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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Obama hardly knew (Max) Baucus during his abbreviated Senate term; Baucus remarked to me offhandedly that Obama 'didn’t really serve in the Senate,' which seems to be the prevailing sentiment among senators who saw him for only a brief time before he took off to run for president. But Obama’s White House has been trying mightily, in ways both overt and indirect, to make up for lost time .. (Rahm) Emanuel’s theory is that the White House itself comes with strategic assets you can put to good use, if you allocate them properly. There’s the White House theater, where guests can watch movies and sporting events; formal state dinners; smaller gatherings in the first family’s residence, which spouses can join; tickets to the Easter-egg roll for kids; tickets to the White House tours that members like to give out to their constituents. These prizes are not handed out randomly or, as in the Bush White House, doled out mostly as rewards to allies who’ve demonstrated the requisite loyalty. Rather, in Obama’s nascent administration, they are considered carefully and accounted for obsessively. Emanuel holds a daily legislative meeting at which aides discuss the status of pending legislation, and often they go over the distribution of White House assets during those sessions." (NYTimes)



"Did President Sarkozy bid? A nude photograph of his wife, former model Carla Bruni, was on the block at the spring auction at the Berlin auction house Villa Grisebach Auktionen earlier this week. The French first lady was photographed by Pamela Hanson in 1994. The one of only 10 numbered prints sold to an anonymous bidder for $19,600, four times its estimated price." (TheDailyBeast)



"The stepfather of my girlfriend when I was in college helped me get a summer job out here at Universal. This was in 1964, something like that. When I went to interview, I met with a guy who was the head of the feature story department and he said, Well, we’ll give you a job in the maintenance pool. You’ll deliver typewriters to offices and that kind of stuff for the summer. And so I said, I don’t want to do that. I want to learn something. He said, We have guys with master’s degrees who are working in our mailroom. I said, Well, good for them, but I only have two months here and I don’t want to do that. I’ll work for nothing, but I want to come away with some knowledge. I think he got a kick out of that. Because of that, I got to work very closely with this guy -- and he invited me to come back when I graduated. Probably the single biggest break that I got after I came back to Universal was that they recruited me to work on this new show that was going on in the fall of 1971 called “Columbo.'" (Steven Bochco/TheWrap)



"'This is not the feel-good movie of the year,' says Larry David (as Boris Yellnikoff) in the opening monologue of Woody Allen's latest, Whatever Works. (Yes, he's speaking directly to the audience à la Ferris Bueller, and yes, ca marche.) But while the film is certainly not your average rom-com, guests at Wednesday night's Cinema Society and The New Yorker-hosted screening like Stanley Tucci, Gerard Butler, Brooke Shields, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, Lake Bell, Julianna Margulies, Patrick Demarchelier and Gilles Bensimon (who arrived ensemble), and Lindsay Price were definitely feeling good .. The notoriously press-shy Allen even played along. 'If I had to have a favorite Woody Allen movie, I'd probably say either The Purple Rose of Cairo or Match Point,' he deadpanned .. Post screening, the director's fans trekked across the river via water taxi to Brooklyn (now that's dedication!) for the afterparty at the River Café, where partygoers drank Moet all night under the Brooklyn Bridge." (Fashionweekdaily)



"The Museum of Modern Art will present a major exhibition exploring the full scale of filmmaker Tim Burton’s career, both as a director and concept artist for live-action and animated films, and as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer. The exhibition will be on view from November 22, 2009 through April 26, 2010. 'There is no other living filmmaker possessing Tim Burton’s level of accomplishment and reputation whose full body of work has been so well hidden from public view,' said Ron Magliozzi, MoMA’s Assistant Curator. 'Seeing so much that was previously inaccessible in a museum context should serve to fuel renewed appreciation and fresh appraisal of this much-admired artist.' The exhibition will bring together over 700 examples of Burton’s rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, and includes an extensive film series spanning Burton’s 27-year career." (IndieWIRE)

"I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Barbara Tober, ostensibly to talk about the Museum of Arts and Design that she’s been a powerful force behind for a number of years .. It was a typical Michael’s Wednesday. The town’s around. Joe Armstrong was lunching with Harold Ford Jr. the former Tennessee Congressman; Stan Shuman, Jamie Niven, Gayle Haddon, Gerry Byrne with Henry Schleiff; the Old Boys Club, Imber, Della Femina, Greenfield, Bergman (missing Kramer this day); Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd hosting Diana Taylor; Susan Magrino and David Kuhn; Tony Hoyt and Missy Godfrey; Joan Gleman, Sandy Pearl, Kimberly DuRoss and Robin Leacock; Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel with Deb Shriver; her husband the Ambassador Carl, with Chyrstia Friedland of the FT." (NYSocialDiary)



"In recent weeks, Barack Obama has jumped head first into the Middle East peace process, touting the two-state solution as the end point, the road map as the guide, and peace as the final goal. The U.S. president's high-profile speech in Cairo to Muslims around the world set the tone -- soon to be followed, it was promised, with action. As part of that push, the administration has looked beyond Washington's usual partners to engage other regional players, including Syria, officially designated by the U.S. government as a state sponsor of terrorism and treated by many Arab regimes as a pariah. But the country bills itself as a key go-between for the United States, Israel, and hard-liners in the region, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. With Turkey looking to resuscitate talks between Damascus and Tel Aviv, U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell arrives in Syria this week to push for the same." (ForeignPolicy)



(image via guestofaguest)

"It was a night full of women being flattered by men. Men.Style.Com and Kanye West hosted an event called 'The Women of Fashion 2009' in the courtyard of the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. Why Kanye? 'I've loved fashion since kindergarten, and I just feel privileged that I've been able to travel and been able to afford the clothes to be able to learn,' said the religious rap star. 'I've made some mistakes, some good moves, some bad moves, and I've just grown every day. I think just learning from my mistakes, and the amount of exposure that I've had, has made me become a very influential person.'" (Observer)



"What do you get when you combine killer lyricists, amazing musicians and an adoring crowd worthy of such a show? A winning concoction, that’s what. That’s precisely what last night’s Terminal 5 lineup was all about, fusing three remarkable artists under one roof for a densely concentrated, talent-packed performance, brimming with a well-mannered and appreciative audience. Concertgoers know they're in for something special when Santigold’s on the bill, but, unfortunately, most music-lovers are not yet hip to the tune that is Trouble Andrew. Santi’s fiancée, but a standalone superstar in his own right, he and his gang are an absolute must-see." (Papermag)



"Only a day after Victoria Beckham left little to the imagination in a clingy top, Hollywood star Heather Graham revealed she too found the British weather rather cool. The 39-year-old was at the West End premiere of The Hangover." (Thisislondon)

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