blog advertising is good for you

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"History is a great teacher, but sometimes it packs a nasty sense of irony. A case in point: South African Prime Minister John Vorster's visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem in April 1976, where he laid a wreath to the victims of the German Reich he once extolled. It's bad enough that a former Nazi sympathizer was treated like an honored guest by the Jewish state. Even worse was the purpose behind Vorster's trip to Israel: to cement the extensive military relationship between Israel and the apartheid regime, a partnership that violated international law and illicitly provided the white-minority government with the weaponry and technology to help sustain its grip on power and its oppression of the black majority over two decades. Like many illicit love affairs, the back-door relationship between Israel and the apartheid regime was secret, duplicitous, thrilling for the parties involved -- and ultimately damaging to both. Each insisted at the time that theirs was just a minor flirtation, with few regrets or expressions of remorse. Inevitably it ended badly, tainting everyone it touched, including leaders of American Jewish organizations who shredded their credibility by endorsing and parroting the blatant falsehoods they were fed by Israeli officials. And it still hovers like a toxic cloud over Israel's international reputation, providing ammunition to those who use the comparison between Israel's 43-year military rule over Palestinians and the now-defunct system of white domination known as apartheid to seek to delegitimize the Jewish state." (ForeignPolicy)



"Once an indie girl wonder, Sex and the City is now a purveyor of unbridled camp, this shameless franchise is hitting theaters this Friday ...Kim Cattrall continues to make women over 50 (and 40, and even 30) shake their heads in disbelief, and the golden beaded Naeem Khan gown, endowed with a very deep V-neck, was just as otherworldly. And what would a NYC premiere be without random red carpet cameos? Bo Derek perplexingly appeared in a white jersey pant, metallic sandals, and a wildly patterned long jacket. But Liza Minnelli's transparent gris jumpsuit, made of some sort of vinyl-y material, showed each seam of her strapless bra (we didn't dare look below the waist)." (Fashionweekdaily)



"Since the oil rig exploded, the White House has tried to project a posture that is unflappable and in command. But to those tasked with keeping the president apprised of the disaster, Obama's clenched jaw is becoming an increasingly familiar sight. During one of those sessions in the Oval Office the first week after the spill, a president who rarely vents his frustration cut his aides short, according to one who was there. 'Plug the damn hole,' Obama told them. The hole continues to spew, however, in quantities now thought to be three to five times the 5,000 barrels a day originally estimated. That the blowout came only weeks after Obama announced a plan to expand offshore drilling is an accident of timing that is inconvenient politically, but also a point on which the president has expressed dismay internally. In announcing and defending his drilling decision, he repeatedly stressed that the technology the oil industry uses is safe. But from the beginning of the crisis, the administration has run into a different reality when it comes to the risks of deep-water drilling." (Karen Tumulty/WasPo via Politico)



"Three memoirs have been published this year alone about contending with being inside the particle collider of (Norman) Mailer’s company and charisma, testaments ranging from the doting and domestic Mornings with Mailer, by Dwayne Raymond, Mailer’s cook and assistant at the house in Provincetown, to the glittery but trauma-racked A Ticket to the Circus, by Norris Church, Mailer's statuesque, pale-moon widow, to the score-settling Loving Mailer, by Carole Mallory, one of Mailer’s countless extra-curricular hotsies. Although diametrically opposite in tone and texture, the last two books bear the puncture marks of Mailer’s satyr horns." (James Wolcott/Vanity Fair)



"TrueSlant, the journalism site founded by Lewis Dvorkin, has been acquired by Forbes. We first reported on the sale talks last week. The company raised $3 million in August 2008 from Forbes and Fuse Capital; Dvorkin has also been consulting with Forbes for since April, so likely this is a very family-friendly acquisition, meaning low single digit millions at best, if that. Lot more details on the background of the site in our previous sale talks post. With this sale, Dvorkin will now lead all editorial areas at Forbes as Chief Product Officer effective June 1. He was, in a previous life, exec editor of the Forbes magazine from Dec 1996 to Apr 2000." (Rafat Ali/PaidContent)



"Last fall, the midtown media eatery Michael's launched a Twitter feed. Since then, every weekday the restaurant has sent out tweets-ranging from around a dozen to several dozen-listing the swells who are eating there. You go to Michael's to be seen. So with the media world about to rest a wee bit easier as we roll toward Memorial Day and Summer Fridays, we decided to go through the Twitter feed-which includes more than 3,000 tweets-to come up with a leader board for 2010 ...Michael McCarty, the restaurant's owner, said the tweeting duties go to the hostess or maitre d'. He also said there have been 'very rare' instances where people specifically requested not to be on the Twitter feed. 'You don't come to Michael's to hide,' he said." (Observer)



(image via NYSD)

"Yesterday afternoon a reporter from the New York Observer named John Koblin called to tell me they were doing a story on Michael’s and its clientele including a Twitter 'survey' on who went there most often, and how many times. I was surprised when I asked who went there the most, he replied: 'You.' Thirty-one times so far this year, said Mr. Koblin. Geez. He wanted to know why. One, a habit – I’ve been lunching there since 1997 when I was working for Judy Price at Avenue. She went there all the time. The appeal was obvious: it’s a restaurant with a big media and publishing clientele. The second most visits is Alice Mayhew, the editor at Simon & Schuster. Alice is Old School with a sharp eye for the contemporary market. When you see someone lunching with Alice, if you don’t recognize them you can assume they are very successful writers planning or pitching or discussing a new book. If you’re like me, you’re impressed. I retain the same romantic mental image of a writer that I did when I first read O’Hara and Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and later on with Trollope and Balzac. Alice Mayhew makes me think of all that." (NYSocialDiary)



"(T)he Polish government recently announced that the United States would deploy a battery of Patriot missiles to Poland. The missiles arrived this week. When the United States canceled its land-based ballistic missile defense system under intense Russian pressure, the Obama administration appeared surprised at Poland’s intense displeasure with the decision. Washington responded by promising the Patriots instead, the technology the Poles had wanted all along. While the Patriot does not enhance America’s ability to protect itself against long-range ballistic missiles from, for example, Iran, it does give Poland some defense against shorter-ranged ballistic missiles and substantial defense against conventional air attack. Russia is the only country capable of such attacks on Poland with even the most distant potential interest in doing so, and at this point, this is truly an abstract threat. In removing a system that was really not a threat to Russian interests — U.S. ballistic missile defense at most can handle only a score of missiles, meaning it would have a negligible impact on the Russian nuclear deterrent — the United States ironically has installed a system that could affect Russia. Under the current circumstances, this is not really significant. While much is being made of having a few U.S. boots on the ground east of Germany within 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) of the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, a few hundred technicians and guards are simply not an offensive threat. Still, the Russians — with a long history of seeing improbable threats turning into very real ones — tend to take hypothetical limits on their power seriously. They also tend to take gestures seriously, knowing that gestures often germinate into strategic intent. The Russians obviously oppose this deployment, as the Patriots would allow Poland in league with NATO — and perhaps even by itself — to achieve local air superiority." (STRATFOR)



"As usual, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and Two and a Half Men took the top three spots in the syndication ratings. After reclaiming daytime supremacy for the week ending May 7 Oprah was back to being pushed aside by Judge Judy for the 8th time in 9 weeks when it came to the syndicated household ratings (4.7 vs. 4.5) for the week ending May 14th. Oprah was down 15% versus the same week one year ago, while Judge Judy was up 18%. Meanwhile though Maury was only 29th in household rating, he topped the talk shows with young women 18-34, beating Oprah. Maury has been #1 in that demo in 7 of the last 9 weeks (tied w/Oprah the weeks of 3/8/10 and 4/26/10)." (TVBytheNumbers)



"Shortly after the volcano in Iceland polluted the skies over Europe, and while the British Petroleum oil spill contaminated the Gulf of Mexico, Rand Paul dumped the intellectual equivalent of toxic pollution into the world of public discourse by claiming that it was wrong for the Civil Right Act of 1964 to outlaw segregation in private facilities. Had this come from former KKK leader David Duke it would not have been news, but it made headlines, coming as it did from the winner of the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, the son of libertarian cult hero Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and a tribune of the Tea Party movement. According to the younger Paul, 'the hard part about believing in freedom' is that while it was all right for the 1964 Civil Rights Act to outlaw racial discrimination by public entities, it was tyrannical for the federal government to require businesses like restaurants, hotels and stores to serve non-white customers. As a native of Texas, where white-only businesses were legal until the Civil Rights Act passed, where interracial marriage was illegal until the Supreme Court issued its holding in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, and where private racial discrimination in housing was legal until President Johnson pushed through one of his personal obsessions, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, I can suggest a book that Rand Paul and like-minded libertarians really ought to read: John Howard Griffin's 'Black Like Me.'" (Michael Lind/Salon)



"Riots, debts and the creeping fear of a looming Lost Decade – no wonder there is pessimism in Europe. But what we are seeing is not just 'financial crisis, part two'; it is 'sustainable growth challenge, part one'. The difference has implications for policy. Get the diagnosis wrong and the wrong treatment will follow. The €750bn ($944bn, £652bn) package to defend the euro buys time. But it is not enough. So far, the world has focused on fiscal contraction and debt, but these are only half the story. The world and Europe also need a return to robust growth. Without it the fiscal adjustments will be more painful and the politics more unmanageable. In the 1980s, when Latin America was overwhelmed by huge debts, the work-out involved rollovers of bank loans, fiscal tightening, funding from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and policies to invigorate sustainable growth. Eventually, some debt was restructured. Some developed economies now face a similar problem: living beyond their means. But we face the added complication that weaknesses in parts of Europe can infect the European Union’s monetary, credit and even fiscal systems, with dangerous consequences. To avoid a decade-long work-out – with political and economic risks – the world needs stronger growth in developing and developed countries. We are seeing a shift towards a new multi-polar global economy, with better prospects in developing countries than in developed ones." (FT)



"As it does every year, the Cannes Film Festival developed gradual momentum over the course of the last two weeks. The main competition, though really only one part of the annual story, nabbed the spotlight with a culturally diverse selection deemed spotty before it even started. Once the program began, the question on the minds of many festival-goers increasingly became WWTBD: What Would Tim Burton Do? At the end of the day, jury president Burton and his international jurors of mystery made several agreeable decisions. Juliette Binoche, a best actress winner for Abbas Kiarostami’s 'Certified Copy,' maintains a balance of emotional delicacy and individualism in this talky romance, which IFC Films purchased for American distribution during the festival. Lee Chang-dong’s 'Poetry,' a spare and skillfully told story of how melancholy drives the creative process, took Best Screenplay. A small movie by virtue of its topic alone, 'Poetry' could use the boost a lot more than 'Biutiful,' the trite heartstrings-puller directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu that landed star Javier Bardem with one of the Best Actor awards (the other went to Elio Germano for 'La Nostra Vita,' which I did not see). Bardem is indeed the best thing about 'Biutiful,' so his win can be forgiven." (IndieWIRE)



"Howard (Stern) started the show talking about last night's 'LOST' series finale. Howard said he bailed out on it a couple of seasons ago. He felt that he was betrayed and misled for so long he had to get away from it. Howard said the show would end and there would be more questions. He had enough questions in his life. He said they had the finale last night and he's not sure why. He said he was talking to Gary (Dell'Abate) about it and Gary has no idea how to explain it. He said Gary wasn't sure what the hell was going on. He said it was confusing and no one knows what it all means. Howard asked what the black smoke was. Gary said that was evil. He said the black smoke took over John Locke and that happened all this season. Howard asked what the Dharma Initiative was. Gary said he had no idea ... Howard said he likes a good story but a show should make a pact with the writers and they should reward people at the end. He said they promised all along they were going to give answers. They never did ... He said that they broke the contract to the people when they made this 'LOST' show. Howard said ABC is to blame there. Jon (Hein) asked Howard if he liked the finale of the Sopranos. Howard said he did. Howard said he understood the characters in the show and if he was rubbed out or not doesn't matter. Howard said all of the character arcs were satisfied on that show. Howard said that 'LOST' didn't make any sense and they weren't able to explain it. Howard said everyone is a sucker and 'fuck you' to them. Howard said they need a TV bill of rights and Robin (Quivers) has inspired him to do that." (Marksfriggin)

No comments: