Dancing in the streets
The opening night of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center. 7:30 PM. Photo: JH.

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. The story about the alleged breakup of her marriage to Edwin Schlossberg took on some more juice in the past couple of days. I heard this story about three months ago – that she and her husband were separating. I asked some people I know who are close to her sphere of friends and interest. I didn’t just come out and just ask because there’s no use doing that with Kennedy friends.

Caroline Kennedy and Ed Schlossberg

Friends of the Kennedys – and there are lots of them, just as there are lots of Kennedys – are mainly, in my experience, very discreet about them. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years about different members of the family and their habits, excesses, scandals, troubles, problems and hang-ups. They are people just like the rest of us and they have all of the issues of living in one form and/or at one time or another. Just like the rest of us. But when it comes to matters they wish to keep private, their friends – and I reiterate: there are lots of them – don’t repeat. Caroline Kennedy has those kinds of friends.

Many of her friends have been her friends for much, if not all, of her life. That tells you a little something about the woman: she still has her old friends. In this great big glamorous, highly-hyped life. I occasionally see her on the street picking up her daughter from her school which is right around the corner from my apartment building. Most characteristic about the mother is how plain and ordinary she looks in her day to day. No make-up, no attention given to makeup. Unlike her mother, Mrs. Onassis, who was simply composed but camera ready, Caroline appears in the raw, and obviously couldn’t care less.

Now the possibility that the Schlossberg-Kennedy marriage is in trouble, is of course always a ... possibility, as it is with any of us. I’ve heard grumblings in the past about Mr. S., about how he’s more Kennedy than any of the Kennedys (take that however you wish). But as a friend of mine who knows her said: “she lost her father, her mother, her brother and she just wants to have as normal a life as is possible to bring up her family.”

I saw her last September when we were both guests of Nancy and Henry Silverman at their box in Yankee Stadium. She was with her son Jack who may be about twelve or so. It was one of those pictures of the mother with the son. Not the son with mother, mind you. She adores that son.

The current rumors have her in an affair with someone (nameless). True or not, we may never know. Because Mrs. Kennedy-Schlossberg grew up in this fishbowl world and she learned from the best (her mother) on how to handle journalists and press rumors: IGNORE. She doesn’t owe anything to anyone else. If the marriage is breaking up, we’ll hear when she wants us to hear.

I called my friend last night to ask why he had never told me about these problems. He told me he’d only learned twenty minutes before – watching Inside Edition – that there was a story going around. He said out loud to the television: “Oh whatta lotta bullsh*t!” and turned it off. Anything, of course, is possible and if Caroline Kennedy is planning on leaving her husband, she’ll let us know when she does and not a moment before.

The departure of Dan Rather from CBS is not as simple as it now seems. Mr. Rather’s departure is symptomatic of what “news” has become on television.

This process has been going on for a very long time and we are very close to its conclusion: a bread and circuses Disney version of reality where these people (like Dan Rather) have become as famous for their salaries as they are for their work. And basically with most of them, the work is READING a teleprompter in a manner that allows an image of authority and sincerity. They are news deliverers and as it is with so many people in media today, it’s an act borne out of a fat contract.

Dan Rather

Dan Rather made an error in not leaving on his own. Going gracefully, it’s called. This is a story that has not concluded. His departure, ultimately, wasn’t about the Bush memo or anything else in the news. It was about the marketplace. They are replacing him with Katie Couric. Doesn’t that tell you something?

Not that Katie Couric shouldn’t be taken seriously, but didn’t we do that already when she was on the “Today Show” and we were just returning to consciousness? My favorite story about her is from a friend of mine who worked with her for years and one day gently corrected her grammar on a story she was going to deliver. “If I say it, it’s right,” she snapped, and left the room, telling you a little something about her point of view. Know-it-alls-tell-it-all.

Ironically, it was Dan Rather who insisted that Walter Cronkite be out of the network before he signed on. It’s been said that Cronkite never liked him. Who would? Brutal, yes; but hey, that’s show business. Or even monkey business. Did you ever see Walter Cronkite? You have no idea: Integrity, authority, fair but not suffering fools gladly.

So 35 or so years later, Mr. Rather got his, and from a man who has about as much interest in trenchant reporting of the news as Scrooge McDuck.  In fact, ole Scroogie might just be a little more interested because he knows that The Story is good for business.

The networks don’t know this, nor do their multimillion dollar salaried self-promoters. The internet does know. On television now we don’t get the story. We get opinions and predictions about the future – any future -- and Ipana smiles. The blind leading the blind. Oh well, one day the Sun will come out and leave those guys (and girls) in their proper place – in a circus. With the elephants. The networks will probably be irrelevant by then (by choice).

Before I went out to dinner last night, I met JH and the Digital over at Lincoln Center where they were beginning their week of evening dancing on the plaza. This was my first look-see at this annual event. I only heard about it last night from Daisy Soros who was at the Master Class performance. She was so adamant about our seeing the wonder of it, that I felt ... obligated (good obligated).

It’s open to the public. A big band playing and everybody out dancing. It is sweet. It is sweetness. I stood with JH on a platform overlooking the dance floor and the orchestra on the other side. Sweet, so sweet. It restores you just to watch them dancing. The are ALL SO HAPPY. Really. You can see it. It touches you. All kinds of people, all ages, all types, all persuasions and all for the good. What a happy event this is, and how lucky New York is to have this. Proving once again, that this burg’s a small town at heart and it’s our heart.
Daisy and Paul Soros. The series is made possible by a grant from the Soros'.
Dancing scenes at the opening night of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center.


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June 21, 2006, Volume VI, Number 102
Photographs by Jeff Hirsch/NYSD.com


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com