NY Mirror

Speaking of circus clowns being sexual—let's pause for a second and ponder the brilliance of that segue—downtown legend Joey Arias told me at Plaid that he's off to Las Vegas to star in the Thierry Mugler-costumed Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity, which he described as "Barbarella meets Caligula. I'm the mistress of seduction and the guide for stress release." With that, he made an adorable blowjob gesture that was very Joey, extremely "zuman," and très Cirque du So-gay.

As for the circusing of the entertainment media—some segues are better than others—let's hear it for the renewed popularity of tabloid journalism, which at least is a welcome backlash against the publicist-driven puffery most magazines pass off as reporting. Us Weekly—the frisky "fabloid," as Tina Browncalls it—is a big hit because it's like the old Us crossed with the tabloids. (Interestingly, the tabs are now trying to go more "legit" and be like Us Weekly.) The new magazine Radar (which, admittedly, I work for) aims to push flacks away so they can tweak the rich and famous in the groin. And on television, E!, which used to avoid dissing its beloved celebrities, now has shows portraying them viciously tangling with paparazzi and each other. I say yay—but if I were Whitney Houston, I'd be working up a sweat.

Here are some tacky tabloid items of my own: First of all, I hear that, in her quest for a new publicist, J.Lo was turned down by Ken Sunshine. (Ain't no Sunshine when she's a diva.) Secondly, did I not tell you all the way back in September that Sam Waksal would try to argue in court that he performed stupid money tricks partly because he's the devoted son of Holocaust victims? Did I not tell you how appalling that was? Are you not telling me now to shut up?

But I won't, seeing as there's one more crass observation to unspool: Ellen DeGeneres's recent revelation, "I really don't want to eat fish anymore," had a lot of silly queens wrongly pegging the comic as an ex-gay like Anne Heche. Then last week's Liz Smith column title, "Ellen's Fish Story," added to the wacky speculation. In any case, say the dummies, scents give us hope.


SPECIAL TO THE WEB: Now that Jennifer Lopez has dumped manager Benny Medina, who do industry insiders say she'll replace him with? It's the man who, as then Sony Music head, helped break her career—Tommy Mottola. The old team again!


musto@villagevoice.com

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