I Spy With My Freeloader Eye ...

... Many, Many Boldface Names

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The Event: "Spy: The Funny Years" book release party
The Date: Nov. 8, 2006
The Venue: The Puck Building Ballroom
The Bar: Two! Sponsored by Moet Hennessy USA and Belvedere Vodka
The Spy Martini: "Basically a white-cranberry Cosmopolitan," per one bartender
The Food: Spring chicken salad in crispy wontons, Peking duck, rice balls, vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce, mini tuna and mini salmon on mini crackers
The Swag: Copies of the book on display around the room -- for those quick enough to grab them
The Crowd: Spy-era media vets high on Democrats' election gains

More than one keg used to make Freeloader declare "This is a party!" But the party was proved last night by the number of "Page Six" reporters in attendance: at least three.
All the lucky: 'Vanity Fair' Editor in Chief Graydon Carter; 'New York' columnist and NPR radio host Kurt Andersen; and George Kalogerakis, deputy op-ed editor at 'The New York Times.'
All the lucky: 'Vanity Fair' Editor in Chief Graydon Carter; 'New York' columnist and NPR radio host Kurt Andersen; and George Kalogerakis, deputy op-ed editor at 'The New York Times.'

They were rewarded by a huge batch of names they could later boldface, starting with Harvey Weinstein, whose Miramax Books published "The Funny Years," and the book's authors, all Spy alumnae: Vanity Fair Editor in Chief Graydon Carter; New York columnist and NPR radio host Kurt Andersen; and George Kalogerakis, deputy op-ed editor at The New York Times.

"I have been celebrated in Spy magazine and I have been derided in Spy magazine," Mr. Weinstein told the crowd. (For the record, he said he preferred not being mentioned at all.) Guests applauded when he congratulated Mr. Carter on an unrelenting stance against the war in Iraq. "Last night," Mr. Weinstein added, "we saw the country finally vote the right way!"

In brief remarks, Mr. Carter claimed that his longtime friends and peers looked exactly like they did 20 years ago -- everyone but him. "I look like Barbara Bush," he said.

The enlarged Spy covers around the room had different effects. Most made you miss the magazine, even if you never read it before, with cover packages such as "JERKS!" (picturing comedian Chris Elliott), "KENNEDY BASHING!" (teasing "Experts Decide: Will Teddy Go to Hell?"), and "CLINTON'S FIRST 100 LIES" ("Fibs! Whoppers! Likely Stories!").

Others triggered a little less nostalgia, such as the cover picturing Hillary Clinton's head on a body that could have belonged to Xena: Warrior Princess and wearing only a few leather straps. Then there was Spy's answer to Tina Brown's Vanity Fair cover that showed a naked and very pregnant Demi Moore; Spy pictured a naked and very pregnant Bruce Willis.

The nosh was very nice, but the real meal at this to-do was the guest list: Time Inc. Editor in Chief John Huey; Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour; Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg; the incredible look alike brother of Richard Belzer from "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"; Tom Phillips, a founding publisher of Spy who is now Google's director of Print Ads; humorist Andy Borowitz; Gawker cum Vanity Fair Deputy Online Editor Jessica Coen; Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal; Nation columnist Eric Alterman; and many others, 99% of whom wore black.

Perhaps swept up by the sea of moguls and media stars who have become his social set, Mr. Andersen slipped when he tried to quote E.B. White's assertion that no one should come to New York unless he is willing to be lucky.

"If you're going to move to New York, you have to be willing to be famous," he said, before catching himself. "I'm sorry, lucky, not famous, lucky!"

Luck. Now there's something to which Freeloader will happily raise a glass full of Spy Martini. Cheers, boys.
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