Volume 77 / Number 39 - Feb. 27 - March 04, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy’s notebook

No slowing euro stories: The slew of East Village euro-mania stories sparked by The Villager’s coverage just keep on coming — and coming. The latest was on Monday in The Washington Post on Page A3, headlined: “New York Merchants Embrace Euro: As Dollar Dips, Shops Begin to Accept Currency of Foreign Tourists.” The article showed a photo of Robert Chu of East Village Wines and quoted Chu and, that’s right, also Billy Leroy of Billy’s Antiques & Props. Leroy noted that in the latest article, the photo of Chu is already out of date as the dollar continues to plunge. “The Washington Post used an old pic of Chu,” Leroy e-mailed us. “His blackboard shows the old exchange rate, so it looks like he is losing 20 percent on the euro. The blogs are having a good laugh.” Again, it all started with photos of Chu and Leroy in The Villager back on Jan. 9. Talk about having your finger on the warm, beating pulse of financial news. Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal, watch out!


Operation McCain Honey Pot??? More than 3,000 New York Times readers were sufficiently outraged over the Gray Lady’s recent article on Senator John McCain’s relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman that they saw fit to deluge the Times with indignant letters. And our own Jerry Tallmer really sounds off in a simply blistering talking point on Page 13 in this week’s issue. Well, McCain-Iseman outrage may rise to even higher levels after A.J. Weberman’s latest claim, printed here first in The Villager. Weberman, a self-proclaimed Dylanologist and garbalogist — who has sifted through the lyrics of Dylan and the garbage of Abbie Hoffman for meaning, and well, garbage — says he has uncovered little-known facts about Iseman. Weberman says Iseman may, in fact, have ties to the Mossad and was likely working a classic “honey-pot operation” on McCain for the Israeli C.I.A. equivalent. Weberman said he had a hunch Iseman might be Jewish, since the name sounded like a variant of the more common Weissman. He researched on the Internet and found that Vicki Iseman — in addition to being a telecommunications lobbyist — was, in 2000, a top member of the now-defunct International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers, a group that had deep intelligence connections. So, Weberman said, there’s the M.I.A./P.O.W. link right there with former Vietnam P.O.W. McCain. Alyza Lewin, daughter of Nathan Lewin — whom Weberman describes as an anti-Arab hard-liner — was also a member of International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers. Weberman sent us a link to the Congressional Record for a tribute for the I.C.M.I.S. given by Congressmember Tom Lantos of California on May 24, 2000. In Lantos’s tribute, he cited both Vicki Iseman and Alyza Lewin. (A Holocaust survivor, Lantos died earlier this month at age 80.) “Lewin and Iseman were in the top position,” Weberman told us. “Some kind of seduction was going on — I believe so and The New York Times believes so. I think The New York Times is a more reliable source than A.J. Weberman. The telecommunications could have been a cover. They wouldn’t want to do a honey-pot operation against a U.S. senator to blackmail him,” Weberman explained. “The consequences would become too great. And McCain is pro-Israel anyway. But they could have something on him later when he was president.” For those who think Weberman’s Iseman-Mossad connection is perhaps a wee bit far-fetched, here’s another Weberman doozy: Based on the Dylanologist’s analysis of a pattern of clues in his song lyrics, Bob Dylan is H.I.V.-positive as result of “heterosexual sex with numerous partners.” “Women were throwing themselves at him, this was the late ’70s,” said Weberman, recalling Dylan’s hedonistic Village days. Hmmm, O.K. … Compared to that one, the Iseman theory almost starts to look downright credible. The Daily News has also followed up on Weberman’s Iseman-Mossad theory: “Rush & Molloy called me about it yesterday,” Weberman told us on Tuesday.

Way to go! David Spett, who interned with us here at The Villager two summers ago, has made national news after nailing the dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism for allegedly fabricating quotes. The dean, John Lavine, wrote two articles for the school’s alumni magazine that included some quotes by anonymous students praising the school and saying how wonderful the program was. The quotes sounded odd to Spett, a Northwestern senior and columnist for the Daily Northwestern; plus, Spett didn’t understand why these sort of quotes would need to be anonymous in the first place. Spett interviewed all 29 students in the program and none fessed up to having given the quotes. In an interview on NPR, Spett said he confronted Dean Lavine, who told him the quotes were e-mailed to him but that he no longer had the e-mails. Lavine subsequently was reported saying the anonymous statements were similar to comments made by students in a videotaped interview. Medill professors are reportedly calling the Lavine exposé “a crisis” and “embarrassment.” Ah, nailing your own journalism dean. We teach our interns well at The Villager. Just kidding — it sounds like we could learn a few pointers from Spett!

BOB boo-boo: Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, tells us that the society is not assisting neighbors’ efforts to get double-decker tour buses off Bleecker St. Our article last week on the new group BOB, or Buses Off Bleecker, incorrectly stated that G.V.S.H.P. has been working on alternate routes with Gray Line and City Sights NY, the two main operators. That is “completely untrue,” Berman said, adding, “It’s outside G.V.S.H.P.’s mandate — historic preservation and development issues. Don’t get me wrong; this is an enormously important issue. It’s just inaccurate to report we’ve been involved one way or another.”

Urgent cable: Villager columnist and N.Y.U. journalism professor Dan Meltzer’s play “A Cable From Gibraltar” will be performed on Tues., March 4, at 7:30 p.m., at Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E. 71st St. A comedy, it’s about “flirtation, first love, true love, lost love, second chances, world geography, destiny, coastal fishing, fine dining, good manners, bad decisions, tea and endless warfare.” It “dramatizes contrasting relationships of two couples over 90 years from cradle to crypt.” Some are even calling it “Coward meets Ionesco meets G.B. Shaw.” Seating is open but limited. Meltzer wanted us to put this in: “Admission free with this cable.” (So you can bring this Scoopy item for free admission. Get it? But, even if you forget, you’ll still get in free, Meltzer said.)

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