blog advertising is good for you

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"As reports of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's declining health continue, our authors weigh in on Egypt's political future in a post-Mubarak world. Can Egypt change? Has it already changed? What are the kinds of changes it will need most in the coming years? Lisa Anderson takes a look at Egypt's economy, arguing it has already seen quite a bit of change. Steven Cook argues Egypt's stagnant political institutions are its real barriers to change. Michele Dunne traces the transformations Egypt has made in the last decade." (ForeignPolicy)



"So, just what does it take to score an invitation to the hottest — not to mention most secretive — political wedding of the summer? 'I’m good enough to borrow a plane from, but not good enough to be invited to the wedding?' complained one Clinton friend, who remembered the times he handed over his jet and his pilot to take Bill Clinton around the country but had not landed a coveted invitation to Chelsea Clinton’s nuptials. Next Saturday, Ms. Clinton, 30, and her fiancé, Marc Mezvinsky, 32, are expected to marry in Rhinebeck, N.Y. But not everyone these days is feeling the love. While most friends and acquaintances of the former president and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton say they understand that the wedding is a private affair of 400 or so guests, each with a direct connection to the bride or bridegroom, some are privately grumbling about who made the cut. And the whole affair has left donors, supporters, aides and even true A-listers wondering just how inside the inner circle they really are." (NYTimes)



"Chris Nolan's Inception for Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures will still be the No. 1 movie for its 2nd weekend in release, inciting exactly the intense interest from watercooler talk everyone thought it would. It went into today having made $100+M in the U.S. and Canada in just 7 days -- only the 5th film and the only original 2D movie to accomplish that this year. Inception made a big $14.4M Friday from 3,792 locations for a Superglue-like hold of -34% compared to a week ago. (Though one rival studio pegs Friday to a lesser $13.8M for -37%.) It's expected to have a $43M weekend and new cume of $143M. Ah, what dreamy legs for Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, and the rest of the great cast on this $160M-budget scifi caper. Internationally, Inception has made a World Cup-slowed $16.5M going into today. But this weekend, it adds 29 markets including Australia, France, Japan and Mexico and rolls out in about 50 territories by August 1st. Look for giant grosses." (Deadline)



"The picture speaks volumes. At the centre of a group of 10 people stands Nelson Mandela and beside him his partner and later wife, Graça Machel. On Mandela's other flank is a short man dressed in a military-style jacket with his hand held out as though he, and not the great South African leader, was hosting the gathering. He is Charles Taylor, and the photograph was taken a month after he was elected president of Liberia. Now Taylor is in prison at The Hague, the first African president to face trial for war crimes. The events that surround the photograph could prove to be a significant part of the case against Taylor, who is charged with 11 counts including murder, rape and turning children into soldiers. The picture was taken in 1997 at Mandela's home in Cape Town and the assembled guests, who included Jemima and Imran Khan, the music producer Quincy Jones and Chinese actor Tony Leung, had been invited to mark the opening of South Africa's luxury passenger rail service, the Blue Train. To Taylor's right is Naomi Campbell, the British model, dressed in an elegant white dress and a cross pendant around her neck. Five people to Taylor's left is Mia Farrow, the actress who starred in Rosemary's Baby and several of her former husband Woody Allen's films. The interaction of Taylor, Campbell and Farrow is likely to come under the spotlight at The Hague next month when both Farrow and Campbell are due to appear as witnesses." (TheGuardian)



"Charlie Rangel, oleaginous octogenarian extraordinaire, put on a press conference at lunchtime on Friday that was such a master class in shifty-eyed flimflam that no one who watched it can have left its Harlem venue (or their TV screens) unconvinced that he is, by some great distance, the most knavish congressman in Washington. There can be little doubt that Rangel—who has served a mind-boggling, and, for those concerned with standards of official conduct, depressing, 20 terms—is not going to be able to run for a 21st term. His career is now over. I predict that he will resign by, or on, Thursday of next week, the day on which the House Ethics Committee lays formal charges against him, charges which—if he contests them—will go to public trial. (The charges are, by now, so well known that they scarcely bear repeating: undeclared taxes on income from a beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic; the securing of four luxury apartments at a heftily subsidized rent; and the granting of lucrative favors to a donor. Read a detailed account here. (Rangel has, predictably enough, protested his innocence all along.)" (TheDailyBeast)



"I went to lunch with an A&R man. Fascinating experience, because they're all hit-driven, it's like they live in a different world from everybody e-mailing me about the Hold Steady and the National...they've got to put up numbers. Quickly. And this guy was lamenting how long it took to break a record. He was talking about someone who'd had a big hit. How radio rejected the follow-up track, but how this cut was percolating in the marketplace, there was a ton of online buzz, iTunes sales were building, yet the business perceived the cut as a stiff. What was gonna happen when the noise got truly loud, was radio gonna go back on the record? No way. And what does this mean for the artist. Should he cut a new track and forget the old one? Especially since it now took eight months to build a cut? I don't care about the rapper of the moment. Because I don't think it's about the face, but the producer. Remove Drake and Bieber and Katy Perry from the chart and replace them with the geniuses behind the photograph, that would be more real. But that begs the question, is the 'Billboard' chart real? Is radio real? Is SoundScan real?" (LefsetzLetter)



"Notorious playboy Prince Albert of Monaco has set a date to wed South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. The religious ceremony will be on Saturday, July 9, 2011, with the civil marriage ceremony taking place the day before. Consider this your save the date. But it’s not all wedding plans and roses for Prince Albert. A lawsuit against Monaco filed by a California writer named Robert Eringer is moving forward. Eringer claims he was retained as a 'spymaster' for the prince and is suing over back pay. Hardly the type of thing one wants to deal with before marital bliss." (Takimag)



"A few days back, when I asked a pal in Hollywood about a movie he had a hand in, he told me that the 'project' came together as the result of its female star’s decision to drop her ineffectual old agent in favor of a more influential new one who, in order to demonstrate his power and elevate his ambitious new client’s status, saw fit to build a 'package' around her with the help of another client’s script. When I asked my friend what the movie was about — plot-wise, not conference-call-wise or power-lunch-wise — my question appeared to throw him off. Who cares about the story in the film, my friend’s faintly baffled manner seemed to indicate (and aren’t most plots awfully similar nowadays?), compared with the spellbinding story around the film? In the contemporary entertainment business (and also, increasingly, in sports and in politics), it’s the business that’s the entertainment and the art of the deal that’s the art that draws most notice. We have become a society that is fixated on process and absorbed by the slippery, complex machinations of the middlemen, brokers and executives who conspire offstage to determine what takes place onstage. Call this outlook 'procedural voyeurism' — a redirection of mass attention from the spectacle of the game itself to the circus of the game behind the game ..." (WalterKirn)



"More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education, by Harold Ford Jr., Crown, 244 pages, Aug. 10), on his losing Senate campaign against Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), in 2006: 'Some in my party, particularly the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), were opposed to my early spending. Chuck Schumer, the chairman of the DSCC, wanted me to raise my money and then hold it … But Schumer’s thinking was conventional, and my campaign was unconventional. As the campaign unfolded, donors needed to see that I was competitive – that I could win. … I knew Republicans would attack me for being weak on defense. … A well-done ad would begin the security conversation on my terms, not theirs. … ‘Let’s make the ad,’ I said to [campaign manager Michael] Powell. ‘I’ll stand up to Schumer and the DSCC if they resist us. He hasn’t raised a penny for me yet, so he doesn’t have much standing to dictate how I spend my money.’ The DSCC, in fact, early on considered Tennessee out of reach. Schumer hadn’t built my campaign into his overall DSCC budget. Schumer was as tough and determined a Senate committee chair as the party had seen, and I respected him greatly for that, but he had not only ignored me and my campaign, he had also down talked loudly about me to (a) national Democratic donor." (Playbook)



(Zho Low can he go via gawker)

"A pair of rival billionaires set a new world record Thursday night at Les Caves du Roy nightclub in St. Tropez with an East vs. West contest to see who could order the most champagne. Zhen Low -- the younger brother of big-spending Malaysian billionaire Jho Low -- squared off against Winston Fisher of the prominent New York real-estate family. At the end of the night, Low was the 'winner.' The bill? A staggering 2 million euros, or $2.6 million, according to an announcement made at the club. Witnessing the revelry/rivalry were Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt, SBE CEO Sam Nazarian and Paris Hilton, who helped Jho Low celebrate his 28th birthday last year at a four-day party in Las Vegas. The Low brothers are third-generation members of a distinguished Penang-based family involved in industries ranging from real estate to high-tech across the world. Baby-faced, bespectacled Jho is known to New York club-owners for regularly racking up six-figure bar tabs by ordering dozens of $900 bottles of Cristal Champagne. 'It's Fleet Week in St. Tropez, and the port is backed up with flashy yachts and their flashy owners. 'If somebody with money, particularly brand-new money, wants to get noticed by the Euro jet set, this is the time and place to be seen,' said one observer." (PageSix)



"As the Wire noted Thursday, the Shirley Sherrod furor has set off a new discussion about race in America. The latest ripples in the pond come from an op-ed by Demcratic senator from Virginia James Webb, called 'Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege.' Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Webb argues that '[b]eyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.' Though the early, 'initial program for affirmative action ... was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans' and, Webb's thinks, was 'justifiable and understandable,' he argues that continuing to treat 'whites as a fungible monolith' is incorrect and unjust: in 1974 white Baptists had almost the same average level of education as blacks, while between 1980 and 2000 white Baptists and Irish Protestants, for example, graduated from college at a much lower rate than some ethnic groups, and hung about ten percentage points below the national average. Bloggers, expressing intense surprise at a Democratic senator writing such an op-ed, have sprung to debating the merits of Webb's argument. Are diversity programs unjust racial favoritism? And if so, why continue to make an exception for African Americans? Furthermore, is there a policy that could continue to help the disadvantaged while avoiding affirmative action's pitfalls?" (TheAtlentic)

No comments: