News flash: Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino may be "mad as hell" about the Albany cesspool, but he really loved the 1996 film The English Patient and "gasped" when he was told by a reporter that one of the film's stars was standing in the lobby of the CBS Studios yesterday. The NY Times reveals, "The gruff, aggressive candidate gasped, saying he liked the film, and rushed over to introduce himself. 'I’m Carl Paladino,' he said. 'I loved, what was that movie?' he asked the reporter. 'The English Patient,’ he said, with a prompt. Shaking the woman’s hand up and down, he asked, 'What’s your name?' 'Kristin Scott Thomas,' she replied."

Yes, Paladino, who hates Brooklyn, the Bronx and especially Manhattan, was in town yesterday. Sure, Manhattan may be the "home to smug, self-important, pampered liberal elitists," but we do have movie stars! He also apparently chatted with former Governor Pataki even though Paladino called him a "degenerate idiot." Paladino told the Wall Street Journal, "I've talked to the governor, and we're passed it." While Pataki's spokesman wouldn't say anything, Paladino's campaign manager Michael Caputo was happy to praise Georgey boy, "He's run a huge race like this, faced the fund-raising challenge. Nobody knows how to herd the cats of the Republican Party better than Gov. Pataki."

When asked what the difference was between Manhattan and Buffalo, Paladino told the Times' Elizabeth Harris, "I guess the real contrast though is nobody looks you in the eye here. I’m not saying that people aren’t polite. I think they’re a lot more reserved — they’re afraid in many respects, especially young women. I think they’d be intimidated by it, and I think it’s understandable." Other tidbits: Kristin Scott Thomas had no idea who he was (well, she does live in Europe) and Paladino also gave Harris "one of his signature bear hugs — and in so doing, he cracked my back."