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Monday, June 01, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"I'll be the first to admit that there are harder jobs than watching beautiful boys and girls model the latest looks on the beautiful island of Trinidad. I'm on location at the 2nd Annual Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago, which is taking place at the ultra luxurious water front Hyatt Regency Trinidad. The first three days have been an absolutely delightful mix of beach hopping, island touring and tasting Trinidad's legendary local dish: shark & bake. Of course there's also clothing... lots of it! I've spent each night backstage, snapping pics of the collections from Trinidadian designers. Some notable looks that caught my attention are Peter Elias, who creates long flowy dresses à la Matthew Williamson, and Pilar (aka Miss Trinidad!), whose runway debut featured heavily Afrocentric pieces that honor the strong Afro-Caribbean heritage of the island." (Papermag)



(Image via JH/NYSD)

"Prince Harry came to New York on Friday and was on his way back to London by Saturday evening. But in the meantime, he took the town – the little that he saw of it and that it saw of him. He has his mother’s common touch and his own zest for life. On Friday he visited Ground Zero and paid his condolences. On Saturday morning before the polo match on Governor’s Island he visited a community organization for kids in Harlem called Harlem’s Children Zone with Prince Seelso of Lesotho .. The world already knows Madonna was there, looking very retro-Carnaby Street, with her adopted son, as was the designer Marc Jacobs and his fianc√© Lorenzo Martone; Kate Hudson, Chloe Sevigny, LL Cool J, not to mention Debbie Bancroft, Cornelia Guest, Debbie Bancroft, Amy Sacco, Samantha and Aby Rosen, Euan Rellie and Lucy Sykes, Bronson Van Wyck, Byrdie Bell; the first lady of New York State, Michelle Paterson, Donna Karan, David Lauren, Veronica Webb, Rachel Roy." (NYSocialDiary)



"On a recent spring afternoon, the walls in rap artist Eminem’s 14,000 euro ($19,476)-a-night Belle Etoile penthouse suite pulsated with music and perhaps the memory that Le Meurice served as German army headquarters during the Nazi occupation. General Dietrich Von Choltitz, seemingly dissatisfied with the accommodations at the nearby Hotel de Crillon, moved his command to Le Meurice in August 1944 after he was appointed military governor. He famously defied Hitler’s order to ensure Paris not fall into Allied hands without lying in complete debris. Outside on the curb, an idling motorcade of four Mercedes- Benz limovans with smoked windows waits for Eminem’s expedition into Paris. The rapper appraises the hotel where the German army was based with a 'yeah, right.' 'Guests today are rushed and much younger,' says Joseph Gardon, Le Meurice client-relations director, who has catered to their needs for 35 years. 'Before, they had plenty of time. We still host kings, and now we host Eminem and Kanye West.'" (Bloomberg)



"After taping his final Tonight Show last Friday afternoon, Jay Leno went to a party at a The Castaway, a seriously un-Hollywood banquet hall in the hills north of Burbank. 'The party was at such a Jay place,' says one of the guests—a longtime Leno associate. It was outside and everybody was freezing. 'There was food and beverage but—nothing pretentious. Let’s put it that way.' Not one for parties, Leno was glancing at his watch by 7:30 p.m. This guest came away with the sense that Leno is resigned to moving on from his late-night throne and was fixed in his determination that the transition for the new host, Conan O’Brien, be 'classy.' Leno was ushered in to the Tonight Show 17 years ago with a chilly handover from Johnny Carson amid hostilities with Carson’s favorite son, David Letterman. 'It was such a horrific, horrific experience,' this associate says. 'He wanted no part of that kind of transition—and he remembers it like it was yesterday.'" (Kim Masters/TheDailyBeast)

"Unsurprisingly, Jay Leno’s farewell last night got some attention, delivering an 8.8/20 (household rating/share) which was more than double The Tonight Show’s second quarter average." (TVByTheNumbers)

"DAVID Letterman, unconcerned about his quintuple bypass, chowing down with a couple of staffers on cholesterol-city filet mignon at Uncle Jack's Steakhouse .." (PageSix)



"In an exclusive excerpt from Richard Wolffe's new book, 'Renegade: The Making of a President,' the author details the internal debates within the Obama camp over whether to select Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Wolffe will discuss his new book on NBC's 'Today' show on Monday morning. Of all his transition choices, none was easier to make, or more complex to execute, than Hillary Clinton as secretary of state .. Obama was under no illusion about the legacy of the long primary season. During one transition meeting, Obama said he wanted to offer Clinton the diplomatic job. 'I'm really interested in pursuing this, but I know she has some hard feelings coming out of this campaign.' (Rahm) Emanuel and John Podesta, the former Clinton official who ran the transition, assured Obama that she was over those hard feelings now. Obama smiled and said, 'Believe me. She's not over it yet.'" (HuffPo)

"Madonna is at polo event which is hosted by Veuve Clicquot which is owned by LVMH which owns Vuitton for which Madge is spokesmodel.) ... Madonna with son David and beau Jesus. Sportscaster having hard time getting everyone's attention back on field .. Madonna son Rocco here too. When she almost knocked over an umbrella he said, 'You're embarrassing me, ma.'" (WWD/Twitter)



"This weekend, (Senator Arlen Spector) appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Had he not switched parties in April, it’s possible, maybe even likely, that he would have used this forum to amplify Republican objections to Sotomayor—namely, that her ruling on an affirmative action case and a 2001 speech show her to be an 'activist judge' who is obsessed with race. After all, until his switch, Specter was facing a serious challenge (far more serious than Friend’s in ’92) from former representative Pat Toomey. So Sotomayor’s nomination would have offered him a chance to score some points with a skeptical G.O.P. base. But now it’s the Democratic primary that Specter must worry about. And despite the best efforts of party leaders in Washington and Pennsylvania, it looks like he’ll face a challenge next spring from Joe Sestak, an ambitious and well-funded congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs. Uh-oh. Better brush up on those pro-Sotomayor talking points!" (Observer)



"On a late May evening, there’s little in Washington that can beat the British Embassy. The 1920s-era red brick and stone house, British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens’ only house on this side of the pond, is easily the most impressive on Embassy Row .. The current residents, since 2007, are Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald, a career diplomat, and Lady Sheinwald (also known as Dr. Julia Dunne, a respected physician). They are a low-key couple but deal quite affably with the instant celebrity that is bestowed here upon the British Ambassador and wife of, just as happens with the French and Italians. This past week the Sheinwalds hosted what has become a tradition at the Embassy – the annual dinner to benefit Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s College Preparation and Scholarship Program. On the terrace during cocktails butlers wearing white gloves passed silver trays with glistening flutes of chilly Mumm’s." (WashingtonSocialDiary)

"Florence, capital of the Italian Renaissance, seems an odd place to be talking about torture — not that there wasn’t plenty of it there in the 15th century. Indeed, torture has been reduced to an artifact in Florence for some time now, confined to framed, early 15th-century renderings hanging on the walls of the magnificent Uffizi, the city’s famed museum of art. But it’s alive and kicking in 21st-century America. And ironically, for three days last week, about 40 scholars, lawyers, government officials and journalists, mostly from the United States, gathered in Florence to talk about torture, among other urgent topics of the post-9/11 era. One of the guests was retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio 'Tony' Taguba, whose distinguished military career hit a brick wall after he took too seriously an order to investigate Abu Ghraib." (CQPolitics)



"What's a Perfect Movie? I'll tell you one: Rosemary's Baby. Just like Kelly Ripa, the 1968 thriller doesn't have one ounce of fat on it. Every frame packs a punch as you learn of Rosemary's growing horror as seen through her own eyes. As she realizes her husband's sold her body to the devil, so do you, and it's all done with suggestion, psychological insight, wicked humor, and spot-on casting. I couldn't think of a single way to improve on this movie; you just want to watch it again and again in awe--and I do, thanks to various cable channels." (Musto)

"Four former top Japanese officials have acknowledged that Japan has a secret deal with the United States to allow nuclear weapons into the country. Although the 1960 deal has been known in Japan since U.S. documents were declassified in the late 1990s, Tokyo has consistently denied it has any arrangement to allow nuclear-armed U.S. aircraft and vessels to stop over in the country without prior consultation. But now four former Japanese vice foreign ministers have confirmed the deal, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Monday." (UPI)



"Pixar and Disney celebrated their tenth straight number one smash with the 3D flying house flick Up which enjoyed a strong opening atop the North American box office. The new horror film Drag Me to Hell played well to those looking for a scare with its third place finish. Most holdovers fell by more than 50% from last weekend's holiday session but overall sales for the top ten still matched up to last year. Moviegoers spent the weekend with a grumpy old man and an adventurous young scout as the animated film Up debuted at number one with an estimated $68.2M from 3,766 locations. Averaging a stellar $18,109 per location, the PG-rated film continued Pixar's lucky streak which has seen every one of its offerings debut at number one in its first weekend of wide release. Grosses were boosted by extra surcharges that theaters collected for the 3D presentation, the first ever for Pixar. For example, New York City's Lincoln Square theater charges $12.50 for regular tickets, but $16.50 for Up in 3D." (Boxofficeguru)

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