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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"A man waits in the darkness, watching what is left of his life slip away. His name is Robert Joel Halderman. At 51, he is a producer for the CBS true-crime series 48 Hours Mystery, the latest post for a battle-scarred newsman who has spent much of his life in war zones. He’s had two divorces, which have saddled him with crushing alimony payments, and his second wife recently sent him 'reeling,' as he e-mailed colleagues, when she moved to Colorado with their 11-year-old son, Jimmy. It’s late August 2009, and Halderman is keeping watch outside his modest house, in Norwalk, Connecticut, as a $100,000 electric Tesla sports car comes to a stop at the end of the road. In the passenger seat is his smart, attractive live-in girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, 34, being driven home from work by her boss, David Letterman, who lives 20 miles away on a 108-acre estate in Westchester. Like the rest of Letterman’s roughly five million viewers, Halderman has watched Dave and Stephanie seduce each other on national TV. For more than 10 years, as Stephanie rose from Late Show with David Letterman intern to one of the host’s assistants, to his frequent on-air sidekick, they bantered together in hundreds of bits. It started innocently enough, with Letterman calling his office from the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater and asking Stephanie, then 26, about such things as 'strippers' and 'the dirty little Hooters girls' and her weekend lunch at Super Duper Weenie in Connecticut. 'Do you like hot dogs, Stephanie?' he asked. 'I love them,' she replied in her adorable schoolgirl voice." (VanityFair)



"Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, is unhappy with the Senate's recent report that he used US banks to launder more than $110 million to support his lavish lifestyle. We hear that Obiang -- who used Citibank and Wachovia to move cash to buy a G-5 jet, Ferraris and a $30 million Malibu mansion -- is sniffing around LA for a public relations firm to deal with the fallout. 'He's very concerned,' says our source. Obiang, who serves as his nation's minister of agriculture and forestry, is also cited in the Senate report for allegedly setting up a shell company, Sweet Pink -- named in honor of his former girlfriend, songstress Eve -- to siphon money from his homeland. Last week, it was reported Eve allegedly owed the IRS $357,000 in back taxes. Neither law firm Sidley Austin, which helped Obiang buy his jet, nor a rep for Eve returned calls." (PageSix)



"Elijah Blue, son of Cher and musician Gregg Allman, premiered his new art exhibition 'Step-and Repeat' at Los Angeles's Kantor Gallery Friday with guests including Chaz Bono, Hayden Panettiere, and Balthazar Getty. Blue's works point the spotlight onto the step-and-repeat wall, the ubiquitous and overlooked red carpet backdrop of any celebrity event. With meticulous detailing and a photorealistic approach, Blue paints tongue-in-cheek logos such as 'Johnnie Kum L8Lee' and 'Ivory Tower,' successfully merging our current concepts of branding and celebrity." (Papermag)



(image via wpix)

"Last night I went over to Lincoln Center to the School of American Ballet’s annual Winter Ball on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater. The parties, dinners, galas at Lincoln Center are all special. They usually occur after or during something wonderful. Everyone’s spiffed up for it. The places are set up to look beautiful and partake of the atmosphere of this great cultural complex. Last night was no exception. Cocktails began at 7 and ran till 8. I arrived late into the cocktail hour. Paul McCartney was leaving, with his girlfriend. I never saw the guy in the flesh before. That connection he made as a performer, he makes on site. He evidently had come for the cocktail reception and was dashing off somewhere with his very pretty girlfriend who sort of looks like she’s watching him 'happen' also." (NYSocialDiary)



"Howard said he saw that TMZ or one of the other shows had Simon Cowell saying that he should be his replacement on American Idol. Howard said he got a call from Simon yesterday but he hasn't had a chance to return his call yet. Howard said he got some calls from Jerry Seinfeld's people to be on his ''The Marriage Ref'' show as a judge. Howard said he's very hot as a judge right now so he turned that down. He said he can't do that show as a guest. He said he'd have to be a regular. Howard said that they have some wacky judges on that show. He said they have Alec Baldwin and Madonna. Howard said Madonna might be mentally ill. He said he was complimented that he was asked to be a judge on all of these shows. He said they didn't want him before but now everyone is looking for him. He said he knows he's ready to judge something." (Marksfriggin)



"The grim faces said it all. Gathered the other day at a meeting convened by the Rev. Al Sharpton, New York’s top minority political leaders held a mini-rally of sorts for beleaguered Democratic Gov. David A. Paterson — whose situation has gone from perilous to pathetic in just a few short days. In a sign of how far he has fallen, Paterson’s colleagues urged him to resist the loud calls for his resignation and hang in there until the end of his lame-duck — and distressingly lame — term. But the issue is so much bigger than Paterson now. Plain and simple, it has been a bad few months for several of the Empire State’s African-American political leaders, including a couple of members of Congress, who are mired in scandal or untenable circumstances. In fact, three of the five officials who sat in the front row at the news conference in Harlem on Saturday find themselves under unwanted scrutiny. Who will stop the bleeding — and how? And what are the long-term consequences for New York politics and minority empowerment?" (CQPolitics)



"When director Kathryn Bigelow first heard that Nicolas Chartier, the Frenchman who financed and produced her film, The Hurt Locker, had sent out emails last week urging members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to vote for Hurt Locker and 'not a 500M film' (i.e., Avatar), the first thing she did was pick up the phone and call Jon Landau, who produced Avatar, to express her horror. 'Kathryn and Jon's relationship goes back a long time, and everyone understands that we wish each other well,' Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal told The Daily Beast. "All sides have been extremely supportive of each other… Kathryn was shocked and appalled and embarrassed by Nick's poor judgment, and condemned it.'" (TheDailyBeast)



"The Louisiana-born porn star who was flirting with a run for the U.S. Senate from her home state will announce 'very soon' whether she’s really going to make the 2010 race against incumbent David Vitter, her political spokesman says. Stormy Daniels has had little to say about the race since summer. She continues to promote her adult entertainment ventures and personal appearances online. But, as of Monday, the political Web site set up to promote and fund a possible candidacy, www.teamstormy.com, had not been updated in over six months and there hadn’t been a TeamStormy 'tweet' on Twitter since last August. Louisiana’s Secretary of State still lists the Stormy Daniels Senate Exploratory Committee, a limited liability corporation formed in May, as being in good standing with the state but it’s unclear whether it has been doing fund raising or other political activity. She acknowledged last year that she has not lived in the state for years. There is no sign she has re-established residency, which would be required for a Senate run. Daniels didn’t respond to a request for an interview. Brian Welsh, the Democratic operative listed as an officer in the exploratory committee, said in response to an e-mail query that there will be an official statement about her plans “very soon” but he gave no specific date. In July, Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) was arrested in Tampa, Fla., after her husband told police that she hit him several times during a dispute about laundry and unpaid bills. Charges were later dropped." (Chron.com)

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