Dan Gross: The Bykofsky-Olbermann tiff

Posted: November 10, 2010

A TESTY E-MAIL exchange between

Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky and MSNBC blowhard Keith Olbermann that was reported online yesterday was actually an exchange between Byko and an Olbermann imposter.

Bykofsky wrote columns critical of Olbermann on Thursday and again Monday after the left-leaning cable host was suspended for making political contributions to Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC News policy.

Bykofsky wrote to Keith@KeithOlbermann. com for comment and received a reply Monday in which "Olbermann" challenged Bykofsky's journalistic chops. Byko replied and the conversation, which escalated into a respectful argument, was first reported on Phawker.com and later picked up by several media blogs. Not too much later, the real Olbermann took to Twitter to say that Bykofsky and readers had been duped.

"If you see a supposed email exchange between me and somebody named Bykofsky @PhillyDailyNews - complete fake. Email address shown not mine," wrote Olbermann about 3:30 p.m. Sure enough, it turns out that KeithOlbermann.com is a parody Olbermann site run by former MSNBC host and Olbermann foe Tucker Carlson of TheDailyCaller.com.

"Sure, I'm embarrassed that a private exchange somehow got out, but when Wikileaks gets Pentagon secrets, I'm not shocked," Bykofsky said yesterday.

"It was a clever practical joke that caught me, even as I made an honest attempt to reach Olbermann for comment.

"Fortunately, no actual harm was done to anyone, although I have a small concern that the bosses here may suspend me without pay for the weekend," he joked.

"But I'll be back in the paper tomorrow, as I usually am on Thursdays," he said.

In other People Paper news . . .

Pulitzer Prize-winning Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman have gotten a publisher, HarperCollins, for their book, "Midnight in the City of Brotherly Love."

The book is about the duo's discovery and reporting on the "Tainted Justice" series about Philly police corruption.

Ruderman says the book, which was sold at auction by literary agent Larry Weissman, is due to the publisher Nov. 1, 2011, and should be released at some point in 2012.

Skip sings for Shriver

Local musician Skip Denenberg recorded a birthday song for California first lady Maria Shriver at the behest of East Falls' Harry Jay Katz and Debra Renee Cruz, friends of Denenberg's and Shriver's. The couple previously asked the musician to record a song for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Shriver, 55 last Saturday, told Katz she loved the song and the gift was "so special." Katz and Shriver have been pals since she worked for KYW-TV in the '70s.

Film office feted

Danny DeVito and his "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" co-stars Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson will take part in the Greater Philadelphia Film Office's 25th-anniversary celebration Sunday at the Sun Center Studios (63 Concord) in Aston, Delaware County. Cheltenham native Rebecca Creskoff, who co-stars on HBO's "Hung," will also join GPFO Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson and Sun Center's Jeffrey Rotwitt and Adam Rotwitt for the day of events. They end in the announcement of the winners of the 2010 "Shoot in Philadelphia" Screenwriting Awards. All events are free and open to the public. For info, visit film.org.

* Thursday night, South Philly native McElhenney and Olson, his wife, who delivered the couple's first child, a son, Axel, on Sept. 1, will be at Parx Casino in Bensalem for a Philadelphia Style party. McElhenney was the cover boy of the mag's summer issue.

Celebrity PAL party

Don Tollefson of the Eagles Television Network serves as auctioneer of tonight's Make a Celebrity PAL fundraiser for the Police Athletic League from 6 to 9 at the Field House (12th & Filbert). CBS3's Beasley Reece and comedian Joe Conklin will co-host. Phillie Ryan Madson, Eagle Winston Justice and the Union's Shea Salinas and Chris Seitz are to attend. Tickets to a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," VIP accommodations at Eagles and Phillies games are among items up for bid. Tix: $70 at the door or online at makea

celebritypal.org or at 215-291-9000, ext. 101 or 102.

Bar happy with No. 2

O'Neal's (611 S. 3rd) was voted the

second-best Irish bar in the U.S. on IrishBeerFinder.com.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com.

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