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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Delaware’s Republican primary may well have lulled Democrats into a sense of complacency about their ability to hold the Senate after November’s elections. They would be wise to wake up if they want to avoid a nasty surprise on election night. Tea party activists did indeed do Democrats a huge favor in selecting Christine O’Donnell (R) to oppose New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) in the fall. Yes, Coons is an unabashed liberal, and he almost certainly would have fallen to Rep. Michael N. Castle (R) in an election cycle when voters are dissatisfied with Democratic governance and focused on issues such as spending and big government. But most voters don’t care about ideology, and O’Donnell’s worldview and agenda simply do not fit Delaware. Smart Republicans know they will win if the 2010 elections are about Democrats, not about the Republican candidate’s background or ideology. Tea party activists apparently don’t get that, even though it isn’t a complicated idea. O’Donnell’s primary victory notwithstanding, Republicans are still headed for major Senate gains, and a 10-seat gain isn’t impossible. With a month to go until Nov. 2, Republicans have a clear advantage in five seats held by Democrats, with another five seats still in play." (CQPolitics)




"Ever since the NBC Universal-Comcast merger was announced last year, the obnoxious Lauren Zalaznick has been lobbying for a bigger role within the combined company. And, in the process, she's made a pest of herself from what I hear. The president of NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks oversees Bravo, Oxygen, and iVillage, and has indicated not very subtlely that a small addition to her current portfolio, such as Comcast’s Style Network, won’t cut it. She's also threatening to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Sources tell Deadline that Zalaznick took meetings recently with Viacom president/CEO Philippe Dauman and top Viacom cable executives execs including Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music /Films /Logo Group. Though these meetings have been described to Deadline as only exploratory, Zalaznick is trying to make Comcast & NBCU believe she's being eyed for Judy McGrath’s job as chairman/CEO of MTV Networks. Interesting that, last December, Zalaznick was so worried there'd be no upward mobility for her post-merger that she floated speculation she was in advanced talks to take Brian Graden's job as MTV President of Entertainment running MTV and VH1. Didn't happen. The problem for Zalaznick is that her persistent maneuvering is hurting her, not helping her. Meanwhile, Bonnie Hammer is sitting pretty on NBCU's golden egg, overseeing the company’s most lucrative assets: USA Networks, SyFy, and their in-house studio that produces most of the channels’ series." (Deadline)



(image via NYSD)

"It started down at the Metropolitan Club where there was a luncheon for the Henry A. Grunwald Award For Public Service and benefiting Lighthouse International. This year’s recipient was The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York. This is an annual luncheon that was started nine years ago when Mr. Grunwald (who died in 2005), the legendary Time Magazine editor and Ambassador to Vienna (his hometown), then in his eighties, was suffering from macular degeneration and became involved with the Lighthouse. His experience with the Lighthouse inspired him and his wife Louise to 'do something' to help the cause. They succeeded with this reporter and no doubt thousands of others. We became aware of sight impairment and how it affects all of us, or can affect all of us, and the great work the Lighthouse does to assist the millions and millions of us who do, including those of us who have little to no sight. Henry wrote a book about it as the issue began to threaten to dominate his life. It was called 'Losing Sight, Gaining Insight,' and it’s a bit of wisdom that is helpful to any of us anytime. I only knew the man, and then again very briefly, at the end of his life. His wife Louise is one of the most talented hostesses in New York. Her guest list, her menu, the conversation and pleasure of everyone’s company are impeccable. And rare." (NYSocialDiary)



"Who doesn't love a little lunch at the ultra-glamorous Four Seasons? A small but chic group of ladies (and a few men like myself and Jonathan Zrihen, president and CEO of Clarins Group USA) invaded the super masculine bastion of chic yesterday to celebrate Womanity, the delicious new sweet and savory fragrance from Thierry Mugler. Angel is another of Mugler's scents---and it's a worldwide legend---so these folks know a thing or two about the juice! The crowd was an uptown-downtown mix of power ladies. Paper's own Kim Hastreiter kicked things off with a toast to Womanity and the creative powerful women who came together to celebrate it. Iris Apfel was asking Houston-native Alison Sarofim for suggestions of Texas museums that could host the traveling show of Iris' collection of clothing and accessories. DJs Jauretsi and Ultragrrrl chatted with fashion designers Elise Øverland and Julia Leach, former creative director of Kate Spade who's recently launched her own clothing company, Chance. Stylist Lori Goldstein wore some of the pieces from her collaboration with Fred Leighton and chatted with Harlem's chicest hostess, Bevy Smith." (Fashionweekdaily)



"Morocco is fertile ground for fashion—Alber Elbaz was born in Casablanca, Yves Saint Laurent had a long, intense romance with Marrakech—and now the country's tourism promoters are going all-out to seed the place with stylish visitors. To that end, they threw a lavish dinner in New York last night to celebrate the Red City, as Marrakech is known on account of its distinctively colored walls, and invited the likes of Wes Anderson, Joan Juliet Buck, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and Marchesa's Keren Craig. It was Morocco in Manhattan: A sprinkling of rose petals led the way through the transformed Skylight Studios on Hudson Street into a pair of cocktail lounges, past silver tea sets, clay tagines, scented candles, and multicolored babouches. During dinner, Hassan Hakmoun and his fellow musicians performed songs with a trancelike rhythm. Maybe the most impressive sell of all, though, came courtesy of Anjelica Huston, who co-hosted the affair with Alan Cumming. 'You eat very well, you stay at the Mamounia, you go and visit the various gardens, and you watch some belly dancing,' she said, happily enumerating some of Marrakech's charms. 'It's very exotic.' She also pointed out that her father, John, had made one of his best films, The Man Who Would Be King, in the country." (Style)



"When members of U.S. Congress retire, they often wind up on K Street, lobbying their successors on behalf of corporate clients and foreign governments. A handful chooses a less lucrative path, and few with as much distinction and influence as Lee Hamilton, who served 17 terms in the House of Representatives representing Indiana during a period that spans from the early days of the Vietnam War to the fall of the Soviet Union to the Gulf War to U.S. interventions in the former Yugoslavia. Hamilton, 79, is stepping down this fall after 12 years heading the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and is going home to Indiana, where he directs Indiana University's Center on Congress. He will not entirely disappear from Washington; he remains on several panels, including President Barack Obama's intelligence advisory board and an Energy Department commission on nuclear waste. Hamilton also keeps ties to half a dozen senior administration officials, including Obama's chief foreign-policy speechwriter, Ben Rhodes, and the chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Christopher Kojm. All got their start as Hamilton staffers at the Wilson Center or on what was once called the House International Relations Committee, where Hamilton served for more than three decades. In an interview Sept. 28 in his spacious eighth-floor office in the mammoth Ronald Reagan Building, Hamilton downplayed his influence. Although he hosted foreign-policy soirees for Obama during the 2008 campaign and presidential transition and was on the shortlist for secretary of state, Hamilton said he is not now 'a close intimate advisor' of the president, but does 'see some of his staff fairly regularly.'" (ForeignPolicy)

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