This Time the Butler Did Do It
Bondage-and-fetish star Sarah Kozer, a George Mason University graduate whose secret soft-porn career made headlines last week, isn't the only "Joe Millionaire" participant with a local angle and a checkered past. We hear that Paul Hogan, the very proper butler on Fox broadcasting's so-called reality show, also boasts a twisted Washington-area connection.
McLean resident Bill Paley, the son of the late, legendary CBS founder William S. Paley, e-mailed us: "Hogan...worked as renovation manager of my house in Nassau, Bahamas (Lyford Cay), just previous to his role as butler. We came to a parting of the ways after it was found that he had drained the entire wine cellar and thrown millionaire-style parties for all his Aussie friends on the island. He obviously landed on his feet."
Paley told our colleague Lisa De Moraes that he'd hired Hogan to oversee some renovations on the eight-acre estate -- where his famous father entertained the high and mighty -- but was ready to fire Hogan last October, after just a few months. Hogan beat him to the punch and quit. Hogan did not respond to a detailed request for comment.
"He was always very hard to get ahold of," Paley said. "I was going to fire him even before I found out that he threw these parties, including a big going-away party for himself, and that he and his friends drank five cases of my wine." Paley added: "It wasn't hugely expensive wine, but it was decent table wine."
Paley said that when he complained to Milwaukee-based Mahler Enterprises, the high-end domestic search firm that had recommended Hogan, "they were horrified."
Yesterday company owner Peter Mahler told us he provided Paley with a replacement without charge. "There was a problem of some kind, but we corrected it," he said, adding that Hogan, who was "highly paid," had worked for other Mahler clients without incident. "It's an unfortunate commentary on American society that, in the challenging times we live in, everyone is watching these reality programs when they could be doing some good in the world," Mahler said. "It's also ironic that this involves Bill Paley, whose father was so instrumental in creating a great television network, CBS."
Paley said he learned only by chance of Hogan's role on "Joe Millionaire." He recounted: "I was up in New York, flipping channels and caught the last two minutes of the first show, and thought, 'Who is that actor? He looks really familiar.' It took me a moment to place that Australian accent. But sure enough, it was my guy."
Hitchens's Right-Wing Stuff
* We remember when our friend Christopher Hitchens was a card-carrying (or at least Scotch-hoisting) member of the left. But the British-born polemicist has apparently come a very long way since he stopped writing for the Nation magazine last year.
In the new issue of Doublethink, a Washington-based right-wing quarterly, Hitchens reveals that he plans to support President Bush's reelection campaign -- never mind his recent Vanity Fair puff piece about Democratic hopeful John Edwards. "I don't believe in [Edwards]," Hitchens tells Doublethink interviewer Tom Ivancie. "I mean, I told him I wouldn't vote for him. . . . Because I'd vote for Bush. The important thing is this: Is a candidate completely serious about prosecuting the war on theocratic terrorism to the fullest extent? Only Bush is." Hitchens also scoffs at the Everyman pitch of the millionaire trial lawyer turned North Carolina senator: "Oh, that's all [bleep]. . . . Spare us the false populism."
Meanwhile, Hitchens suggests that old nemesis Bill Clinton was a CIA plant at Oxford, where both were students in the late 1960s. "I think he was a double," Hitchens says. "Somebody was giving information to [the CIA] about the anti-war draft resisters, and I think it was probably him. We had a girlfriend in common -- I didn't know then -- who's since become a very famous radical lesbian."
But that's another story.
THIS JUST IN...
* We wonder if presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, who made much of his Jewish heritage when he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee last time out, feels threatened by rivals who are poaching on his territory. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who yesterday told the Boston Globe about his Czech Jewish grandfather (who changed his name to Kerry from Kohn) and a Jewish grandmother, is only the latest candidate to stake his claim. In recent weeks, Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander who is considering a run, revealed to the Forward newspaper that he descends "from generations of rabbis" in Minsk, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has touted his Jewish wife and children. But Lieberman campaign press secretary Jano Cabrera told us the Connecticut senator isn't worried: "Oy vey. All this talk about who is Jewish and who isn't is absolutely meshuga. That said, there's only one candidate in this race with a real lox box."
* Telling You About it: Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax, who married educator Kenny Ackerman in November, delivered twin boys in New Haven, Conn., Friday night. Jonas Brown Ackerman and Percy George Ackerman beat their deadline by a month. We asked Hax for a comment. She said: "Ow."