Whoever organized last night's party to celebrate the launch of Fox Business Network at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had a good sense of history. Held in the shadow of the Temple of Dendur, one had to wind through the sarcophagi and statues of pharaohs and gods of dynasties past. Inside, Rupert Murdoch's disembodied voice addressed his Praetorian guard. Soon we too saw the unusually lithe Murdoch. He had a glass of something in his hands. "America has the best companies," he was saying. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, listened raptly. Rupert's fave deputy, Roger "The Penguin" Ailes, smoothed his tie and blinked his eyes. Sundry dynastic scions mingled: Lauren Bush, Ivanka Trump, her messed-up brother Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, all gathered under the bas relief of vultures. Nikola Tamindzic was there to capture the captains and dames of industry.
As we were heading in to the Met, Mel Brooks was fleeing. He looks Jewier in person. Regis Philbin was heading to the Regency. His wife held a Museum Towers umbrella against the chill rain and said to her friend while she peered at a black Lincoln Town Car, "If the driver had any brains at all, he'd give us a sign."
Lauren Bush, the current President's niece, climbed the steps. She kissed the cheek of the gray-haired David Rubenstein, founder of the Carlisle Group and a "family friend." A middle-aged Hispanic woman pleaded with the guards to let her inside. Her father and her daughter had gone missing earlier that day: "Sorry ma'am, there's no one in here."
The stairway leading up to the second floor Medieval Art galleries was lined with tea candles that spelled out FOX. In the Sackler wing, the Riefenstahlian touches continued. Giant topiary letters spelled Fox Business. The temple of Dendur was lit blue and yellow. Social free-thinkers Celerie Kemble and her husband Ravenel Boykin Curry IV were there. "We're here for the Counting Crows," said Celerie. "I was supposed to have my birthday party tonight at the Wollman Rink but it got rained out. Eh, global warming!" "
I told her not to be so loud. She wouldn't make it to see the Counting Crows if Roger Ailes heard her.
The president of the Tiffany Foundation, Fernanda M. Kellogg, sat with her husband (and senior vice president at Stribling), Kirk Henckels. "I'm a lifelong left, born and raised," said Henckels, quietly enough. He had a bowtie. She had a humongous diamond necklace. Why are you here? I asked her. "Fox Business is a gem."
Lauren Bush was talking with Vanessa Trump. Lauren was wearing a keffiyah around her slender and sylph-like neck. Was it in solidarity with the Palestinian people or if it was in solidarity with Steve McQueen? She was there for the Counting Crows and Fox Business. Was she single? New York mag's Chris Rovzar, who is a huge huge huge Counting Crows fan, reminded me that she wasn't. She's dating David Lauren, the Ralph Lauren child, which means she'd be Lauren Lauren if they get married unless David chose to heed his father's Ashkenazi heritage and changed his name back to David Lifschitz.
Why had Rupert Murdoch picked Adam Duritz for the night's entertainment? Does he like the Counting Crows? The director of PR for Fox Business Network, Jocelyn Austin, seemed panicked that I might ask. She grabbed my arm and led me to the bar. "Let's get a drink," she said tautly.
"Uh, there's no bartender at the bar," I said. "Ha," she said, "I'll make you a drink. Let's not bother Rupert."
But we were standing next to Rupert. There was a little circle of people around him. Socialite Fabiola Beracasa was nearest.
Fabiola was wearing a silver dress. "I don't know whether to punch you or to kiss you," she said. Her boyfriend stood next to her. I thought if she kissed me, I'd get punched by him but if she punched me, he might kiss me instead, right? Adam Duritz began to sing the first unbearably crap lines of Long December. Was that Lauren Bush singing along softly? I tapped Rupert's shoulder.
He's shorter than I'd expect. He's also very powerful. I thought the best approach was informal. I gave him a pound. (Kidding.) Instead he enveloped my hand in his own soft hands and shook up and down. He feels like a cashmere doll. He had never heard of the Counting Crows. But he thought they were okay.
Jack and Suzy Welch were talking to Roger Ailes and cosmetics queen and Republican super-cougar Georgette Mosbacher. There was Page Six's Richard Johnson. He was scowling for a photograph. According to Nikola, his wife said, "Richard, you look like an angry shithead." Richard smiled. He said he didn't want to talk about what he had written about Vanessa Grigoriadis; the whole how he'd rape her but she was ugly thing.
"I have nothing to gain by this conversation," he said. "Let's let it lie."
[Update: Now we're hearing that it might have been Braden Keil's wife Jennifer Gould Keil not Richard's wife who called him a shithead, which might be even better.]