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LIZ SMITH: Shilling for Lee Radziwill ...

Shilling for Lee Radziwill ... Tommy Tune and his cowboy boots ... Goodbye Brooklyn, Hello Austin ... Bob Woodward and the power of e-mail!

Monday, March 4, 2013
by Liz Smith

"New York Times Shills for Lee Radziwill."

So went the headline on Sharon Waxman's article last weekend for Yahoo about the New York Times glam new magazine T, which presented Ms. Radziwill of Paris, France as everything but the second coming.

The Lee Radziwill article of her as a Parisian expatriate and leader of the pack was featured by the Times on Sunday, February 24.

This is what people in the know were raving about over the past two weekends. The article promoting the onetime "Princess Radziwill" was written by that genial international gadabout Nicky Haslam.

It did show interesting photographs of the sister of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis her and views of her glorious little Paris apartment.

But it presented an all but virginal aspect of heroine worship by Nicky for Lee. It practically called her the keeper of all old-fashioned and new-fashioned virtues.

Writer Haslam and I disagree about the values that have been exhibited by Lee Radziwill who was 80 years old this past weekend. He seems to value her the same way her onetime friend, Truman Capote, used to, way back in the '60s and '70s, when Truman kept insisting to me that Lee was the superior Bouvier sister and Jackie was just a flash in the pan. Truman had tried desperately to "make a star" out of his friend Lee, casting her as the lead in his TV version of "Laura."
This outing was an enormous flop! But that didn't deter Truman from idolizing Lee. A little later, she referred to him and to his enemy Gore Vidal as "just a couple of fags." This broke Truman's heart and his tenuous hold on reality. It wasn't very nice. Waxman also notes that the Washington Post is losing its ombudsman.

Critic Waxman points out the error of The New York Times ways in allowing its new magazine to go overboard on Lee Radziwill.

It's the talk of the town and of Southampton and Palm Beach. On the other hand, youthful followers of what currently passes for "journalism" don't even know or care who Lee Radziwil is or was.
MY FRIEND Tommy Tune was given a birthday dinner the other night and arrived at his hostess' apartment wearing the silver cowboy boots made especially for tap dancing. He said, "I always wear this particular pair on my birthday. When I was growing up down in Houston, I never wore cowboy boots but once I got to NYC, I felt they would get me some attention!" I'll say.

But the nine-times Tony winner and all-time Broadway champ always downplays his fame, saying he is only really known for his theater experiences. He didn't like making movies early on, saying it was like watching "paint dry."

I asked him who had been the seminal people in his early career as actor/dancer/director and he thought a moment and answered: "The choreographer director Michael Bennett, the big star Carol Channing and the genius director Mike Nichols." (He had received a 74th birthday greeting that very day from Nichols.)

Tommy is getting ready to do his show with his pals the Rhythm Kings for the month of March in Florida. He will bring this show to Town Hall in NYÇ on June 1st. Happy Birthday, big tall guy!
DO YOU read the newspaper Metro New York, free daily? They had an interesting story last week about how New York lost 1.6 million residents to other states in past few years.

In spite of its drouth, the State of Texas has seen a spike in New Yorkers, with numbers of Brooklynites heading for Austin. They say that number jumped
170 per cent. Low taxes, warm weather and more jobs seem to be drawing people to the Southwest. A Marist College poll in 2009 revealed 36% of New Yorkers under
30 planned to move within five years. United Van Moving Lines vows that New York is the 4th likeliest state for people to flee from in 2013.
THE POWER of the e-mail! Bob Woodward had to backtrack in a big way last week after complaining hither and yon that he’d been threatened by an Obama staffer on the matter of his remarks about sequestration. But when the “threatening” e-mail exchange was released, it was downright benign between the two men. They have differences, obviously. But there were no references to waking up next to a bloody horse head in bed or swimming with the fishes.

Why, why, why don’t people understand that thanks to the wonders of technology, privacy has been murdered as surely as Macbeth murdered sleep? Nothing ever gets “lost” in cyberspace. No more dramatic/romantic scenes of burning incriminating letters in the fireplace.

I mean, you can burn your e-mails, but your words are still out there somewhere. And the phenomenon of revealing intimate details, rants, photos continue unabated on Facebook and other social media sites.

I think it comes down to rampant narcissism — young people think everything they do is fascinating, and they’ve come to accept the “no privacy” policy of the last 15 years, and the lessons taught by reality TV — bad behavior pays off. And it’s contagious. Oldsters do it too, now. I’m on Facebook myself (finally) for purely professional reasons.

Bob Woodward learned the hard way — e-mail is always there for you. But it’s not your friend.

Contact Liz Smith here.

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© 2013 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com