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The Insider

Feb 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Oh Lay, Oh Lay, Oh Lay, oh, oh
In mediacentric New York, where the resurgence of naked schadenfreude is a heartening sign that all is, indeed, returning to normal, there were grins and giggles aplenty when The New York Times set out to embarrass NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers-positing that Ms. Myers’ exclusive interview with former Enron chief Ken Lay’s wife, Linda, for “Today” was too soft-and embarrassed itself instead.
One of the experts to whom Times reporter Felicity Barringer turned for an assessment of Ms. Myers’ technique was Dick Wald, the former ABC and NBC newsman who now teaches at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. Mr. Wald voiced no complaints about Ms. Myers’ questioning. Mr. Wald, of course, is the father of “Today” executive producer Jonathan Wald, but, said a Times spokeswoman, Ms. Barringer “did not know of the connection.”
The senior Mr. Wald was not among those amused to see the Times with egg on its face. Indeed, Mr. Wald called Ms. Barringer to apologize for, in effect, not having saved her from herself. “I feel terrible. I really feel terrible. I just assumed she knew. It is a small world, and I just assumed she knew. I am entirely independent of my son. I gave her my honest opinion,” Mr. Wald said.
Hannah storms glam peaks
Hannah Storm, the daytime host of NBC Sports’ Olympics coverage, didn’t look like the mother of three children under 5 and a woman who will turn 40 this spring after being made over for Allure magazine’s January issue. “It’s nice to know that with a lot of superhuman time and effort, you can actually look like a supermodel,” said Ms. Storm, who was likened to `60s cover queen Jean Shrimpton after the sportcaster’s hair was layered into a tousled shag and her eyes were intensely shadowed and lined.
Though viewers familiar with her more sporty and no-nonsense on-air look might not know it, the long-ago rock jock said she has been known to be “a really, really funky dresser off the air.” Inspired by the makeover, Ms. Storm added some “pointy-toed shoes” to her wardrobe. Indeed, the high point of the makeover seems to have been the chance to slip into Jimmy Choo shoes. She vividly remembers the Jimmy Choo-inspired scenes in “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.” Like “Sex” heroine Carrie Bradshaw, Ms. Storm loves the shoes but, “I couldn’t stand in them.” Needless to say, she won’t be teetering on strippy spikes in Salt Lake City, where, for the next three weeks, Ms. Storm will be schlepping on foot from hotel to broadcast center, carrying her on-air ensembles, every day.
Friendship in fashion at `24′
Everybody heard about the fashions that were being knocked off 24 hours after they were seen on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, but The Insider has the skinny on a dress that would have dropped off at the Globes had it not been for some “24” teamwork.
Leslie Hope, the gamin cutie who plays Globe-winning Kiefer Sutherland’s TV wife on the Fox thriller, was outfitted in a Christina Perrin number that basically hung a halter-cut, back-baring body-skimming sweep of olive leather from a jeweled collar. When Ms. Hope stretched to greet Dennis Haysbert, who plays the presidential hopeful targeted for assassination on the show, the lone catch at the back of the collar let loose and the dress started to plummet.
Not to worry, though, Sarah Clarke quickly grabbed Ms. Hope’s dress, whipped it back in position and rehooked it. And then Ms. Clarke, one of “24’s” intrepid operatives, promised to watch Ms. Hope’s back all night. That wasn’t hazardous duty, said a spokeswoman for Ms. Hope, because the actress sat verrrrry carefully until Mr. Sutherland’s name was called. At which point Ms. Hope let loose-but her dress didn’t.
Novel producer Sherwood exits `Nightly’
The search is on for a senior broadcast producer at “NBC Nightly News,” which said farewell on Jan. 18 to Ben Sherwood. Mr. Sherwood, whose 2000 bestseller, a quirky romance with the unlikely title of “The Man who Ate the 747,” is working on a new novel, according to his Web site (www.bensherwood.com). Meanwhile, “747” is now in paperback and being developed for the big screen with Bel-Air Entertainment.
It’s party-hearty Mardi Gras-lite time
Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin, one of the top policymakers overseeing the TV biz, didn’t make it to the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Sunday, but don’t feel bad for him: He squeezed in plenty of fun in Washington. The Cajun lawmaker, who’s also known for his spicy bayou cooking, did plenty of partying at the Washington version of Mardi Gras, an annual three-day event for expatriate Louisianans who can’t make it to Bourbon Street. He even rented a suite at the Washington Hilton for the festivities, which wrapped up Saturday. The Insider hopes he wasn’t too tuckered out for his scheduled appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to answer moderator Tim Russert’s questions about the Enron scandal.