Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Publishing can be a dirty business. Much like any industry I guess – but it seems media and entertainment can be particularly contentious. The recent flare up between rivals Fox and NBC is a prime example. Former president of NBC Entertainment Kevin Reilly jumped to rival Fox over the summer, telling Variety: “I work for Fox now, and I look forward to giving NBC a hard time.” NBC is probably more worried about losing Reilly’s reality TV formats than his rivalrous rhetoric. The networks make the Red Sox and Yankees look as friendly as Karl Rove and retirement.
Needless to say, it didn’t surprise me when one of our photographers relayed to me that while working an event recently, an associate publisher for another city magazine approached him, slipped him her card, and said, “When you want to work for a ‘real’ magazine, give me a call.” Not really something a “real professional” should do, but again, this is publishing. Aside from making me laugh, it got me thinking about what constitutes a “real magazine.” Not in the existential sense, of course – in that case, all pages are merely illusions – but in the sense of what a “real Washington” magazine should embody. To me, that would constitute being wholly created in Washington. For the past 16 years WL has taken pride in working with local photographers, writers, editors, columnists and designers. A “real Washington magazine” isn’t half-created in Los Angeles, New York or Chicago by staff whose only experience with the Capital Region may be a middle school-sponsored excursion to the Mall when they were

a teenager. Speaking of being green – I recently took a trip to Ireland. Being an editor for a luxury lifestyle magazine has its perks – it’s not all blood, sweat and rivalry. Travel articles are certainly a bright spot (as are great invitations). But there is protocol involved. You thought the Mafia was tough? Try going on a press trip and not writing about it. You’ll long for the days when “Lefty” and “Knuckles” threatened your knees over an ill-fated bet placed on Barry Bonds not breaking the home-run record against the Nats. PR agents will FedEx a horse head with a press release on fine letterhead stating: “Looking forward to reading your article ... soon.” Along those lines, if you didn’t check out the Freer Sackler’s homage to Hong Kong film, you missed out on Infernal Affairs – one of the best gangster movies ever made. For the uninitiated, Martin Scorsese based The Departed on it (and we complain to China about piracy). Although not into mafioso flicks himself, I had a chance to catch up with Hong Kong director Patrick Tam at the HK embassy in Dupont Circle. The auteur’s After This Our Exile won the equivalent of an Oscar in Tokyo and Taiwan this year. He was in town as a guest of the Freer Sackler discussing his works and the industry in general under the “one country, two systems” umbrella. When asked about the Mainland’s influence, he said HK filmmakers will still tell stories that need to be told, regardless of politics (and PR agents, one hopes).According to Michael Strange’s summer issue column, “Marrieds Only,” Washington operates on a two-system policy as well: married and not married. Her view of single life via her friend “Delaney” raised the eyebrows of more than a few eligible bachelors. “When I next see a windswept woman on a street corner, holding up a sign that says ‘Will work for a husband,’ I’ll roll down my window and offer her my heartfelt condolences,” one WL reader wrote. Another reader emailed Mrs. Strange to say, “if your sharp investment advisor friend is still available and has not yet ‘married a member of Al Qaeda,’ I’d welcome the opportunity to meet her for dinner one night ... if she’s interested.” Sorry guys: according to Michael, “Delaney met an unmarried National Geographic writer and they took off for Tasmania to study giant squid. She’s one of the lucky ones. Let me remind: there are other fish in the sea, even in Washington.” One large already-hooked fish swam through town in August. David Beckham shook off a sore ankle to play a whopping 21 minutes against our D.C. United (who won 1-0). Apparently, the ankle was sturdy enough for him to make it to Play Lounge later that night. The real winner? Victoria Michael, who was able to lure Becks away from Katherine Kennedy and Bobby Boswell’s planned afterparty at Lima. Now, ladies, play nice, the last thing this town needs is another rivalry
Readers wishing to get in touch with Michael can email, letters@washingtonlife.com.


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