kf Tries to Square the Burkle!
Why I'm flummoxed by the Page Six scandal.
Squaring the Burkle: Recent coverage of the Page Six/Burkle story raises as many questions as it answers!
(a)--If, as reported by the NY Observer's "Daily Transom", details of Ron Burkle's "divorce were printed in the Los Angeles Business Journal, which combed over the records before the records were sealed," and reporters have copies of this publication, why don't we know the juicy details from those records? Are there no juicy details? (If they're just the ones printed by the Observer, Burkle's divorce is not that bad, by modern Messy Divorce standards.) Are the details so juicy that everyone's scared to print them?
(b)--Why did Burkle do what he did? Let's assume--for purposes of argument--that Burkle's view of Jared Paul Stern's intent is accurate. Still, if as we're told Burkle is someone who "hates publicity and hates having his name in the paper," why would he conduct a high-profile sting guaranteed (if it worked) to dramatically raise his profile and keep his name in the papers for months? What was his long-term goal? Was he trying to burnish his goo-goo ethical credentials as a potential purchaser of 12 ex-Knight-Ridder newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer? Was he trying to shut up Page Six? But what might they publish about him? That he knew Gisele Bundchen? That's hardly damaging. That he had girlfriends? He's single, right? The proverbial "messy" divorce details? That assumes both that there are such details, and that none of the other reporters who've seen those details would publish them (see (a) above). Did Page Six really have something nobody else had? I'm not sure they're that good! Maybe Burkle just felt wronged, got his back up, and created a situation that's now gotten out of his control. But you'd think anyone as smart as Burkle, especially someone advised by Sitrick and Company, would know it would get out of control.
I'm still flummoxed.
P.S.: When I shopped at Ralph's supermarkets in the 90s, when they were owned by Burkle, I remember row upon row of a particular product at the checkout counter. It was ... it's almost too disgusting to recall ... tabloids! Shoddy, standardless, gossip-obsessed tabloids! Tabloids of the sort condemned in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by an eminent entrepreneur. ... Before Burkle gets too far with his anti-tab crusade, shouldn't he give back the millions in profits he made off selling them? He could give the money to ... I don't know, George Clooney. ...
The Rich Get Glitchier: Automobile Magazine notices a recent capitalist trend that seemingly defies the textbooks. They're reviewing a $73,000 Porsche Cayenne SUV:
You might think that kind of money would buy reliable transport. You would be wrong. In fact, our experience lately, particularly among the pedigreed European brands, has been that a higher price tag usuallly equates to a higher incidence of problems compared with less expensive vehicles from lesser nameplates. [Emph. added]
The interesting question is why the rich tolerate this--why doesn't at least one European luxury automaker back off the iffy, cutting edge electronics and market a car that, you know, keeps working? ... 10:37 P.M.
All Burkle, All the Time: Meow! The decision to let slimebag Jared Paul Stern guest-edit gawker.com over this weekend initially seemed a cheap attention-getting move by an ambitious Brit blog owner gravely ignorant of American libel law. It turns out to have been an inspired move by an ambitious Brit blog owner gravely ignorant of American libel law! ... Stern is doing what the lame Burklewatch should be doing: throwing out a cornucopia of potential leads that more respectable reporters (like Dan Walters) can check out. ... If Stern's output survives without provoking a fatal lawsuit, it could start a trend. But I advise reading it immediately--go ahead, leave my blog, I'll be here all day--before the Singer letters start arriving at Denton HQ. ... 5:59 P.M.
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.