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Archives: April 2005

Does an Olsen dare to eat a peach? (and other things we loved this week)

Fishy-fis.gifWe at FISHBOWL are far too busy bringing you scintillating media commentary to post every little nugget of brilliance we come across – but that’s not to say we wouldn’t like to. So, without further ado we present a round-up of our favorite media moments this week. If we do it regularly, maybe we’ll collect the best and give them special awards called “The Fishies,” which is fun to say. Who knows? Anything can happen with this Internet thing. For now, here are our favorite fishy moments for this fine Friday. Enjoy!

1. Anderson Cooper: “To spank or not to spank?” We almost choked when our sweet Anderson uttered those words straight into the camera on CNN’s 360 this past Wednesday, April 27th (we were already taken with his shimmery purple tie). Yes, it was to tease a segment on spanking and corporal punishment in parenting, but for a brief and blissful moment he was talking just to us.

2. From the Dept. of Faint Praise: In New York‘s travel feature, “The New Yorker’s Guide To The Universe,” “shopper” Alexia Kondylis was described as having “socialite good looks.” Socialite good looks: when “movie star good looks” or “model good looks” is reeeaally overreaching.

3. Does an Olsen dare to eat a peach? We laughed out loud at Campell Robertson’s Boldfaced Names headline this week: “We have heard the Olsens singing, each to each.” Damn, we wish we’d thought of that (instead of just ripping it off for this).

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Nikki Finke Speaks

Well, I asked Nikki to ‘say it ain’t so‘ regarding the rumors about her divorce settlement, and sure enough, she said it ain’t so! I have her in the palm of my hand.

But seriously, folks, in a rare public statement, Nikki Finke sent the following email to FishbowlLA:

Just to demonstrate how much untrue information is spread out there, I would like to correct the record about the personal information printed about me on and Mediabistro’s FishbowlLA. Yes, I was once involved in a 14-year relationship with Jeffrey Greenberg, son of M.R. Greenberg, that included marriage. But there was no “generous divorce settlement” because I never sought one. I only asked for, and received, $35,500 (easily confirmable with the District Court of Harris County, Texas). Why that figure? Because I made it clear I wished to pay back my parents for the cost of the wedding at The Pierre. I took no other money, property, equities, etc.. Needless to say, my divorce lawyer made me sign a piece of paper promising I wouldn’t sue him for malpractice. So please don’t portray me as a money-grubbing divorcee.

So, remember. Nikki Finke doesn’t not write for magazines because she’s rich. She doesn’t write for magazines because she thinks magazine editors are stupid.

Radar Watch: Wherefore art thou, o web pioneers?

Radar.gifEarlier this month the NYT whetted our appetites for Radar with a teaser article by Katharine Q. Seelye, who got us excited for Radar’s groundbreaking web campaign:

Come the end of April, visitors to the Web site ( will be reintroduced to Radar, which its founders are trying to make irreverent, urban and fun.”

Yay, the end of April is finally here!! Is it ready yet? Can we see it? Is it today or tomorrow? Seriously, we’re excited. We’ve got May 24th written on our calendars too, circled with a heart!

Okay, well, we’ll keep checking back until the site launches. Until then, we’ll enjoy reading your snazzy media kit. Orange is clearly the font color choice of today’s tastemakers.

Chris Lehmann and Manhattan B D

New York mag* features editor Chris Lehmann is fleeing the city for D.C., and a new gig at Congressional Quarterly—which is not entirely surprising given that wife Ana Cox (a.k.a. The Wonkette) lives in D.C., and one can only be expected to keep Amtrak afloat with round trip tickets for so long.

I was recently informed that D.C. IS THE NATION’S NEW INTELLECTUAL CENTER, and I scoffed—scoffed!—at the notion. (Heresy! New York is the intellectual epicenter! Us! US! It’s all about us!) A couple of days later, I read in a large national newspaper that D.C. IS THE NATION’S NEW INTELLECTUAL CENTER. And if the New York Times says it, it must be true.

Ergo, Chris Lehmann = one more brain drained.

* Full disclosure: I’m a former New York mag employee and the founding editor of, the parent company of which owns

German Press Presses Tom Cruise

tc.jpgDefamer links to a rather remarkable Spiegel interview with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, wherein 1) the reporter actually confronts Cruise about Scientology and 2) Spielberg clumsily tries to back up his star. Long excerpt after the jump, but you should really read the whole article.

Will Cruise’s sister/publicist Lee Anne Mapother ever permit another German press interview? Doubt it.

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Jillian Barberie, Los Angeles History Buff

jillian.jpgWho knew? From the LA Independent:

While growing up in her native Canada, Good Day L.A. co-hostess Jillian Barberie was an aficionado of all things Hollywood.

“I love the history of the city,” she says. “I used to read old magazines and books on Hollywood – Rita Hayworth, Erroll Flynn, Betty Grable.”
“It’s so cool, the history.”

Watch out, Kevin Starr!

Nikki Casts a Long Shadow

nikki2.jpgTurns out I’m not the only media blog running a Nikki-Finke-related contest. (I’m still accepting entries, by the way. Keep them coming!) The results of Gawker’s Nikki Finke Awful PR Award contest are in, and it’s a pretty impressive compendium of bad publicist behavior.

Also, the gawksters report receiving a missive from a respondent claiming that the real reason Finke doesn’t do magazine work is because she doesn’t need the money due to a hefty divorce settlement. Say it ain’t so, Nikki! I thought you were proud of being ‘downwardly mobile.’

(UPDATE: Here.)

Katie Couric vs. Diane Sawyer: Advantage, Sawyer

Hot Katie.jpgDiane Sawyer.jpgAlessandra Stanley’s hatchet job on Katie Couric in Monday’s NYT has been generating ink all week on Katie Couric, her future, her competition, and her legs.

So far, Katie’s diva reputation hasn’t been contested, though Stanley’s comment that “[a]t the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights” has yet to be substantiated (and there has still been no correction in the NYT per the request of Steve Brill)(Myrna Blyth backs up similar claims at TNR, noting that “for years her staff has called her ‘Katie Dearest’”).

But at Good Morning America, fortunes are only rising; according to today’s Page Six, GMA scored a massive scoop by getting a publicist-free interview with Brad Pitt – who brought Angelina Jolie. As USA Today points out, they’ve also got the ABC programming juggernaut (Desperate Housewives, Lost) on their side.

Meanwhile, Katie still has Jeff Zucker on her side (though yesterday’s Post reported a wandering, appreciative eye toward Kelly Ripa).

Page Six’s Couric Legwatch also reported that, since Monday’s NYT invective, her gams have been prudently obscured by pants and plants. Aw. Good thing we can always rely on Sawyer to bust out a micro-mini!

Curtains for Katie? [TNR]
ABC to NBC: Smell the coffee [USA Today]

A House is Born

It’s an archetypal Hollywood story. A wide-eyed innocent shows up in town with no contacts and nothing to her name. Years later, after various reversals and a few lucky breaks, she becomes a sought-after commodity.

In keeping with the cultural climate, today’s Column One in the LAT applies this storytelling paradigm not to the next big starlet, but to a house– a modest abode which figuratively gets off the bus from Kansas in 1927 and finds herself on the mean streets of West Hollywood. To make ends meet, she is forced to sell her body for a paltry $6200. Decades later, after consorting with a C-list actor (Michael Pare, star of ‘Eddie And The Cruisers’) and a noted TV movie producer (Mark Wolper)– and undergoing a massive boob job (okay, a contractor put in a spa)– this month she was sold for $1.1 million.

Congratulations, 9019 Dorrington Avenue. Don’t forget the little people.

Lloyd Grove: Sitting quietly in Barneys watching young girls shop for bikinis

If you don’t know that the Cruise/Holmes news came out yesterday, man does this paragraph from today’s Lowdown read creepy:

That was “Batman Begins” starlet Katie Holmes carrying an armload of bikinis to the dressing room at Barneys last Sunday afternoon with a cell phone glued to her head – and returning 15 minutes later to buy one. I wondered if the 26-year-old actress – whose publicity infrastructure has been disseminating the information that she’s dating a famous 42-year-old Scientologist – is getting ready for some island-hopping with her new boyfriend. But her PR rep insisted yesterday that she’s just going on a “one-on-one” vacation with her mom, Kathleen.

Apparently mothers are the new Scientologists – and Katie is the new [redacted by our lawyers].