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Friday, February 19, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"It's coup season in Africa, apparently, with the third such takeover in just two years. Or that's what it looks like from the first reports streaming in from Niger ... BBC World Service radio this morning reported gunfire being heard from the presidential palace, now they add the particularly eerie detail: 'State radio is playing military music - a similar pattern to two coups in the 1990s.' The coup follows months (actually several years) of political rangling between the government and the opposition. In short, the president extended term limits in August last year. He dissolved Parliament and the Constitutional Court when they ruled his actions illegal. IRIN News has a great summary .." (ForeignPolicy)



"During a visit to the Persian Gulf this week to drum up support for harsher sanctions against Iran, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined three options facing the Arab states. 'They can just give in to the threat (from Iran),' Mrs Clinton said, 'or they can seek their own capabilities, including nuclear, or they ally themselves with a country like the United States that is willing to help defend them. I think the third is by far the preferable option.' For centuries, Persia - a heartland of Shiite Islam - has vied for control of the Middle East with the predominantly Sunni Arabs. But ever since Iran's popular revolution of 1979 that unseated the ruthless US-backed Shah Mohammed Pahlavi, Arab leaders have been spooked by thoughts of rebellious sentiment in Iran spilling over into their own backyards and - in the cases of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain - into their own Shiite populations, which have often been suppressed. Having watched former US president George Bush and his successor Barack Obama fail to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal summed up his nation's fears at a joint news conference with Mrs Clinton. 'Iran, if it continues on the line that is continuing, will provide the impetus for further proliferation and, God forbid, see the region full of atomic weapons,' Prince Saud said." (TheAge)



"Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy conjured up some wizardry for the runway yesterday, then pulled another rabbit out of their hat at the after-party—namely Bono, who 'crashed' the pair's East Village shindig. 'It's a little awesome,' Kate giggled, after making a pit stop at the table where the U2 front man had installed himself between Karen Elson and Irina Lazareanu. Apparently, editor Jefferson Hack had tipped off the pop star about the Pasadena girls who don't do things like everyone else. Per usual, the Mulleavys had brought a bunch of their West Coast friends with them and economized by renting an apartment they'd found online: 'Really grand and ridiculous, fake Fragonard on the walls,' as Laura described it. They'd eaten tacos and watched the Olympics there before heading out to their bash at Avenue A's Black Market. That sounds adorably low-key, until you realize that among the well wishers were Spike Jonze, Kirsten Dunst, and the Olsen sisters. Libertine's Johnson Hartig took over the playlist in an attempt to get some dancing started downstairs, while Natalie Portman lingered upstairs with her boyfriend .." (Style)



"The leading lady is both tough and glamorous; betrayal, back-stabbing and intrigue are rife – and there are plenty of instalments still to come. No, not another over-the-top soap opera of the kind Latin America does so well. This is a real-life drama unfolding in Argentina and starring the couple that runs the country. It revolves around a battle for control of the central bank and billions of dollars of its reserves waged by a government in default and virtually cut off from international credit. The saga began in December when President Cristina Fernández – whose government faces litigation from unpaid creditors, almost a decade after Argentina defaulted on nearly $100bn – decreed the transfer of $6.5bn of reserves to the government to pay off debt, unleashing an unprecedented political crisis that has exposed her desperation to find revenues without reducing spending. " (FT)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Last night I went to a book party for Alexandra Penney and her new book The Bag Lady Papers. You may have heard about Alexandra, the artist/photographer, former Conde Nast magazine creator and editor, and author of How to Make Love to a Man and Why Men Stray and Why Men Stay: How to Keep Your Man Monogamous. In recent years, she had been living off her accumulated assets made in those days when How To/Men Straying and Staying books sold in the millions and SELF magazine was her very own brilliant creation. And women wanted to know. When she left all that (some call it retirement although she’s not the retiring type), she turned over her accumulated assets to a guy named Bernard Madoff and went home and left the worrying to him ... Last night’s reception, hosted by Patty Newburger and Brad Wechsler drew a good number of the New York cogniscenti including ... Betsy Gotbaum ... Bob Pittman .. Jane Rosenthal ... Amy Fine Collins .." (NYSocialDiary)



"Last night's i-D Magazine's after-party celebrating the Jeremy Scott Fall 2010 collection really lived up to the Kelly Cutrone standard. 'Did you see Andrew [Mukamal, Cutrone's assistant] at the door?!' a fellow guest asked me excitedly upon arriving inside the subterranean after-hours Hudson Hotel hotspot Good Units. Behind the elegant bar Belvedere flowed like wine while The Misshapes, Johnsville, and Kesh kept the tables spinning all night long, along with a special performance from one of my personal favorite females of the hip hop world, Amanda Blank. The self-proclaimed 'fly jawn' delivered an incredible set (in a killer Jeremy Scott getup nonetheless) and was even joined by Santigold and fellow Philadelphian Spank Rock's Naeem Juwan." (Papermag)



"Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli looked like quite the couple Thursday night at Chelsea club Avenue for the after-party for DiCaprio's Shutter Island. They danced together and kissed a bit all night," says our spy. 'She was really excited when Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies' came on.' Also dancing up a storm were Mark Ruffalo and wife Sunrise Coigney, Mary J. Blige, Michelle Williams, and Hayden Panettiere, who drank Patron and pineapple juice." (PageSix)



"Where's the leadership at the (record) label level? Zach Horowitz and Doug Morris are so busy protecting their market share that they're holding back the progress of music distribution to the detriment of the entire populace. All they know is 'no.' As for Sony... It's a joke. They try to develop hit records. The only reason there's been no criticism is because EMI is in such a state of disarray, disintegrating as a hedge fund he-man and a bank argue over dollars. Warner is preparing for the future, but it's playing it safe. And you never win by playing it safe. You've got to go for it. And Bronfman learned how to say no from his old employees Zach and Doug. Edgar agitated for higher Guitar Hero royalties as the franchise disintegrated, not realizing like boy bands the game was a fad. And Spotify may not be the answer, but you can license for brief windows and then rescind, but if you're afraid of giving away the whole store, you don't give up anything, you don't innovate." (LefetzLetter)



"(Yale Daily News) A recent New York Times article spoke of cost-cutting in the Adult industry, in the form of cutting dialogue and plot. What is your reaction to this? (Sasha Grey) This is when I say: Where has investigative journalism gone?! The economy is rough on everyone right now, and even publications have to print in a rush at times, to make their articles sell. Yes, some companies have started producing more 'straight sex' movies rather than their normal features … but this has been the case over the past 10 years, before the recession. The large companies who are well known for their high-end quality feature adult films don’t need to change a thing because their brands remain strong." (YaleDailyNews)

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