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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Wall Street Journal editor in chief Robert Thomson took David Carr and Bill Keller to task for a story published in the Times today about the Journal's Washington bureau. Mr. Carr wrote that the Journal's D.C. coverage has been 'adopting a more conservative tone' and that editors have been 'editing and headlining articles to reflect a chronic skepticism of the current administration' ever since Mr. Thomson took over the paper as editor. Mr. Carr used former D.C. Journal staffers and two current staffers to build his argument. Mr. Thomson wasn't a fan of the piece. In a statement this morning, Mr. Thomson said that 'principle is but a bystander at The New York Times' and hinted that the paper's increasingly visibile rivalry with the Journal compelled them to write the story. Seperately, and more audaciously, Mr. Thomson built on his case that there's a vendetta against his paper when he said that Mr. Keller wrote to a Prize Committee last year to cast 'aspersions on Journal journalists and journalism.' We've reached out to Mr. Keller and Mr. Carr for a response. When we asked Mr. Carr for a comment, he wrote back, 'No, seems fair to have him have his say. I had mine and stand by it.'" (Observer)



"Though some say (Rachel) Uchitel’s Rolodex was filled with the kind of people who keep business popping at the joints she worked—Marquee, Pink Elephant, Tao, Avenue—her main contacts weren’t stars or prominent captains of industry, at least not the bulk of them. 'She’s good at her job,' says one promoter who has worked with Uchitel. 'I don’t think she has the biggest power-players on speed dial, but she has rich non-Page Sixers who spend big money. In her job, you wrangle people, make sure they have a great time when they’re at the club, provide them with connections in Los Angeles and Vegas when they’re there. It’s an extended client services job.' But at some point this year in Uchitel’s capacity as a VIP hostess, she did meet Woods, and the road since then has been paved with gold. After The National Enquirer closed in on proof that connected Uchitel to the golfing legend, his alleged paramour hired power-lawyer Gloria Allred, gave interviews denying being a homewrecker, scheduled a press conference (presumably to announce being a homewrecker), canceled said press appearance (presumably in pursuit of a payout that The Daily Beast’s Gerald Posner estimates to be in the ballpark of $5 million), and then popped up in Palm Beach this weekend just miles away from the golfer and his wife, Elin Nordegren, who may or may not be divorcing her husband." (TheDailyBeast)



"Top story: The world's two largest polluters have reached an impasse that threatens to derail the climate change talks in Copenhagen. China pledged a 40-45 percent in 'carbon intensity' -- a measurement of carbon dioxide per unit of production -- by 2020 but says it will resist any outside monitoring of its efforts. Negotiators from the United States -- which has pledged a 3-4 percent cut in emissions by 2020 -- believe the Chinese target is too low and say Congress is unlikely to approve any deal that does not include outside verification of China's efforts. The European Union, meanwhile, called on both countries to set more ambitious targets. Yesterday's talks were also hampered by a brief walkout of African nations demanding that rich countries sign on to deep and binding emissions cuts, as well as logistical problems that left thousands of attendees literally out in the cold without credentials. It now unlikely that a deal will be on the table by the time major world leaders -- including U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao -- arrive later this week, unusual for such a high-profile meeting." (ForeignPolicy)



"Kerry Washington has lived in several cities, but when it comes to playing favorites, she takes her lead fr om her Yorkie-shih tzu mix, who prefers New York. 'She likes the cooler weather and the change in seasons,' says Washington of her pooch, Josie B. 'There’s much more interesting stuff to sniff on the street here!' The 32-year-old Bronx native makes her Broadway debut as the latest of David Mamet’s diabolical women in Race. And while the former swim team member at Spence now calls the East Side home, she’s still got a soft spot for The Bronx. 'There’s a real diversity [here] that you don’t fi nd in a lot of places,' she says. 'I don’t mean that in the obvious sense, but that there are so many industries, so many ways people are making lives and making a living.' This is her New York." (NYPost)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Last night I went over to the new Alice Tully Hall (new to me, my first time last night) where the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra were presenting the orchestra in concert with Pinchas Zukerman conducting as well as playing the violin, with guest artist, Cellist Amanda Forsyth. In the co-chairmen’s message, Rochelle and David Hirsch and Elaine and James Wolfensohn explain that this year (and the orchestra's 74th season) has been difficult in many ways. Because of the severe economic conditions in Israel, the Orchestra took on a sizeable cut in salary in order to balance their budget. The evening was underwritten by Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert." (NYSocialDiary)



"Accenture’s advertisement featuring Tiger Woods, which declares brightly that 'It’s what you do next that counts', should have as much resonance for EU foreign ministers as for the unfortunate golfer. Last week, thanks to the energetic chairmanship of Sweden’s Carl Bildt, these ministers agreed a comprehensive statement of policy on Palestine and Israel. It was not quite as good as it should have been. Acting seemingly on instruction from Israel’s foreign ministry, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania fought to dilute the original text. But what survived was still pretty good. The ministers called for the urgent resumption of negotiations, within an agreed time-frame, for a comprehensive peace for Israel and Palestine. They recommitted themselves to an independent Palestinian state whose borders, including those of Jerusalem, should go back to the pre-1967 borders unless otherwise agreed. They promised to develop their relationship with the Palestinian authority and to help implement its plan for building state institutions. In addition they argued that Jerusalem should emerge from negotiations as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, that the fragmentation of Palestine between Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem should be avoided, that Palestinian elections should be held, and, of course, that Israeli settlement activity should end." (FT)



"We live in interesting times, to paraphrase the Chinese proverb. And when I say 'we,' I mean those of us in so-called old media, the kind tied up in ink and paper and trucks and big manufacturing plants; artifacts, in the minds of many, of an age gone by. But out of desperation comes invention, to paraphrase still another old saw, and there is no absence of ideas out there hoping to provide the cure for what ails us. One of the latest: 'Hulu for magazines' – a project launched by Time Inc. to create a giant virtual newsstand that could manage digital subscriptions and deliver the content from them to any and all devices, from Amazon’s Kindle to the iPhone. A noble thought, repurposing all that valuable content and distributing it digitally while keeping all your sub revenues (no fees to outsiders!), all while pocketing the savings from printing fewer magazines on all that 20th-century equipment. So, panacea or pipedream? Well, maybe a little of both. Here are my questions .." (Gary Hoenig, VP & General Manager, ESPN/Paidcontent)



"I've been saying for a while that Joe Lieberman posed the greatest threat to health care reform. Unlike the rest of the party, he has no political interest in the passage of reform or a successful Obama presidency, and he seems to view the prospect of sticking it to the liberals who supported his Democratic opponent in 2006 as a goal potentially worth sacrificing the lives of tens of thousands of Americans to fulfill. (Of course, the irony is that Lieberman is actually vindicating his 2006 critics and undermining his own defense from that time, which revolved around him being a progressive Democrat on domestic policy issues.) Still, I feel that liberals are somewhat overreacting to Lieberman's turn against health care reform. It's true that Lieberman refused to take part in negotiations with Reid over the compromise, suggested he could support the bill presuming a positive CBO score, and then decided to stick in the knife. However, I don't think that health care reform is in peril. If Harry Reid decided to submit to Lieberman's demands, the health care bill would basically revert to what the Senate Finance Committee produced. That's still a major piece of legislation. Expectations among liberals have risen since then, so the come-down is understandable. But this isn't the end of reform." (TNR)

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