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Friday, September 24, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Japanese prosecutors have decided to release the Chinese fishing captain, whose arrest two weeks ago near a chain of disputed islands led to the worst diplomatic dispute between the two countries in years. 'We have decided that further investigation while keeping the captain in custody would not be appropriate, considering the impact on the people of our country, as well as the Japan-China relations in the future,' said a representative of the Naha, Okinawa prosecutor's office. The case has not been officially closed. Earlier this week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao threatened 'further action' against Japan if the captain was not released, but Tokyo denies have any input on the prosecutors' decision. Japanese and Chinese leaders did not hold their customary meeting at the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that four Japanese nationals have been detained in China, on suspicion of violating a law concerning the security of military facilities. The four were in China working on a project to dispose of chemical weapons left in the country by the Japanese military at the end of World War II. China's trade ministry also denied media reports that it was curbing the export of rare earth metals to Japan." (ForeignPolicy)



"CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein is leaving the company, the network confirms. HLN chief Ken Jautz will replace Klein at the parent network, with CNN CMO Scott Safon taking over HLN. 'Jon has made important contributions to the CNN story, and he leaves with our respect and friendship, and with my sincere thanks,' wrote CNN Wordlwide president Jim Walton in a memo to employees his morning. 'The CNN I’m leaving today is demonstrably stronger than the one I inherited almost six years ago – both editorially and financially,' wrote Klein in a memo to staff. 'That is a tribute to your passion for telling stories that matter, your talent for uncovering the truth without layering on destructive bluster or partisan spin, and your willingness to indulge my appetite for innovation and change.'" (TvNewser)



"My final destination for the evening was the Quest 400 party at Doubles. This is an annual event that marks the appearance of Quest Magazine’s annual Quest 400 list, which is interpreted by some as a century later edition of Mrs. Astor’s original 400 list. It is also interpreted as others for what it is, an effective marketing curiosity that also articulates the New York social atmosphere ...I started this list sixteen or so years ago because I didn’t have anything to sell to Quest’s then-owner/publisher at the time, Heather Cohane for the next month’s issue ... Heather and I got down the shoe boxes one rainy afternoon and started going through the pictures of people we’d seen out and about. We started piling up images according to the number we had of each individual. If there were five of you, then you were on the List because that meant you got out and about where the swells were swelling. I’d arbitrarily decided that the “400” would be made up of those four hundred individuals whose pictures we had the most of, including members of the well-known prominent families, and those who were most often seen out at cocktail parties and charity events. Plus give or take a few local celebrities or New York fashion or finance legends, as well as a few heirs, heiresses and pretty girls." (NYSocialDiary)


"When institutions struggle to explain themselves it seems a reasonable bet they have outlived their purpose. Nato styles itself the world’s most successful defensive alliance. It has spent a year rethinking its mission statement. A rhetorical recasting of its ambitions is not enough to assure its future. For its first 40 years, Nato had no need of such thumb-sucking exercises. The Soviet tanks sitting the other side of the German plains spoke for themselves. Sure, there were big debates about deterrence and d├ętente, and heated arguments about short-range nuclear weapons. But everyone signed up to the proposition that Nato was the vital guarantor of security. During the past two decades the alliance has been a tougher sell. When the Berlin Wall came down, some thought it should pack up its tent and walk into the history books. Instead, the alliance extended its security to the former communist states. It expanded to 28 members and went to war to protect peace in the Balkans. The task is not yet complete, but the “Europe whole and free” of cold war aspiration has moved a lot closer. " (FT)



"And at the age of 40, Naomi Campbell shows no sign of fading from the spotlight just yet. In fact, she reckons the original 90s supermodels of her, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista still take some beating, despite the array of younger talent around today. The Streatham-born beauty said: "We're the original crew. We've still got it. 'My best moments over the 25 years have been with Kate, Claudia, the original girls. And boy did we have so much fun. We're still running things, we're still doing it." (Mirror)

"Who cares? Let me be more specific. Who, in their right mind, is eager to watch the new 'Idol' to discover a great musical star. Huh? That’s not why we watch 'Idol', it’s to see the clueless wannabes skewered by Simon. Simon. He’s the star of 'Idol'. Sure, they replaced Dave in Van Halen, but the real star is Eddie, without him Dave and Sammy are journeymen. But at least Dave’s got talent. If you saw him do 'Ice Cream Man' on the last VH tour, you know it, you were converted. And he has attitude. He created a whole persona which worked on stage. But not on the radio. Gladwell told me you get credit for your 10,000 hours in one field if you venture into another, it’s not like you start completely over, but you don’t emerge fully-formed at the head of the class! In other words, given years of work, maybe Diamond Dave could be a great broadcaster, he’s got the gift of gab, but his expertise is on the stage. Like Steven Tyler’s. Steven Tyler is one of the few rock stars who lives up to the image. He’s left messages on my answering machine that I’ve played back for years… When I asked him what he was doing in the studio at 10 AM, long before I was awake, Tyler told me HE THREW OUT THE ROCK STAR MANUAL YEARS AGO!" (LefsetzLetter)



"Endangered House Democrats have to get out of town now -- and not stick around for votes on tax cuts -- if they are going to save their seats, retiring Blue Dog Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) told Democrats at a Caucus meeting Thursday morning. Tanner, the dean of House moderates who is not seeking a 12th term this fall, told the Caucus that he was speaking for Members who could not speak for themselves, according to a Democratic aide. Given 'the Senate's inability to come to grips with anything,' Tanner later told CQ Politics, House leaders should punt on the debate until after the elections. Democrats have been wrestling with whether and how to pass an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, set to expire at the end of the year. 'I think probably the best thing to do now is just go home,' Tanner said. 'None of this that I've heard has any more urgency now than it would in November when we come back.' A sympathetic Democratic aide said the question now is whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) takes Tanner's advice. 'Is she going to let people go home or is she going to keep us here to take a tax cut vote that's really stupid?' the aide asked." (CQPolitics)



"On Thursday, House Republicans released their 'Pledge to America,' supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals. True, the document talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — 'except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.' In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits. So what’s left? Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: 'No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.' The 'pledge,' then, is nonsense." (Krugman)



"The latest wrinkle is to get married a second time, or to renew one’s vows, as the toe curling invite tells us. One lady who appears in an even more embarrassing TV show, The Real Housewives of New York City, announced that everyone cried in her vow renewal ceremony. 'Every single person present cried,' she insisted. Knowing the bloody woman as I do, I will bet one million greenbacks that the bus boys serving cried for different reasons, as she’s the lousiest tipper I know." (Takimag)


"Two down, two to go. New York fashion week ended last Thursday and as usual, there was a little under 24 hours before London Fashion week began. Its so funny to go to the airport and see every model, stylist and editor you can imagine, all cramming onto flights from NY to the UK. I spent a few days in London and did few shows there but I had to leave early this morning to head to Berlin for a job. I'll be here in Germany for a little over a day followed by Budapest for another job followed by.... Milan and Paris Fashion weeks!!Yeah I know, it's a crazy month! ... This season I have James traveling with me for the first time, which is lovely. Going from city to city it can get a little lonely in this industry, so its nice to share this with him. We bought a new digital camera not long back and so James is also documenting everything we do. He actually came and hung out for the amazing Fashions Night Out Show Vogue put on 2 weeks ago and he got some pretty unprecedented backstage access and video." (CocoRocha)


(Rocco Barocco and Rosario Dawson)

"How much does Rosario Dawson love Rocco Borroco? A lot, it turns out. The brand paid the actress a nice little fee to come to Milan and attend their cocktail party and presentation, and then pose in front of shutterbugs for few hours while going in and out of changing rooms at the brand’s store. You gotta earn that cash!" (Fashionweekdaily)



"Some of the defining images of the 20th century, including one of Andy Warhol’s famous multicolour prints of Marilyn Monroe, go on display in the capital today in the first glimpse of works owned by a renowned New York art dealer. Warhol is one of six American artists whose work was unveiled at Manarat al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island last night at the world’s first exhibition of contemporary masterpieces from Larry Gagosian’s private collection. Four Marilyns (1962) and Crushed Campbell’s Soup Can (1962) are some of the collection’s most recognisable pieces, which join the works of Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly and Christopher Wool in the exhibition, called RSTW after their surnames’ initials. 'It is the first time I’ve opened up my home to show my personal collection of artwork that I hold dear to my heart,' said Mr Gagosian, who was invited to show the 72 works by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC). Mr Gagosian, who has been collecting art for more than 25 years, said he was 'curious' about the reaction of visitors to his first showing in the Middle East. 'There will be people who like it and some who won’t. And there will be people who will finally put a name to a piece they have seen somewhere before,' he said. 'Manarat al Saadiyat represents a beacon for Abu Dhabi’s emerging contemporary scene, and the efforts being made by the emirate to deliver a ground-breaking cultural district is a testament to the leadership’s understanding of the importance of art,' Mr Gagosian said." (TheNational)


"So I’m becoming an adult I guess. Since moving to America nearly four months ago I’ve gotten a bank account, a phone that turns on without the assistance of a safety pin and a hammer, and... get ready, an apartment! I’m officially un-homeless. Weird! This whole process of growing up has been a weird mix of excitement and apprehension. For starters, I paid my first rent check OF MY LIFE the other day, which I guess is sort of impressive considering I’m almost twenty-five. It was strange; after living in the squatter mindset for so long, the idea of paying rent is so alien to me that I actually began laughing out loud when writing the check. My landlord found this amusing. Then immediately afterward I got a horrible stomach ache, realizing that though it’s nice to have a home or whatever, in reality Im pretty poor (who isn’t?) and I might struggle to pay New York’s extortionate rent prices. However, I must be in someone’s good books because this morning, in the height of my panic, I received an an email from my slave offering to pay my rent. In my last post I expressed my slight anxiety toward being bought gifts by the slave without giving him anything in return. I’m over that now." (Karley Sciortino)

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