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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via nytimes)

"From the moment he took office as the nation’s 47th vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr. ’s biggest challenge was to dial back the power that his predecessor had without returning the job to a make-work role and a punch line for political humorists. By most accounts, Biden has managed to start striking a successful balance during his first 11 weeks on the job, proving that a vice president doesn’t have to duplicate the power-accruing approach that Dick Cheney pioneered in order to play a unique and meaningful role in advancing the president’s agenda. Biden has taken on domestic policy projects at President Obama’s request, but they’re broad enough that they can hardly be construed as busywork. He has become a foreign policy spokesman and diplomat — a natural assignment for someone who was previously chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — without duplicating Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ’s role. And he has used his old Senate friendships to appeal for support for Obama’s agenda, gathering critical input from moderate Senate Republicans that helped secure their support for the stimulus package." (CQPolitics)



"Looks like former VJ turned actor turned rapper, Simon Rex, enjoyed himself a little too much at the JC Penney/Charlotte Ronson party. The Cobrasnake caught Rex in action as he jumped on stage, performed a few tunes, and got friendly with some equally inebriated female party-goers. But that’s just another night for the club-hopping Rex, right?" (Guestofaguest)



"On a recent night out in the Naked City, Mr. Mickey's friend Michael Musto (MM & MM!) led us to one of the most gay gala events of the year: The Night of a Thousand Gowns held by the Imperial Court. These queens mean business people!!! Here are three shots that encapsulate the night for MM. Soap goddess Robin Strasser of One Life to Live with Michael Musto; Donna D'Cruz and Tommy Silverman with a friend; and a man named Jacques who lost his blouse." (Papermag)

"NBC has been in dreadful shape these past few years, sinking to No. 4 in the 18-49 demographic it once dominated, and that makes what it plans for the coming fall seem all the more urgent as it meets with media buyers ahead of this year's upfront market. But while most of those shows are still in the scriptwriting phase, media buyers say NBC appears to be in better shape than one might expect. Overall ratings are certain to be down as the network turns over the 10 p.m. weeknight hour to longtime 'Tonight' host Jay Leno, but NBC should perform better during the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. hours. With fewer hours to fill, it can focus on filling those hours with shows with the promise of drawing audiences, rather than scrambling to patch holes, as it has in recent years." (Medialifemagazine)

"(T)he reason (Newt) Gingrich is onto something is because for a long time, the American people have been frustrated with the two-party system and have been seeking alternative answers. Polling that Scott Rasmussen conducted before the 2008 election showed that close to half of the electorate was willing to consider a third-party alternative if they disagreed with the major-party candidates on the key issues facing the country. Former Gen. Colin Powell received as much as one-third of the vote in polls as a third-party candidate, and a solid 20 to 25 percent indicated that in a generic contest with an unnamed Democrat and an unnamed Republican, they wanted a third-party alternative. What then, are the circumstances that are necessary for such a party to emerge in 2012, encompassing more than just a narrow but mobilized segment of the center-right? First, the Obama administration would have to fail significantly. Given the success of the G-20 summit and the meetings with NATO, as well as the recent increase in the stock market, it is hard to see that happening. But it has only been 78 days since Barack Obama took office." (TheDailyBeast)



(image via JH/NYSocialDiary)

"Last night I went over to the New York Athletic Club on the corner of Central Park South and Seventh Avenue, for a booksigning by a young man named Chesa Boudin. Eleanora and Michael Kennedy were hosting. Eleanora told me about it over an early dinner at Swifty’s on Sunday night. Chesa is a 28-year-old Yale Law student who has written a book called 'Gringo; A Coming of Age in Latin America' which Scribner has published (official pub date April 14). It’s a 'travel' book that begins with an 18-year-old’s odyssey: his first trip abroad, alone, to Guatemala. His objective: adventure and learning Spanish. Over the the next eight years, Mr. Boudin criss-crossed the southern American continent visiting 27 countries." (NYSocialDiary)



"Obama's speech in Turkey's Parliament has gotten heavy coverage and rave reviews across the Arab political spectrum. Even influential newspapers and personalities who are usually quite critical of American foreign policy have expressed frank admiration. Despite the disarray in the public diplomacy bureaucracy (where there is still no nominee for the Under-Secretary of State), I would say that Obama has already succeeded at the initial public diplomacy phase of his effort to transform America's relations with the Muslim world. And he's not done -- I'm fairly sure that despite the fact that he has lived up to his promise to give a major address from a Muslim capital, this was not even 'the' speech to the Muslim world that he promised during his campaign. But now will come the real challenge: transforming the words into deeds and delivering on the promise. Several Arab columnists noted with amazement that Obama visited a Muslim country before he visited Israel --- which they are taking as a potentially politically costly, and therefore more credible, signal of the importance he places on reaching out to the Muslim world. And not just any Muslim country -- as a number of Arab commentators note, Turkey is particularly popular right now because of Erdogan's outburst against Shimon Peres in Davos and his outspoken support for Gaza, along with Turkey's good relations with Syria, Hamas, and others across the great Arab political divide." (ForeignPolicy)



(Photo: Ted Axelrod/Courtesy of Fox News)

"It is the penultimate commercial break in Glenn Beck’s Fox News TV show, and the host is coming off an interview, of sorts, with Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal about Blumenthal’s legally intriguing attempt to claw back AIG bonuses, during which Beck said to him, 'You know what you’ve done? You are an insult to George Washington, sir.' The rant seems to have winded him. 'Oof. You know, I couldn’t do this every day,' confides Beck to a cameraman while stretching his legs; invisible to the folks at home are his laceless Converse sneakers. 'To sit there and go, You, sir, are a dirtbag! I mean, who does that?' 'So you don’t like exposing villains?' asks the cameraman. 'You could never be Superman.' 'Never be Superman? I am Superman!' thunders Beck." (NYMag)

"My office at (United States of) Tara is being painted pink. And I'm putting up Kevin Jonas posters. The esthetic is 'gay shrine meets genie bottle.'" (Diablo Cody/Twitter)

"Howard started off the show saying he and Beth recently discussed what would happen after his Sirius contract was over. Howard recalled that after claiming he was strongly considering retiring, Beth openly doubted his sincerity. Howard said he realized she was right - he's really not sure if he'll retire at the end of 2010: 'But I honestly can tell you right now, when I woke up this morning, I didn't want to come here. But what are you going to do otherwise?'" (HowardStern)



"If anyone ever tells you that there is something wrong with partying on a Monday night, they probably suck. Last night Gotham Magazine threw an event at Pranna to celebrate cover girl and Ugly Betty star America Ferrera and Peace Games. America works with the organization that empowers students to create their own safe classrooms and communities by forming partnerships with elementary schools, families, and young adult volunteers. Guests included the cover girl herself along with other friends and Ugly Betty cast members like Vanessa Williams, Becki Newton, Tony Plana, Patricia Fields, Alexis Bledel (her costar from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), and Soap star Chrishell Stause who came out to show their support. The event was held to honor America Ferrera, born in Honduras, who at 24 is both a Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress." (SociallySuperlative)

"My new neighbor Marco, a soft-spoken Englishman, told me that he was a photographer. I collect photography and was only too eager to show him my prized collection: Doisneaus, Ansel Adamses and Irving Penns. He appreciated them, but not as I would have imagined a fellow photographer would. Weeks later, he averred that the pictures he took were of an adult nature. Some might call him a pornographer, others, a working member of the Adult Entertainment business. I told him that I worked in television as a writer-producer and that there wasn't that wide a gulf between our professions. One evening Marco invited me to a local bar to attend a wake in honor of a friend who was in the "business" and had passed away suddenly. As an Irishman I never pass up a wake, and soon I found myself in a swirl of Porn People -- producers, cameramen, actors, actresses and costumers (after all, they have to have something on, to remove) all spoke tenderly about their co-worker. I was moved by their expressed affection and sorrow over this man's passing. Then Polaroids were passed around of the honoree -- posing with one naked woman after another, he always assumed a bored expression. No matter what the young lady was performing on him, his countenance expressed ennui. Anecdotes were recounted and tears were followed by waves of laughter." (TheWrap)

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