Who’s the competition?

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 01, 2005

by Karen Feld


Lloyd Grove says, “there’s not even a molecule of truth” to the rumor that he’s returning to D.C. to take over his old gig at The Washington Post writing its gossip column, “The Reliable Source.” The New York Daily News daily disher, who just bought an Upper West Side apartment, says, “I ain’t lookin’ back.” So the search goes on for a replacement for Rich Leiby, who admits he’s never felt comfortable writing in “exceedingly short form.”

The search may go on for awhile if past history is an indicator. “I’ll stay until I’m granted a reprieve,” says Leiby, who wants to return to writing longer form – 3,000- to 5,000-word articles for the paper. “I enjoyed trying this out, but if I have to get two sources I’d rather write about nuclear centrifuge parts allegedly being shipped to Iran.”

Ana Marie Cox, better known as Wonkette, appears to be one of the many wannabes chomping at the bit in the race for Leiby’s slot. The satirical D.C. blogger, who is working on her first novel, turned up in New York for The Washington Post’s party to hype the purchase of It’s unlikely that Cox’s off-color and off-the-cuff blogging will ever pass as journalism with The Post’s lawyering in this politically correct city. But she does have a connection with the Washington institution – her husband, Chris Lehmann, now features editor at New York magazine, was previously on the Book World staff at The Post.

No decisions yet, but “it has been the proclivity of the editors to favor inside candidates,” Leiby says.

One foot across the border

The Expos may have moved from Montreal to be reborn as our new Nationals, but they must have some contracts still in force up in the Great White North. One fan tells us that he got his season tickets in the mail via UPS Worldwide and marked “Expedited” and “Extremely Urgent” from Saskatoon SK, Canada. The box inside was shaped like home plate and included a first season lapel pin and official Major League baseball with inaugural season markings. It took a full week to arrive but was worth the wait. Let’s see what those go for on eBay.

Mark Cuban

Watch out iPod-lovers! Copy (not) right

A colorful band of country artists strummed guitars and sang the praises of the federal copyright laws Tuesday outside the Supreme Court building. Inside, the justices heard arguments in MGM v. Grokster, litigation that affects the livelihoods of those in the music and film business.Even Fred Cannon, BMI’s senior VP of government relations, picked up a sign, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” and demonstrated on the sidewalk alongside his buddy, Nashville composer Stewart Harris, who wrote the country classic “No One Else on Earth.”

Lamont Dozier, writer of such mega-hits as “Stop! in the Name of Love” and “I Can’t Help Myself,” elegantly touted the need for stronger copyright laws in front of a phalanx of media mics. Uncompensated copying, such as illegal Internet downloads, is a threat to creative artists’ income.

Young demonstrators shouted for freer file sharing of songs and movies. At one point, Cannon, whose organization represents 300,000 music makers, led his own oral argument outside – certainly with less formality than the one inside the court – against the youthful opposition. Although good theater, it’s the Supremes (not Diana, et al), who will decide the ultimate winner, probably by early summer.

Later that night, ex-Homeland Security honcho Tom Ridge ran into songwriter Lamont Dozier at Cafe Milano, where the two didn’t miss a beat comparing notes on ’60s hits.

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, is financing the Grokster side. Ironically, he uses copyright law to protect his basketball team’s merchandise.

A tribute to the good doctor

“Fear and Loathing,” presented by the Will Rogers Washington Comedy Foundation at the National Press Club this evening, will toast Hunter Thompson since at the time of Hunter’s death in February The Hill Editor Al Eisele and Curtis Robinson, former Aspen Daily News editor and now a partner in Qorvis Communications, had arranged to fly Thompson to the press club on Sean Penn’s jet to speak. Hunter was too infirm to fly commercially. The friendship between Eisele and Thompson began during the McGovern presidential campaign. Eisele, who has just returned from Iraq, said: “Hunter ought to be around to cover this war.” He described the Doctor as “sui generis,” for non-Latin buffs, “his own kind.” Eisele and Robinson will join colleagues and troublemakers – McGovern Campaign Manager Frank Mankiewicz, Rolling Stone co-editor Corey Seymour and Will Durst, the only columnist who was fired from the San Fran Examiner more times than Thompson – in toasting Thompson’s spirit tonight.

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