' only child seemed real, and the judge was, well, judicious.
It's 3 AM, Is Your Spokesperson's Voice Mail Full?
November 18, 2009
I was reading the Alaska papers this morning and came across this snippet. Now Sarah Palin is reportedly forming a new political organization, although the details are sketchy. Cindy Adams, a gossip columnist in the New York Post, reported Monday that it would be called "Stand up for Our Nation." Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton, who has kept her phone voice mail full for the past year, did not respond to e-mailed questions from the Daily News about whether it was for real or not. [Emphasis mine] The spokesperson for a national politician hasn’t cleaned out her voicemail in a year? A year?
April 15, 2009
On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.
Did Palin Really Fight The “Bridge To Nowhere”?
August 29, 2008
Republicans have been heavily touting Sarah Palin's reformist credentials, with her supposed opposition to Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" as Exhibit A. But how hard did she really fight the project? Not very, it seems. Here's what she told the Anchorage Daily News on October 22, 2006, during the race for the governor's seat (via Nexis): 5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges? Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later.
Ted Kennedy Picks A Successor
May 22, 2008
According to the Daily News, Ted Kennedy has a plan for his succession: Ted Kennedy has made clear to confidants that when his time is up, he wants his Senate seat to stay in the family - with his wife, Vicki. Multiple sources in Massachusetts with close ties to the liberal lion say his wife of 16 years has long been his choice to continue carrying the family flame in the Senate. Kennedy won the seat in 1962; his brother John held it from 1953 to 1960. Ted, who defiantly went sailing (!) yesterday, isn't giving up yet, so it may not even come to this. And Vicki isn't unqualified.
October 11, 1982
With great fanfare, the New York Daily News announced on May 1, 1982: NEWS TO CITY: WE'RE HERE TO STAY. Its owner, the Chicago Tribune company, had just discovered that it could neither sell nor close the News, and had decided, perforce, to keep it going. On an inside page, the paper announced: TRlB TO RUPERT: DROP DEAD. That blunt message was intended, of course, for Rupert Murdoch, Australian proprietor of the New York Post, the evening paper with which the News is waging the most acrimonious newspaper war the country has seen in years.