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This a very good day in the Daily News newsroom, while it must be more of a bummer at the Post's offices. News that a NY Post gossip writer has been investigating for trying to extort a billionaire mentioned in Page Six has turned into Christmas in April for the Daily News. (You can read the NY Times' article, as they are somewhat less invested in the story.) According to the Post's statement on its website, Jared Paul Stern (called a "freelance reporter who sometimes worked two days a week" by editor in chief Col Allan) tried to extort over $100,000 from Ron Burkle, investor, big time Democratic party donor and friend of Bill Clinton, in exchange for not featuring stories about Burkle in the paper; according to the feds' tapes, Stern even tried to get Burkle to invest in his clothing line! That's Page Six chutzpah right there.

The Daily News does get quotes from Stern and Page Six editor Richard Johnson: Stern denies everything and Johnson says, "I don't know anything about this. Sounds like horses--- to me." Burkle had been upset with Page Six's unflattering coverage of him and had written numerous letters to complain...and this is where Stern supposedly stepped in, offering various ways stories could be positive, using Mafia-esque terms, like saying "It's a little like the Mafia. A friend of mine is a friend of yours." and that different "levels of protection" could be offered. There are apparently tape recordings of a meeting between Burkle and Stern, which we expect to hear on Gawker by the end of the day.

Naturally, the Daily News goes to town with the story while the Post has to have a "Mafia Cops" cover. Burkle is the 335th richest person on the Forbes list. And Fox News' Roger Friedman says that we can thank Burkle for P. Diddy's interest in political activism.