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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited some interesting spots over the July 4 weekend. Her itinerary included Poland and Ukraine, both intriguing choices in light of the recent Obama-Medvedev talks in Washington. But she also traveled to a region that has not been on the American radar screen much in the last two years — namely, the Caucasus — visiting Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The stop in Poland coincided with the signing of a new agreement on ballistic missile defense and was designed to sustain U.S.-Polish relations in the face of the German-Russian discussions we have discussed. The stop in Ukraine was meant simply to show the flag in a country rapidly moving into the Russian orbit. In both cases, the trip was about the Russians. Regardless of how warm the atmospherics are between the United States and Russia, the fact is that the Russians are continuing to rebuild their regional influence and are taking advantage of European disequilibrium to build new relationships there, too. The United States, still focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, has limited surplus capacity to apply to resisting the Russians. No amount of atmospherics can hide that fact, certainly not from the Poles or the Ukrainians." (STRATFOR)



"Chelsea Clinton was at the Astor Place Starbucks yesterday morning in jogging clothes, drinking iced coffee and Smart Water, texting and talking on her BlackBerry about her upcoming wedding. 'Chelsea had a huge rock on her finger and was reading a book by Donna Leon,' said our spy, who sadly couldn't overhear details. Democrats are dying to know who will be among the 400 guests at the July 31 nuptials in Rhinebeck. 'This is the closest Americans get to a royal wedding," noted one Dem who won't be invited." (PageSix)



(image via NYSD)

"The word is Chelsea Clinton will marry her fiancé Mark Mezvinsky, on the 31st of this month in Rhinebeck, New York at what is called the Astor Courts on the old Astor estate Ferncliff Farm (later Ferncliff) ... The property, in Rhinebeck, overlooking the Hudson, was purchased in the middle of the 19th century by young William Backhouse Astor Jr. Mr. Astor, newly married to Caroline Webster Schermerhorn was drawn to the area for its beauty as well as its ancestral heritage." (NYSocialDiary)



"I used to write regularly about Mykonos as I would sail over from Athens every chance I got. I used to bring the Greek karate team over on my boat as the boys needed rest and recreation after our exertions on the mainland, and although I say so myself, we never lost a fight in a club throughout the 70s and 80s ... This is the second visit to Mykonos on Bushido, which I built in 2004. The first time I fell over in the dark onto two men engaged in you-know-what I swore at them, but they turned out to be two Russians sleeping al-fresco who did not take kindly to my insults. This time I’m over for my friend George Embirikos’s 50th birthday party which was held over three days—nights rather. Many of the 150 some guests came over on their boats, which the dreaded Meltemi—a wind that has been known to rip the horns off cuckolds—has forced into Ornos Bay, turning that particular cove into a tax collector’s wet dream. While government choppers have been hovering above photographing expensive houses with large swimming pools whose owners have declared tiny incomes, some wise guy inspector decided to shoot two birds with one cartridge and took pictures of yachts to boot. It got so bad that some of us decided our host must be a government informant. Still, I had a grand time, beating my record of 18 vodkas with ice and cranberry juice for the evening, and not a hint of a hangover the next day because of the Rubirosa rule of 'Todo Liquido.' Which means do not mix your drinks and do not ingest any food, not even one hors d’oeuvres." (Takimag)



"WHAT: 'Baby I'm a Star' presents the release of Kelis's new album, Fleshtone ... WHEN: July 7 ... WHERE: RDV, New York ... WHO: Kelis, Legendary Damon, DJ MOS, DJ Kiss, DJ Rashida, B.J. Coleman" (Papermag)



"One day there will be a book called 'The Collected Legal Works of Gawker Media,' said Gaby Darbyshire, the company's 39-year-old COO and head lawyer ... 'Gawker has had to tread a line between buccaneering journalism and recklessness,' said Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker Media. 'Gaby's the one that maintains that balance.' Or, in other words, she's the person who has to go in and defend Gawker's rowdy band of pirates when someone believes they have crossed the line. Virtually all editors who have worked with the site agree that she's very good at her very busy job, which is not just limited to being the head counsel. She is a sort of everywoman at Gawker, wearing hats that include overseeing law, finance, business development, the 401(k) deals, HR issues, maternity leave policy (which, as a testament to Gawker growing bigger and bigger, now needs to be drafted)-almost anything that is money-related and doesn't deal with editorial or advertising." (Observer)



"The Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, is the epicenter of schmoozing in the technology and media industries this week. The annual confab draws top investors, moguls and start-up executives to the resort town, where they mix serious business with casual activities like bike riding and barbecue ... a look at what happens when billionaires get together and relax." (WSJ)



"Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the fans of True Blood and Dexter. I’m happy for HBO and Showtime, too. I’m not surprised Sons of Anarchy didn’t get a best drama nod (or any other nod at all for that matter), I am a bit surprised that True Blood was nominated for Outstanding Drama. Given the Emmy voter inertia, Dexter being nominated for Outstanding Drama is no surprise. Opinions on these things are of course subjective. I enjoyed the heck out of the second season of True Blood for the most part, and found it both fun and compelling television. Art, I’m not sure about that — but I still enjoyed it. I’m surprised it got a best drama shout out ... I still haven’t sniffed the Breaking Bad glue, perhaps a summer project. I watched and liked The Good Wife. But, it’s no Sons of Anarchy. The SOA snub for best drama would be easier to take if it would have gotten some other nomination(s). But it was shutout and it’s hard not to view that as a ridiculous snub." (TVBytheNumbers)



"The United States has become accustomed to its hegemonic military presence in the greater Middle East. The U.S.-led international coalition against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990 led to a massive increase in America's direct military presence in the Gulf. Its military presence accelerated after the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, U.S. forces are deployed all the way from the Sinai desert through the Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, as well as Afghanistan. While the U.S. has come to take its unchallenged military primacy in the Middle East for granted, key Asian countries -- especially India, China, Japan and South Korea -- have also increased their Middle East presence. The U.S. shouldn't view this as a threat but rather an opportunity for greater cooperation on a wide spectrum of growing security concerns. The signs of Asia's push into the Gulf can be seen everywhere. All around the Arabian Gulf, hotels, banks, schools, and shopping centers are managed by Asian expatriate workers, who also provide most of the region's manual labor. Without Asian labor, the oil-rich economies of the Gulf would collapse." (ForeignPolicy)

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