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Monday, August 31, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) -- two of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's closest friends in the Senate -- said on CNN they thought his widow, Vicki, would be a good temporary replacement for him if Massachusetts legislators change the law to allow an interim appointment. Said Dodd: 'We talk frequently. Whatever Vicki wants to do, I'm in her corner. She knows that. She has expressed to me her own reluctance to do that. But she could change her mind. And if she did I'm for it. I think she'd be great, I think Orrin's right, she brings talent and ability to it... we can certainly use her in the Senate. But leave it up to her. She has a lot on her mind right now. And, frankly, I leave it up to her decision-making process.' Said Hatch: 'Sure, I think Vicki ought to be considered. She's a very brilliant lawyer. She's a very solid individual. She certainly made a difference in Ted's life, let me tell you. And I have nothing but great respect for her.'" (PoliticalWire)



"The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Marvel Ent. in a stock and cash transaction worth $4 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Marvel shareholders would receive $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion. Disney will acquire ownership of more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor. The boards of both companies have approved the pact, which is subject to antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders." (Variety)



"Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this week will begin accepting and rejecting the more than 1,070 invitations she has received for paid speeches and political appearances since she resigned from office, aides said. Twenty speakers’ bureaus made offers to represent her. She has signed with Washington Speakers Bureau, which represents everyone from George and Laura Bush to Bob Woodward and Katie Couric to Alan Greenspan, Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani. More than 950 requests for speeches have poured in for Palin, and over 120 candidates for office have asked her to appear, including folks running for Senate, House and state Legislature, aides said. Palin will be doing both paid speeches, which are expected to go for six figures apiece, and unpaid speeches for political and charitable causes, including Christian organizations, groups that support families with special-needs children and military families." (Politico)



"Spike Lee, DJ Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, and Reverend Al Sharpton are just four out of an estimated 10,000 New Yorkers who came out to celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday. Rain didn’t dampen celebrations in Prospect Park, where fans showed off Jackson-inspired outfits .. Later that evening, fans who hadn’t gotten enough 'Thriller' that day (or all summer-long…) headed over to the Nokia Theater in Times Square where Mark Ronson (wearing an 'I Heart AM' t-shirt in tribute to DJ AM) and Q-Tip performed .." (Guestofaguest)



"NEW YORK NBC's 'Today' show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager. Hager, a 27-year-old teacher in Baltimore, will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television's top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer. The daughter of former President George W. Bush said she has always wanted to be a teacher and a writer, and has already authored two books. But she was intrigued by the idea of getting into television when Bell contacted her. 'It wasn't something I'd always dreamed to do,' she said. 'But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.'" (AP)



(image via Jill Krementz/NYSD)

"Once again our country mourns the loss of a Kennedy brother. On Saturday, under big black umbrellas, family and friends arrived at Boston’s Catholic church Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to remember the man — husband, father, brother, grandfather, cousin, friend, colleague — and the Senator who served in the United States Congress for nearly 47 years. His eldest son, Teddy, who lost his leg to cancer when he was twelve, spoke about the time when he was trying to make it up a hill with a new prosthetic leg and was about to surrender in despair. His father put his arms around his son and said: 'We are going to climb that hill if it takes all day and we’re going to climb it together.' It was the perfect image for all of us who have always felt that Senator Kennedy had our backs." (NYSocialDiary)



"It has never gone away, the nightmare of November 22, 1963. Each time one revisits the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, 'one hopes for once the story will be different—the car swerves, the bullets miss, and the splendid progress continues. But each time, like a recurrent nightmare, the handsome head is shattered,' as Gore Vidal wrote in his World Journal Tribune review of William Manchester’s highly detailed, passionate, and greatly beleaguered account, The Death of a President. Of all the books written about the Kennedy assassination — by some counts more than 2,000—the one book commissioned by the Kennedys themselves and meant to stand the test of time has virtually disappeared. The fight over Manchester’s book—published on April 7, 1967, by Harper & Row after more than a year of bitter, relentless, headline-making controversy over the manuscript—nearly destroyed its author and pitted him against two of the most popular and charismatic people in the nation: the slain president’s beautiful grieving widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, and his brother Robert F. Kennedy. And the struggle would bring to both Jackie and Bobby a public-relations nightmare." (VanityFair)



"If you’re under 17 and reading this, we have to ask: What on earth did you do this weekend? The top four movies at the box office were all rated R, with the field paced by The Final Destination; the 3-D horror sequel opened in the top spot with $28.3 million. Also debuting was Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, slashing into third place with $17.4 million. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all peace and love for the other R-rated opener: Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock was a bad trip, stumbling into ninth with a paltry $3.7 million. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office." (Observer)



"GERALDO Rivera's last book, 'His Panic,' was about Latinos. His new book, 'The Great Progression: How Hispanics Will Lead America to a New Era of Prosperity,' is about Latinos. Presumably, his next will be the history of the rhumba. OK, so how's this one particular ethnic group leading us all to a new era of prosperity? 'This is a coming-of-age bio of the entire Latino community,' said Geraldo. 'This country so far has been off about immigration. Latinos are already part of our society. Interwoven inextricably with America.' Yeah, but so are the Chinese, Irish, Jewish, Italians, Africans, even a couple of Australians. 'Average age of the whites is 40. Average age of Latinos, 27. Take the Russians, for instance. They're an aging people. We're a hedge against aging. Justice Sonia Sotomayor's last house in The Bronx was the same house as my aunt Anna. We've been on Puerto Rican boards together. I jumped out of my seat when she was elected.' As the star of Fox News Channel's "Geraldo at Large" rumbled on with facts, figures and flowers to Sotomayor, I interrupted to ask what's my old friend the talk-show host think of today's talk shows? 'I'm very disheartened. A whole generation came of age on my program. Today it's all about who's shacking up with who. Is this what we're all about? Caring only about those who don't care about themselves? Kids now stay home on beautiful days to watch dehumanizing degrading people humiliate themselves. I mean Jon and Kate? I'm no saint. If I still had a talk show and they rated, I guess I'd have them on, too, but I'd sneer at them. I'd say, what are you doing to your children? And these TV traumas are controlled by producers who create artificial cliffhangers. There's not a moment of true spontaneity. There's a difference between a fake Jon Gosselin and a real Sonia Sotomayor.'" (CindyAdams)



"The story of the day, Sunday, August 30th, would have been that, after an opening set by Beach House (who played after Vega) followed by a brief introduction by Senator Chuck Schumer, Grizzly Bear closed out the 2009 Pool Party season at the Williamsburg Waterfront with a beautiful 1+ hour set in front of the Manhattan skyline on a perfect Brooklyn day. Instead, Solange Knowles and her sister Beyonce who brought her husband Jay-Z decided to show up and watch Grizzly Bear from the soundboard. And that become the real topic of conversation for twitterers, texters, and the throngs of people walking toward Bedford around 7:30pm when the concert was over." (BrooklynVegan)



"Yesterday marked the final *tear* JELLY pool party in Brooklyn for the 2009 season, and an unannounced Jay-Z came to help close down this summer’s run of the popular Sunday series with wife Beyonce. Grizzly Bear, Beach House and Vega made the roster for the Williamsburg waterfront concert taking place against a beautiful sunset on the city backdrop, which was a huge improvement on the last show’s sweaty, sunny swelter. The music fans filled the space, crowding up close to take in the music or lazily lounging on the field. After the show the rocked out band fans ventured to Brooklyn Bowl, for the traditional afterparty to the party." (Guestofaguest)



"Whether you follow sports or not, you probably have a pretty good idea of the big names in America's major events. Bret Favre, Alex Rodriguez, and Kobe Bryant are just a few that come to mind for me right off the bat, and I follow team sports about as much as I eat chilled monkey brains. Which is to say, not at all. Distance running is a different matter. Most Americans I know can't name a single elite runner, but they do know this: most of them are from East Africa. Beyond that, zilch. They don't know the difference between Robert Cheruiyot and Genna Tufa, Catherine Ndereba and Serkalem Abrha. But the differences are great, beyond the fact that Cheriuyot and Ndereba are Kenyan while Tufa and Abrha are from Ethiopia. The first two in that list are world-famous athletes and earn enough in prize money and appearance fees to live like kings in their native Kenya. The latter two live a monastic life among several other runners in a single apartment in the Bronx, surviving on whatever they can earn at smaller, less-televised events around the country." (David Alm/AWEARNESSBlog)

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