Friday, June 25, 2010

Did Rendell Story Trigger Platt Resignation?

OK, so Larry Platt has resigned as editor of Philadelphia magazine after eight years.
And the position of editor of Philly Mag should never, ever be considered anything approaching even a semi-permanent job since the magazine's owner and muse D. Herbert Lipson goes through editors faster than Lady Gaga goes through costumes.
So, as things go, Platt has had an impressive run at the top.
But, still . . . could there be some connection between a recent sequence of events?
Last month, Lipson's magazine-opening "Off The Cuff" column took the form of an open letter to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell asking him to come back to Philadelphia, challenge Mayor Michael Nutter and take over the reigns of the city once again. The column is the closest thing to a love letter that the curmudgeon Lipson has ever written.
You read it and you think: Rendell and Lipson are tight. And that's not surprising since Rendell is a world-class shmoozer.
Then, this month right there on the cover, Philly Mag asks: "Who is that woman with Ed Rendell?" Inside the magazine we find "The Governor, the blonde and the rumor mill" telling us that "people are talking about Ed Rendell and the former beauty pageant winner who works for him." The article repeats rumors of an affair between the two but allows the Governor and the blonde to deny and deny while it repeats and repeats . . . and repeats the rumor.
The story made Big News. Even before the magazine appeared, the story was on the nightly news.
And though Rendell did a passable job of appearing to slough the story off, you've got to figure he was steamed.
Hey, Ed Rendell is a politician and he likes to guard his image. And Ed Rendell has also been known to have a temper.
So - what's wrong with this picture?
Lipson's cheering his friend Rendell on and urging him to be King of the City once again while Lipson's magazine is running Rendell down and leading with unsubstantiated rumors about an affair.
It doesn't make sense. Seems as if the mag may have gotten away from The Man.
Which means that maybe something had to give.
And maybe (just maybe) that something was a someone -- someone named Larry Platt.
Not that this was necessarily the reason given for the Platt dismissal. But it's hard to imagine that it didn't play some role in the scheme of things.
Just speculating.

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