Magazine makes list of top 10 toadies
Capital Style magazine has named its "Top 10 Toadies," the biggest posterior-kissers in Washington. Among the winners is presidential friend, corporate board member and "paragon of sucking-upward mobility" Vernon Jordan, cited for doing "anything to keep the directors' fees pouring in." Then there's Larry King, whose USA Today column is a "weekly cavalcade of wet smooches to friends."
Geraldo Rivera is scored for his lack of credibility; and despite "two decades of doormat status," Hillary Rodham Clinton is described as "seeking votes in New York by suddenly praising retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, after systematically ignoring his expertise in health care and other areas." Tina Brown gets mention for "elevating the celebrity puff piece to an art form," and for running a Talk magazine story on Hillary Clinton that "read as if it had been written by Hillary herself."
The top suck-up was former presidential adviser George Stephanopoulos, for "biting the [behind] he once kissed." The magazine quotes Stephanopoulos' describing himself as the most loyal staffer the Clintons ever had. "Nobody's fought harder for them," said the prize-winner, who subsequently wrote a book excoriating his former bosses.
Paper won't print memoir
London's Mail on Sunday newspaper has canceled plans to serialize ex-love James Hewitt's kiss-and-tell memoir about Princess Diana after receiving a letter from her brother, Earl Spencer. After news of the book deal leaked, Spencer wrote to editor Peter Wright, asking him to "look beyond the monetary value" and to consider that "she was a sister, a mother, an aunt -- she was not just a personality."
Hewitt is believed to have been offered $800,000 for the serialization rights to his book, based on dozens of her love letters. A Mail spokesman said the newspaper decided the book was unsuitable for serialization after receiving the full manuscript.
McEwan's ex wears gag
Novelist Ian McEwan's ex-wife wore a gag to court yesterday in her bitter custody battle over their two teen-age sons. Penny Allen arrived at the High Court in London with fiance Ismay Tremain, who wore a gag and a diaper over his trousers. "I have been silenced for five years," Allen said after removing her gag. McEwan, who won the Booker Prize for his novel "Amsterdam," was granted sole custody. Allen defied a French court order to return the boys after a visit to her French home and went on the run with her younger son. She was arrested Friday.
Stop firing the potatoes
Norwegian police have confiscated a potentially lethal homemade cannon capable of firing potatoes up to 50 yards. Six youths in the seaside town of Kristiansand used instructions on the Internet to build the weapon from everyday household objects.
Comedian Sid Caesar is 77.
Country singer-songwriter Harlan Howard is 72.
Actor Alan Feinstein is 58.
Author Ann Beattie is 52.
Musician Will Lee ("Late Show With David Letterman") is 47.
Actress Heather Thomas is 42.
Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 39.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 35.
Actor Henry Thomas is 28.
Actor David Arquette is 28.
Actor Larenz Tate is 24.
Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement") is 18.
Net Byte du Jour
Did Hurricane Dennis get you thinking? Find out how communities are protecting themselves against disasters at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact site (www.fema.gov/impact).