White Noise: News from inside the Media Bubble

by Brian Clarey, Amy Kingsley and Jordan Green

The plot thickens A story that broke in the News & Record last week by staff writer Joe Killian cited testimony by a drug enforcement agent who said that Gary Lamont Striblin, a Greensboro businessman recently hit with a cocaine distribution charge, attempted to arrange a hit on Rhinoceros Times Editor John Hammer. The hit was likely retaliation for publishing Jerry Bledsoe’s ongoing (and ongoing) saga of the Greensboro Police Department. Striblin, who with Terry Lee Bracken owns Atlantis Caf, Alexander Devereaux’s and Tuscana Cuisine, had the misfortune to solicit the hit from a confidential source within the DEA. The Rhino’s response, which hit the streets on Thursday, was uncharacteristically terse, but we’ll hold judgment on this one. If there’s one thing Greensboro journalists can get together against, it’s people who want to kill Greensboro journalists. Our support goes out to Hammer and his family and the entire staff at the Rhino Times. – BC

Jon Lovitz vs. Andy Dick A few weeks ago, rotund comic Jon Lovitz got into it with featherweight publicity hound Andy Dick after the former promised to put “the Phil Hartman curse” on him. Now, there’s a lot of back-story here – for all the drama, consult the recent Larry King interview. The whole thing has been a bit of a boon to Lovitz’s career; he’s hit the talk show circuit, and even friends like Dennis Miller have gotten face time on Fox News thanks to their insider perspective. Throughout the publicity blitz, Lovitz has come across as a pretty reasonable character. Dick hasn’t been so lucky. In fact, he’s lying pretty low. Thankfully, the YouTube crowd is weighing in with action figure reenactments and staged readings, critical for those who are late to the story. – AK

Being Jimmy Breslin According to The Village Voice, tough-guy Gotham columnist Jimmy Breslin is pleased with actor Michael Rispoli’s portrayal of him in the ESPN series “The Bronx is Burning,” chronicling the foibles of the New York Yankees during the notorious summer of Sam. He has given his permission for Rispoli to play him in an upcoming off-Broadway production about the two-fisted scribe who once ran for New York City Council on the same ticket as similarly two-fisted author Normal Mailer, who was running for mayor. Breslin, known more for his poignant portrayals of New York City life and culture than his sometimes unguarded moments of public outburst, last saw show-biz fame during a series of Miller Lite commercials in the 1970s. Rispoli is best known for his role as Jackie Aprile from “The Sopranos.” – BC

Weekly World News folds? On July 21, American Media, a communications company, announced the indefinite suspension of both the print and website versions of the Weekly World News. Those of you who’ve dodged grocery lines for the past three decades might not recognize the paper, which peddles fictional stories about marsupial-human hybrids and fat babies. No plans have been announced for a final issue, leaving those wrapped up in the love drama of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in something of a lurch. – AK

Saw it on eBay When Army Capt. Thad Krasnesky posted his plan to solve the war in Iraq on eBay, the opening bid was $1 – though he set the “buy it now” price at $5 million. A flurry of bids last Monday drew the price up into seven figures, and Krasnesky, who The New York Post reports is “a veteran of both Iraq wars and speaks fluent Arabic,” claimed he had received a $99 million bid for his plan and then the auction disappeared from the site. It has since been “relisted,” which according to eBay bylaws means, “consider it canceled.” But there are ongoing auctions for two domain names” and, which at press time have garnered $102.50 and $999, respectively. – BC