They can’t vote, they can’t drink (legally), and they can’t even stay up past 11 p.m. Yet they can still operate a digital SLR. And luckily, that’s all it takes for 15-year-old Blaine Hewison and 14-year-old Austin Visschedyk to become bonafide members of the paparazzi club.
This NY Times story about the two budding shutterbugs is guaranteed to make you cringe and laugh at the same time. From the Kim Kardashian candid that Austin took and TMZ.com purchased, to the shot Blaine took of Britney Spears (middle finger extended) that earned him $500 at a local art show, it’s almost too good to be true — the kind of piece my college newspaper used to run as a goof on April Fool’s Day.
Still, as far as I can tell, it all checks out. My favorite part is about how the two have a kind of rivalry going, so much so that they even disbanded their original partnership website, pintsizepaparazzi.com, and now Austin has his own, austinseye.com.
OK, Westchester teens, we’re waiting. Who’s going to be the first high-schooler in this county to step up and start submitting some cell -phone masterpieces to Suburbarazzi? Here, I’ll even sweeten the pot. First person who manages to get a current, original pic of any of the celebs in our sidebar can earn themselves a snazzy new Suburbarazzi T-shirt, like the one pictured to the right. Submit your photos here via email.
“Just One More Before Bedtime!” [NY Times]
Today, it seems, all Gawker posts lead back to the Westchester and Suburbarazzi’s own Robert Zeliger.
It began this morning when the site was good enough to link to an InTown Westchester article written by Robert. The InTown piece was a June profile of the Hastings resident and Star magazine editor, but our celebrity-stalking sisters were observant enough to notice that in our photo of Fuller, which was taken in her office, the website on her computer screen is none other than Us Weekly, her former employer. Yes, look closely, and you’ll see it.
Gawker’s headline — “Take me back, Jann! Bonnie Fuller’s Homepage is Just like ‘Us'” — pretty much says it all. We’ll try to ignore the fact that they credited the story “Lower Hudson Online” instead of InTown, or the blatant theft of our hard-earned photography. Just so long as you keep those plugs coming, G-money, we’re all square.
Following the Fuller post, Gawker had two other interesting tidbits with LoHud/Zeliger ties …
The libel case against Scarsdale resident and NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof — about a series of columns he wrote linking Army scientist Dr. Steven Hatfill with the 2001 anthrax attacks — has finally been thrown out of court. In reporting on the story five years ago, Kristof wrote about how John Ashcroft and the FBI had labeled Hatfill “a person of interest.” As if that alone wasn’t enough to exonerate Kristof, he even exercised extreme caution in his columns, usually referring to Hatfill as “Mr. X.”
Which brings me to the whole defamation-of-character debacle we seem to be in these days (soapbox alert!). Lately it feels like everyone and their mama is all too eager to play the libel card. If something is written about you in print, on the internet, or via an email, the new instinct is to cry foul and get litigious — rather than simply responding in kind with, say, a letter to the editor (or blog post or press release).
Much as I loathe crediting Trump with anything, at least he had the good sense to drop his ridiculous “libel” charge against Rosie. His tirades to the tabloid media aren’t exactly classy, but at least he ain’t clogging up our courts.
“We Win a Case!” [Kristof’s Blog]
* Pick up your copy of Wordplay, out today on DVD. The documentary follows Pleasantville resident Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword puzzle wizard.
* Tyler James Williams is having a moment. The 14-year-old Yonkers native is starring in a new movie, Unaccompanied Minors, out December 8th and is also the star of the CW hit, Everybody Hates Chris.
* Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are getting divorced, making this the perfect time to ask the question thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been bugging me for two years: Seriously, who the hell is Kevin Federline?
Yesterday we pondered whether New York Times star columnist and Scarsdale resident Nicholas Kristof could end up in jail after a judge in Virginia ruled that the newspaper must disclose several of his sources for columns he wrote back in 2002 about the Anthrax cases.
We called The Times to clarify and a spokeswoman told us that the motion to compel was made against the company, not against Kristof, so he faces no personal liability. Furthermore, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s highly unlikely that a contempt charge would mean jail in this case, since it is in civil court. It would more likely mean fines. The spokeswoman added the paper is appealing the decision.
A Virginia judge has ordered the columnist and his newspaper, The Times, to disclose the identities of three confidential sources for a column he wrote about the Anthrax attacks in 2001. The man who became Ã¢â‚¬Å“a person of interestÃ¢â‚¬? in the case, Dr. Steven Hatfill, is suing the paper for defamation. He claims a series of columns written by Kristof suggested he was responsible for the attacks that killed five people and seriously scared the crap out of yourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s truly.
Mr. Kristof has declined to name the sources but Ã¢â‚¬Å“the judge ruled that the laws of Virginia applied and that under the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s law, reporters have only a qualified privilege to decline to name their sources that may be outweighed by other factors,Ã¢â‚¬? The Times reports.
Kristof, who was named one of the seven most fascinating people in ScarsdaleÃ¢â‚¬â€along with his wife, TimesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ journalist Sheryl WuDunnÃ¢â‚¬â€by Scarsdale Magazine, and has won two Pulitzers for his incredible reporting from overseas, originally wrote about a scientist he referred to as Mr. Z who had become the main focus of the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s investigation. Later, he acknowledged that Mr. Z was indeed Dr. Hatfill.
The Times is appealing the decision. But the question is: Could Kristof be thrown in prison ala his former colleague, Judith Miller if he refuses to comply? And if he becomes the second major Times’ journo to be forced to reveal his sources this year, what does that say about the state of press freedom in the country today?
Yoko Ono, onetime Scarsdale resident and the widow of John Lennon, is suing EMI and Capitol Records for $10 million, claiming they cheated her out of royalties from John LennonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s records, according to the Associated Press. Ironic, given that Lennon once said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.Ã¢â‚¬?
Meanwhile, current Scarsdale resident and the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, is at the center of a defamation lawsuit against the paper by Dr. Steven Hatfill, the man who was named as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“person of interestÃ¢â‚¬? in the anthrax attacks back in 2002. Kristof had written a series of columns on the investigation and, according to The New York Observer, named Hatfill as the main suspect. KristofÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reporting was based on five unnamed sources. Hatfill has filed a motion to compel the columnist to reveal those sources. In the wake of the Judith Miller/ Valerie Plame case, there is fear that this lawsuit (which does not name Kristof personally as a defendant) could further harm the paperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to shield confidential sources (or for that matter journalists throughout the country).