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Fifty Years Of Joe Gould’s Secret

0817gould.gifAlthough we’re big fans of the current David Remnick/Sy Hersh/Malcolm Gladwell incarnation of the New Yorker, it’s the mag’s storied history that gets us.

Like Joe Gould’s Secret. Written by genius New Yorker scribe Joseph Mitchell, it told the tale of a Greenwich Village eccentric named Joe Gould who clucked like a sea gull and was writing a 1000+ page book called An Oral History of Our Time.

Only the book never existed outside of Gould’s head. It made for a great story (and a so so Stanley Tucci film), but noone ever got to read Oral History.

On the 50th anniversary of Gould’s death in a Long Island mental hospital, the TimesSewall Chan penned a tribute to Mitchell (and Gould) for City Room:

Mitchell wrote that he realized the truth after introducing Gould to several publishers that had expressed interest in publishing excerpts of the work. (Gould had claimed that he had been rejected by 14 publishers and had hidden the manuscript for safekeeping during the war.) Mitchell confronted Gould with the truth, and Gould only replied, “It’s not a question of laziness.” Mitchell returned to his office at The New Yorker:

My anger began to die down, and I began to feel depressed. I had been duped by Gould – I didn’t think there was much doubt about that – and so had countless others through the years. He had let me up the garden path, just as he had led countless others up the garden path. However, I had thought about the matter only a short while before I came to the conclusion that he hadn’t been talking about the Oral History all those years and making large statements about its length and its bulk and its importance to posterity and comparing it to such works as “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” only in order to dupe people like me but also to dupe himself.


— Neal Ungerleider

Buzz Aldrin, Meet Howard Stern

20070817aldrin.jpgWe never thought of Buzz Aldrin and Howard Stern having anything in common before. However, the legendary astronaut was a call-in guest to Stern’s satellite radio show on Wednesday. The pair talked Ali G, alcohol and trophy wives. As per Stern’s PR folks:

Howard told Buzz that he should have been the first man on the moon, because of his military background. Buzz said Neil Armstrong was Navy, and one of the world’s greatest test pilots, so he was fine with being second. Howard asked Buzz if he banged a lot of girls after walking on the moon, and Buzz replied that he was more a fan of booze. Howard wondered why Buzz felt he needed a facelift, so Buzz explained that his “trophy wife” wanted him to fix his drooping jaw.

TMZ has the audio.

— Neal Ungerleider



News from new media land: Pioneer social networking site has kicked the bucket.’s The Social blog reports the site was in acquisition talks with GoFish; the talks fell through, ultimately dooming the company. Bolt, which in a later incarnation served as a video sharing site, was facing a $10 million debt due to a Universal Music copyright infringement case.

Bolt, which started in the late 1990s, was one of the first Internet’s first social networking sites for teens. Ultimately, they pioneered a lot of the techniques used by MySpace and Facebook, but just couldn’t make the transition to the post-broadband age.

— Neal Ungerleider

Star Jones’ First Guest: Isaiah Washington

0816starjones.jpgStar Jones‘ upcoming Court TV show is kicking off with a bang: She’s interviewing Isaiah Washington. According to Entertainment Weekly, who broke the story, Washington will be the guest on Jones’ first episode. Expect lots of handwringing and apologies over the T.R. Knight incident (and plugs for his remake of The Bionic Woman):

“How does this all relate to Jones’ law-themed show? ”[Washington is] clearly in the middle of a story that involves law and ethics and values and judgment,” Jones said. ”But also, he has a brand-new show that brings up ethical considerations. We’re excited about The Bionic Woman, but there are ethical considerations [there] because we in our technology right now are moving to replacing limbs, and we’re moving in the whole area of stem cell research, we’re moving in the area of cloning and whether or not it can actually be done with a human.”

…Interesting. Also, there’s a great, amazingly frosty interview with Jones in this week’s Time Out New York too.

— Neal Ungerleider

Page Six: The Brand

An interesting post over at Daily Intelligencer sheds light on how the New York Post is trying to expand the Page Six brand:

  • Richard Johnson has been spending the past few weeks interviewing entertainment journalists, editors and bloggers.
  • The paper has multimedia plans for Page Six. According to one interviewee, they’re “looking to hire reporters and editors to expand the brand on a variety of platforms, Web, television, magazine, etc… They think they need to extend their gossip reach out of NYC and into L.A., Miami, Vegas — maybe even Nashville.”
  • The Post has increased Page Six‘s page count as well.

    Intelligencer likens News Corp.’s plan for the new Page Six to a mix of and Entertainment Tonight. Suddenly the relaunch of Page Six: The Magazine looks much more interesting.

    — Neal Ungerleider

  • Be Glad You Don’t Work For This Magazine


    Something tells us that the people behind Operational Meetings Facility Guide weren’t too familiar with the internet when they named their magazine. As Neatorama puts it, OMFG.

    — Neal Ungerleider

    UNICEF’s Blackface Faux Pas


    When UNICEF wanted to launch a German ad campaign, they thought taking kids and putting them in blackface would be a great idea. It wasn’t. Radar has gone to the trouble of translating all four (!) blackface UNICEF ads… As for the German Committee of UNICEF, they’re already doing quite a bit of damage control. Check out this gem from their letter:

    “The idea behind is that children from Germany demonstrate their solidarity with children in Africa by showing up with a coloured make up. Their message s: “Children may look different but are equal – we all want to go to school.” Absolutely no connotation of black children as “dirty children” was intended.


    We apologize if you feel irritated by the make up of the children. Please rest assured that we take your remarks very seriously and will consider them in any further communication.”

    Ads appeared in, among other places, Die Spiegel, Stern and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

    We’re imagining that quite a number of people will “feel irritated by the make up of the children.” Just a guess.

    — Neal Ungerleider

    Talking Alien Sex With Mandy Stadtmiller

    We don’t know how we missed this, but New York Post dating columnist Mandy Stadtmiller has been making appearances on Greg Gutfeld‘s Fox News show Red Eye. In this clip, she discusses the finer points of having sex with extraterrestrials…. and kangaroo sneakers.

    — Neal Ungerleider

    Jerry Springer’s New British Gig

    0816springer.jpgJerry Springer is returning to his native England… for a game show. Springer will be the face of the UK version of Nothing But the Truth, which will air on Rupert Murdoch‘s Sky One starting in September. The game show is a Colombian export which is also being Americanized for broadcast on Fox.

    On Nothing, which routinely draws over 50% of Colombia’s TV viewership, guests are hooked up to a lie detector and asked questions in the promise of filthy lucre. Of course, the questions range from “Do you really like your mother in law?” to “Have you ever lied to get a job?” to “Have you ever cheated on your spouse?” which will be perfect for Springer. On an average week, guests admit to stealing thousands of dollars from their family, bisexuality and cheating on spouses. Perfect.

    In other Fox game show news, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? is crossing the pond and becoming Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year Old?

    — Neal Ungerleider

    Dear Glamour Bloggers…

    0816glamourblog.jpgSpecifically, dear Glamour preggers blogger Christine Coppa:

    We didn’t mind it recently when you wrote us to promote your blog. It was a bit shameless, but we write a media blog… we’re used to it. But the next time you send out a promotional e-mail, check your spelling. Please?

    From: christine coppa [mailto:REDACTED]
    Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 12:37 PM
    Subject: General questions, comments, or crises

    Hello Was wondering if you could plug my blog. I pen Storked! for It was noted in WWD this week and has been also noted by, and Much apprecited. Christine M. Coppa

    FBNY apprecites your e-mail as well, Christine.

    — Neal Ungerleider