Here's some insight into how your magazine puff-piece sausage is made: Lyss Stern, editor of New York Observer's Playground magazine, has been accused of offering to publish a positive review of her dentist to pay off a $45,000 bill.
The only reason we're hearing about this is because Stern, founder of the website Divalysscious Moms and author of If You Give a Mom A Martini, didn't actually go through with it, and now Lowenberg & Lituchy DDS is suing her, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the suit, Stern had dental work done between October and November last year and the dentist agreed to forgive the bill in exchange for Stern publishing "a four-page article in the December 2009 issue of the magazine profiling the achievements and advancements in the industry of [Lowenberg & Litcuchy]." However, nearly a year later, the review of the practice's "beginnings in the forefront of the cosmetic dental revolution" has yet to appear and the bill remains unpaid.
It seem there was no written contract between Stern and the "dentist to the stars," so it's unclear if the lawsuit will hold up in court. However, the suit has already called Stern's journalistic scruples into question, with Gothamist snarking that "a similar debt payment trade-off was involved in getting Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon into the latest issue."
While the suggestion that you can't trust everything you read in supplements to the New York Observer certainly comes as a shock, until she's found guilty, we refuse to believe that the woman who regularly shills crap for moms who are now "changing diapers instead of Louboutins" on her blog and newsletter could be so unscrupulous.
Mommy Blogger Lyss Stern Agreed To Write Puff Piece To Pay Off $45K Dental Bill Then Reeneged: Suit [N.Y. Daily News]
Did Mommy Blogger Try To Pay Bill With Glowing Review? [Gothamist]
Divalysscious Moms [DivaMoms.com]