pagesix.jpgOne can practically hear the giggling between the lines as The New York Times covers the New York Post's gossip page scandal that had the Post airing its own dirty laundry. Last year the Post fired Jared Paul Stern, a Page Six freelancer, after a billionaire accused him of trying to shake him down with promises to not write embarrassing things about him in exchange for cash. Stern is now suing the Post for his termination, in addition to a lot of other people, including Bill and Hillary Clinton. As part of his suit, Stern enlisted the aid of a friend named Ian Spiegelman, who the Post had fired a few years ago after he sent an extremely obnoxious email that was widely circulated. Spiegelman more recently wrote a litany of embarrasing things about the New York Post and its employees and gave it to Stern, but it became public on Page Six, where the Post characterized its former employees as liars.

What are some of the allegations that Spiegelman and Stern got scooped on revealing to the public? Page Six editor Richard Johnson received cash gifts from people he wrote about. Post editor Col Allan would go to the stripclub Scores and allegedly pay money to have women dance naked for him. Rupert Murdoch is said to have instructed Post writers to not say unkind things about the Chinese government. And Murdoch also allegedly instructed Page Six to kill numerous unflattering stories about Bill and Hillary Clinton. There's plenty more mud.

The Times seems to think the release of the unflattering details was a pre-emptive move by Page Six and wonders how the story will affect Murdoch's bid to purchase the more high-brow Wall Street Journal. Our impression is that the Times, which normally doesn't get to fill its pages with words like "sleazy" and "canoodling", and talk of naked dancing women, is really enjoying itself. This is like Christmas in May for the Daily News, of course, and it fills its take on the scandal with frowny photos of all the participants.