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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Now that Rush Limbaugh is trying to buy the St. Louis Rams, a team in a league where 70 percent of the players are black, he might consider quitting his membership in the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, which has never had a black member. Joseph Kennedy quit the Everglades when his son became president. Socialite C.Z. Guest was suspended after she brought Estee Lauder, who was Jewish, there in 1972. Florida's New Times reports that Kleenex heir James Kimberly took Sammy Davis Jr. to the club once and they were escorted out." (NYPost)



"D.C. was once a place where the more powerful you were, the quieter you were — but things have changed. Democrats are in power and they love to talk. That was evident at GQ Magazine's party for its 50 Most Powerful People in D.C. list, where an impressive amount of boldfaces names came to the 701 Restaurant ready to mingle. Jim Nelson, the editor of GQ, said the city of D.C. 'felt depressed in the Bush years. Now people are ready to party and pal around' ... So, who on the list actually showed? Eyed at the restaurant were: No. 5. OMB Director Peter Orszag, PhRMA's Billy Tauzin (No. 12), Sen. Ben Nelson (No. 22), Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina (No. 25), lobbyist Steve Elmendorf (No. 32). lobbyist Tony Podesta (No. 32), Dick Armey (No. 35), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's exec director Paul Rieckhoff (No. 37), Obama pollster Joel Benenson (No. 41), POLITICO editor in chief John Harris (No. 43), lawyer Bob Barnett (No. 44), restaurateur Ashok Bajaj (No. 47), Bob Cohn (No. 39), Nate Fick (No. 42), Tom Goldstein (No. 45), and Stephanie Cutter (No. 49)." (Politico)



"FROM THE START, the whole enterprise was predicated on having Mr. Paterson to run against. But then the governor badly mismanaged the process of choosing Hillary Clinton’s Senate successor, eventually having to make the revolting admission that his office leaked damaging information about Caroline Kennedy to the press. The brutal headlines, stretched out over weeks, permanently undermined his standing with voters. As confidence in Mr. Paterson plummeted, Mr. Cuomo’s approval rating surged, thanks to the massive PR dividends that come with being an aggressive and capable (and media-savvy) attorney general. By the end of January, the Paterson-Cuomo trial heat was dead even—a gain of more than 20 points for the AG in a matter of weeks. From there, it only got worse. A month later, Mr. Cuomo’s lead was 26 points. Today, it’s close to 50—about where it’s been for the past six months. The only suspense on the Democratic side now is when—and under what circumstances—Mr. Paterson will finally admit that the game is up and back out of the ’10 race. Instead of running against a vulnerable incumbent with lukewarm popularity in tough economic times, Mr. Giuliani now faces the prospect of Mr. Cuomo and his astronomical popularity (a favorable rating near 70 percent) in a state that needs an excuse not to vote Democratic. It’s a suicide mission." (PolitickerNy)



"'Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,' a 40-minute documentary about the famed children’s author directed by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze, premieres on HBO on Wednesday night -- two days before Jonze’s feature version of Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” hits theaters. At least, they're calling it a premiere. In fact, the Sendak film’s actual public debut took place on Aug. 14 at Laemmle’s Town Center, a small multiplex in the Los Angeles suburb of Encino. It played quietly for one week, the minimum required under rules to qualify ... not for an Emmy but for an Academy Award. Apparently not content with dominating the Emmys, television’s most successful cable network has quietly become a major player at the Academy Awards, as well. When the Academy’s documentary branch announced its shortlist of films that remained in the running for the documentary-short award, fully five of the eight had some connection with HBO." (TheWrap)



"The Roxy, El Morocco, the Stork, the Biltmore, where we met under the clock, are gone forever, a culture of runaway consumption having killed them off. As it has glamour. Socialites are now hawking wares on cable TV, and movie stars look like homeless people wrapped in expensive rags. Politicians no longer wear fedoras or gold chains in their waistcoats, and their voices are as false as ever but not stentorian. The beautiful jukeboxes are gone, as have the colorful Packard taxis waiting in rows in front of the Plaza. Now it’s all black limos with fat drivers dressed in black and talking in their cell phones. It’s all texting and twittering now.." (Takimag)



"Gus Van Sant and author Bret Easton Ellis will team to write a feature about the double suicide of artists Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. PalmStar Entertainment, Celluloid Dreams and K5 Film have acquired screen rights to 'The Golden Suicides,' a Vanity Fair article written by Nancy Jo Sales. Van Sant, who helmed 'Milk' and is prepping the Columbia Pictures drama 'Restless,' is involved only as writer at this point. Ithaka Entertainment's Braxton Pope will produce with PalmStar's Kevin Frakes and Celluloid Dreams' Hengameh Panahi. Duncan and Blake formed a popular couple on the downtown New York and Venice, Calif., art scenes. She was one of the first videogame designers for girls, and his 'digital paintings' -- kaleidoscopic images shown on plasma screens -- established him as a rising star on the circuit. The couple descended into a paranoid spiral when the artists developed a consuming belief that government and religious organizations were conspiring against them. She killed herself in 2007. Blake found her body on the floor of their bedroom, and walked into the Atlantic Ocean a week later, ending his life." (Variety)

"I started out the day at the Metropolitan Club where Lighthouse International was hosting a luncheon for the Henry A. Grunwald Award for Public Service. This award 'recognizes individuals committed to advancing public awareness of prevention and treatment of vision loss' ... Yesterday they feted Howard Stringer, the Chairman and CEO of Sony, with the award. That Texas acerbic/bathed in Broadway ballyhoo, Ms. Liz Smith was the Emcee. It was a big turnout. This luncheon has become in its short life one of the 'prestige' charity luncheons. It draws a big crowd of prominent New Yorkers and social leaders, as well as the 'group' who lead the philanthropic circles. It’s always an interesting luncheon because of the guests – last year’s honoree, you may remember, was Steve Wynn of Las Vegas. Wynn revealed that he was severely handicapped vision-wise, and yet he was in no way handicapped about it. So it’s a luncheon with a lesson, as well as promoting awareness. Louise Grunwald is the Honorary Chair of this luncheon and the force behind its success and popularity. Co-chairs were the Nick and Nora of New York literary and hotshot media and entertainment circles, Pileggi and Ephron." (NYSocialDiary)



"'Gilmore Girls' creator-executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino will be tackling more mother-daughter relationships in a project for HBO. Sherman-Palladino will write and executive produce the untitled dramedy, which chronicles the complicated relationship between three adult sisters, all writers sharing the same upper east side apartment building, and their mother, a domineering literary lioness who reserves most of her affections for their ne'er-do-well brother. 'It's a story of love, hate, family -- and finding the perfect opening line,' Sherman-Palladino said. The project marks Sherman-Palladino's first foray into cable. After a string of gigs on broadcast sitcoms, including 'Roseanne' and 'Veronica's Closet,' Sherman-Palladino rose to prominence with her quirky mother-daughter dramedy 'Gilmore Girls,' which aired on the WB and CW for seven seasons. Sherman-Palladino ran the show starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel for the first six years before parting ways with producing studio Warner Bros. TV." (THR)

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