In a gratifyingly competitive A.W.I. this past week, Lizzo won with 28.2 percent—being on the receiving end of a few lawsuits always helps. But Prince Harry was back in the running with 21 percent, followed closely by Ron DeSantis (16.9 percent), the Trump lawyer John “Aspirational” Lauro (14.4 percent), and Elon Musk (11.8 percent). We’re surprised that Commodore, one of our rare non-human contestants (along with Barbie a few weeks back and, of course, Musk), didn’t poll better. We have to conclude that the old news maxim about DOG BITES MAN—or even DOG BITES MEN—still holds.
The nominees in this week’s edition of the Attention-Whore Index Poll are …
Dating again. The Daily Mail says the 92-year-old is cruising the Mediterranean with Elena Zhukova, a 66-year-old “beautiful retired scientist,” one of whose daughters was married to, and later divorced from, Roman Abramovich. Murdoch, who was engaged for two weeks last spring to Ann Lesley Smith, was reportedly introduced to Zhukova by a friend of hers—Wendi Deng, who was for a time the third Mrs. Murdoch.
We don’t know about you, but when we enjoy a morning stroll through New York’s streets in our signature cropped top, distressed cutoff jeans, and oversize sunglasses, flaunting our toned abs, the paparazzi tend not to descend. With certain others, they do. AIR MAIL was among the few remaining publications not to feature the ubiquitous EmRata this week. No longer.
“So, the Witch Hunt continues! 19 people Indicated [sic]tonight, including the former President of the United States, me, by an out of control and very corrupt District Attorney … Sounds Rigged to me!” But not so fast! “A Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud which took place in Georgia is almost complete & will be presented by me at a major News Conference at 11:00 A.M. on Monday of next week in Bedminster, New Jersey. Based on the results of this CONCLUSIVE Report, all charges should be dropped against me & others - There will be a complete EXONERATION!” Nevertheless, there’s a possible fifth indictment on the horizon—for Crimes against PUNCTUATION.
Say it ain’t so! Zuckerberg declared that the cage fight with Elon Musk is now off, because Musk, who has found reasons to delay it (injuries, M.R.I.’s, change of venue), “isn’t serious.” No glimmer of hope? “If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me,” Zuckerberg posted—on Threads, naturally, his answer to Musk’s
Indicted (again). “This is an affront to American Democracy and does permanent, irrevocable harm to our justice system … The real criminals here are the people who have brought this case forward both directly and indirectly.” The fact that the man who used RICO so vociferously when he was rounding up miscreants finds himself in a RICO indictment himself is one of life’s small joys.
The five mastiffs named after economists are possibly amusing, the down-the-line reprehensible right-wing views rather less so (climate change is “a socialist lie”). But the real reason to worry about the former tantric sex coach/surprise primary winner—and now favorite to win Argentina’s presidential election in October—is obvious: the hair.
And now for this week’s Diary …
They have ways of making you … tip. The mayor of this French Riviera resort town wants to crack down on the “extortion” and “racketeering” practices of certain establishments. “Sneaky databases are being compiled by staff in some of the swishest bistros, listing which diners spend the most —and how much they tip,” the Daily Mail reported. “If the figures aren’t deemed high enough, tourists find themselves banned next time they try to make a reservation.” One source told the newspaper, “If you’re known for buying large bottles of champagne, you get the best table; if you sip at half of [a] lager all night, they don’t want you back.”
Dancing with Putin at her wedding in 2018 should have been a tip-off. In a video circulated on Russian Web sites, the former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl is seen enjoying a summer festival in this Russian village, “wearing a flowing blue skirt and belted white shirt,” according to Euronews. After having left Austrian politics in 2019, Kneissl for a time sat on the board of Rosneft, a Russian petroleum company, contributed to the Russian news outlet RT, and “keeps appearing at international conferences and forums helmed or supported by Russia.” In the video, Kneissl tells a group of Russian children, “This is my world” and adds that she feels at home among the “chickens, ducks and goats.” The Russian chickens, ducks, and goats.
A couple in this Surrey enclave southwest of London are claiming their neighbors have “shunned and ostracized” them because of a bitter, ongoing, two-years-and-counting court battle over their property. Emma McGuinness, a competitive figure skater turned “hot yoga” instructor, and her husband, Terence, a catering executive, want to tear down their $2 million home and replace it with two structures. The community is opposed and has sued the couple, who, according to MSN, are “no longer taking part in the wine society, conversations at their house gate or communal summer picnics.” Horrors!
Too little flesh is visible on the Costa Brava beaches, according to some. “With practically no deserted coves or virgin sand left along Spain’s coastline, the remote spots to which naturists gravitated have been colonised by those with non-naturist ideologies,” reported The Times of London. “The ‘textiles,’ as naturists call the invaders, are taking over.” This has “demoralized” the naturist-nudist community, particularly because nudity is allowed on all Spanish beaches, and so its adherents have asked the government to provide “more proactive information for visitors, encouraging them to either participate or seek an alternative beach.” If that doesn’t get the textiles to join in, there’s always mass wedgies.
Irmao, an 88-foot luxury yacht belonging to the professional poker player Diego “the Lion” Gomez Gonzalez, caught fire and sank in Spanish waters last week, a spectacular blaze said to be visible from nearby Ibiza. Twelve passengers and five crew were evacuated before Irmao went under. It was unclear whether “the Lion”—so nicknamed when he wore a full-body lion costume to play in a European Poker Tour tournament in 2012—was on board.
An A.I. recipe app offered by a supermarket chain here to help customers save money by using leftovers has led to some curious recommendations. One recipe, dubbed “aromatic water mix,” is described as “the perfect nonalcoholic beverage to quench your thirst and refresh your senses,” The Guardian reported. It fails to mention that a by-product of the recipe is chlorine gas, which can “cause lung damage or death.” A spokesperson expressed disappointment that “a small minority have tried to use the tool inappropriately” but added that the supermarket would “keep fine tuning” the bot to make sure it was safe. —George Kalogerakis
George Kalogerakis, one of the original editor-writers at Spy, later worked for Vanity Fair, New York, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. A co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War, he is a Writer at Large at Air Mail