Friday, June 20, 2008

Tina Brown and Anna Wintour -- Still Conde Nasties with Each Other?

It's amusing to see those two old Anglophiles -- Tina Brown and Anna Wintour -- still fighting it out for public attention, at least according to the Gawker. (I love pronouncing 'Gawker' with my Long Island accent). A decade ago, I interviewed Tina Brown for my 1994 award-winning book "Newhouse" over breakfast at her favorite booth at "44" inside the Royalton Hotel. She was aware that my book would be the first to tell the story of her mercurial rise in the Newhouse empire, creating the modern-day Vanity Fair when all seemed lost for poor Si.
During my research, Wintour had the usual Conde Nast cone of silence in place when I knocked on her door for an interview, so I'm partial to Brown for her willngness to talk. (Hey, now there's a name for a new mag -- TALK!) For all her ups and down, Brown remains a talented editor/journalist/columnist/author and maybe even a website aggregator. Contrary to what Radar says, there's no comparison to someone like Peggy Noonan, the "new Tina Brown"?
Apparently, Tina is working on a new bio on Hillary Clinton and talked about it on The View.

Kennedys in Hollywood

Whenever two subjects of my books converge, I love it. My 1994 "Newhouse" biography chronicled the ups and down at Vanity Fair, first with Tina Brown and then Graydon Carter at the magazine owned by the Newhouse family. In its April 2002 issue, VF featured this article about Joseph P. Kennedy actions in Hollywood. The author gained access to the same recently-opened JPK papers at the Kennedy Library that I used for my book, "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings," soon to be re-issued by Basic Books. The new Warner Bros. documentary based on my book, coming out this November, will feature little-known footage about the Kennedy patriarch. But the treasure trove of Joe Kennedy papers are still being mined by historians and biographers. For my money, the most important historical find in the Joe Kennedy papers is its details about the family's Vatican relationship. If this had been known publicly, the results of the 1960 election -- in which JFK, as a Catholic seeking the presidency, eloquently espoused a view of separation of church and state -- may have turned out differently. The extraordinary dealing between Joe Kennedy, Cardinal Francis Spellman, and Pope Pius XII's administrator, Count Enrico Galeazzi, is one of those stories right out of Hollywood!