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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Guess what happened last night? Marie Claire and Michelle Trachtenberg hosted the opening of the Guess SoHo boutique with a grand celebration benefiting the charity Oxfam America. DJ Harley Viera Newton manned the DJ booth while stars like Lydia Hearst, Selita Ebanks, Amber Rose, etc. nibbled on delightful little strawberry meringues." (Papermag)



"We're keeping our eye on CBSNews.com and the funeral service for Walter Cronkite which will begin at 2pmET. Already at St. Bartholomew in Midtown Manhattan we've spotted Bill Plante, Bob Schieffer, Aaron Brown, Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith; Steve Kroft chatting with Linda Mason, who was the first female producer on the Evening News and is now an SVP at CBS News. One pew in front of Mason is Katie Couric who is seated between CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus and CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves. ABC News president David Westin arrived around 1:20pm and is sitting with Diane Sawyer." (TVNewser)

"BILL Clinton appreciates his wife. 'The good thing about being president is that everyone listens to what you have to say,' he told guests at the Summit Series' dinner for Clinton's Millennium Foundation at the TriBeCa loft of Russell Simmons. 'No one listens when you're out of office -- except if your wife be comes secretary of state.' Also there were NBC's Ben Silverman, Blake Lively, Adrian Grenier, supermodel Adriana Lima, CollegeHumor co- founder Ricky Van Veen, and Napster and Facebook co- founder Sean Parker, who hosted an after-party at his apartment in the West Village." (PageSix)



"The upfront is dogging and NBC has yet to close its long-rumored deal with GroupM, but someone apparently forgot to tell Ben Silverman that. Yesterday the NBC Entertainment co-chairman reassured reporters that upfront negotiations are going much better than reports would suggest and that the network had even reached an agreement with GroupM, though NBC executives quickly clarified the deal is merely close to being finalized. Silverman, speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference in Pasadena, Calif., said that reports of CPM declines have been greatly exaggerated. 'You are seeing healthier numbers than I think we anticipated,' he insisted. He cited a deal NBC reached with McDonald’s that will put advertisements on 'The Jay Leno Show,' 'Sunday Night Football' and other programs." (Medialifemagazine)



"Iraq is further down on President Barack Obama's list of priorities, coming after Afghanistan, Iran, the global economic crisis, and a range of domestic initiatives. Although Obama has wisely allowed the Iraq policy he inherited from Bush to continue for the near term, he lacks Bush's enthusiasm for the war and his belief in the strategic importance of the long-term U.S.-Iraq relationship. As for Maliki himself, Obama's advisors have made clear their belief that Bush was too close to the prime minister as an individual and that U.S. support is for Iraqi institutions rather than particular leaders. This week, Maliki will meet a president whose support for a democratic Iraq is genuine, but not guaranteed. U.S. officials are annoyed at what they regard as Maliki's overconfidence, demonstrated in particular by his celebratory handling of the recent withdrawal and the strict implementation of new rules restraining U.S. forces. Obama and his administration want a strong alliance with Iraq, but also a more balanced one that involves responsibilities and obligations on both sides. For the new president, Iraq is important for U.S. interests but not critical, and he casts a more skeptical eye on the benefits the United States receives in return for its massive support. The burden is on Maliki to make his case that both he and the U.S.-Iraq relationship more generally are still worth America' time and trouble." (ForeignPolicy)



"Some people are so determined to have at least their 15 minutes of fame, they will do anything to get it. Anything includes inviting the media into their homes and their private lives -- and exposing their children to the general public. As The Wrap’s expose on reality TV demonstrated, there are significant adverse consequences to children who are exposed in these situations. While some very young children may find the initial exposure 'fun' (after all, most children would jump at the chance to be on television), the real problem is that no one is looking out for these children’s interests in the long term. Scenes involving private family matters where children are present, or are involved, once displayed on the small screen are there for posterity, subject to being played over and over again, put on YouTube and available to the media when something remarkable takes place in the future involving the same family or children. While getting on TV may be fun to a 4 or a 6 year old at the time it happens, what is broadcast may not be fun later in life, and may be the subject of particular ridicule. When teenagers are involved, the stakes are even higher. The type of conduct broadcast may be more embarrassing, and viewers who judge teenagers will certainly do so differently than 'that cute little 4 year old girl.'" (Fred Silverberg/TheWrap)



"Last night. Beth DeWoody had a reception at her Gracie Square apartment for the Directors Council Group of Creative Time with guest of honor painter Ross Bleckner. Earlier this year Ross went on an official mission to the Gulu district of northern Uganda. Gulu has been terrorized for many years by the rebel force known as The Lord’s Resistance Army which abducted and conscripted thousands of children -- boys and girls -- forcing them to become killers and sex slaves. For those of you who can’t relate, welcome to the world. Ross Bleckner is going to help you so you can help others. With paint, brushes and paper, all shipped from New York Central Art Supply in the East Village, he worked for more than a week with a group of former abductees and ex-soldiers at a Roman Catholic aid center. They made more than two hundred paintings that were sold at a fundraising benefit at the United Nations headquarters last May (and featured on the NYSD). It was then that he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador." (NYSocialDiary)



"Christie’s International said its worldwide sales declined 35 percent in the first half amid the economic slump, with Paris for the first time becoming the company’s highest-grossing auction center. Christie’s sold 1.2 billion pounds ($1.98 billion) of art and antiques worldwide in the first six months of 2009, the London-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Boosted by the record 342.5 million euro ($487 million) auction of the Yves Saint Laurent collection in February, Christie’s Paris had sales of 339.3 million pounds. Auction sales in New York fell 51 percent to 308.6 million pounds, said Christie’s. Worldwide sales of contemporary art slid 69 percent .. Totals at Christie’s contemporary-art auctions in New York in May and London in June-July were down more than 70 percent from the equivalent sales in 2008. Selling rates at the New York and London sales were 91 percent and 88 percent, respectively." (Bloomberg)



"While the eastern islands of Greece are being whipped daily by the meltemi, the hot, strong winds that can turn sailors into zombies, the western side, or the Ionian, remains soft, green and as feminine as ever. The sea off Cephalonia is smooth and mirror-like, but this year I have yet to make contact with mama and baby porpoise. Assos is the tiny village that clings to a small isthmus between the island and a huge forested pine hill crowned by a ruined 15th-century fort .. On my second day lying off the north tip of Zakynthos, a local gendarme came on board with the most extraordinary story. It seems a man by the name of Lord Rayleigh of Milk has been travelling around the island asking for information about yours truly. The gendarme was unable to see his face but he described him as having a middle-aged man’s walk, wearing a large raincoat in the 40-degree heat, a black hat, dark glasses and always hiding behind a two-week-old Daily Telegraph newspaper while hanging out in local caf├ęs. The gendarme got suspicious and called in help .. The farce ended when we sailed south and 14-year-old Sascha Bismarck jumped on his lilo and floated ashore, only to find his uncle, John Rayleigh, hiding behind a pillar watching Bushido and dressed as Inspector Clouseau. But Lord Rayleigh’s strange behaviour turned out to be a godsend. While looking for evidence of my provenance, he came upon some Albanians setting off fires in the verdant hills above the town. He set off the alarm bells he always carries on his person, and became a hero, however local. He was last seen being decorated by the Agios Nikolaos mayor with the order of Feta and Olive." (Taki)

"Details are emerging on NBC's upcoming 'The Jay Leno Show,' including a new director for the host as he moves into primetime. Former 'Late Night With Conan O'Brien' helmer Liz Plonka has been tapped to serve as director on the Leno strip, which launches Sept. 14. Also, NBC confirmed that Leno's 'Tonight Show' band leader, Kevin Eubanks, will indeed be continuing on "Jay Leno" as the show's music director. But John Melendez, who had served as Leno's 'Tonight Show' announcer since 2004, will no longer serve in that capacity. Instead, Melendez will join the 'Jay Leno Show' writing staff. Plonka replaces Ellen Brown, who directed Leno on 'Tonight' for his entire 17-year run. Plonka was brought in to help give the show a new and different feel from 'Tonight.'" (Variety)

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