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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"(Sean) Penn has been in Haiti for five months, but is scheduled to shoot a movie in August. Penn, though, is committed to Haiti for the long haul and says he plans to return as soon as possible. 'There is no exit for me until there is more life than death,' he tells (Doug) Brinkley. 'I can always see light in any situation. It’s just the way I’m made. I’m capable of making foolish commitments. Of being a fool. But I can see the light very clearly in terms of the big picture for Haiti. It’s a pretty damn distant light. But the brightness of the Haitians’ eyes is enough to make you giddy. There is a strength of character in the people who have, by and large, never experienced comfort. That’s exactly the character that our Main Street culture lacks and needs in the United States. In other words, we need Haiti.' Penn calls his work there 'a reciprocal thing….They have returned to me something I had lost—my humility.'" (VanityFair)



"A few weeks ago, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone was spotted having an early Sunday dinner with CBS boss Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, at classic Los Angeles star hangout Dan Tana's. Accompanying Redstone, who just turned 87, was a tall, tan, fembot-like blonde, young enough to be his granddaughter, fitted in a tight black cocktail dress, according to a source at the restaurant that night ... But now Redstone is taking his dirty old man act a bit too far. The Daily Beast has learned that Redstone is so smitten with a scantily clad new all-girl group dubbed the Electric Barbarellas that he has paid to fly its six members out to New York to meet with record labels—and forced MTV to shoot a pilot for a reality-TV series about the group that he wants the network to air. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the show and music are so bad that MTV Networks executives, including CEO Judy McGrath, object to it—and Redstone's insistence that they develop the project anyway may soon lead to her departure." (TheDailyBeast)



"(Sir Phillip Otten) presided over a libel case brought against my person and the Speccie in 1986 by a woman who claimed I had called her an old tart. I had not but had intimated that she gave away her favors like a Frisbee. (The old girl left us about ten years ago while swimming in her pool in Argentina, just like that other high class tart, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman did in the pool of the Paris Ritz, where else?) Otton made that infamous German judge, Ronald Freisler, look like Mother Teresa. He instructed the jury in the manner I would if I had the fortune to preside over the crimes of Robert Mugabe or Tony Blair. He asked me twice while I was in the dock what the word Taki meant. It means little virgin, and when the courtroom rocked with laughter he held it against me." (Takimag)



(image via nysd)

"A room full of editors, writers, public figures and donors gathered in midtown last night for the presentation of the 2010 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award. Attorney Kenneth Bialkin, chairman emeritus of the American Jewish Historical Society, presented the society's highest honor to Seth Lipsky, the Wall Street Journal stalwart and the founder and editor of the New York Sun and the English edition of the Forward newspaper. Peter Kann, who first met Lipsky in Vietnam, and later worked with him at the Wall Street Journal, served as master of ceremonies, introducing six speakers who gave an affectionate mixture of toasts and roasts. They were Roger Hertog, Michael Steinhardt, and Tom Tisch, who were among the owners of The New York Sun; Philip Gourevitch, a writer for the New Yorker; Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal; and Amity Shales, a columnist for Bloomberg and Mr. Lipsky's wife." (NYSocialDiary)



"Have you seen this (District 9)? I was scavenging around the On Demand choices, looking for something to do my back exercises to, when I stumbled upon it on Starz. Yes, I get Starz, I get 'em all, and I pay for 'em too, and I never watch 'em, which was incentive enough to screen this flick. Along with the buzz ..Johannesburg ain't Europe. This has got the feel of the third world. Where you're not safe. You want to believe you're secure, in control, but you're not. Hell, we're not in control here in the U.S.A. either, but we deny that. Watching "District 9" you've got more questions than answers, you're on edge. You're trying to wrap your head around the situation, with the aliens in town for twenty years, and also trying to divine exactly where this movie is going, what is happening, what is the main story .. I wouldn't watch 'District 9' alone. I wouldn't watch it with the lights off. You'll be too freaked out. You'll have to stop. But if you make it all the way through, you'll be just like me, needing to connect with others, to tell them about it, to discuss it. That's what's missing in music." (LefsetsLetter)



"In October of 2007, Mayor Bloomberg and Bette Midler gathered in the Bronx--'right where J-Lo comes from,' according to the mayor--to shovel some dirt around the roots of a Carolina silver bell. A band played. There were speeches. And there was a lot of excitement about Mayor Bloomberg and his new MillionTrees initiative, which would bring public and private money to blossom on blocks all over the city. 'Yes, it's going to be expensive,' Ms. Midler told The New York Times, 'but I figure that if the 92 Fortune 500 companies based in New York City each contributed $2.2 million, or if the wealthiest 1,000 New York City-based corporations each contributed $200,000, or if the 3.7 million working New Yorkers each contributed $5 a month, or if just one hedge fund guy contributed his bonus, we'd meet our goal.' And who better to hustle a few silver bells out of the private sector than Mayor Bloomberg? Last month--seemingly ahead of schedule--MillionTrees stuck its 350,000th tree in the ground, thanks to a coalition of contributions from city government, the federal government, Ms. Midler's environmental nonprofit and the mayor's own catch-all quasi-city charity, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City." (Observer)

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