blog advertising is good for you

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The U.S. government—as far as I know—doesn’t pay Moody’s or any of the other agencies, but the report calling into question the U.S. triple-A rating contains all the ass covering the rating agencies are famous for. Consider this: While Moody’s was raising the notion of a downgrade of U.S. debt based on the massive debt the country has accumulated and will accumulate in the coming years—causing the stock markets to fall in early morning trading—the agency also said the U.S. still has the ability to cover debt-interest payments with current revenue, though that revenue may not be enough given the weak economy and increased spending. Of course, the U.S., like other highly indebted countries, can take steps to lower its debt load (i.e. higher taxes and cutting spending) though Moody’s says those steps 'will test social cohesion.' You get my point. Meanwhile, the raters’ track record in predicting a crisis of this magnitude is pretty weak, as well. Many of those esoteric bonds that were held on the books of the banks and later destroyed the financial system in 2008 because they were worth pennies on the dollar were rated triple-A. The raters, for example, gave Orange County, California, high grades before its bankruptcy in 1994, failed to see the bond-market implosion in 1998, and had no idea that the housing market was catering in 2007, until it cratered, and the bonds backed by risky mortgages were defaulting and spreading a virus that, save for a government bailout, would have destroyed what was left of the financial system." (Charlie Gasparino/TheDailyBeast)



"Jamie Gillis, the seventies porn legend who died last month at the age of 66 ... was much more than a porn star, as could be seen at a memorial held at Zarela’s, owned by his longtime partner Zarela Martinez, on Sunday afternoon. Among the 70 or so people in the upstairs room were New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin; Barney Rosset, the former owner of Grove Press who won legal battles to publish the uncensored version of Lady Chatterly’s Lover and later brought to market, after a historic ruling from the Supreme Court, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer; and Veronica Vera, a former porn actress turned educator in the art of cross-dressing. Gillis counted among his friends James Watson, the discoverer of DNA (Watson's wife Liz was on hand), as well as the neurologist and author Oliver Sacks. 'Now it’s all about the big paycheck,' Vera told the crowd. 'But in the early years many of us got into porn for fun; there was a lot of idealism involved. To many of us, Jamie really represented that idealism.' Gillis was a stage name. His real name was Jamey Gurman; he was a native New Yorker and 'renaissance Jew' who graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and, in the spirit of countercultural exploration and open-mindedness, ended up in porn .. He was a gifted dinner-table raconteur, recalled the comedian Gilbert Gottfried. 'He told me girls in porn were mainly Catholic,' Gottfried recalled. 'And that there was a higher content of Jews on the male side. He had a whole theory!'" (NYMag)



"An odd article ran a week ago in al-Shuruq, one of Egypt's daily newspapers. Headlined simply 'Who is Running Egypt in Mubarak's Absence?!' the article examined the constitutional situation in light of President Husni Mubarak's hospitalization in Germany. The article suggested that the country appears to be run by an absent president, a technocratic prime minister, a few leading politicians, and a collection of men behind a curtain. This is new. For all its faults, Egypt's political system generally makes clear who is in charge. The entire political order is carefully structured to have all lines of authority run to the president. As Mubarak has aged, however, his visible involvement in Egyptian politics has decreased, leading Egyptians to swap rumors about who is really running the country. Is it the security apparatus? His son? High members of the National Democratic Party? What is the role of his wife, a visible figure in Egyptian public life? Most important of all, who will follow him? Mubarak's illness has catapulted these questions from the rumor mill to the headlines. But it has not answered them." (Foreignpolicy)



"There were reports this week that the Washington franchise of Bravo’s Real Housewives may be on ice. Its shocking to think that parent company NBC would deny reality-loving America a romp with White House gatecrashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi. Then again, NBC wants to sell itself to Comcast, and the Feds have pledged a tough review. Also, the Salahis may get indicted. Therefore, at such a sensitive time (read $$$$$) would NBC want to remind the President of the United States of a particularly embarrassing moment? Add to that mid-term elections? Hmmm. Maybe not. I checked in with a source connected to Bravo, who confirmed, 'the Comcast takeover is looming large and so at the moment no one at NBCUni (and therefore by extension Bravo) wants to rock the boat.'" (WashingtonSocialDiary)



"Chelsea Clinton's diamond engagement ring drew a crowd backstage at this weekend's Women in the World: Stories & Solutions conference. Clinton was surrounded in the green room at the Hudson Theater Friday night by host Tina Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, who all admired her bauble from fiancé Marc Mezvinsky. Chelsea's future mother-in-law, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, was repeatedly asked, 'Where are they getting married?' But she politely replied, 'I can't say.' We're guessing Martha's Vineyard. Chelsea avoided journalists on the red carpet while mom Hillary posed for pictures. Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric had little to say to each other on Saturday. 'Pleasantries were kept to a minimum,' said a spy. Security for Jordan's Queen Rania al Abdullah at first denied green room entry to Cherie Blair, wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, until they learned who she was." (PageSix)



"There is one bright spot in the flailing videogame industry, and Hollywood already has started taking notice. Last year, while videogame sales were down 11 percent, U.S. mobile game publishers took in about $539 million in sales -- up 9.3 percent, according to research firm SNL Kagan. Even more impressive, annual customer spending is likely in the $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion range, according to Kagan analyst John Fletcher. Game publishers typically get 30 percent to 50 percent of the dollars. And the income is likely to continue to rise as publishers charge higher prices for more intricate games designed for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android crowd. In fact, the typical iPhone user is about 70 percent more likely to use it for gaming than other mobile phone users. 'The iPhone has really changed the landscape,' Fletcher told TheWrap." (TheWrap)



"Ashley Dupre learned that posing for Playboy is more dangerous than meeting strange men in hotel rooms. One of the Stephen Wayda photos in an eight-page spread in the May issue shows her lying on the ground nude surrounded by candles. 'A few strands of her hair caught on fire at one point because of all the hairspray,' a source said. 'The stylist, Jorge Serrano from the Chris McMillan Salon, was the first one to notice and rushed over to put it out with his hands." The shoot, at a 1920s mansion in Malibu, features Ashley, who writes about love and lust each Sunday in The Post, wearing either fake fur or lingerie." (PageSix)



"Diane von Furstenberg and Tina Brown celebrated International Women's Day with the first-ever DVF Awards on Saturday night, decorating the United Nations' fifties-era cafeteria with low-lying black and white graphic-print sofas and hot pink throw pillows. 'I transformed the U.N. into a nightclub,' the designer joked. She also recruited bossa nova queen Bebel Gilberto to perform, but the evening attracted no ordinary crowd of night crawlers. Christiane Amanpour and Meryl Streep were presenters, while Charlie Rose, Iman, and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly numbered among the guests ... Streep presented Ingrid Betancourt, a former senator of Colombia who was kidnapped by FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas during her presidential bid and held captive for over six years, with a $50,000 grant .. Earlier, in the green room, she related a bit of her ordeal: 'When I was abducted, one of the things that amazed me, even in that place in the jungle, was that the girls who were my guards managed to have their fashion.'" (Style)

No comments: