Murdoch and Ailes throw party for their Fox Business Network

CELEBRITY NEWS

October 29, 2007|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,Tribune Media Services

The famed Temple of Dendur hadn't seen so many of the high born and wealthy since the Egyptians gave it as a gift to the United States in 1965 and it was awarded to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967. VIPs of finance, society, media and showbiz poured into the grand old place made into a backlit wonder when Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes kicked off their Fox Business Network gala.

New Yorkers fall apart when it rains. Taxis disappear and people cuddle up at home and start making excuses for not going out, but not the other night. In spite of the downpour, Manolos and Lobb shoes clicked together onto the red carpet leading into New York's major cultural stronghold. The paparazzi went mad for Ivanka Trump, who is shapely and makes all the Trumps look good. Also for the continuing number "10," Bo Derek.

Inside, guests were greeted by the word FOX spelled out in hundreds of glittering votive candles on the steps and then, entering the Temple area, by a big green hedge that announced Fox Business.

Greeted inside by Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch and Beth and Roger Ailes, there was an aura of big money and big power in the air along with the scent of tiny hamburgers.

Here are a few people I managed to cuddle up to, though I probably missed a few. Annette and Oscar de la Renta, representing society's sine qua non. Oscar was dancing about, even though he had just given up his cane from a hip operation only weeks ago ... the gorgeous Julie Chen of CBS' The Early Show and that fellow she married, Les Moonves. (I know, I know, you thought he was married to Katie Couric) ... the beautiful Marie-Josee Kravis and my favorite guy from Oklahoma, Henry Kravis ... Suzy and Jack Welch, who should have been at home in Boston watching the World Series, but said they were just as happy to be trapped in Manhattan ... theater gent Robert Nederlander, plus the one and only idol of millions, Mel Brooks, taking advance congratulations on Young Frankenstein ... Fort Worth's pride and joy Sid Bass and the elegant Mercedes, mainstay of the Metropolitan Opera ... Joy and Regis Philbin looking young and snappy ... James Wolfensohn, once the ninth president of the World Bank and now a world bank of his own. (The mayor's girlfriend, Diana Taylor, works with him) ... U.S. Chief of Protocol Nancy Brinker of Dallas ... Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner, one of New York City's best-looking couples. (I am Deborah's oldest living fan, and her new book, Thank You Power, will join the best-seller list any second) ... moviedom's Harvey Weinstein looking trim ... and big money men, Steve Schwarzman, Steve Rattner, Donald Marron and Jimmy Lee, plus my date, the big-hearted Realtor Tony Leeds.

I had a few moments with those CNBC escapees to Fox Business - Nicole Petallides, Peter Barnes and Alexis Glick. I asked if they had targets on their backs and were afraid for their lives. They laughed and scratched and said it was great to be targeted for Fox Business.

New York magazine has already dubbed this event "The Victory Party." I suppose we can say that's what it was. Rupert has Wendi and the Wall Street Journal and his children; and whatever else it is he wants is probably waiting in the wings. He is indeed his own kind of visionary. I have worked for him off and on for more than 20 years, and I like him very much.

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