Jewish World Review Feb. 20, 2004 / 28 Shevat, 5764
Introducing the Kerry sisters; cyberflap!; Snoop Dogg v. O'Reilly?; more
NEW YORK Vanessa Kerry says Internet rumors of an extramarital affair between 27-year-old Columbia Journalism School grad Alexandra Polier and Kerry's father won't hurt the Democratic presidential front-runner.
"It's absolute cr-p. Cr-p from start to finish," Sen. John Kerry's daughter, a 26-year-old Harvard Medical School student, told the New York Daily News's Soni Sangha Thursday. "I read it on the Drudge Report, and I died laughing."
Both Polier and the Massachusetts senator have denied any relationship.
As for the campaign, "We're keeping right on track," said Vanessa Kerry, the product of his first marriage to Julia Thorne. "We've won 16 of 18 contests, and we are doing really well."
Vanessa and her 30-year-old sister an aspiring filmmaker who, coincidentally, is also named Alexandra were the stars of a Glamour magazine-sponsored panel discussion featuring candidates' daughters, including Catherine Edwards (daughter of John) and Rebecca Lieberman (daughter of Joe).
Vice President Cheney's 37-year-old daughter Liz a former State Department official who will likely end up campaigning against the Kerrys in the coming political battle told the audience: "The issues in this election are more important than any other election in my lifetime . . . and it can come down to 10 or 15 votes per precinct."
Vanessa Kerry agreed. "I second Liz Cheney. It does come down to precincts."
As soon as Vanessa finished, her big sister caught her eye from the other side of the stage, mouthing something and shaking her head disapprovingly. "Who?" mouthed back Vanessa.
Alexandra cocked her head in Cheney's direction, again shaking her head, "No."
The event, also coincidentally, was held at Polier's alma mater, Columbia University.
Brooklyn essayist John Lee was a swashbuckling computer hacker nicknamed "Corrupt" when Wired magazine put him on its cover a decade ago.
The 29-year-old Lee, an African-American, has cleaned up his act since the Wired story headlined "Gang War in Cyberspace."
But now he's shaking up cyberspace again with his claim that two popular "bloggers" Choire Sicha of Gawker.com and Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette.com
are guilty of subtle racism.
"These sites have decided that one way to telegraph their supreme coolness is to continually joke about non-whites as marginalized second-class citizens," Lee wrote about the Web logs owned by British Internet entrepreneur Nick Denton.
"It's this casual, damaging disregard that is hard to quantify, and yet, Gawker and Wonkette exemplify the growing phenomenon of white hipsters adopting a casual racism," Lee continued. "Is it any wonder so many still feel blogging's a white man's sport?"
Since Lee leveled his charge this week on Africana.com, a chorus of bloggers have weighed in pro and con, and Sicha and Cox have been at pains to defend themselves.
"I would applaud John Lee for making me feel guilty, but I am a white liberal it's just not that hard," Cox wrote. "My intent . . . is to mock the powerful and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the true believers. If Lee didn't understand that's what I was trying to do (in her facetious commentary on rap mogul Russell Simmons recently disrupting a celeb-studded Democratic strategy session on Upper West Side), I don't think it's my job to explain the joke to him."
Sicha, meanwhile, e-mailed me: "My interns are busily drafting Mr. Lee a lengthy memo on the meaning of sarcasm."
Lee, for his part, sounded greatly amused.
"Who knew this firestorm du jour would inspire a response like Dean losing a primary?" he told me. "When Gawker and Wonkette are confronted with their own brand of sarcasm and subjective inspection they react like a comedian bombing on stage, saying, 'You don't get it!'
"We do get it. It's just funnier to see how thin-skinned they are."
GET READY TO RUMBLE: Fox News star Bill O'Reilly apparently has done something to annoy Snoop Dogg, the tough-talking rapper who has, I hope, put his tough-acting ways behind him. When Maxim magazine asked Snoop whom he wants to fight, the rapper replied: "Bill O'Reilly, that b-tch-a . 'Cause he's a b-tch." O'Reilly said Thursday through a Fox flack, "I'll be happy to have lunch with him anytime." No, Bill, maybe you didn't hear right: That's punch , not lunch.
BIG BEN?: In case you thought that Ben Affleck, post-J.Lo, has taken a solemn vow to stop frightening the horses and children, think again. In the upcoming In Style, he confides that 1998, the year he and Matt Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Good Will Hunting," was the best year of his life. "I've never been happier than I was that year. Since then things have become more complicated and weird, though not necessarily worse. It would be nice to win for acting. I'm sure my work in Gigli has a shot!" Nice enough. But in reminiscing about his Oscar, Affleck can't resist the urge to tell the mag: "I remember standing at a urinal next to Charlton Heston, which was a really interesting moment, getting to measure my manhood against Moses'."
THE PASSION OF THE SEXPOT: I suppose it was inevitable that even Pamela Anderson would get religion. The buxom former "Baywatch" babe and hard-core video star sermonizes in Jane magazine: "I now love going to church. It's nondenominational, but they preach from the Gospel with sincerity. I've been reading the Torah lately. But the Book of John is also a good place to start. I've never felt anything but love from the people at the church I belong to. It doesn't matter to them that I'm on TV. Who cares?"
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate