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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Susan Rice was one of the top foreign-policy advisors on Barack Obama's presidential campaign. A fierce advocate for her candidate, the former Brookings Institution fellow and Clinton-era assistant secretary of state for African affairs was a frequent presence on cable television and a go-to source of quotes for reporters. Seven months into the job as Obama's ambassador to the United Nations and a month before the annual U.N. General Assembly opening, Rice plans to deliver a speech Wednesday night at an event cosponsored by New York University's Center for Global Affairs and its Center on International Cooperation. In her address, a Rice advisor tells Foreign Policy, the U.N. ambassador plans to detail how the Obama administration is changing the U.S. relationship with the world, and how, as part of that new direction, it is dramatically altering its approach to the United Nations. In turn, the advisor says, the speech will explain how those changes advance U.S. interests and make Americans safer. 'Today, as we steer a new course at the United Nations, our guiding principles are clear: We value the U.N. as a vehicle for advancing U.S. policies and priorities, and universal values,' Rice's prepared remarks state. 'We work for change from within rather than criticizing from the sidelines. We stand firm in defense of America's interests and values, but we don't dissent just to be contrary. We listen to states great and small. We build coalitions. We meet our responsibilities. We pay our bills. We push for real reform. And we remember that in an interconnected world, what's good for others is often good for America as well.'" (ForeignPolicy)

"(Table 1) Pamela Fiori, Nathan Christopher and yours truly .. (Table 2.) Paul Schaeffer, who sipped a virgin Bloody Mary while he waited for his pal, Law & Order's SVU's Richard Belzer, to arrive .. (Table 20.) Peggy Siegal (loved the chic new 'do!) and Fred Zollo." (Lunch at Michaels/FishbowlNY)



"It’s been speculation for a couple months now but I was told by a very good source that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President William J. Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be getting married this summer to her boyfriend Mark Mezvinsky in a ceremony to take place at the home of Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson on Martha’s Vineyard. Now, it is the middle of August, and so the summer’s not exactly over, but it ain’t got that far to go. So we’ll soon see, won’t we?" (NYSocialDiary)



"IN SOME settings, light-green slacks would be merely a fashion crime. In Sudan they may actually be against the law. Lubna Hussein faces 40 lashes and an unlimited fine if she is convicted of being inappropriately dressed in public—for wearing those slacks. She was arrested a month ago, under Article 152 of Sudan’s criminal law, which forbids 'indecent clothing in public' without specifying exactly what that means. According to Ms Hussein, ten of the 12 women arrested with her immediately accepted they had been improperly dressed. They each got ten lashes and paid a fine equivalent to $100. Ms Hussein, however, insisted she was innocent, and says she has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the Koran or Sudanese law. Moreover, she has cleverly embarrassed the authorities by turning her ordeal into a media circus. A journalist, she printed 500 invitations to her trial and sent out e-mails to the world’s press, inviting them to her flogging." (TheEconomist)



"Three weeks after McKinsey & Company slipped its foot into the door of the emerald tower, Condé Nast staffers continue to ask what fresh hell they find themselves in. 'I saw Graydon in the cafeteria this week!' said one business-side insider, last Friday. 'In all my years here, I’ve never seen him in my life there. He was behind me in the line at checkout with his little swipe card. He was milling around uncomfortably with the commoners.' When our source first walked into the Frank Gehry–designed cafeteria at 4 Times Square, Mr. Carter was studying the options available at the stir-fry station. It wasn’t clear whether he actually sat down to eat lunch, but the sight of him put our source into a bit of a panic. 'That whole feeling of working here and it being cushy and other people loving it and being jealous? That’s kind of gone now,' said the source." (Observer)



"In the 1950s, Silvio Berlusconi was a cruise-ship crooner. After that he became a real-estate magnate, a media mogul, and then prime minister. Although that’s not quite giving him his due: he isn’t just one more immensely powerful billionaire; rather more impressively, he controls his country’s dominant political party, its primary television networks, and its government. But, after all this, what characterizes him most is his crooner personality: he’s an indefatigable—and cheap—Lothario. A dime-store Sinatra. A type. An Italian stereotype." (VanityFair)



"Contrary to received opinion, I am told Bill’s wife was not a bit miffed at her husband’s bounding back into the limelight with that glamorous Team America rescue of damsels in distress from evil North Korea. On top of Hillary’s own punishing State Department schedule and painful broken elbow, she has to cope—like any wife of a dethroned big- deal spouse—with a moody, irritable alpha male at home who chafes about being sidelined (and, in this case, smarts from the campaign’s wounds more than by now she does herself). Because she loves her man, she wants to see him appreciated. She was thrilled when he got the call that put him back in the game and grateful that Obama, for once, let him do something. It’s just that — oh God, the trouble is that when Bill bounces back up, he bounces so high he always ends up landing on her. News cycles of this sort are supposed to last at most one week, not two—and this one, this latest Bill comeback narrative, was now bumping into hers. She didn’t mind in Kenya, South Africa, Angola, or even Congo that Bill’s Korea trip was grabbing the news. But when it looked as if his limelight might pursue her all the way to Nigeria—well, that was a country too far." (TheDailyBeast)



"The TV Academy and CBS have abandoned plans to time-shift several key awards, throwing in the towel on the controversial attempt to shake up the Emmy broadcast. 'This decision was made to mend relationships within the television community and to allow executive producer Don Mischer to focus his full attention on producing the creative elements in the telecast,' said TV Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner in an statement released by the Academy on Wednesday. 'Our goal is to celebrate the year in television, honor excellence and this year's great achievements with the support of our industry colleagues and our telecast partner, CBS.' The official retreat came less than two hours after TheWrap broke the news that the time-shifting plan was all but dead. CBS and Academy officials refused to comment at the time. According to multiple television industry insiders familiar with the thinking of CBS and Academy executives, both camps decided that going through with the time-shifting concept for eight awards categories "isn't worth it,' as one source said." (TheWrap)

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