Jewish World Review July 21, 2004 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Love among the ruins; he ain't heavy, he's my brother; talk about playing Hardball! | NEW YORK — Working on an article about the protesters planning to disrupt next month's Republican National Convention, Vanity Fair contributing editor Nancy Jo Sales enjoyed very special access.

Her competitors at rival mags grumbled that protest leader Frank Morales, an associate priest at St. Marks Episcopal Church, was very hard to pin down for an interview.

But he seemed to be giving Sales an exclusive.

The two were unusually close, a rival writer told me. At planning meetings — for which Sales was once spotted helping Morales set up the folding chairs — she was often seen sitting beside him, giggling and whispering in his ear.

In late June, Sales turned in her 7,000-word piece — in which Morales was briefly mentioned. Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter killed the piece for space.

Sales informed Morales that very night over dinner at the East Village diner, Odessa. She was initially unhappy. But he was elated — because it paved the way for a romantic relationship.

"Nancy was so scrupulous about wanting to maintain a kind of clarity in terms of our relationship, and she was very concerned about how it would look."

The 39-year-old Sales revealed: "On December 4th, Frank and I are getting married. I'm so happy. I was crazy in love with him from the first moment I saw him. We're going to be married in a little garden in the East Village."

It will be Morales' third — and Sales' second — time at the altar. He has a 6-year-old boy, and she a 4-year-old daughter, from previous unions.

On Tuesday, Vanity Fair spokeswoman Beth Kseniak stressed that Sales and Morales didn't become an item until after her story was killed.

"In general, should a conflict of interest occur between the writer and the subject during the reporting process — a rare occasion, to be sure — we trust that the individual will recuse him- or herself from the story."

And will Graydon Carter give the bride away?

"That," Morales ventured with a laugh, "would be very nice."

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The Democrats' most potent secret weapon?

It might very well be MSNBC "Hardball" correspondent Ron Reagan — Son of Gipper.

The 46-year-old Reagan, a trustee of the nominally non-partisan Creative Coalition, will be speaking out in favor of stem-cell research at next week's Democratic National Convention.

And in "If You Had Five Minutes With the President," a soon-to-be published collection of celebrity essays benefiting the Coalition, Reagan offers his own scathing critique of George W. Bush's professions of faith.

"I would want to know whether he believes that the thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghans who have died as a result of our military campaigns will be welcome in heaven (as he imagines it)," Reagan writes. "People who believe they are acting with the mandate of G-d, who see others who don't share their beliefs as inferior in the eyes of G-d, make dangerous leaders. Just ask Osama bin Laden."

Among the 62 boldface names who also weigh in is "Will & Grace" star Eric McCormack, who writes: "We are all appalled at the age-old treatment of women in much of the Third World, but deny an American woman's right to choose by quoting the Bible."

Actor Alan Cumming also addresses President Bush: "You may have had, no doubt, a family member remove thousands of people from the electoral register to enable your ascension to power, but please don't forget to be publicly outraged when other countries do exactly the same thing."

The sarcasm meter is off the scale.


HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER: With Bush-bashing books streaming onto the shelves, it's no surprise that conservatives are fighting back with "Thank You, President Bush," an anthology of laudatory essays by everyone from virtue czar and ex-gambling enthusiast Bill Bennett to former Secretary of State George Schulz to anti-tax jihadist Grover Norquist. The book's foreword was written by the president's little brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, with whom Dubya has a much-discussed sibling rivalry. So this column asked co-editor Rod Martin if it was hard to get Jeb to say "Thank you, President Bush." Martin replied, "We sought him out for that — he was thrilled to do it and very helpful. If they have that goin' on, they keep it to the home front — they certainly didn't manifest it here. Maybe they play football at the ranch."

WRONG ACCENT?: That was Peggy Kerry at Monday night's "Bridge and Tunnel" fund-raiser for brother John, inveighing against those "anti-feminist" Republicans "in a patrician accent that rivaled Prince Charles'," a worried Kerry supporter confided to this column Tuesday. "I don't know — how will that play in Topeka?" Cracking good, I'd say.

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07/16/04: Bad taste at James Beard Foundation; Hunted at Prey?; more
07/14/04: Sophie's fall; Bush's covert ops; celeb stew
07/09/04: Low-budget director in high-budget race; Warner Wolf's imaginary wild side; more
07/07/04: Spiderman fan shows Moore having trouble coping with his predictable fade; rock the vote?; more
07/04/04: Perky Katie: 'Our bad'; Skull & Bones may break him; more
06/30/04: Paul Bremer's rich narrative; lonely rich guy?; Jessica Simpson, patron airhead?; more
06/25/04: "Don't jump!"; Rocco's rocky night; Rules? Which rules?; more
06/18/04: NBA numbers crunch; rap reversal?; strange bedfellows; more
06/19/04: I caused Howard Stern to go berserk
06/16/04: Lindsay Lohan is so, um, differently abled; Bill (O'Reilly) is busted!; naughty Natalie; more
06/04/04: Gwyneth gets hers in the U.K.; lost — and found — in translation; ladies who lunch — and the men they won't eat with; more
06/02/04: Stern warnings; X-Tina, the brand name; separating the Olsen Twins
05/28/04: "Sly Fox" outwits New York Times review; talk to the animals; Can't this man be stopped?; more
05/25/04: Picking over Bones; "W" this!; Motherhood, anyone?; more
05/21/04: Not so Ruff Ryders; fantastic voyage; sweeps month stunt?; more
05/19/04: A hex on 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'?; girls just wanna get mad; more
05/14/04: What it was like to be Kerry's 'mistress'; Curious George (Stephanopoulos); more
05/13/04: The young (and snarky) JFK; Did Ford have a better idea?; more
05/07/04: Teresa on TV; Joan Rivers: "C-Class" at best; red-faced apology; more
05/05/04: Burger brouhaha over meat movie; the Age of Adu; what a difference an indictment makes; more
04/23/04: Ahoy, Katie!; Barbara and Martha, together again!; unreality TV?; more
04/21/04: Things don't go better with Coke?; swipes from the grave; "Mami" to the rescue; more
04/16/04: Does this ‘Apprentice’ need some etiquette lessons?; Kerry's laff-riot stepson; fully baked?; more
04/14/04: Dick Clark's diabetes; Barbara Walters' $6 Million book; reality (television) bites; more
04/09/04: S-e-x and the Koran; PETA targets Beyonce; more
04/08/04: Stephen King vs. ABC; trapping the love rat; Liv-ing it up; more
04/02/04: Don't mess with Brooke Hogan's dad; lawyers dancing on the head of a pin?; Trump vs. Trump?; more
04/01/04: D'OH! "Simpsons" actors in dispute with Fox; Diane Sawyer and Janet Jackson won't be bosom buddies; Condi and Maxim?
03/31/04: Hair-raising day on Wall Street; Foxy lady loses 50 Cent; How do you say "party animal" in Hebrew?; Rev. Al and Janet Jackson; more
03/26/04: Bye, bye Banfield; from porn to politics?; more
03/24/04: The perils of film criticism; Dole-ing out compliments; but what about a cure for career lag?; more
03/19/04: Trump trumps everything; Mario vs. Joe; Trudeau pays up; more
03/17/04: Remembering Hillary %*&$#! Clinton; PUT AWAY THAT KRYPTONITE!; more
03/12/04: OOPS!, did Jayson Blair do it again?; skewing Young; more
03/10/04: The laugh that dare not speaks its name; Mistaken identity? NAH!; Is this a great country or what?
03/05/04: Bush vs. Kerry: a Skull session; Kramer vs. The Times, scorch session; enthusiasm curbed; (Tina) Brown-nosing?
03/03/04: Oscars memorialize Hitler's fave filmmaker; baubles, bangles and Kelly Osbourne; moonwalking through cyberspace; more
02/27/04: Regan rebellion; Ed Limato strikes again!; tears for Tom; more
02/26/04: McCain predicts a nasty campaign; the misdirected missive; Janet Jackson, the interview; more
02/20/04: Introducing the Kerry sisters; cyberflap!; Snoop Dogg v. O'Reilly?; more
02/18/04: John Kerry's Friendster?; On the mend?; food for fraughtm; more
02/13/04: John & Carolyn, redux; Zell Miller shows the flag; kill Quentin?; more
02/11/04: HE FEELS BAD!; Dick Cheney, still not dead; more
02/06/04: Glittering Grammys; a laurel for Janet; Haryl's heart
02/04/04: Shriver quits NBC; "Marshmallow" Mike Tyson?; Super Bowl propriety?; MTV's next production?; more
01/30/04: The political forehead front; Alies meets Franken; the art of the hype; arrested career development?
01/28/04: Eyebrow-raising politics; call him indescribable; Woods vs. Williams; more
01/23/04: Eyebrow-raising mystery; who's punk'd anyway?; don't curb your enthusiasm; more
01/21/04: Ridiculous lives of the self-important stars; long arm of the law; all's fair in love and literature
01/16/04: Global warming at a glacial pace; targeting pop culture; Is 'the price of loyalty' too high?
01/14/04: Busting on the "cult buster"; Sarsgaard thinks globally; one angry woman; more
01/08/04: Sitcom star won't be excused from Blake murder trial; fierstein on fire; Drudge & Blumenthal, together again
01/07/04: Bono hits a brick wall; Britney, before the nuttiness; the Arianna primary; more
01/02/04: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio!?; "Bachelor" bruises; Returning to the scene of the crime?
12/31/03: Disaster for the defense; no-war Omar; the shoe must go on; more
12/19/03: Bob Shapiro's free commercial?; Are sophisticated and hip New Yawkers easily duped?; Positive Saddam fallout?; Ratty insult?
12/17/03: Magic Mystery Tour?; Russell Simmons battles ink by the barrel; Would it have killed her to say 'get well soon'?; no Gest room
12/12/03: Karenna defends her dad; now she tells us!; say it ain't so, Mo!; more
12/10/03: Man & wife, interruptus; pepperoni has feelings, too; more
12/05/03: The knives are out; Who's sorry now?; JWR in the news
12/04/03: The war of the gest-minnellis; something borrowed, something cashmere; fashion trendsetter, nailed!
12/03/03: Colombian grace under pressure; Lord of the Screwups; more
12/02/03: Curb your anti-Semitism?; fame fatigue?; bowing to pressure?; more
12/01/03: Dennis the Menace strikes again; first literary feud of the holiday season; Norma Jean & Hef in heaven?; the fog of McNamara; more
11/26/03: Catherine Crier raps Jacko's TV defender, refuses on-air hint of racism; At 50, Tina's in full cry; STAY OUT OF HER WAY!; more
11/25/03: The mogul strikes back?; go ahead, make Harvey's day; more
11/24/03: Georgette's pilfered baubles; prosecutor of pop?; absent but not missed?; Norman Mailer's prescription for education reform; more
11/20/03: Is a movie career in store for Maria Bartiromo?; People for the Unethical Treatment of Humans?; more
11/19/03: Scientologists on Razor's edge?; picking a winner?; source on a hot tin roof?; more
11/18/03: Clay Aiken neuters PETA?; THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!; a mural for Joe
11/17/03: When networks attack!; leaky Fawcett; forget the Paris Hilton video!; more
11/13/03: Publicity hounds; Prophetic priest; Dumb and Dumber
11/12/03: Not so Rosie; do you believe in miracles?; catalogue of sins; My Heart Belongs to Koppel
11/10/03: Gen. clark on the Subway diet; life of the party; MTV's Dumb and Dumber?; the hug issue; but does the $6,000 shower curtain convey?; red faces at Buckingham palace?
11/06/03: Let them eat pita?; verbal jousting; pretenders to the throne?
11/05/03: Will Harvey Weinstein and Gregg Easterbrook now be pals?; crazed Quentin; more
11/04/03: Herding off the hipsters; more
11/03/03: Dean's tell-all on himself?; Lisaraye vs. Mya?; the odd couple; no need to panic; just don't call him "Scooter"!; Rosie scenarios
10/30/03: Autumn of the editor?; Cynthia Nixon's split may be costly; 'Burning' questions
10/29/03: Ah-nold, unauthorized!; a dilemma for Melissa Gilbert? not even Frank Gifford can help him now!; nobody wanted Elizabeth Hurley
10/28/03: It's Cher calling!; Brown Alert
10/27/03: Paparazzi uncensored!; where's Aaron Brown?; postcards from the middle; invasion of the party snatchers?; House flooded when not afire?; suspenders of disbelief?
10/23/03: Ace up Howard Dean's sleeve; Woody's ordeal; Paul Simon's kid makes good; the non-beginning of a beautiful friendship?
10/22/03: Showing the flag; Joe Frazier, smokin'!; see Carville bruised-up — sort of
10/21/03: Morris & Jaci's charm offensive; Hell hath no fury; Wintertime for Hitler
10/20/03: Isn't it rich?; men (and the occasional woman) behaving badly; peacenik John Lennon supporting the U.S. military?; courageous Connie
10/16/03: George Clooney and intolerable Drudgery; Cameron goes native; and you thought the war in Iraq was nasty?; now it can be revealed; star wars?
10/15/03: Kerik into the breach?; holiday pander?; "the Dink" corrects the record; more
10/14/03: Madge gets mad, lips are sealed; the candidates who listen; he who hesitates is Beatty
10/13/03: Clothes, but no cigar; New Yorkers put a Sox in it; mad at Matalin?; more
10/09/03: Gray Davis goes to the movies; Ali Wentworth, working blue; Law & Order?; pot of gold at the end of the rainbow room?
10/08/03: Art-time for Hitler; the actress who hates movies; lying "Liam"
10/07/03: Pond scum of the rich and famous
07/24/03: Ali and George, living it up; Mel Gibson's Washington power play
07/21/03: White House smear?
07/17/03: Yet another intern scandal; it's her party and she can pay if she wants to
07/14/03: On the auction block: JFK'S boxer shorts; love bytes the maestro
07/10/03: A hairy situation at Homeland Security; Van Susteren v. Orth
06/30/03: Rep. Patrick Kennedy: I've never worked a (bleeping) day in my life; Drudge's dressing down; Ken Lay's Kerry connection
06/26/03: Rapping the beat
06/23/03: Another Watergate scandal?; AL GORE TV!
06/19/03: Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate
06/16/03: Missing dog, ransom demand, Hollywood ending
06/12/03: Giving both parties the needle
06/05/03: Incoming from Barbara Bush?
06/02/03: Bob Dole's plan for fighting unemployment
05/29/03: Newt's new novel
05/27/03: Hitchens & Blumenthal, together again; He still believes in a man called Hope
05/09/03: Close, but no cigar; Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending?; Geraldo to help Heebs?
05/05/03: So Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw walk into a coffee bar . . .; hotel hell; more

© 2003, Creators Syndicate