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Friday, May 08, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"When Shimon Peres met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday, the White House had to walk a fine line: Honor the president of a close U.S. ally, but don't make overmuch of the visit of a figurehead who has publicly supported the Middle East peace process and was granted a meeting at the White House before Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has opposed it. (Netanyahu is being invited to the White House later this month, along with the presidents of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority). So, while the White House made no secret of the Peres-Obama meeting, there was no press conference featuring the two leaders in the Oval Office; just a chance to catch photos and a few comments from Peres as he departed the White House meeting and a one-paragraph readout of their visit on WhiteHouse.gov. National security advisor James Jones, NSC senior director for the Middle East Daniel Shapiro, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and White House political advisor David Axelrod were in the room with Peres and Obama. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Peres earlier Tuesday at his hotel.) At first glance, it's a team that makes sense to be included in a meeting that straddles policy and politics. Jones, as Obama's national security advisor, and Shapiro, as the NSC official on the Middle East, convey the national security dimensions of the relationship. Emanuel and Axelrod are two high-level Jewish members of Obama's administration; they have been increasingly enlisted in recent weeks to build support within the Jewish-American community for a two-state solution in the face of resistance from the new Netanyahu government." (ForeignPolicy)



(Georgette Mosbacher and Michael Gross via JH/NYSocialDiary)

"It was a busy night in New York. I started out at Georgette Mosbacher’s aerie overlooking the Metropolitan Museum where she was hosting a book party for her friend Michael Gross and his new book 'Rogues Gallery; The Secret History of the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum' .. After that it was on to Josie and Ken Natori’s where their friend Yanna Avis was giving a preview performance of her new CD." (NYSocialDiary)



"ECONOMISTS aren't known as sex symbols, but Nouriel 'Dr. Doom' Roubini of NYU's Stern School of Business 'was mobbed by a swarm of young women' the other day at the PEN/New York Review of Books seminar on the economy, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photographer Marina Garnier reports Roubini, who predicted the economic crisis in 2006, 'gave his card to all who wanted it." Such adulation was not bestowed on George Soros, Bill Bradley and Niall Ferguson, who was booed when he slammed growing federal deficits, saying, 'Well, if you want the Soviet system to come back . . .'" (PageSix)



"Author Jay McInerney first made a splash on the literary scene with his first novel, Bright Lights, Big City (which is to be re-made as a film with Gossip Girl/The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz at the helm). Since then, McInerney has been a staple on the New York lit scene with books like Ransom, Story of My Life (from which Mr. Mickey stole one of his signature lines 'Can't rape the willing!') and Brightness Falls. McInerney has also dabbled in film, and co-wrote the screenplay to Gia, the HBO biopic of supermodel/lesbian/heroin addict Gia Carangi. Now McInerney is getting praise for his new book How It Ended: New and Collected Stories. Last night George Farias hosted a dinner to celebrate Jay and his new tome and all kinds of fun types popped up." (Papermag)



(Graydon Carter and Jann Wenner via patrickmcmullen via fashionweekdaily)

"You have to give it to Kathy Freston: she practices, and then she preaches. For the launch of her fourth book, Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind and Spirit, the author hosted a party at Pure Yoga uptown and showcased her toned body--and a pretty dress--to go along with the work. Her usual fan base (moguls, mostly) seemed duly impressed with Freston's passionate pursuits. Harvey Weinstein stopped by with wife Georgina Chapman and called Freston a 'real star.' Anna Scott and Graydon Carter paid a tributes before dinner, while the likes of Jann Wenner, Yue-Sai Kan and Jared Kushner also made it to the uptown yoga palace. 'Kathy really makes you strive to be your better self,' smiled Wendi Murdoch. 'I've already given up chicken, I'm in the process of abandoning lamb, and 'no beef' might in my future. But I want to take time with that, because I might become completely miserable! Luckily, I don't drink so I don't have to worry about alcohol.'" (Fashionweekdaily)



(image via middle-east-online)

"The Obama administration has renewed its sanctions against Syria for another year, citing a continuing 'national emergency' facing the US from Syria’s support for terrorist organisations and weapons trade. The sanctions were extended after Jeffrey Feltman, a senior state department official, held 'constructive' talks on Thursday during his second visit to Syria in as many months, as part of a drive to improve relations with Damascus ... 'Unfortunately, it remains Syrian policy to continue a destabilising agenda in the region,' representatives Mark Kirk (Republican-Illinois) and Eliot Engel (Democrat-New York) wrote in a letter to the president. 'Weakening sanctions now, just before the Lebanese parliamentary election in June, would embolden Syria’s attitude toward Lebanon and potentially cause certain factions to question the new administration’s resolve regarding Lebanon’s independence,' they said." (Ft)

"'It's a wonderful country, this America. It's called a secret ballot,' former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said Thursday -- as he refused to pledge his support to former Congressman Pat Toomey over recent Republican-turned-Democratic incumbent Arlen Specter for his homestate's 2010 Senate race. Ridge's comment came in response to this question posed by MSNBC's Chris Matthews: 'If you had to vote between Toomey, the conservative Republican, or Specter, the ex-Republican, who would you vote for?' With his refusal, Tom Ridge made clear that he really is through with electoral politics -- because he'll never, ever earn the support of conservative Republicans again." (CQPolitics)

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