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Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Weisberg’

Christopher Hitchens: Va. Tech Shootings A ‘Non-Story’

hitchens_vatech.jpgVirginia Tech was a “non-story,” no more important than news of a “traffic accident.” Magazine editors should be ashamed of themselves for not publishing the Danish cartoons. Anna Nicole was a “fat slut.” Religion “poisons everything.”

Oh, and women? They still aren’t funny.

Some words of wisdom offered by Vanity Fair contributing editor, author, National Magazine Award finalist and newly-ordained American citizen Christopher Hitchens at the American Society of Magazine Editors’ annual board meeting/luncheon at the Princeton Club this afternoon in New York.

Hitchens, politely grilled by Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, sounded off on everything from Imus to Saddam to George Tenet in front of a roomful of magazine editors, but his comments about the slain Virginia Tech students seemed to be the most provocative.

“Virginia Tech is a non-story,” said the British-born Hitchens, who said he took his oath as a U.S. citizen earlier in the day. “There were no implications” of anything bigger, explained Hitchens, who compared the shootings to a “traffic accident.” When one editor suggested the massacre pushed gun control to the forefront of the American conversation, Hitchens argued that the laws in Virginia were adequate — shooting people is already illegal, Hitchens said.

Weisberg suggested Hitchens — whose latest book, god is not great: How Religion Poisons Everything is out tomorrow — was a provacateur; Hitchens bristled. As a journalist, your job is to “take nothing on faith,” he said.

When asked about his controversial piece in which Hitchens argued women are not funny, he pointed to male friends who “would not have a prayer of getting laid without being amusing.”

Partying With The King

King and his wife flank the Trumps

The short hallway between the “Pool Room” and bar acted as a sort of cosmic, generational media portal last night at the Four Seasons, where a pair of cocktail parties — one celebrating Larry King‘s 50 years in broadcasting (a.k.a the “old people room”), the other celebrating the New York Observer‘s redesigned paper and Web site (a.k.a the “kids room”) — were in full, boozy, media-centric swing.

In the “Old People Room”: King and his television and famous New York pals, like Joan Rivers, Donald and Melania Trump, the View‘s Barbara Walters (at one point Trump and Walters were just feet from each other, but didn’t appear to acknowledge each other) and Joy Behar, Campbell Brown, Mario Cuomo, Lou Dobbs, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Tina Brown, Jeff Greenfield, Ron Howard, Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly, Keith Kelly, Ray Kelly, Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King, Calvin Klein, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Stiller, Arliss actor Robert Wuhl, Mort Zuckerman, American Morning‘s newly-installed Kiran Chetry, Glenn Beck, Montel Williams, James Carville, Tom Wolfe, Andy Rooney and artist Peter Max, whose colorful rendering of King served as the room’s centerpiece.

In the “Kids Room”: 23-year-old Observer owner Jared Kushner held court with twentysomething bloggers and their youthful bosses, like Gawker’s Choire Sicha, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Maer Roshan, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg, Domino‘s Deborah Needleman, WWD‘s Irin Carmon, and HuffPo’s Julia Allison, Katharine Thomson and Rachel Sklar. Fittingly, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, chose the Observer party over King’s.

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Slate Finally Puts End To Monkey(fishing) Business, Issues Yet Another Apology

Neubecker_Monkeyfishing.jpgRemember the controversy over that fabricated Slate article on monkeyfishing? No? Probably because it grabbed attention for a few short weeks in June 2001 before fading into the haze of media scandals past.

Well, Slate ran an article penned by James Forman about his excursion to an island in the Florida Keys where he casted for monkeys like fish, using fruit for bait. When bloggers and media outlets everywhere slammed the tale, Slate initially stood by Forman’s piece before setting the record straight and issuing an apology to readers for publishing the falsehoods.

Slate‘s initial response &#151 which, in fact, referenced a detailed report in the Times that said the practice of monkeyfishing did exist — admitted Forman “had fabricated the lurid parts about monkeys being caught with baited lines” but maintained that he had “visited the island and taunted the monkeys from offshore.” Slate then vowed to “get to the bottom of it, possibly with help from [their] readers.”

We are pleased to report that, nearly six years later, they have:

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Mag Editors On Truth Serum: ‘I Have So F*cked Up’

panel.jpg

All hail the editors-in-chief (from left): CosmoGIRL!’s Susan Schulz, Redbook’s Stacy Morrison, mediabistro.com founder and CEO Laurel Touby, Men’s Journal’s Tom Foster, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg; Jane’s Brandon Holley, and Departures’s Richard Story

Photo by David Vanderheyden

Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg called Slate a “cult.” Jane‘s Brandon Holley advised to “kill them with kindness.” Departures editor Richard Story admitted he was most famous at Vogue for hiring Lauren “Devil Wears Prada” Weisberger. CosmoGirl! editor Susan Schulz estimated that she spends 40 percent of her time editing.

At our “Editors on Truth Serum — The New Rules of Success Now” panel last night, top dogs at some of the leading glossy magazines (and Slate) got down and dirty, telling the crowd of 100 exactly where they’ve gone right — and wrong — as they carved their respective paths to that corner office.

Excerpts of some of the juicier moments:

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