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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"THE once press-shy Anna Wintour seems to be everywhere these days -- and with good reason. 'Conde Nast is a sinking ship,' an insider said. 'She's a smart woman and is looking to forge the next phase in her career.' The Vogue editor apparently has her eye on being an ambassador -- hence her close ties with President Obama's people and profiles on Michelle Obama and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers. 'Possibly ambassador to Britain,' our source said. A rep for Wintour said, 'Not true -- Anna is looking forward to a very busy fall here at Vogue.'" (PageSix)



"Tuesday night, Marc Jacobs threw quite the birthday party for his finance Lorenzo Martone. Let’s go over the details: Party at the restaurant/lounge on everyone’s radar (Avenue) that is yet to be opened? Check. Cocktails, sparklers, dancing and cake with 150 of the hottest guests in town including Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Genevieve Jones, DJ Jesus Lux, and Larry Gagosian? Check. Madonna!? Check." (Guestofaguest)

"I remember walking into a green room and seeing the head of a huge media company—I’m not going to tell you who—and a bunch of people who worked for him eating ’shrooms." (Paula Froelich//BlackBookmag)



"Elaine Kaufman, the quintessential New Yorker and saloonkeeper, met me for lunch amid the haute grandeur of Midtown’s Le Cirque, where its debonair owner, Sirio Maccioni, bowed before her in welcome. The ageless Elaine was about to celebrate her 80th birthday and, as always, was in feisty form .. Stories about Elaine’s famous patrons are legion. Nureyev and Baryshnikov danced a pas de trois with a chair one night. Elaine Stritch tended bar an entire summer just for the fun of it. Woody Allen shot the opening dinner scene of Manhattan there. Jackie Kennedy dined in the back of the room with Onassis. 'She sent Caroline and John over for dinner when they were teenagers and said, Look after them. Send me the bill, Elaine remembered. 'They lived round the corner.'" (VanityFair)



"When President Obama announced Leon E. Panetta as his pick to lead the CIA, some intelligence veterans bristled at the news. The agency had emerged from a divisive period under directors Porter J. Goss and George J. Tenet, and the last thing it needed, these critics groused, was a new director from outside the intelligence community. Moreover, they added, Panetta’s profile as a veteran Washington insider — a former Democratic congressman from California (1977-93), and chief of staff in the Clinton White House — made him a particularly bad fit for a job where loyalty to the agency matters most. Yet today, four months since he was picked, Panetta’s political background may be proving his greatest asset. Not only has he won over some detractors who had questioned his loyalty to the agency, he also appears, for now, to be successfully balancing the CIA’s need to keep its work quarantined as much as possible from external political influences and the mandate to improve the agency’s congressional relations, which had soured during George W. Bush ’s presidency. Two recent episodes involving intelligence messes left over from the Bush administration have showcased Panetta’s political acumen as he fights to maintain the CIA’s institutional stature. The first was Panetta’s handling of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s charges that the CIA misled her in 2002 about enhanced interrogation methods .. The same week, Panetta’s CIA also rebuffed the right, when former Vice President Dick Cheney requested that the agency declassify documents pertaining to the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques.' Cheney, an outspoken defender of the methods, said he was confident that the public would be impressed with the results that those techniques had yielded. But the CIA quashed Cheney’s request, citing pending litigation that concerned interrogation matters. The new CIA chief also petitioned Obama to reverse an earlier decision to release additional photographs documenting the abuse of detainees. Panetta 'argued against the release of the photos,' said an intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk more openly." (CQPolitics)



"(I)f you get to be a mayor in a big city, you’ll be able to distinguish between police sirens and ambulance sirens. When I hear an ambulance siren—unfortunately—this sounds so morbid, but you always send up a prayer because you know they’re either rushing to pick somebody up or taking somebody to the hospital. For police sirens, you check your BlackBerry real quick, to make sure nothing serious is happening. That was an ambulance siren .. love the speculation that you can’t be friends with somebody. I guess it’s a When Harry Met Sally question. But Gayle (King) is a really, really good friend, and somebody I hang out with a lot. I just saw a movie with her very recently. We saw, God, why am I forgetting the name of it? But sometimes we go out together and we’ll run into paparazzi. She’s a great friend. She jokes on her radio show all the time that she’s the unofficial first lady of the City of Newark, a title I’ll happily give her. But there’s nothing romantic. " (Mayor Cory Booker/TheDailyBeast)



(in the belly of the Hollywood Beast via thewrap)

"The President, speaking to a dinner that included Hollywood A-listers like Kiefer Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, lauded the legislation he has signed since taking office but added that he is 'not satisfied. I'm confident in the future, but I'm not yet content,' Obama said. The celebrity dinner, which cost couples $30,400 to attend, was followed by a larger, lower-dollar concert that all told raised between $3 million and $4 million for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Joining the celebrities feting Obama were Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), 'the newest member of our caucus.' Obama was introduced by Dreamworks CEO and longtime Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg. The president thanked Katzenberg, saying: "If it weren't for you, we would not be in the White House.'" (TheHill)

"Barack Obama's appearance in Beverly Hills on Wednesday night brought out the stars...and their checkbooks. The event at the Beverly Hilton was expected to raise $3 million to $4 million and was like a giant Hollywood premiere, with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland, Jamie Foxx and Tyler Perry on hand, as well as Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind and Fire. About 1,000 people attended, with tickets running $1,000 to $2,500 each. In addition, 125 couples paid around $30,000 each for a dinner and a photo with Obama. The Preseident's L.A. visit came after an appearance in Las Vegas Tuesday night at a Caesar’s Palace fundraiser that brought in $2 million for incumbent Harry Reid. That event saw the President share billing with Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow." (TheWrap)



"A neighbor of mine, Joan Stanton, died last Thursday at 94. I was surprised to learn of her great age for although I hadn’t seen her in the past couple of years, I would have taken her for a couple of decades younger. We met seventeen years ago when I was first back in New York and staying with a friend who had an apartment at 10 Gracie Square where Joan lived. She’d been a well known New York radio and stage actress in her younger years which were the 1940s and 1950s when New York dominated much of American entertainment with radio, television and the Broadway stage. She was great company to this writer who is always fascinated with the history of New York and theatre and culture as seen through the eyes of the players." (NYSocialDiary)



"Although the ongoing offensive suggests that Pakistan may finally be committed to confronting the threat of militancy within its borders, its reliance on overwhelming, and often indiscriminate, firepower suggests that the military's longtime focus on a conventional war against India has left it unequipped to launch a sophisticated counterinsurgency with the tactics necessary to maintain public confidence in the campaign. Karimdad told me that he is doubtful the military will ever gain a decisive victory. 'There will be another compromise,' he said. 'Then there will be another dispute. Then they'll both start killing people again.'" (ForeignAffairs)



"The No on Prop 8 rally/march last night in West Hollywood was a celebrity lovefest. The crowd screamed when Drew Barrymore took the mic and announced 'I am so honored to be here and I don't want to live in a world where there is Proposition 8.' After, Barrymore hugged ecstatic fans and posed for endless camera phone shots. Kathy Griffin showed up with her 89-year-old mother Maggie and a reality film crew. Griffin introduced her mother as 'my gay loving and box wine loving mom.' Maggie is a staple at gay bars like Rage and worked the scene from her wheelchair like a true club kid. I also ran into stars like Daniel Franzese, Perez Hilton, adorable couple Kelly Osbourne and model Luke Worrall, Blink-182's hot-looking Mark Hoppus, Emmy Rossum, Adam Shankman, Sophia Bush, Jai Rodriguez, Pete Wentz and hunk trainer Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke eloquently .." (Peter Davis/Papermag)



"The weather wasn't cooperating, but that didn't stop the likes of Mayor Bloomberg, Glenn Close, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, and Richard Meier from crowding into the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night for the 41st annual Party in the Garden. DJ Cassidy manned the tables before Estelle, the Grammy-winning British import, took the stage to sing her hits 'American Boy' and 'Come Over' along with a cover of Coldplay's 'God Put a Smile Upon Your Face' (inevitably an improvement on the original). But the songstress, who switched from Alexander McQueen to Rachel Roy for her performance, had more than music on her mind. 'I hope I'll have some time to sneak off and go see some cool art,' she said. The event, which raised over $1.8 million, honors the artists featured over the past year in solo exhibitions and benefits the museum's Annual Fund."

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