Mini Burgers from the Daily Beast Embody Tough Times in Publishing


Last night we went to the launch party [Correction: it was actually a friends and family event] for Tina Brown’s new Web site, The Daily Beast, a fun read that describes itself as “the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist.”

The quiet affair was held at Pop Burger and the only celebrity we spotted was Laura from Project Runway — you remember, the redhead who was uncomfortably pregnant on the show and made really boring clothes that your mom might wear.

It says a lot about the current state of publishing when an industry pro like Brown, with a popular new site, decides to play it subtle.

To put things in perspective, we hearken back to another Brown event that we were most certainly not invited to — the infamous Liberty Island bash she held for Talk Magazine back 1999. From this New York Times article that describes the scene, it sounds like the best party of all time:

“…guests ranging from the likes of Kate Moss, Christopher Buckley, Tom Brokaw and the Rev. Al Sharpton gathered to dine beneath 2,000 Japanese lanterns. The party featured a 20-minute fireworks show by the Grucci family, floral arrangements by the party designer Robert Isabell, and boxed picnic dinners by the Upper East Side catering company Glorious Foods.

Celebrities like Michael Eisner — who is the chairman of the Walt Disney Company and who mingled at a private party beforehand with Ms. Brown and Harvey Weinstein, the co-chairman of Miramax Films — arrived at Liberty Island on a boat that Mr. Buckley called ‘the Star Barge.’ Other guests, who began arriving at 8 P.M., were taken by ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island…”

While there weren’t any celebs, there were plenty of A-list writers and of course, Brown herself. Trust us, whether by “Star Barge” or C train, those media professionals all looked happy for a stiff (free) drink.