Cathie Black's Car Crash; Sotomayor Talks Chicken

Plus: what do you give the mega-bestselling author who has everything?

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: serious allegations against former New York City schools czar Cathie Black, Al Sharpton's on-track to be your next MSNBC host, and U2 delivers the concert of the summer in New Jersey.

  • Former New York City School Chancellor Cathie Black reportedly "smashed her brand-new SUV into a tree Cathie following a boozy Bastille Day bash" last Saturday in the Hamptons. Black was "unharmed" in the accident and her publicist denies that she was intoxicated. One unnamed source offers a differing account: "As she backed out, she practically hit every tree in the driveway," says the tipster. "One of the guests stopped her and wouldn't let her drive further." [New York Post]
  • The Boss himself wasn't there, but U2's concert last night at New Meadowlands Stadium (which New York Post rock critic Dan Aquilante is already touting as "the summer's most stunning concert") continued the band's recent fixation on the work of Bruce Springsteen. Said one critic: "[Bono] closed 'Moment of Surrender' with a quote from [Springsteen's] 'Jungleland,' and dropped a chorus of [Springsteen's] 'The Promised Land' into 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.' Afterward, [Bono] solicited a "Bruce" chant from the audience, and pointed out that Bruce was The Edge's middle name." There's no usable video of the performance online yet, but U2 has been sprinkling Springsteen lyrics into performances on this tour since E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons died last month following complications from surgery. (Below, they drop a few lines from 'The Promised Land' into 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' during a concert last month in Baltimore.) We can only guess that after Bono and The Edge's struggles with Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on Broadway, the thought of being across the Hudson River, singing songs about Maximum Lawmen, barefoot girls sitting on the hood of a Dodge, and drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain looked all the more appealing. [Newark Star-Ledger and New York Post]
  • According to The Telegraph, Warner Bros. chief executive Barry Meyer gave Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling "a diamond bracelet worth millions of pounds" before the final film in the series debuted. "An associate of Meyer" describes the bauble as "a white gold, antique 40 diamond bracelet.” Rowling's rep had no comment. [The New York Observer]
  • Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and a friend were spotted having "a heated discussion Tuesday night over how to prepare a chicken as they strolled along Bedford Street, near Sotomayor's West Village condo." Sotomayor's friend was "adamantly insisting" to the associate justice that "You need to place the chicken on the grill." To which Sotomayor "shook her head and clearly objected," before offering "an alternate way to grill a bird," which the tipster sadly was unable to overhear. [Page Six]
  • Deadspin scored a copy of ESPN's "Editorial Guidelines for Standards and Practices," which is to say, their corporate handbook. We're not through it yet, but were surprised to learn that "condom advertisements may air only between 9:00 p.m. and 4:59 a.m. (ET)," unless they have something called "a Social Responsibility message." [Deadspin]
  • Fox News Chicago bureau chief Todd Giganek is leaving his post after ten years to take a job at BidClerk, "a Chicago company that produces research reports for the construction industry where he’ll be VP of Information Services." His first day is Monday. "For now, day-to-day operations in the Fox News Chicago bureau will be overseen by the national desk in New York." [TV Newser]
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