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Friday, May 01, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via popcornnation)

"I’ve written a lot of stuff about Tom Cruise, notably a 2005 cover story in Radar magazine about the star’s relationship to the Church of Scientology. It chronicled Cruise’s slow-motion spinout in the days leading up to the release of War of the Worlds. (This was around the time that he was jumping on Oprah’s couch, chiding Matt Lauer for being 'glib,' and criticizing Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants.) Whether Cruise was aware of the article I can’t say because, as a former Scientologist told me, members of the group are 'kept in a bubble' and 'never hear bad news.' About a year later, I wrote another piece for Slate with the headline, 'The Cootie Factor.' A prominent agent used that telling phrase to describe the problem that was afflicting Cruise. It’s one thing to apologize for throwing a phone; it’s another to recover from the type of relentless scorn that was being poured on Cruise, from South Park to Scary Movie 4. A source close to Cruise acknowledged then that he was 'teetering on the brink of a certain kind of trouble that no star like him has ever been in before.' But this knowledgeable source said Cruise still hadn’t gotten the word. 'You’ve got to be very careful in conversations with him,' he explained. 'Tom is not ever going to face facts.' Now it seems that he has—though perhaps only up to a point. Cruise has been rebuilding his image brick by brick. He did a comic turn in Tropic Thunder and a quirky commercial for Jimmy Kimmel that aired during the Oscars. Last May he allowed Oprah to interrogate him and in December he went on the Today show to apologize to Lauer." (Kim Masters/TheDailyBeast)

"EVANDER Holyfield slipping into a screening of 'Tyson' at the Magic Johnson Theaters in Harlem with his marketing agent, Ben Sturner, and not even flinching when he saw his ear nibbled on again." (PageSix)



(Nas, Maxwell via guestofaguest via patrickmcmullen)

"Last night, the city was a buzz with parties (St.Jude’s Gala, Cartier 100th, movie premieres and more), and eye candy galore. However, the party of the week belongs to the Griffin opening night. Kate Hudson and Sting were just some of the big names to grace the newly opened club which we have had our eyes on all month" (Guestofaguest)



(image via dietrichtrall)

"Sasha Grey is the adult industry’s reigning princess of porn, a rock & roll 21-year-old with an actual mission statement — 'Most of the XXX I see is boring, and does not arouse me physically or visually. I am determined and ready to be a commodity that fulfills everyone’s fantasies' ..Though the pornography biz has been reshaped by the recession and the digital age, Grey has managed to make the jump from bondage flicks on the ‘Net to a Steven Soderbergh film at the Tribeca Film Festival. But as Grigoriadis quickly learned, Grey is far from a typical porn star. She’s co-managed by Dave Navarro, pals with Billy Corgan and cites French director Jean-Luc Godard in everyday conversation. While most porn actresses would jump at the chance to get naked on the Howard Stern Show, Sasha wants to appear on the shock jock’s program with a Palestinian flag wrapped around her breasts to confront the man she believes is a closet racist." (RollingStone)



"Senator Barbara Boxer was on the Joe Scarborough radio show on Wednesday morning talking about newly-minted Senate Democrat Arlen Spector, whose switch was wonderfully chronicled by my colleague David Alm .. The conversation on the radio show veered to Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the few remaining moderate members in the House from the Northeast, which is rapidly becoming a graveyard of Republican ambitions. 'I've never seen her so upset,' said Boxer of Senator Snowe upon hearing the news of the party switch. As the Republican party veers further to the right, senators like Snowe and her fellow moderates Susan Collins and George Voinovich of Ohio (who is retiring in 2010) are feeling less and less welcome. 'I've asked [Olympia Snowe]) a million times to become a Democrat,' said Senator Boxer. 'But she really believes in the principles [of the Republican party].'" (AWEARNESSblog)

"After losing Arlen Specter to the Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell moved quickly to gauge the level of discontent of one of his caucus’ few remaining moderates. McConnell sat down privately with Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine on Wednesday and let her vent about what she thinks is going wrong with the Grand Old Party. It was a one-on-one follow-up to a New York Times essay in which Snowe contended the party didn’t need to lose Specter. After the meeting, Snowe had nothing but good things to say about McConnell, R-Ky., and focused her criticism on other wings of the party. 'My concern is that it’s hard for the leader and others who work here to try to create a more inclusive message that could well be overshadowed or neutralized by the national party,' Snowe said Thursday. 'It’s been a painful lesson, but hopefully we will learn from it and build on it.' A McConnell spokesman said the leader met often with Specter and cultivates relationships on the floor and in office meetings. 'He tends his garden,' spokesman Don Stewart said." (CQPolitics)



"The Tribeca Film Festival’s website has a page that features the current standings for this year’s Heineken Audience Award. The tally currently includes votes for all screenings through Tuesday, and it seems Marshall Curry’s 'Racing Dreams' is the current frontrunner to take the prize (the presence of the tally makes it all a little anti-climatic, no?). The film - about kids who compete for the World Karting Association’s national championship, a huge stepping stone to NASCAR - screened to a five minute standing ovation last weekend, with execs from Fox Searchlight, Magnolia, and Sheila Nevins from HBO all in the audience." (IndieWIRE)



"Given that Souter’s retirement comes so early in his term, Obama can feel reasonably assured this will not be his last appointment. That might be an argument for selecting a centrist with the first pick, said Nathaniel Persily, a Columbia law school professor and Supreme Court watcher. 'He's going to have more than one Supreme Court pick, so in terms of whether he's going to pick a true liberal or not, he may want to bide his time,' Persily said. Then again, Obama may soon have 60 Democratic votes in the Senate. That could lead him to decide to take his shot at appointing a liberal now, before midterm elections give Republicans a chance to pick up seats. The nation's first African-American president will have other factors to weigh as well. Some will want Obama to consider gender, since the court now has only one woman. Others will look for Obama to select the first Hispanic justice. 'Age and other demographic characteristics are always a factor,' Persily said. 'There’s a certain age cohort that he's looking at, and that's pretty key because this is a lifetime appointment and he wants his legacy to be long.'" (TheHill)



"Last night I went down Sotheby’s where an organization called the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation was having a gala benefit dinner, their Third Annual Connoisseur’s Dinner; An evening of Wine and Art. The evening’s chairs were Nancy Corzine and Leonard Lauder. Honorary Chairs were Mr. and Mrs. Martin Gruss, Mr. and Mrs. James Niven, Mr. Thomas Quick, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Ross, Mr. and Mrs. William Ruprecht, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Tober." (NYSocialDiary)



(image via Caroline Torem-Craig/Papermag)

"653 Fifth Avenue is always a good place to spot A-list celebrities in NYC, but last night the Cartier flagship store saw a pretty extreme red carpet. Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore and Eli Weisel were just a few of the notable names there for Cartier's 100th Anniversary in America Celebration. The evening also celebrated the release of Bruce Weber's new book, Cartier I Love You: Celebrating 100 Years of Cartier In America, and was a benefit for ServiceNation, a coalition which promotes community service." (Papermag)

"'If I would sing on stage, I would clear a room in the matter of minutes!' joked Susan Gutfreund at her Fifth Avenue residence yesterday. But what she may lack in vocal chords, she makes up in hosting abilities. The social lioness was so inspired by the current production of West Side Story on Broadway that she decided to host a an intimate lunch at her beautifully decorated to pad to toast to stars of the musical. 'We're essentially celebrating the ultimate Upper West Side story on the East side,' she toasted to guests like Ralph Rucci, Glenda Bailey, Jill Fairchild and Joanne Lipman, who finally had all the time in the world for an early afternoon soirée. 'This is the show that really just inspires you to dance in the aisles during intermission!' raved Rucci." (Fashionweekdaily)

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