Let’s Take a Meeting and Talk

As we approach, witness–and yea, survive–the much hyperbolized launch party for Talk magazine, your diarist has come into possession of certain letters that may, one day, be of historical interest.

Or maybe not.

June 21, 1999. Liberty Island.

Dear Ms. Brown:

Thank you for your recent inquiry concerning the use of Liberty Island as a party venue.

Certainly, I can see the benefit in having 800 “glamorous movers and shakers, the right kind of people, with the right kind of attitude, and right kind of disposable income,” in close proximity to the Statue of Liberty.

And I have no reason to doubt that we were always your first choice. (I agree: I can’t begin to picture you at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.)

But since you need a quick reply, let me say that while we are interested and intrigued, without a more detailed proposal, the answer at this time must be no.

Sincerely, Elizabeth Hoffman, Chief Ranger

P.S. Please thank your partner, Mr. Galotti, for the lovely Clinique gift basket and shower luffa. It really wasn’t necessary.

June 25, 1999. Liberty Island.

Dear Ms. Brown:

Thank you for the extraordinary flowers. But I’m afraid that after reviewing your proposal, I must–what’s the term you use? Pass?

In general, I’m not sure I agree with you that all the TV, magazine, and newspaper publicity will “really put the Statue of Liberty on the map.” :

And in considering your specific proposals, while I can sympathize about “not wanting to send the wrong message to the community” about the people who read your magazine, I just can’t “lose” the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.”

Still, the torch is always lit, and my door is always open.

Best, Elizabeth Hoffman, Chief Ranger

P.S. Thanks for the kind word with Mrs. Clinton about the Park Service. I hate to disagree with both of you, but I’m not sure your readers would be fascinated by a glamorous “urban park ranger” photo spread.

June 30, 1999. Liberty Island.

Dear Tina:

What a lovely evening! It was a delight to meet Harvey and Bob at the screening; later, at the dinner in your apartment, I especially enjoyed sitting next to Charlie Rose. What a hunk!

In spite of this, I’m still just not sure we’re in the same ball park, in terms of Miss Liberty’s value to your magazine.

I realize we travel in different circles, Tina, but I hear people talking about her. And not to sound defensive, but given her size, I think there’s good reason she isn’t “A-listed, out and about” more often. She doesn’t need to be the next Camryn Manheim.

Truly, we’d love to come to an agreement. We’d love to make a deal, and be the site for your launch party. But you have to understand: This isn’t about money, Tina. It’s about respect.

Yours, Liz

P.S. Call me naïve, but I had no idea all those mini perfumes Mr. Galotti has been sending were freebies from charity events. Quelle surprise!

July 8, 1999. Liberty Island.

Dear Harvey:

I’m so happy that you’ve finally taken a personal interest here. I agree, there’s no reason to get lawyers, agents or Geffen involved.

From my point of view, we’re getting closer. But we have to look at issues of personal growth and creativity. We all want the same thing, Harvey: a brilliant party, a long-term relationship. Trust me: We want to be in business with Miramax. I await your next proposal.

XXXX, Lizzy

P.S. Thanks for showing me the rough-cut of Gwyneth’s new film. I was flattered that you agreed with me about the length, and what to trim in the third reel.

P.P.S. I have no idea what the Katzenberg thing on Page Six was all about. Trust me: We’re not negotiating with him for the same night.

July 10,1999. Liberty Island.

Dear Tina and Harvey:

Received your latest proposal: At last. We’re finally on the same page–although I think we were hoping for something more along the lines of an overall. A home. A Gwyneth situation. I mean, we’re talking about the goddamned Statue of Liberty here. Do you really want to do this deal?

Sorry to pressure you like this, but we have received a preemptive offer from Katzenberg for the same night, and need to get back to him within 24 hours. Let me know.


Elizabeth Hoffman, Chief Ranger

P.S. Amazing! The messenger just arrived with the beautiful Donna Karan pashmina. I agree: Donna would do a fantastic job with Miss Liberty that night. Let’s get this closed! XXXXX Liz.

July 11, 1999. 30 Rockefeller Center.

Dear Harvey, Bob, Tina and Ron:

It was long and difficult, but it’s done. Here’s what we agreed to, plus one small point that I forgot to mention:

(1) The dress stays. Tina agrees to call oxidized green the new black. (2) Three Talk covers. Text, photo, writer and photographer approval. (3) An overall deal with Miramax: $225,000 annual development fund; first look at the Talk table of contents each month; three wide-release pictures, guaranteed. (4) No nudity.

(5) Most favored nation on everything, everywhere, any time, with Gwyneth.

And–oh, yes–the one small point I forgot to mention:

(6) The Statue gets to direct.

It’s a deal-breaker. So let me know before you send out any party invitations. With great affection,

Liz Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Torch Productions Inc. Let’s Take a Meeting and Talk