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Monday, May 18, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"President Barack Obama pulled off an extraordinary political rendition this week—snatching one of his potential Republican rivals for the 2012 election and shipping him off to China. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. had laid claim to John McCain’s maverick mantle and, while publicly coy about his ambition, insiders here in Salt Lake City tell me that he was serious about his presidential aspirations: he met with top national political consultants and was in the early stages of creating a national political action committee that would make his White House intentions clear. Obama derailed that on May 5 in a private Oval Office meeting, where he offered the governor the job of ambassador to China, a position Huntsman was uniquely qualified for in a nation he has been fascinated with since boyhood. An anecdote I was told this weekend: At age 11, Huntsman, whose father worked in the Nixon White House, helped haul Henry Kissinger’s luggage to a waiting helicopter when the Secretary of State embarked on his secret mission to Beijing in 1971. Without a doubt, he’s been groomed for this job ever since." (TheDailyBeast)



"The 62nd International Cannes Film Festival has been going on all weekend. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon were spotted hanging out on Roberto Cavalli’s yacht, Tara Reid kept her underwear on-her friend didn’t, there were elephants in the street and premieres on every corner. NYC socialite Olivia Palermo even took the flight to France to make it to the festival. Others included Ne-Yo, Rachel Weisz, Paris Hilton, Ryan Phillipe and more!" (Guestofaguest)

"Saturday night I went to dine with a friend at the new (sorta) Monkey Bar in the old Hotel Elysee on 54th Street between Park and Madison. The Monkey Bar has been there for years, as has the hotel. Back in the days of the original Mad Men in the 1950s it was known as the hotel easy-lay by its many patrons and denizens, referring to their late afternoon matinees to digest those martini lunches in the monkey business ... er, uh, I mean the Monkey Bar. It was a popular spot with the Mad Men, as you can imagine. And their favorite girls. And in its 21st century incarnation, under the management/aegis of Vanity Fair’s Man with the Midas Touch Graydon Carter (Waverly Inn), and West Coast peer and Noo Yawk transplant Jeff Klein (Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood), it is a very popular spot once again.. Saturday night around the room I saw Sean Driscoll (Glorious Food) with Elizabeth Peabody; Bettina Zilkha and friends; Lee Radziwill, Kathy Steinberg, and Taki Theodoracopulus and a big party of friends." (NYSocialDiary)

"The Harvard Crimson has produced 12 Pulitzer Prize winners and prepared generations of journalists for newspaper careers during its 136 years. That wellspring of talent is drying up as the paper’s editors now shun the field. With the industry in turmoil from plunging circulation, just three of the 16 graduating seniors who were on the Crimson executive board in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are seeking positions in journalism, said Paras Bhayani, 22, the departing managing editor, who is joining Teach for America. In the 1960s and 70s, more than half of the Crimson’s board members found jobs at newspapers, alumni say." (Bloomberg)



"WHICH Pakistani officials, in town for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's meeting at the United Nations, spent $14,000 on lap dances and drinks at a topless bar? The expensive evening came just as President Obama was pledging billions in aid to that country and the United Nations was warning of 800,000 new Pakistani refugees . ." (PageSix)



"These are gloomy days for the global media, but you wouldn't know it from looking at China, where the government has reportedly earmarked RMB45 billion ($6.58 billion) for the international expansion of state broadcasting. As part of this push, China Central Television, or CCTV, and Xinhua news agency will produce content in different languages for both Western and Asian audiences. CCTV, which is preparing to move into a new $700 million headquarters in downtown Beijing, has already opened French and Spanish channels and will soon broadcast in Russian and Arabic. Xinhua will reportedly launch a 24-hour English-language news station modeled on Qatar's Al Jazeera that will broadcast news and features from China and compete with CNN and BBC. It will expand its overseas bureaus from 100 to 186. On the print side, China Daily, the state-owned English newspaper, recently opened a Washington bureau and launched a U.S. edition. In April, the Communist Party's mouthpiece, People's Daily, launched China's second major English daily, Global Times." (ForeignPolicy)

"A documentary detailing actress Farrah Fawcett’s battle with cancer boosted NBC to a rare first-place tie among viewers 18-49 on Friday night. 'Farrah’s Story' averaged a 2.4 overnight rating from 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday, according to Nielsen overnights, the network’s best rating in that timeslot in more than a year, excluding the Olympics. The special finished first among 18-49s in each of its two hours, peaking at 10 p.m. with a 2.6 overnight rating. The program lifted NBC to a 2.0 average overnight rating and 7 share for the night, resulting a first-place tie with CBS, which ran originals of its regular Friday night dramas." (Medialifemagazine)

"I can confirm that the pilots officially being picked up by CBS for new series include: THE GOOD WIFE, MIAMI TRAUMA, THREE RIVERS, NCIS SPINOFF, UNDERCOVER BOSS (reality), and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE. These shows are being alerted this AM, but not told by CBS if scheduled for fall or midseason. I understand that returning shows won’t be notified by CBS until tomorrow." (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)

"Danny Ledonne rarely misses 'The Daily Show.' He's a frequent viewer of its cable TV cousin, 'The Colbert Report,' too. And for additional political satire and commentary, he often checks out HBO's 'Real Time With Bill Maher.' The thing is, Ledonne doesn't own a television. He hasn't had one since he was in college more than eight years ago. When he walks into a friend's house nowadays and the TV set is on, he says, 'It's like a quaint visit to an alien world.' These days, Ledonne, 27, can watch all the TV he wants merely by opening his laptop, or going to his cellphone or iPod. With full-length TV programs available all over the Internet (in both legal and pirated form), he finds he does just fine without paying a monthly cable bill -- or even having a TV. In industry parlance, he's among those who have "cut the cord," no longer tethered to the sources that have delivered programming into the home since television's inception." (WashPo via Papermagazine)

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