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Friday, May 07, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



" I wonder whether Jon Stewart could ever succeed Katie Couric as the anchor of the 'CBS Evening News.' Yes, indeed, I mean THAT Jon Stewart, the witty and charming host of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show.' Why not? I know the arguments against the idea. Stewart is the first to tell anyone who will listen that he is an entertainer, not a journalist. He intends to make people laugh and think, probably in that order. But what is a journalist, anyway, in 2010? A blogger, who has no experience, can consider himself or herself a serious journalist. So can your garden-variety loudmouth on any cable-news channel. Then we have Stewart's case. He may just be America's most trusted name in news among his fans, the young, hip, educated, affluent cable audience." (MarketWatch)



(image via davidpatrickcolumbia)

"Down at MoMA, they held a book launch for Citizen You (Crown Publishers) by Jonathan Tisch, Loew’s Co-Chairman of the Board and a member of the Office of the President of Loew’s Corporation. Mr. Tisch is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiary, Loews Hotels, and the author of two books. In Citizen You, he reveals how 'active citizens' use their professional skills to alleviate social problems. The guest list was brimming with distinction and boldfacers although without question, the major bearer of the light was The Prez, William Jefferson Clinton. Mr. Clinton is by virtue of his charisma, usually the center of attention, and it’s amusing just to observe because he clearly revels in the energy, and he returns it like the perfect volley." (NYSocialDiary)



"MEXICAN billionaire Carlos Slim is wheeling and dealing his way through the media world. According to people familiar with the matter, Slim is sinking more money into The New York Times Co., doubling his current 7 percent stake, while also visiting the offices of Newsweek, the Washington Post-owned newsweekly that was put up for sale earlier this week. The expanded investment in the Times makes Slim its largest independent shareholder, after the previous biggest shareholder, Phil Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger Capital, sold 4.75 million shares last month. Slim already has deep ties to the Times as a result of his $250 million, high-interest loan to the company in January 2009 and the warrants he holds that enable him to buy up to 18 percent of the company's common stock. The Times declined to comment. Slim did not respond to a request for comment. At the same time that he's getting in deeper with the Times, sources said Slim also met with Newsweek executives on Wednesday." (KeithKelly/NYPost)



(image via vogue)

"'I think a lot of times the blog is better than the show,' said Rachel Maddow. It was Thursday afternoon, and Ms. Maddow was on the phone with Media Mob talking about her team's newly revamped platform, The Maddow Blog, which quietly launched a few months ago. 'I still feel like we're in soft-launch phase,' said Ms. Maddow. 'It's really been under the radar. I don't think we've made an effort to let people know it's there. But it's incredibly functional for us already.' Ms. Maddow said that ever since her show debuted at 9 p.m. on MSNBC in September of 2008, she wanted a more substantial Web presence. From the get-go, the network provided a site page for Ms. Maddow's show. But like many of the Web pages designed for TV news shows, the original site was little more than a glorified video player, designed to rack up streams of MSNBC segments. For much of its brief history, the genre of blogs penned by big name TV news anchors (and the staffs on their shows) has been profoundly underwhelming." (FelixGilette/TheObserver)



"President Barack Obama certainly is not a socialist — let alone a communist — as some of his far-out detractors claim. But he and his aides certainly are in populist, 'whack industry' mode. From BP to banks, health insurance companies to special interest lobbyists, Obama & Co. pass up no opportunity to slash and bash — except when they are asking for industry cooperation or appealing for national unity. The dichotomy between one rhetorical mood and the other is so pronounced, you almost suspect that the administration and its leader are bipolar. Or, that they are juggling the need to govern cooperatively with the need to pander to the president’s sometimes-restive left wing and the populist mood du jour. In February, for instance, Obama-the-unifier told the Business Roundtable — that is, big business CEOs — that 'a thriving America is within our reach, but only if we move forward as one nation, only if we move past the debates and crippling divides between left and right, business and labor, private enterprise and the public sector.' This came a few weeks after Obama denounced 'reckless' 'fat cat bankers' whom he accused of conspiring with House Republicans to 'kill financial reform and leave American consumers and our economy vulnerable to another meltdown.'" (Mort Kondrake/CQPolitics)



"Howard (Stern) came back and said that his guest, Michelle 'Bombshell' McGee, was there ... Howard said Michelle could have gotten millions for her story but she blew it. He said she could have held out and gotten paid for the story. He said she went public without getting any money. Howard said she's the one that ended up breaking up Jesse James and Sandra Bullock. Howard said some people seem to know they have something there and they hold out to get paid. Michelle came in a short time later. Howard said she's an attractive girl. He wanted to see the tattoo on her head. She showed them to him and Howard said that's really hard core. Howard said he has some tattoos but putting them on your head is hard. He said she could never get a corporate job. She said she's pretty sure she never would, just look at her ... Howard asked when she got her last tattoo. She said it was a couple of months ago. She said she's already fucked so she might as well continue. Howard asked if she thinks that she's going to fill in her whole body. Michelle said she's not going to do that. She likes the negative space." (Marksfriggin)



("Big Harv" via style)

"Monday was most definitely an uptown evening: Every boldfaced female in New York City slipped into her fanciest dress and swanned about the Met Ball. But as the old adage goes, what goes uptown must come downtown, and not long after midnight, the crowd on the 18th floor of the Standard Hotel lit up faster than Katy Perry's glow-stick disco dress. Some girls, like Lily Donaldson and Sienna Miller, had changed into clothes more appropriate for the Meatpacking District (think: leather pants and baggy T-shirts), while others, such as Rosario Dawson and Dr. Lisa Airan, remained in their elaborate gowns. 'This isn't easy,' Airan said of the J. Mendel confection that prevented her from wading too deep into the crowd. Then there were the gals, Bar Refaeli and Paula Patton included, who decided to go barefoot. 'They should've invested in a pair of shoes like mine,' said Fabiola Beracasa, who explained she was wearing $70 platforms she bought at a West Village store that caters to drag queens. As for the fellows, Prabal Gurung engaged in a dance-off with Hamish Bowles, and Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang hopped on a table in the back of the club, only to be joined by a tangoing Chloƫ Sevigny and Leigh Lezark." (Style)



"President Barack Obama’s enemies like to call him a creature of the 'Chicago machine,' but when it comes to the politics of his home state of Illinois, the White House doesn’t seem to know where the gears are. Indeed, Chicago has delivered an unending stream of embarrassment, frustration and discomfort to the administration of its favorite son, from an indicted governor to a failed Olympics bid to a series of smaller political blows. In the latest encounter with political quicksand, the White House — already burned by a series of failures to fill Obama’s Senate seat with a chosen candidate — has been forced to proceed with extreme caution toward the damaged Democratic Senate nominee, Alexi Giannoulias, waiting to see if he drops out even as some of its allies want the White House to take a heavier hand. Giannoulias is only the candidate, after all, because Obama, a proud Chicagoan, first failed to persuade Illinois’s Democratic governor to appoint Valerie Jarrett, the perceived favorite — at least without cash on delivery. Then, after the governor’s indictment, the White House tried, and failed, to keep Roland Burris from warming Obama’s seat. After that, Obama couldn’t persuade Illinois’s popular attorney general to run for a federal office that would be seen, in most states, as an obvious promotion." (Politico)



"Last fall, I boarded a ramshackle bus winding through the villages and vineyards on the Georgian side of the demarcation line with the breakaway region of South Ossetia. I was there to see what I could learn about the dangers of nuclear smuggling. Even before Georgia's disastrous war with Russia in August 2008, South Ossetia was something of a no-man's land. Controlled by a self-declared government and militia of irregulars, it had become a smuggling haven for the illegal trade in alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs that supported the local economy. 'It's hugely problematic,' a senior Western diplomat in Tbilisi told me of the breakaway regions. 'They provide havens for human trafficking and nuclear smuggling.' South Ossetia is precisely the kind of jurisdictional 'black hole' that experts say poses such a great risk to nuclear proliferation. In fact, in an announcement that was largely ignored during the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. President Mikheil Saakashvili revealed that in March, Georgia had once again intercepted smugglers with weapons-grade uranium, the country's eighth such bust in the last decade. Although the Georgian government has not elaborated on the case, the country's smuggling problems have long been linked to the two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (a third breakaway region, Ajaria, has since been brought back under Georgian control). The territories, which are recognized as independent states only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the tiny Pacific island of Nauru, have presented a strategic conundrum when it comes to border security." (ForeignPolicy)



"This week at the Independent Filmmaker Spring Gala at Diane Von Furstenberg's studio, party reporter extraordinaire Bennett Marcus chatted with Purple editor Olivier Zahm about sexting. His pal Paz de la Heurta, standing by his side, jumped in to help Zahm defend Terry Richardson." (NYMag)



"When the Greece saga began, the mantra of the German government and many purists in Europe, including the European Central Bank, was: 'no default, no bail-out, no exit'. European private-sector holders of Greek debt would be spared any pain (no default). The European taxpayer would be protected (no bail-out). And European companies would be shielded because Greece could not devalue its currency (no exit). That left one and only one policy measure that could be brought to bear on the problem, namely a fiscal austerity programme, with the average Greek citizen bearing all the burden of adjustment. Europe, in short, had defined this to be an exclusively Greek problem. The recently negotiated IMF programme changed that situation in one important way: the burden of adjustment is now being spread to include European ($105bn) and international ($40bn) taxpayers. China, India, Brazil among many others will contribute – which is as it should be – given their growing economic status and the co-operative nature of the endeavour. But there will still be no contribution from European banks that hold large amounts of Greek debt." (FT)

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