Puffing Over Huffington

"When she was being subpoenaed, the rumors [of Lawrence's affair with Clinton] went from the realm of rumors to the realm of news," Huffington argues.

Huffington is being represented by Gary Bostwick, a First Amendment attorney probably best known for having defended Janet Malcolm in the multiyear lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Masson.

Huffington appears to be taking the lawsuit in stride. On Monday, she was quite happy to discuss it on CNN's Burden of Proof, and the column she submitted to Creators on Monday began: "It's official--I'm finally a real American....I've been sued."

Fax Tax

A notice went out last week from the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post news service, informing those who write and send press releases that, from here on out, they will be charged if they choose to fax their releases.

"We're no longer accepting press releases at [the usual] number," said the unsigned statement. "They're simply being discarded." Offering up a 900-number, the news service said: "Your organization will be charged $2 for the first minute, $1 for each additional minute. For this amount, we will forward your press release to the proper correspondent or department at the Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post."

Rob Cleland of the news service said the policy was established two months ago to reduce the "hundreds" of unsolicited press releases his service receives. He said the service has already seen a 15 to 20 per cent drop in unsolicited releases. "We're not doing this to make money or anything," Cleland said, adding that two papers in Florida and the Dallas Morning News have had a pay-for-faxing policy for some time.

Clipboard

In the wake of recent Serbian raids into Albania, it's worth noting that in late February the U.S. eased trade sanctions on the man The New York Times calls "Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic," in return for his support of the Bosnian Serb government the U.S. favors. Only one major American newspaper--the Chicago Tribune--bothered to report this curious appeasement when it happened. A few days later, Milosevic authorized a killing spree in Kosovo. Even while transmitting Madeline Albright's denunciations all weekend, the U.S. media wouldn't report on the carrot the State Department gave Milosevic (although Newsweek's March 16 issue acknowledged it in a half sentence)....

A direct-mail letter arrived last week from the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, the nonprofit den of radical-turned-neocon author David Horowitz, which now also houses the Matt Drudge Legal Defense Fund. The letter claimed that both the conservative Weekly Standard and the Voice had "attacked the [Center] for supporting him." Drudge has taken some lumps in the Voice, but we've never criticized anyone for supporting him legally. On Friday, I asked Horowitz about this, and he said: "It's probably an error on my part. I think it was [Joe] Conason in the Observer. I apologize to the Voice." Horowitz promised to correct the sentence on the Center's Web site. He does not appear to be in a hurry; as of Monday, the misinformation remained on the site (www.cspc.org)....

I am reliably told that tens of thousands of copies of Allure were recalled from news dealers because the cover of the March issue--an unflattering shot of Jennifer Aniston--was so ugly that no one was buying it. The cover was then replaced at tremendous cost with a slightly improved photo from the same shoot. The wizards at Allure hemmed and hawed when asked about this, then decided that the only people who could confirm or deny this basic piece of information were in Europe and thus unavailable....

The '80s nostalgia boom is going too far. Friday's New York Times ran a so-so story about shifting tensions between Mexico's Zedillo government and the Zapatista rebels in the southern Chiapas state. A caption beneath the story's map, however, invoked fond memories of an earlier age: "A standoff was achieved in San Jeronimo Tulija between Sandinistas and soldiers.".

Research: Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

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