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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Wednesday unleashed a blunt and stinging critique of the federal government’s handing of the economic recovery, saying that lawmakers from both parties have 'abdicated their responsibility' in favor of partisan bickering, have vilified success in corporate America and have left the country lagging behind its international competitors. In a long and sweeping speech, Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, offered a wide-ranging plan for reigniting entrepreneurship and growth, calling for tax cuts for businesses, an overhaul of regulations and investments in job training. Many of his proposals, like immigration reform, are not new and the New York City mayor’s ability to hasten their passage is untested. But at a time when the White House and Congress are struggling to reach consensus on how to tackle a stubbornly high unemployment rate, it was Mr. Bloomberg’s harsh assessment of Washington politics and his call for centrist problem solving that proved most striking. 'Last month, voters turned against Democrats in Washington for the same reason they turned against Republicans in 2006,' Mr. Bloomberg told a gathering of city business leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 'Democrats now, and Republicans then, spent more time and energy conducting partisan warfare than forging centrist solutions to our toughest economic problems.' The speech, far-reaching in scope and language, and delivered with much fanfare along the Brooklyn waterfront, instantly intensified speculation about the mayor’s political ambitions, whether it was intended to or not." (NYTimes)



"This year, when it became clear that developed economies were not going to bounce back quickly, voters began turning on their leaders. The Japanese electorate, which dismissed the Liberal Democratic Party in 2009 after more than a half-century of nearly uninterrupted rule, began punishing the party that took its place. Emergency steps by the European Union and International Monetary Fund pulled Greece, Spain, and other shaky European economies back from the brink of insolvency, but at a high political cost: In May, the British electorate dispensed with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and voters in Germany's most populous state defeated Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. In the United States, Democrats, who control the White House and held large majorities in both houses of Congress, faced a tsunami of public anger in this year's midterm elections. At the same time, emerging markets rebounded, further scrambling the world's political order. China is leading the way, but a relatively sunny economic outlook in India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, and other new heavyweights has contributed to the sense that the balance of power in international politics has shifted away from the old G-7 countries. That doesn't mean the G-20 will emerge as an uncontested new center of global governance; if anything, it has become clearer this year that consensus might now be even more elusive." (ForeignPolicy)


"Last night Alice Mason gave one of her famous although now rarer dinner parties at her Upper East Side apartment. Alice is one of the most famous hostesses in New York of the past four decades. There was a time when she gave a dinner (always for sixty) once a month except for the summer season. Over the years, she’s probably entertained thousands at these dinners. The focus of her guests varied, depending on the hostess’ interests. There was once an impassioned interest in the United Nations and so her guest list was multi-racial and international. Other times the emphasis was on politics and media, garnished with people from the arts or literature. By the 1990s, the focus of her interests was on media. By the 2000s Alice had reduced the number of her dinners to the point that this may have been the only dinner she gave in 2010, and the focus was on old friends but many whom she had not seen in some time." (NYSocialDiary)


"In the beginning, DealBook was a newsletter with links to that morning's Times, and then, when DealBook became a blog, it was a place for the newspaper to compete on news that broke during the day and would be too late for tomorrow's edition. Now, a re-re-launched third iteration of DealBook has for the past month occupied a dedicated space in the daily paper in the form of a piece carrying the DealBook logo inside the business section; the fact that the spin-off now has a page of the thing it spun off from is a sort of recursive wormhole in logic that makes the brain hurt. But no matter! Nine years after it entered the world as a simple email roundup of mergers-and-acquisitions headlines, The Times' DealBook has become almost unrecognizably huge, with that print-edition space, a full-fledged vertical off nytimes.com and a news staff of 16—all at a time when the rest of the news business, both inside and outside of The Times, is shriveling. Along the way, DealBook's creator, Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, has gone big time, too, with a best-selling book, Too Big to Fail, a weekly column, frequent appearances on CNBC and MSNBC—and enough cachet to embed his own name in the DealBook logo, so that atop its many incarnations the words 'Edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin' appear, again and again." (Observer)


"Hannah Bronfman (designer/record label owner) – The 22-year-old daughter of Edgar Bronfman Jr., the CEO of Warner Music Group and actress Sherry Brewer, is already a mini-mogul. Bronfman owns part of trendy Hotel Griffou, is a part time DJ and is launching an organic clothing line called Green Owl, which is also the name of her record label. Oh, and her brother just had a child with rapper M.I.A. Not bad for a girl who was kicked out of Spence." (AvenueInsider)

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