blog advertising is good for you

Monday, August 02, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"SIDNEY HARMAN, husband of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), is the GALLOPING FRONTRUNNER to buy Newsweek from The Washington Post Company and an announcement is IMMINENT, top sources tell Playbook. Donald E. Graham, chairman of the board, is personally deciding the winning bid for the family jewel, and has concluded that Dr. Harman would provide more continuity than either of the other two remaining competing bids, according to a family friend familiar with his thinking. The sources warn that no deal like this is done until it’s done. But Harman won over Graham by pledging to retain the majority of Newsweek’s 350 employees. The magazine’s print edition will continue, and Harman’s politics are safely centrist. The N.Y. Times’ Jeremy W. Peters reported last week that the company was 'closely examining' Harman’s offer. And it turns out that Graham liked what he saw. But the decision was as much about optics as it was about numbers-crunching. The other two finalists are New Yorkers: Marc Lasry, an influential Democratic donor who heads Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund where Chelsea Clinton worked; and Fred Drasner, former part owner of the Washington Redskins and former co-publisher of the New York Daily News. Dr. Harman struck Graham as the most palatable --or 'clubbable,' as they used to say. He plans no radical change in journalistic or business direction (though staff changes are possible), and is ideologically moderate." (Politico)



"Last week, I’m told, a buff young guy in a red baseball hat was working out as usual at a private gym on Manhattan’s East Side when a guy just like him in a red baseball hat appeared on the TV screen, intercut with images of the former president of the United States, the current secretary of State, and their shyly smiling daughter. The guy didn’t just look like him—it was him. Seeing himself, his soon-to-be-wife, and his future in-laws, Marc Mezvinsky said incredulously, 'Can you fucking believe it?' ... A couple of weeks ago, when I saw a report that Oprah and Steven Spielberg were on the guest list, I thought: Uh-oh. Were the Clintons caving in to the celebrity-wedding lobby? Were we fated to see Donald Trump’s quivering coif looming over the reception or—please God, no—that egregious White House FOB from Lincoln Bedroom days, Barbra Streisand, alighting from a limo? The answer is no. Not a single Hollywood celeb, elected official, or media star was at the wedding. OK, Mary Steenburgen and her husband Ted Danson were there—but Mary is an old, old kitchen-table family friend from Bill’s first governorship in Arkansas. She often traveled with Hillary on her plane when she was running for president. There are many reasons why this post-presidential family affair in a rented Rhinebeck mansion gave off the best of vibes despite so many outside pressures to turn it into a royal (at best) or Hollywood (at worst) extravaganza. First, it’s clear that Chelsea Clinton is a parenting triumph. This 30-year-old is smart, serious, composed, and devoted. Though an only child, she has fit in seamlessly with her new husband’s sprawling, multiracial family that includes one adopted Korean brother and four other Vietnamese siblings, two of whom were best men at the wedding. She has achieved this healthy adaptability despite being raised by two driven, world-famous parents whose worst marital crisis, erupting just as she enrolled at Stanford, spilled onto the global stage in the rawest, most embarrassing manner possible." (Tina Brown)



"IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase. More fundamentally, Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy. Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes. This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals." (David Stockman/ former Chair of Reagan's OMB/ NYTimes)



"Show me a journalist of Christopher Hitchens’s generation on either side of the Atlantic who has not sometimes read his writing with an envious 'Wow,' and I’ll show you a journalistic dull dog who has no passion for complicated times, no taste for danger, no ardor for an unpopular cause and, most important of the lot, no flair for the English language, potently, provocatively and sometimes promiscuously deployed. I’ll show you, in short, someone whose journalism is to that of Hitchens almost what the phone directory is to the novels of Dickens. The evasive word in that paragraph, of course, is 'sometimes.' Hitchens is certainly a star writer. But he is not a star by whom others should set their own course. There are things about Hitchens that I have always envied and still do. They include his self-confidence, his bravery, his ability to talk as an equal to peasant and president alike, his sense of humour, his audacious phrasemaking and, in an odd way, his capacity for implacable hatreds I can never share." (Democracy)



"Between speeches, there are quorum calls, time killers in which a Senate clerk calls the roll at the rate of one name every few minutes. The press gallery, above the dais, is typically deserted, as journalists prefer to hunker down in the press lounge, surfing the Web for analysis of current Senate negotiations; television screens alert them if something of interest actually happens in the chamber. The only people who pay attention to a speech are the Senate stenographers. On this afternoon, two portly bald men in suits stood facing the speaker from a few feet away, tapping at the transcription machines, which resembled nineteenth-century cash registers, slung around their necks. The Senate chamber is an intimate room where men and women go to talk to themselves for the record. Like many other aspects of senatorial procedure, Rule XXVI, Paragraph 5 is a relic from the days when senators had to hover around their desks to know what was happening on the floor during the main afternoon debate. (The desks, some built as long ago as 1819, are mahogany, and their lids lift up, like those in an old schoolhouse; the desks of the Majority and Minority Leader are still equipped with brass spittoons.) In the press lounge, (Senator Claire) McCaskill said, with light sarcasm, 'Somebody told me the rule is to make sure people pay attention to what’s happening on the floor during debate and not be distracted by committee work. Clearly, it’s an old rule.' The Republicans had turned this old rule into a new means of obstruction." (TheNewYorker)



"Meanwhile, every year, for the past thirty-seven, author/composer/performer Christopher Cerf teaches a six week crash course training men and women for careers as editors, literary agents, publishers, designers, publicists and more. Its graduates have long found jobs at major magazines and publishing houses across the country. Mr. Cerf, besides being an industrious creative-type, is also a natural bon vivant with a welcome hand at the keyboard so that there are few parties he throws where song and fest don’t meet so sweetly. The pictures capture the natural state of affairs." (NYSocialDiary)



"Lawyers for Liberian ex-president Charles Taylor want to delay supermodel Naomi Campbell's testimony, set for Thursday, about a "blood diamond" he allegedly gave her, court papers showed. 'The defence respectfully requests the trial chamber to stay the hearing of the evidence of Naomi Campbell, scheduled for August 5, 2010, until such time as the prosecution would have obtained and disclosed to the defence a statement of Naomi Campbell's anticipated evidence,' a defence motion said. Claiming that prosecutors have committed a breach of duty by not providing such a statement, the motion, dated last Friday, said this violated Taylor's right to a fair trial. 'The prosecution has chosen simply to speculate as to the content of her anticipated testimony, thus keeping the accused in the dark.' Taylor, 62, has been on trial in The Hague since 2008 for his alleged role in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone, accused of arming rebels there in return for illegally mined diamonds. He has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Campbell is due to testify on Thursday about claims by her former agent Carole White and actress Mia Farrow that she was given a diamond by Taylor after a celebrity dinner hosted by then South African president Nelson Mandela in September 1997." (AFP)



"Steve Levitan, 47, is known for creating the TV series Just Shoot Me! Stark Raving Mad, Stacked, Back to You, with varying degrees of success. He's also known for being highly vocal in his displeasure with the networks (like NBC and Fox) at times. And, in the words of one producer, 'for being the only Jew in Hollywood who wears a 44 long'. But the veteran writer/producer -- who won an Emmy Award as executive producer of Frasier and has written for the Larry Sanders Show, Men Behaving Badly, The Wonder Years and other comedy shows -- is now a happy guy at the helm ABC’s Wednesday night sitcom hit Modern Family, which he co-runs with Chris Lloyd. While he has some strong feelings about the state of the TV industry, he admits in this Showrunner Q&A with Deadline contributor Diane Haithman -- done before Modern Family was nominated for Emmys -- that these days he’s finding it pretty hard to complain..." (Deadline)



"Three new intruders couldn't keep fans away from Leonardo DiCaprio's hit thriller Inception which captured the number one spot in North America for the third straight time. Among new releases, the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy Dinner for Schmucks delivered a good opening in the runnerup spot while the 3D family film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and the teen melodrama Charlie St. Cloud both disappointed in their debuts. Christopher Nolan's mind games on moviegoers continued with Inception pulling in an estimated $27.5M in its third weekend to rule the box office once again. The Warner Bros. sensation dropped only 36% and boosted its 17-day total to a stellar $193.3M with the $200M barrier set to fall on Tuesday in its 19th day of release. The average was a solid $7,763 from 3,545 sites with 247 theaters being shed. It was only the third new release of the year to threepeat following Alice in Wonderland and Shrek Forever After, and the first 2D film to do so since 2008's Tropic Thunder which followed the four-week reign of Nolan's last film The Dark Knight." (BoxOfficeGuru)



"Alicia Keys wed producer Swizz Beatz in a private villa in Corsica on Saturday. The pregnant 29-year-old singer wore a stunning Grecian-inspired Vera Wang dress and carried a bouquet of purple lilies, while 31-year-old Bronxborn Beatz — whose real name is Kasseem Dean — wore a classic Tom Ford tuxedo. Her rep confirmed: 'Close friends and family surrounded the happy couple, as Dr. Deepak Chopra presided over the intimate ceremony.' Guests reportedly included Bono and Queen Latifah. Keys and the producer have been together since late 2008, and she is due to give birth in November." (PageSix)



"(Scott) Brown’s victory in a closely watched special election in January to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) immediately thrust the obscure state Senator into the national spotlight. Despite Massachusetts’ strong Democratic leanings, Brown campaigned as a fairly conventional conservative. His electoral success made him a hero in the GOP and served as a motivator for Republican candidates across the country. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) adopted the mantra, 'If it can happen in Massachusetts, it can happen anywhere,' in his recruiting pitch to prospective Senate candidates. Brown’s win also boosted fundraising, GOP enthusiasm and recruitment for House Republicans. Brown has subsequently become one of the most sought-after Republicans on the campaign and fundraising circuits. In an interview, Cornyn described Brown as among his most valuable political assets in the GOP’s bid to flip the 10 Democratic-held Senate seats needed to regain control of the chamber. Republican gains of some sort appear likely at this point, but the GOP’s road to the majority runs mainly through Democratic-leaning and swing states, which makes Brown particularly useful. 'I think he showed us the way to win in this election, and that is to talk about things people care most about,' Cornyn said. 'He’s a very skillful campaigner, very disciplined, and I think he cracked the code.' 'Scott’s been very, very helpful,' the chairman continued. 'Obviously, he’s a valuable attraction to a lot of people because of his celebrity.' One Republican source said Brown plans to campaign for GOP candidates wherever the NRSC finds him useful this fall." (CQPolitics)



"'I really hope Steven (Klein) comes out to party,' smiled Italo Zucchelli as he surveyed the scene at the photographer’s sumptuous Hamptons residence on Saturday night. 'He’s definitely the man of mystery!' Klein, of course, hosted ACRIA's annual summer benefit along with Calvin Klein Collection and Vanity Fair. And those familiar with his fortress know that it’s so big that the photog could probably sleep soundly at night while 300 revelers drink and party in his yard. In fact, it takes a steady strem of ultra-efficient golf cart taxis to transport guests from the gates of West Kill Farm to its beautiful garden that hosted the bash. Daphne Guiness is familiar with every inch of the property. 'I’m lucky enough to call this my second home,' she said, knawing on several pieces of Nicorette. 'I’m not sure I can ride horses in these McQueens, but I can pretty much do anything else with them.' She proceeded to dance to George Michael with Francisco Costa in her astronomically high heels, which she followed with several ankle rolls and other foot-based exercises." (Fashionweekdaily)

No comments: