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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"On April 1, Gawker chief Nick Denton passed on some surprising news via Twitter. 'Damn!' Mr. Denton wrote. 'Gawker’s awesome John Cook is about to disappear into the maw of Yahoo. Someone else—WSJ?—should save him. We tried.' Shortly thereafter, he assured his followers this was no April Fool’s joke. Mr. Cook, the site’s investigations editor, was leaving to write for a publicly traded corporation based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The whole thing was vaguely mystifying. For years, Yahoo had been a distant archipelago, far removed from the life of New York media sharks. And yet, suddenly, in the past few months, strong Yahoo trade winds had begun sweeping through Manhattan. People we knew were suddenly landing jobs there. But who was the shadowy blog overlord gobbling up bodies? As it turns out, his name is Jamie Mottram. He’s a sunny, 32-year-old sports blogger–turned–media executive who works out of his house by the beach in Wilmington, N.C.—a town of 75,000 residents with a river walk and lots of deciduous trees, located roughly 593 miles southwest of Balthazar.On a recent Monday afternoon, The Observer met Mr. Mottram for lunch at Novita, an Italian restaurant near Gramercy Park. He was in town for 24 hours. That evening he would be meeting with some of his recently hired bloggers at a bar in Brooklyn." (Observer)



"Nothing announces the arrival of spring quite like selling a bunch of old crap on your lawn, and no one does it better than Mark the Cobrasnake Hunter. His yard sales are notoriously epic feasts of decadence, good music and genuinely fantastic thrift store pieces. Neighborhood cool kids and familiar faces such as Johnny Makeup, Steve Aoki, Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor and Paper's own Beautiful Person AJ English all showed up at Hunter's sale this weekend to indulge in boatloads of free Tiger beer, popsicles, sunshine, and piles of internationally scrounged vintage pieces. Yard sales 4ever!" (Papermag)



"U.S. strategy in Afghanistan has changed dramatically since 2001. The war began in the early morning hours — Pakistan time — after the Sept. 11 attacks. Then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called up then-Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to inform him that he would be assisting the United States against al Qaeda, and if necessary, the Taliban. The key word there is 'inform.' The White House had already spoken with — and obtained buy-in from — the leaders of Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel and, most notably, India. Musharraf was not given a choice in the matter. It was made clear that if he refused assistance, the Americans would consider Pakistan part of the problem rather than part of the solution — all with the blessings of the international community. Islamabad was terrified — and with good reason; comply or refuse, the demise of Pakistan was an all-too-real potential outcome. The geography of Pakistan is extremely hostile. It is a desert country. What rain the country benefits from falls in the northern Indo-Pakistani border region, where the Himalayas wring moisture out of the monsoons. Those rains form the five rivers of the Greater Indus Valley, and irrigation works from those rivers turn dry areas green. Accordingly, Pakistan is geographically and geopolitically doomed to perpetual struggle with poverty, instability and authoritarianism." (Stratfor)



(image via nytimes)

"Bright sunny day, yesterday in New York and quite cold thanks to the chilly breezes although the weatherman is predicting Very Warm weather is on the way. Very Warm For May. The Michael’s lunch was crowded and included Candy Spelling lunching with Marilyn Sokol and friends, Zena Wiener and neighbor from Washington, Connecticut; Joan Kingsley from London with friend from New York, Linda Fairstein hosting a table; Barry Diller with Malcolm Gladwell; Roger Friedman; Shirley Lord Rosenthal and Lynn Nesbit." (NYSocialDiary)



"'[DNC] Chairman Tim Kaine is expected to lay out in a speech Wednesday the party's latest plan to energize its base and appeal to such distinct groups as African-Americans, Latinos and younger voters … Democratic Party officials say they are not leaving white voters behind … But to stave off anticipated losses in the midterm elections … they have to bring out a large percentage of Americans who voted for the first time in 2008, half of whom were black, Latino or young voters. Mr. Kaine, in the prepared text of his speech, calls this ‘our first priority’ and says it could bring a gain of 2% to 4% of votes cast in key races, ‘which is a significant margin.’” (WSJ via Playbook)



"DESPITE Madonna's return for Dolce & Gabbana, it seems models are winning over celebrities in the coming season's campaigns - with almost all major luxury brands casting seasoned fashion faces. 'Actresses are fantastic, but they're not models and it's not easy,' YSL's Stefano Pilati - who selected Vogue cover girl Daria Werbowy for this season's images - explained. 'What I need to focus on is an attitude, and this comes from a great, experienced model. Actresses have an attitude, but will never be the fashion attitude. To me, fashion photography is with a model; otherwise, it's a portrait.' 'I think it's a very contemporary approach,' Gucci creative director Frida Giannini - who chose Raquel Zimmermann again for the label's winter campaign - told WWD. 'The other issue with celebrities is that they are characters who are often associated with a certain film. I prefer a strong, generic face that's not related to any world — whether that be music or Hollywood.'" (Vogue)

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