Brady's Bunch

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Hoorah! What a dandy political year this is turning out to be! Those antiquated and wonderfully folksy Iowa caucuses. Those cranky Yankees up in New Hampshire. The media in stocking caps and L.L. Bean boots. Old Fritz Hollings emerging from hibernation down in South Carolina. Smug Howard Dean going ape. I'd vote for Dr. Dean; wife Judy, that is. The Clinton Family's candidate ("I am a General") Clark making gaffes. John Kerry resuscitated (How do the Bushies handle war and military-related issues with combat-hardened Kerry?). Edwards is a refreshing new face. Halliburton is in trouble again. A New York Observer editorial dismisses Al Sharpton with a phrase: "Having spent his entire career as a charlatan..." Bush will campaign on a promise to improve marriage. Now we're sucking up to the UN (which we dissed) to help us with the Iraqi elections. And Jim Baker's been making nice with the "Old Europe" we snubbed. Newsweek's poll says Kerry beats Dubya.

And how many magazines got caught with Howard Dean as their coverboy? Rolling Stone, National Journal only the latest.

Put me down as naive. But I don't want to believe NBC offered to dump a critical piece on Michael Jackson and pay him a ton of bucks besides, just to get an exclusive. Bob Wright doesn't play that way.

Old pro Stu Zakim bailed out on Wenner Media to take the top PR job at American Media, which means he'll again be working with Bonnie Fuller (they collaborated on promoting Us Weekly). Zakim is now senior VP-corporate communications for David Pecker and will be "raising the profile" of all Pecker's properties including the national rollout of their redesigned Star magazine.

GQ spent $1.75 in postage to send me an invitation to a Jan. 22 promotional party celebrating its "hot winter." I got the invite on Jan. 26.

Dreesen's, the tiny East Hampton grocery store where the stars (Spielberg to Baldwin, Kathleen Turner to Martha Stewart) buy the newspapers and their doughnuts, is up for sale. Local idlers, including myself, are aghast.

Say it isn't so, Babs. Barbara Walters cutting back on her ABC on-airtime? She told the Times, "I can't remember the last time I read a trashy novel." She once read one of mine, a roman-a-clef called "Nielsen's Children," and graciously forgave me.

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