Monday, January 28, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres



"It is 2016, and the Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Barack Obama administration is nearing the end of its second term. America has pulled out of Iraq but has about 20,000 troops in the independent state of Kurdistan, as well as warships anchored at Bahrain and an Air Force presence in Qatar. Afghanistan is stable; Iran is nuclear. China has absorbed Taiwan and is steadily increasing its naval presence around the Pacific Rim and, from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. The European Union has expanded to well over 30 members and has secure oil and gas flows from North Africa, Russia and the Caspian Sea, as well as substantial nuclear energy. America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline." (NYTimes)

"While we weren't at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for last night's DGA Awards, one of our loose-lipped Defamer informants just sent us the following tip regarding an incident involving an the one of Hollywood's most unpredictable actresses, Sean Young. Yes, the same Sean Young who once appeared on The Joan Rivers Show decked out in full Catwoman gear in hopes of landing the role that would go to Michelle Pfieffer. Anyway, after taking time to hurl insults towards both Marion Cotillard and Julian Schnabel (the former en fran├žais, no less!), the scourge of James Woods' life was (allegedly) booted from the premises by a security cop." (Defamer)

"People-watching (at davos, Switzerland) is half the fun. One night, I managed to weasel my way into a reception thrown by Kleiner, Perkins for Al Gore and Bono. George Soros was hanging out in the corner. I met Elie Wiesel on the line for the metal detector. Ran into David Cameron ... I was at two dinners with Emma Thompson and sat across the table from Howard Stringer and Jeff Zucker. That’s how nutty this place is." (BuzzMachine)

"Dear DPC: If you want to know what's conspicuous and interesting about Washington in this moment between South Carolina and Super Duper Tuesday is the trend away from the Clintons among die hard liberals who live and work here and who you would otherwise assume are total tools of the Hillary and Bill machine. The media may report there is disenchantment, but it's tangible here in the city that could be their home again for four years. This is a hard-bitten and often cynical group, and to see them sort of light up at the prospect of Barack Obama is like watching dried plants that got suddenly watered. He has struck a profound chord.It did not go unnoticed here that Greg Craig, a former Clinton lawyer and loyalist, came out for Obama. And the ripple of effect of Caroline Kennedy's New York Times endorsement is only just beginning. What people here were asking Sunday morning is: "How do the Clintons intend to besmirch her? How will they marginalize and neutralize that voice?" How do they ignore Ted Kennedy, who also jumped on the Obama bandwagon? The growing Obama support force here hope now that if John Edwards bails out — which is expected eventually — that he'll side with Obama, and that Al Gore — seemingly in hiding — will come out for Obama, too. How can he not? What possible reason have the Clintons given him to be in their camp?" (NYSD)

"I'm told that Terry Semel wants back in the movie biz in a big way. His pals know he's been working on something big behind the scenes. 'I'm looking at everything,' Semel is saying privately. But now I can report that the former Warner Bros co-chairman who failed at Yahoo! is actively considering two possibilities for a Hollywood re-entry via New Line Cinema or MGM." (DeadlineHollywooddaily)

"A few months ago I had dinner with an old friend who told me an amazing story. Two years before, a nice guy with no experience at all in real estate had come to him and said that there was a fortune to be made betting against the U.S. housing market. This fellow hoped to raise money for a hedge fund whose sole purpose was to do this, by shorting the subprime mortgage market. He asked my friend to invest with him but my friend turned him down. Now my friend felt foolish. 'It all happened exactly like he said it would happen,' he said. 'In every single detail.' The hedge fund creator's name was John Paulson. And -- as Bloomberg News's Jenny Strasburg and Anthony Effinger and the Wall Street Journal's Gregory Zuckerman laid out recently -- by making between $3 billion and $4 billion for himself in 2007, he appears to have set a Wall Street record. In the long history of money-making, no one has ever made so much so fast. As the Journal story also showed, Paulson's instincts now tell him to lay low and avoid calling attention to his fantastic triumph over his fellow Wall Street man. 'He is reluctant to celebrate, while housing causes others pain,' the Journal explained." (Bloomberg)

"The probing and lively Theater Talk is the go-to show for Broadway buzz, with your yin-yang hosts Susan Haskins and Michael Riedel serving as your proverbial ushers. I just shot a segment for them with Daphne Rubin-Vega, Rent's original Mimi, about that boho smash's impact and legacy as it goes into foreclosure. In the green room, Daphne told me that at the height of her Rent explosion, her dad would get e-mails from guys saying his daughter almost turned them straight. I know the feeling; she once flashed me her cleavage to show me the holographic bra she had on, and I immediately ran home and burned my Madonna records." (Musto)

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