Monday, February 13, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via mediavillage)

In: Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg. Are powerduo Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg the new Mary-Kate and Ashley -- namely, young media empire builders -- of the Punk'd generation? In addition to a nascent Italian restaurant chain and a media-savvy marriage to bionic woman Demi Moore (in addition to the successful "Beauty and the Geek," which will survive the UPN-WB merger), this: According to Paidcontent:

"AOL.com and, in what could be a first, AIM will share the results of a new production deal with Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, the creators of 'Punk'd' and 'Beauty and the Geek.' The pair's Katalyst Films has signed on to deliver at least five programs -- each with at least 20 mini-episodes -- for AOL (primarily AOL Comedy) and AIM. It's described by Goldberg as a strategic partnership, which, in deal lingo, usually means rev share when it isn't about trading traffic. One immediate boon for AOL.com from the pact -- Kutcher's connection of AOL with the youth audience in his press release statement: 'Our core audience is into the Web so we felt it was natural for us to reach youth culture online.' This is a deal you might have expected from MTV Networks, not AOL. Press release.

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fucking disgusting, yo. (image via galloappreciation)

Out: Vincent Gallo. Scuzzy, feral former model -- and lover of underage starlets -- Vincent Gallo is off the market at eBay. Gallo, who tried selling his seed -- eew -- and then, afterwards, lowered himself -- double eew -- to the fetid rank of manwhore, is at present off the market. It is, evidently, against the rules to solicit "low-grade piece of ass" on eBay. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

According to ohnotheydidnt (link via contactmusic):

"An eBay auction offering a night with actor/director VINCENT GALLO has been withdrawn from the website, because it breaches their rules on selling sex. The vendor, claiming to be the 43-year-old BROWN BUNNY film-maker himself, offered a night of passion for the sum of $50,000 (GBP27,800)."

Chloe Sevigny evidently liked the cut of Vincent's pole; but, then again, her taste-making abilities haven't been the same since Andre Leon Talley quietly subtracted himself from the Sevigny buzz-o-matic calculus that was in full-effect a year back when she was "It." (Averted Gaze)

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(image via richterscale)

In: Sir Howard Stringer, SONY.
SONY's gaijin-in-chief, it seems, albeit breifly, has managed to oxygenate his embattled company (SONY's "Four Pillar" strategy notwithstanding).
Against all odds -- and, presumably because we are in the midst of The Hollywood shitty season -- Sony's "Pink Panther" is number one at the box office. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) In addition, SONY seems to have pulled off an under-the-radar executive shuffle, thus infusing the sometimes stale company with some well-needed buzz. According to FT (link via MSNMoney):

"At a party hosted the night before by Clive Davis, the Arista records impresario, one of the speakers had quipped: 'We're very happy to have the CEO of Sony BMG here.' All eyes turned to the table where Andy Lack, the holder of the role, sat with Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Sony BMG's chairman and the pretender to Mr Lack's throne."While the two men mingled with Rod Stewart and Jamie Foxx, their lawyers were working out the details of a job swap, designed to end a four-month feud between the company's two shareholders: Sony of Japan and Bertelsmann, the German media group.

"On Friday, having notched up 22 Grammys for artists such as John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, Sony BMG confirmed the 'management realignment.' 'Rolf and Andy are now aligned in positions that will take advantage of the significant progress the company has already made, as well as their formidable business skills,' said Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's chairman and chief executive."

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(image via inthesetimes)

Out: The Republican Party Crack-Up. We know -- we know -- we have been touting the end of Republican lock-and-step voting process in Congress for a while, but now, more than ever, the Republican crack-up seems evident. Witness: The Senator Chuck Hagel NYTimes Magazine coverstory entitled "Heartland Dissident." It's every man for himself with regards to midterm elections. In fact, it has been said that both Republicans -- and, of course, Democrats -- will be running against the NSA wiretapping issue. For example, from our favorite Dickensian villain, Rovak:

"Defection from the anti-cloning ranks by Sen. Jim Talent, until now a rising star in the conservative movement, reflects deep divisions in the Republican Party created by the stem cell research issue. When Talent went on the Senate floor Friday to take his name off a bill to ban human cloning, he showed how those divisions imperil his re-election to a second term in Missouri this year."

And, from Newsweek:

"It is not yet clear how the public feels about warrantless wiretapping. As usual, the answer depends on the question. Asked if they approve of government eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, most people say no; asked if they approve of eavesdropping to catch terrorists, most people say yes. More-sophisticated polls show a roughly even split in opinion, so it's hard to know how the issue will cut in the 2006 elections. But there is no question that the solons of Capitol Hill�and, increasingly, those in the Republican Party�are growing restless and ready to challenge the authority of the Bush White House.

"In part, congressional egos and prerogatives are on the line. Members of both parties feel bullied by the sometimes high-handed treatment they get from the Bush administration, particularly from Vice President Dick Cheney, the outspoken avatar of executive power. Congress has always been the place to go to complain about executive-branch bungling and malfeasance. Last week was particularly rough for the Bush team on Capitol Hill: former FEMA director Michael Brown used a congressional hearing to lay the blame for the botched handling of Hurricane Katrina on the White House and the Homeland Security Department�both of which, Brown argued, had been promptly informed of the storm's terrible toll, an assertion that may shift more of the blame for the disaster-within-a-disaster away from the seemingly hapless 'Brownie,' as President Bush called his ousted FEMA director.

"This coming week is not going to be any better."

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(image via fashiondish)

In: Stripper Tippers. Courtesy, please, when a stripper stretches for you their -- how does one put it? -- their "Laffy Taffee." (Averted Gaze) According to Ohnotheydidnt, link via WWTDD:

"AVN News says that after an informal survey of dancers at the world famous Scores strip club in New York, 'Sugar Ray' lead singer Mark McGrath is consistently voted by the strippers as the nicest and friendliest of celebrities and was singled out on top because of his tipping. Pamela Anderson is also said to tip well and is known for occasionally inviting girls back to her hotel room for an after party. Christina Aguilera is famous for recently paying the club to stay open after hours to keep husband Jordan Bratman happy, and then topped that with $500 an hour in tips to each of the dancers who stayed. Colin Farrell is also a crowd favorite. An average visit for him includes dropping thousands on lap dances and drinks and then moving the party back to his hotel room."