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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Every season, Jeremy Scott's show is a fan favorite, and whether he presents his line in New York, London, or Paris, big names come out in droves to see his witty, conceptual collections. The media went wild at the sight of today's front row -- and I temporarily went blind on account of the blazing flashbulbs -- which included Kelly Osbourne, Kanye West, Terrence Koh, and Solange Knowles. Punk classics by the Ramones blared while looks inspired by the underground NYC rock-and-roll scene of decades past came down the runway. There were pieces made of trash bags and crushed aluminum cans, tops that imitated plastic to-go bags (and read 'f**k you' instead of 'thank you'), grommets galore, and loads of leather -- barely-there chaps for the lads, and some awesome jackets and skirts for the ladies." (Papermag)



"In the shadow of the Holocaust, Israel made a determined effort to acquire nuclear weapons. However, just as fear of genocide is the key to understanding Israel's nuclear resolve, that fear has also encouraged nuclear restraint. After all, if Israel's enemies also acquired the bomb, the Jewish state might well face destruction, given its small size and high population density. Moreover, the specter of killing large numbers of innocent people, even to save their own, was morally unsettling for Israeli leaders. This combination of resolve and restraint led to a code of nuclear conduct that is fundamentally different from that of all other nuclear weapons states. Israel neither affirms nor denies its possession of nuclear weapons; indeed, the government refuses to say anything factual about Israel's nuclear activities, and Israeli citizens are encouraged, both by law and by custom, to follow suit. And so they do, primarily through government censorship of and self-censorship by the media. This posture is known as nuclear opacity, or, in Hebrew, amimut. The policy and practice of nuclear opacity was codified in 1969 in an extraordinary secret accord between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and U.S. President Richard Nixon. Although this agreement has never been openly acknowledged or documented, its existence was revealed in 1991 by the Israeli journalist Aluf Benn, and more information came out in some recently declassified memos regarding Nixon's 1969 meeting with Meir written by Nixon's national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. According to the Nixon-Meir pact, as long as Israel did not advertise its possession of nuclear weapons by publicly declaring or testing them, the United States would tolerate and shield Israel's nuclear program." (ForeignAffairs)



"Down at Michael’s so were the tables. Right next door at table 2 Peter Brown was lunching with Patti Boyd who will be remembered in Rock history as once the wife of George Harrison of the Beatles, and later the wife of Eric Clapton. For those of us of a certain generation, we’re talking icons of the newsprint. Across the room at another table was Harry Benson, the international photographer who came to America with the Beatles on their first trip here (1964?). Harry stayed, married an American girl and still lives on the upper East Side. He was lunching with Quest publisher Chris Meigher. Nearby: Somers Farkas with Grace DeNiro, Susan Gutfreund, Diana Taylor. Across the way: Herb Siegel with John Mack, ex-CEO of Morgan Stanley. On the other side: Joan Gelman; in the corner at table 4, Kirk and Ann Douglas with their daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones." (NYSocialDiary)



"Bravo's Top Chef ended a contentious season last night with a surprise win by a chef that many viewers believed to be all but out of the running, considering the fierceness of his competition. Perhaps due to the unexpected illness faced by Angelo Sosa, the jaw-dropping overconfidence of Ed Cotton, or his Singapore Sling-inspired dessert, contestant Kevin Sbraga sailed to victory ... The Washington, D.C.-set seventh season opener ranked as the lowest rated premiere in the series' history, next to the very first season. In its 9 p.m. Wednesday timeslot, viewership this season was off by an average of roughly half a million total viewers from Season 6. If the audience erosion weren't enough, the show—which last month became the first reality series to defeat six-time Emmy winner The Amazing Race—received flak from critics and viewers alike, who pointed at uncharismatic contestants, lackluster challenges, and some shaky editing ...So what happened? And are the show's executive producers—Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves — aware of the cacophony of audience criticism? The Daily Beast caught up with the pair for an exclusive interview, in which they talk about Kevin's victory, the language of reality television, culinary tourism, and the Justin Bieber concert film they're producing." (TheDailyBeast)



"For those of us who’ve been furiously running to eleven fashion shows a day, two hours in the dark with Woody Allen perhaps might be the ultimate cure for Fashion Week fatigue. The Cinema Society and BlackBerry Torch hosted a screening of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger at MoMA last night and the power crowd (Alec Baldwin, Adrien Brody, Courtney Love, Debbie Harry, Oliver Stone, and Sam Mendes, among many others) came to support Mr. Allen. 'I’ve just kind of pulled things from my closet,' smiled the legendary director of his suit. 'I’ve been wearing it from morning to night to do the press for this movie. Allegedly they tell me it’s worth doing so many interviews.' Adrian Grenier was just happy to be few feet away from Allen. 'He’s my New York legend,' he grinned. 'I’m one of those people that went to see him play jazz.'" (Fashionweekdaily)



"Reporters at the Deauville Film Festival in France -- where (Annette) Bening was promoting 'The Kids Are All Right,' the movie in which she plays a lesbian mother -- were shocked when organizers warned them not to ask the actress any questions about her family, and specifically about her husband, Warren Beatty. 'The blackout immediately amped up speculation by the press corps of an impending split,' said one journalist. Beatty has been notably absent as Bening has traveled the world promoting her latest film, which features a steamy Sapphic sex scene with Julianne Moore. The couple has barely been seen together except for a sighting at the Ago restaurant in LA on Aug. 7. The National Enquirer reported last month that Bening and Beatty are fighting and finger-pointing over their daughter, Kathlyn, 18, and her plans to have gender-reassignment surgery. Kathlyn, the eldest of four kids, allegedly has been living as a man for two years under the name Stephen Ira, and is now in college awaiting sex-change operations. The Enquirer reports Bening has agreed to pay for the surgery. 'Annette accepts that Kathlyn wants to surgically become a man, while Warren is still trying to come to terms with it,' a source allegedly told the weekly." (PageSix)



"The pattern is a familiar one. Purist conservative challengers in GOP primaries start out as asterisks in early polls, but in the final week or two, they surge to victory, as national tea party groups pump money and energy into low-turnout primaries. For the most part, these primary outcomes probably won’t matter. Yes, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson would have had an easier time holding the state’s Senate seat for Republicans in November than Rand Paul, but Paul is favored over state Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, so the GOP primary upset shouldn’t matter. The same goes for Alaska, where little-known attorney Joe Miller shocked Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary. Murkowski would have strolled to an easy re-election win, but with Democrats having their own weak Senate nominee, even Miller looks like a solid favorite. In Colorado, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton might well have been able to put together a broader general election coalition than Ken Buck, who defeated her in the GOP primary, but that isn’t guaranteed. Buck is in a tossup race against appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet , and he certainly has a chance in November. Maybe Norton would be better positioned for November, but it isn’t clear yet." (CQPolitics)



"Harvey Weinstein was all over the Toronto Film Festival this week acquiring three high-profile films in Dirty Girl and Submarine and Sarah's Key, and unveiling Oscar-buzzed The King Speech. But he probably didn't expect to be at the center of a deal for a film where he's the onscreen star. IFC has announced it acquired worldwide rights to Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, the Barry Avrich-directed and produced documentary narrated by Peter Fonda about the larger-than-life film mogul. It 'is a powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account that traces Weinstein's path from concert promoter on the cold streets of Buffalo to his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he arrived with one pair of pants and closed his first movie deal, to winning an Oscar, and breaking the bank with his first $100 million film,' IFC said. 'It examines his complex relationships with his brother, his staff, and the Hollywood community at large and features interviews with industry insiders and the Hollywood creative community.'" (Deadline)

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