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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via mit)

"DITA Von Teese has a new romance with a French aristocrat 11 years younger. The ex-Mrs. Marilyn Manson, 36, is dating Count Louis-Marie de Castelbajac, 25, the actor-son of fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and his stunning ex-wife Catherine de Castelbajac, who dated Bill Koch and the late Ron Silver. Dita and her new beau were recently spotted at the Coachella Music Festival. 'We're all shocked they're together,' a pal of Castelbajac told us. 'She's really robbing the cradle." Von Teese's rep didn't get back to us." (PageSix)



(image via Hermann/NYDailyNews)

"Henry Kissinger. Annette de la Renta. Louis Auchincloss. Sir William Astor, over from London. Barbara Walters, even. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kirke Bartley's courtroomwill look like lunchtime at Swifty's ..Their job, he said, will be to testify about whether Marshall, 84, and co-defendant Francis Morrissey played three-card monte with Marshall's mom, Brooke Astor, after she got Alzheimer's ..On Monday, prosecutor Elizabeth Loewy described times when Astor, once the grande dame of New York society, had been reduced to "looking at animal picture books and singing 'How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?'" with her nurse ..In the years after Astor's Alzheimer's diagnosis, she signed will updates that gave her son the mansion in Maine, sent $5 million to Charlene and ordered her estate and Park Ave. duplex sold while she was alive to save money on estate taxes. If jurors believe that each time she signed them was a good day, Marshall goes home. If they think it was a bad day, well, Sing Sing does have a river view." (Joanna Molloy/NYDailyNews)



"Irreverent, smart, sometimes crude and often hilarious, Chelsea Lately is breaking up the boys’ club of late-night, but that’s the least of it. She’s doing for pop culture what Jon Stewart’s Daily Show does for—or to—the news. She sends up the idiocy of our obsession with Lohans and Kardashians while indulging our endless fascination with them, the way Stewart mocks the media’s lunacy while giving us some updates we can really use. (Handler’s timeslot is directly opposite Stewart’s, one more reason to love your DVR.)Although her show is steadily gaining popularity, Handler, an actress and stand-up comedian, may still be best known for her books of comic essays, My Horizontal Life and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea (still on the Times bestseller list after nine months). Her strategy in these wickedly funny autobiographical pieces, mostly about her drinking and dating and sleeping around, is to co-opt an attitude no one would blink at if she were a man, as if she were a smart-ass frat boy in a hot blonde’s body. She’s carried that persona to television, where it’s morphed into a contemporary version of a 1930s broad: sharp-witted, blunt about sex, refusing to fade into the background (fart jokes and all)." (Caryn James/TheDailyBeast)

"Senate Republicans will find it harder to block President Obama’s judicial nominations now that Arlen Specter is switching parties. The Pennsylvania senator is likely to be no less independent than he has been as a Republican when it comes to confirmation votes on such nominees. But assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn into the open Minnesota seat, Specter’s switch will give Democrats enough votes in their own caucus to cut off a filibuster. 'It clearly limits — and maybe even eliminates — the Republicans’ ability to filibuster judicial nominations,' said Michael J. Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law." (CQPolitics)



"In late February, I was walking down the dusty road that winds through Nyabiando, a town deep in the forests of eastern Congo, when ... A mile-long column of Rwandan soldiers was marching past on their way home to Rwanda ..as the Rwandan Defense Forces marched their way through village after village of wide-eyed, uneasy Congolese in January and February, there was very little fighting. They paid for their food and slept under the stars. In Pinga, I saw them take children on joy rides in the back of a truck; in Nyabiando, they flirted with women at the vegetable market. Operation Umoja Wetu (Our Unity, in Swahili) was less a military campaign than a public-relations operation meant to erase suspicion after years of war." (ForeignAffairs)

"TNT had the NBA playoffs, ESPN had the NFL Draft and ABC Family had the most-watched original movie. But once again, USA took the month. The NBC Universal network finished first in primetime for the fourth straight time this year in total viewers and all the major adult demographics, thanks to 'WWE Monday Night Raw' and the return of two scripted series. In fact, USA had the best month in ad-supported cable history in total viewers and adults 18-49 and 25-54 in April, becoming the first-ever network to average more than 3 million total viewers in a month and outdrawing the CW in all three categories. Across most of the demographics, it wasn’t even close. USA averaged 3.075 million primetime viewers in April, according to Nielsen, up 11 percent over last year and more than 700,000 better than the second-place network, Fox News Channel, itself up 43 percent over last year." (Medialifemagazine)



"For Roger Viver’s party to preview the Spring/Summer Cut Up: A Unique and Personalized Bag last night, a wide range of fashion participants arrived at the designer’s New York store where the event was being held. Everyone from Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley to fashion icon Lee Radziwell to reality star (sorta?) Kelly Bensimon showed up in honor of Roger Viver’s latest creation .. Other fashionistas included Ines de la Fressange, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Marjorie Gubelmann, Allison Aston, Alexandra Lebenthal and Dani Stahl." (Guestofaguest)

"The move of Pennsylvania Republican Specter also leaves only two self-described moderate senators from the Northeast in the Republican caucus: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. 'The party has become more of a private club centered in the South and rural areas,' said former Representative Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican. 'It’s not a hospitable place at this point.' Other moderate lawmakers 'look at this and wonder, What are we doing here? .. The greater concern for the Republican Party is one of diminishing numbers. An average of 36 percent of Americans identified themselves as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans in 2008, the largest advantage for Democrats since 1988, according to a Gallup poll in January. There are 18 states where Republicans have lost in five consecutive elections. In Pennsylvania alone, 130,000 Republicans switched parties before the primary elections last year. The party lost 54 House seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections, leaving a smaller base of more conservative members representing largely Southern and Western states." (Bloomberg)

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