Thursday, August 2, 2007

Just 'Cause You Wore A Tiara Doesn't Make You Wonder Woman, Honey.

And your bald-headed, stoop-backed hubby sure as hell ain't Superman.

Black folks have a saying here in America...

"God don't like ugly."

A simple phrase, really. Blunt. Laced with a funky, grammatical loosey-gooseyness.

But it just means that God,—or Karma, for my Atheist and Agnostic brothers and sisters out there— will eventually tear your ass outta the frame for the misdeeds you've accumulated over time.

Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway had an R&B hit with that title in 1980.

And Rudolph Giuliani is taking a hit based on the words coming to pass here in 2007.

We've noted what the cards held in store for Giuliani (and well in advance of the recent early knives hurled his way, thank you very much) from his enemies—a multitude waaaaaay too numerous to be easily tallied, in posts here, here, and here.

You didn't need to be a rocket scientist, or even a wizened, grand, old man of the D.C. pundit set like the now-coasting "Broderella" to see "the something wicked from which all ways come" that now dogs Rudy. All you had to be was a New Yorker, or a person who spent considerable time in the city during Giuliani's tenure as Mayor, and followed the news about him a bit, to realize that all the people he stepped on, and shanked, and gonad-elbowed to get ahead, would all catch the express bus to meet him just a few miles down the road.

With chains. And nail-studded two-by-fours, and rusty pipes—just 'a waitin' to be swung at his tender kneecaps and shins. Some of 'em—these folks—are fellow politicos, curb-kicked and dissed with the typical, Giuliani icy dispatch. There is a bevy of angry ex-underlings, too. But there was one particular group of people with huge potential to damage Rudy that we ominously warned of here...

Within the vast sea of moderate hackery that is New York's press, there are several, scattered, vessel-crushing vortexes--whirlpools of naked, honest dislike for Giuliani. And during the height of the Giuliani P.R. machine (his first term), he was able to if not silence--then banish to the hinterlands, much of their criticism through a crass manipulation of press access, leak favoritism, and outright bullying of certain news organizations. When rumors surfaced early on in his first term about possible domestic abuse (against his wife, news anchor Donna Hanover), as well as an affair with his aide Cristyne Lategano, he brought the hammer down--threatening anyone who went with those stories with having virtually no press access. He in fact banned New York Newsday, who'd reported critically on the NYPD under him, from most NYPD press briefings for a period of years. In so doing, he inadvertently bred and fed a slew of journalists who would take great glee in being styes in his eye, and hemmorhoids on his tree-limb-crammed ass.


How bad did it get for him press-wise? When he announced that he'd been stricken with prostate cancer during his Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton, the stories, while somber and respectful, in large part took on the tone of "In the end, it may give him the time he needs to step away from the political world." They went there. Basically saying, "Um, yeah thanks for everything, sorry you're sick--but...we're tired of you."


These fucked over fellas, Miller especially, have yet to bury the hatchet with Rudy. And you might not wanna be in your good clothes, or be too close by when they actually do. Miller's still got friends in NY news, friends with long memories. But there's one person in the NY press with a longer memory, and boasting maybe even more friends than Miller...

...The ex-wife, and former local news anchor Donna Hanover.

We're talking about New York's clubby press fraternity—a long-memoried, and fiercely clannish crew if there ever was one. Giuliani constantly, and stupidly pimp-slapped this group. There was the petty blackballing of NY Newsday, the trashing and eventual banishment of John Miller, and worst of all, his Hustle and Flow-style "bottom-bitching" of his then-wife, former local news anchor Donna Hanover. Enemies are bad enough...but this bunch? They will cut your heart out when they get a chance.

With that, Rudy's first of many brutal "Kali-Ma!" moments at their scissor-hands came earlier this week in a pre-release of an article from September's Vanity Fair. (h/t Julia at Sisyphus Shrugged)

It's rough stuff...

It was the first anniversary of 9/11 at Ground Zero, an occasion when the names of the dead were read aloud. The first reader was to be Rudy Giuliani, New York's mayor at the time of the disaster, whose actions during those terrible days would prove a political boon. An army of policemen flanked him—an excessive number, spectators thought, since, due to the hundreds of dignitaries gathered, security outside was extremely tight.

Inside the tent were Secretary of State Colin Powell, New York governor George Pataki, Richard Grasso, who was then head of the New York Stock Exchange, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Senator Hillary Clinton stood in the aisle—until she was unceremoniously pushed by a phalanx of four burly cops entering the tent, these guarding Judith Nathan, Giuliani's girlfriend. No apologies were offered, one observer noted.

"The nerve of that woman!" Hillary exploded, recalling that her own daughter's Secret Service detail evaporated soon after Bill Clinton left office. Why should an ex-mayor's girlfriend get such royal treatment? "Who does she think she is?" Hillary said to an observer, who later recounted the story.

An interesting question. Who does Judith Stish Ross Nathan Giuliani think she is? These days, even with her husband, a freshly minted multi-millionaire, far ahead of the competition in the Republican presidential polls, no one, least of all Judith, 52, seems to have a clue. In a way, this is understandable. There have been so many different Judiths. As her second husband, Bruce Nathan, has told friends, "She is in an ever changing mode upward."

Three decades ago, Judi Ann Stish, as she was known in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, left her parents' home, a gray two-story house fronted by potted geraniums and a ribbon of flagstone. Fifteen years ago, while working for $1,200 a month as a part-time receptionist, she was living on borrowed money and the hospitality of friends—and threatening her estranged second husband with prosecution over a $3,500 rug. "Judi started from scratch, so of course she grabs every opportunity that comes into her life," Manos Zacharioudakis, her onetime live-in companion, tells me. "Of course she was attracted to Giuliani."


A dramatic transformation has occurred, one she does not care to discuss, despite repeated requests by Vanity Fair. She had always been known as "Judi." "Judi is what she was born. I don't think we called her Judith ever," says her father, Donald Stish, 78, seated on his porch one sultry June day in the shade of a gray metal awning. He is a calm, thick-set man who marvels at his daughter's makeover. After her second divorce, she upgraded herself to "Judith" with such vehemence that, one former Giuliani aide confides, "at City Hall we were prohibited from calling her Judi. She would bawl us out if we did."

For years she appeared, in the public record, to have had only one failed marriage, but as it turned out she'd had two. It seemed that she had gone to Pennsylvania State nursing school, as The New York Times once reported, but she had not. She completed two years of nursing school, but left hospital work before a year was up. Nonetheless, Giuliani has publicly referred to her "expertise" in "biological and chemical" disasters, and believes she would be a help in the event of an anthrax attack.


When Judi met Rudy, he was mayor of New York and married to the actress Donna Hanover, who is the mother of his children, Andrew, now 21, and Caroline, 18. At the time, the family was living in Gracie Mansion. In retrospect, it is odd it took Hanover so long to catch on.


It was around this time that Judi Nathan met Giuliani at Club Macanudo, an East Side cigar bar he was known to frequent. The details of that fateful night have since been industriously hidden and altered. They met at a private-school function, went one version of the story; at Coopers Classic Cars and Cigars, the former bar of Elliot Cuker, Rudy's onetime confidant, went another.

Around a year ago, Cuker has told friends, he was pressed to back up a version worthy of a potential president and First Lady. Specifically, Cuker has confided, he was told to say it was he who formally introduced the couple at his restaurant. He pointedly refused. "It pissed Elliot off that he was asked to lie for them," says a friend, who adds that Giuliani and Cuker are no longer close.


Giuliani invited Judith everywhere: to Yankees games in the summer of '99, to Cuker's restaurant, to the millennium celebration in Times Square, and to Town Hall meetings. This lack of restraint was not unusual for him: "Rudy has no willpower when it comes to relationships. This is why it's such an issue," says a Giuliani friend.

By 1999 he had acquired only the thinnest veneer of discretion—even though at the time he was seriously planning a Senate run against Hillary Clinton. "I was told Judith was Kate Anson's best friend and that's why she was going to all these big events.… Everyone was told that," reports one top aide from that era. Anson was and still is Giuliani's loyal schedule


WABC radio host Ron Kuby, a lawyer and severe Giuliani critic, marvels at the campaign's sublime lack of preparation for the storm of fury that greeted the dog issue, in April. "Think of all the hacks and politicos who sit down and they say to Judi, 'O.K., we've gone through your background, husbands, etc.,'" he muses. "'Is there any other thing in your background, some crazy little thing, that might catch someone's attention?' It's at that point you should raise your hand and say, 'Oh, you mean when I was killing puppies?'"

VF's Judy Bachrach carves Judi Giuliani's face off with a dull carpet knife for six brutal pages, with countless detailed anecdotes, and just as many ladles-ful of venom-spiked mean-punch. Bachrach is a freelancer with deep sources in the NY press community, and she exploits every one of them in this festival of Sacajawea-dollar dropping. the whole thing, It's not pretty.

In fact, it borders on gratuitous in its hatchet-swinging, because it is focused so heavily on the creepy foibles of Mrs. Giuliiani—a candidate's spouse. It's the sort of thing that generally smacks of unseemliness when done with such vigor. Going after a candidate through his wife, or spouse is usually considered poor form in political circles—especially if the spouse hasn't done something necessarily criminal, or plainly egregious. Wingnuts galore are decrying the piece's meanness, screaming "Hatchet job!", "Hit piece!" and "Low blow!" is all of those things.

But not-so-sadly, Rudy has every one of those things coming to him. In...fucking...spades.

The man who evil-ly gay-baited his schools chancellor in print, openly cheated on his wife—schtupping one mistress in his City Hall office, boffing the other in the home of his wife and kids, and cowardly slandered a man who died at the NYPD's guilty hands less than 48 hours after the slaying DOES NOT GET TO FUCKING COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE PLAYING HARDBALL WITH HIM! All he did when he was Mayor was treat the local press like a wet food stamp—when he wasn't treating anyone else in town who disagreed with him just as badly. He lives life very much out loud in New York. A very gregarious man, actually—who's had contact with, and affected just as many New Yorkers in less than positive ways with his mid-life crisis, BMOC big-footing around town. The man has made too many enemies, hard-core, justifiable, pipe-swingin' enemies in the city to suddenly cry "foul" over rough words and so-called low blows. He's a creep of the highest order.

The kind of guy I can recall no one ever in this city in all these years imparting a tale of random kindness about, or impromptu altruism.

He is no SCTV "Vic Hedges"—the creepy, questionable dude who still managed to save a shitload of various guys from certain death at different times in his life, to their eternal gratitude. You won't find a string of people raving about how nice a guy he is, because bluntly, he isn't one.

He's spent his adult life in NY being a bastard royale. A prick's prick. Satan in a cheap-ass suit.

And as Judi Giuliani is no doubt learning after this piece, Once you hook up with Satan, don't be surprised when you learn what Hell looks like.

She hasn't helped herself with her own giddy bogarting 'round town, either. The tiara...sweet, fancy, fucking Moses...The Tiara! The article maps out some pretty ugly shit—her grabby sense of entitlement (already there pre-Rudy—triple-strength concentrated, post-hookup), and a ruthless, "All About Eve"-ish social climbing. The quick-boil volatility, and notorious viper-mouth ("Bruce [Nathan—her ex-husband] would claim that his wife called him "'a kike,' when I couldn't afford something; 'a rich little kike,' … 'Jew boy.'") are also well-documented.

Creep and creepette sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G..."

Rudy's big problem with the press is this: The "journalists" who lionized him so giddily after September 11th were NOT in large part the local press in NYC. It was the outsiders...the national reporters looking, aching for a "hero" to promote in the aftermath of the horrors of that day. The Giuliani press honeymoon at home was done...OVER in less than 60 days, after he tried to "Calvinball" the city's electoral rules to desperately hang on as Mayor ("For Life!") even after his successor Michael Bloomberg was elected that November. The local press savaged him for that transparent, illegal, and ultimately futile third bite at the city's Mayoral apple. All Bachrach is, is a glossy mag manifestation of the local scribe sentiment—which mirrors that of many New Yorkers during Rudy's final year in charge—a bristling contempt.

So be not surprised at the sudden glint you catch from the corner of your eye—or the unidentified "whoosh" flashing past. It's not just random stuff wind-whipped by you. It's knives, baby. Hatchets! Machetes and scalpels, X-actos and yes...even freshly fired surgical staples —all flying at our boy Rudy. And ducking behind Judi's floor-length, Caroline Herrerra gown can't blunt their edges. They'll gladly julienne her, so they can slice and dice you, Rudy.

And I know it rankles you, Rudy. You're mad enough to fucking spit, aintc'cha? You want to scream at the top of your lungs about the-the rank unfairness of it all. "Have these people no decency at all?"

Perhaps you should ssk Ray Cortines about..."decency". And the survivors of the NYPD murdered, then slandered by you, Patrick Dorismond. And your ex-wife Donna who you publicly humiliated—ask her too, while you're at it. They'll all give you the answer. Sheeee-it Rudy, they may even sing it to you...

"God don't like...u-u-u-uh-gly."