A Little of the Old In and Out
(image via guardian.co.uk)
In: Tilda Swinton. Casting the ethereally beautiful British actress Tilda Swinton as the White Witch in Narnia was inspired work. Finally, Tilda Swinton becomes a superstar. Curiously, the gang at Paper -- not anyones model of the Christian right -- rave about the film. Equally interesting, the Evangelicals like it as well, screening it in churches. This suggests that the film could garner "Passion of the Christ" box office. According to the Papermag blog:
"Went to a really swell get together last night to celebrate the cast of the upcoming film: The Chronicles of Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Directed by Andrew Adamson, the Narnia was brainchild of a good friend of ours, Perry Moore ... who has shepharded this whole film from a seed of an idea to where it is today. (He is also an executive producer.) I don't know much about the Narnia's religious implications (I did not grow up reading these tales) but do notice that Christian groups all over the placer seem to be hailing it's arrival before they've even seen it. The reality may be a disappointment for the zealots though, because I can't imagine any film adaptation dreamt up by the intelligent and political Perry Moore, starring the fabulously creative, offbeat (and gorgeous) Tilda Swinton."
(image via pajamasmedia)
Out: Pajamas Media. How lame is this? After their launch on November 16th, where the disgraced journalist in a higher tax bracket Judy Miller managed to keep a straight face (and, no doubt, her high-voltage feline intensity) as she lectured bloggers on what they need to do to be part of the "MSM club," things went ... sideways. (Averted Gaze) According to Staci at PaidContent:
"A week after opening to mixed, often bemused reviews and causing a firestorm of criticism by changing its name to the already occupied Open Source Media, blog network Pajamas Media is hoping for a second chance with its original name. Blaming 'the guys in suits' for what ultimately was the poor judgment of the group doesn't quite cut it but the change back is a start. Next step: make the site less vanilla."
Agreed. The Corsair hasn't seen that much whiteness since spying the vast expanse of Kathy Bates' unfortunate nude scene in "About Schmidt."
(image via usatoday)
In: McCain versus Cheney. Oh, it's on like Gray Poupon! As the final reckoning of the Defense Authorization Bill looms on the horizon, after Thanksgiving break, the question is whether or not the McCain torture Amendment, which Dick Cheney strongly opposes, will get to a floor vote in the House -- and, in all likelihood, pass -- or whether the Vice President will have it killed in Conference.
Alexander Bolton of TheHill writes:
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has emerged as a leading opponent of the Bush administration�s policy on interrogating detainees in the war on terrorism, wants Senate investigators to interview senior administration officials about their statements regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the war.
"McCain backed Democratic calls for interviews of top-level administration officials in an interview last week. But his position is at odds with many in his party, including Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), whom McCain may face in the 2008 GOP presidential primary.
"Lawmakers facing a difficult reelection in 2006 and have an eye on the 2008 presidential election seem torn between McCain and their party line. Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), a centrist Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee who is one of the chamber�s most vulnerable incumbents, said he would reserve judgment on whether senior administration officials should testify before the intelligence panel. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), who is also expected to run for president in 2008, noted that Roberts is his home-state colleague and deferred comment until he learned more about the matter.
"... McCain�s parameters appear to include Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense who played an important role in the months before the war in analyzing Iraqi intelligence for the White House. Democrats have accused Feith of overstepping legal boundaries and want to interview him about his activities.
"So far at least one other Republican, Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who is also facing a difficult race next year, is siding with McCain.
�'Why not come in and defend what you say?' said Chafee. 'I agree with McCain.'"
So does The Corsair. Full story here.
Amber tries to save man. (image via British Vogue)
Out: Punk'd. This weekend's episode ended with supermodel Amber Valetta looking on weakly, on the verge of spraying hot tears. It was actually not cool (Not that Punk'd, at this august date, is cool, mind you).
Amber, post-punk'd, looking fucking adorable. Kiss me, Amber Valetta. (image via British Vogue)
There is karmic retribution to be paid by those who make supermodels cry. According to tv.com:
"Amber Valletta sees a guy choking and she finally decides to help by hitting him on the back. Matt performs the heimlich. He accuses her of pushing him away. Will asks if anyone wants to press charges and the guy tells her its a hate crime."
(image via timeinc)
In: George Soros. How does a newly single billionaire follow up secretly financing the Orange and Rose revolutions in Eastern Europe? Why, by buying a modelling agency filled with hott models, of course. According to RadarOnline (2nd story):
"Is billionaire philanthropist George Soros looking to sex up his portfolio? Fashion industry sources say the Soros Group is in late-stage negotiations with Katie Ford to purchase Ford Models, a prestige brand the Open Society founder feels can be expanded and exploited beyond its current confines.
"Speculation about the deal has circulated for some time within the fashion world, but Ford, ex-wife of hotelier Andre Balazs, has remained tight-lipped about the sale�due in part to previous experience. In 2002, the modeling matriarch agreed to sell the agency her parents founded to Magnum Sports & Entertainment for $22 million, but the deal slipped away before the check was in hand.
"When the ink dries, we�re told the newly bachelorized Soros, 75�who bought his way out his 21-year marriage to Susan Weber Soros last year for a reported $80 million�will need to recruit some new hands to manage his stable of nubile babes: Ford Models director Neal Hamill has just quit his job to move home to Texas."
Full story here.
(image via unadorned.org)
Out: Alessandra Stanley. The Old Gray Lady's television columnist lays an egg. While we love the fact that Alessandra put into words what we have always felt about Diane Sawyer ("'A poised, creamy insincerity'), the errors are piling up. According to our favorite Canadian Rachel Sklar at FishbowlNY:
"Can it be possible that Alessandra Stanley has another error in another column? At this point, I can only assume that she's just seeing what she can get away with. Never mind the Geraldo Rivera nudge fiasco (remember what a big deal the NYT's handling of that was before Judith Miller?) -- since then she's goofed on Martha Stewart's daughter's name, confused trustiness with truthiness, and mistaken the origin of Condoleeza Rice's name. You'd think she'd start being kind of vigilant, or that maybe the NYT would put a crack fact checker on the case.
"Evidently not - if we're to take today's column as an indication. Today Stanley addresses the departure of Ted Koppel from Nightline, which isn't the part that is wrong. What's incorrect is the following:
"Mr. Koppel recently was a guest on CNN's 'Anderson Cooper 360�,' a nighttime news program that is the un-'Nightline': Mr. Cooper jumps from topic to topic at top speed, everything from grisly true-crime stories to interviews with the likes of Nicole Richie.
"Which would have been fine if Anderson Cooper had actually interviewed Nicole Richie. Problem is, he didn't; that was Ryan Seacrest, standing in for Larry King last Tuesday."
Oops. The full story here.
Diana Taylor, Liz Smith, and Vernon Jordan (image via nysocialdiary)
In: Vernon Jordan. We are rather hard on Vernon Jordan. (The Corsair sighs mightily) We expect so much more from him, post-Civil Rights, than the naked quest for power. It makes us sad to think that the Civil Rights era was only about removing restrictions to the African-American quest-for-power and not the pursuit of the ideal of social equality before the law of all peoples. Call The Corsair a naive idealist, if you must.
Jordan's legendary charm, notwithstanding, is not to be trifled with. It is a force of nature. Our Favorite social chronicler, the wonderful David Patrick Columbia, told us a curious anecdote recently (one which we'll discretely keep under our hats), about Jordan's loyalty and strength of character -- with regards to his friend Bill Clinton -- that made us somewhat rethink what has been written on this blog in the past.
But we digress. Says in NYSocialDiary, today:
" I was originally planning on attending (the premiere of White Countess) except that Liz Smith asked me if I�d join them at a dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street for Women�s Voices for Change, the 'groundbreaking first partner of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the leading non-profit, scientific organization devoted to women�s health through midlife and beyond.'
"Liz was host along with Governor Ann Richards. The event chairs were: Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen, Faith Childs, Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, Anne Marie Iverson, and Gayfryd Steinberg. And they presented the first ever Champion for Change Award to author Gail Sheehy who really got the ball started thirty years ago with her groundbreaking book Passages."
"... The women in the room at Cipriani last night knew all that of course. After the main course, they called upon another one of the rare males in the room, Vernon Jordan to pull the tickets for the raffle. The famous and distinguished Mr. Jordan is a legendary charmer, besides being a brilliant businessman and politician. After he did his bit, he thanked the audience and asked if he could be invited back again next year."
Vernon Jordan, world class charmer, in room full of older, powerful, seriously-dressed women. Hmm.