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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(Penn and Petra Nemcova via dailymail)

"THE misery is over for Robin Wright, the long-suffering wife of Sean Penn. The two-time Oscar-winner is divorcing the mother of his two children, Dylan and Hopper Jack. 'Extra' reports he filed for legal separation last Friday. This comes as no surprise to Petra Nemcova, Helena Christensen, Ines Misan, Naomi Campbell and Natalie Portman, who all befriended Penn during his 13-year marriage to Wright. The couple filed for separation in December 2007 but reconciled five months later, and Wright stoically attended the Academy Awards with Penn, where he snubbed her during his acceptance speech." (PageSix)

"I just talked to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell about his new Democratic colleague, and he sheds some additional light on Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties: Specter, Rendell says, had been looking for ways to survive politically without switching parties. One move he considered is the reverse of something that worked well for Rendell in the 2002 gubernatorial primary against Bob Casey: Appealing to Democrats to switch their registration temporarily so that they could vote in the GOP primary .. Another idea that Specter considered, according to the Governor, was appealing to Republicans in the state Senate to change the rules and allow independents to vote in the GOP primary .. While Rendell had long been wheedling Specter to switch parties, he says that he was completely surprised when the Senator actually did so--and, indeed, didn't learn about it until Barack Obama called with the news. (The Governor noted, as an aside, that Specter and Obama had become friendly back in the days when they shared neighborhing offices in the Hart Senate Office Building.)" (Karen Tumulty/Time)



"Hugh Jackman stopped by to promote 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' and told the crew he landed the role after Dougray Scott, the actor originally cast as Wolverine, was delayed on the set of 'Mission Impossible 2.' Hugh said the only remaining obstacle was his height, as Wolverine - in the comic - was 5'3.'Howard asked Hugh how he managed to bulk up so much for the role, so Hugh confessed that he had to eat huge meals every three hours and hit the gym a lot: 'I do an hour and a half in the morning when I was really trying to bulk up and then another half hour in the afternoon...I was eating 5000 calories a day.' Hugh said he would bench as much as 300lbs - but only for three or four reps at a time .. Hugh told the crew a story about the three days it took to film Halle Berry's nude scene on the set of Swordfish: 'I was there for her. I'm an off-camera guy.' Later, during a scene in which Halle wore only underwear, John Travolta entered on cue - but instead of saying his line, took in the view and exclaimed: 'Holy shit! Look at the body on that girl!'" (HowardStern)



(image via thepeepdiaries)

"One person leaving a comment (on Emily Gould's blog) had the good manners to sign his name. It was Glenn Kenny, a veteran film writer, formerly of Premiere magazine, who is known for his encyclopedic knowledge: 'Um, not to put too fine a point on it—and believe me, I know this is going to sound mean, but there’s just no way around it—but could you do the rest of humanity the favor of, like, throwing yourself in front of a bus or something? Thanks.' That comment went up July 3. On July 6, Kenny was back, with this remark: 'I want to apologize for my above comment.… I am sorry, and shall not trouble your comments again.' Asked why he had ventured into the comments section of Gould’s blog that way, Kenny no longer sounded so apologetic. 'Her whole trick was the idea that the whole world revolved around her,' he tells me in a phone interview, 'and she was not a particularly clever writer, not a particularly clever thinker. So I, rather unfortunately, got caught up in that eddy. I’m not interested in kneecapping her career, but there’s a certain amount of bullshit you want to call a person on, and she happens to manufacture quite a bit of it.'" (Vanity Fair)



"Contemporary artist and U.N. Goodwill Abassador, Ross Bleckner attended a party in his honor Tuesday night at New York City’s Moschino which will sponsor Welcome to Gulu, the artisit’s latest exhibition of 200 paintings made by children from Uganda where Bleckner recently traveled to help with the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and abducted girls through art therapy. Guests including Douglas Friedman, Sandra Bernhard, Dani Stahl, Daniel Benedict, Andrew Saffir, Claiborne Swanson, Veronica Swanson Beard, Glenn O’Brien, and Sylvana Soto-Ward attended to support the cause and view the exhibition." (Guestofaguest)

"As head of his party’s congressional campaign committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland helped elect 34 new Democrats to the 111th Congress. In his new role as an assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., he’s trying to help them keep their jobs in 2010. To protect the freshman class of 2008 — the fledgling lawmakers who are Pelosi’s 'majority enhancers' — Van Hollen has pushed back against liberal demands for showdown votes with partisan themes. Instead, he has urged a tight focus on the health care overhaul and 'core economic issues' and argued against moving some controversial measures that face roadblocks in the Senate. For example, Van Hollen pushed to shelve a plan for using reconciliation to advance a proposed cap-and-trade system for carbon emission allowances, a proposal that is controversial in heavily industrial states. Instead, he has called for fallback energy initiatives if an all-in-one energy bill loses traction. More recently, he suggested that leaders could delay consideration of climate change legislation until next year." (CQPOlitics)



"I went to lunch at Michael’s with W. Randall (Randy) Jones to talk about his new book, 'The Richest Man In Town; The Twelve Commandments of Wealth.' Randy is a well known figure in the media business in New York. When he was 29, he was publisher of Esquire which was later sold to Hearst. In 1992, he launched Worth which grew its circulation to more than a half million in three years time. He has since written books as well as acquired publications. He and his wife Connie, whom he’s known since boyhood in Carrollton, Georgia, their hometown, are frequent hosts at their spectacular duplex apartment on 57th Street near Sutton Place, as well as raising their three sons in Bronxvile." (NYSocialDiary)

"Seven years after the end of the war, Sierra Leone is thriving and the tourists are starting to come back. For the time being, it is more a trickle than a flood. But speaking to the entrepreneurs on Lumley Beach in Freetown, I was struck by the ambition of their plans and their optimism about the future. New hotels and facilities are being built in anticipation of the increase in visitors they expect in years to come. With industry leaders starting to sit up and take notice of Sierra Leone once again, they will not have to wait for long. Lonely Planet recently named Sierra Leone one of its top 10 countries to visit in 2009. Bradt Travel is bringing out the first guidebook dedicated solely to Sierra Leone. And you can now fly direct to Sierra Leone from Europe in six hours." (Tony Blair/TheDailyBeast)



(image via uiuc)

"The historic gap between blacks and whites in voter participation evaporated in last year’s presidential race, according to an analysis released today, with black, Hispanic and Asian voters comprising nearly a quarter of the electorate, setting a record. The analysis, by the Pew Research Center, also found that for the first time, black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group .. The Pew analysis found that whites constituted 76.3 percent of the record 131 million Americans who voted last November. Blacks accounted for 12.1 percent, Hispanic voters for 7.4 percent and Asians for 2.5 percent. Together, black, Hispanic and Asian voters made up nearly 24 percent of the voters, compared with about 12 percent in 1988." (NyTimes)

"The preferred caterer of Manhattan high society, Sean Driscoll, described his longtime client, the late philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, as a scotch-on the-rocks kind of gal who spent her 100th birthday dining with the likes of Kofi Annan and Barbara Walters. Taking the witness stand on Thursday, April 30, Mr. Driscoll also recalled how the centenarian society maven had seemed confused at a lunch in 2003, insisting on paying for her meal with a credit card, as if she were in a restaurant. She was not. She was actually attending a private event in her honor at Mr. Driscoll's company's headquarters." (Observer)

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