Off the Media: Jared Paul Stern Talks!

jared_paul_stern_scandal.jpgIn which we get to hear disgraced lauded honored humiliated gossip columnist Jared Paul Stern‘s voice!

True, he hasn’t done TV. But now he can’t say he hasn’t done broadcast, at least from his home in Catskill, NY, on what sounds like a scratchy phone line. Apparently he’s sold tons of his high-priced short-sleeved shirts because of all this, and not just to the associates of Ron Burkle, the Clintonista gazzillionaire whose claims of Stern’s attempted extortion started this whole Page Six imbroglio.

On the Media lets Stern say Burkle initiated a meeting to “set me up:”

“He tried to trap me and make it look like I was saying or doing something I wasn’t and tried to peddle it to the authorities, who weren’t interested, and has now gone to the Daily News, and he has launched a smear campaign,” Stern says. “I think he’s a real paranoid guy, and he’s obviously got some secrets that he’s very anxious to hide.”

OTM also grabs quotes from Ian Spiegelman, also said to have been with Page Six, from a seminar he gave on gossip columnizing: “If you screw with us, if we can make things bad for you, we’re going to make things bad for you,” he tells his audience. “When you’re a gossip page really half your job is to instill terror in these people.”

And they give us some fun audio from the original gossip powerhouse, Walter Winchell.

Of course, OTM starts the show with coverage of matters foreignSy Hirsch‘s New Yorker piece on whether the U.S. will attack Iran with nukes to stop them from developing their own. Slate‘s Fred Kaplan gives four theories about how Hirsch got the story (and makes the show sound like a Sunday morning political roundtable): a plan in the administration to portray President Bush as a madman so the Iranians will back down, people who don’t like the policy direction leak it, the desire to make a non-nuclear attack on Iran seem less major, or it’s all a game of chicken.

But the biggest revelation of all this week: Kaplan is married to co-host Brooke Gladstone!