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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via telegraph)

"If Silvio Berlusconi thought he'd shaken off the furore over his alleged use of escort girls, he was in for a nasty surprise today. The Italian prime minister has successfully deflected and sidestepped lurid allegations about his supposed liaisons in recent weeks, helped by some timely international summitry which let him demonstrate his statesmanship, not to mention his commitment to dealing with the aftermath of the L'Aquila earthquake. But today it was all about call girls, giant beds and the suggestion of a menage-a-trois, after a left-leaning news magazine, L'Espresso, posted "pillow talk" recordings that an escort said she made during a night with the septuagenarian Italian leader. The escort, Patrizia D'Addario, claims the tapes relate to the night of 4 November last year, when the leaders of the world were holding their breath, waiting to see if Americans would elect their first black president. Berlusconi, apparently, had other things on his mind." (Guardian via Gawker)



"Now that the geeks have really inherited the earth, Comic-Con has become this weird amalgam of legitimacy (say hello to James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar!) and, well, lameness (watch the cast of the now-canceled ABC Family series Middleman read through a lost script!). Since this horse-and-buggy show gets under way in San Diego tomorrow, chances are you won’t be making a trek to the festivities. Not to worry! Here are some things to watch for from the comfort of your own Web browser." (Observer)



(Donna Karan, Russell Simmons, and Gayle King via style)

"Wasn't this meant to be the summer when the Hamptons returned to being a quiet, party-free zone? On Saturday, there were not one but two large-scale benefits, each with their own art auction. In East Hampton, Russell Simmons opened up his house for the tenth anniversary Art for Life party for his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a charity that supports public artistic projects for children in the city. A range of guests—Tila Tequila, various Real Housewives of New York City, Oprah's BFF Gayle King—bid on everything from a Louis Vuitton monogrammed handbag to works by the evening's featured artist, Shepard Fairey (he of Obama HOPE poster fame). 'I know people think I have an affection for music and for fashion,' Simmons said before dinner, 'but I know a thing or two about art, too.'" (Style)



"So my holiday tour didn't stop in the Hamptons. Last night I found myself atop the Cooper Square Hotel celebrating the launch of the Spring 2010 Creative Recreation collection. It sort felt as if London was transported to NYC as Alexa Chung turned it out on the turntables and Alexandra Richards came out to support. It was like hipster heaven, literally, as the suite was suspended in the sky above New York City and cool kids hanging out on the wraparound balcony seemed to be floating on the skyline." (Papermag)



"Police plan to drop all charges against Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., an eminent black scholar, who was handcuffed and arrested at his Cambridge home in what critics charge is a case of racial profiling. WHDH TV in Boston reports that a person with knowledge of the case says Cambridge police will announce the move later today. Gates was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he 'exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior.' Gates had just returned from filming a PBS documentary in China and was trying to open a stubborn front door of his house. He asked his driver, also black, to help. That prompted someone to call in a break-in report to police. Gates, 58, was handcuffed and arrested after police apparently were not satisfied with his Harvard ID and a heated exchange ensued, The Boston Globe reports. The newspaper quotes his lawyer and Harvard colleague, Charles Ogletree, as saying Gates was most angered by the police officer stepping inside his house, uninvited, to demand identification and question him." (USAToday)



"It’s that time of year again, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, having just completed his annual White Party, had the beaches of St. Tropez calling his name. And he obliged … Diddy and his entourage rolled into the sands of club 55’s beach, drawing the attention of every camera–cell phone and otherwise." (Guestofaguest)



"Having lunch at Michaels with Nikki Haskell. She says Jackie Collins is addicted to it." (NYSocialDiary/Twitter)



"STEVIE Wonder at Tao ordering several bottles of Dom Perignon for his wife and 11 guests and leaving a $1,000 tip on the $2,000 bill." (PageSix)



"Guest Editor Olivia Munn: How to hit on a pretty girl at Comic-Con. There will be a lot of them roaming around, both on the convention floor and in the local bars. Time to man up, kid, and set your phasers on amour. Offer her your extra convention pass. Say you have an 'in' to an exclusive Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Ask her if she likes Marvel or DC." (Popwatch)



"It’s hard to fathom how Frank McCourt found the time to write. He was always out and about and having a wonderful time. He and his wife Ellen didn’t just go to parties. They were the ones having the most fun — flirting with one another as though they were out on a first date. They rarely left a party without friends in tow, on their way to dinner or a nightcap." (NYSocialDiary)



"Dolly Parton keeps her wigs refrigerated, claiming to look great they need a certain temperature." (CindyAdams)



"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke helped steer the economy away from what he calls 'Depression 2.0.' Now he's trying to defend the Fed itself. As Mr. Bernanke heads to Capitol Hill today for two days of testimony on the economy, the central bank is fending off attacks on many fronts from critics who want to rein in its power and autonomy. Rallying one charge is Ron Paul, an iconoclastic Texas Republican who wants to abolish the central bank entirely. Mr. Paul's economic ideas sometimes make him the target of ridicule -- in the new film 'Bruno,' shock comedian Sacha Baron Cohen tries to seduce the startled congressman in a hidden-camera scene while discussing economic theory." (WSJ)



"U.S. Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke has quietly headed to South Asia, where sources say he will be making a surreptitious stop in India following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meetings in that country. Holbrooke's team wouldn't confirm the planned travel or India visit when contacted Saturday (he also will visit Afghanistan, Pakistan and Brussels), and an administration official would only say the Holbrooke team would not overlap with Clinton, who is currently in New Delhi after three nights in Mumbai. But Holbrooke's itinerary was confirmed Monday after it was learned he had already departed for travel in the region. A source explained the seeming secrecy as meant to avoid ruffling feathers in India, which is sensitive to being lumped in with the Af-Pak problem-child portfolio that Holbrooke spearheads. Clinton may have helped boost India's confidence in the Obama administration by inviting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington for the administration's first official red-carpet state visit of a foreign leader, scheduled to occur in November two days before the first anniversary of the Mumbai attacks." (ForeignPolicy)



"Mickey Rourke used his legendary pulling power last night to procure himself some company for his ride home. The 55-year-old actor was at The Groucho Club in Soho, where he was spotted getting friendly with a young blonde, who later jumped into a cab with him when they left at 2am. Maybe she was attracted by the pair of velvet slippers he was wearing — with his recently deceased dog's name Loki embroidered on them." (Thisislondon)

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