Before she was a schools chancellor, Cathie Black was definitely a Cosmo girl.
Black, the chairman of Hearst Magazines tapped to replace Joel Klein as the head of city schools, engaged in some racy chitchat about a new Cosmopolitan iPod app in August.
When NPR asked if her magazine would charge for the "Sex Tip of the Day" app, Black gave a saucy reply.
"Yeah, $2.99. ... Cheaper than a hooker," she said, adding, "I didn't say that, did I?"
The app, described as a "to- go version of the 'Kama Sutra'" for folks in a "romp rut," boasts moves like the "G-Spot Jiggy" and "Rock-a-Bye Booty."
Downloaded more 80,000 times already, this “to-go” version of the Kama Sutra has approximately 120 sex positions and is just $2.99!
*Carnal Challenge Ratings: The more flames a position has, the higher the difficulty!
*Erotic Instructions: Your step-by-step guide for how to execute the position
*Why You’ll Love It: Hints to help you make the most of the position and what to look forward to
*Colorful Illustrations: Tasteful visual that helps you understand what the position should look like
When he announced that Cathleen P. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, would become the next chancellor of New York City's schools, Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted Ms. Black as uniquely qualified for the role.
"There is virtually nobody who knows more about the needs of the 21st century workforce for which we need to prepare our kids," the mayor said.
It seems that Ms. Black also knows a thing or two about an altogether different kind of need.
In an Aug. 10, 2010, segment of the Diane Rehm radio show entitled "The Future of Magazines," Ms. Black plugged Cosmopolitan Magazine's latest iPhone App: the Sex Tip of the Day.
"Are you going to charge for that sex tip of the day?" the host, Frank Sesno, asked.
"Yeah, $2.99," Ms. Black replied, as the host and other guests erupted into giggles. "$2.99," she repeated. "Cheaper than a hooker," she continued, before adding, "I didn't say that, did I?"
The application offers a cornucopia of advice on an array of inventively, sometimes bogglingly, named sexual moves - among them, the Jet Jiggy, the Randy Raft, the Wanton Wheelbarrow and the Linguini. Each position is rated on a "Carnal Challenge" scale of one to five flames (the "Octopus," for one, ranks five flames, and comes with words of encouragement: "Do it right and you two will look like a multilimbed lust creature"). A variety of aids are often employed, among them bathtubs, hot tubs, pools, inflatable rafts, inner tubes, balls, staircases and small boats.
Cosmopolitan, long a stalwart in the field of dishing and redishing sex advice, is just one of Hearst's many publications. Other magazines include Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Popular Mechanics, Redbook and O, the Oprah Magazine. Ms. Black served as president of Hearst Magazines until the summer of 2010, and is now chairwoman.
Asked how many times the app has been downloaded, a spokeswoman for Hearst Magazines was mum. A spokeswoman with the city's Department of Education said this application had no bearing on Ms. Black's suitability to run a school district with 1.1 million children.
Ms. Black's comments on Ms. Rehm's show were reported this week by the television channel NY1.
Joel Klein's job with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. a sellout of everything he supposedly stood for
Michael Daly, NY DAILY NEWS, November 11th 2010
Tell me you're not really stepping down as schools chancellor in the middle of the academic year to become a token Democrat in what truly is a vast right-wing conspiracy.
Tell me you are not signing on with a corporation that contributed $1.25 million to Republicans who consider school-funding cuts only necessary and tax cuts for the rich vital.
In taking the job with News Corp., Klein actually said, "I've long admired News Corporation's entrepreneurial spirit and Rupert Murdoch's fearless commitment to innovation."
What is Klein talking about, entrepreneurial spirit such as peddling the conservative agenda, at times with willful ignorance? Fearless commitment such as giving that $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association? The association's poster boy is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Jason of school-budget slashing.
Klein also went on to say, "I am excited for the opportunity to be part of this team."
The team including Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. Oh, yeah, and Karl Rove, who helped guide the nation into disaster while at the Bush White House and uses a faux grass-roots movement funded by billionaires to blame President Obama.
Klein added, "And to have the chance to bring the same spirit of innovation to the burgeoning education marketplace."
Not education. The educational marketplace. That means making money off school kids in times of budget cuts.
Cathie Black, who is said by the mayor to be a world-class manager, but has no experience as an educator.
Think of the public reaction if Bloomberg appointed a police commissioner who had no law enforcement background. Think of what it means to real educators when you say that running the schools is just a question of management, only with the widgets being kids instead of magazines.
Not that Black is less than competent. She was publisher of New York magazine when I worked there, and she seemed to do fine.
Murdoch was the owner, and I have to say he was more pleasant and egalitarian than many rich liberals. He would stride into the office without entourage, friendly and polite, in one friend's words "a treat."
He once offered me a lift in a cab during a downpour. That's more than I can say about a media millionaire from the vast left-wing conspiracy who once left me standing in the rain while he rode off in his limo.
That does not make News Corp.'s political agenda any less anathema to what Klein supposedly stood for as chancellor.
And it does not make Black any more qualified to be chancellor. Even a bigtime publisher has an easier task than a principal at your basic city grammar school.
I have to hope that Black would not take the job unless she was certain she is capable of doing right by our kids.
As for Klein, I had this sudden fantasy that he is secretly still doing Bloomberg's bidding in a covert scheme to educate those politicians of whom the mayor complained, "Look at who we're electing to Congress, to the Senate - they can't read."
A fair number of the newly elected illiterates were put in office with the help of Fox News. Imagine if Klein were infiltrating News Corp. with the aim of educating them.
Well, that won't happen, and Klein is not really an educator, anyway.
He is just a guy who had a big job who now has another big job.
Say it ain't so, Joel!