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Friday, February 05, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The 35-year-old (Tenzin Tsundue) was born in India, and raised there by parents who fled Tibet in 1959. He fights the good fight—nonviolently—from his base in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama and thousands of other Tibetans live in exile. Tsundue's email to me was in response to a question I'd asked about the Chinese threats, issued this week, that Sino-U.S. relations would be severely damaged if Mr. Obama were to meet the Dalai Lama later this month ...One of the secrets of China’s aggressive media strategy,' Tsundue explains, 'is to try winning the argument even before it has started, by making the first bold statement.' When dealing with such an aggressive interlocutor, he adds, 'The basic strategy should be to be calm, and hold your ground. If you panic, China will chase you.'" (TheDailyBeast)



"At a crucial stage in the Democratic primaries in late 2007, Barack Obama rejuvenated his campaign with a barnstorming speech, in which he ended on a promise of what his victory would produce: 'A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again.' Just over a year into his tenure, America’s 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington’s ways. What went wrong? Pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offer a smorgasbord of reasons – from Mr Obama’s decision to devote his first year in office to healthcare reform, to the president’s inability to convince voters he can 'feel their [economic] pain', to the apparent ungovernability of today’s Washington. All may indeed have contributed to the quandary in which Mr Obama finds himself. But those around him have a more specific diagnosis – and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say." (FT)



"After the break Howard (Stern) came right back and said that this girl Heidi Baron was very good looking. He said she's in Penthouse and read that she came here when she was 19 ... Howard read that Heidi dated Jarred Leto. He said he was on that show 'My So Called Life.' Heidi said she never saw that and she didn't know who he was when he came up to her at the gym. She said that she went out with him for a few months and it came down to being just sex and she didn't like that. Heidi said she never called him and she let him come to her. Heidi said that he never took her out and he'd just bang her and didn't treat her with respect." (Marksfriggin)



"Besides being a troublingly handsome couple, Sean Lennon and girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl are psych-pop act The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger. Together, the pair play jammy, kaleidoscopic music, performing live with Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda, and mi-gu's Yuko Araki on drums, and list their influences on MySpace as 'Volcanoes. Seaweed. Trilobites. Dripping faucets. Quantum Computers. The end of the world. Tomato Catsup.' Sounds about right." (Papermag)



"Madonna seemed to be holding auditions at Meatpacking District hot spot SL on Wednesday night. 'She was looking for new dancers for her upcoming tour,' said a source. More than 30 wannabes formed a circle around her and conducted a dance-off. 'It was pretty epic,' our spy says. 'Some professionals were doing flips and spins, while the amateurs sort of just stared.' Madonna's own deejay, Tony Touch, got on the turntables while Knicks star Danilo Gallinari and singer Eve looked on." (PageSix)



"Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, testifying in his own war crimes trial today, said that the American conservative evangelist Pat Robertson was awarded a Liberian gold-mining concession in 1999 and subsequently offered to lobby the Bush administration to support his government. The revelations came in the midst of a U.N.-backed trial of Taylor at The Hague on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone's 1990s civil war. Taylor is accused of directing a Sierra Leone rebel group, the United Revolutionary Front (RUF), in a campaign aimed at securing access to the country's diamond mines. The rebel movement stands accused of committing mass atrocities in the late 1990s in the West African country, including the mutilation of thousands of civilians." (ForeignPolicy)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Yesterday afternoon at 3:30 at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on Madison Avenue at 81st, they held a memorial service for David Brown, the film producer and husband of Helen Gurley Brown, who died this past Monday morning at about 3 a.m. David was 93 and had been ailing for the past year or so. The obituaries said that he died of kidney failure. David was the sort of man who seemed philosophical about the fates although he had a long life of good health and used his time enjoying himself working at his chosen interests and assisting his wife at hers. Yesterday both Richard Zanuck, his longtime production partner, and Frank Bennack, Vice Chairman and President of Hearst Corporation, in their eulogies to David cited the article in Esquire, some of which was re-published on the these pages this past Tuesday...My friend Jesse Kornbluth reported to me later that on arriving a few minutes late for the start of the service, I’d missed Richard Zanuck’s remarks that David had 'appeared' to him the night before last. 'I have good news and good news,' he said David had said to him. 'the first: I’m okay. The second: I can look right at everyone I love.' Such reports fascinate. I have never personally experienced such a thing." (NYSocialDiary)



"When Apple recently booked the cellar dining room at Pranna for a talk with 50 top executives from the New York Times, even restaurant higher-ups didn’t know who their VIP guest would be. But last night, (Steve) Jobs came strolling in wearing what our source calls 'a very funny hat — a big top hat kind of thing.' Jobs, who is recovering from a liver transplant last year, requested a mango lassi and penne (neither of which are on the Southern Asian restaurant’s menu, but with a shiny new iPad maybe in it for him, it’s not like the chef was going to say no). Our source says Jobs, who sat at the head of the 'intimate, family-style gathering' with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, demonstrated the iPad and its functions, and spoke about how it could serve the future of media." (NYMag)



"The curtain is ready to rise April 1 on the off-Broadway production of 'Deep Throat: The Play,' but ex- Spooky World impresario David Bertolino still hasn’t found his Linda Lovelace. 'Everyone that has auditioned has looked like the girl next door,' Bertolino told the Track. 'Cute but not a raving beauty queen. Looks innocent and sweet.' Mind you, the actress doesn’t actually have to perform the trick that made Lovelace famous - it’s against union rules. But when 'Deep Throat: The Play' finally hits, Bertolino expects a new porn star to be born. 'The play is about the making of the No. 1 adult movie of all time, along with the political fallout,' he said. 'It can’t miss.'" (BostonHerald)



"HBO continues in the Tom Hanks/Gary Goetzman biz with yet another Playtone series from them. The latest has Rachel Getting Married director Jonathan Demme teaming with Walter Mosley to co-write a pilot based on the author's new detective novel series The Long Fall. Demme will direct the pilot episode which introduces an ex-boxer who turns P.I.. Mosley (known for his period Los Angeles-based Easy Rawlins books) will be executive producer along with Demme and Hanks and Goetzman. So let me see... Playtone's Big Love was renewed for a 5th season. And it launches the 10-part miniseries The Pacific on March 14th, which Hanks and Goetzman exec produced with Steven Spielberg. And now this." (Deadline)

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