"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 October 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CVI


[okay, it has to be discussed, especially in hit and run]

It isn't a question of whether

you're gorging on financial news

this week, it's a question of

which trough you prefer. Those

of you opting for TheStreet.com

may be noticing a more youthful

swagger in the site than what

you've come to expect from

founder and lead columnist James

Cramer. The bounce in

TheStreet's step comes from

newly appointed tech chief Gregg

Bishop, a 22-year-old college

dropout and a former developer

in Vibe magazine's new-media

department. Cramer, a

contortionist who can strut even

while calling his wife on the

Motorola, said of Bishop, "Age

is irrelevant, education is

irrelevant. I want to hire the

guy to get the job done." All of

which is in keeping with

Cramer's populist notion of

better living through mutual

funds. Meritocrat praise aside,

Bishop must be wondering if he's

made the right decision trading

in the world of hip hop for the

world of ... trading. Getting up

to speed on a site that's

probably seen more traffic in

the past four days than in the

past six months could certainly

put a few years on you. And

Bishop is a devoted Christian.

That means he's had the added

strain of reconciling the

casting out of moneychangers

from the temple with writing the

moneychangers' Java. Of course,

Bishop wouldn't be the first Web

guru to find his faith didn't

quite jibe with his

surroundings. The one decision

he needn't think twice about is

dropping out of college. The

realities of TheStreet.com

couldn't be worse than academia.

With all the filthy lucre

waiting outside the ivory tower,

it's getting cutthroat on the

inside. According to those

who've bailed, being a computer

science major today makes the

macho rivalries of the floor

seem like neighborly good fun.

As one friend put it, "There's

so much pressure. You're in

class and late with your code.

When time is running out, you

just start sweating. And then

all the Russian kids start

laughing at you."


[so i watched the vh1 fashion awards last night - for about 45 minutes]

The trial of nanny Louise

Woodward was the greatest

Rorschach test since that other

trial. Most of America seemed to

take one look at what the New

York Times called Woodward's

"milkmaid's wholesome roundness,

clear blue eyes, and broad,

serene brow" and cry, "Guilty!"

The British, on the other hand,

recoiled at seeing one of their

own subjected to primitive

colonial (and televised)

justice. The Times, always

watching the big picture, saw it

all as a referendum on working

moms. For our part, we're just

happy to see Barry Scheck back

in action. But this case seemed

fishy all along. Woodward's

story of being tricked by the

Newton cops was the trial's most

convincing moment, while the

best the prosecution could do in

the way of character

assassination was to accuse her

of drinking with a fake ID

Most exculpatory of all was the

revelation that the poor girl

spent her au pair's chicken-feed

salary on 20 viewings of the

East Village-lite musical Rent.

Are these the actions of a

killer? Leaving aside her

resemblance to the Bay State's

most famous accused murderess,

don't you think she would have

chosen that Lizzie Borden

musical instead?


[boring, dried up and shrivled news.  that the spice girls were even nominees for most stylish video takes me back to those good old days when the quote un quote most popular kids in class got their friends nominated for student government]

The professional mourners of the

magazine world have been

circling above Frank Sinatra for

months, and Tina Brown has

already shown her willingness to

break The New Yorker's tradition

of meaningless cover

illustrations for dead famous

people. So when we saw Edward

Sorel's caricatures of Ol' Blue

Cataracts on the cover of this

week's issue, we flipped on the

radio in hopes of hearing

"There's Something Missing." No

such luck - nothing but that

Chumbawamba song. The rumor is

that Brown heard somewhere that

Sinatra was singing with a new

choir, and rushed the cover (and

an article by elderly lion cub

John Lahr) into production; by

the time word made it past her

myrmidons that he wasn't the

Chairman of the Dust just yet

("If Tina says that he died,

then he died"), it was too late

to do anything but tweak some

verb tenses in Lahr's extended

pre-mortem. Brown may be

trying to turn The New Yorker,

once a bastion of blissful

irrelevance, into the upscale

People, but it'd help if she

could tell a hearse from a

stretch limo. Sometimes Frankie

screwsyou, and sometimes you

screw yourself. That's life, we



[looks good on the college applications i guess, but i ask you this, what the fuck is courtney love going to do with her most stylish woman of the year award?  maybe next month she'll jump from rolling stone to vogue ... blech!]

Pseudo-necrophilia may sell

magazines, but what sells

magazine ads? Advertising Age's

special section devoted to the

state of magazine publishing is

remarkable not just for the

curious autopsy (fave line:

advertisers avoided the magazine

like "a retarded kitten") on a

scrappy 3-year-old pub we've

already forgotten the name of,

nor just for the misty-eyed

glosstalgia evinced by a column

that wonders "where have all the

moguls gone," but for the light

the section sheds on the

increasingly muddled state of

editorial integrity. (Trust us.)

The section's lead article draws

upon the time-honored wisdom of

John Gray to reveal that the

ad/edit firewall is more

prophylactic than prohibitory.

The article concedes that

"[a]dvertisers are from Mars,

editors are from Venus," and

proceeds to hammer the

relationship metaphor into

territory where Esquire would

fear to tread; Mademoiselle's

chief speaks of "editorial

cherry-picking," and one analyst

casts the situation in the boozy

light of a fraternity party gone

awry: "It all started out pretty

innocently." Also in the

section, Lewis Lapham asserts

that in his 19 years of editing

Harper's, "never once can I

remember being asked to

rearrange the editorial

furniture" for an advertiser

(though the US Postal service

has knocked on his door from

time to time). Well, if he had

more of them over, perhaps he'd

be familiar with the practice.

Tina Brown was more sage: "The

criteria shouldn't be will the

advertiser not like this, but is

this appropriate for my reader,"

said the editor whose "Fashion"

and "Next" issues have made The

New Yorker, quite

appropriate for Versace and

Microsoft. If Lapham's

disavowals are proof that you

can't get date-raped if you

never get asked out, Brown's

comments show that it's hard to

make a case if you raise your

skirt and ask for more.

courtesy of the Sucksters

[Other Work By]
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