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Monday, June 15, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Iranian Opposition leader Mousavi raises his arms as he appears at a rally in Tehran. (AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI via BreakingNews/Flickr)



"Meanwhile desperate Paris, 28-who spent Wednesday and Thursday night with Ronaldo-wants to kick-start her flagging career by MOVING to MADRID with him. The fame-hungry professional party-girl has designs of them becoming the new Posh and Becks. She dumped her US TV star and baseball ace boyfriend Doug Reinhardt on Tuesday, when she heard mega-bucks Ronaldo was in LA, we can reveal. Then she brazenly pursued her goal of scoring with the footballer by telling him within a few hours of meeting him: 'We could be great together, you know. We're both so famous we'd become even bigger than David Beckham and Posh Spice. We're way hotter and younger than them anyway!' She was overheard at her sister Nicky's house, where the pair spent the night. Afterwards Paris giggled to a friend: 'I told him I'm going to move to Madrid to be with him. I promised.' The pal told us: 'Doug was just a washed-up reality TV star. All of a sudden there wasn't as much interest in Paris, and her appearance fees were cut dramatically. She was working like a dog to make the same amount of money as before. She knows if she wins over Ronaldo she'll be one of the hottest properties again.'" (Newsoftheworld)



"As Sarah Palin’s furious claims of being victimized by David Letterman once again became catnip for cable hosts, a more elevated female narrative was being played out in Washington’s Foggy Bottom. On Friday afternoon, Melanne Verveer, Hillary Clinton’s former East Wing chief of staff and founder of the Vital Voices democracy initiative, was sworn in as ambassador at large for global women's issues by her friend of 25 years, the secretary of State. Standing in the grand Benjamin Franklin Rooms amidst a sea of some 400 animated guests—most of them unostentatious women of stature and purpose, and many of them mentored at some time or other by Verveer or Hillary—I felt someone should pluck the combustible Alaskan away from whatever rancid talk show she was headed for and make her watch a vignette of what real female power looks like." (Tina Brown/TheDailyBeast)

"Now, on to something far less serious and much more amusing: adorable Owen Wilson, who has become an almost Chauncey Gardiner-like character around Georgetown. He’s here shooting a James L. Brooks film with co-stars Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon. His behavior underscores how movie acting offers lots of down time. He’s been spotted here, there and everywhere, usually solo, and happily liking to watch. For example, having dinner at Café Milano, lunching at adjacent Peacock Café, hitting Bourbon Steak, admiring the menu outside Mendocino Grill; crashing a Georgetown book party for columnist John McCaslin’s 'Weed Party' – begging the question, was it the title and cannabis illustrated cover that drew him in?" (WashingtonSocialDiary)

"President Dmitry Medvedev will seek to increase Russia’s role in resolving the conflict in Afghanistan at a regional security summit that may also include talks with reelected Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Russia’s contribution may include 'giving Afghanistan practical assistance in restoring its economy and expanding the practice of regular political consultations,' Sergei Prikhodko, an aide to Medvedev, told reporters in Moscow yesterday. Medvedev will meet with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, today during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a six-country security alliance that includes China and four former Central Asian Soviet republics. The two-day forum in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg will be followed late tomorrow by the first summit of the so-called BRIC countries. Medvedev has repeatedly said Russia is prepared to cooperate with the U.S. to bring order to Afghanistan, where the Soviet army fought a nine-year Afghan war that ended in 1989." (Bloomberg)

"A CONFIDENTIAL memo leaked from inside one of Hollywood's top talent shops has shed light on just how much some of the industry's leading agents rake in. The memo, which appears to be written by William Morris CFO Irv Weintraub and was obtained by Hollywood news site The Wrap, shows the personal salaries and stock apportioning of the agency's top agents, executives and board members from 2007. William Morris was recently acquired by Endeavor, run by uber-agent Ari Emanuel. According to the memo -- faxed from John Fogelman, who co-heads the agency's movie department -- Jim Wiatt, the William Morris head who was unceremoniously pushed out after the merger, made $7 million in 2007, while president Dave Wirtschafter, who serves as co-chief executive of the new firm along with Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, took in $6 million. Old-timer Norman Brokaw took in $4.25 million. 'While there's plenty of gossip about who makes how much at the talent agencies, these are all privately owned companies, and these numbers never become public,' Web site editor Sharon Waxman tells Page Six. 'I'm guessing that more than a few of William Morris' clients are scrutinizing this memo and thinking about whether their representatives are worth what they're paid.' The memo is important, adds Waxman, because 'actors should never be clued in to the fact that their agents . . . make a whole helluva lot more money than they do.'" (PageSix)



"Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe for 'The Wrestler,' was nominated for an Oscar and, more importantly, saw his career go from nowhere to the stratosphere in just a few months. So he's back to the big-time paydays, right? Not so fast. Negotiating in January to play the evil Whiplash in 'Iron Man 2,' things turned sour when Marvel offered him only $250,000. After the type of haggling rarely seen between a studio and a star, he finally signed in March for a rumored $400,000. And Rourke wasn't the only new 'Iron Man 2' talent to feel the squeeze. Reports have surfaced that Scarlett Johansson, who would normally get seven figures for a major movie -- is also getting paid a mere $400,000. And even megastars have seen their salaries change. When the spiritual chick flick 'Eat, Pray Love' was being shopped around, an executive at one major studio that was part of the early negotiations said Julia Roberts was offered a shockingly low $1 million to star -- plus a healthy back-end. She balked, and when the project landed at Sony, she got her usual $15 million quote. That's what she was paid for 'Duplicity,' which turned out to be a dud for Universal. It’s getting really ugly out there in front of the camera. From marquee talent to workaday actors -- Hollywood has become a buyers market." (TheWrap)



"'Would you mind speaking without an interpreter?' Vladimir V. Putin asked, and his visitor, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s new foreign minister, responded that he could not imagine doing business any other way. The two then chatted in Russian, as if their meeting this month were a homecoming for a local boy who made good. In some sense, it was. Mr. Lieberman is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and the notably warm reception that he received in Russia could be a sign of things ahead. His hard-line positions have disquieted the Obama administration, but in Moscow, there was no such squeamishness. There was no way to tell, of course, how much of the cordiality was simply a display for the cameras. Still, it pulled back the curtain a bit on how Israel and Russia are trying to navigate the crosscurrents of a Middle East profoundly in flux — notably in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and in Iran, where the tumultuous election on Friday was perhaps the most vivid illustration. Israel’s new government has voiced its reservations about the United States’ new policies under President Obama in both of those areas, so Mr. Lieberman’s trip could easily be seen as a tactic — using his access in Russia to suggest that Israel might become less dependent on the United States and look to Moscow for support. Even if it is just a bluff, his pivot toward Russia — which itself seeks a larger diplomatic role in the Middle East — adds one more element to a list of shifts under way in the region." (NYTimes)

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