In response to all the emails I’ve received about the Page Six scandal, here’s a Q&A:
Q: What’s the future of Page Six because of the scandal? A: Pathetically, Page Six will be alive and well and probably flourishing when this is all over. The New York Post is clearly hanging tough and ignoring all the recent scrutiny. That is the Murdoch way. Just ask Roger Ailes and all that nonstop criticism of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and that sex scandal, etc.. The biggest danger is whether, if Jared Paul Stern finds himself in a federal fying pan, he starts making accusations about other things he’s seen and heard in order to throw bigger fish into the fire.
Q. Was it wrong of The New York Times to devote all that ink to this? A: What, you have a death wish for the country’s most influential newspaper? The NYT needs eyeballs, and this juicy scandal gives them more. (Today’s New York Sun writes that the Post outsells the NYT in Manhattan.) It’s hard enough for newsosaurs to make a buck these days, so stop mauling the Gray Lady over this. Besides, look at who’s involved: randy billionaire, often inaccurate gossip column, and a legman who dresses like a pimp. Final note: remember when Howell Raines put Britney Spears on Page One?
Q. What in your view is the worst aspect of the scandal? A. The way the New York Post is defending the egregious freebies that Richard Johnson et al take and claiming they don’t affect the coverage. Those staffers, unlike freelancer Stern, are supposed to adhere to News Corp.’s clearly stated code of conduct which strictly forbids this kind of graft. What I don’t understand is how the paper can justify having one set of rules for Page Six and another for everybody else.