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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The senior executives at Lehman Brothers, the storied Manhattan financial firm that was founded in 1850 and went bankrupt in 2008, were expected to have wives. And, if possible, they were supposed to be happy with them. If they were not happy, they were expected to pretend. In later years no one at the firm would ever forget what had happened to the late Chris Pettit, the longtime deputy to C.E.O. Richard 'Dick' Fuld. Pettit, good-looking, six feet two inches, a decorated Vietnam War hero, had been adored by the Lehman rank and file. Seen almost as a god, he was their real captain, instead of the more taciturn and less charismatic Fuld. But in the early 1990s, Pettit, a devout Roman Catholic, embarked on an affair with a woman at the firm. This did not sit well with Lehmanites, especially as Pettit liked to emphasize moral values. He was the man who had banned Playboy magazine from the trading floor, and at a dinner for the senior executives in the 1980s he had said, 'Now, look at this! Every single person here is with their original spouse. That is why we are successful. Because our word is our honor. We succeed in business because people can trust us.'" (VanityFair)



"Once again Washington has proved it is a tough town for a woman unless she is a whore, a bitch or a heat-seeking wife of. Score on any one of those counts, or all three, and the men here respect you, because they fear you, and that equals power. Obvious ambition, and the attitude that goes with it, sinks a woman here, unless she possesses the heart and soul of a dominatrix. If Sports Illustrated did a Washington issue, instead of posing in bikinis the models would brandish carbide ball cutters. Maureen Dowd would be the cover, offering up a sultry 'I’ll kill you and then I’ll eat you' glance, right down to her bare toes. Washington’s teen boys might not take it to the bathroom, but their Dads would. This past week we witnessed the executions of two women, and I must say they walked to the gallows wearing game faces. Both accepted their fate, but neither conceded defeat, or they covered it with the accepted rosy spin." (Carol Joynt/WashingtonSocialDiary)

"WHICH members of Congress make regular, secret visits to Cuba as guests of Fidel Castro, flying in from nearby islands? Their passports aren't stamped, so no one's the wiser." (PageSix)



"The Obama team has faced no shortage of crises to argue about: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, China, and the Middle East, and yet nothing has approached the boiling point, save one moment on troop increases for Afghanistan. One key reason for the internal peace has been the love fest between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pentagon chief Robert Gates. Basically, Hillary hugs the Pentagon, the generals, and Gates himself. She’s comfortable with their hard-edged, centrist-to-conservative line. That was essentially her stance during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, as well as during her Senate years. At times, Hillary’s subordinates chafe over her approach to the Pentagon, but it’s all within bounds. The same is true for the White House staff and General Jones’s NSC staffers. They complain, as did NSC staffs in the past, about 'poor' State Department work, but the objections are 'departmental,' not personal. Some in the White House blanched at Gates’ giving too much running room to General Stanley McChrystal over Afghan policy, but otherwise appreciate the cover Gates gives them with the ever-shrinking realist school within the Republican Party. There is unhappiness about how Gen. Jones does his job, but few policy disputes with him." (Les Gelb/TheDailyBeast)



(Gillis and Zarela via NYSD)

"Adult veteran performer Jamie Gillis passed away last Friday after losing his battle with cancer. He was 66 years of age. Gillis was a mainstay in the New York ‘70’s porn scene having worked with nearly every top performer including John Leslie, Sharon Mitchell, Ron Jeremy and many more. His 'do anything' performances later led to darker films that contributed to him being best known for his work in classic BDSM roles. A statement from close Gillis friends Ashley and April Spicer forwarded from veteran director Wesley Emerson states: 'It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Jamie Gillis, who died today in New York at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer. 'A wonderful and charismatic man and most treasured friend, he will be greatly missed by his partner Zarela, his family, his many friends, and countless fans around the world.' Gillis will be cremated at a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, Jamie requested that contributions be made to the NYC Police Athletic League, an organization that helped Jamie as a boy and continues to assist children in New York City. 'Despite the immense grief we feel for the loss of our friend, we are comforted by a quotation from Albert Camus that Jamie often quoted to us: Happiness, too, is inevitable’.” (XBizNewswire)



"It’s the weekend before Cameron Douglas, 31-year-old D.J. and aspiring actor, will plead guilty to trafficking huge amounts of crystal meth and cocaine, facing at least 10 years behind bars. His father, Michael, still fit and urbane at 65, is somber. The specter of the situation hangs over every topic of conversation. 'The history of second-generation actors isn’t great in our industry,' he says, his voice quiet, yet crisp and controlled, as he cuts neatly into his steak at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. 'It’s kind of a tragic road, actually.' As it happens, Michael is talking about himself. He is, of course, the son of the great Kirk Douglas, star of such movies as Champion, Lonely Are the Brave, Paths of Glory, and Spartacus, and, for many years, a distant, volatile father to his young sons. At the peak of his career, Michael succumbed to alcohol addiction and saw his family fall apart. He might well have ended up like his half-brother Eric, Kirk’s other actor son, who died of a drug overdose in 2004. But instead Michael got a second chance to do it right—soberly, with a new wife and new kids. Though he is here to promote Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Solitary Man, about a has-been car dealer coping with his lost virility, his main goal in life these days is not selling movies; it’s doing what he can for the son in crisis and protecting his new family, so that the cycle of tragedies can end." (VanityFair)



"Don’t cry for Desiree even though she’s gotten the hook. Let’s face it, she was never right for the job. Traditional White House social secretaries are behind the scenes, detail-oriented worker bees who toil from dawn to dusk polishing guest lists, overseeing menus, and delicately smoothing over last-minute catastrophes. The highly visible and glamorous former corporate executive could never play that role. With her trendy designer clothes and penchant for publicity she was determined to be a star, and simply too high-profile and too in your face ..A social secretary’s job is to help the first family put their own social mark on the White House, and it’s not about them, it’s about the family, about the first lady and the president. If it becomes about them, then there’s a problem,' observes Nancy Reagan's former press secretary Sheila Tate. 'There’s a difference between staff and principles. Sometimes people who have been important in their private career can’t make that adjustment.' 'I don’t understand why she took the job, and I think she was quickly bored with it,' says a long-time acquaintance of Rogers'. 'Arranging flowers and picking out tablecloths is definitely not her bag.' The same person also dismisses Rogers' claim that her goal was to turn the executive mansion into 'the people's house. Chic people are what she cares about,' she says. 'They don’t have to be rich—just chic!'" (TheDailyBeast)

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