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Monday, May 11, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner bailed as guests of CBS at the last minute. We hear Affleck was 'really sick' ..Julia Louis Dreyfus spotted texting from her table during the Dinner. We hear she was sending texts to her co-star Wanda Sykes who was on stage as the Dinner's entertainment." (TVNewser)



(Desirée Rogers and Valerie Jarrett via WWD)

"Hollywood, fashion, finance and politics flocked to Washington on Saturday night for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the first chance for President Barack Obama to poke a bit of fun at himself on a major D.C. stage .. 'The thing that I like so far is people aren’t shy,' said ( White House Social Secretary DesirĂ©e)Rogers, who sat with (Kenneth)Cole, Alicia Keys, Narciso Rodriguez and Kerry Washington at a table hosted by Glamour. 'They’re coming up, they’re talking about things we’re doing at the White House, they’re introducing themselves, they’re taking pictures. Everyone seems to be really comfortable here. I like that part' ..During dinner, (Tom)Cruise caused a commotion in the center of the ballroom, standing to chat and take photos with a lineup of fans — male and female — that ran 30 people deep. Cruise and Holmes sat at a table hosted by Vanity Fair." (WWD)



(Michael Bloomberg & David Axelrod via NYSocialDiary)

"I’m glad Vanity Fair hooked up with Bloomberg to host an after-party. Years ago VF did it alone and tossed a party like no other in Washington. Then Bloomberg took it over and its quality declined year after year. The re-entry of Graydon Carter and his team brought it back up to the old standards, with the considerable assist of Vimont’s grand house and a gorgeous night of warm breezes. The tall trees that preside over the lawn were painted with a wash of lights in hues of pink and blue. There was music. Jazz, standards and soft rock played from speakers that were everywhere. The food was yummy and bite sized and passed as frequently as champagne and cocktails. Graydon Carter said he was confident the party was only the first of what will be a lasting arrangement. I departed well after midnight and the evening was still very much alive. For more on the history of the WHCA dinner, read about how its evolved over the years." (NYSocialDiary)



"Here, at the Bloomberg-Vanity Fair afterparty for this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, there is indeed an odd lightness in the air—in spite of the neofeudal ambiance, the room’s low rumble of shmoozing and one-upsmanship, and the undertone of menace that naturally accompanies any gathering of any power elite in the nation’s capital." (Chris Lehmann/TheDailyAwl)



(image via discovery)

"The United States risks a Japan-style lost decade of growth if it does not take aggressive action to stimulate its economy and clean up its banking system, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said on Monday. 'We're doing half-measures that help the economy limp along without fully recovering, and we're having measures that help the banks survive without really thriving,' Krugman said. 'We're doing what the Japanese did in the nineties,' he told a small group of reporters during a visit to Beijing. He said it was not clear that China would suffer sub-par growth as a consequence of the fallout of the present crisis. 'I'm mostly worried that the U.S. and the euro zone will have Japanese-type lost decades,' he said." (Reuters)



"Political blogger Meghan McCain isn’t exactly the toast of D.C. right now. Sen. John McCain’s daughter — who writes online for The Daily Beast and will soon release a book about life as a Republican — lost it after getting stopped by security when she arrived at the White House Correspondents dinner Saturday. The problem? She had only two tickets, but brought two friends. 'The security guard sent her to talk to someone to sort out the situation, but Meghan got bratty and nastily told him, We’ll just stand here then, like an insolent child,' our source said, adding that after dealing with the guard, 'She muttered to her friends, Does he even know who the f--- I am?'" (NYDailyNews)

"So just who made the cut at the highly exclusive Vanity Fair/Bloomberg after-party at the gorgeous residence of French Ambassador Pierre Vimont? It was impossible to get in if you weren't on the list- Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford got turned away at first, but we saw him inside shortly after. No pics allowed so we'll list the guests for you... Celebs-wise we have Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Rashida Jones, Jon Bon Jovi, Owen Wilson, Jason Bateman, Natalie Portman, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Brad Hall, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Dennis Leary, Tim Daly, Kerry Washington, Glenn Close .." (FishbowlDC)

"Forget limos, Barry Diller's transport for lunch was a motorcycle. He arrived in a custom-made suit and garden variety helmet ... The Mideast came to Midtown this week. At the Plaza's Oak Room, Shimon Peres had a salad with Russell Simmons. They ate Mizuna leaves with cashew nuts, lotus chips and carrot ginger." (CindyAdams)

"The odd mix of Hollywood and Potomac still has an oil-and-water quality. Nowhere else in the country would the crowd surrounding Sen. Amy Klobuchar dwarf that around Demi Moore. D.C. political types elbowed their way past L.A.'s glitterati to grab five seconds with junior White House staffers. And where else would ambassadors outrank Oscar-winners? I had the pleasure of accompanying Sir Howard Stringer, CEO and chairman of Sony, and of watching as Washington's minor media providers brushed past the man running the biggest media company in the world. It is, as he pointed with humor, a funny, old one-shop town." (KattyKay/TheDailyBeast)



"Music and fashion heavyweights turned up at 1OAK Saturday night to support stylist turned hip hop artist, O’Neal McKnight’s newest release, 'The Pre-Prom Mixtape.' McKnight became a hit last year with his star-packed music videos, including 'Check Your Coat' (cameos by Swizz Beats and Russell Simmons) and 'Back to the Future' which aptly features actor Christopher Lloyd. McKnight’s buddy, DJ Cassidy, and Jus Ske held down the turntables while guests such as John Legend, Angie Martinez, Tyson Beckford, and Richie Akiva partied the night away." (Guestofaguest)

"IMAGINE an election where the results are largely preordained and a number of candidates are widely recognized as unqualified. Any supposedly democratic ballot conducted in this way would be considered a farce. Yet tomorrow the United Nations General Assembly will engage in just such an 'election' when it votes to fill the vacancies on the 47-member Human Rights Council. Only 20 countries are running for 18 open seats. The seats are divided among the world’s five geographic regions and three of the five regions have presented the same number of candidates as there are seats, thus ensuring there is no opportunity to choose the best proponents of human rights each region has to offer." (VaclavHavel/NYTimes)



"Last night I forgot all about the recession and shopped like it was 1999 at the Housing Works 'Design on a Dime' benefit! Attendees included indie darling Parker Posey, fashion designer John Bartlett, Real Life Housewife of NYC, Alex McCord and her 'macho man' Simon, Ty Pennington and my absolute favorite, Kelly Garrett aka Jacyln Smith!" (Papermag)

"It seems like this weekend was too much of a good thing. In the shadow of 'Star Trek‘s' $76 million haul, six new specialty films opened in theatres - including high profile entries like Kirby Dick’s exposure of closeted gay politicians, 'Outrage,' and Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s reunion, 'Rudo y Cursi' - and not one found a per-theater-average above $10,000. The highest average was actually from the lowest profile film, with 'Helvetica' director Gary Hustwit’s new doc 'Objectified' taking an estimated $9,400 from its sole screen at New York’s IFC Center. That makes it the eighth time in the past nine weeks that a documentary led the iW BOT, which ranks by per-theater average." (IndieWIRE)



"I was so Carrie Prejean-ed out last week that I neglected to note the sad passing of Dom DeLuise, the portly and gifted comic actor who elevated such films as Cannonball Run, Smoky and the Bandit II, and Fatso, along with a whole bunch of those boozy Dean Martin roasts of people who obviously planned to die while screaming with laughter in closeup. Dom was a campy riot who stole Haunted Honeymoon in full drag, and even in men's clothes he rang more gaydar bells than a boy bander with a plus-sized girlfriend. 'But Dom was married with children!' you exclaim, fuming. Yeah, and so were..." (Musto)



"As we arrived at Louis J. Armstrong Intl Airport, the sultry warm air and fragrance of gardenia and honeysuckle welcomed us to our southern escapades. Our driver escorted us to Mimi, the chicest (and only) designer boutique in New Orleans on Magazine Street. Ms. Mimi greeted us at the door with the kind of southern hospitality we longed for after the torturous New York winter. Homemade sandwiches and mint juleps were followed by appointments with New Orleans' finest ... The next morning, breakfast was delivered to our room (biscuits, juice, homemade jam and hickory coffee) and then we headed back to the Garden District to Mimi for the second act of our trunk show. Anxious Southern belles tossed and turned as together, we created their fall wardrobes. During a break, we took a quick jaunt to our favorite vintage store, Retroactive. The owner Joe informed us the store had been raided by the costume team from Mad Men." (Claude [Morais] and Brian [Wolk]/Fashionweekdaily)



"The Army forces were under attack. Communications were down, and the chain of command was broken. Computers, indispensable in peace, are becoming ever more important in political conflicts and open warfare. This is the third article in a series on the growing use of computer power as a weapon. In war games at West Point last month, teams had to establish a secure computer network and protect it from cyberattacks. Pacing a makeshift bunker whose entrance was camouflaged with netting, the young man in battle fatigues barked at his comrades: 'They are flooding the e-mail server. Block it. I’ll take the heat for it.' These are the war games at West Point, at least last month, when a team of cadets spent four days struggling around the clock to establish a computer network and keep it operating while hackers from the National Security Agency in Maryland tried to infiltrate it with methods that an enemy might use. The N.S.A. made the cadets’ task more difficult by planting viruses on some of the equipment, just as real-world hackers have done on millions of computers around the world. The competition was a final exam of sorts for a senior elective class." (NYTimes)

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