The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 February 2005

Vanity 3

The March issue of Vanity Fair is designated the "Hollywood Issue," which by rights should mean that it's even more content-free than usual, what with the usual New York tragic hipness supplemented by shoot-outs from the fantasy factory, plus way more than usual Annie Leibovitz photographs of the already-overexposed. At 454 pages this year, it's about a penny a page; I'd generally be better served if they just let me buy the ads, which would save me $2 or so.

But the usual Condé Nasties apparently weren't paying attention this month, because some worthy stuff accidentally crept into the magazine, and no, it's not that two-page shot of Hilary Swank doing the world's highest split. Judy Bachrach's "The Provocateur" profile of Michael Moore, while not exactly short of Moore's own brand of bombast, isn't the hagiography you'd expect from V.F. either. A paragraph therefrom:

New York conservative Lucianne Goldberg, the protector of Linda Tripp in a long campaign to bring down Bill Clinton, tells me that Moore, an Upper West Side neighbor, "put up a live movie camera" — Moore called it a Lucycam — "trained it on our apartment, and put it up in a Web site called or something like that." The idea being, Goldberg explains, that since Moore felt she had invaded Clinton's and Monica Lewinsky's privacy, he was going to invade hers. Goldberg asked the National Enquirer if it wanted to paste an ad on her window, and made $1,000 a week on the deal. Part of her understands Moore perfectly. "I think we recognize each other in our souls," Goldberg says. "He's up to mischief. I am, too. The difference is, he takes himself seriously, and I don't give a shit."

The cam was in fact located at; Moore's dormant remembers it slightly differently, but only slightly.

Farther along, Peter Biskind quotes the late John Schlesinger, circa 1994:

You couldn't make Midnight Cowboy today. I was recently at dinner with a top studio executive, and I said, "If I brought you a story about this dishwasher from Texas who goes to New York dressed as a cowboy to fulfill his fantasy of living off rich women, doesn't, is desperate, meets a crippled consumptive who later pisses his pants and dies on a bus, would you —" and he said, "I'd show you the door."

And best of all, George Wayne, interviewing the host of Inside the Actors Studio:

Well, there's one thing to be said for James Lipton: he's mastered the art of celebrity anilingus!

Lipton called BS, and I called V.F. to renew. It's the little things that make a magazine worth reading.

Posted at 6:28 AM to Almost Yogurt