AND HE INHALED, TOO
Perhaps it was short-term memory loss that caused New York City Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG to be caught by surprise last week when reporters inquired about an offhand comment he made to a magazine last year. Before he announced his candidacy for mayor, still possessing the candor of a private citizen, Bloomberg was asked by New York magazine if he had ever smoked pot. "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it," he replied. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) liked the response so much that it has used it in an ad campaign advocating relaxation of the city's laws calling for the arrest and jailing of those caught getting high--laws strenuously enforced by Bloomberg's predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. Bloomberg stressed that he will continue to enforce the marijuana laws, and is not happy that NORML is using his quote. But he said he would respect the group's First Amendment right to run it. How mellow.
Rio de Janeiro has a reputation for being a libertine playground, but the city's tourist board has been acting a bit uptight. Riotur has threatened to sue the Fox network over an episode of The Simpsons in which the family visits Brazil. While there, Bart is ingested by a boa constrictor, Homer is kidnapped by a taxi driver and monkeys roam the streets. Perhaps most insulting, the show suggests Brazil is responsible for the Macarena (the dance comes from Spain). Riotur spent $18 million promoting the city last year and doesn't want it to go to waste, though bringing attention to the episode with a lawsuit may not help. Simpsons executive producer James Brooks tried to defuse the situation: "We apologize to the lovely city and people of Rio de Janeiro, and if that doesn't settle the issue, Homer Simpson offers to take on the President of Brazil on Fox's Celebrity Boxing."
NOT SUCH A GOOD THING
K Mart is eager to please MARTHA STEWART. Having declared bankruptcy, the chain wants to ensure that she'll continue designing her successful line of home and gardening wares for its stores. Plus, a story in last week's Globe makes clear that no one should be on her bad side. The tabloid, using tidbits gleaned from Martha, Inc., a new and unauthorized biography by Christopher Byron, alleges that Stewart curses a blue streak, berates underlings, is mean to her family and scares neighborhood children. The portrait was unsavory enough for K Mart to decide to pull the Globe from all 1,800 of its stores. The move will presumably make Stewart happy and keep K Mart shoppers from adverse distractions while cruising the aisles for her decorative doormats.