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Monday, August 24, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"In Washington, it’s the question du jour, asked at lunch, cocktails and dinner: 'What do you think of this talk that we’re cool again?' The answer depends on whether the answerer is over or under age 30. For those who only knew this city under eight years of George and Laura Bush, the answer is an emphatic 'yes.' But for those who’ve been around longer, and especially if they go back far enough – Clinton, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Kennedy – the answer is in their puzzled expression. 'What’s all this fuss about cool?' they say. 'What’s any different?' The truth is, not much. Apart from any room where President Barack Obama or First Lady Michelle Obama happen to be, the Washington cool factor is its same old tepid self. The cool proclamations come from industries that need it to be so: event planners, publicists, and the local social media. With the insular, anti-social Bush Administration, those groups were in a desert. With the election of Sen. Obama, the hype machine went into overdrive. It was impossible not to get caught up in it. The leafy oasis appeared on the horizon. Washingtonians always have had cool envy – of Los Angeles, of New York, of Miami – but it has never happened here, and there are reasons for that. Los Angeles is glam cool - whacky, fun, frivolous, edgy and creative. New York is all about money cool – having it, spending it, getting more of it, losing it, getting it back. Miami is sexy cool – hot, throbbing, late-night, oiled, neon, top-down and hooked-up. Export any of that to Washington and, honestly, the results are ridiculous." (WashingtonSocialDiary)



"About five minutes into R.J. Cutler’s 'The September Issue,' an almost-expose of the production of Vogue magazine’s annual fall spectacular, electroclash act Ladytron’s icy 'Destroy Everything You Touch' spikes on the soundtrack. By this point Cutler’s already established his hands-off nonfiction filmmaking bona fides, run through a couple of other music cues and highlighted the film’s main attraction: a first-person interview with the famously aloof Vogue editor Anna Wintour, definer of fashion, inspiration for the princess of darkness in 'The Devil Wears Prada.' With the Ladytron cut, he reaches out for some kind of documentary/fashion nirvana: the band’s chilly posing and preening seems a dead-on match for images of Wintour twirling on a series of red carpets; its propulsive beat makes the whole thing feel more like something straight from the multiplex. Yet Ladytron’s lyrics, while not exactly plumbing James-ian psychological depths, are really about self-sabotage and preservation, and neither of these things are really what 'The September Issue‘s about, at least as far as I can tell. Ice queen or no, Wintour does not destroy everything she touches, just the opposite in fact, and this thoughtless dissonance so early on sets the tone." (IndieWIRE)



"A 'profanity-laced screaming match' at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta, and the expected release today of another damning internal investigation, has administration officials worrying about the direction of its newly-appoint intelligence team, current and former senior intelligence officials tell ABC News.com. Amid reports that Panetta had threatened to quit just seven months after taking over at the spy agency, other insiders tell ABCNews.com that senior White House staff members are already discussing a possible shake-up of top national security officials. 'You can expect a larger than normal turnover in the next year,' a senior adviser to Obama on intelligence matters told ABCNews.com. Since 9/11, the CIA has had five directors or acting directors. A White House spokesperson, Denis McDonough, said reports that Panetta had threatened to quit and that the White House was seeking a replacement were 'inaccurate.' According to intelligence officials, Panetta erupted in a tirade last month during a meeting with a senior White House staff member. Panetta was reportedly upset over plans by Attorney General Eric Holder to open a criminal investigation of allegations that CIA officers broke the law in carrying out certain interrogation techniques that President Obama has termed 'torture.' A CIA spokesman quoted Panetta as saying 'it is absolutely untrue' that he has any plans to leave the CIA. As to the reported White House tirade, the spokesman said Panetta is known to use "salty language.'" (ABCNews)



"This weekend, actress Milla Jovovich married director Paul Anderson, in Beverly Hills. Their daughter, Ever Gabo Anderson made a beautiful flower girl (see photo at left). Among the 50 friends in attendance were Patrick Dempsey and his wife, Jillian; as well as some of our familiar NYC socials, Derek Blaseberg and Lyle Maltz, who tweeted during the ceremony. Milla’s dress was a long white satin Temperley London which she helped design, for the ceremony. And a latice work mini dress with bell sleeves (60’s inspired) for the reception and dancing. This is Jovovich’s 3rd marriage (her first was to Shawn Andrews when she was 16!), the second to Luc Besson. Third time’s a charm?" (Guestofaguest)

"WHICH restaurateur held a disastrous tasting for friends and family at his new downtown eatery? After gagging on inedible dishes, the truthful tasters told the owner he shouldn't even open." (PageSix)



"There's a long way to go before the 2010 elections, but public opinion in Nevada suggests that things certainly could be going better for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his political family. Reid, who is preparing to run for a fifth Senate term, trailed two potential GOP challengers, real estate developer Danny Tarkanian and Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden, in a survey taken by Mason Dixon Polling and released Sunday by the Las Vegas Review Journal. And Rory Reid, the senator's son and a county commissioner in Las Vegas, lagged in third place in a three-way match-up of potential Democratic candidates for the 2010 Nevada governor's race -- according to Mason-Dixon polling released Friday. The Senate poll of Nevada voters, conducted Aug. 17 and 18, showed the elder Reid trailing Tarkanian by 49 percent to 38 percent in a hypothetical Senate match-up. Tarkanian -- whose father, Jerry Tarkanian, is the famed former men's basketball coach at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas -- has officially launched his campaign." (CQPolitics)

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