Princess Diana Covers Newsweek Because Tina Brown Said So; David Carr Pisses Off America


The newish editor-in-chief of Newsweek is the very famous and talented Tina Brown, who took over when her floundering web project The Daily Beast partnered with the floundering newsweekly. During her editorship, Brown famously made both Vanity Fair and the New Yorker sharper and flashier, and even more famously she wrote a big book about Princess Diana, and so as Newsweek continues to clamor for relevance, Brown made a big sandwich of all her interests and expertise, sticking Diana (strong woman, check!) on the cover with Kate Middleton (topical celebrity, check! British, double check!) for a story that imagines Diana “If She Were Here Now” (kind of controversial, check!). The art is felonious and the writing is… not news. More inside Press Clips, our daily media column.

Poor Lady: “Diana at 50” begins with Tina Brown attending a ball hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev and featuring “the London über-swirl of fashion and society and media.” That’s her real life; then comes the imagination, by which we mean Photoshopping and fan fiction.

First of all, if she were turning 50 this month, Diana would still be “great-looking.” That is literally the first piece of information in the cover story of this weekly news magazine, after a description of a party that the editor-in-chief of said magazine attended. Diana might’ve worn J.Crew and Galliano, Brown imagines, like Michelle Obama, and might’ve moved to New York, married a “super-rich hedge-fund” guy who would buy her “toys” and blah blah, France, charity, blah, Kate Middleton. Did you know Tina Brown wrote a book about Diana? We’ll be watching for a sales spike.

In conclusion, here is “Diana,” altered by the art department, so it looks like she is holding a white iPhone.

Real America: David Carr, New York Times media columnist and Page One movie star, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher over the weekend, where he did his typical no-filter shtick.

“If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal,” Carr quipped. “You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? Did I just say that aloud?” He did, and then he put his head in his hands.

Whereas none of the sloped-forehead fools Carr was mocking read him in the Times or watch Real Time, they get the internet, even in the “smart states.” Carr, he of three-hundred thousand Twitter followers, recognized the flub instantly, and then played some more hardball.

Big Money: A weekend profile of Jared Kushner, the New York Observer owner and “de facto Kushner paterfamilias” after his real estate dad’s legal flubs, revealed a nice bit of media gossip demonstrating that yes, writers and editors often hate their owners/publishers, but it gets worse the richer you are:

One day in early 2009, a security breakdown in The Observer’s computer system allowed employees access to one another’s hard drives. A few staff members with prying eyes went into Mr. Kushner’s and found a file with an intriguing name. They opened it and found pictures of their boss and Ms. Trump, his girlfriend at the time, and Billy Joel aboard Mr. Murdoch’s sailboat, Rosehearty.

For a group that had seen its ranks shrunk by layoffs and demoralized by pay cuts, the sight of their young publisher surrounded by such decadence was a sore one.

The rest is here.

Insidery: The Village Voice‘s own Graham Rayman, who won the New York Press Club’s “Gold Keyboard” award for his “NYPD Tapes” series, gave a spirited acceptance speech at the Press Club ceremony, attended by both Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. NYPD Confidential has a recap:

“Unfortunately,” Rayman continued, “in this case the department has been anything but responsive, ignoring or stonewalling numerous Village Voice inquiries and Freedom of Information requests over the past 13 months.

“To date, and I find this fairly astonishing, the department has not released, and I do not have, a single report, conclusion, document, or even a single scrap of paper about the issues surrounding the Schoolcraft case.”

“I was struck by the fact that reporters in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Nashville were each able to obtain thousand of crime records from their respective police departments of the type NYPD has never released,” Rayman said.

By this point in Rayman’s speech, both Bloomberg and Kelly had left the building.