Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out

(image via 21.cnbj)

In: Steve Berkowitz. Microsoft's gain is Media Titan Barry Diller's loss. Berkowitz jumps from IAC to the MSFT campus in Redmond, Washington. Gates, incidentally, after delivering a characteristically crypric response -- think: "The Road Ahead (just enough to please the techie Libertarians, and not enough to piss off China)," the cryptic-est of all tech pseudo-"Bibles" -- to the Chinese President, is, ironically, greeted like a rock star in, of all places, Vietnam. According to his bio, "Ask Jeeves has more than doubled its revenue since Berkowitz came on board." to Rafat Ali at the necessary Paidcontent:

" ... Steve Berkowitz is joining Microsoft as the VP in charge of MSN, the Microsoft division that includes the MSN Internet portal and search businesses.

"Berkowitz is currently the CEO of IAC�s search business (, primarily)..he was AskJeeves CEO prior to the sale of the company. He will replace Microsoft Senior VP David Cole, who Microsoft announced last month will take a leave of absence from the company starting in May.

"Berkowitz will report to Kevin Johnson co-President of Microsoft�s Platforms & Services Division, which houses MSN and the Windows product groups. He will start May 8. Prior to Ask/IAC, Berkowitz was the President and COO of IDG Books, where he was loooking after the 'Dummies' series."

(image via 21.cnbj)

Out: Charlie Sheen. (The Corsair gathers his forces) Let's see. So ... Charlie Sheen likes Hookers, Blow, Gambling, Underage Gay and Straight sex videos. Is anyone here -- in this most cynical space in the blogosphere -- surprised? He's Charlie Fucking Sheen, after all. Frankly, we are offended by the relative tameness of it all. The Corsair expected something decidedly more Satanic. Human sacrifices. Bestiality. Lunches with Harvey Weinstein. That sort of sinister Hollywood Activity. But this? Lightweight. Amateurish, even.

And, while we're at it, Why do we assume that Charlie Sheen is capable of Love. Love is a human emotion. Ascribing those possibilities to a semi-savage like Sheen, who, it appears, is only capable of financial taransactions with his lovers. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) A prudent judge would ban him from the ceremony of Marriage.

This is the man who advised Kato Kaelin (Averted Gaze), while glomming off his "temporary chic," on becoming famous, to write checks when making major purchases because, oftentimes, one's autograph is more important to the owner of said paper than the actual amount on the chack. It all adds up, you see. (Averted Gaze)Charmed, I'm sure. Says TheSmokinggun:

"In a searing court attack on Charlie Sheen, actress Denise Richards alleges that her estranged husband is unstable, violent, addicted to gambling and prostitutes, and visits pornographic web sites featuring young men and girls who appear underage. In a remarkable sworn declaration (a copy of which you'll find below) filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Richards also charges that Sheen, 40, assaulted her and threatened her life during a December 30 incident at the actress's Los Angeles home. Richards claims that an enraged Sheen--who was over for a visit with the couple's two children--told her she was 'fucking with the wrong guy' and called her a series of vulgar names in front of the children. The actor, Richards said, then shoved her to the ground and screamed, 'I hope you f--king die, bitch.' As Richards, 35, tells it, Sheen was angry because she had told her divorce attorney about discovering details of Sheen's porn-surfing practices. Richards's declaration, filed in support of her request for a restraining order against Sheen, contends that Sheen 'belonged' to 'disturbing' sites 'which promoted very young girls, who looked underage to me with pigtails, braces, and no pubic hair performing oral sex with each other.'"

This is the same Charlie Sheen, BTW, who used to ask Heidi Fleiss to send over girls in Catholic school girl skirts, right? (TheSmokingGun)

As you can see, Charlie Sheen is a class act. He is a strong argument AGAINST child stars.

(image via

In: AOL Does Social Networking? NewsCorp's savvy purchase of MySpace has left the remaining few social networking destinations feeling, one imagines, quite salivated over. Think: an Angelina Jolie poster in a men's -- or, for that matter women's -- prison. MTV is eyeing Friendster so hard that the eye rape charges could be brought to court shortly. So, why don't the big cats in the digital jungle simply go in-house, as, apparently, AOL presently intends. According to Techcrunch (link via FishbowlNY):

"AOL may be preparing to launch a Myspace-type social network sometime in the next few weeks, says Dave Winer.

"This went from rumor to 'confirmed likely' in posts and comments by Jason Calacanis and Jordan Running (also here) (both now at AOL). A comment in the last link suggests that the new service will be open to non AOL members.

"This market is red hot. Mature players like Facebook and Fox-owned Myspace basically own their respective categories, and better-featured (and funded to the hilt) newcomers like Tagworld and Tagged gunning for the big guys. Even aging Friendster, mostly written off as living dead, has made a recent (if quiet) comeback based on Alexa stats."

(image via diplomacy-archive)

Out: Diplomacy. Historically, the issue of Ambassadorships have been a sore spot for the Bush family. Bushies tend to reward loyalty -- without any regard for political timing -- rather than talent with regards to the doling out of Ambassadorships, those joys of the jet-set's career desirings (To wit: World-Class courtesan Pamela Harriman, former Ambassador to France).

Hungary, unlike, say, the festive Bermuda (Or, for that matter, the High Society's fave -- Lichtenstein), is a particularly important post-Cold War station. A steady hand is needed to navigate the interests of that region of the world. We are not quite sure that the President's "Ex" is up for the job. (Averted Gaze)

Still, The President wants it to go to his ex-girlfriend. According to the perfect Dickensian villain, Robert Novak:

"President Bush, frustrated in efforts to make ex-girlfriend April Foley the head of the Export-Import Bank, has decided to name her as U.S. ambassador to Hungary without formally announcing it.

"The top Ex-Im job was vacant for months when the Justice Department took a long look at Foley's financial records. Her proposed nomination is in the hands of the Hungarian government, as was reported by that nation's press.

"Although she is not related to U.S. President George W. Bush, like her immediate predecessor [Amb. George Herbert Walker],' said the Budapest Business Journal, 'Foley's appointment would follow a tradition of having a trusted old friend of the Bush family at the helm of the embassy.' Bush dated Foley when they both were students at the Harvard Business School."

With an approval rating of just above 33-percent, it is not inconceiveable that this issue -- a perennial weakspot for the Bush clan -- might flare up again.

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