NYC flackmeister Howard Rubenstein arranged “a ceasefire” between New York Post owner Rupert Murdoch and New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman to keep their private lives out of the pages of each other’s tabloids. (Though Howard’s repping of Rupert is the stuff of legend, less known is that Rubenstein was once hired by Zuckerman to rep his real estate company, Boston Properties.) Ex-News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove confirms the print truce, saying, “It was communicated to me that there was a gentleman’s agreement that nothing personally critical could be written about Rupert or his family, and the understanding was that it was reciprocal.” So says Ken Auletta in his latest Annals of Communication feature in the upcoming New Yorker about The Fixer, Rubenstein. Unfortunately, it’s the usual CEO porn that Auletta spins out on a semi-regular basis. I’m disappointed that the profile doesn’t dig into the successorship issue since 74-year-old Rubenstein’s son Steven, 37, who runs affiliate Rubenstein Communications Inc., is an oaf who manhandles the media unlike his more gentlemanly father. And I’m disgusted that it doesn’t delve into the truly unholy relationship between Howard and the New York Post and how Rubenstein basically gets Page Six to print whatever lies he tells them on behalf of clients like Harvey Weinstein et al. (Hey, Remnick, why waste the trees?) Meanwhile, Michael Gross did a meaner and meatier look at Rubenstein back in 1999.) The only other interesting nugget is how Rubenstein last November got played by Seinfeld comedian Michael Richards. “Richards’s friend Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica, called Rubenstein’s son Steven to ask if he could help,” Auletta writes. “Richards had already appeared on David Letterman’s program, presumably to apologize, but his muddled performance left viewers unconvinced. Howard Rubenstein coached Richards; he arranged for him to appear on the radio show of his friend Jesse Jackson, and to apologize directly to his friend Al Sharpton—counting on Sharpton to tell the world. That seemed to work—until Rubenstein made the hole deeper by suddenly announcing to reporters that Richards was Jewish. Richards is not and never has been Jewish, and when Rubenstein was asked, he said that he had been told this by Richards—but that his client now said that he felt Jewish. Richards has since been unavailable for comment. ‘He wants to rest,’ Rubenstein volunteered to the press. ‘He’s been talking to his psychiatrist.'”
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