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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"MICHAEL Jackson had a crush on Princess Diana, 'chickened out' when he had a chance to have sex with Tatum O'Neal and Brooke Shields, and had a falling-out with Madonna, a new book reveals. In 'The Michael Jackson Tapes' -- based on 30 hours of interviews conducted nine years ago by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach -- the King of Pop described Princess Di as 'very feminine and classy. She was my type for sure, and I don't like most girls.' As for Tatum, 'I was 16, she was 13. And I was naive. She wanted to do everything and I didn't want to have sex at all.' Jackson cited his Jehovah's Witness beliefs -- 'I said, Are you crazy?' Jackson called Shields "one of the loves of my life' but he also rejected her: 'We had one encounter when she got real intimate and I chickened out. And I shouldn't have.'" (PageSix)



"Last night, President Obama along with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Nikolas Sarkozy announced that the IAEA had been presented with detailed evidence about the existence of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear enrichment facility. While there's always good reason to be skeptical about such intelligence claims, in this case it is significant that the Iranians hastened to pre-emptively declare to the IAEA that a "new pilot fuel-enrichment plant is under construction." The U.S. has, from what I can tell, been aware of this site for quite some time, and it has not yet gone operational. So this is not a story of the sudden discovery of an urgent new threat requiring whatever red-blooded solution the hawks will be peddling today. The interesting question is why Obama chose to go public with this information now, and how it fits into the administration's diplomatic strategy. According to the New York Times, the administration went public because the Iranians had discovered that Western intelligence had 'breached the secrecy surrounding the project.' Perhaps. But it seems rather more likely that the administration chose to go public as part of a calculated effort to ratchet up the credibility of the threat of tough sanctions ahead of the October 1 meeting between Iran and the P5+1 in Geneva. The public disclosure puts Iran on the back foot ahead of those talks, and appears to have encouraged Russia to more seriously consider supporting such sanctions (that, plus the missile defense decision probably). This has to change Iranian calculations -- indeed, the perception that the sanctions are now more likely is precisely what may lead the Iranians to make more concessions to avoid them." (ForeignPolicy)



"I recently went to the Toronto premiere (and sat with Barry Diller, Diane von Furstenberg, Alex von Furstenberg, Ali Kay and Barbara Bach) of my dearest, nearest friends Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesco Gregorini's writing and directing debut, Tanner Hall. And whether or not they are my besties doesn't matter. The film, about four girls in boarding school, is ah-mazing. Co-starring a hilariously restrained Amy Sedaris and Chris Kattan as well as hunky Tom Everett Scott and Tara Subkoff, it's the four new faces -- Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson and Amy Ferguson -- who make the movie so riveting ...'I wanted to call the film something pretentious," jokes Tatiana. 'Like A Bruised Pear' or 'A Still Life, Interrupted.'" (Peter Davis/Papermag)



(image via facecontrolrussianpictures)

"They walked up to the club with the confidence of young Russians with money, all clicking heels and the sated, greedy smiles of cats licking cream. It was someone’s birthday. Earlier in the week, they had sent over a cash deposit of 7,000 euros (about $10,000) to reserve a table at Soho Rooms, which, at the moment, was the most glamorous and expensive place to spend a night out in Moscow. Slava Kaz, however, was not impressed. They were young. The girls weren’t all that pretty. And look at him, look at his shoes. It was a quick calculation. They did not pass face control. It was a damp, gray evening in early August, the time of year when everyone in Moscow heads out of town, whether to tend garden plots or to sunbathe in the south of France, depending on the depth of their bank account. In two days, the promoters at Soho Rooms would be hosting a private party on the Italian island of Sardinia. But this night, the few people with means or style still left in the city were trying to make their way past Kaz and into the club. Outside, the birthday party group was still waiting, trying to negotiate. Kaz was not budging: I’m sorry, there needs to be a pretty picture inside, you understand. A moment later, a man in a black suit emerged onto the street from behind the club’s oversize wooden doors. He handed over an envelope stuffed with their deposit. They would have to celebrate elsewhere. Such are the often brutal vagaries of Moscow face control, a culture of quick-draw aesthetics that is both humiliating and exhilarating, depending on which end of Kaz’s gaze you fall ... Everyone in Moscow uses the English term ‘face control,’ though the phrase is often transliterated in print as ‘feis kontrol.’ Most every nightclub in Moscow and an increasing number in other cities around the country employ a face control director — the more enigmatic and impenetrable, the better." (NYTimesTravel)



"David Letterman has undergone a significant change, one that goes well beyond his late-in-life marriage and fatherhood. The impetus behind the CBS latenight host's renewed vigor, moreover, appears to owe an unacknowledged debt to George W. Bush. Call it the political education of David Letterman. For most of his career, Letterman was never overtly political. He rather followed his idol Johnny Carson's 'don't let them know your politics' philosophy -- though if anything, his scorn toward then-President Clinton throughout the 1990s at times hinted at a hidden conservative streak. Few comics were more bruising to Clinton than Letterman who regularly characterized the prexy as a gluttonous, horny hillbilly. By contrast, Letterman exhibited genuine respect and admiration for conservative figures such as wounded war veterans Bob Dole and John McCain. The press-shy host has clearly experienced a shift -- one that thrust him into the headlines when he was forced to apologize to Sarah Palin. And the roots of that evolution -- which saw him kick off the new season by hosting President Obama and Clinton on back-to-back nights -- can be witnessed in how the CBS star conspicuously soured on President Bush." (Variety)



"If you have ever stepped foot inside the member’s only Soho House, there’s a very good chance you have seen Roberto Monticello. My fascination with the man began, I’m sure, not unlike many others before me. Word of mouth: 'See that guy in the yellow shirt and red blazer? They call him the Mayor of Soho House,' exclaimed my friend last Tuesday night. I watched as dozens of people passed by to pay their respects. Always jovial in spirits, this man appeared to know everyone in the room. At least they all knew him. When he took his throne in the chair outside of the 6th floor elevators, I made my move .." (GuestofaGuest)



"Some New York-based chicsters may have already boarded Continental 44 for the Milan leg of fashion month, but those left behind have no reason to be sorry; as the fashion flock departed, Clive Owen has landed. The actor touched down last night at Cinema 2 for a Peggy Siegal-hosted, A Diamond Is Forever-sponsored screening (and U.S. premiere!) of his latest, The Boys Are Back ... Post-film, the crowds (which included director Scott Hicks, Amy Sedaris, Kelly Choi, and the lovely Reshma Shetty of Royal Pains) decamped to the Bon Appetit Supper Club for a few glasses of wine and a feast prepared by Emeril Lagasse. 'I didn't see the film,' Lagasse admitted. 'I was readying the main course!' His hard work didn't go unnoticed, as guests devoured their wild mushroom lasagne with jumbo lump crabmeat, rack of lamb, and banana and butterscotch sundaes. But while most were focused on their meals, Owen was focused on another (unlikely) party guest: RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. The men spent nearly the whole evening engrossed in conversation.." (Fashionweekdaily)

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