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META MEDIA: “I know you guys are all quiet and erudite, but come on,” Katie Couric jibed The New Yorker table over its lackluster applause for one of its nominations at Thursday’s Mirror Awards — i.e., a media-industry love-in — at The Plaza Hotel. Couric was like a stand-up comedian at the ceremony, saying of one recognized article: “Personally, that sounds like a buzz kill to me.”
Her patter was less clunky than co-host Arianna Huffington’s, who couldn’t stop with the jokes about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An example? “Like BP’s ceo, you want your lives back, so this is the last award,” she said as the event approached the three-hour mark. She did land a few, though, not resisting a dig in unveiling the winner of the award for Best Single Article, Traditional Media. “Traditional media — sounds sort of quaint, like the local green market,” she said.
This was the fourth year the Newhouse School at Syracuse University has hosted the Mirror Awards luncheon. And, in a nod to honoree Twitter, winners were encouraged to provide acceptance speeches in 140 characters or less. Biz Stone, the star of the show as Twitter’s co-founder, seemed as surprised as anyone by its success, telling the crowd as he accepted the i-3 Award: “Twitter isn’t a triumph of technology, it’s a triumph of humanity,” adding that “we’re just getting started.”
But it was an emotional Nancy Jo Sales, accepting an award for her Vanity Fair profile, “The Unreal Rise of Jon and Kate Gosselin,” who offered the best — and briefest — remarks. “I find myself strangely moved,” she said, holding back tears. “I’ve been doing this for a long time.”
— Amy Wicks and Nick Axelrod