“DO YOU ever think that people like us, who are serious, now feel like fools?” asked that great philosopher Bill Moyers recently. I got what he was saying immediately. This man, so well-known and respected for his divining the hearts of men and women in this century — and for presenting so much that is worthwhile and thoughtful on television, was simply stating the facts of what he calls privately, “America’s Race to the Bottom.” While I protested that I was far from a “serious” person, Bill just began laughing over what he had said. But I knew in his heart he was making a kind of detached comment about the weird goings-on in this old world. And if you’d like to read this great American at his most moving, pick up his new book “Moyers on Democracy” from Doubleday. This is chock full of goodies — an analysis of Lady Bird Johnson, a moving memorial tribute to the dynamic CBS-PBS broadcaster Fred Friendly, the growth of private wealth and public squalor, the depredations against the Constitution. It’s true, we are forever wondering where the big important creators and leaders of this nation all went to — Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton — but then, we do have a few good ones left. Bill Moyers for example, a man who has won more than 30 Emmys, nine Peabodys, the Lifetime Achievement for television, etc. etc.
COKE LIVES! Attending the Soho Grand fete for Coca-Cola’s new aluminum bottles — found only in the city’s best hotels and clubs — was one of TV’s hottest. I do mean that villain, actor Ed Westwick. He is so very bad — in a good way — on “Gossip Girl.” His being at the Coke event rather tipped the point of interest since Westwick was surrounded every second of the evening by gaggles of women, insisting on being photographed with him. And now that everybody has a camera — well, you know. Ed seemed eager to assure everyone that he is not nearly as wicked as his TV persona. But the women ignored this disillusioning fact. They didn’t care. They refused to be disappointed. It seems that most women just love a bad guy.
THEY ARE re-naming the Biltmore Theater today when the Manhattan Theater Club and many fans turn it into the Samuel J. Friedman Theater! This is nice — Friedman the irascible, was a P.R. legend in his lifetime. But I am chiefly interested in the theater lobby which they are re-fashioning to call the Shirley Herz and Bob Ullman Lobby. These two veterans of B’way flackery are still going strong. And one of them was my first ever apartment mate in Manhattan, back in the early ’50s. (Sorry, Bob, that was Shirley. But I love you too!)
ANYBODY WOULD like to be invited to Daniel for an afternoon of fun and fashion. And now someone named Zang Toi is inviting us one and all. It’s to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation happening on Sept. 11 and you can call 212 -757-1200, ext. 21 to help out. I’m told there’ll a special celebrity guest performance!… SEPT. 5 the Jackie Rogers “Evening of the Lotus” takes place. Oddly, at 4 in the afternoon at the Kitano Hotel, Park and 38th. Jackie’s “Madame Butterfly” collection will be stunning; she has been the fashion sensation of the Hamptons all summer… GLENN CLOSE and her husband David E. Shaw co-host the Jackson Laboratory Gala at the Pierre come Sept. 18. The Lab, associated with over 20 Nobel Prizes, does great work. James Taylor will perform. And speaking of the “fatally attractive” Glenn Close, let’s note that the star of TV’s celebrated hit “Damages” on FX, will also be the honoree at the annual Princess Grace Foundation Awards in Cipriani 42nd Street. This happens Oct. 15 with Noelle and Dick Wolf chairing.