Media Kryptonite

Media Kryptonite

Julia Allison may have finally met her match. The Star magazine talking head was seen in tears last night at Tara Subkoff's party at low-ceilinged downtown club, the Beatrice Inn. (Party photographs are on Getty Images.) Allison is pretty thick-skinned, her ambition undimmed by the abuse she's received from blogs and former boyfriends. But other party-goers, who included maybe-gay socialite Fabian Basabe, saw her traumatized by a half-hour lecture from Hud Morgan. The belligerent Men's Vogue writer accused the "craven self-promoter" of dragging other people into her bad press. The talking bosom's plaintive response? "I'm a dating columnist. It's what I do. People don't give Candice Bushnell a hard time. Why is everyone so mean to me?!" Why, indeed? (The answers, which include a red scarf, and teen starlet Leven Rambin, after the jump.)

Hud Morgan, who is trying to establish himself as a serious journalist after an apprenticeship under Lloyd Grove at the New York Daily News, was particularly offended by a photograph of him, standing awkwardly in a red scarf, beside Allison in her hand-on-hip pose. (This trademark look was so important to Allison that she campaigned to have the photo on her Wikipedia page changed.) The image, which was first posted to Allison's personal blog, was highlighted on Gawker, and mocked by commenters, to the irritation of Morgan's boss. Not the image that a Men's Vogue writer should be conveying.

But spare the sympathy for Morgan. It's not as if the louche writer is a naive victim of Allison's publicity machine. Morgan put himself front-and-center in Tabloid Wars, the 2006 documentary series on the Daily News, in which he agonized on screen about the shallow life of a gossip columnist's gofer, and then drowned his sorrows in free booze. Best line: "Can you get me a beer, because I'm such a man? I want to order a fruit-ini, but I'm on camera." And he's embarrassed Allison in public, before. At a party for Arianna Huffington in 2007, Morgan stole Allison's cellphone, and drunkenly read out text exchanges between the dating columnist and her magazine editor boyfriend of the time, Dave Zinczenko, paying particular attention to mentions of blow jobs and Allison's post-sex bruises. The Men's Health editor soon broke off the relationship.

That's all history; there is a statute of limitations on the offenses committed by drunken gossip columnists. But Morgan's rehabilitation, since moving to Men's Vogue, is superficial. Put aside yesterday's drunken rant at Beatrice Inn. (Allison can inspire rage in even the most sober of people.) Guess whom he's currently dating? It's almost too lurid to be true: Leven Rambin, the 17-year-old star of daytime soap, All My Children. The same Rambin whom Allison called her "adopted little sister", until the barely legal actress lured the dating columnist's geek boyfriend, Jakob Lodwick. (Incidentally, Hud Morgan was one of Allison's first friends in New York, introduced by Grove, whom she knew from Washington, D.C.) Rambin's guilt, now compounded by her latest fling, doesn't trump ambition: the teenaged actress avoids photographs with Allison, on her publicist's advice. "I'm like media kryptonite," Allison tells friends.

Conclusion: they all deserve eachother.