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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Here is the problem I have with the Republican approach. Yes, they are right that it is not good to have a war policy the military doesn't like. And I think there is a good argument to be made against the Obama deadline. That said, just because the military is strongly against an approach doesn't mean the approach is wrong. For example, in World War II, the U.S. military, from Marshall on down, vigorously opposed Operation Torch, the U.S.-led invasion of North Africa. They suspected FDR backed it for base political reasons. Yet in retrospect, the move made good military sense. The U.S. military had a lot to learn and needed to do a couple of these major movements -- Africa and Sicily -- before crossing the Channel. Had they tried to send a force across the Channel in 1942, or even in 1943, I think the landings might have been disastrous and demoralizing. And so the war might have gone on a year or two longer. Likewise, in military terms, MacArthur might have been right during the Korean War in recommending blockading Chinese ports and bombing Chinese cities. Yet President Truman correctly concluded that the American people had no interest in going to war with China, and that MacArthur was way out of touch with the American people." (Thomas E. Ricks/ForeignPolicy)



"He's gotta keep his birdies away from his cubs. Tiger Woods has been banned from bringing his floozies near his two kids under a divorce agreement, Britain's Sun newspaper reports. In exchange, his ex, Elin, who'll be getting $750 million, has to keep her trap shut. Elin gets to keep their $4.5 million house in Windermere, Fla., plus an apartment in Stockholm and a farm nearby. Tiger gets the $75 million Jupiter, Fla., estate, and his $3 million apartment in LA. 'Everything's signed,' a pal told the Sun, adding that the paperwork will be finalized in Orlando within a week. Elin will get physical custody of the kids, but both parents will get to make decisions about their futures. Tiger will get to see them for up to half of each week." (PageSix)



"An international court Thursday subpoenaed reluctant supermodel Naomi Campbell to testify this month in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, warning her she could be jailed for up to seven years if she refuses. The Special Court for Sierra Leone issued the order forcing Campbell to testify after she avoided prosecutors for a year and made it known she had no wish to be part of the case. She was ordered to appear in court in The Hague on July 29 at 9 am "or to show good cause why you cannot comply with this subpoena.' Refusal could lead to prosecution for contempt, which carries a maximum seven-year prison sentence and a fine of 2 million Sierra Leone leones, or about $510, according to the subpoena released by the court." (AP)



"When I met (Countess LuAnn De Lesseps) she was living in Malta with her husband, an international businessman and hail-fellow-well-met, friends of a mutual friend. It would never have occurred to me that either woman would ever have ended up as national celebrities on television shows. Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minute Fame was still a funny idea. Sort of. I’ve only seen a bit of those shows. LuAnn’s character became what it evidently is, although it’s not personally familiar to me. The LuAnn I met was a wife-companion at the time. They seemed like a cool international, low-key, hip couple. When our friend told me LuAnn was interested in an acting career I was surprised. She struck me as one of those women who was the man’s woman, very cozy and comme il faut, very European sensibility." (NYSocialDiary)



"The 11 people arrested and accused of spying for Russia have titillated the tabloids and reminded Cold War veterans of the good old days. But they won't do much damage to U.S.-Russian relations. In fact, the two governments are getting along much better at the moment. There are three major reasons for this, and all of them have to do with the view from the Kremlin. First, Russia's recently ailing economy is now feeling much better. The financial crisis inflicted more damage on Russia than on most other emerging markets, in part because of a steep drop in oil prices. When Obama first proposed a 'reset' in U.S.-Russian relations, Moscow was hemorrhaging reserves, and Kremlin officials hadn't arrived at any clear idea on what to do about it. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was traveling the country assuring local workers that complacent oligarchs, not state officials, were to blame for the volatility, and that their government would ensure that all would again be well. President Dmitry Medvedev and his more western-oriented advisors were beginning to look like convenient scapegoats should the public become restive and Putin run out of businessmen to punish. Things have changed. The economy has picked up thanks to some skillful economic management and a rise in oil prices out of the danger zone. Second, Russia is feeling much better about its neighborhood." (ForeignPolicy)



"Clubbing in Ibiza is EXPENSIVE! How expensive? I'm not exactly sure. You can pay at the door. Or buy a package, so when you fly from the U.K. for the weekend, admittance is included. Or you can be like me and get on the guest list for the V.I.P. area, allowing you to breeze through the entrance for nary a dime, and then sit down on a couch and get nicked for expenses so grand you want to cozy up to Live Nation. It's kind of like Vegas. You know, those parties with 'bottle service'. Which is a euphemism for very expensive alcohol included. So we march into Pacha on Monday night, feeling like kings, sit down in our couches and are immediately served a tray of water, juice and Grey Goose vodka on ice. Price? 400 Euros. That's $500. More, actually. Order another bottle of vodka, which does come in a lit bowl, and you're in for another 300 Euros. Who can do this every night? Russians. The truly rich. Which there's no shortage of." (LefsetzLetter)



"Just because Eliot Spitzer will co-host a primetime show on CNN doesn't mean he's given up his dream of a political comeback. Sources say the disgraced ex-governor, who had to quit once he was revealed to be a regular customer of prostitutes, sees the TV gig as a way to repair his reputation. 'He thinks that after he's on air a few months, he'll become a familiar face and the scandal will fade away,' said an insider. But upstate voters are less forgiving, and Spitzer knows he can't win a statewide office. 'His plan is to run for mayor when Mike Bloomberg's third term ends in 2013,' our source said.' (PageSix)



"CNN's Anderson Cooper picked up yet another award for his Haiti earthquake coverage on Sunday. This one -- the LA Press Club's Presidents Award -- was presented to him by Sean Penn." (TVNewser)



"My last week in London and it is just as well. One more would most likely kill me. The least frantic night was the one that Simon Phillips and Roger Moore threw in Harry’s Bar for Unicef, as worthy a charity as there is, following 'Masterpiece' at the former Chelsea Barracks. I sat next to Britt Ekland, still sexy and still working, but my high moment was finally meeting Sir Roger’s youngest son, Christian." (Taki Theodoracopulos)



"In the four weeks that Jay Leno’s Tonight Show overlapped with Conan’s on a calendar week basis (2010 vs. 2009) he’s finished behind Conan. However, that was during the 'premiere' phase for Conan. It was the fifth week of Conan’s run in the summer of 2009 when he settled near his 'hubbub free' ratings level of between a 1.0 and 1.1 adults 18-49 rating. If Jay can hold at the 1.0 adults 18-49 rating he scored last week (June 21-25), he’d tie Conan’s ratings for much of the summer. Stay tuned. The folks dwelling on Leno beating Letterman (which he did again last week) miss the point that beating the competition is important only in press releases (and to sites like ours that focus on the horserace) not to the network’s business. What matters to NBC are a show’s absolute ratings (and their trend) which correlate to its advertising potential. NBC’s ad revenue is based on the Tonight Show’s ratings, not whether it beat the Late Show or not." (TVBytheNumbers)

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