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Friday, February 26, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"For the last several decades, the Turkish military was untouchable; no one dared to criticize the military or its top generals, lest they risk getting burned. The Turkish Armed Forces were the ultimate protectors of founding father Kemal Ataturk's secular legacy, and no other force in the country could seriously threaten its supremacy. Not anymore." (ForeignPolicy)



"Grace Jones will perform at this year's Elton John AIDS Foundation's annual Oscar viewing party on March 7 at the Pacific Design Center in LA. Details are still under wraps, but as with recent shows at Hammerstein Ballroom and the Hollywood Bowl, the 61-year-old singer's act will include a lengthy wait to take the stage and multiple, dramatic costume changes. In past years, Elton booked such artists as Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and the Scissor Sisters." (PageSix)



"Sally Quinn, whose first novel was titled 'Regrets Only,' doesn’t have any second thoughts about the writing of her 'dysfunctional family' drama in The Washington Post last week. 'I have absolutely no regrets at all,' Quinn told POLITICO. While Quinn isn’t sorry about writing it, others — from family members to online critics to the paper’s top editor — are. Quinn said Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli told her that if he’d seen it first, he wouldn’t have run the column explaining the “dueling weddings” of her son and stepson’s daughter and squabbles among family members. And now Brauchli has decided 'The Party' — her irregularly appearing print column launched in November — is over. But Quinn says she’s glad, because it was never intended to be a permanent column but, rather, to focus on holiday entertaining and 'generosity of spirit' — the sort of spiritually inspired get-together that would also work in 'On Faith,' the WashingtonPost.com site she co-moderates with Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham. 'As soon as the holidays were over, it wasn’t working for me,” Quinn said." (Politico)



"So leaving the pretty village of Gstaad on a sunny Tuesday morning, I set out for St. Moritz to attend the annual general meeting of Pugs Club and to participate in the first Pugs uphill ski race ... By the time we arrived at Chantal Hanover’s house on the outskirts of St. Moritz, the meeting was in full session, my fever had gone up, so there was only one thing to do: drown it. Club matters were discussed, eight applicants were unanimously blackballed, and Prince Nikolaos of Greece was elected, also unanimously. We are now 17 and the membership will close at 20. (Incidentally, Sir Christopher Lee wore his striped blue and white Pugs tie when he knelt before the Queen and was knighted). After that Prince Heinrich von Furstenberg decreed the 2010 sailing regatta to be held off St. Tropez on May 20th, with Tim Hoare assuring us that last year’s winner will not be using the same tactics. (I am not one to make excuses but I did miss the starting line with the ensuing penalty as I was blinded by the black smoke Roger Taylor’s engine was pouring out). The hangover next morning was nothing compared to the lousy ski conditions. A blinding snowstorm brought the visibility down to zero but Gimlet insisted the race must go on. Once on the slopes, I discovered the genius I employ back in Gstaad had not packed my skis, but those of my son when he was a baby. It was as good an excuse for not taking part as I can think of, yet Gimlet would not lay off the cheap jokes, jokes to do with Sparta, Thermopylae, and the Italian performance on the battlefield in 1940. I gave in. But first we all had lunch at the Corviglia Club, where Gimlet proceeded to grab a table reserved for others and where he ordered a magnum of champagne and two bottles of claret, despite the fact he does not drink. He then stuck the president of the Corviglia, Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, and Count Bismarck with the bill, both of whom were seated far away trying to avoid him." (Takimag)



"Here’s one sign of how fast things are changing in the news business: It was only a couple of years ago that it was not only possible but downright fashionable to argue about whether bloggers are journalists. That was the wrong question, of course; a blog is just a vessel, and journalism the content that may or may not fill that vessel. Yet the whole tiresome debate seems more than a little quaint now that the likes of Hendrik Hertzberg, Nicholas Kristof and James Fallows are blogging—and, in plenty of cases, Facebooking and tweeting, too. In 2010, thank God, it’s a given that you don’t need the imprimatur of a huge news organization to be taken seriously as a journalist. Hell, you don’t even need a blog, or, for that matter, a name—just a cell phone. I refer here to the anonymous Iranian upon whom, last week, was bestowed a George Polk Award, one of journalism’s top honors, for the video he or she captured of a female protester as she died from a sniper’s bullet during last year’s Green Revolution. The woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, instantly became a national martyr and international cause célèbre. The identity of the individual who immortalized her death—described in the citation as 'a brave bystander with a cell-phone camera'—is still unknown, but there’s no reason to think he/she was anything other than a civilian." (Jeff Bercovici/Observer)



"Last night I went down to the Hotel Indigo, on 127 West 28th Street because a woman named Farah Moinian (whose husband owns the new hotel) was giving a book signing reception for Anne Ford and her third book (with John-Richard Thompson), A Special Mother, with Foreward by Judy Woodruff. Anne’s subject is learning disabilities. This came about because her daughter Allegra was born with learning disabilities. When Anne was made aware of them she was confronted with something she didn’t even want to look at. Her personal experience of facing her realities, however, gave her the opportunity to learn more about herself and to gain strength from it. For a long time she was actively involved in the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and, along with Carrie Rozelle and a few others, built it into an influential organization that has made enormous strides in teaching us what learning disabilities are, and how common they are among us. A century ago people with serious learning disabilities were often locked away in institutions. Today people with serious learning disabilities lead independent, constructive lives." (NYSocialDiary)



"Milan fashion week is struggling to maintain its immaculate image as its catwalk shows are hit by a 'perfect storm' of distinctly unglamorous problems. Disappointing sales figures, an apparent snub by American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the resurfacing of scandal around the troubled Versace family, and even a clash over traffic policy have combined to cast the rhinestones and perma-tans into the shade ... Milan's problems were reflected and compounded when the hugely influential Wintour let it be known she did not plan on spending more than four days in Milan this season. With all the major designers insisting on catwalk slots during Wintour's stay, Milan's seven-day schedule was cut almost by half. Wintour has attempted to play down the row, telling reporters from her front-row seat at the London fashion shows last week that she was looking forward to her trip to Italy. But Franca Sozzani, Wintour's counterpart in Milan as the editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, described the situation as 'embarrassing' in the Corriere della Sera newspaper this week." (TheGuardian)

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