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Friday, January 22, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The talk down at Michael’s was about Scott Brown in Massachusetts. My luncheon partner was impressed by his 'story' of wayward youth in multiple marriage homes. I think Michael Wolff on his newser.com got it right: It was about the Kennedys." (NYSocialDiary)



"A porn star in child-custody fight with motorcycle builder Jesse James -- the husband of actress Sandra Bullock -- was ordered to spend four months in a halfway house in Oregon after she violated her parole on a tax-evasion conviction. Janine Lindemulder, James' ex-wife, was sentenced Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Thomas Coffin found that she had violated her parole. Coffin had ordered her not to associate with felons, to stay out of pornography, and to live in a halfway house; she violated all three conditions." (OCRegister)



"Dawn has broken on a new season at indie-film-lovers'-paradise: the Sundance Film Festival. Everyone has been waiting with baited breath to see how newly appointed Festival Director, John Cooper, would shake things up within the 20 year old institution ... But seriously there is, as always, major Hollywood cred showing up in the snowy mountains of Utah - aka Indiewood. So far we've seen Jon Hamm, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Andie MacDowell, and that was only in one night! In the coming days we are sure to see more celebs as they come to show their support for the festival which has showcased such films as 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'The Usual Suspects,' and 'Precious.' I wonder which of the 112 movies will be the breakout star of the year?" (Guestofaguest)



"There wasn't a hair out of place last night as guests prettied their pouts and lengthened their lashes, prepping for the celebration of Scott Barnes' new beauty bible, About Face. Friends including Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Rowland, Wendy Williams, Oribe and Kat Deluna broke out the bronzer for an evening at Provocateur to fête the book launch ... Jennifer Lopez stepped out (with husband Marc Anthony in tow) to support her longtime makeup artist. Barnes admitted, 'I've been lying on the beach, and I'd get a call from Jennifer asking me to come help because she's got a video to shoot--and so, I'm there!' Lopez gushed, 'We've been together since my second video, and I've made about twenty. We're not just people who work together; we're best friends. We're really more like brother and sister. And he did my makeup tonight!' Barnes batted his eyelashes and quipped, 'And she did mine!'" (Fashionweekdaily)



"It didn't take long after Republican Scott Brown's stunning victory in Massachusetts for GOP consultant Roger Stone to start planning a follow- up. At Geisha on East 61st Street Wednesday night, the Machiavellian manipulator was trying to persuade psychiatrist/ talk-show host Dr. Keith Ablow, a Massachusetts native, to challenge Sen. John Kerry in 2014." (PageSix)



"A brothel in a Nevada desert town has hired the state's first male prostitute, a muscular college dropout who abandoned a brief stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles to become the only legal gigolo in the United States. The Shady Lady Ranch successfully won state and county approval to clear the way for the 'prostidude,' as Nevada's newest sex worker is already being called. After a slow first week on the job, his first appointments are scheduled for this weekend. The male prostitute - known as 'Markus' - has quickly become the centre of attention in Nevada's brothel industry. He has been criticized by female counterparts for not being willing to have sex with men. And he created a dustup after telling Details Magazine that his pioneering role in the sex business was 'just the same' as civil rights icon Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus during racial segregation in the U.S. South. Not surprisingly, he has been forbidden from doing interviews after the remarks." (TheCanadianPress)



"As the 2010 Sundance Film Festival beings today, Kerry Washington’s accomplished the the indie cred-burnishing feat of having two buzzy films here. The first is Tanya Hamilton’s Night Catches Us, where Washington reunites with her She Hate Me costar Anthony Mackie in the story of two ex-Black Panthers, and the second is Rodrigo Garcia’s female triptych Mother and Child, which made its well-received debut in Toronto last fall and costars Annette Bening and Naomi Watts." (Movieline)



Why does The Times need 12 months before it introduces a metered system for charging readers for content? Or rather, why announce it so far ahead? Speculation that an announcement was meant to be timed to the release of the Apple Tablet, rumored to be the topic of a big Cupertino "event" slated for Jan. 27, have been dismissed (often in the same venues in which it was initially raised.) The paper may simply have had to take control of a narrative that was getting speculative and damaging—and had to create a conversation about it in which the company itself was the authority." (Observer)



"Yusuf al-Qaradawi is in the news these days, denounced on a daily basis on Saudi, Palestinian and Egyptian op-ed pages, forums and TV over his stances on Gaza, on Hamas and Abu Mazen, on Yemen, and more. Following those controversies is an excellent window into what divides and arouses passion in Arab politics today. Hate him or love him, the man has a keen sense of Arab opinion -- whether he's following or leading it -- and has a proven track record of driving the debate. The fury of his adversaries on the other side of the so-called 'new Arab cold war' is a pretty direct function of the fact that his opinions, aired on al-Jazeera and spread through multiple online and real-world networks, matter. Such controversies are nothing new -- indeed, it would be hard to find any point in the last decade where Qaradawi wasn't at the center of some political controversy. The Qatar-based Islamist is many things -- a leading Islamist intellectual, a key figure in a wide set of interlocking global Islamist networks, a television star on al-Jazeera, a prolific author, a defender of Hamas, an Islamic internet pioneer (for more, you might check out this new book about The Global Mufti). I've written about him often, most recently in the context of his latest book, Fiqh al-Jihad, which endorsed resistance against occupation while denouncing al-Qaeda's 'mad declaration of war on the whole world'. His finely-tuned finger to the wind remains one of the most useful barometers of Arab public opinion." (ForeignPolicy)



"No wonder Leonardo Di Caprio is rumoured to have rekindled his relationship with Israeli bombshell Bar Refaeli looking at these pictures. French lingerie brand Passionata has recruited the beauty to model their latest range which debuted online today." (3AMGirls)



"This is an auspicious beginning: hours before the opening film at the Sundance Film Festival, the first deal has already been made. Variety reports that 'Waiting for Superman,' a documentary about the crisis in public education, was picked up by Paramount for its (much-streamlined) boutique Paramount Vantage division. The film comes from Davis Guggenheim and Lesley Chilcott, the director-producer team behind 'An Inconvenient Truth,' which made an Oscar-winning moneymaker out of another unsexy topic — the environment." (Carpetbagger)

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