Vanity Fair has joined the star-of-the-month club. Like Rolling Stone and other publications surrendering to the time-lapse 1990s, VF is now willing to lend its cover to ephemeral celebrities like Courtney Love, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman. It no longer caters solely to the superstar set. For the September issue, Sandra Bullock is flashing her crocodile smile in the front window -- an appropriate reaction to being dubbed "Golden Girl" and "America's Sweetheart" after only three ordinary movies, "Speed," "While You Were Sleeping" and "The Net." According to the article, she is "really as frighteningly normal as she appears on-screen."
What's more interesting in Vanity Fair is the longish controversial piece by Gail Sheehy giving us the skinny on Newtie. Called "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich," it is more accurately "Portrait of the Speaker as a Dysfunctional Male." Ms. Sheehy combs Mr. Gingrich's history for evidence of moral contradiction and psychological ferment -- and comes up with plenty. She details the infidelities that plagued his first marriage to Jackie Battley, his high school geometry teacher, including an interview with Anne Manning, who claims she was sexual with the speaker in 1977. "We had oral sex," Ms. Manning says. "He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.' " Mr. Gingrich is also said to have pursued the terms of his divorce from Ms. Battley while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery.
Will Newt be heading for the White House? In statements that have been much quoted during the past week, Mr. Gingrich's present wife, Marianne, told Ms. Sheehy, "He can't do it without me. I told him if I'm not in agreement, fine, it's easy. I just go on the air the next day, and I undermine everything. . . . I don't want him to be president and I don't think he should be."