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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Hours before they were to leave office after eight troubled years, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney had one final and painful piece of business to conclude. For over a month Cheney had been pleading, cajoling, even pestering Bush to pardon the Vice President's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. Libby had been convicted nearly two years earlier of obstructing an investigation into the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity by senior White House officials. The Libby pardon, aides reported, had become something of a crusade for Cheney, who seemed prepared to push his nine-year-old relationship with Bush to the breaking point — and perhaps past it — over the fate of his former aide. "We don't want to leave anyone on the battlefield," Cheney argued. Bush had already decided the week before that Libby was undeserving and told Cheney so, only to see the question raised again. A top adviser to Bush says he had never seen the Vice President focused so single-mindedly on anything over two terms." (Time)



(image via washpo)

"Yesterday the media world was abuzz over the exit of Ben Silverman, the NBC Entertainment co-chairman who had been on the job just two years. It raises lots of questions for media people, not the least of which is how Silverman’s exit, just six weeks before NBC’s fall slate starts to premiere, could impact the network’s fall schedule, and how that in turn will affect the other networks. Like the other Big Five, NBC is in the midst of upfront negotiations, and while buyers say its fall slate looks much more promising than last year, the fourth-place network is still sustaining the biggest year-to-year declines in what it's fetching for its ad inventory. That reflects in part NBC’s riskiest move under Silverman, slating 'The Jay Leno Show' as a weeknight strip at 10 p.m. in a bit of bottom-line programming that has not impressed many media buyers. Shari Anne Brill, senior vice president and director of programming at Carat USA, talks to Media Life about what Silverman’s exit means for media people." (Medialifemagazine)



"Isn't it amusing how Jeff Zucker couldn't find one positive specific to say about Ben Silverman in the official NBCU news release this morning beyond 'Ben brought us tremendous new thinking in this changing media age.' Because Silverman leaves behind a record of abject failure. (By the way, the coming fall season's primetime network development was taken out of Ben's hands and put in Angela Bromstad's. And, voila, the first decent programming.) Instead, some really talented NBCU executives were let go in a vainglorious attempt to prop up this dumbass. Oh, but who needs NBCU when Ben has Ryan defending him on Twitter .." (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)



"SUPREME Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, in an elegant black-and-white pantsuit, lunching with her staff on Puerto Rican cuisine at Sazon in TriBeCa." (PageSix)



(image via patrickmcmullen)

"The Griffin was packed with hip-hop heads on Monday night as rapper Fabolous launched his latest album, titled 'Loso’s Way.' The concept album, loosely based on the film 'Carlito’s Way,' marks the rapper’s comeback after a two-year absence from the music scene. Stars, including DJ Cassidy, DJ Clue, Idris Elba, and Adrienne Bailon came out to support the rapper’s latest record, which features guest performers Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Ne-Yo." (Guestofaguest)



"Hugh Hefner paid $1 mil to spend eternity next to Playboy's original cover girl 50 years ago. He says: 'I came in with Marilyn Monroe, I'll go out with her.' His marker will read: 'He lived a good life.'" (CindyAdams)



"If you live in one of the fractious swing districts — the ones that went for John McCain for president but sent Democrats to Congress — Republicans on a road trip may be heading your way. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is getting ready to send four teams of GOP House members on cross-country forays. Their mission: Go after the swing-district Democrats in their own back yards. 'We will be going around the country to talk to people in districts that have previously had a Republican in Congress and where there is a good base,' Sessions said. 'We will be in those areas trying to not only give a message of what their member is doing but also seeking and supporting candidates that we have.' Sessions said the GOP hopes to expand his party’s 178 House seats by attacking centrists for siding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, whose favorability ratings nationally have been mixed, with one survey finding her polling to be comparable to that former Vice President Dick Cheney. 'The Speaker is on the ballot this next time,' Sessions said." (CQPolitics)



"The sun never sets on the NBC empire, and the test pattern never rises. Synergy gone wild has given Al Roker, the 'Today' show weatherman, his own 6 a.m. micro talk show, 'Wake Up With Al,' which began on the Weather Channel last week. On MSNBC on Monday, the tongue-in-cheek co-host of 'Morning Joe' introduced his own 5:30 a.m. spinoff, 'Way Too Early With Willie Geist.' Poking fun at the news before most people have had a chance to see it is no small feat. Mr. Geist’s first show got off to a promising start, partly helped by the departing Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, and her acid farewell to the news media on Sunday, in which she exhorted, 'So how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up?' Mr. Geist said with deadpan gravity: 'Quit making things up? I can’t agree to that deal.'" (NYTimes)



"Robert Wilson's Watermill Center was the hottest place this summer when the 'Inferno' erupted on Saturday night as Bob celebrated his annual event of fabulous art, fashion and entertainment! Arriving in my 'flaming' Kai Kuhne as mandated by this year's dress code, I was greeted by a fire performance by Todd Robbins. Trying not to get burned and hoping not to lose a Louboutin heel, I was had one hand on William Morris agent Mark Mullet, and the other on hedge-fund manager Keith Bloomfield. As we strolled through the fabulous gardens, we were treated to the winningest smile in the world from one of the winningest Polo player in the world, Nachos Figueras." (Fashionweekdaily)



"The great Merce Cunningham died this past Sunday at age 90. I’d only become familiar with him in the years that I’ve been covering this beat. So I didn’t know him although I was in his company a number of times. He was such a remarkable looking character – he looked like a wizard, a wizard of the arts, a cultural hero. He looked like an artist, a choreographer, a philosopher. One of the great things about New York life is you see these people (like Jackie Onassis also) who are larger than life and yet right there before you on the ground, on the street, at the table. My friend Patsy Tarr really introduced me to him by inviting me to watch his work. So modern that I had thought of it as even old, I was surprised that the audience was mainly twenty-something men and women. When I remarked on that to Patsy, she explained that this particular audience was Merce’s biggest following. 'Because they just naturally get it,' she said." (NYSocialDiary)



"Has pop culture found its way into your therapy sessions? Here's why I'm asking. Today, I'm reading about Jon Hamm signing on to costar in a Ben Affleck-directed movie, thinking that its storyline of two men -- one law (Hamm), one criminal (Affleck) -- with the hots for the same woman is the closest I'm ever going to get to my much-desired Tequila Sunrise sequel, when I'm forwarded a Best Week Ever link to photos of Jon Hamm on vacation. (It would be totally creepy if writer Michelle Collins wasn't so funny and apologetic: 'Here’s to hoping this isn’t too much of a violation of privacy. It’s just, people need to see these. Because we have so little to live for as Americans. With many thanks, The Non-Blind.') I IM'd the link to a friend, who, after the requisite amount of swooning, said, 'My therapist and I actually had about a 5-minute chat about him this a.m.'"



"You'd think the long haul out to Brooklyn, in the rain no less, would have dampened the fashion set's enthusiasm for Thursday night's Prospect Park Summer Soiree. But as host and junior committee chair Sally Singer pointed out, a hefty piece of that set is local now. 'It used to be that people thought they couldn't live in Brooklyn because they wouldn't get messengers. But since we started doing this party five years ago, the number of editors, contributors, models, and fashion designers that are here—I mean, 'quadrupled' would be to sell it short,' the Vogue editor said .. On the tented terrace, Cobble Hill resident Maria Cornejo was kibitzing with MObama fashion adviser Ikram Goldman and looking totally at ease in black wellies. 'The quality of life is much better here than in Manhattan,' the Chilean-born designer told us. 'I like to ride my bike to Red Hook and sit by the water. Actually, one of the prints I did for my Resort collection was from a photo I took there, of the sunset. It looks very glam, but it's Red Hook.'" (Style)

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