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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via nationalgeographic)

"The first generations of Israelis lived under the threat of conventional military defeat by neighboring countries. More recent generations still faced threats, but not this one. Israel is operating in an advantageous strategic context save for the arena of public opinion and diplomatic relations and the question of Iranian nuclear weapons. All of these issues are significant, but none is as immediate a threat as the specter of a defeat in conventional warfare had been. Israel’s regional enemies are so profoundly divided among themselves and have such divergent relations with Israel that an effective coalition against Israel does not exist — and is unlikely to arise in the near future. Given this, the probability of an effective, as opposed to rhetorical, shift in the behavior of powers outside the region is unlikely. At every level, Israel’s Arab neighbors are incapable of forming even a partial coalition against Israel. Israel is not forced to calibrate its actions with an eye toward regional consequences, explaining Israel’s willingness to accept broad international condemnation." (Stratfor)



"Last night in New York. Just when you thought everything was slowing down. At Alice Tully Hall, Swarovski underwrote (for the 9th year) the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards. Sarah Jessica Parker (wearing Alexander McQueen), Alexis Bledel in Behnaz Serafpour; Lara Stone in Calvin Klein; Jessica Stam in Dana Lorenz jewelry; Whitney Port was wearing David Meister; Rachel Weiss, Jason Wu; Vanessa Traina, Joseph Altuzarra. Alexa Chung was wearing Marc Jacobs and Atelier Swarovski; Dakota Fanning in Marchesa .." (NYSocialDiary)



(image via Caroline Torem Craig/Papermag)

"'Just because you're cute, connected, rich, and famous doesn't necessarily mean you design great stuff,' Paper editor and publisher Kim Hastreiter told the crowd of designers, celebrities, editors, and bloggers at the Council of Fashion Designers of America annual awards show last night at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall when she accepted the Eugenia Sheppard Award. Hastreiter said she didn't believe in the old adage 'one day you’re in, the next you’re out'; great designers have longevity. She praised everyone from Martin Margiela and Maria Cornejo to the manicure artists in Queens and Upper East Side Wasps who bring something not just to fashion, but to culture. She called herself an 'outsider,' and perhaps she wasn’t the only one." (NYMag)



"NBC News has hired Michael Isikoff away from Newsweek at a time when the newsweekly magazine is up for sale. Michael Isikoff will become the national investigative correspondent for NBC.Mr. Isikoff will become the national investigative correspondent for NBC, a position similar to the one he has held at Newsweek since 1994, the network said. He will appear on 'NBC Nightly News,' 'Today' the cable channel MSNBC and other outlets. NBC said it also would create a 'branded destination' featuring Mr. Isikoff on MSNBC.com. Mr. Isikoff currently contributes a the Newsweek blog called DeClassified. Mr. Isikoff’s hiring will make the network news wars a bit more interesting, as all three have competitive investigative units. ABC News has a well-known section of its Web site, called The Blotter, for its investigative squad led by Brian Ross. CBS News has a site called CBS News Investigatives for its reports, led by Armen Keteyian." (Brian Stelter/NYTimes)



"(Michael) Jackson also reveled in the company of children at Hayvenhurst, which was like a warm-up for Neverland, a kids’ paradise, which he loved sharing. He had struck up a friendship with the four-foot-three-inch television star Emmanuel Lewis, 12, with whom he would invent games and roll around on the grass, laughing. When George Folsey’s son, Ryan, 13, accompanied his father to meetings at the Jackson home, Michael behaved like a kid who was bored hanging out with the adults, jumping up to show Ryan around. They would feed the llamas, play the video game Frogger, and drive toy Model T’s around the grounds. 'Michael was 25, but I’d say that he was 13,' says Ryan. 'Mentally, he was 12 to 15 years behind. He could relate to me because he was my age.'" (VanityFair)



"No, the new screenings are proposed because the church has trapped priests inside three doctrinal positions — that homosexuality is 'objectively disordered,' that women cannot be priests, and that celibacy is mandatory for all priests. All three positions are eminently challengeable in themselves. But put together they make for a poisonous mix. You can be a good doctor or lawyer and be gay. You can be a good lawyer or doctor and be a woman. You can be a good lawyer or doctor and be married. But all such possibilities are ruled out for priests." (Garry Wills/NYRB)



"Show Executive Producer Rory Albanese said it was only recently that he and host Jon Stewart discovered cable network G4’s most prized possession: a hot girl who’ll do anything for a laugh. 'We're stuck in a hard news cycle and we’re nerdy,' Albanese said. 'If she was on the cover of The Economist, we would have been like, 'Yes! Of course!’ And yet last Thursday, there was Munn delivering her first reported segment on the Comedy Central show about how the BP oil spill has affected Vietnamese fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico. Stewart introduced her as the show’s new 'Senior Asian Correspondent.' Just how did the host of a fledgling cable-network series go from doing the truffle shuffle to The Daily Show?" (TheDailyBeast)



"Anti-gay hatemonger Rush Limbaugh just married a woman who's 26 years younger in Palm Springs---in fact, she's 26 years younger everywhere--but that's not the vomity part. The vomity part is that lord queen Elton John sang at the wedding! Our out gay pal--who does so much for our cause when he's thinking, um, straight--pocketed a cool million to help validate the twisted family values of a man who's done even more to fuck with gay rights than he's done to help Mexican production of OxyContin. Why, Elton, why?" (Michael Musto)



"Well, that was an easy one. King Constantine of the Hellenes—that’s the Greeks, for any of you who never got past fourth grade—celebrated his 70th birthday in his son’s London mansion, and the setting as well as the guest list were fit for a King. Prince Pavlos of Greece is heir to the Greek throne, but the Greeks, being an ungrateful lot, voted against the monarchy back in 1974. The Greek royal family has lived in London ever since. Prince Pavlos is married to Marie-Chantal Miller, daughter of a billionaire, and their house near the river is one of London’s finest. The garden is magnificent and very, very large. A tent covered only half of it, and as the guests arrived we were ushered upstairs for drinks, an act that helped break the ice, so to speak. There were 84 of us, and I shall start by mentioning some of the worthies." ("Bunky Mortimer")



"Upon arriving last night at the Waldorf Astoria for the Deadline Club's annual award ceremony, Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson swept through the wine reception in the lobby and into the dining room while the guests, mostly journalists, finished their drinks. Mr. Thomson had missed the hour of standing around and drinking. He was there to deliver the evening's keynote address. 'Journalism is a contact sport,' he told The Observer before anyone had come in for dinner. We were talking about Mr. Thomson's battle with The New York Times." (Observer)

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