The most amusing things of all about the New York Observer are its comically repellent house editorials, which are dictated from on high by owner and Donald Trump family member Jared Kushner and are always, always hilariously right-wing in a way that stands out from the rest of the paper's content like a Trump in Zucotti Park.
Pouty fathead Donald Trump is a tailor-made character for the New York Observer, which purports to monitor Manhattan's smug oligarchy with a gimlet-eyed detachment. And his semi-coherent presidential grumblings, which count as news just about everywhere else, make ideal grist for the Observer's mill. Too bad he's the owner's father-in-law.
• Lawmakers on Capitol Hill grilled Brian Roberts and Jeff Zucker today about Comcast's proposed takeover of NBC Universal. Meantime, Zucker's chances of keeping his job as NBC's CEO? Dimmer by the day. [Reuters, WSJ, LAT]
• Observer owner Jared Kushner is expanding: He's decided to partner with another company to launch a free newspaper in Vegas for some reason. [NYT]
• More on the deep job cuts at CBS News this week. [NYT, LAT]
• Howard Stern's contract with Sirius XM expires this year. Whether he ends up staying put—or finds a new home on radio or TV—is up in the air. [THR]
• EMI announced a massive annual loss and now needs more cash. [BBC]
• Another installment of Fast and Furious is on the way. Finally! [Variety]
• Does the National Enquirer deserve a Pulitzer Prize? Probably! [Gawker]
David Bowie turns 63 today. Fashion designer Carolina Herrera is turning 71. Everyone's favorite British theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, is 68. Robert Kelly (or R. Kelly to you and me) is turning 43. Sean Paul is 37. Baseball players Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano are 39 and 34, respectively. Actress Sarah Polley is 31. Wolfgang Puck is turning 61. DJ Clue is 35. Susan Berresford turns 67. Composer David Lang is 53. And legendary game show host Bob Eubanks turns 72 today. A few weekend birthdays are below.
Yesterday was Eric Trump's 26th birthday. And this is the cake that was presented to him at his birthday party last night. Seriously. Why does it feature a machine gun—a Soviet-made AK-47, no less—and what appears to be a bloody, dead bird? We have no idea. (But if Jared Kushner ever finds himself tempted to cheat on Eric's big sister, it should serve as a handy reminder why that may not be such a hot idea.) Another photo of the cake is below.
• You heard that Charlie Sheen was arrested on Christmas Day for threatening to kill his wife Brooke Mueller with a knife, right? Forget all about it, please. Really. According to Mueller, it was just "one bad night," she and Sheen really "love each other," and they're going to work out all their issues on their own, so she's asked a judge to drop the order of protection that she'd requested last week. Why the sudden turnaround? Rumor has it Sheen's willingness to renegotiate the couple's pre-nup may have encouraged Mueller to change her tune. [NYDN, NYP]
• Sorry, ladies: Rosie O'Donnell is officially off the market: The comedian has confirmed she's dating Tracy Kachtick-Anders, a Texas-based artist and "inventor." And it seems the couple met thanks to Rosie's blog, since Tracy is a regular commenter on the site. Cute! [People, Gawker]
• Susan Sarandon hasn't confirmed that she's dating Jonathan Bricklin, the three-decades-younger ping-pong aficionado who she was first linked to last week. But they were spotted sharing a late-night meal earlier this week. [P6]
• Right-wing blowhard (and longtime prescription drug user) Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a hospital yesterday after complaining of chest pains. [NYP]
• Robert "Joe" Halderman, David Letterman's alleged extortionist, may be close to taking a plea deal. Halderman has reportedly offered to accept a one-year prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty, although his lawyer is denying it, and any deal probably won't be finalized until incoming Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. takes office in January. [NYP]
• Charlie Sheen and wife Brooke Mueller say they're heading to counseling following Friday's arrest of Sheen on domestic violence charges. (He allegedly threatened Mueller with a knife and told her he was going to kill her.) Sheen, who was released on bond on Christmas night, also says he plans to enroll in "anger management counseling," since he's hoping to keep the marriage together. Rest assured, though, that somewhere Denise Richards is screaming, "I told you so!" [TMZ, NYDN]
• Ivana Trump was booted off a flight from Palm Beach to New York over the weekend after she cursed out a group of rowdy kids on the plane and then lashed out at several flight attendants. [P6, MSNBC]
In the world of celebrities, socialites, and reality stars, relationships are more often "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" than "long-term." That's to be expected, of course. Think of all the temptations when countless other beautiful people are around! To size up the potential of a handful of newer and more high-profile couples on the New York City scene, we turned to Patti Wood, the "Babe Ruth of body language experts" who has evaluated unspoken signals for hundreds of media outlets over the years. Join us below as Wood breaks down which twosomes are destined for eternal bliss—and which are bound for a break-up.