BertF.jpgLos Angeles subscribers to The New York Times still don’t realize they are missing the “money quote” from Tom Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields today in the newspaper’s coverage of the Viacom vs Cruise war of the words. In the edition they received, the article’s final paragraph has the actor’s co-producer Paula Wagner claiming there are plans for that $100 million equity financing deal from a pair of hedge funds, and ends with this inocuous sentence: “But Mr. Fields, who has been out of the country, said he was unaware of those plans.” But, after the reporters on the story jumped up and down in protest about the missing words, Bert’s quote was restored online and in the NYC area late edition — and boy, is it a doozie!

“But Mr. Fields said he was unaware of those plans. ‘I don’t think Tom has raised $100 million in a hedge fund,’ he said. ‘And I know nothing about any such thing. I think that’s just talk.’” Let me reiterate: Bert is Tom’s lawyer, not Sumner’s. This is exactly why people respect Fields so much — because he knows the truth hurts.

Remember what Viacom’s mouthpiece told the NYT yesterday? “A spokesman for Mr. Redstone, Carl Folta, scoffed at Ms. Wagner’s talk of new financial backers. ‘Did they give you a name?” he said.'” Isn’t this just getting better and better?

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