War and Pizza

* Our friend James Carville is really cheesed by that Pizza Hut commercial mocking Hillary Rodham Clinton and her all-but-announced Senate candidacy in New York. With the same ferocity that he brought to his fight against independent counsel Kenneth Starr, Carville is declaring all-out war on the fast-food chain.

"Any time I speak to a Democratic group, I'm going to urge them not to have anything to do with Pizza Hut," the ragin' Cajun told us yesterday. "Anybody from a Democratic campaign that orders pizza from Pizza Hut is a traitor. If I hear of anybody doing it at the White House, I'm going to try and get them fired. Um, uh, I said that [threat] jokingly." Carville went on: "Giving up Pizza Hut pizza is the culinary equivalent of giving up Brussels sprouts for Lent. That stuff tastes like cardboard anyway."

Yesterday Pizza Hut Senior Vice President Jonathan Blum advised Carville to lighten up. "This is not about politics, it's about pizza," Blum said, claiming that the commercial--in which a twangy-voiced, power-suited female Senate contender touts Big New Yorker Pizza at a campaign rally--"is a spoof. . . . We did research prior to airing it, and everybody who saw it thought it was humorous." But Carville wasn't in that focus group: "As long as they stick their nose in politics, I'm just going negative on Pizza Hut."

The Source's Most Exciting Celebrity Tip Challenge Ever

Newt Gingrich is in the middle of a bank-account-draining divorce, but the former House speaker is living large. Despite his claims that estranged wife Marianne has mishandled the marital money, he must be doing very well on consulting and lecture fees. To wit: When Newt and lady love Callista Bisek shared dinner at the Old Angler's Inn in Potomac Saturday night, he ordered the priciest item on the wine list--a $450 bottle of 1983 Chateau Latour. That's twice the price of the restaurant's next most expensive wine--a $220 Opus One Baron de Rothschild 1996 from California's Mondavi Vineyard. Gingrich's spokesman, Mike Shields, declined to comment yesterday on the impressive purchase.

We were curious about that valuable magic contained in Newt's $450 bottle. The Latour vineyard has been operating in France's Bordeaux region since the 14th century, and Chateau Latour--according to international wine authority Edmund Penning-Rowsell--is famous for its "wonderfully fruity qualities" and "splendid depth and richness of flavor." Unfortunately, 1983 was a mediocre year. "Disappointing," writes Robert Parker, one of the world's more authoritative arbiters of wine. "A soupy, muddled character . . . and not much of a finish." The Post's resident Bordeaux expert, Ben Giliberti, was even more withering: "It seems to me that he probably overpaid. He chose a great Chateau, but a year in which the wine wasn't up to snuff." Still, Newt--an apparently satisfied customer--left a 15 percent tip.

Sporty Spacey, Paltry Paltrow

* After VH1's Concert of the Century at the White House Saturday afternoon, the Hollywood crowd partied hardly at the Occidental Grill. While Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein held court and paid the bill, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gloria Estefan, Angela Bassett, Sarah Jessica Parker and the teen pop band 'N Sync ate buffet and sipped cocktails and otherwise lent their marquee names to music programs for schoolchildren. Spacey, a sky diver, told us: "I'm going directly from here to jump off the Washington Monument to protest cuts in the arts." He said he was antsy to find a television set and watch his beloved Yankees take on the Braves in the World Series. Parker said she's also a Yankees fan: "Every man on the team is irreplaceable, not only on the roster but in my day-to-day existence." Paltrow--who brought along her new guy, record exec Guy Oseary--wouldn't talk baseball with us, or much of anything else. Rolling her eyes when we asked about her musical upbringing, she said, "I played the piano and I was always in the choir. It's really healthy for a child"--before a publicist informed her that Weinstein required her presence. Shortly afterward she departed, much to the dismay of late-arrival Lenny Kravitz. "I'm a friend of hers. She told me to meet her here," the rock star said miserably.


* Joltin' Joe DiMaggio's little brother, Dom, goes before a House subcommittee today to support a federal probe of alleged civil liberties violations against Italian Americans during World War II. The 82-year-old DiMaggio told us that his Sicilian fisherman-father, Giuseppe, suffered government restrictions while living in San Francisco. "He wasn't allowed to visit Fisherman's Wharf, where our family owned a restaurant," he said. "The Italians were abused, in my opinion."

* Kudos to everyone who ran in Sunday's 24th annual Marine Corps Marathon, especially Caps part-owner Jonathan Ledecky, who finished the 26.2-mile course in 4 hours 12 minutes. "At mile 11, I saw this family in the crowd outfitted in Caps uniforms," he said. "I stopped and gave them my hat and said, 'This is good for eight tickets to a Caps game.' I guess they recognized me because they called me today."

* Shock jock Howard Stern, separated from wife Alison, shared his pain on the radio yesterday. "I'm so sad this happened to me," he said. "It's the worst thing that's ever happened in my life."

CAPTION: The Pizza Hut commercial that got the Cajun (Carville, below) ragin'.

CAPTION: Hey, big spender: Gingrich and the $450 wine, left.

CAPTION: After-partying: Gwyneth Paltrow.