Everyone loves a good bit of gossip, and none more so than those of us who work in the industry. Welcome to Unreliable Sources, where you'll find the juiciest scandals, most shocking stories, and buzzy bits of info currently circulating in the halls of power throughout American culture. If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me...
No Laughing Matter
Here at Unreliable Sources, we hate lies and the lying liars who tell them—and especially those who swat down completely accurate reports because they're dumb or beholden enough to take a plotting publicist's word for it...
Take this one from our sister publication, Knewz: Way back when (three weeks ago, an eternity in the world of celebs) it was revealed exclusively on Knewz that Kim Kardashian was in high-level talks with NBC to launch the next season of Saturday Night Live on October 2, 2021.
Knewz revealed how Kim enjoyed an intimate lunch with mom-ager Kris Jenner and SNL Svengali Lorne Michaels at the Beverly Hills Hotel, who really “wants her to do the show.”
Clearly, somebody somewhere wanted to keep it quiet.
Before you could say Kim Kardashian West, The Hollywood Mis-Reporter's Chris Gardner took the bait—presumably from Kim K’s publicist—and breathlessly smacked down the report. A source, Gardner wrote, told him “the meal was simply a general catch-up” and SNL was not on the cards. It must have stung when the truth was revealed yesterday: Kimmie is—shall we say—officially konfirmed to host.
Those who take a celebrity publicist’s word as gospel are amateurs. Because, after all, publicists are simply paid liars. Just like lawyers.
A New Dog in the Fight
When Prince Andrew lawyered up in the United States, facing a civil lawsuit from the woman who has alleged she was Raped by the Royal, many were betting on who the palace would tap to represent the Duke of Disgrace. It was a pretty tight field, we’re told.
Would it be Scott Peterson’s ex-attorney Mark Geragos? Harvey Weinstein’s fighter Blair Burke? Even Michael Jackson’s old pal, Thomas Mesereau, was a name being batted around in the corridors of California power. But then, like a bolt from the blue, a surprise candidate emerged as the victor (or loser?): Counsellor Andrew Breitler for the Duke of Disgrace, Your Honor.
The ever-affable Breitler is a partner at Lavely & Singer, the notorious law firm helmed by Hollywood “pitbull” Marty Singer.
Kudos to Breitler, who has broken free as the heir apparent in representing celebrities or individuals of note who are accused of sexual impropriety.
Singer, of course, infamously represented Bill Cosby, and has since seemingly handed the reins to a new pup-turned-pit in Breitler, who counts Armie Hammer, Danny Masterson, and director Bryan Singer as members of his dog house (oops, we mean clientele).
Papa Don't Speak
On another royal note (because there's no shortage of something rotten in the state of Windsor), lawyers in two countries are preparing to go after Meghan Markle’s foolhardy father, Thomas Markle, Unreliable Sources has exclusively learned.
There’s not much we can say about the reason why because if we do, we will repeat the lie that the bucket-mouth banished bad dad told an Australian television network in a live interview. (This columnist even had to cajole her boss into publishing this watered-down version! Sheesh!)
We’ve heard that lawyers on behalf of those whom Markle defamed are preparing to sue him in Mexico, where the princess’ papa presides, and in Australia, where he first slug the slanderous mud. Said boss refused to comment when asked about the matter.
The humiliation never ends for the RFKATS (royals formerly known as the Sussexes, natch).
Little Man Syndrome
Avid readers will recall how this column told you about the diminutive (in size, not scamming) manager at a major media company who was siphoning profits from his employer and laundering them into his own LLC.
As if that weren't bad enough, Unreliable Sources has learned that the same LLC—which is truly only a shell company meant to shield the manager's mysterious shenanigans—in turn, also pocketed a PPE loan from the government!
Guess there's no limit to whom this shady scammer will filch from.
The conman's bosses got wind of the news, Unreliable Sources has learned, but guess what? Whodathunkit! The media company has promoted this cash-upped crook to C-Suite status!
74-year-old O.J. Simpson is ailing. As they say in Tabloid Town, he’s entering his “sad last days.”
It’s no wonder O.J. is on the brink, given the monkey he still carries on his back: the wrongful death judgment that now exceeds $60 million. The innocent “killer” carries the burden of a court order won by the family of Fred Goldman (whose son was slain in 1994 along with Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole) around his neck. “Better than a sharp blade around the neck, hey Juice?”
Word out of Las Vegas is that O.J. desperately wants to kill off this lingering albatross—“just like Nicole and Ron, Juice?”—before he goes six feet under.
The disgraced NFL star is said to be mulling over the idea of participating in a major pay-per-view television event during which he would undergo a lie detector test.
"O.J. isn't concerned that he won't pass," a reliable source told Unreliable Sources, "because he believes he can beat the polygraph."
Others aren't so sure, we're told.
His daughter Sydney, for one, is said to be “dead” against her dad participating in what would inevitably become a television spectacle of the highest order.
Hey Juice, why not come to me for a tell-all to set the record straight? We'll treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Cough.
One of legendary New York Post Editor Col Allan’s last decisions, before he wandered off into the sunset after four decades as Rupert Murdoch’s henchman at News. Corp., was to make one demand: He insisted The Post staff stop linking to—or crediting—outlets who ignored the story on Hunter Biden’s emails and looked down upon the Only Paper In Town’s reporting. (We shall now refer to The Post as the Only Paper in Town after the New York Daily Snooze announced it now has an “as-needed” Editor in Chief— whatever that means.)
The thrust of it?
You won’t see the Only Paper In Town linking to The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, or MSNBC in the future, among others.
Off with their heads, Commander Col demanded.
More on the New York Times Soon... But First...
We’re always happy to see a new brand emerge in a complex media market — but here’s some advice … don’t (p)uck it up!
Puck News is a weirdly old-looking, new media startup that has launched with former Hollywood Mis-Reporter Editor Matt Belloni as its founding partner.
Over the past few weeks, it has slowly rolled out its big slate of hires, who you can read, for $100 per year — to get the “the inside story at the nexus of Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, and Silicon Valley” — or join the “inner circle” for a whopping $250 per year — in order to “break the fourth wall with direct access to Puck’s elite talent.”
One of those “big” elite talents is Dylan Byers, who quit his coveted gig asa senior media reporter at NBC News and MSNBC, to join Belloni and Co.
Here’s a word of advice to any of those considering signing up. Just read Unreliable Sources.
One of Byers first must-read-from-behind-the-paywall exclusives was a long-winded piece that promised to reveal “a potential successor” who “has emerged” to take over from Rachel Maddow at MSNBC when she eventually gives up her 9 PM time slot.
As Byers tells it: “Nicolle Wallace, the former George W. Bush White House Communications Director, McCain 2008 alum and The View co-host who has found a new star turn on MSNBC as a staunch critic of Donald Trump and the G.O.P.. (Wallace has said she is “no longer a practicing Republican,” and recently called the G.O.P. anti-democratic.)
As one NBC executive put it to Byers, ‘Nicolle is the most obvious in-house candidate.’”
Keep your cash in your pants, folks, for Puck "News" is a little too late to this one.
Unreliable Sources told you on Sept. 9—two weeks before Byers—that Wallace had been “lined up as the ‘back-up’ choice if the $30 million dollar Wonder Woman chose to end her nightly show, The Rachel Maddow Show.” “Good things come to those who wait,” this column reported.
$250 per year! Are you (p)uckin’ serious?
You've Got Mail
They’re not alone over at Puck News in plagiarizing exclusives … even The Grey Lady is (p)ucking doing it!
In an article published on Sept. 18, published in Section A, Page 1, the New York Times’ crack team of Ronen Bergman, Farnaz Fassihi, Eric Schmitt, Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman mesmerized readers with the incredible story of how, for years, Israeli agents had failed in attempts to kill Iran’s top nuclear scientist — that was until they came up with a way to do it with no operatives present.
In a story titled The High-Tech Killing of a Nuclear Scientist, the ethically challenged Times marveled in more than 4400 words to tell how Israeli secret service officials smuggled a one-ton automated gun—piece-by-piece—into Iran to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Anyone would have thought this stunning expose was new news. (P)uck yeah!
Well, as it turns out—the story was a stale seven months old. In February, the Jewish Chronicle broke the world exclusive story and explained how the weapon was able to off Fakhrizadeh.
“The 20-plus spy team, which comprised both Israeli and Iranian nationals, carried out the high-tech hit after eight months of painstaking surveillance,” British journalist Jake Wallis Simons wrote.
So (p)ucked off was the Jewish Chronicle at the Times blasphemy, its editor Stephen Pollard, wrote a letter to Times’ Executive Editor, the ever ethical Dean Baquet.
In the missive seen by our friends at Guido, Pollard called it “straightforward plagiarism”, writing:
“…that the New York Times should have published any story broken by another newspaper without attribution is a shameful stain on its ethics (…) I assume that the NYT will apologize for the plagiarism of its writers and correct the online story to the proper attribution of the story.”
Pollard received no response from his Times counterpart, with Baquet radio silent in response to his letter. Here’s the 411: The Times spent seven months of their own “painstaking surveillance” on the Jewish Chronicle.
Shameful. Stain. Unethical. Plagiarism. Period.
Vanity Fair is pulling out all the stops to get a jailhouse interview with Harvey Weinstein, Unreliable Sources has learned. Enough said. Bring back Graydon!
Next: Which New York-based “investigative” reporter is hiding a two-decade-old criminal record that, if exposed, would tank his career?
[Insert guess here.]
You see, media outlets need to ensure those they hire are above reproach—for insurance purposes, and credibility, nonetheless.
However, said reporter has faced more criminal drug charges than Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán! OK, that’s an exaggeration. Sort of. Still, it’s a two-decade streak that includes possession, pissing in the street, smuggling, and more—save for one document, we found, confirming his misdeeds.
Somehow, though, the clandestine conman has managed to have it all expunged from his record.
Friends in high places, folks.
Lastly: Which longtime Editor-In-Chief has a secret weapon when it comes to battling the stress of closing an issue?
Each month when a deadline looms, fragrant clouds of smoke start to sneak out from the corner office. Then, like clockwork, he'll be spotted wandering through the newsroom, rifling through editor's desks in search of munchies!
Maybe he should submit his resume for the top spot at High Times.
UPDATE 3:56 PM PST, SEPT. 24:
It seems Weinstein reads Unreliable Sources in the slammer. A rep for the disgraced movie mogul just reached out to me to tattle: "I can assure you that this isn't happening. Vanity Fair is no different than dozens of other publications and writers who have made this request. It is not happening."
Well, this columnist hasn't. (P)uck no.