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February 17, 2006

New York Times on Katherine Lanpher

Stephen P. Williams of the NY Times offers a portrait of former Al Franken co-host Katherine Lanpher that has to be read to be believed: "Celebrity From the Midwest Finds a New Life in New York".

I think at least three thoughts were uppermost in the writer's mind:
1. Diss the Midwest and Midwesterners.
2. Provide yet another free advertisement for Air America.
3. Diss Lanpher for abandoning Al Franken.

The first part of the article consists of the writer briefly visiting the provinces (in spirit only), reporting that Lanpher "wasn't bothered that her ambitions would have to be fulfilled along the banks of the Mississippi." However, she wasn't like all those other... people... in the Midwest: she visited Paris often. Despite that, it "seemed that life would unfold with predictable comfort, season by season".

All that changed when Stuart Smalley asked her to join his program.

The article mentions her age at least three times, then offers a strange mix of admission and doublespeak:
But about the time she started to feel as if she might just become a real New Yorker, she faced a new quandary: Air America was floundering and Mr. Franken decided to move the show to Minnesota. Having faced down her Manhattan crisis, she wasn't quite ready to face midlife back in the Midwest. Emboldened by her book contract, and facing a looming deadline, she quit her job at Air America and started hitting the keyboard.
It's good to find the NYT admitting that AAR was "floundering", but I'm going to guess that the details of her departure were a bit more complicated.

Then, they report on a wonderful party... to which Lanpher wasn't invited and which she watched from her balcony.

And, they even diss her decorator's skills, informing us that her "apartment is not nearly that glamorous" finishing with this:
But decorating this apartment would be almost superfluous. The whole point of the place is the view, the light, the Village spread below.

On a late winter afternoon the living room is overwhelmed by light that can be described only as blinding. As the minutes pass into dusk, the apartment is suffused with pink. Out the window, the Hudson turns deep slate before the setting sun.

On a recent afternoon Ms. Lanpher doffed a dowdy apron to cook chicken with 40 cloves of garlic — "the garlic was billed as both purple and French," she said, "so, foodie that I am, I had to buy it" — that would be her contribution to a going-away party for one of her doormen. This perfect use of Midwestern manners in a Manhattan context shows how she's adapted — to a new city, a new job and, now, life in Manhattan without a job.

The second half of her life is unfolding in mysterious ways. And she's letting it happen from a really nice perch.

Posted in AlsoRans at February 17, 2006 11:39 PM


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