Just Who's Snagging the iPhones?

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Did District officials pull rank to get the coveted new iPhones on the day of their Friday release? And if so, should we worry the city is run by a bunch of geeks?

A tipster set off an uproar this weekend when he told two popular blogs about seeing a city staffer leave a downtown AT&T store with an armful of the heavily hyped wonder-gizmos.

The problem? The rule was one per customer! Folks in line got testy, according to the story, and the staffer allegedly showed them his middle finger. By Sunday, Mayor Adrian Fenty issued a denial that his office had anything to do with it, but also asked that the phones be returned to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Spokeswoman Carrie Brooks said the city's Office of Technology hoped to test the iPhones "for inspectors to take into the field or police officers to use instead of laptops." A store rep said AT&T followed a first-come-first-served, one-to-a-customer policy, and Brooks said she believes three staffers stood in line to get three phones. "The administration didn't go in and clear out the inventory. Our sincere apologies to the three people who may not have gotten phones on Friday." As for the alleged finger? "They're looking into it."

Brooks claims none of the phones were meant for hizzoner. Oh, are we supposed to believe Fenty doesn't want to get himself an iPhone? The guy who walks around with three BlackBerrys?

No, really, said Brooks. "I don't think he has room left on his belt."

LOVE, ETC.

· Splitting: Author Salman Rushdie, 60, and his supermodel-cookbook author-"Top Chef"-hosting wife, Padma Lakshmi, who is in her late 30s, after three years of marriage; his rep says it was her decision. The news comes three weeks after Rushdie was tapped for knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

· Expected: A second child, for often-overlooked Prince Edward, 43, and his wife, Sophie, 42, due in December. The Earl and Countess of Wessex have one daughter, Lady Louise, 3 1/2 .

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

· TV personality and sometime-Washingtonian Lisa Ling and hunky new doctor husband Paul Song in the housewares department at the Ballston Macy's; appeared to be exchanging a wedding gift. When our spy smiled at her (the way we always do in that moment before we realize that familiar face is a famous person, not someone we actually know), the former co-host of "The View" beamed back a bright, spontaneous grin of her own.

· Henry Rollins, everyone's favorite D.C.-born punk singer-poet-writer-actor-talk show host, checking out pal Ian MacKaye's band the Evens at Sunday's Hear Mount Pleasant music festival.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

· Germany is backtracking from reports that it denied Tom Cruise permission to film his new movie at the nation's military sites because he is a Scientologist. The government has turned down a request to shoot a scene for "Valkyrie" at one specific historic site in Berlin, Reuters reported -- but only because there had been a bad experience with a past movie shoot there, officials insisted yesterday, and not because of Cruise's church, which the government has previously denounced as a cult. Cruise will play Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. The casting decision has drawn objections from Stauffenberg's family.

QUOTE

Russian President Vladimir Putin rides between U.S. President George W. Bush, left, and former president George H.W. Bush, right, aboard former president Bush's boat Fidelity III off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine, on July 1, 2007. Russian President Putin arrived at the family home of U.S. President George W. Bush in New England for talks aimed at reestablishing a personal rapport that is key to stopping Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology.
Russian President Vladimir Putin rides between U.S. President George W. Bush, left, and former president George H.W. Bush, right, aboard former president Bush's boat Fidelity III off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine, on July 1, 2007. Russian President Putin arrived at the family home of U.S. President George W. Bush in New England for talks aimed at reestablishing a personal rapport that is key to stopping Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology. (Neal Hamberg - Bloomberg News)
"No, no -- my last boat. My final boat."

-- Former president George H. W. Bush, far right, asked if he ever plans to get a new speedboat, after taking Dubya and Vladimir Putin fishing off Kennebunkport yesterday in his Fidelity III, which he got up to 64 mph. Retorted wife Barbara: "Promise?"


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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