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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"To a striking degree, the race for EU president is a contest between Tony Blair and everyone else. There are many reasons to expect the British former prime minister to fail. His name has been in the headlines for weeks, and front-runners rarely secure euro-jobs in the end. Federalists mutter that this job should not go to anybody from Britain, which shuns the single currency, refuses to join the borderless Schengen area and always fights to keep its special rebate from the EU budget. Among politicians from Mr Blair’s (nominal) political family, the European Socialists, views of him range from 'mild dislike to hatred', notes one senior official. In the eyes of the left, Mr Blair won three elections only by abandoning socialism. Across much of Europe, moreover, he is remembered for splitting the EU with his uncritical support for the Iraq war and for George Bush. It is not clear that national leaders would welcome his Hollywood star power: at future summits, for instance, journalists might all go to Mr Blair’s press conference. His own country is divided by the idea of a President Blair. The opposition Conservatives are already cross that the Lisbon treaty will enter into force without the British public being able to vote on it in a referendum. Now, they fume, Britons must stomach the prospect of Mr Blair 'suddenly pupating into an intergalactic spokesman for Europe', in the phrase of London’s Tory mayor, Boris Johnson. In Mr Blair’s favour, he is the only global star on the list." (TheEconomist)



"So I'm finally through with Mackenzie Phillips's book, which got a little dull when she cleaned up, and I'm now on to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's The Michael Jackson Tapes, in which the self-promoting spiritual authority lays out his transcribed 2000-2001 conversations with the noseless king of pop. In it, Jacko freely discusses the high points of his love life, like how Brooke Shields tried to get intimate with him once, but he didn't go for it--wonder why. Another tragic near-miss is that he never dated Liz Taylor and as a result never got to be one of her thousands of husbands. As Michael says in the book, 'I know that if we ever did anything romantically, the press would be so mean and nasty and call us the Odd Couple. It would turn into a circus and that's the pain of it all. You know, I push her in a wheelchair sometimes when she can't walk. It's none of their business what we have together. I have to be with people like me.' People like me? Well, I am going to rise above for a change and totally avoid the "two white women" thought that's totally crossing my mind." (Musto)



(image via nysocialdiary)

"Mr. Marshall was basically 'turned in' by his son by his first marriage (which was dissolved in 1962) Philip Marshall who, it has been reported, was miffed that Charlene Marshall, his second stepmother, got the house in Northeast Harbor, Maine which Philip was expecting from his grandmother. One of the aphorisms in the Twelve Step Program is: No Expectations. A good idea often ignored by all but the wisest (whoever they are). This is a tale of tall ironies. Before all of this came down, Philip Marshall and his twin brother, were always to receive one third of their father’s estate upon his death. This was the result of their mother and father’s divorce settlement made in 1962 in which Tony Marshall made this binding legal agreement. By today’s math that would have amounted to about $10 million each. If. Big 'if,' it turns out. Philip and his brother never knew that little bit of information and only learned it during the trial. Even their mother, according to yesterday’s New York Times, had forgotten the divorce settlement. I happened to have known this fact for months now, and assumed his sons knew. Irony: Now, from the looks of it, the boys will not be getting that if the Will that is being contended is ruled invalid." (NYSocialDiary)



"'I love your work! I love your beard!' is the greeting an unshaven Pedro Almodóvar got from Paper editor in chief Kim Hastreiter at Casa Lever Saturday night, where the magazine hosted a dinner party for the Spanish director and Penélope Cruz, the star of his latest film, Broken Embraces. Hastreiter—who was touting Almodóvar in print long before 1999's Oscar-winning All About My Mother—gave him a whirlwind tour of the room's younger talent: Beth Ditto, Jeremy Scott, the Threeasfour crew." (Style)



"Dear Daily, It's like New Year's Eve when director Pedro Almodovar is in town. Whenever the genius director is in town, showing his latest masterpiece, PAPER Magazine's founders Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits host a fun dinner to introduce Pedro to all our favorite New York characters. This time the co-guest of honor was Pedro's greatest collaborator, Penelope Cruz, who stars in Broken Embraces--looking gorgeous as always. The dinner was at Casa Lever, the new spot from the Sant Ambroeus people (which opens this week) and the guests sipped special Absolut libations. It was an uptown downtown melange of cuties like Debbie Harry, Jake Shears, Catherine Malandrino, Ladyfag, the Drums, Jeremy Scott and his date, Gossip front-woman Beth Ditto, Allison Sarofim, Marcus Samuelsson, Ruben and Isabel Toledo, Albert Maysles and the Queen herself--Madonna. It was like a Truth or Dare flashback with the Material Girl snuggling up to Pedro." (Fashionweekdaily)




"PAMELA Anderson made jaws drop when she arrived showing off her underwear under a pink Vivienne Westwood dress at the Hollywood Style Awards in LA Sunday. Wearing the barely there cross between a wedding dress and a bedsheet, which nearly fell off, she admitted, 'The dress came with a million safety pins, and Westwood told me to just pin it and knot it in a bunch of places.' Asked to name her style icon, Anderson said, 'Humpty Dumpty.' Asked about her new fragrance line to be sold exclusively in drugstores, the buxom blonde responded without a blink, 'That is why I always smell so cheap.'" (PageSix)



"Perhaps losing your life’s dream (or being freed from it, depending on how you look at it) pushes the reset button like nothing else. After some rocky moments, Hillary seems to have found, in the heart of her chief rival’s administration, an unexpected comfort level. The static around her has evaporated. She communicates a deep lack of insecurity. Locked in the Situation Room with alpha dogs all day and going home to the biggest alpha dog of all at night (on the rare occasions the two are in the same hemisphere), it’s as if she has learned how to circumnavigate that tiresome phallic competition and acknowledged what’s different—and valuable—about her own female nature. If they’d been translating her thoughts as she spoke to Curry, the subtitle would have read: 'Don’t you understand? I don’t have to do that shit anymore.' No wonder she has the highest approval rating in the cabinet. Everyone expected Hillary to fight for the limelight with Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke. But she was smart enough to let that booby prize be all his. There aren’t going to be any Nobel Prizes handed out for cutting a few messy deals with drug barons and warlords. Who are you gonna to reel in there for a Dayton Accord? Mullah Omar and Osama? The only good thing about Holbrooke’s day at the moment is when he has a stress-free debriefing session with her. There was speculation she would clash with flinty GOP holdover Defense Secretary Bob Gates. After all, that turf war has been almost de rigueur in Washington political infighting. But ever since July 2007 when Hillary hit out over Gates' dismissive response to her request that the Pentagon brief Congress on plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, Gates has not risked patronizing Hillary again." (Tina Brown/TheDailyBeast)



(Griffin Dunne, Naomi Watts, Jason Weinberg via PMc)

"Andre Balazs is really becoming NYC’s sweetheart. With the explosion of the Boom Boom Room, he is basically sitting back and letting the stars swarm around his Standard Hotel. This Saturday he had a party at the bar, well, just cause. Naomi Watts, Griffin Dunne and Patrick McMullan stood out among the banquettes of beautiful people, but there is one girl about which we’re especially curious. A tipster tells us that the hotelier was spotted after this soiree, around 4:30 in the morning, walking down Broadway with a slim, cigarette smoking brunette clad in black." (Guestofaguest)



"Never call Beth Ditto the C-word. At the ah-mazing Gossip show at Terminal 5, the flame-haired singer had a guy bounced from the audience when a rustle broke out because he called her 'a dirty c*nt.' 'You can call me a fat dyke,' Ditto told the crowd, 'but don't you ever call me a c*nt.' To close the show, Ditto encored with a cover of 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' before getting the crowd to 'reclaim' and sing the Queen song 'We Are The Champions' as a gay anthem." (Papermag)



"ANDY Roddick is $150 richer after winning a bet with Virgin heir Sam Branson. The tennis champ was vacationing on Richard Branson's Necker Island when son Sam challenged him to a set. Branson had one condition -- right-handed Roddick had to play as a leftie. A source told Page Six, 'Even with the handicap, the result was a convincing victory for Roddick. He thrashed Branson 6-0.' Sam could afford it -- he's heir to a $2.5 billion fortune." (PageSix)



"Handicapping the race for EU president: It's been a big few weeks for foreign-policy wonks with a betting streak, with the awarding of the 2016 Olympics and Nobel Prizes as well as Ireland's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Although some hurdles remain, the referendum has made the creation of a president of the European Union much more likely -- spurring some serious transatlantic speculation over who would fit the bill. Normally, the politicking over which continental political heavyweight might grab an EU post is minimal. The roles tend to be bureaucratic and, put frankly, Brussels tends to be a pretty dull place. But the novelty and the relatively undefined nature of the beefed-up EU presidency has given the race some intrigue. As certain politicians have emerged as speculative front-runners, an informal set of criteria has emerged as well. European leaders and Brussels-watchers handicapping the race often comment on the characteristics they deem desirable in an EU president. First, the president should be, well, boring -- like Brussels itself." (ForeignPolicy)



"It’s all about purple, the Purple Magazine party that is. Lindsay Lohan, Margerita Missoni, Eugenie Niarchos and Leigh Lezark were seen chit chatting over drinks and cigarettes while taking a break from the huge crowd at the party in Paris on Friday night." (Guestofaguest)



"One of NYU'S newest grad students is better known for her XXX-tra curricular activities. When she's not in class, porn star Lorelei Lee jets to the West Coast to film skin flicks with some of the biggest names in the industry. It's a lifestyle Lee, 28, knows well. The busty blond has been working in porn and juggling life as a student for nearly 10 years. 'It's not weird anymore,' said Lee, a first-year student pursuing a master's in fine arts. 'I've just been doing this for so long' ..A 2008 graduate of San Francisco State University, Lee decided to pursue a master's in creative writing on the advice of former professors, she said. When the porn queen got the acceptance call from the head of NYU's program, she was elated. 'She said they were excited about my writing,' said Lee, dressed in a pink tank top, black mini-skirt and knee-high boots. 'I don't know if she says that to everybody, but it felt pretty good.' Lee has been in more than 200 films since entering the porn business at age 19, and she's been nominated for three Adult Video News Awards. She gets paid up to $1,400 per day, and estimates she has made between $30,000 and $60,000 a year." (NYDailyNews)



"The rich got richer in DVR playback numbers released Monday, which paint a picture of auds watching more programs on their own timetables. Top dramas like 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'House' exhibited the biggest growth in premiere-week Nielsens that include all same-week DVR playback, but laffers like 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'The Office' also shot up. And overall, the networks saw a noticeable rise in same-week playback vs. the kickoff frame last year. NBC, meanwhile, benefited the least in premiere-week DVR lift as its top show, 'Sunday Night Football,' and its nightly "The Jay Leno Show" had relatively little traction in DVR playback. Thursday remains the night where DVRs get their biggest workout, as seven of the biggest 18-49 gainers in premiere week -- across each of the major networks -- aired on the night." (Variety)



"A 2001 Mercedes-Benz E320 once owned by convicted conman Bernard Madoff and his wife is going on the auction block next week. The black station wagon with 44,146 miles is among 33 vehicles that will be auctioned on Oct. 23 in East Brunswick, New Jersey, as part of a sale of vehicles seized by or forfeited to the U.S. Marshals Service. A Mercedes like Madoff’s has a suggested retail value of $13,727 to $19,530, according to estimates from auto pricing services Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com. The Madoff heritage probably won’t add to the car’s auction price, said Tim Minoughan, auction manager for CWS Marketing Group, which is conducting the sale for the marshals. 'If it were a Bentley or a Rolls Royce or something really high valued, then that would be splash flash,' Minoughan said. 'It’s hard to do that with an E320 wagon.'" (Bloomberg)



"Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) is risking a shot at becoming the top Republican on an influential Senate committee by backing Democratic healthcare legislation, according to senators on the panel. A Senate Democrat on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said Republicans on the panel are threatening to vote against Snowe, who is in line for the senior GOP post that is about to come open. Snowe, a potential swing vote on the Senate Finance Committee, could give Democrats a major boost Tuesday when that panel holds a final vote on Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) bill. She could also support the bill in the coming weeks on the Senate floor." (TheHill)

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