Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Barack Obama finally talks basketball with Bill Simmons, Tim Tebow and Taylor Swift may have gone on a date with their agents, and Us Weekly is not happy with Snooki
Bill Simmons finally got President Obama on his podcast to talk sports, four years after ESPN put the kibosh on then-Senator Obama appearing on the "free flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subjects." Along with the requisite talk about Obama's hometown Chicago Bulls and what it's like when championship teams come to visit the White House, there was also an interesting exchange about how people Obama knows have been telling him how good Jeremy Lin is for years now. Here's the exchange, which feels certain to turn into a story about how arrogant Obama is for claiming he always knew an undrafted point guard from Harvard was going to be an NBA star:
Obama: [I] knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my Secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team. And so way back when, Arne and I were playing and he said, I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard. And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while.
Simmons: Are you taking credit for “Linsanity”? It kind of feels like you are a little bit.
Obama: I can’t take credit for it, but I’m just saying I was there early.
So really, the president's just saying he heard about a super-talented small school point guard from various friends and acquaintances, like every other basketball fan. Which won't stop the president's critics from accusing him of ruining Linsanity just like he ruined Easter. [Grantland]
We told you yesterday about Snooki having a little Snooki on the way. Page Six broke the story, which apparently isn't sitting well with the folks at Us Weekly, who thought they had a deal in place to break the pregnancy exclusive. A source says team Us is "annoyed" with what happened, since they're basically now stuck with a contextless Snooki cover. [The Daily]
Tim Tebow and Taylor Swift were on one of those non-dates that looked very much like a date Monday night in Century City. A source says that after dinner, the Broncos quarterback walked Swift out of the restaurant, then went back in to meet with two people. "I think they may both have been with their agents," the source says. [Page Six]
Oh dear: Virginia Madsen has replaced Melanie Griffith as the lead in a movie about middle-aged lady basketball players that is actually called The Hot Flashes. Griffith tweeted the usual line about "creative differences," but The Daily gently notes that Griffith has been acting strange lately. She "caused speculation she was not herself on Oscar night when she awkwardly fumbled a fashion question," and last week "canceled an appearance at a University of Maryland fundraiser, blaming a production delay." Now she's out completely. [The Daily]