I. Pregame Warm-Up
What a morning! On Meet the Press, the mad caricaturist’s match-up between the strangely feline James Carville, an R. Crumb creation out of Fritz the Cat, and, from the Bush camp, a gumdrop-eyed man named Charles Black who evoked Dondi as a 45-year-old. Between them was beaming Tim Russert, watching as Mr. Carville pistol-whipped Mr. Black, who just kept blinking. Next door on Face the Nation, we had a made-for-TV movie in which Bush spokeswoman and Carville girlfriend Mary Matalin mud-wrestled Clinton spin-mistress Mandy Grunwald, who kept smiling and calling the Bush campaign “sad.” This was a fairer fight, due partly to Ms. Matalin’s wildcat passion and her determination to leave no eye unthumbed. By the time, back on NBC, that Mr. Russert asked Mr. Carville to say something nice about Mr. Bush (an invitation that the hypnotic Mr. Black took to be sincere), Mr. Carville sloe-eyed across the channels to CBS and said, “anyone who Mary Matalin likes that much, there must be something good there.”
“Week one: The honeymoon is over. Week two: The administration is over.” — Sam Donaldson on This Week With David Brinkley, Jan. 31
Yup, it’ s been a pretty bad two weeks for Bill Clinton on TV, but that’s show business and, anyhow, Mr. Clinton’s earned it. It’s a bloody game and, yes, the media is a bunch of jackals, but this new Administration has declared itself ready to fight on its own terms. They’re the ones who’ve decided to try and sail right over the press into the TV cameras, to body-mike the President and let him Reaganize directly to his constituency.
“I remember in the old days, five, six years ago, we used to go out into the fine jungle of live television. It was an exquisite sensation—a little like making love, a little like being in the electric chair—to know that one million people were listening to you at that instant … Now it’s more Read More
Part One: Getting Started
1. Do you want to know how to sell art?
2. Do you have one foot in the past?
3. Do you have your other foot in the future?
4. Do you consider yourself someone with a point of view and something to say?
If you answered yes to these questions, Read More
Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
The week of Miami Basel is here. The fair opens to invited guests on Wednesday, Dec. 4, with public viewings Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 5–8. The Observer will have coverage throughout the week. For now, there are previews. In this edition: works by John Finneran, Erika Verzutti, Helmut Newton, Kenneth Noland, Dorothea Tanning (with an absolutely great 1943 portrait) and 20 more artists.
Peter W. Kaplan, the former editor of the New York Observer, passed away after a battle with cancer Friday. He was 59. As The Observer’s editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2009, Kaplan took a paper with a small circulation and revolutionized the field of journalism, whether people knew it at the time or not. He crafted a voice among his writers that was in turns sophisticated, sarcastic, erudite and honest, a legacy that can be seen nearly everywhere in media today. The writers and editors who came of age under Kaplan represent a veritable checklist of journalistic success stories, including the gossip columnist Frank DiGiacomo; the New York Times editor Alexandra Jacobs; the New Yorker staff writer Nick Paumgarten; Choire Sicha, the founder of The Awl; Candace Bushnell—whose column Sex and the City, which Kaplan named himself, became a pop culture sensation even as the paper that printed it remained relatively obscure; and scores of others. There are few publications in New York City—either extant or extinct—that do not bear at least some of his influence.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
The 2013 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach is only moments away. The fair runs this year from Thursday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 8, with a preview day on Wednesday, Dec. 4. We’ll be filing from the fair throughout that stretch. Until then, there are previews. This slide show has new works from David Read More
If you flew commercially this Thanksgiving, you probably weren’t expecting an especially comfortable experience. And I bet you didn’t have one.
Amid such lowered expectations, it is interesting to see airlines changing how they communicate with customers.
The mainstream passenger experience is now about opting-out of services to preserve value. Airlines have adapted their messaging to manage these consumer decisions.
Their new pitch is: if you had a lousy flight, the problem is you.
A single piece of fossilized dinosaur poop rests on a shelf in a dilapidated shack in Brooklyn. The poop costs $25, and it’s just one of several odd items for sale at Frank Traynor’s curiosity shop, known as the Perfect Nothing Catalog, which is now situated in the backyard of a gallery in Bushwick and mostly sells handmade objects by artists Mr. Traynor admires.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
That was fast. It feels like Art Basel Miami Beach just happened, but in fact almost a full year has elapsed. This year’s edition runs Thursday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, with a preview day on Wednesday, Dec. 4. More than 250 galleries from around the world will be showing work. In the slide show at left, a preview of some of the art on offer.