On Sunday, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote a column on Brooklyn and its on-screen portrayal in recent years, from Girls to Saturday Night Fever. With a title like "Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?" it was bound to irk at least a few people, but Scott made sure to piss off the one Brooklynite you don't want to piss off: Spike Lee.
• NBC is pulling out all the stops to promote Jay Leno's new show. Don't believe it? Try this out for size: "In early September, NBC will even adopt a portion of Interstate 10 in California to reiterate Mr. Leno's time slot." [NYT]
• Notwithstanding the Leno blitz, NBC is still looking to cut its budget. [NYT]
• No one cares about CNBC these days, in case you haven't noticed. [Slate]
• More on troubles at Condé Nast (revenues may fall by as much as $350 million this year), and the recent round of receptionist-purging. [NYP, NYO]
• The lobbyist scandal goes on. A couple of days after it was revealed that MSNBC's Richard Wolffe is now working for a lobbying firm comes the news that CNN's Bill Schneider has signed up with a D.C. think tank. [HuffPo]
• Related: Wolffe has another Obama-related book in the works. [TNR]
• Experts say the prognosis for BusinessWeek is not good. [DailyFinance]
• As you might expect, the mood has been very upbeat at CurrentTV today now that Laura Ling and Euna Lee have returned from North Korea. [NYT]
Adrian Grenier turns 33 today. Jessica Simpson is turning 29. City comptroller (and mayoral wannabe) William Thompson is turning 56. Former mayor David Dinkins is turning 82. Times film critic A.O. Scott is 43. Showtime chief Matt Blank is turning 59. Author and marketing guru Seth Godin is 49. Writer Alice Munro is 78. Actress Sofia Vergara is 37. Eunice Kennedy Shriver is turning 88. The Office's Phyllis Smith is 58. Socialite Lisa Anastos is 41. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is turning 52. And Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys is 55. Weekend birthdays below!
The heavily-reported decline of the American movie critic hasn't touched New York Times first-stringer A.O. Scott, who has gradually outgrown and stabilized our wildly fluctuating regard for him over the years. After a long period of wondering where he might have found all this new maturity and gravitas, a perceptive Scott reader points out today that like Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, James Agee and all the greats who preceded him, he simply stole from his kids:
Remember that guy A.O. Scott, the Times critic we gave thanks for on Wednesday? This is what I found out about him at Thanksgiving. First, he's the son of Joan Wolloch Scott and Donald Scott. She is the smart-sounding Harold F. Linder Professor at the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Donald Scott is the less-smart sounding (but equally smart) Professor of American History at CUNY. But you could get all that you could get from Wikipedia. This, you can't: On A.O. Scott's wedding day ten or so years ago BOTH his parents announced they were gay. Apparently smart people can have bad timing. This also explains A.O.'s very tortured and complex relationship with Margot at the Wedding!
Lord, We thank you another year of witty paternal film criticism by the Times's A.O. Scott. When he likes movies we like, it's like he is personally validating our taste, and that feels good. Also, this is how he ended a review of Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There": "Mr. Haynes is not simply compiling golden oldies. You hear familiar songs, but what you see is the imagination unleashed — the chimes of freedom flashing." Amen. [NYT]
We were recently directed to PX This., the "witty, irreverent (star-studded) four year journal of a struggling New York commercial-artist/fashion-designer moonlighting as a maitre d' at some of Manhattan's most well-known restaurants." While perusing its contents, we came upon the following entry (all contents completely [sic]):
In case you missed Michael Moore's speech last night at the Oscars, A.O. Scott chronicles the events: "...Michael Moore, who won for best documentary for Bowling for Columbine, asked the four other nominees in his category to come up on stage with him. 'They are here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction, and we live in fictitious times,' Mr. Moore said.