I don’t like to make too much of all the celebrity heirs who, in an extremely down media market, somehow keep on snagging major journalism gigs. It makes me sound bitter and envious and uncharitable, all of which I sort of am. But how can anyone help it? All the so-called smart people who run the networks keep on hiring them, at vast expense and for no good reason.Read more
It’s hard to know what to make of Lincoln Dreamt He Died. On reading the title, my first irreverent thought was: Hey, safe bet. My second: Contrary to popular myth-ology, many of us dream of our own deaths—and guess what? We’re prophetic! Then I studied the subtitle and worried some more. Was this going to be as bad as the publisher heralded?Read more
The tragedy of Paula Deen, I believe, is not her heart-rending choice of pink liquid cosmetics on the occasion of her famously damp sua culpa (my term for blaming current shortcomings on one’s social origins). Nor is it her provocative defense against accusations of racism: “I is what I is” plays as badly on the electronic media as it does in ESL classes. Well, maybe years ago it would have gone down passably on Mayberry R. F. D., but morning television doesn’t coddle tautological idiots.Read more
"Valerie Plame’s career as a CIA operative was cut short when her cover was blown by George W. Bush’s White House,” reads the blurb of Plame’s latest imaginative stab. “Now, after dedicating herself to protecting the nation from its enemies, Plame turns to fiction . . .”Read more
I’m burning with envy. Here I’ve been plugging away of late in places like Oklahoma City and Scottsdale. Meanwhile, both Susan Mary Alsop and Kati Marton, heroines of two ostensibly different books, had a much better idea.Read more
Grey Gardens itself is a marvel. . . . Like Ben and Sally’s other two homes, it’s ritzy and historic and perfectly restored and all of that, but more than anything it’s just a beautiful place. The gardens take up an entire acre and are as lush as you can imagine, full of archways and hydrangeas and picturesque seating arrangements that nobody ever uses. . . . Time spent there is an idyll. You get up whenever you want. . . . Evelyn cooks your breakfast to order. . . . In the Hamptons, there’s always a party, and Ben and Sally are always invited.Read more
The main reason I wanted to read Prime Time, which is Jane Fonda’s latest book—there have been others—about Jane Fonda, is because of its cover. On the right-hand side, next to a large color photograph of the actress, her lips painted the precise color of her sweater (tangerine) and her hair abundantly streaked, ’70s-style, are the following words, punched out, perhaps, in order of their importance to her:Read more
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