Buzzing about `WASP' book that celebrates `Privileged Life'

Celebrity News

May 14, 2007|By Liz Smith | Liz Smith,Tribune Media News

WHAT DID the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) go to the hospital for?" Answer: "The food!"

This is in the Assouline book A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style, put together by super-WASP Susanna Salk. Amusingly, it has a foreword by a nice Jewish boy from West Hartford, Conn., one Steven Stolman, a fashion mainstay of Southampton, Long Island's Main Street.

Inside are all those WASPs we've come to love - Babe Paley, Brooke Astor, Kate Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Lilly Pulitzer, Lee and Jacqueline Bouvier, Edie Bouvier Beale, C.Z. Guest, Ben Bradlee, George Plimpton, Gloria Vanderbilt, and guys from Harvard and Yale. There are some "suspect" WASPs, such as Bill Buckley, a super Catholic. But Bill still strikes us as WASPy.

Judging Paris

Whether or not she spends 45 days in jail, Paris Hilton's "career" will not be harmed. Seems to me there's a slightly exhausted, ho-hum air about Ms. Hilton's little trauma, even if California's Governor Arnie sails in at the last minute to rescue her.

The thrill is gone for this kind of superfluous trash story.

This is surely a case of "selective sentencing" - a judgmental judge determined to "make an example" of someone who is already a bad example. Pampered and clueless is our friend Paris. Perhaps it's the nonviolent and nonsexy nature of her "crime" - driving without a license. (Listen, this isn't Lana Turner with a dead mobster boyfriend and a teenage daughter with a knife.)

The problem? There's such a vacuum about Paris Hilton's dubious "stardom" that it affects whatever media is still left to offer 15 minutes. Sanjaya Malakar was a more compelling public figure than Paris. Ms. Hilton, cheerfully wiggling hello at the camera during her video sex romp, now seems antediluvian. Maybe there'll be video of Paris showering with other inmates!

I don't think she deserves 45 days in jail. And I don't think she deserves the space I've just given her. But if I wrote 18 lines about the soldiers killed in Iraq last week, would you care?

A Fair party

There he was - Vanity Fair's king of the international society he surveys, at a party in his honor down at Ian Schrager's impressive Gramercy Park Hotel roof. I've known Bob Colacello longer than I knew his famous boss, Andy Warhol, and Bob's still right here with us, looking younger than ever in a crowd growing older by the minute. He is one media person everyone loves.

The cream of the crop turned out. This party, hosted by Claudia Cohen, Samantha Boardman and Aby Rosen and Schrager himself, was notable for great-looking women - Louise Grunwald, Amanda Burden, Diane von Furstenberg, Aileen Mehle, Betsy Bloomingdale, Blaine Trump, Kelly Klein, Cornelia Guest and Mica Ertegun. And, although I had the first dance with the birthday boy, I had the second one with Interview's ebullient editor Ingrid Sischy.

Oh, yes, there was billionaire Ron Perelman with the fabulous, gritty actress Gina Gershon on his arm. I warned her that "I" am the next Mrs. Perelman.

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