Double Trouble at Nathans?
Twice in 12 days, D.C. cops were summoned to Nathans, a popular Georgetown eatery and watering hole. Both times, the staff called 911 with claims of a customer's disorderly conduct. Sgt. Joe Gentile said no charges were filed. But the question remains: Who was the alleged ruckus-maker?
Owner Carol Joynt stands by her staff's account that it was Suzanne Martin Cooke, 48, the third wife of late Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke. Joynt says Cooke first pitched a fit at 2 a.m. on April 21 when the bar closed, and she was asked -- but refused -- to leave.
Cooke tells us otherwise. She says she didn't cause a scene and wasn't even there. According to Cooke, her dear friend Italia Federici was at the bar that night and it was a case of mistaken identity. "People ask if we're twin sisters," Cooke and Federici told us in separate interviews.
When we asked Federici, 34, if she was at Nathans that fateful Wednesday, her answer was simple: "No."
Now, on to Incident No. 2, which is no less mysterious. On Sunday, May 2, at 7:15 p.m., police were again called to the restaurant. The staff claimed that Cooke had behaved rudely and was asked to leave. Cooke says she was at the restaurant much earlier, for brunch, so this incident also didn't happen. "There's going to be a major lawsuit for defamation of character against Carol Joynt," Cooke declared yesterday.
Cooke -- who was divorced from Jack Kent Cooke in 1988 (he later married her friend, Marlene Ramallo) -- served time in Virginia in 1999 as a habitual offender for drunken driving and was found guilty in D.C. on a 2002 DWI charge.
But as for the Nathans incidents, she told us, "I am an innocent party in this whole thing."
Joynt, who has run the place for years, says: "Nathans is like 'Cheers' -- everybody knows your name. And my staff is telling me it was her. We welcome everybody. It's just that you have to behave. And your impostors have to behave, too."
Okay, but What Do You Really Think?
* If your opinion piece is rejected by a newspaper, you'll probably get a polite note and never know the real reason. But Kristen Breitweiser, the activist 9/11 widow from New Jersey, received a cruel critique yesterday from Wall Street Journal columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the editorial board. Rabinowitz dashed off an e-mail urging the op-ed editor not to publish a submission from Breitweiser and three other widows -- then copied the note to Breitweiser accidentally.
"total and complete -- not to mention repetitive -- nonsense from people given endless media access to repeat the very same stupid charges, suspicions, and the rest," Rabinowitz fumed.
" . . . this is just an opportunity for these absurd products of the zeitgeist -- women clearly in the grip of the delusion that they know something, have some policy, and wisdom not given to the rest of us to know -- to grab the spotlight. again,. and repeat, again, the same tripe before a national audience. My thoughts -- we don't publish nonsensical contentions that offer no news, no insight -- solely on the grounds that those who feel attacked get a chance to defend their views. For that we have the letters column."
"I couldn't believe the response I got. It's just upsetting," Breitweiser told The Post's Howard Kurtz. "This woman, I don't know why she hates me so much."
Breitweiser's proposed op-ed, "What Is a Citizen to Do?," catalogues government missteps leading to 9/11. She said it was not intended as a response to a column Rabinowitz wrote in April citing "the darker side of this spectacle of the widows, awash in their sense of victims' entitlement," but to the overall position of the Journal.
We asked Rabinowitz for comment. "That was a note from me to my editor, never intended for the recipient," she wrote in an e-mail. "It was inadvertently sent to that address as a result of hitting the wrong computer key."
* MSNBC's Keith Olbermann -- who, as we reported yesterday, considers Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly an "abject failure," which prompted a Fox spokesman to brand Olbermann a "tortured soul" -- would like the last word on this little spat. Olbermann e-mailed us yesterday: "My soul stopped being tortured the day I stopped working for those soul-less clowns at Fox." Over to you, Bill.
* What's that smell? "Paris Hilton!" The randy hotel heiress has signed a deal for her own fragrance, which hits the market at year's end, reports the Trendcentral newsletter. Parlux Fragrances plans to offer Paris Hilton perfume in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Mexico City. Should Washington be offended -- or relieved -- not to be on that list?
This Date in Gossip
* Thirty-three years ago:
In its first season, the groundbreaking CBS sitcom "All in the Family" is the buzz around water coolers and even the topic of banter by President Nixon and his aides. As recorded by the White House taping system, Nixon calls the show "Archie's Guys" and describes Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O'Connor, as a "hard hat . . . looks like Jackie Gleason." He offers this capsule review of an episode:
"Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter. The son-in-law apparently goes both ways. This guy. He's obviously queer -- wears an ascot -- but not offensively so. Very clever. Uses nice language. Shows pictures of his parents. And so Arch goes down to the bar. Sees his best friend, who used to play professional football. Virile, strong, this and that. Then the fairy comes into the bar.
"I don't mind the homosexuality. I understand it. Nevertheless, goddamn, I don't think you glorify it on public television, homosexuality, even more than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids?"
With Anne Schroeder