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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The Putin show was in full effect last weekend during the prime minister's visit to Ukraine. Putin visited a biker rally in Sevastapol where he rode what he called a "tricked out bike," but as Russia Monitor's Jesse Heath noted, the three-wheeled contraption looked more Rascal Scooter than Easy Rider ... Putin also suggested that a betrayal was responsible for the spies' capture, and engaged in some characteristic machismo ... On RFE/RL's Power Vertical blog, Brian Whitmore speculates that the spy scandal will lead to a house cleaning at the SVR, and perhaps even a return to something more closely resembling the Soviet KGB." (ForeignPolicy)



"Wyclef Jean will formally announce his bid for the presidency of earthquake-shattered Haiti within two weeks, sources tell us. The former Fugees star, 37, who's an ambassador under the current Haitian government, is ready to put his music career on hold to run for his homeland's top job. But the move will put him in conflict with former Fugees bandmate Pras (Prakazrel Samuel Michel), a Brooklyn native who campaigned for more relief after the deadly January earthquake, who's backing another candidate. Wyclef's reps confirmed he's submitted paperwork to run in the Nov. 28 election. His family yesterday said in a statement: 'Wyclef's commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter ... At this time, Wyclef Jean has not announced his intent to run for Haitian president. If and when a decision is made, media will be alerted immediately.'" (PageSix)



"Kanye West performed songs off his forthcoming album Good Ass Job in the cafeteria at Facebook yesterday, for some reason. He did them a capella, and with force. We're trying to figure out why this happened ... Kanye standing on a lunch table in a snugly fitted suit while all the Facebook employees hold out their camera-phones, trying to capture the lifestyle. There is also a sad-looking plant, which against all odds contributes considerably to the atmosphere." (Observer)



"Yesterday Steve McPherson (above), ABC's President of Entertainment, submitted his resignation. The shakeup took the media world by surprise last night. McPherson says he plans to start a new media company, and a 'new entrepreneurial venture in the spirits business.' In the TV news world, McPherson was known to be a vocal critic of 'Nightline' at 11:35 p.m., arguing that the time period should belong to the entertainment division of ABC, in order to better compete with 'The Tonight Show' and 'Late Show.' In 2008, when it looked like Jay Leno would become available once Conan O'Brien took over 'Tonight,' McPherson said that putting a comedy program at 11:35 was a 'huge possibility,' and that late night in general was 'a growth area for us.' Of course, the decision to move 'Nightline' to another slot would had to have come from Anne Sweeney, who oversees the Disney-ABC TV group, and to whom both McPherson and ABC News chief David Westin report. So will McPherson's apparent replacement, ABC Family president Paul Lee, fight as hard to bring 'Nightline''s time period to the entertainment side of the company? It is far too soon to tell, but if anyone could appreciate what 'Nightline' brings to ABC, it is Lee." (TVNewser)



"The man who made hits out of Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Modern Family has been shown the door. Vulture has confirmed that ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson is exiting his role overseeing both the Disney-owned network and its sister studio. Rumors about McPherson have become almost monthly occurrences around Hollywood, since he and his boss, Disney-ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney (above), have clashed from almost the moment they began working together in 2005. Nonetheless, Sweeney signed McPherson to a new multi-year agreement last year and elevated him to a new gig expanding his role to include oversight of the Disney TV studio. So why the change, particularly after a season that saw ABC launch a new night of comedy anchored by Modern Family, and grow Castle into a much-needed procedural hit? Look for plenty of spin over the next few hours and days, with 'personality clash' likely to be a very popular phrase attributed to sources close to the situation. Already, one outsider observer sums it up thusly: 'Anne Sweeney finally got her way.'" (NYMag)



"Out in East Hampton -- now a hike on the perpetual parking lot called Route 27 -- is a community bustling with commerce, and big SUVs and Mercedes and Bentleys and Broncos and Range Rovers lining the roads bumper to bumper. Movie stars live there. Movie directors. hedge fund owners, entrepreneurs, rich divorcees, tycoons and real estate moguls. It’s a microcosm of the American very rich at the beginning of the new millennium. Their Old Guard has mostly died off although the Newcomers are fast becoming third generation. And Big and More remains a player." (NYSocialDiary)

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