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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, a long time champion of liberal causes, died Wednesday. Kennedy, 77, had been battling brain cancer. He had been in declining health since early this year. Senator Kennedy was the youngest brother in the political dynasty that included President John Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy. While best known for his work on domestic issues, Ted Kennedy was also known for his fight against apartheid in South Africa. He visited that country in 1985 and held an illegal protest outside of Pollsmoor Prison, where Nelson Mandela was being held. Kennedy also pushed for sanctions against South Africa, something the then-Reagan administration had opposed." (VOANews)



"WALTER Noel made a lot of enemies when his Fairfield Greenwich hedge fund funneled $7 billion into the Bernie Madoff sinkhole. So now, he and most of his large family have been removed from the Quest 400, the magazine's annual list of high society. Noel's daughter, Marisa, who's married to Matt Brown, is the only Noel who made the list, which actually has about 1,200 names. 'You can't punish the child for the sins of the father,' explained a Quest insider. Steve Rattner, the investment banker who was President Obama's 'car czar' until his name came up in the New York state pension fund scandal, has also been dropped, along with his wife, Democratic fund-raiser Maureen White. Bandleader Peter Duchin and his estranged wife, Brooke Hayward, now get separate listings, as does Virginia Coleman, who's said to be keeping Duchin company. All on the list are invited to Doubles on Sept. 17 to celebrate." (PageSix)



"This last chapter in (Dominick Dunne's) life, which began a few years ago as he was beginning his last novel, has been deeply taxing and painful and uncomfortable and debilitating, and otherwise ignored by the man who insisted on getting on with his life. In the last few months he has shown up at dinner parties and restaurants at moments when friends thought it might be too hard for him. And when he was present he never let on to any difficulties. He wanted to talk about what was going on and who was going on and how and why. He was fascinated. Endlessly. His illness began to have a visible effect on his physical stature but never his mind or his energy. He traveled to Germany and to the Dominican Republic for stem-cell treatments, and was there when Farrah Fawcett was also there for treatment. All of it was interesting for him, fascinating, no matter how difficult and painful the process. It may be that he complained about his hurdles to his closest friends but I am certain that he never sought sympathy or felt the need for it." (NYSocialDiary)



"Susan Sarandon is negotiating to join the Oliver Stone-directed 'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps' for 20th Century Fox. Sarandon will play the mother of a young Wall Street trader (Shia LaBeouf) who falls under the seductive influence of Gordon Gekko. Michael Douglas and Frank Langella also star. Production begins next month in New York. The drama was scripted by Allan Loeb. Stone and Douglas produce with Edward R. Pressman and Eric Kopeloff. Sarandon is currently shooting 'You Don't Know Jack,' the Barry Levinson-directed HBO biopic of Jack Kevorkian that stars Al Pacino and John Goodman." (Variety)



"Businessman Chris Kennedy announced Tuesday that he will not seek the Democratic nomination for Senate in Illinois, paving the way for state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to become the favorite. Kennedy joins state Attorney General Lisa Madigan(D) in declining to run for Senate and also not entering the race for governor. The writing was on the wall with Kennedy, as he in recent weeks shifted his focus from what had once been a likely Senate candidacy to a potential run at the state’s top executive post .. Kennedy, who is a son of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.) and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, was the second member of the Kennedy family this year to flirt with joining the Senate, only to back off. Earlier this year, his cousin, presidential daughter Caroline Kennedy, actively campaigned for a Senate appointment in New York." (TheHill)



"'Howard (Stern) likes cliffhangers,' shrugs Tom Taylor, editor of the trade sheet Radio-Info.com. What Stern doesn't have to worry about, says Michael Harrison, editor of the trade magazine Talkers, is that he won't be in demand. He may have millions fewer listeners than he had when he was syndicated from WXRK (92.3 FM). He may not be the presence he was in the water cooler or Twitter loop. But besides declaring himself far happier without the stress of FCC-regulated radio, he also remains a premium brand. 'Stern has left the 'relevance' question behind,' says Harrison. 'He's a broadcast legend and a cultural icon. Even his absence is a story. He has nothing to prove. He has total freedom. The only question is what he does with it.' In fact, says Harrison, he could do something almost no one else could do: He could become his own medium. 'He could start his own radio station - on the Internet, with multiple platforms,' says Harrison. 'He could have total control, total freedom and keep all the money.' Harrison acknowledges few Internet broadcasters make any money, never mind Stern-level money. He says Stern could change that." (NYDailyNews)



"Mark Green was sitting in a soft leather chair inside his loft near Union Square on the night of Aug. 24, with the door to his study wide open and campaign aides standing by, idly. 'If you saw me this morning and evening, at 77th and Lex and 86th and Lex, shleppily handing out my literature,' said Mr. Green, 'I did not look like the so-called front-runner. No one has voted yet, and I’m respectful of that.' This almost aggressive modesty from Mr. Green is not incidental. It is typical of the campaign he has run for public advocate this year, which has so far been extremely successful in neutralizing his two biggest challenges: his preexisting reputation as a press hound and a self-promoter, and the related fact that he is the best-known, best-established candidate in the field of four. Capitalizing on the name recognition stemming from his unique qualification among the contestants—his two full terms as public advocate—Candidate Green has been reserved, almost to the point of invisibility ... Among the elected officials he should not expect help from: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, both of whom will presumably be interested in running for mayor in 2013; Michael Bloomberg, whose disdain for the office Mr. Green helped shape was demonstrated by his decision, along with Ms. Quinn and the Council, to cut its operating budget by 40 percent." (PolitickerNy)

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