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Gawker Scoops NYT on Mezuza-Gate

Mezzuzah1.jpgAs the publishing world sorted through its giddy shock over the firing of Judith Regan Monday morning, and HarperCollins unveiled the position that they’d cut her loose for making anti-Semitic remarks to one of their corporate attorneys, Gawker ran an unsourced tip claiming that Regan “once claimed to staffers that, as a joke, she went through her old apartment building on the Upper West Side, took all the torah scrolls out of the mezzuzahs at the doors and replaced them with torn-up dollar bills.”

In this morning’s NYT business section, Sharon Waxman and Julie Bosman advance their coverage of the Regan/Harper standoff with some information provided by “two top executives at HarperCollins,” who have been regular chatterboxes all week long (which makes you wonder if Regan wasn’t on to something when she told me during our studio chat that people at Harper fed negative stories about her to the press). And what do these high-ranking officials want the world to know today? They claim Regan’s workplace boasting earned her an internal reprimand after an editor complained to the HR department about having to overhear the story.*

The Times does move the story forward significantly, getting a denial from Bert Fields that the workplace incident ever took place, countered by Harper’s willingness to name the executive credited with starting the investigation, as well as their claim that other employees had complained about Regan over the years as well (duh). But the fact that the latest round in Harper’s campaign of anti-Regan leaks confirms a rumor that Gawker readers have known about all week? That appears to have been lost in the shuffle. (And just who gave Gawker the story, at that?) With that in mind, I predict, based on yesterday’s celebrity sightings, that the Times will reveal Monday that Regan is back in New York.

*For the benefit of Gentile readers, the Times explains that “a mezuza is a small slender case containing a scroll inscribed with a prayer that many Jewish families place beside their front doors.” Yes, it’s spelled differently; such are the vagaries of transliterating the Hebrew מזוזה to the Roman alphabet. To further the explanation, they do this because in Deuteronomy, God tells the Israelites to “write [My words] upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.”

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