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Posts Tagged ‘Pete Hamill’

Newspaper Man Extraordinaire Pete Hamill Curses Out Hospital Stay

GeorgePolkAwardsOn Friday, Long Island University handed out its 2013 George Polk Awards. However, due to a recovery from a recent illness, latest career achievement recipient and local newspaper legend Pete Hamill was unable to attend.

From the 17th floor of an east side Manhattan hospital, here’s what the Daily News columnist and paper’s former EIC had to say about that:

George Polk was a great reporter who was murdered while covering the Greek Civil War in 1948. He had more personal courage than any of the guys who start the wars that reporters risk their lives to cover. But he died trying to bring the world the story.”

“To be given a lifetime achievement award named for a great reporter who gave his life to this noble craft is humbling. It’s why I will cherish it. It’s why I’m so p—– off to be in this goddamned hospital instead of at the award ceremony.”

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CBS News Producer and Former Daily News Reporter Recounts Life in Memoir

Paul LaRosa is a longtime producer at CBS News, having transitioned to electronic media following a long stint at the New York Daily News. Before that LaRosa, the lifelong New Yorker, attended Fordham University. But his career was shaped even earlier growing up in the Monroe Housing Projects in the Bronx. LaRosa went to Blessed Sacrament for grade school at the same time as future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. One year her senior, LaRosa didn’t know Sotomayor, who lived at a neighboring housing project.

LaRosa, 58, has recalled his many personal experiences in a fascinating memoir, Leaving Story Avenue by Park Slope Publishing, released April 18th.

“It was such an amazing time–the late 1970s in New York–it was just before computers came into being,” LaRosa tells FishbowlNY.

LaRosa writes intensively about his 16 years at the News.

“It was the end of the Front Page era because people would drink at their desks, everybody smoked,” LaRosa says. “It was no big deal to spend hours at Louie’s [bar behind the Daily News building]…It was still like an old Humphrey Bogart movie.”

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Ed Rollins Talks Presidential Politics; The 1 Percent Toasts the Good Life

1003_mockup.gifWe’ve gotten so used to the celebrity circus that has dominated Michael’s lately that we did a double take when we found the dining room populated mostly by suits, well-heeled ladies and dandies who prefer to let their bank accounts (not publicists) do the talking. Aside from the usual boldface names (Star Jones) and fashionistas (Fern Mallis) in attendance, there were a lot of folks at lunch today who I’d never seen in the dining room before.

I just had to go over to Table One and introduce myself to the couple who was working furiously to glam up the table with flowers and pretty trinkets before their guests arrived. It turns out Kelly Langberg was celebrating her birthday with her husband Jeff Langberg and a few of her nearest and dearest BFFs. Jeff told me all these ladies are the better halves of some of Manhattan’s most powerful couples.  The impeccably dressed gals all toasted Kelly, who calls herself  ”The Makeover Queen,” with a lovely rose  in the lounge before moving to their table to celebrate. When I was chatting with Kelly about her makeover business (she refers clients to cosmetic dentists, plastic surgeons,  hair colorists and other professionals essential to living the good life in Gotham),  I couldn’t help but notice the dazzling bling that adorned her ears and wrists. When I complimented her on it, she told me the pieces were from her own line of fine jewelry. Where does she find the time?

I also got  to chat with politico Ed Rollins who specializes in a different kind of makeover. He was assistant to President Ronald Reagan and managed his reelection campaign. Earlier this year, Ed stepped down from his post as Michele Bachmann‘s campaign manager. I just had to ask what he thought of  the results of yesterday’s primary. “Santorum is for real,” he told me. “I expect Romney will get the nomination, but it’s going to be a slugfest right up until the end.” Having seen him on PBS’ recent documentary on President Bill Clinton (“I’d take either Clinton right now!”), we also chatted about the HBO political drama Game Change, based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. “I liked the book better. The movie had a deliberate purpose. That’s not the John McCain I know,” he told me. ” (Ed Harris) was too soft and fuzzy.” He did characterize Julianne Moore‘s depiction of Sarah Palin as “very accurate,” though. Ed gave the film high marks in one respect: “It caught a lot of the pace and excitement of a political campaign.” Speaking of campaigns, what does he think of President Obama‘s chances come November? “Presidents often get too much credit and too much blame for what’s happening. Right now, he’s paying the price for promising a lot of things he couldn’t deliver.”

Michael's restaurant in New York City
The scene in the Michael’s dining room

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

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Norman Mailer Writers Colony To Honor Toni Morrison, David Halberstam

mailer award.jpgNext week, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony will throw its first gala hosted by New York media bigwigs Tina Brown and New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick.

The gala, emceed by Nation columnist Calvin Trillin, will be held at Cipriani on Tuesday night and will also serve as an awards dinner honoring Toni Morrison with a Lifetime Achievement Award and posthumously bestowing the Distinguished Journalism Prize to David Halberstam. The first Norman Mailer National High School Nonfiction Writing Award and Norman Mailer College Nonfiction Writing Award will also be given out that night.

The writers colony is a nonprofit organization founded earlier this year, located at the home of the late author and Village Voice founder in Provincetown, Mass. It aims to help nurture writers in the spirit of Mailer, who passed away in November 2007 at the age of 84. The organization is billing this year’s gala as the “first annual,” presuming there will be more to come.

The group is also promising that boldfaced names like Joan Didion, Pete Hamill, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, designer Diane von Furstenberg and director John Waters will be in attendance, so you know we’ll be there covering the event.

Related: RIP, Norman Mailer

Pete Hamill story, ‘Yellow Handkerchief,’ Premieres In Hollywood With Stars Hovering

yellowhanderchief.jpgAn indie film that got plenty of attention in Sundance last year, “The Yellow Handkerchief,” had a Beverly Hills premiere at the WGA Theater last night with stars William Hurt, Maria Bello and producer Arthur Cohn in tow.

The film, a beautiful tone poemy love story etched by director Udayan Prasad, was a pleasant diversion from the normal shoot-em-ups in Hollywood, as producer Cohn lamented in his introduction.

He was right.

It doesn’t start off as anything but dreary. But Prasad’s slow-paced styling pays off with stellar performances from Hurt, Bello, Kristin Stewart (who is hot right now because of the phenomenal box office turn with her film “Twilight”) and newcomer Eddie Redmayne.

The unsung irony that, though based in Louisiana backwoods swamps, the story of three lonely drifters coming together comes from hard-core New York journalist Pete Hamill of all people.

Hamill didn’t attend the premiere, but we all were wondering what could possibly have inspired this piece.

Hurt dashed in and out quickly, but not before he could say hello. Ten months ago, Hurt made a surprise appearance at a screening of my film, “Running with Arnold.”

Sid Ganis, chairman of the Academy, was also in the audience.

Though it doesn’t have a domestic release date yet, producer Cohn said the piece should be opening in Japan in April.