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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition is headed for a major transition after the November elections, with the retirement of key founding member Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and many of the group’s remaining members under siege. 'We don’t know what the leadership positions will be like, because we don’t know the outcome of the election,' said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), a senior Blue Dog who said the group could conceivably lose half of its 54 members in a Republican wave. With Tanner’s absence, the role of elder statesman appears likely to fall to Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), who is respected for his political, policy and fundraising chops among the Blue Dog rank and file. Boyd is also close to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who has long courted the group, formed by centrist Democrats in the aftermath of the 1994 Republican takeover. Senior Democratic aides also point to Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), the lead spokesman for the group and someone expected to win re-election, as a rising star, along with Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), the Blue Dog whip, and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), the co-chairwoman for administration who faces a stiff challenge this cycle. 'I think Boyd and Tanner are already co-senior statesmen, and then there is everyone else,' one senior aide said." (CQPolitics)


"Last Wednesday night, Page Six reporter Emily Smith was at the club Provocateur in the meatpacking district at a party for the season finale of The Spin Crowd, an E! network reality show produced by Kim Kardashian. Ms. Kardashian came and left quickly, and Ms. Smith talked briefly with the club's owner about its alleged restrictions against short women, mentioned in a Page Six item the day before. Ms. Smith is about 5 feet tall. After a brief stop at another event nearby, Ms. Smith made her way to the Gansevoort Park Avenue, where Chris Brown was at a party for a new line of Swatch watches. She arrived late—and was rebuffed at the door. 'She just said, Come on, can you let us in? She didn't say, 'I'm with Page Six,' according to Alan Rish, a publicist who was out with her that night. What Mr. Rish didn't know — and what nobody at the Gansevoort is going to let that doorman soon forget — is that a few hours earlier, Ms. Smith was let in on the biggest scoop of her career: She learned she would be taking over Page Six, the Post's gossip flagship, from Richard Johnson, its longtime patriarch. The ascension of a relatively unknown Fleet Street vet to one of Manhattan's loftiest social perches had the makings of a vintage Page Six item—the sexy outsider, the mysterious future for her predecessor, and all of it set against the prospect of a renewed gossip war between the Post and the Daily News, which has been staffing up." (Observer)


"This spring, Clare Bronfman, the 31-year-old heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Seagram liquor fortune, would describe to a New York court the extortion letter that was sent to her on April 24, 2009. Intended for her 33-year-old sister, Sara, as well, it was signed by several women, including the sisters’ financial planner, a masseuse, and a hairstylist, and demanded that 'they be paid $2.1 million by midnight,' Clare said in a sworn declaration, “or else they would go to the press with information they deemed harmful to my sister and I.” What that information was, the letter didn’t say, but Clare viewed the threat as alarming. The daughters of the billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman, Edgar Bronfman Sr., and the half-sisters of Edgar junior, the chairman of Warner Music Group, Sara and Clare were not simply heiresses to a global empire built by their grandfather Samuel Bronfman. As they would describe themselves, they were also important, wealthy entrepreneurs and philanthropists in their own right—women who bankrolled a web of investments and humanitarian foundations based in the Albany region, where they lived. Indeed, as Clare would tell a court this spring, the extortion demand arrived when she and Sara “were two weeks away from hosting the Dalai Lama in Albany for an event on humanitarian issues.' The alleged threat would have been disturbing if it occurred. But among the many allegations that have been made about Sara and Clare Bronfman in recent months was the charge that Clare was lying about the 'extortion' letter. Made in hundreds of pages of court documents that began to leak out to the press this spring, they have stunned friends of the Bronfman family. Many knew that Edgar Bronfman’s daughters were involved in a secretive organization called nxivm (pronounced 'nexium'), a group that he himself had openly referred to as 'a cult.'" (VanityFair)



"There are few battleground states where President Obama should be as unwelcome as Ohio. One state poll pegged his approval rating at 40 per cent last month, with independents rating him several points lower than that. Yet that is where the White House is deploying their biggest assets—the president and first lady—in their first joint campaign stop since their own 2008 election with events in Cleveland and Columbus this weekend. The deployment of the Obamas to Ohio points to a strategy that turns the conventional wisdom of Washington on its head. With those kind of approval ratings, there is no way the president should be campaigning in public—especially for Governor Ted Strickland. Strickland famously campaigned against Obama in the Democratic primaries, helping Hillary Clinton to a substantial victory on the very pocketbook issues that have defined the 2010 cycle. That defeat left Obama struggling to connect with older, working voters through Pennsylvania for several painful weeks in 2008. Pennsylvania and Ohio remain some of the toughest battlegrounds for Obama and Democrats across the country." (TheDailyBeast)


"Revlon billionaire Ronald Perelman is going to marry his girlfriend of five years, Dr. Anna Chapman, today, Page Six has learned. Perelman and Harvard-educated psychiatrist Chapman will marry in a traditional Jewish ceremony at a private address in Manhattan this evening, sources tell us. One said, 'The ceremony will be very small and intimate, with only close family and friends present.' Chapman converted to Judaism to marry Perelman, who has strong Orthodox beliefs. The source added, 'They are very much in love and are looking forward to becoming parents.' We reported this summer that the pair are expecting their first child through a surrogate. They have not revealed the sex of the baby, their biological child, due in December. This will be Perelman's fifth marriage, but one which the friends say is "the true happy ending. He is so happy.'" (PageSix)


"Also last night over at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the American Ballet Theatre held its 'The Innovation Initiative,'a one-night-only benefit showcasing the World premieres of four works choreographed by members of the ABT and performed by the company’s dancers. Choreographers for the program were Gemma Bond, Nicola Curry, Daniel Mantel, and Craig Salstein. The evening began with a dinner at 6 followed by the performance and an after-party. The performance was a culmination of ABT’s 4-week choreographic workshop under the mentorship of Kevin McKenzie, ABT’s Artistic Director and Alexei Ramanship, ABT’s Artist in Residence, and Stephen Pier. And, in another part of the same forest (The Time Warner complex), Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education was holding its Fiesta 2010 at the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental. They honored Natalie Morales, co-host and National Correspondent of the “Today Show” and Maria Luisa Serna. Sra. Serna has for twenty years had one of the most successful radio programs in the top rated radio station in Mexico. She is well known for her professional and humanitarian work and for her development of radio programs to promote culture, health and family values." (NYSocialDiary)

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