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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Jennifer Aniston burst into tears in her trailer while filming in New York -- telling an assistant that a scene 'reminded her of Brad Pitt,' a source said. The unlucky-in-love actress was late coming out of her trailer while filming 'The Bounty' with Gerard Butler a few weeks ago. The source tells Page Six that when an assistant went to fetch Aniston, she was in tears, and said, 'I need a moment. This scene reminds me of Brad and me.'" (PageSix)



"Last night, Barbara Walters hosted a 'big f***ing party!' for Joy Behar (Joy’s words, not mine) at The Oak Room in The Plaza, in honor of HLN’s new 'The Joy Behar Show.' Champagne poured freely, but I was much too busy gaping at the crowd to drink, because basically everyone you’ve ever seen on a news or talk show was there. Like, icons. Larry King, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, and Anderson Cooper in all his suave, silver-haired glory. And Alan Alda was there! I had to bite my lip to keep from humming the Mash theme-song in his ear." (Guestofaguest)



"With just a 1.5 rating, 'The Jay Leno Show' could make $300 million a year for NBC -- and probably spark other networks to follow suit. That was the judgment of WME head of nonscripted John Ferriter, speaking Tuesday on a Producers Caucus panel at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Other panelists, including USA Networks' Jeff Wachtel and Lionsgate's Kevin Beggs, concurred that NBC's move was gutsy and that in any case the Peacock almost certainly would continue to declare victory -- often and loudly -- with regard to replacing five scripted hours a week with 'Leno.' As for what the intrusion of a talk show into network primetime means for television during the next two years, most opined that the proportions of scripted and nonscripted likely won't shift dramatically overall. But they noted that cablers are likely to play a bigger role with dramas and comedies and that broadcasters would have further reduced their reliance on scripted, especially high-end, dramas." (THR)



"The final day of Michael Dukakis’ final—and most improbable, unconventional and just plain bizarre—campaign for political office began on a bad note Wednesday morning. Influential Democrats in Washington, reacting to The Boston Globe’s endorsement of Dukakis for an interim Senate appointment a day earlier, had fought back by telling The New York Times that the 75-year-old former governor 'was out of the running and would not be named' by Governor Deval Patrick to replace Ted Kennedy, as the paper reported it. Instead, The Times and other national outlets suggested that Patrick was likely to settle on Paul G. Kirk, a close Kennedy family friend, former D.N.C. chairman and longtime Washington insider to hold the seat until next January’s special election. This basic tension has come to define the non-campaign campaign that was kicked off by the State Legislature’s readiness to abide by Kennedy’s dying wish that the state’s succession laws be amended to allow for an interim senator—who could then provide the critical 60th vote for what Kennedy called the cause of his life, health care reform. On the one hand, Congressional Democrats fear that Dukakis would be 'too independent' as a senator and that the brutal Republican caricature of him from his 1988 White House campaign would haunt their health care efforts this fall." (Observer)



"In 2003, Ron Paul was in line to be chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee of this committee. Specifically and solely to frustrate Ron from being the chairman, they merged the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy with the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy. Ron Paul then complained to Tom DeLay, and Tom DeLay told [then-Chairman Mike] Oxley [R-Ohio] 'Don't change it' ... [T]wo years later, even though they merged the two subcommittees in the progression, Ron was then again ready to be chairman, this time of the combined one. [Then-Rep. Deborah] Pryce [R-Ohio] was dragooned to come back and assert a subcommittee chairmanship ... Ron at that point said to me, 'I guess I have to wait for you to be chairman for me to have any authority around here.' The Republican Party was a staunch defender of the Fed against Ron Paul." (CQPolitics)



"Although Mr Volcker is broadly supportive of the administration’s plan, which is facing challenges from politicians, banks and regulators, he said he was concerned that 'moral hazard' was reinforced, not reduced, in the administration’s scheme for dealing with large interconnected institutions, which other observers have warned could benefit from an implicit government guarantee. Mr Volcker, who served as chairman of the Fed between 1979 and 1987, said he was concerned that the financial sector had grown out of proportion to the US economy and he was “very interested” by ideas for a tax on transactions between banks, which was floated on Thursday by Peer Steinbr├╝ck, German finance minister, and recently by Lord Turner, the head of the UK Financial Services Authority. In spite of his doubts at the practicality and possible negative side-effects of regulating systemic risk, Mr Volcker said if it is to happen the Fed must have the authority, not a council of regulators as proposed by the administration. 'The Federal Reserve has the authority. It has the money. It presumably has the experience and capability,' he said. “And I think that simple fact ought to be recognised. It’s a very important institution. And it seems to me logical that they ought to be assigned explicitly what I thought they always had implicitly, a kind of surveillance of the whole system.'" (FT)



"BILL Clinton looked like a candidate Tuesday at Michael's as he table-hopped shaking hands. The former president, who holds his annual Clinton Global Initiative today, hosted 60 people in the restaurant's back room, but spent some quality time upfront saying hello to the likes of Ronald Perelman and Barry Diller at one table, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Lyor Cohen at another, plus Jeff Bewkes and Peter Chernin." (PageSix)



"Last night I never went farther south than 73rd Street and that was to attend the 6th Annual Fete de Swifty which is held in a tent set up on the block between Lex and Third. Liz Smith started this to raise funds to assist families and individuals, mainly women and children, who have serious domestic and abuse problems. There is a lot of that in our community, as it is in all communities. There are solutions but they come with assistance. People in dire straits or need often don’t know that assistance can change things and it is possible. In the six years the Fete has been going, we’ve raised well into seven figures." (NYSocialDiary)



"The pinkslips keep coming at the Weinstein Co., with another 35 slots due to be cut in the next month, leaving the staff size at around 90. Four-year-old TWC is also planning to limit the number of releases to 10 a year -- four each for Harvey and Bob Weinstein and two pickups. Moves come three months after TWC engaged restructuring specialist Miller Buckfire. 'We hired a firm to help us restructure and put a plan into place to get us to a size that will fortify our company moving forward,' a TWC rep said. 'In this economic climate, it makes sense to focus on a smaller slate, and with that, we need fewer people. By the end of the year, the look of the company will be complete, and we can continue releasing successful films.' TWC's been hit with several rounds of layoffs since last October, when it cut 24 people to leave the staff at 200. The latest round of reductions will leave the size of the staff similar to that of rival studios with a comparable slate size, such as Overture Films and Summit Entertainment." (Variety)



"Governor David Paterson is applying candor against the odd scenario in which he presently finds himself. "I did not sign up for this,' Governor Paterson said at a luncheon organized by The Associated Press on Wednesday. 'I wanted to be lieutenant governor. I had this grand plan that Hillary Clinton was going to become president. Maybe the governor would appoint me to the Senate.' That makes sense. Patterson has been a legislator -- in the New York State Senate -- for most of his professional life, where he was quite successful, attaining the Majority Leader position. Perhaps Governor Paterson's talents lie on the legislative side of things rather than the executive, which requires a different sort of skill set altogether." (AirAmerica.com)



"So it looks like FP contributor David Schenker was right: Muammar al-Qaddafi couldn't contain himself in his speech today at the U.N. General Assembly's opening session. The Libyan strongman has been erratically working toward a rapprochement with the West, including abandoning his fledgling WMD programs, cooperating on counterterrorism, and opening up his country to oil investment. Even his execrable human-rights record has improved. It's not exactly clear whether the elder Qaddafi himself is driving this process, or whether his son Saif al-Islam -- who hangs out with the Davos crowd and talks a good game on democracy -- is the brains behind this operation." (ForeignPolicy)



"Bergdorf Goodman welcomed Elle magazine Editor-in-Chief and the Bravo channel’s 'Top Design' judge Margaret Russell to celebrate her new coffee table book, 'Style and Substance,' yesterday. Guests including Robert Verdi, Catherine Malandrino, Chado Ralph Rucci, Cynthia Rowley, Ted Allen, Summer Rej and Lizzie Tisch and Jonathan Tisch showed to support the author while glimpsing the work, which looks back at 20 very beautiful years of Elle decor." (Guestofaguest)



"Last night was the 10th Annual New Yorkers For Children Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. You’ve read about this organization here before. It was started by Nicholas Scoppetta and Susan Burden and a group of New Yorkers including Oscar de la Renta and Beth DeWoody ... What began as an idea to help the community has grown into a majority charity on the New York social circuit. Last night they filled the vast hall of Cipriani, and brought out a great cross-section of New Yorkers contributing. The honoree was Mary J. Blige who needs no introdution. The glamorous Ms. Blige was looking very slender and chic in pink taffeta. 50 million albums and 9 Grammys later, she could admit to the guests last night that she had a hard time emotionally getting there." (NYSocialDiary)



"ALEXANDRA Richards has places to be. The rock heiress/model/deejay was hired to spin at the opening of stylist Jordan Blackmore's Three Squares Studio last week for three hours, but left after 38 minutes to have dinner with friends. According to a source, 'Her agent requested payment for the full three hours she was contracted to play, but the salon balked. They ended up negotiating payment per minute.' Richards couldn't be reached. A rep for the studio says, 'I guess dinner was more important than her contract.'" (PageSix)

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