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Monday, September 27, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"If you’re Bill Keller, say, or Tina Brown—whose Daily Beast gets one-tenth of Gawker Media’s readership on a good month—it’s much easier to view (Nick) Denton as an upstart thug from nowhere, as opposed to an equal who’s kicking your ass. That plays directly into Denton’s strategy: Thuggish is the reputation he wants. 'If I am a cornerstone of the new Establishment, then there is no new Establishment worth talking about,' he says. 'The only interesting people are on the West Coast,' he adds, then launches into a series of classic shameless Gawker riffs on the old New York media titans. 'People used to quake when Barry Diller picked up the phone. Now he’s laughable. That image of (Rupert) Murdoch dyeing his hair in the sink is indelible—though the coloring may not be. Sumner Redstone would only be of interest to Gawker readers if he were to soil his adult diapers—on-camera. But the hard truth is that the golden age of New York media is largely over.” (NYMag)



"When I started writing the New York Social Diary about fifteen years ago, the subject at hand was where people were going out (to charity galas) and what life was like for them in their leisure (Palm Beach, Southampton, etc.). In other words, affairs, divorces, scandals, tiffs, riffs and cliffs. Fifteen years ago there was also the wake of the Nouvelle Society of the 80s, and before that the Kennedy years, and the New York Society years that came before that. In other words, the people were about their lives. In the past ten years, many of these same people or people who are identified with them as “the elite,” the “socialites,” the 'society people,' 'the rich,' became lives about business. Money. Scandals, of course; affairs, of course, divorce, of course. But business, money, everything. The most popular venue for a cocktail party get together in New York today is in a store. Often a store on Madison Avenue, incidentally. That’s the way it is. A store promoting its good to sell. This is simply evolution." (NYSocialDiary)


"After the dust settles from November, another election will begin with consequences nearly as big. Once it's clear who will have a majority in the House and Senate next year, party members will begin fighting for the committee chairmanships. Although little followed outside of Washington, these positions give lawmakers huge say over how and when the federal government spends its money, what issues Congress investigates and how legislation is written. Jockeying for these plum positions can begin well before elections. Pennsylvania Democrat Chaka Fattah announced his intention to seek the House Appropriations chairmanship after Wisconsin Rep. David R. Obey announced his retirement from Congress in May. Fattah currently ranks 21st in seniority compared to Norm Dicks of Washington, who is next in line for the position—and favored to win if the Democrats retain the majority. Such a challenge wouldn't have been permissible 40 years ago, but the rules governing the chairmanship election process have been in near-constant flux since the 1970s." (CQPolitics)



"As far back as a year ago this October, I first reported that Comcast Corp COO/No. 2 Steve Burke would be running NBC Universal and replacing Jeff Zucker. And in November I explained that, because Burke would have his hands full there, Neil Smits from Charter Communication had been hired to assume Burke's Comcast Cable Communications responsibilities. So today's announcement is more than year old news to regular readers of Deadline Hollywood. Still, today's official announcement really hits Zucker where it hurts coming just 2 1/2 weeks after he was shitcanned by Burke. Zucker on Friday decided to reveal his firing because he'd just finished negotiating his severance package. He sent an email to NBCU staff and told reporters Burke had made it clear that Comcast wanted to move on at the close of the deal so Zucker had to move off the top job." (Deadline)



"While "The Social Network" star Jesse Eisenberg slipped out the back stairway, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had no fear walking into the Harvard club to celebrate the film that exposed the uglier side of the creation of Facebook. 'We conducted ourselves appropriately, so we weren't concerned,' said Cameron, whose lawsuit against Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was depicted in the film. One aspect film producers didn't get right, according to the twins, was just how rude White House economic adviser Larry Summers was when they asked for help in dealing with Zuckerberg. 'Let's just say he isn't the most diplomatic person,' Cameron told us of their meeting with the then Harvard president. 'We went in there feeling bad and coming out much worse.' On the other side of the party, Sony CEO Howard Stringer was twice bombarded by an excessively surgerized Faye Dunaway in a wide-brimmed hat with dark hair. The star begged him to ask director David Fincher to watch her trailer for Sony Classics. 'I'm stalking him. Please ask him to see the trailer,' Dunaway said." (PageSix)

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