If you knew anything about Jared Kushner five years ago, it was probably that he was the oldest son of Charles Kushner, a New Jersey real estate developer who had spent time in prison for orchestrating one of the more memorable get-even schemes perpetrated in the name of sibling rivalry. He had hired a prostitute to entrap his brother-in-law and captured their encounter on hidden camera to show his sister.  After watching his father’s case play out in the media, with articles full of unflattering, anonymous leaks, Mr. Kushner did the one thing he could do to gain a modicum of control over the press: he bought his way in, paying about $10 million for The Observer, a newspaper read obsessively by New York’s business, political and cultural elite.  He was 25 at the time." (Observer)

"Everyone knows Mitt Romney is going to outpace the GOP presidential field when next month’s fundraising reports come out. But the scale of his money advantage is finally coming into shape: the rest of the field is going to be eating his dust. Romney is so confident in his fundraising that he will not put any of his own money into the campaign this quarter, campaign officials tell POLITICO. Beyond that, there are mostly questions. Rep. Michele Bachmann, while expected to clean up with low-dollar contributions, has yet to demonstrate she can haul in checks from the party’s coveted bundlers. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is impressing some of the GOP’s moneymen but remains a mystery. Those are just the candidates who’ve made clear they’re running. Proven fundraiser Rick Perry is still casting a shadow from the sidelines." (Politico)

"Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's address book—including the names, phone numbers, and addresses of members of government, plus Blair's own National Insurance Number—was apparently leaked to the public by a group of hackers on Friday. The group, Team Poison, claims to have accessed the Blair office's webmail server "via a private exploit" in December of last year. (Though the group said seperately that they've had the information "for 1 year now.") In the document, which was put up on Pastebin around 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, the hackers claim that they 'still have access to the webmail server, [sic] phone numbers may have changed but all the information is legit.' According to the Team Poison Twitter (manned by a hacker called "Trick"), the motive seems to be political—Blair is described as a 'war criminal,' and Trick seems to imply that those whose information is being released 'supported the war in iraq.'" (Gawker)

"Why doesn't anyone launch a startup in a dive bar? Is every startup really best represented by a fancy hotel bar? Granted, Fortnighter -- a place to order custom-written travel itineraries for $100 and up -- is best represented by a fancy hotel bar. In this case, it's Above Allen at the Thompson LES hotel. I double-checked whether it really cost a hundred dollars to get anything from this site. It does. On Fortnighter, which soft-launched three weeks ago, you fill out a questionnaire with sliders, checklists, and open text boxes about the types of restaurants, hotels, and activities you want. Then the site picks a travel writer from their network to write you a custom itinerary. One of the co-founders, Justin Kalifowitz, claims they’d already gotten feedback from users saying they got so much for their hundred bucks or two, they felt like they should have paid much more. I don’t understand this. I do not understand the concept of feeling you have underpaid for information. I didn’t understand it in college when I paid $200 per world-unlocking textbook, and I sure as hell don’t understand it this week, when I freaked the fuck out at a one-hour Wikipedia downtime. My free information was NOT AVAILABLE. I complained on Twitter. But the real sign you’re smart is knowing how many people are richer and dumber. Or, hell, just richer and busier. At some point it must actually make sense to hire a writer to custom-assemble an itinerary, right? I never much thought about the economics of this until a stint I did at Gridskipper (then edited by BlackBook’s current editor) around 2007. At the time, Gridskipper was Gawker Media’s travel blog, aimed at jetsetters and written by poor freelancers. The reviews were thus either unhelpful, lies, or revealed the writers’ poor financial habits. Most opinions were stolen from Yelp reviews. What a perfect moment in the great media switch. At one point, it made sense to pay someone to go on a trip just so they could write about that trip for others. But now you can ask people who went on the trip anyway to write up the experience for free." (BlackBookmag via TheAwl)