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Friday, April 16, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"President Obama has little choice but to be 'cold-blooded' about advancing U.S. interests. He inherited an economy in freefall, two ruinous wars, and an America whose international image had been tarnished by his predecessor's incompetence. It was no time for starry-eyed idealism, and Americans ought to be grateful that Obama grasped this essential fact from the very beginning. Of course, people like Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates had figured this out too, and they spent most of George W. Bush's second term trying to reverse the disastrous consequences of his first four years. It is no accident that Obama kept Gates on, and his foreign policy can even be seen as a more imaginative and energetic continuation of Bush's second term. There are certain similarities with George H.W. Bush, but also one key difference: Bush 41 was playing a very strong hand. The United States had just triumphed in the Cold War and it looked like the whole world was swinging our way. The elder Bush (and Baker and Scowcroft) played that hand skillfully and managed crises well, but they were holding all aces from the start. The real question is whether Obama will remain as ruthlessly realistic as America's fortunes improve ..." (Stephen M. Walt)



"LINDSAY Lohan is telling friends that she'll play notorious 'Deep Throat' (1972) star Linda Lovelace in Lovelace, a movie about the tragic porn icon who later became a feminist, anti- porn activist. But there's one problem: Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman told us they haven't signed Lohan as their star. Epstein said, 'Definitely not true for our project, which is Lovelace. We can't speak for any other project out there unrelated to our team.'" (PageSix)



"The White House has released President Obama's tax return, jointly filed with the first lady, and it is a doozy. The Obamas made $5.5 million dollars in the last year (mostly from Obama's best-selling books) and are paying $1.8 million in taxes. They also reported 329 thousand dollars in donations to 40 different charities. The Bidens, meanwhile, only reported 333 thousand dollars in joint income--ouch. So what does that all mean?" (TheAtlanticWire)



"As a newspaperman with an ear for his audience, Rupert Murdoch, the chief executive of the News Corporation, has long expressed his distaste for elites and royals. But plenty of both were in attendance recently as Mr. Murdoch and his wife Wendi celebrated the christening of their two daughters, Grace and Chloe ... The article describes a small gathering of family and close friends on the banks of the River Jordan with the host Queen Rania of Jordan looking on (King Abdullah II was unable to attend the baptism, but dropped by afterward). All of the guests wore white, including Mr. Murdoch, the actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (who are the children’s godparents) and the country singer Keith Urban, husband to Ms. Kidman. Ivanka Trump, who was there with her husband, Jared Kushner, seemed to be the designated Twitter poster of the proceedings and the activities that followed ('Went swimming in the Dead Sea with my husband and our buoyancy was even greater than expected!'). Other guests included the Google co-cofounder Larry Page and his wife, Lucy .." (Decoder)



"Demi Moore has apparently been domesticated. It’s evident in the way she touches that sleek Cher-hair self-consciously, how she so frequently refers to Ashton Kutcher as 'my husband.' It’s in her coy indignation about the media’s focus on her looks, even the girlish way she speaks to the Webcam behind Buddy Holly frames in her YouTube videos. That ball-busting $12 million woman who was the Demi Moore of the mid-1990s would eat this fey facsimile for lunch. Now, it seems, Moore is content to channel the ferocity of those early years, the drive that launched her from a cute Fairfax High School dropout who survived a Dickensian childhood to become the highest paid woman in Hollywood .." (TheDailyBeast)



"For a time I was puzzled by Pope Benedict’s response to the crisis in the Catholic church. We might disagree about the course of Catholicism. In uncharitable moments, I might mutter that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was politician as much as priest; his piety merged with ambition some time ago. Yet the Pope indisputably was highly intelligent. Surely he could see what was happening. Now, I think I understand. The pontiff is a globaliser. He can feel the world’s geopolitical plates shifting. He grasps as well as any politician or business leader that the west has had its day. The opportunities to spread the gospel lie elsewhere – in societies more respectful of authority and less questioning of past crimes. Pope Benedict, after all, cannot be blind to the crisis of faith among his flock in Europe and North America. He must have known as well as anyone else how many tens of millions had walked away even before the revelations of clerical child abuse and episcopal cover-ups. He has seen what has happened in Ireland where unerring fealty to Rome has given way to revulsion and disillusionment. He knows seminaries across Europe are empty, and Catholicism in the US convulsed. No, the dismal reality, I now think, is that the Pope does not care – or at least does not care enough to bend from the unflinching defence of temporal power that described his personal path to the throne of St Peter. If the eventual choice is one between the implosion of the church in the west and a dilution of the blind obedience he sees as an anchor of papal authority, Pope Benedict is ready to stand in the ruins." (FT)



"It was a congress of stimuli at last night's Spring Safari-themed Museum Dance (and dinner), held in the whale room at the American Museum of Natural History. The aesthetic overload began during the cocktail hour, when one walked through the museum's main entrance to a tableau of hundreds of jeunes femmes—and that's no exaggeration—sporting colorful frocks by Lilly Pulitzer, the event's sponsor. The dress code was 'Lilly or Louder,' and with a few notable exceptions (Zani Gugelmann, Coco Rocha, Ivanka Trump and Veronica Webb in elegant chiffon numbers), everyone took the mandate literally ... Moving on. A man with a gong summoned cocktailers out of the lobby and through a familiar route to the whale room, where a Restaurant Associates dinner awaited. A salad was served. Then, a celeb. 'Is that really the guy from Three Men and a Baby ?' exclaimed one Generation Y-er, referencing Steve Guttenberg, who dropped by to bid bonjour to Peggy Siegel. It was." (FashionweekDaily)



"Early in the Bush administration, I attended a lunch meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, and was quite struck by the confident tone of his presentation. Without resorting to much diplomatic nuance, he made it clear that Israel, at least for the moment, had lost interest in engagement and negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel, he signaled, was ready to pull up the drawbridge. That wasn't too surprising, given the series of Intifadas that Israel had recently suffered. What I did find intriguing was that the ambassador seemed to know something I didn't yet, which was that the Bush administration was ready and eager to go along with this new hard line Israeli position. What the ambassador was really telegraphing to a room full of American reporters was that George W. Bush—whose father had been tough on Israel—had quietly but radically altered the dynamics of the Washington-Jerusalem relationship in a way that the Israel government very much liked. The Bush approach to Israel became publicly apparent soon thereafter, and for the next eight years, Israel was the recipient of a hands-off approach from Washington, one that placed virtually no demands on the country." (TNR)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Thelma Golden and The Studio Museum in Harlem hosted the 4th annual Spring luncheon at the Mandarin Hotel yesterday afternoon. This year's event honored the artist, Kehinde Wiley. Mr. Wiley's portraits of African-American men combine elements of modern culture with an Old Master's influence. Using models from city centers all over the world and inspiration from the figures in classical painting and sculptures, Wiley's portraits examine not only how black males are perceived by others, but also how they see themselves. He divides his time between Williamsburg and Beijing." (NYSocialDiary)



"In its drive to get the government to mandate condom use in the adult film industry, the Aids Healthcare Foundation states that it will file state complaints Thursday against nine porn talent agencies for encouraging what it argues is dangerous, unsafe sex. 'These talent agencies are a pipeline for the procurement of young people for the adult film industry,' said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "It is reckless for these agents to jeopardize the health of their clients by encouraging and profiting from the unsafe, potentially life-threatening behavior of the models and performers they represent.' The complaints, which call for investigations into agencies such as World Modeling, will be filed with California labor commissioner Angela Bradstreet, according to the AHF. The organization cites this state law: 'No talent agency shall send or cause to be sent, any artist to any place where the health, safety, or welfare of the artist could be adversely affected, the character of which place the talent agency could have ascertained upon reasonable inquiry.' AHF contends that the agencies in fact knowingly send talent to situations that involve exchanges of bodily fluids that could be dangerous." (LAWeekly)



"The media mob was out in force today at Michael's and we spotted plenty of table hopping between bites. It was fascinating to see all the head honchos make the rounds while checking in with the competition. Who needs to eat anyway? I was joined today by CNN's anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien, who I've known since her days as anchor of Weekend Today, and CNN publicist Van Scott. Since making the move to cable, Soledad, who left NBC in 2003 to anchor the network's maiden season of American Morning, has gotten plenty of attention for her on-the-ground reporting of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina. It was Soledad's infamous interview with then FEMA chief Michael Brown that started the public outcry eventually leading to his resignation in September 2005." (FishbowlNY)



"Howard (Stern) had the guys bring in Ashley Dupre. Howard said he had to congratulate her on her pictures. He said they did hear that she had a beautiful vagina ... Howard brought up the Donny Deutsch interview she did last night and asked what she was so upset about. Ashley said she has other things going on in her life and Donny was going on too much about the same thing. She said he was telling her that she had messed up enough households so she didn't need to keep ruining them. Howard said she could have talked to him about that without walking off. Howard said she walked off the show crying. She said she held it in until she walked off. Howard said Ashley has to embrace this thing. He said she got on the cover of Playboy because she was a prostitute. Ashley said she has embraced it. Howard said she could have dealt with Donny better last night. He said she could have gotten in some plugs saying that stuff. Ashley said it just gets to a point where it's too much ... Howard took another call from a guy who said that Donny Deutsch has balls talking about Ashley breaking families up when he did that himself last year. Ashley said she heard about that. She said that this is the kind of stuff she has to put up with in these interviews. Howard said he knows Donny and he wants to be famous so badly. He said he's trying to make it interesting and she just has to go with it." (Marksfriggin)

1 comment:

mdtaichi Michael Duby said...

In Celebs We Trust!