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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The North Korean attack comes as South Korea’s annual Hoguk military exercises are under way. The exercises — set to last nine days and including as many as 70,000 personnel from all branches of the South Korean military — span from sites in the Yellow Sea including Yeonpyeongdo to Seoul and other areas on the peninsula itself. The drills have focused in particular on cross-service coordination and cooperation in recent years. Low-level border skirmishes across the demilitarized zone and particularly the NLL are not uncommon even at the scale of artillery fire. In March, the South Korean naval corvette ChonAn was sunk in the area by what is broadly suspected to have been a North Korean torpedo, taking tensions to a peak in recent years. Nov. 22 also saw South Korean rhetoric about accepting the return of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula, though the United States said it has no plans at present to support such a redeployment.  While the South Korean reprisals — both artillery fire in response by self-propelled K-9 artillery and the scrambling of aircraft — thus far appear perfectly consistent with South Korean standard operating procedures, the sustained shelling of a populated island by North Korea would mark a deliberate and noteworthy escalation." (STRATFOR)


"Saudi King Abdullah, in town for surgery, flew in an enormous entourage. The king, 86, who landed at JFK on Monday, chartered three flights to bring in members of his family, security and staff. A source told us, 'An area at the airport was sealed off for his arrival, and the king left in a convoy of more than 40 vehicles. They probably needed 20 cars for his luggage.' He's reportedly seeking treatment for a herniated disc and has taken over a whole wing of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. A source at the Saudi consulate general confirmed he's here for surgery and referred us to the Saudi embassy in DC, which declined to comment." (PageSix)


"The iPad is more like a thing a child would play with. To me it's neither manly nor female. It's childish. It looks like a thing for a kid. Because we now live in a world where everyone wants to be seven years old. Except people who are seven, who want to be four." (Fran Lebowitz/Observer)

(Lee Radziwell and Pres. of Prosper Assouline via Caroline Torem Craig)

"WHAT: Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook (Assouline)by James Danziger launch party and signing WHEN: Monday, November 22 WHERE: The Pierre Hotel, NYC WHO: Heiko Kuenstle, Hamish Bowles, James Danziger, Prosper & Martine Assouline, Antoinette Botarelli, Hamish Bowles, Meredith Melling-Burke, Linda Fargo, Brooke Geahan and Catherine Malandrino." (Papermag)


"To give a little context here, by my measure New York bars are a breed apart; there are no others like ‘em anywhere on the planet ... But Clarke’s. Oh my.  ... My first visit was in a small group from CBS News that included Dan Rather, then a star White House correspondent, enough of a known face to get us through the crush at the bar and into the back room where Frankie, the famed maitre’d, sat us at the prized table. Memories: every table packed, red checked table cloths, chalk board menus, open kitchen, everyone smoking, busy waiters, a fantastic din matched only by the buzz of being there. It was some wee hour after midnight and the burger tasted just right. It always did, every post-midnight visit thereafter for two decades. In 2002 P.J. Clarke’s changed hands--and eras--as it passed from the Levezzo’s to new owners, who cleaned the place up, gave it a makeover and expanded it to other parts of Manhattan, as well as Chicago, Las Vegas and now Washington, DC, where it opened this fall. The Washington P.J. Clarke’s is on 16th Street, a block and a half from the White House, and barely a block from hotels like the Capital Hilton, the St. Regis and the Hay Adams." (NYSocialDiary)


"Journalists around the world threatened by imprisonment and murder were in focus here Tuesday night at the 20th annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner benefiting the Committee to Protect Journalists. But the pending acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast and the continued cost cuts at news divisions also came up in early speeches, and they actually added somewhat of a lighter note to the event. NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw filled in as host for NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who had to leave town for assignment. Sony Corp. chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, who chaired the benefit at the Waldorf Astoria, mentioned that he had been nervous about the original plan to have Williams as host given that he recently saw the anchor roast outgoing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. 'I thought, my god, I hope I still have a job when I [get to] the stage -- because I haven't seen Jeff Zucker since,' Stringer quipped. He then accidentally referred to Brian Williams as Brian Roberts -- the chairman of Comcast -- causing a round of unintended laughs. But Stringer got right back to business, saying Williams can be very funny, even though he didn't find it funny to see Williams leave for NBC during Stringer's time at CBS News. Brokaw later briefly picked up on Stringer's slip of the tongue, though, saying that NBC staff have a different name for Comcast boss Roberts now. 'We call him his majesty,' he said to laughs." (HollywoodReporter)


"It’s a time-honored custom of the aristocratic class to belittle popular social trends and accessible commercial luxuries. For centuries, starting with the earliest days of court society, members of the elite have tried to assert their superiority by condemning predictable displays of extravagance. Such criticisms almost always have been hypocritical. The same people who bash the fads usually become part of them. Today, this cycle of blatant feigning continues among Manhattan’s smart set. It’s practically a requirement for representatives of the fashionable party crowd to denounce the city’s Meatpacking District as a bourgeois tourist trap and bridge-and-tunnel hell hole. In truth, the neighborhood simply is an epicenter for nightlife, filled with restaurants and bars that tend to attract large numbers of enthusiastic revelers. And, as much as posh tastemakers would hesitate to admit it, they themselves have been turning up there in ever increasing numbers. When the Standard Hotel opened the Boom Boom Room, an architecturally inspiring full-floor penthouse bar with nearly 360-degree views, A-list powerbrokers of all varieties suddenly began to appear on the scene. Outward prejudices never disappeared, at least when people were discussing the location out loud, but that hasn’t affected attendance at one swanky event after another. The clientele, it seems, is happy to dis the turf but still likes to play the field. Most recently, the ultra-discerning party crowd has been feting the arrival of a new nightclub called Bunker. It’s an underground vaulted-ceiling den of Bacchanalian activity constructed by the creators of the old Beatrice Inn." (Jamie Johnson/Vanity Fair)


"The above image was flashed on a large screen at the Out 100 party last week at the IAC Building as thousands cheered. It's me, filmmaker Kimberly Reed, and VH1's Laverne Cox, all striped and strobed and repeated as if Andy Warhol was still alive and kissing my ass. I'm just afraid that even with four of me, people are still going to only focus on Laverne's cleavage." (Musto)


"David LaChapelle strolled into the Metropolitan Pavillion with the always stunning Amanda LePore on one arm and on the other one of the most hypnotizing and riveting beauties of the day Daphne Guinness. As he accepted the 2010 OUT in ART AWARD with a poignant and personal speech about growing up with daily harrassment for being 'different' from a visibly moved Daphne … We all paused to reflect on the need for tolerance and acceptence!" (HotelFashionLand)

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