Friday, September 30, 2005

The Old Gray Lady: Scooped!

As Greg Mitchell writes in Mediainfo:

"First, The Washington Post got scooped on naming Deep Throat. Now The New York Times is just about last to report on its own star reporter (who it has championed in numerous editorials) getting sprung from jail. Even E&P, following The Philadelphia Inquirer's scoop, beat the Times on it last night. What's up with that?"

Good point.

CJR also tries to untangle it. (Link via Romenesko)

Mediainfo
Jon Stewart's ASME Panel

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(image via iwantmedia)

No, The Corsair wasn't there; we were the one getting "quietly tight" at Siberia Bar last night. We feel, though, that as we sort of sometimes veer into being a Chattering Class blog -- whatever that is -- we should be doing, well, something. So, by way of what some of the people who were actually there are saying, a "wrap-up," featuring some highlights on the web (And some added links).

Rachel Sklar of FishbowlNY says:

"Backstage, I can see Graydon's unmistakable silhouette (well, the hair is unmistakable; he's a little more portly than imagined). I see him take a deep breath."

Hitchcockian? We thought we knew how to stalk media quarry. Rachel, girlfriend, you get the baton.

"... Out they come, beaming, pleased as punch to be here, sweetly oblivious of the merciless mockery to come. Zinczenko goes in for the close handshake; Jon takes the moment to mug for the cameras. Zinczenko loves it. I have to say, it's weird seeing them all to scale. I always pictured Graydon as tall and ramrod straight; that said I find him a far more likeable presence than I would have expected, thoughtful and jovial and a touch absentminded, almost avuncular. (I think I mentioned that I was sitting in the middle of the front row - I had access, people. No one stalks like Fishbowl!). Jim Kelly seemed jolly and nice with his fluffy white hair and rosy-cheeked smile, as though he'd giggle like the Pillsbury Doughboy if you poked him in the stomach. (For the record, we did not try this.) Kate White looked very Cosmo-appropriate in hot heels and a smart, fashionable outfit; she's got herself some great legs. David Zinczenko presumably also has great legs to match the great abs he'd damn well better have as editor of that magazine."

The full -- entertainining -- report here. Laurel Touby from Mediabistro blogs:

"Enter Suzie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) with a raucous raunch routine, delivered in a heavy New Joisey accent. As (Ed Note: MPA's Tom Ryder and Newsweek's Mark Whittaker made their way offstage, she shot over her shoulder: 'I think I know that guy from years ago (referring to Ryder)... I had never met him before and he said 'whore' to me...and I got up off my knees and marched right out of the men's room...

"I want my own fucking magazine: Fuck You, with features like...'12 Ways to Emasculate Your Husband.' 'Liam Neeson's Huge Penis: Fact or Fiction?' 'Underrated, B-List Fuckable Media Celebs' - Like Wolf Blitzer, not because he's cute but because I've always wanted to be eaten by a wolf." More here.

Gawker's Jess and Jesse write, "... Graydon Carter says it wasn�t a business decision to put Paris Hilton on VF�s cover. She a fascinating cultural blah-blah-blah, he says. He does not look at demographics, he says ... 'Bullshit,' yells one audience member, on behalf of everyone else."

And from Folio's, Dylan Stableford, "Presiding over a dais of top consumer magazine editors, Jon Stewart, Emmy award winning comedian and host of The Daily Show, skewered Time�s Jim Kelly, Vanity Fair�s Graydon Carter, Cosmopolitan�s Kate White and Dave Zinczenko of Men�s Health in front of 1,000-plus industry and advertising executives on Thursday evening at Lincoln Center in New York.

�'Do the men on the cover always have to be�what�s the word�glistening?' Stewart asked Zinczenko of Men�s Health. "

(All links via Gawker)
Was "The Body" Threatened?

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(image via peoples.ru)

Wherever one falls on the pressing geopolitical question of whither-fur-in-Fashion (Averted Gaze), perhaps we can all unite against threats to do criminal acts against fur spokespeople who, philosophically, see nothing wrong with posing. Sometimes, in the quiet of our soul, The Corsair wishes PETA would fight for Third World Debt relief, or, say, to deter the onslaught of Moldovan sex slavery with as much -- how does one say it? -- unmitigated zeal as they exhibit in their seemingluy-eternal fight for the rights of mink.

But ... we digress. This report, from ThisisLondon by Clemmie Moodie, comes dangerously close to sounding like a criminal threat against "The Body" Elle Macpherson:

"Elle Macpherson has backed out of a �1million contract with a fur company after becoming terrified she will be targeted by anti-fur extremists.

"The 42-year-old supermodel, who signed a seven-figure deal earlier this year to become the face of the luxury fur company Blackglama, has asked lawyers to pull the plug on the campaign.
Her decision comes in the wake of a frenzied anti-fur crusade largely headed by the vociferous group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"She recently received a threatening letter from PETA's vice-president, Dan Matthews, warning her not to go ahead with the Blackglama campaign.

"He wrote: 'By making yourself the new face of fur for Blackglama you are also making yourself a top target for PETA and animal activists around the world.

"'When you take money from such a violent industry you also must carry their baggage.'"

Yo:,Just what the fuck does that mean? "Top target"? "You also must carry their baggage"? She's a single mother with a kid, asswipe; there's a thin line between Constitutionally acceptable obnoxiousness and making a threat -- and PETA's Dan Matthews, IMHO, has crossed it.

Clemmie Moodie continues:

"Yesterday a source close to the supermodel said: 'Elle has never seen anything ethically wrong in wearing fur and was very keen to get involved with the campaign.

"'But in the wake of recent developments against the fur industry from militant protesters and animal rights activists, Elle felt that no amount of money was worth jeopardising the safety of herself or her family and she would rather the ads were pulled.

" ... 'As far as (Blackglama) are concerned, a sevenfigure sum deal has been signed and Elle is tied to it. Both sets of lawyers are currently in talks trying to thrash out a last-minute deal and reach some kind of compromise.'"

The full, sordid tale here.

PETA's Dan Matthews gets "the gassface" (And -- sigh -- we are already waiting for those scorching emails of You're-Just-Doing-This-Because-She's-Hott, or, Why-Can't-You-Just-Be-Funny --sigh)
Martha to Cater the Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise Wedding

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(image via prettypatty)

Okay: Here's our thoughts on how the TomKat scenario plays itself out: IMHO, They drag out this little engagement as if it were Tara Reid after a fifth of Beefeater Gin. Then, after dragged out to the n-th degree, it fizzles out; Katie gets paid some serious scratch and both remain friends ("people grow apart, but Katie's such a wonderful person") and publicly never badmouth each other. That is my guess; this, though, According to LA SocialDiarist:

"Although they�ve been out of the public glare lately, apparently things are moving right along with the matrimonial department for Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Late word just arrived that Katie has approached the Duchess of Domesticity, the Queen of Cuisine, none other than Martha Stewart herself, about catering the much heralded nuptials of Tom and Katie. And incredibly, Martha reportedly said yes."

Curious: More LA SocialDiarist here.
A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via wwd)

In: Camilla Al-Fayed. It's Camilla Al-Fayed's world, we just live in it. This, from Fashionweekdaily's Jim Shi:

"Watch out New York: come November 1, there'll be a new girl tearing up the social circuits of Manhattan. That is, if she finishes all her homework and isn't too tired from work. Camilla Al Fayed, daughter of Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed, is moving to an apartment on the Upper East Side in the next two weeks in preparation for her new position at Vogue. She is expected to begin on Nov. 1, with a likely permanent placement in about four months.

"For now, she'll be working alongside editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team. 'I'm embracing all of it,' Al Fayed, clad in a Gucci top and Balenciaga pants, said at Thursday night's (Milan) Versace show."

Swell and lovely; the first thing you can embrace when you get here, darling, is The Corsair.

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Nananana, nananana, heyheyhey -- goodbye. (image via metronews)

Out: Michael Eisner. Although there were sweet whisperings that Eisner wouldn't even show up for work today, that appears not to be the case. Anyway: Michael Eisner's "Exit Interview," conducted by Brett Pulley of Forbes (link via iwantmedia):

"Forbes: What were your biggest mistakes?

"Eisner: I made some personnel mistakes. I hired the wrong person [Michael Ovitz], and I had to get rid of him. But in 21 years I think my correct decisions outweighed my mistakes. My mistakes are counted on one hand. Unfortunately, they are also written about a lot. But unlike the mistakes of other companies, we never had an accounting problem, we never had to write off an acquisition, and we never had an ethical problem.

"Forbes: What was most gratifying?

"Eisner: All of the happy families walking around in awe. It can't be translated. It has nothing to do with leaving or succession or issues or lawsuits. What is so much more important is to see an audience watching the opening of The Lion King, and people are crying at the beauty of it."

(A considerable pause; the sound of a whistle) What kind of aesthetically-challenged little freak-of-nature "cried" at the "beauty" of The Lion King? And has that fucker ever seen a Poussin? That's worth crying over; Helena Christensen is certainly worth crying over; The Lion King? Who the fuck cries at The Lion King? Aside from the German tourists, we mean. That was Eisner's "most gratifying" moment as CEO of Disney? Good riddance; let's hope Iger does something more interesting with his newly-granted power.

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(image via art.com)

In: Chris Noth. Do you remember when The Corsair posted this exclusive back in June?

"A Corsair spywitness (tm) on the Manhattan set of Law and Order: Criminal Intent says Chris Noth made a bit of a scene recently. Apparently Mr. Big objected to an upcoming Fall storyline where they were shooting in a bar/poolhall. In the scene, Noth picks up a pool cue and breaks it in half, threatening a perp with allusions to the Abner Louima torture case. Noth objected to this and gave a bit of a lecture on why he didn't want his character to be reintroduced in such a sleazy manner.

"Fucking with the writers' lines or rocking the boat in any way is generally considered to be a big no-no on the set of Law and Order: CI (cough, cough, D'Onofrio, cough, cough), but, according to The Corsair spywitness (tm), Noth's impassioned and noble arguments won everyone over to his side, and the lines were indeed changed."

Well, that show, Law and Order's Criminal Intent, airs on Sunday on NBC at 9PM. TiVo it (Same time as the excellent "Rome"), if you can.

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(image via wired)

Out: The SuicideGirls Empire, Imploding. The groundbreaking art-alt-porn site SuicideGirls is imploding after 30 models quit, evidently, in disgust. It seems, alas, that behind all the glowing, press puffery in no-longer-hip venues, SuicideGirls was, at the end of the day, just another porn site. This, according to Unpink (link via Wired via Papermag):

"One of the most popular SG's, Sicily, was booted off the site after an anti Suicidegirls journal entry she wrote (caused by financial disagreements with the owner). You can see the text here.
Two other popular girls, Katie and Apnea (of Lithium Picnic fame) shot for another site and got their passwords taken away. Staff changed Apnea's journal and made it look like they were active.Voltaire quit in protest. Staff pulled same move on her.

"By this time, it's all over the blogsphere. Girls are quitting left and right. Claudia, Sita, Molly, Gillian, Ciel, Annabelle, Angie, Shera, Annie, Genivieve, Mistidawn, Les, and a new one every hour or three.

"SG, in response to four of its best girls quitting, changes entire site format. Archived girls and active girls are indistinguishable- except archived girls have no access to the site. Sounds a lot more like a standard porn site setup to me, and less like the 'get to know the models' approach that made SG famous. In the last few weeks, SG's become about pussy, not personality."

And so, SuicideGirls becomes just another run-of-the-skill porn company. Not with a bang but a whimper (Pun intended).

capote

(image via movies.ying)

In: Capote Oscar Buzz. It is insane how much buzz this film is getting, or, more precisely, it is sick how much buzz Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting is getting. Philip Seymour Hoffman should change his name to "Best Actor frontrummer, Philip Seymour Hoffman." Hoffman was exceptional, to be sure, and this is a biopic -- Oscar loves biopics. Cinematical's Ryan Stewart gives a trenchant review of Hoffman's performance:

"The titular performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent, but his work was obviously made easier through the flamboyant nature of Capote�s mannerisms. With his weak, Southern flower lilt and brow-mopping demeanor, any accurate portrayal of Capote is going to involve a good deal of impersonation. Gary Oldman did a great job playing Dracula, but it�s Dracula, after all. The bigger the character, the less of a burden there is on the actor to come up with something unique. Hoffman is good enough to ground Capote�s mannerisms down to the point of being non-distracting, but that doesn�t exactly solve the problem of giving him something interesting to say on-screen.

"Hoffman�s best moments occur late in the film when the death clock has begun to speed up considerably on the killers. Appeal after appeal collapses, and it becomes a certainty that Hickock and Smith will be executed for their crimes. It�s at this moment that Capote must reveal his cards � he�s been holding off completion of the book not just to include the execution of the criminals, but to extract from them a first-hand account of the night of the murders."

Now you want to see the movie, right? Please do.
Sharon Stone's Wardrobe Malfunction

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sharon: Before (image via Hello!Magazine)

The new face of Dior, Sharon Stone, has been leveraging her kooky "pussy power" to appeal to humankind's better nature for years. Just give this woman a mic, an audience of The Masters of the Universe, and a good cause and she's good-to-go; Stone really is a superhuman philanthropical motivatinal machine -- albeit a highly eccentric, Piscean one. Well, in her enthusiasm to facilitate the transfer of funds from the fortunate to the less-fortunate, Sharon suffered a minor wardrobe malfunction, though, unlike in Basic Instinct, her "beef curtain" remained unruffled (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).

At an AIDS fundraiser in Santa Monica, according to Hello!Magazine:

"Oscar-nominated Sharon, who chose an exquisite midnight blue dress for her stint in the spotlight, served as auctioneer at the Macy's Passport gala, which also included gourmet cuisine and a fashion show.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sharon: After, Not missing a beat; Motivating. (image via Hello!Magazine)

"The Basic Instinct star, renowned for her commitment to causes close to her heart, was pulling no punches as she strode the stage exhorting guests to raise their bids for various trips, products and services. Indeed, so enthusiastic was the beautiful blonde's auctioneering that at one point she suffered a 'wardrobe dysfunction', with her striking backless gown coming unbuttoned at the neck. Help was at hand, however, and Sharon scarcely missed a beat, continuing her patter while crouching down to allow an assistant to come to her aid."

You go, Sharon, with your freaky, off-kilter but, essentially good-hearted self.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frederico Fellini's Late Erotic Drawings

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The dark, pagan Frederico Fellini. (image via kurtzfilmtage)

All this talk of giant squids reminds us of Fellini, the Surrealist Master (The Corsair lights a pipe). If you are round Austria-way, you may want to check out Karikaturmuseum's "Erotomachia" exhibition, which, according to Gulf Daily News, "assembles 29 erotic drawings sketched by Fellini in his twilight years 1991-1992."

That's so hot. The Corsair is a tremendous -- tremendous -- Frederico Fellini fan.

As everyone knows, Fellini was a Surrealist director, famous for the eerie dream-landscapes of "8 1/2," as well as his fucking brilliant, sick Ancient-Rome-via-Science-Fiction take on Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon. Before he was a director, though, Fellini was a satyrical cartoonist, and remained so all his life, sketching the activity on the set and in the margins in letters to his friends.

Fellini, sympathetic to mysticism (he was born under Aquarius, the sign of the mad-genius), was greatly influenced by Carl Gustav Jung, going so far as to chronicle his rich dream life for many years. He sketched his dreams as bold cartoons -- heavy on black and dark blues -- with his characteristic focus on impassive, Pagan facial stares, and extremely dramatic high-tension situations that later, after Fellini broke from Italian Neorealism, informed his films (Think Marcello Mastroianni, in the pagan-toga, cracking the bullwhip, trying to tame his unruly sexual fantasies). The Corsair, in turn, was deeply influenced by Fellini -- enough so to keep a series of dream notebooks, which we still upkeep (12 years and counting, knock on wood).

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Above: A particularly fertile Fellini dream-landscape involving tigers, dark blue shaded forbidding jungle and mysterious wolf-like creatures staring -- always, with Fellini, the staring. (image via cnn)

From Karikaturmuseum: "The Erotomachia series is a particularly important component of his oeuvre, first because it is the only series with a large number of individual drawings, and second because it was completed at the end of his life, making it a final manifesto of his erotic obsessions. The woman who can be seen repeatedly in the series has the features of his last partner.

"Fellini s perception of women, already seen in the sensuous and voluptuous characters of his films, is even more prominent in these caricatures. In the series, the war of the sexes is conducted with unequal weapons: the faceless men are playthings in the hands of a strong woman who in herself also blurs the distinctions between the sexes.

Curiously, Fellini's late works, like Pablo Picasso's, his idol -- his "Primitive" idol? -- focus on eroticism. One time Fellini had a dream that began with him deep in the ocean, adrift, lost. A feeling of deep anxiety -- the anxiety of the artist? -- came over him (Fellini charmingly notes alarm in his sketches as cartoonish beads of sweat). Then, suddenly (so Aquarian, the erratic speed shifts), Picasso swims past Fellini, impossibly fast, almost in an act of violence. Fellini tries, in vain, to catch up but Picasso; but Picasso -- the fish? -- is too fast and long gone.

No other story expresses Fellini's ambition better than that.
The Jermaine-Michael Correspondence

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"When the rain begins to fall," our song. (image via lp-cd.de)

And, no, a Jermaine Jackson-Michael Jackson correspondence is not like the Melville-Hawthorne correspondence, although ... (The Corsair drains a glass of tawny Port) it does have its own charming "vagabondish telos." For one thing, there's no actual dialogue; Jermaine alone existentially inquires after Michael. In what RadarOnline describes, with a nimble touch of inspired Dostoievskian melodrama, as an "eerily one-way correspondence from the early nineties, recovered from a New Jersey warehouse filled with Jackson family documents and memorabilia," we get this "Note From the Underground," as it were, a real chestnut. Here's a taste -- According to RadarOnline:

"Michael, I really need you to present the lifetime achievement award to Berry Gordy for what he has done for us from the very beginning�. Please help us out just this one day; call me back in Gstadd [sic].*
Love,Jermaine"

We'd pay cash money to hear Jermaine pronounce that location. Cash-fucking-money; homie can't even spell the city where he's at. And:

"Michael,Give me a call at (818) 788-XXXX. I really need to talk to you. As a brother, I have a lot of things to tell you. I miss you a lot.
Love always, Jermaine"

And, most germaine to this discussion: "To Evvy [MJ assistant, Evelyn Tavasci],It is very crucial that I speak to my brother.
Jermaine"

"Evvy" notwithstanding (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), they couldn't get in touch with Michael. He may or may not have been struggling with those pesky pedophilia charges.

The full cache here.
A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via nnmi.com)

In: Owen Wilson, Rick Rubin, Larry Charles. Just hearing those names together makes The Corsair want to smile. That's a lot of fucking talent in the room. Larry Charles executive produces "The Larry David Show," is going to direct the Ali G spinoff film "Borat," about the well-meaning hapless Kazakh journo. Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin is, well, he's Rick Rubin, legendary producer (of, among other things, the hugely influential Jay Z's "99 Problems" video). And Owen Wilson co-wrote "The Royal Tennenbaums." When not writing and acting, he likes to lick women's buttocks for two hours.

What does this motley trio with brio have in common? According to Variety:

"Owen Wilson, Larry Charles and Rick Rubin have set up the half-hour comedy 'Bert & Dickie' at HBO.

"Paybox has made a script commitment to the project, about an odd-couple standup comedy team that can't ever manage to come out on top -- personally or professionally.

"Wilson, Charles and Rubin will pen and exec produce."

Swell and lovely.

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(image via sfsu)

Out: The Paul Mooney Mess. At the BET Awards, comedian and former "Richard Pryor Show" writer Paul Mooney took a swipe at African-American icon Diana Ross' recent DWI arrest. Now, Defamer tells us that one day later, her son is in a fender bender.

Frankly, The Corsair doesn't blame Paul Mooney for taking that ill-timed swipe. The first rule of comedy is nothing is off limits. Nothing. It seems strange to us that Steve Harvey -- a fellow comic who should know better -- would lead the charge against Mooney, threatening him with, among other things, a robust ass-whipping on-stage (illiciting cheers from the crowd). Then again, Harvey did so on the grounds that Mooney attacked Ross in front of her daughter, Tracey Ellis Ross, who was in attendance. And everybody knows that you don't talk greezy about an African-American's mama. (The Corsair snaps and does a neck-roll) Ya dig?

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(image via reuters)

In: Chief Justice Roberts. Whether you like him or hate his guts, the man was infinitely qualified and, more to the point, smooth. Butter wouldn't melt in this man's mouth. Very few people in DC are smarter than the overachieving Senator Chuck Schumer, a man who, we imagine, has probably never lost out on a Valedictorianship. He makes us want to give the Senator a wedgie, we ... cannot help it.

But Roberts eluded everything Schumer threw at him. Deftly. It was scary; it was almost like watching evil genius at work, carrying on with a beatific smile. Anyway, says Reuters:

"John Roberts was sworn in as the 17th chief justice of the United States on Thursday, taking his oath at a White House ceremony attended by President Bush' and other justices of the Supreme Court.

"Bush said it was 'a very meaningful event in the life of our nation' � almost 19 years to the day since the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist' took his oath in the same room at the White House, the East Room.

"The 50-year-old Roberts was sworn in a little more than three hours after he was confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 78-22. The oath was delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens' , the court's senior member and acting chief justice since Rehnquist's death early this month."

Now, most importantly, will be how Roberts rules on parental notification (And, on a lighter note, Anna Nicole's well-earned millions). Will he wield his Power to moderately, or will he be the Anti-Souter, veering far right, into "Guns-and-God" loving Scalia-Thomas country. Time will give us the big reveal.
James Toback and the Wacky Tobaccie

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(image via news.harvard)

We love director James Toback. He keepeth it real. Real "baked," that is. We'll never forget going to pick up our weekly supply of gossip magazines at a Barnes and Noble in Manhattan a year ago, and finding James Toback, wearing his ubiquitous director-going-bald baseball cap, looking over every magazine review of his film "When Will I Be Loved," complaining to a clearly exasperated employee over every harsh word written.

Of course, James Toback likes the wacky tobacco. It goes without saying if you go in for that sort of thing. According to The Reeler:

" High Times editors explained that this was the first Stonys since 2002�evidently nobody could get their shit together enough to organize the 'annual' event either of the last two years.

"... Just before fleeing in complete terror, however, The Reeler spotted old pal James Toback, another Stonys alum who had spent the better part of three hours in the VIP section fog waiting to present the Best Picture bong-trophy (seriously) to The Lords of Dogtown. Toback declined to speak with me this time around�'Not now, not now, call me tomorrow. I have to try and clear my head,' he explained�but he was a little more talkative when he finally got his turn onstage."

We'll bet the "herb-was-perturb" in that little VIP section. In the past, attendees have included Dave Chapelle, SNL's Amy Poehler, Snoop Dogg and George Clinton. The Reeler continues:

"... Quite classically, Toback preceded his presentation with a blast at Bernard's parent company Sony Pictures, which he consciously or otherwise blamed for 'suffocating' Dogtown in its crib. 'It needs time and space to find its audience,' Toback said. 'It's good that High Times calls attention to movies that are otherwise missing the boat not because of any lack in the films themselves, but because of the total fuck-up in the media conglomeration.'"

Classic sweetleaf inspired multinational putdown. But better not insult Sony Pictures, as after his last few stinkers, Toback can use friends in the studio system.

Stonys

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Larry Kramer: Pure Digital Satisfaction

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(image via sfgate)

Next week, at the We Media: Behold The Power of Us Conference, where we are a fellow, The Corsair will finally meet Larry Kramer, sans duct tape. We've played the scenario over in our head a thousand times. We know Larry will love us, we just know.

We've tried to find other digital media quarry. We truly did. Dick Parsons, for example, just didn't have that right digital ... "oomph." Don't get us wrong, "Parsy" -- as we like to call him -- Parsy has a tight digital game; but he's no Larry. (The Corsair speaks in tones of muted awe) Our Larry is ... "special." Larry Kramer is, in a manner of speaking: Pure digital satisfaction.

And so, with obsessive compulsion, we continue to blogstalk CBS Digital President Larry Kramer. This time, Marketwatch, the company Kramer founded, profiles him, fueling our unnatural obsession, saying:

"Not many people can boast his breadth of experience - or experiences. Kramer a) covered the Woodstock festival for the Associated Press at the age of 19 (fondly remembering folk singer John Sebastian's performance) b) possesses an MBA from Harvard c) served as the fabled Washington Post Editor Benjamin Bradlee's assistant d) edited Hunter Thompson's columns during Kramer's reign as the top editor of the San Francisco Examiner.

"He is also slyly disarming. The first time I met him, I had been working for MarketWatch for only a few weeks. He introduced himself and asked how our company's stock was faring. It's down 1/2 I said warily.

"He quipped: 'Well, I just spoke for a half-hour on Wall Street. If I'd spoken for a FULL hour, the stock'd probably be down a point.'"

At this point, we imagine, the author of this piece, one: Jon Friedman, exploding into peals of theatrical laughter suffused with crocodile tears of wonderous mirth. "Oh Mr. Kramer," he exclaims, collapsing, in between fitful gasps of air, "you are too much." Hey Friedman, we saw him first! Friedman continues:

"After that, more times than not, the thickly bearded Kramer would appear in our newsroom dressed in his standard outfit of blue jeans, sneakers and open shirt."

(An uncomfortable silence; The Corsair backs the fuck up) Okay, Friedman, uh, clearly you like Larry a whole lot more than I.

The rest of this moist, lascivious profile here.
A Little of the Old In and Out

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(Karen Tapia-Andersen / LAT)

In: Bob Iger. All eyes -- and Mickey Mouse ears -- are trained on Iger, who is set to take over the reins at Disney on Saturday. Will the regime change go swimmingly, or will things go ... sideways (A theme park in Seoul? WTF?!). Iger inherits Disney at a fairly good time (ABC TV had the best opening week in 5 years) but he is not without his critics. Says the LATimes:

"Unlike the moribund studio and theme park company Eisner took over in 1984, Iger inherits a top-tier media conglomerate, albeit one that faces steep challenges. Among them: changes in moviegoing and DVD-buying habits, the continued splintering of television viewership as the number of channels proliferate and figuring out how to exploit Disney's vast array of entertainment in the digital and wireless world."

Iger's got his work cut out for him in this new digital wilderness.

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(image via umich.edu)

Out: Congressman Tom Delay, "The Hammer" Brought Low. (The Corsair sips a crisp Montrachet) The House Majority Leader has been indicted. Quoth The Old Gray Lady:

"The indictment of Mr. DeLay, while not entirely unexpected, still reverberated through the Capitol. The House Republican rules require a member of the leadership to step down, at least temporarily, if indicted. Representative David Dreier of California is expected to replace him.

"A conviction on the felony charge against Mr. DeLay, 58, carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison."

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(image via mediawatchyouth)

Out: Kate Moss. Just when you thought you had OD'd -- pun intended -- on Kate Moss gossip, here's a final, juicy bump ("rusty pipes!"), of "Vitamin C" from Reuters via Beitbart via Drudge):

"A documentary is set to show footage of British supermodel Kate Moss which Sky One says shows her snorting cocaine, as the furor over her alleged drug taking which cost her lucrative advertising deals refuses to go away.

" ... Sky One said its documentary 'Kate Moss: Fashion Victim?' would provide a balanced debate over the role of the media and the fashion industry and ask whether Moss could continue her career.

"The documentary aims to paint an honest picture of the landscape that formed the backdrop to the saga and in a worldwide exclusive, features video footage of the widely-reported incident involving Moss and her self-confessed heroin addict boyfriend, Pete Doherty,' Sky said."

"... The Sky One documentary will be shown on October 3."

We're so there (Anyone have SkyTV?); do you even have to ask?

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In: "Gandhi Pants" Although Mahatma Gandhi never saw fit to wear trousers, we hear his quotations adorn Jennifer Aniston's concave ass-cheeks. Apparently, Jennifer Aniston is wearing legible clothing with quotations from the great Indian reformer to get over Brad Pitt. (The Corsair makes a swift comprehensive gesture around the blogosphere) Just what precisely is that motherfucker packing in the way of penis that his absence causes A-List actresses to go positively goofy? According to the 3AM Girls:

"A confidante of the Friends beauty gave her a book containing some of the teachings of the revered religious and political leader soon after she split from the 41-year-old Troy hunk Brad at the beginning of this year.

"And it appears that the deceased holy man's words have inspired her to change her lifestyle.

"... Friends of the star say she is devastated by the way Brad is flaunting his relationship with Lara Croft star Angelina Jolie, 30.

"Jennifer has been seen alone on a beach in Malibu, wearing a T-shirt bearing Gandhi's words: 'Defeat cannot dishearten me. It can only chasten me. I know that God will guide me. Truth is superior to man's wisdom.'

"She also owns a pair of trousers with one of the leader's most famous sayings: 'I have nothing new to teach the world, truth and non-violence are as old as the hills,' printed on them."

It comes as a complete surprise to know that Jennifer Aniston contains enough buttock to support that sentence.
David Bowie: "I've Never Been to a Fashion Show"

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(image via movies.yahoo.com)

Although there is no one more fashionable in rock and roll than The Thin White Duke, this, according to W's Fashion Rocks Supplement:

"Dave Itzkoff: Do you make it to any of the shows during Fashion Week?

"David Bowie: Know something? I've never been to a fashion show in my life.

"DI: Would it surprise you or disappoint you to know that your song 'Fashion' is a staple of these shows?

"Bowie: Well, I know a lot of my music is used. We have to give out licenses for permissions, so it's used all over, frequently in Europe, which I'm very proud of. What am I going to say? (laughs)"

The Corsair is wondering what is more amazing, a) That we have been to two more Fashion Week shows than Bowie, or, b) That musicians actually get fucking paid for their music used on the runways (And if so, how fucking paid is Duran Duran).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...

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"Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!" (image via thecobrasnake)

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"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (image via thecobrasnake)

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"Baby wants to fuck! Baby wants to fuck Blue Velvet!" (image via thecobrasnake)

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"It's like I always say, My Good Man, the darker the peasant, the sweeter the juice." (image via NYSocialDiary)




Musto on Jodie and Ellen

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Alright; Game rules: Before The Corsair gets peppered with (more) scorching emails, 1) The Corsair hearts Jodie Foster, 2) Jodie Foster has every right to keep her private life private -- especially in Hollywood --- where, if she were to, say, reveal a propensity towards "The Sapphic Love," romantic lead offerings would unfortunately evaporate, and 3) We only harp on the fact that Jodie's sexuality is as mysterious a phenomenon as the racial goulash that is Vin Diesel because she goes to Brobdingnagian lengths to conceal. To wit, our pal Michael Musto:

"JODIE FOSTER's appearance on Ellen this Monday provided a potpourri bowl full of lesbian content�subtextually, anyway. First off, the two ladies admitted they hang out in the same places ('I see you at the market,' Jodie interestingly remarked to ELLEN.) Then they talked about Jodie's butch mama character in Flightplan ('This was written for a man,' she confessed.) And getting more intimate, they discussed how, when she was the Coppertone girl in a commercial, they'd put treats in Jodie's pants to make the dog pull 'em down. 'Does the Coppertone girl still have treats in her pants?' wondered Ellen. 'I'm sure she does,' exclaimed Jodie, who then got all uncomfortable and smiled, 'I don't want to continue with that line of questioning.'"

You don't have to, Jodie. We love you for your uncommon inteligence and your solid acting chops, but we wouldn't be a proper blog if we weren't curious.
A Little of the Old In and Out

THE TWLIGHT ZONE

(image via yimg.com)

In: Forest Whittaker. With the possible exception of his role as the snarling, foaming-at-the-mouth, big, black football-playing refrigerator sized stereotype Charles Jefferson in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High (hey, you've got to get your foot in the door, we understand)," we've liked just about everything Forest Whitaker has trained his acting chops against. Whitaker was sublime yet understated carrying Jarmusch's unsung "Ghost Dog," poignant in his brief but memorable role as Jody in "The Crying Game," and -- lest we forget -- a superior director in "Waiting to Exhale." Cable drama and the requisite Emmy (the king of all knicknacks for serious actors) is next on his dance card. According to Medialifemagazine:

"Forest Whitaker is joining the cast of 'The Shield' when the series returns for its fifth season on FX in January. He will play Detective Jon Kavanaugh, who is tasked with investigating series star Michael Chiklis� Mackey and the strike force that he leads. Whitaker recently appeared in the indie film "American Gun." He will also play Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the upcoming Fox Searchlight movie 'The Last King of Scotland.'"

Whitaker as Idi Amin, bane of our diplobratic childhood? Oh it's on ... it's on like Gray Poupon!

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(image via dealmemo)

Out: "The Benator." Senator Ben Affleck? (The Corsair rolls it off his tongue for a second, savoring the flava; considers; then, slowly shakes his head) What's up with that shit? He doesn't even have the fucking full-bodied Senatorial hair! According to The WashPo's Reliable Source (link via Wonkette):

"(Garfleck), expecting their first child, have been shopping for real estate around Charlottesville. British tabloids claim it's a done deal; we will only go so far as to report that they checked out at least one country estate a few weeks ago.

"It was about that time that party officials started batting Affleck's name around. 'It's spread pretty widely, at least in the political underground,' University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, Virginia's premier pundit, told Michael Shear, The Post's Richmond correspondent."

It's spread ... not unlike Ben Affleck's "junk" on the back of director Kevin Smith's neck, you mean. We wonder duly what conservative Virginians will think of having a United States Senator known on Hollywood sets for his amazing "dick tricks." (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

Kudos to Defamer's take on The Benator.

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Rock royals Alexandra and Theodora, frisky. (image via stonesplanet)

In: Intermix's new 4,000-square-foot flagship store. Located, says WWD, "between Mercer and Greene Streets, opposite the Mercer Hotel, Miu Miu, J. Crew and an Apple computer store." Alright already, enough with the real estate namedropping; we are boldface whores, to be sure (and proud of it), but we draw the line at geographical prostitution. Kind of. Notes Fashionweekdaily, "Wednesday, Theodora and Alexandra Richards join Liv Tyler to open Intemix�s new Soho boutique."

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(image via scientology-kills)

Out: The GretaWire. One of our favorite TV Newsish blogs -- other than the robust and manly Vaughn Ververs' -- is something called (sotto voce) "The GretaWire." Greta Von Susteren, our favorite slice o' German-American strudel (The Corsair stifles a slow, wolfish whistle), turns up the heat today, blogging, cavalierly:

"Now that I am back from Texas, I have had a chance to see our hurricane coverage. One video clip that I saw (and apparently was featured on Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show' on Monday night) is of Shepard Smith and me in a split screen. I am standing in a yellow slicker on one side looking forward with little or no expression and Shep is getting pushed so hard by the wind that he fell. He quickly got up and returned to the interview. I never remarked about Shep falling nor reacted for a simple reason: I could not see him."

(The Corsair expectorates loudly into the blogosphere; adressing Greta, acidly) Oh come of it little Miss Greta! The lack of facial expression, the inability to crane the neck -- all the classic signs are there, sweetie. Your face is wrapped tighter than Tara Reid at Open Bar. Lay off the "rejeuvination." (Averted Gaze)

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(image via NYSocialDiary)

As you can see, Ambassador Loeb's "pimphand" ... is strong.

In: The Fete de Swifty. It's those random acts of philanthropy that don't often get reported that really turn our heads. This report from our favorite social chronicler, David Patrick Columbia, in NYSocialDiary:

"There was a light rain in Manhattan last night when they held the second annual Fete de Swifty, the largest, chicest block party in New York held in a big white tent that extended for the entire block on East 73rd Street from Lexington to Third Avenue. The event is the brainchild of syndicated columnist Liz Smith in order to raise funds for the Mayor�s Fund to Advance New York.

"The Mayor was there, along with the more than 650 congregating for this do and they raised more than $500,000 for the Fund. These dollars are earmarked for after-school programs in the City�s parks so that the kids have something to do after school � especially the kids who might otherwise be going home to empty houses because their parents are working."

Bravo.

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(image via cjonline)

Out: Was Senator Leahy Blindsided? As someone who spent many college years in bucolic Vermont -- smoking the sweet leaf, chasing the hippie chicks, and, finally wrestling with the mysteries of Plato in the quiet of my soul -- Senator Patrick Leahy's quixotic endorsement of Judge Roberts made no sense whatsoever. Nada. Where's the political payoff?

Sure, Judge Roberts is eminently qualified to be Chief Justice, but Vermont is, like, the most progressive state in the Union. And it borders New Hampshire. And the New Hampshire abortion notification case is coming before the Supremes. --Hhello?

Doesn't that make Leahy's re-election prospects dodgy at best should Roberts rule conservatively? Doesn't that give a bazooka to Leahy's next opponent in the reelection campaign? Doesn't that open him up like a hot peanut for a primary challenge within the Vermont Democratic Party?

Now, this from TheHill (The Corsair absently smacks his forehead), explaining that Senator Leahy may have simply got his signals crossed, royally fucking himself in the process:

"Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, vented frustration with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) during a closed-door Democratic meeting last week before stunning colleagues and liberal activists by announcing his support for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. A day before his surprise declaration, Leahy expressed his irritation at being blindsided over Reid's position, finding out about it from the news media rather than from the minority leader, said lawmakers who attended the meeting. 'I think he clearly wished he had known,' a lawmaker said."

Now it all makes sense. Ah, clarity.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sienna Miller's Six Commandments

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(image via flavinscorner)

Around 1300 BC, in the remote antiquity of the Middle Bronze Age, The Mosaic Code of Ten Commandments was an instrumental -- and pathbreaking -- moment in the history of the Jewish people.

Similarly (The Corsair sips a glass of Coro Mendocino), around the time the tabloids went daffy, in the Middle Brangerlina Age, Sienna Miller -- according to The Daily Mail -- issued forth her "Six Commandments" to the lawless Jude Law, conditionally, in order to "Reform" him after his much-reported romp with The Nanny (Whom, we cannot fail to note, was hardly in Sienna Miller's league, although, we archly surmise, The Nanny was probably a Sorceress 'tween the silky sheets).

But we digress. Of course, as Murphy's -- as opposed to Jude's -- Law dictates, These Six Commandments got leaked to the press. How could they not have been? They are -- if one is not one of the parties involved -- fucking hysterical.

Sienna's Six Commandments are -- we took some liberties, of course -- the following, the penalty for breaking These Holy Laws is, we imagine, a robust smiting:

1) You shall not make for yourself an on-the-side scrumptious piece of ass, whether in the form of any Starlet that is in Los Angeles, or Nanny that is on the London, or Model that is in New York:

Thou Shall Never to be unfaithful to Sienna Miller again

2) You shall not covet your ex-wife. You shall not covet your ex-wife, or her friend or Nanny, her oxen or donkey, for that matter, or anything that belongs to the social circle of your ex-wife. Thou Shalt stay away from ex-wife Sadie Frost and her friends.

3) The protection, love, instruction and discipline of the girlfriend are essential parts of a healthy relationship, and the girlfriend's authority to hold the relationship intact must be preserved. Thou shall romance Sienna Miller again before considering marriage

4) Anger destroys relationships and injures innocent spouses and their fragile egos. Thou shall stop losing Thine temper

5) You shall not make wrongful use of the career of the SIENNA , for SIENNA will not acquit anyone who misuses her career. Thou shall let Sienna Miller make her own career choices

6) Finally, SIENNA, who brought you out of the lugubrious lands of Sadie Frost, out of the house of melancholy; Thou shall let Sienna see her friends when she wants
The "Spanker" of the House?

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Congressman Mike Pense. (image via cnn)

Did The Speaker of the House "tan the hide" of the Congressman from Indiana's 6th District?The Prince of Darkness Robert Novak doesn't sleep -- no, not when they are hapless orphans to deprive of their thin gruel, or a capital gains tax cut to espouse. Today, Our Novak writes about the growing disconnect between one of the more vocal small-government conservatives -- Congressman Mike Pence -- who disagrees with The President's LBJ-ish Hurricane Kartina proposal.

Congressman Pence is synecdochal of The President's sturdy base. So, with The President's approval ratings dropping faster than, oh, a blind-drunk Tara Reid after a kegstand, well, The Congressman's vocal disagreement comes as a surprise. Our favorite Dickensian villain writes:

"Rep. Mike Pence, a 46-year-old former radio talk show host from eastern Indiana serving his third term in Congress, is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He has tried hard to cooperate with the regular House Republican leadership rather than confront it. So, he could not have been happy last Tuesday when he found himself in a closed-door auto-da-fe with GOP leaders as the inquisitors and Pence as the heretic."

"Pence and the RSC's heresy was to propose that massive federal outlays resulting from Hurricane Katrina be offset by reduced spending elsewhere. Specifically, they requested offsets to cut highway projects earmarked by individual House members, and a delay in implementing President Bush's new Medicare prescription drug subsidy. The negative reaction by the leadership was reflected when Pence, offered a seat at a later meeting, explained that he would be more comfortable standing because House Speaker Dennis Hastert had just tanned his hide."

Ouch! Did The Speaker of the House use ye old hickory switch when weilding discipline? Huh? Huh? Did he?

Or, more likely, did Speaker Hastert judicioulsy apply the Speaker's gavel to where "the-Moon-don't-shine" (Averted Gaze)? Either way (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), TMI!

The percussive particulars as to how the Congressman's ass-cheeks arrived at "The Red-State" (Arched Eyebrow) should remain a private issue, left firmly behind closed doors.

Basta!
A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via jsonline)

In: Video Clips for Phones. -- And the music industry shall lay down with the mobile networks (The Corsair sparks up a Montecristo Edmundo). Who could have predicted this development? Look forward to short-form video programming and music videos coming to your cellphone via Viacom. The music industry continues to metamorphose into something ... exciting, a new accoustical landscape, but one completely unrecognizable compared to ten years ago. According to Sandy Brown of TheStreet:

"MTV Networks are linking up in what appears to be the first deal of its kind for mobile music content. The licensing deal covers use of Warner's music videos within original mobile programming developed across MTV Networks' programming properties.

"The deal allows MTV Networks to create and distribute Warner videos for mobile devices. Artists in the Warner stable include Green Day, Sean Paul and Mana.

"At this point, MTV, along with its various channels such as VH1, is the only company to which Warner Music has licensed its roster for wireless use.

"'Today's digital age has created a new world in the music industry, one that requires innovative thinking about the way business has to be done to meet the evolving needs and demands of our audiences,' said Judy McGrath, CEO of MTV Networks."

Did you know -- we didn't -- that the music industry derives half of its digital revenues from ringtones?

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(image via typepad)

Out: Barak Obama: "Sunday Poison"? Is Illinois Senator Barak Obama "Sunday Poison"? Or is this simply another instance of the Nielsen's fuzzy math. We'll report, you decide. According to USNews&World Report (link via Wonkette):

"Is Washington already bored with new Senate star Barack Obama? In his two Sunday talk show appearances this month, the programs finished dead last in the all important Washington market. 'He's Sunday poison,' says a TV exec."

WTF?!

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(image via thezreview)

In: A Scanner Darkly. The buzz is growing; though, admittedly, most of said buzz is among the aint-it-cool set (Averted Gaze). The film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" is hugely anticipated, if only for the intriguing cast.

How can you not go see a Richard Linklater movie with rotomation, Keanu Reeves (Who, quite frankly, was devastatingly good in Thumbsucker), Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr (Can you imagine the company that insured these "legally-challenged" actor-freaks for this film)? This, from Moviehole:

"Moviehole: How did the Scanner Darkly shoot go?

"Woody Harrelson: It was very interesting. I read that book and I honestly had no idea what the hell was going on. Then I did the movie because I just wanted to do it. I wanted to work with Richard Linklater, Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. I wanted to do it, but I really still don�t know what the hell that film is about. But I just know it�s really interesting.

"Moviehole: How did you shoot the film?

"Woody Harrelsen: We shot it hi-def. And so Rick [Linklater] is doing it just like Waking Life, and animating over the film. But it was cool shooting it, because he�d have like six camera lined up everywhere. It was cool because I hadn�t really shot that much hi-def and because there was a little bit of spontaneity. And of course Downey will go off. He really is a genius. One time we did this scene where the four of us are all around in the living room, talking about this bike, and Downey just went off on this great tirade. And then Rick cut, and me and Winona just looked at each other and she says, 'I am so glad we got to see that.' And I said, 'Me too. That was amazing.'
"Moviehole:Have you gotten to see any of the completed footage yet?

"Woody Harrelsen: I haven�t. They sent the clips, but it was all still just us. It wasn�t animated yet. Although I think they�ve got a lot of it animated by now."

We're so there.

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(image via UPenn)

Out: Andrea Mitchell. Jonathan Yardley's crisp, velvet-gloved bitchslapping of Andrea Mitchell was the shot heard round the world (The Corsair ruefully rubs his cheek), reverberating sharply throughout the corridors of power, and was the talk of all the boozy lunches of The Chattering Classes. Yardley wrote:

"She's come a long way from the Bronx and New Rochelle, and though she says that 'I still love the chase for news,' she does her chasing in an environment to which most journalists are denied admission.

"Say it for her, though, that what she does, she does very well. She's smart, energetic, determined and fast on her feet: a real terrier.

" ... She's considerably less right in her apparent conviction that a blow-by-blow account of three decades on the front line of television journalism is, in and of itself, an interesting story. It isn't."

Vaughn Ververs of CBS' Eye Blog asks the related question: "Does being a reporter mean one shouldn�t have dinner with anyone they might cover in a purely social setting? How about cocktail parties?"

Good question. Mitchell can answer it, hopefully, at her Methuselan husband's swishy farewell party.

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(image via cbsnews)

In: From RNC Chair to Statewide Elected Official. If our favorite Dickensian villain Robert Novak's inside sources pan out once again, as they all-too-often do, a new Republican Party trend seems to be emerging: Get a former RNC Chair, Polish him off, and run him for statewide office, preferably in the South. Think: Former RNC Chair, current buzzworthy Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. In one of his latest column, Novak writes:

"Influential Virginia Republicans are eyeing former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie as a possible successor to Sen. John Warner if the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman does not seek re-election in 2008 at age 81.

"Gillespie, a former House GOP staffer, headed the Republican National Committee during the 2004 campaign and was a major national spokesman for the party. He currently is on leave from his own lobbying firm and working at the White House to shepherd Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to confirmation as chief justice.

"Gillespie told this column he has not been approached for the Senate seat. Nevertheless, the New Jersey native is talked about as the best bet to succeed Warner."

Positively pimpy.

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Oof! image via caglecartoons via slate)

Out: Mike Eisner. When not penning virtually unreadable, saccharine and pseudo-inspirational blather as "Camp, (such a brazen attempt at good PR it is laughable)" the thuggish Disney CEO Michael Eisner prepares, meekly, his retreat from civilized life and moseys into the Disneyland sunset. According to The Old Gray Lady:

"When Michael D. Eisner leaves the Walt Disney Company for good on Friday, there will be no grand send-off or congratulatory party. Mr. Eisner, who served as chief executive for more than two decades, has agreed only to a one-page retrospective in the company newsletter, according to Disney executives.

"It is a low-key way to end a 21-year career that was both brilliant and controversial and during which Mr. Eisner, 63, became the face of Disney for the generation whose parents grew up with the founder, Walt Disney.

" ... Mr. Eisner has little to say about his leaving. Through a spokeswoman, he declined last week to discuss his career. Instead he is expected to send an e-mail message to Disney's employees before he vacates his office."

A Mouse Kingdom for a copy of that email (The Corsair salivates) ! How long after it is issued will it leak, and then how long before clever, hastily put-together little Pixar "ding-dong-the-Eisner's-dead" animations begin virally swarming the web?

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(image via evc.net)

In: Enrique Iglesias' Travelling Companion. According to Papermag.com's resident Blogger, our pal, the most xcellent Mr. Mickey, currently causing hooplah in London, "My people at the Carlton Tower tell me that Enrique Iglesias stayed there and requested a special down mattress for his traveling companion who was NOT Anna Kournikova."

Oh no he didn't!
Did Jessica Alba Just Zing Director John Stockwell?

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(image via allmoviephoto.com)

Jessica Alba, whose "Into the Blue" will, no doubt, do brisk business next weekend, is putting geeky male directors with ideas of domination on notice. On AMC's "Sunday Morning Shootout" she took the punks down down a beeyotch notch with extreme prejudice:

"Peter Bart: .. I once did a picture with Roman Polanski. His attitude -- particularly towards actresses -- was, he'd go through 20, 30 takes. He said, 'I want to break her down.' I thought, 'Boy, that's a (hard) attitude to take (towards an actress) ... have you ever had to go that many takes with a director?

"Jessica Alba: (pensive) Yeah, it seems like ... uh ... (pause) direc-- male directors ... but ... yeah (diplomatically) directors get to really break down their actors and, uhm, usually men ... I find that probably directors who don't have a lot of luck with women on their own personal time really use the forum of the set to break down the woman and feel like 'The Big Cheese,' so to say. So, yes I have had directors try to do that to me and -- luckily -- I kind of beat them to it.

"Uberguber: I'm not surprised.

"Paul Walker: (laughing) I've witnessed it.

"Jessica Alba: --I do, I call them out, I say, 'look, if this is what you want, I'll get there, but you don't need to demean me.'"

Bravo, Jessica Alba. The skeevy Roman Polanski as sex predator mention doesn't surprise us at all. But we are most curious about Paul Walker's laughing, sly, "I've witnessed it" comment thrown in there but not followed up upon. Then again, could they really follow up on the gnostic double-secret meanings of that utterance when Peter Guber, "Into the Blue's" producer, was one ot the interviewers?

Still, enquiring minds want to know: was Paul Walker talking about Jessica's relationship with Director/chicks-in-bathing-suits film connoisseur John Stockwell? (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

We are most curious.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Is Bin Ladin a Has Been?

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(Photo: CBS)

Before the season's premiere of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "The West Wing," and before "Rome," there's CBS' "60 Minutes" (Ed Bradley, incidentally, is now the "First Face"; yay him), where Steve Kroft does a story called, "Is Bin Ladin a Has Been?"

Charmed, we're sure, at the deficit of wit involved the titlemaking process; still, we're sure the gang at "Black Rock" has put together a real thought-provoker on the subject, so long as they show, we will argue, a stiff counterargument against the implausible line of the Pakistani military.

Pseudo-President Musharraf is, to be sure, on borrowed time (The Corsair checks his Piaget Fingerprint Watch), and a cornered dictator and his free-falling regime -- This: The Coirsair knows all too well -- is dangerously untrustworthy. Dangerously. This is especially so when "The Dark Lady," Benazir Bhutto is busy "casing out" the fucking joint, looking -- with a Netanyahuesque sense of timing -- to a brisk return to the seat of Power. Even an accomplished and pathological tyrant such as Musharraf cannot juggle the United States, Muslim Fundamentalism and the Womankind at the same time (Do you see the pathology at work?); something had to give. The CBSNews website says:

"The Pakistani military officers battling al Qaeda along the border with Afghanistan who have the latest first-hand information about Osama bin Laden believe he is hiding with a small cadre in Afghanistan and is no longer an effective leader for the terrorist group."

Okay, though we haven't seen the piece (But when has that stopped a blogger on a roll), we are automoatically skeptical about claims made by Pakistani military officers to a major US media outlet. Do we expect outright honesty from the military unit of a military dictatorship (No matter how "allied" they are in the War on Terror)? Is there an agenda at work in the information that we are being given? These are some questions that should go through your mind as you watch on Sunday.

In the words of Arnaud de Borchgrave, "(Escaped Taliban) have been living in tribal villages, protected by former members of Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) agency who were once assigned to Bin Laden and his Afghan training camps. Between 1996, when the Taliban completed its conquest of Afghanistan, and 2001, when it was routed, several hundred ISI officers served in Afghanistan. They never agreed with President Pervez Musharraf's post-9/11 decision to ditch Taliban. Nine top Taliban leaders had been trained in a Pakistani madrassa - Islamic religious schools -- in Khattak, NWFP, under ISI supervision. Today, Waziristan, north and south, is a wilderness of mirrors where former Pakistani intelligence officers are encouraging foreign guerrillas back into Afghanistan to join a resurgent Taliban."

But back to the CBSNews website, which says:

"... 'I think now [bin Laden] is being protected or assisted by a very short number, which keeps his profile very low,' says the counter-terrorism head of Pakistan�s Intelligence Service, a brigadier who goes by the name 'Ali' and whose true identity is known by only a few government officials. Ali believes that bin Laden is still someplace along the border, probably in Afghanistan.

" ... ''The mere fact that there has not been a replication of 9/11 speaks volumes of what we shared with the world,' boasts Ali (to Kroft). Finding bin Laden doesn�t matter at this point, according to Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, who is in charge of Pakistan�s anti-terrorism operations along the Afghanistan border. 'If [bin Laden] is hiding in a hole, neither the electronic nor the human intelligence can find him,' he tells Kroft. 'Is it all that important to find him? If he�s taken out tomorrow, his ideology is not going to come to an end. I don�t think that it�s important�if he is captured� This is my personal view,' says Hussain. Kroft also spoke to Pakistan�s leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. �These troops are not certainly on the trail of one man, and that�s all they are doing,� notes Musharraf. 'We are fighting terrorism wherever it is. If Osama happens to be there incidentally, he will be killed or captured.'"

But what if the dictator Musharraf doesn't want Bin Laden dead? What if that isn't in his "national interest"? What if Musharraf is fucking with the United States of America, as tyrants are wont to do, presenting himself as in the process of achieving some nebulous (sotto voce) "progress," and, similtaneously, presenting himself as the only alternative to chaos ("apres moi, le deluge") and -- worse -- al-Quaeda? Why, The Corsair asks, are we "working with" Musharraf, a man so clearly -- if you have the eyes to see -- in "political entropy," instead of siding squarely with the anti-Musharraf and pro-democratic forces of -- say -- women's liberation? According to de Borchgrave:

" ... Over the past three years, Musharraf has stated flatly Osama Bin Laden is dead, later amended to say Bin Laden is definitely not anywhere in Pakistan, and more recently that he is hiding in the border regions between the two countries and that the trail has gone cold ... Musharraf loyalists do not believe in the durability of a close alliance with the U.S. past the capture or killing of Bin Laden. Hence, the reluctance to conduct a manhunt in the jagged mountain range that forms the unmarked frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan."

Does Steve Kroft arrive at a similar -- or dissimilar -- conclusion?

deBorchgrave
CBSNews