Regarding the Jared Paul Stern/”Page Six” shakedown fiasco, Lewis Beale offers the following: “The ‘Page Six’ people play by their own rules, and they ain’t the rules anyone else in the industry abides by. I collaborated with the Daily NewsGeorge Rush on and off when I was a staffer there, and I can tell you that George (a sober, upright, pleasant, Midwestern kind of guy) was not accepting free first-class plane rides to L.A. and comp stays at elite hotels. If he had, he would have been fired, plain and simple. The whole Stern/’Page Six’ flare-up is about two things: the total lack of any sense of journalistic ethics on the part of guys like Stern, and the complete lack of institutional control on the part of the New York Post. I actually don’t think Stern was trying to extort the guy; but at the very least he was trying to get paid for being his damage-control maven, which is a complete and total conflict of interest. This little creep, whose sartorial affectations just make me want to kick his teeth in, represents exactly what’s wrong with the gossip industry. He wouldn’t know an ethical dilemma if it bit him in the face. And he’s arrogant enough to think he’ll emerge from all this with his career intact. If by some chance he does, that says a lot about how far we’ve sunk as a society. The Post should, of course, clean house. But they won’t, because without ‘Page Six’ no one would read the rag. Stern himself will probably keep it going, because unlike any other human who’s being investigated by the FBI, he sees this as a great chance to up his personal profile . He’s been all over the media, e-mailing people (check out his responses to questions Gawker sent him), trying to set up TV appearances, etc. He is absolutely shameless. Of course, if he’s indicted, that will be another story — whether guilty or not, he’ll be ruined. Unlike Jayson Blair, Stern knows how to use the media, which says to me he might have a career of sorts after this blows over (but not at ‘Page Six’…he’s toast there). The more I follow this, the more I see Stern as an interesting case: a completely amoral human. He makes Bonnie Fuller look like Mother Teresa.”