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Friday, October 08, 2010

Media-Whore D'oeuvres


"It is the most deliciously Machiavellian undertaking in years. It’s also inscrutable and scary. I refer, of course, to this week’s spate of revelations that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is conducting a variety of secret talks with the Taliban, or parts thereof. Now, obviously, whatever these noble explorers are doing, it is no longer secret and it is almost certainly more a game than a serious negotiation. It takes a divining rod to decipher exactly what all the various parties, including not only the Afghans but also the Pakistanis and our very own American leaders, are scheming to do. It is very hard to believe that any of them is now seeking a negotiated settlement. It is very easy to believe that they are all up to something tricky. Among those most alarmed by these secret talks are the American hawks, who suspect and fear that an unconscionable sellout of U.S. interests is afoot. And yet, if there is a way out of this war—short of expending another decade of blood and treasure—it has to include trying to talk to the devil." (Les Gelb)


"Earlier this morning, Richard Johnson announced in a Page Six item that after nearly 25 years running the New York Post's gossip column, he is moving to Los Angeles to work on 'new digital ventures for News Corp.' The Observer called several of Mr. Johnson's former colleagues to get their reaction to his departure and talk about the future of the column. 'It's a measure of his success that they didn't want to let him go,' said George Rush, who worked with Mr. Johnson at Page Six in the late '80s and early '90s. 'This is a way of holding on to him and building on what he achieved.' 'For a generation of gossip columnists, Richard defined the game and his longevity is not something that anyone should take for granted,' said Ben Widdicombe, who began working for Page Six in the late '90s. By his count, reporters normally burn out doing gossip reporting after 18 months." (Observer)


"In the space of two short weeks, Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel has suffered a double blow to his power base, neither of his making. The decision by brother Rahm to step down as White House chief of staff and run for mayor of Chicago (why is this a job anyone wants?) pulls the rug out from under the uber-agent’s ability to tout his access at the apex of government. This is not a small thing. In a world where power is a relentless shape-shifter and information is the underpinning of power, it was mightily handy to have a sibling whose job it was to whisper (or yell expletives, whatever) in the ear of the president, the calling card to trump all others. It was a subtle but huge advantage in a world where influence is all. Last October at a USC Law School panel, Emanuel managed to instantly shrink his fellow panelists Jeff Berg of ICM, Jim Berkus of UTA and David O’Connor of CAA with three simple words: 'My brother says ... ' he began. Emanuel went on to explain how “my brother” had told him about Obama’s plans to extend broadband across the country, and that Hollywood needed to be vigilant against the heightened threat that piracy represented to the industry. It was potent and dropped effectively in an ohbytheway manner. I am told it instantly underscored Emanuel’s new status on the heels of the WME 'merger.'" (TheWrap)


"Vanity Fair's LISA ROBINSON: Looking back on last year’s MTV Awards, when you interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech—you said Beyoncé was robbed, and a lot of us agreed with you. How do you feel about it now? KANYE WEST: Well, it was very punk rock and revolutionary and idealistic and very angry in a way. But the timing was in poor taste. And the other two things I’ve learned since then are humility and empathy—to be empathetic to other people’s feelings. To care about how much this must mean to someone else, and not to think that my ideals or my righteousness are more important than someone else’s feelings." (VanityFair)


"After the program, on the terrace of the David H. Koch Theater, Sarah Jessica Parker, who will attend her first board meeting as a new trustee of the ballet next week, told Karoui how much she loved the music. 'You were so great!' she said. Of his rising from the pit, Karoui reflected later, 'It’s such a moment,' noting that the 63-member orchestra is there for every performance — and that Broadway pits usually only have a dozen or so members ... After lobster, chicken, and some apple pie, a DJ David Chang drew guests to the dance floor. Milliepied had left by then, with his girlfriend Natalie Portman, who preferred to stay out of the limelight. Another celebrity, Jake Gyllenhaal, had ducked out after the performance, sporting a backpack on his shoulder." (NYSocialDiary)


"Allegedly, getting Courtney Love out of her hotel room to perform at the V Magazine New York, New York bash Tuesday night at Printemps was a Herculean task. But as difficult or late as she was, there was no chance that she wasn’t coming. After all, she was discussing potential cover ideas twelve hours earlier with Stephen Gan at Chanel. 'It needs to freaking insane,' she decided in the morning. 'We need to do something no one expects me to do. We have to shock people.' When Love hit the stage for the second time in Paris (she also performed a few tunes at Givenchy’s after party) she suddenly drew a few power entourages. On one white couch, there was Team Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld with his three favorite dudes: Sebastien, Brad, and Baptiste), and on another sat Team Givenchy (Ricardo Tisci, Kristen McMenamy, Liv Tyler with boyfriend Theo Wenner). While it was Tisci who got the shout out and a Like a Prayer tribute from Love ('This is for my favorite man,' she announced), it was the gloved one that was smitten. 'You have love this Courtney Love,' smiled Lagerfeld. 'I don’t she can ever disappoint on stage.'" (Fashionweekdaily)


"My husband has a cuckold fetish, which we have indulged through two drunken threesomes with two of his best friends. The first time, he really had to talk me into it. The second time, he steered me in that direction and I took the wheel. I now have had sex alone with Friend Two a few times. My husband was okay with it at first, but now he wants it to stop. I like the control he gave me, and now I don't want to be told no. He opened the door, and I don't want to close it. What do I do? —Not Ready To Stop" (DanSavage)


"I will never again underestimate a Norwegian psychedelic/punk/shoegaze band. The quintet's jackhammer volume was enough to drown out even the odious gaggle of industry back-slappers talking next to the stage. (Now would be a good time to gripe about the layout of Il Motore: if you place the stage next to the entrance, the part of the audience that's there for the show will be butting heads with the part of the audience constantly ducking out for cigarette breaks.) Headbanded singer Emil Nikolaisen offset his Liam Gallagher sneer with a gleefully destructive sense of showmanship. Midway through a glorious finale built upon a single riff that could have gone on for an hour without exhausting itself, Nikolaisen freaked out, nearly destroying his guitar while he assaulted a monitor with such enthusiasm that the crowd jumped back from the stage. You can't just walk away from an ending like that, which is probably why Nikolaisen rolled around on his back strumming aimlessly for several minutes after the song stopped." (TheGazette via BrooklynVegan)


"The shot I aways love, The 1st shot. Before he noticed me creepin up. There's something special about a hat thats pinches are a bit off centered. The Late Lubavitcher Rebbe O.B.M. Menachem Mendel Schneerson wore his fedora like so. Probably from taking it on and off by the crown. Eventually the pinches get off set. Not sure if thats what happened with this straw hat but I'd like to think so." (MisterMort)


"National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said Thursday that he believes the depth of House Democrats’ panic can be measured this week by their decision to spend money defending Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D) in his southwest Georgia district. In a phone interview from the campaign trail after a stop in Georgia Wednesday evening, Sessions said that it’s telling that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has had to spend money on 'African Americans like Sanford Bishop. And when you have to retreat back to ... your hard base you’re having to make tough decisions.' Bishop is the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus that is currently benefitting from ads by the DCCC. The committee has spent just more than $142,000 in Georgia’s 2nd district, mostly on ads attacking Bishop’s GOP challenger, state Rep. Mike Keown. Sessions said that it’s simply unusual for the DCCC to have to defend members of the CBC. 'When you’re having to go support your CBC members, which you’ve never had to do, that should show you how deep this is,' he said." (CQPolitics)



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