Yesterday, the New York Post splashed with a big story about on-air cussing WNBC anchor Sue Simmons being a drunk who liked to down cocktails before doing her show. Today, the tabloid's follow-up mentions how she denies having a drink before showtime in the last 15 years, without even acknowledging that Simmons is talking about the Post itself when she says "I understand now why many people don't trust the media." Apart from the "Journalism" issue here (ha), the odd part is that the paper should have a little more respect for fellow professional drunks. After all, boozing is a Post trademark—and it starts right at the top, with the paper's heroically enthusiastic alcohol-abusing editor Col Allan!
Post hack Steve Dunleavy, of course, was a legendary drunk. Page Six chief Richard Johnson had his own DUI, complete with a refusal to take a Breathalyzer test—a wise legal move known to many veteran drunk drivers. Staffer Hasani Gittens, we hear, "drinks like a fish," is an incessant gambler, and carries the nickname "Handsome Lyle" (all of which are things to be respected).
Further: Page Six's Chris Wilson is a boozer, his colleague Paula Froelich carries on with drunken midgets, and we've always suspected that the entire paper gets so soused on New Year's eve that they just toss any old thing in there the next day.
But the man who sets the tone is the paper's top dog, editor Col Allan. He must have been drunk as hell when he decided it would be a good idea to take the Australian prime minister to Scores for a night of booze and strippers. Of course, Allan is impervious to hangovers, as well. He should be, since his reputation as a lush is legendary:
At the Post, the party is slightly out of control, which is part of the fun, both for readers and reporters. The paper is aggressive, uninhibited, unpredictable, prone to anger and sometimes juvenile comedy in equal measure. Heroic consumption of alcohol has long been a part of this equation, but even in this tradition Allan stands out. "Col is a very engaging man," says his sometime dinner companion Graydon Carter. "And he can drink just about anybody I know, with the exception of Christopher Hitchens, under many tables. He's got real Aussie blood in him."
So, Sue Simmons: don't feel too bad.