Mike Bloomberg makes nice with New York Observer's Peter Kaplan

It looks like Mike Bloomberg has gotten over his pique at The New York Observer.

The media mogul-turned mayor recently made headlines by getting snappish with a reporter from the salmon-colored weekly at a press conference. The reporter, Azi Paybarah, had asked Bloomberg a question about his plan to run for a third term; Bloomberg responded by calling Paybarah "a disgrace."

But all is forgiven judging from a glowing paean Bloomberg offered to the Observer's departing editor, Peter Kaplan, who left the paper this month after 15 years atop its masthead. Past and present Observer staffers and other friends convened at Manhattan's Century Club last night, where they received copies of a 24-page tribute issue celebrating Kaplan's tenure. Among the contributors were Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe, Harvey Weinstein, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell -- and Bloomberg, who praised Kaplan for producing "a newspaper as lively, stimulating, and fascinating as New York City itself."

"Your work to nurture young reporters and help them find and develop their voices has made an enormous impact not only on The Observer, but also on the national media," wrote Bloomberg. Just so long as those "voices" don't ask any impertinent questions, right?

On hand at the sendoff were PBS host Charlie Rose, author Gay Talese, and dozens of the writers whose careers Kaplan helped to launch, and who now populate the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and most other top publications. Conspicuously absent were Bloomberg and Graydon Carter, Kaplan's predecessor at the paper and now editor in chief of Vanity Fair. "I have enormous respect for Peter and I was going to go, but something came up at home that needed my attention," Carter emails.
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