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Friday, October 09, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Donald Trump doesn't like to be kept waiting. In her new book, 'The Trump Card,' daughter Ivanka writes: 'Once, when he was married to Marla Maples, we were waiting and waiting at the airport to take off on his private plane for Palm Beach. Marla was always late . . . We were getting ready to roll down the runway when I saw Marla's car pull up alongside . . . The engines were roaring. We were good to go. And there on the tarmac was Marla, all frantic and frazzled and running just a little behind." She asked her father to look out his window, 'but when he saw Marla all he did was throw up his hands. He didn't tell the pilot to stop, and we took off anyway.' She said, 'Come on, Dad. She's just five minutes late.' His response? 'No, Ivanka. You have to be on time.'" (PageSix)



"Was it the saucy Swedish ambassador’s wife, who greeted her pre-ball dinner guests swathed in serious tangerine with décolletage? That’s new and refreshing, especially as she talked at dinner about how, on any day, she’d rather be out riding a good horse at top speed. I hope the other 39 Embassy dinners were as intimate, delicious and lively as the one tossed by Amb. Jonas Hafstrom and Eva Hafstrom. By our third wine, a Chateau Saint-Michel Sauternes, there were many proclamations of 'Skål' .. Or was it jovial Panamanian Ambassador Jaime Aleman and his wife, who invited a whole bunch of us into their limo for the ride from the Swedish residence across town to Meridian House. One of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top advisor’s, Reta Jo Lewis, and her brother, Charlie Lewis, knew how to raise the roof. Our raucous behavior in the limo put me in a time warp; could it be 1978 and we were either going to or coming from Studio 54?" (WashingtonSocialDiary)



"TheWrap: You used to complain you couldn’t get guests. Has that changed?
Bill Maher: Sure. Yes. We do very well with anyone who isn’t a current office holder. Certainly we don’t do as well with conservatives. They try to put out the word not to come here. TheWrap: Who have you not been able to get? Bill Maher: The Clintons. Bill Clinton, not a current office holder -- he does shows that make way worse fun of him. And no one defended him more vociferously during impeachment than I did. But he’s a public figure and a horn dog – I’m not going to pull my punches. I don’t know what the deal is there. TheWrap: Not to rub it in -- he just did Jon Stewart. Bill Maher: You know what -- it’s almost better. When someone does your show, I don’t care who you are, you do feel a slight obligation to pull a punch. When they haven’t done your show you feel no such obligation." (TheWrap)



"I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He’s done nothing to deserve the prize. Sure, he’s given some lovely speeches and launched some initiatives—on Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace, climate change and nuclear disarmament—that might, if he’s really lucky and really good, make the world a more safe, more just, more peaceful world. But there’s absolutely no way to know if he’ll succeed, and by giving him the Nobel Prize as a kind of 'atta boy,' the Nobel Committee is actually just highlighting the gap that conservatives have long highlighted: between Obamamania as global hype and Obama’s actual accomplishments. But Obama will survive this award. The damage to the Nobel Committee itself will be greater. They’ve clearly fallen in love with celebrity, and with the idea of shaping the course of history—in other words, they’ve fallen in love with an absurdly grandiose conception of their role. The Nobel Prize Committee should be in the business of conferring celebrity on unknown human-rights and peace activists toiling in the most god-forsaken parts of the world; the people who really need the attention (and even the money)." (Peter Beinart/TheDailyBeast)



"India remains the world’s leading film producer, but Nigeria is closing the gap after overtaking the United States for second place, according to a global cinema survey conducted by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). Bollywood produced 1,091 feature-length films in 2006 compared to 872 productions (in video format) from Nigeria’s film industry, which is commonly referred to as Nollywood. In contrast, the United States produced 485 major films. The three were followed by eight countries that produced more than 100 films: Japan (417), China (330), France (203), Germany (174), Spain (150), Italy (116), South Korea (110) and the United Kingdom (104). These and other findings were collected through a new international survey launched by the UIS in 2007 with financing from the Government of Québec." (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)



"Jailed Myanmar human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi met with Britain’s ambassador to Rangoon and other western diplomats for talks. The meeting with the 64-year old Nobel laureate lasted an hour at a state guest house. 'She is in remarkable form for someone who has been through what she has,' someone present at the talks told The Guardian. 'She was very, very engaged on the subject, very interested in going into details and she seemed, as ever, very eloquent.'" (Ron Mwangaguhunga/AirAmerica)



"As President Barack Obama vowed in a Sept. 14 speech in New York’s Federal Hall to correct 'reckless behavior and unchecked excess' on Wall Street, Mike McMahon and Barney Frank sat in the audience discussing how to ease proposed rules for the $592 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market. Side by side at 26 Wall St., across from the New York Stock Exchange, freshman congressman McMahon told House Financial Services Committee Chairman Frank he was worried that Obama’s derivatives plan, released in August, would penalize a wide swath of U.S. corporations and could push jobs in his home district overseas, McMahon said in an interview ... The battle over derivatives legislation is a test for the Obama administration’s efforts to tighten financial regulation to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis that shook the global economy -- a crisis exacerbated by derivatives trading." (Bloomberg)

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