Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning, we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Scarlett Johansson's new ad executive boyfriend deemed a "real life Don Draper" with sleeve tattoos, The New York Times editorial board reportedly considered endorsing John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, and human growth hormone is the fancy new in Hollywood.
It seems like yesterday that Scarlett Johannson was canoodling with Sean Penn at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Now it seems that ScarJo -- a moniker that's never really caught on, possibly because it feels lumpy when you have to say it out loud -- has moved on from Penn and ex-husband Ryan Reynolds, with whom she attended a Radiohead concert with in September-- as a friend! -- and taken up with "a real life Don Draper," a phrase we're looking forward to seeing for the next 70 years whenever the personal lives of ad executives are written about. Johannson's Mad Man is named Nate Naylor, so at least he's got the alliterative name thing going for him. According to sources, Naylor collects art, has "full sleeves" of arm tattoos and is "kind of quiet, but he’s a big, tall dude, so he’s quietly intimidating." No word on what happens if you address him as Dick Whitman. [New York Daily News]
Today in terrible ideas: more and more famous people and formerly famous people are using human growth hormones to preserve their looks. Alana Stewart -- Rod Stewart's ex -- was the only user willing to be identified by name in Ned Zeman's Vanity Fair article about the supposed fad, but an unnamed producer says people in his social circle now talk about HGH the way they do about taking Viagra or getting Botox treatments. An unknown filmmaker ads that that HGH -- which is considered a banned substance by the Olympics and dozens of other sports organizations --- "imbues you with a sense of clarity and confidence" and also has improved his sex life, which is terrific, assuming he doesn't also get cancer and diabetes. [Vanity Fair]
File this under 'hard to fathom,' but apparently The New York Times editorial board was so enchanted by John McCain's "straight talking style — particularly when compared to the Obama campaign’s coolness — so endeared him to the Times editorial board that it discussed endorsing him in the general election." Politico notes that their sources for the tidbit are "on both sides of the affair." One unnamed former McCain staffer recalls hearing "some conversations that they would endorse our campaign,” while another former McCain campaing hand dismisses the idea as "delusional." The paper endorsed the Arizona senator in the GOP primary, but didn't weigh-in on the clash between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, et. al. Times editorial page director Andy Rosenthal declined comment for the story. [Politico]
Yesterday was composer Philip Glass' 75th birthday, but the maestro of atonal medleys celebrated a day early with a big party at La Poisson Rouge in Manhattan. Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Martin Scorsese, and Errol Morris were among the notable names in attendance. Buddy Valastro -- aka, TLC's "Cake Boss" -- designed the cake, which was "covered in sheet music and pencils." Presumably edible sheet music and pencils. [Page Six]
Media critic Michael Wolff has landed at the U.S. edition The Guardian. Per Reuters social media director Anthony De Rosa, Wolff will be covering "media, tech, publishing, and politics" and his first column goes live today. Wolff stepped down as editor of Ad Week in October after less than two years on the job, much of which was spent addressing rumor that his departure was perpetually imminent. [FishbowlNY]
Starting today, Mitt Romney will have Secret Service protection. More importantly -- from our perspective and the perspective of wide-eyed 7-year-old boys around the country -- he will also be getting a cool Secret Service codename. What could it be? Word hasn't leaked yet, but Twitter had some suggestions. We'd go with Gromit, but we don't have a say in the matter. [ABC News]